As you sort through your fishing gear you might consider replacing your flashlight with a headlamp. Fishing headlamps make a great accessory for any fisherman because of how helpful they are. The best fishing headlamp provides fisherman with much needed light in a 100% hands-free manner. No more worries of trying to hold your light between your teeth as you bait your hook.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List:
Best Headlamps For Fishing on the Market:
- Best Budget Fishing Headlamp: Nitecore NU32
- Best Lightweight Fishing Headlamp (Pocket Size): Nitecore NU25
- Best AA Headlamp For Fishing: Fenix HL30 2018
- Brightest Fishing Headlamp: AceBeam H30
- Best Fishing Headlamp: Fenix HL60R
- Ultimate Headlamp For Fishing (High Dollar): Lupine Blika X4
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Our Other Headlamp Articles
What To Look For
When looking at a headlamps beam, the first thing you need to consider is its brightness. As brightness is measured in lumens you need to realize that the higher the number of lumens the brighter and more powerful the light will be. Some fishermen feel that the brightest headlamp is the best, so they opt for headlamps that are 200 lumens or higher. Generally speaking you want to consider your usual fishing locations before deciding how bright you need your headlamp to be. Less powerful lights are required for areas with plenty of moonlight or artificial light.
What modes your fishing headlamp provides is something else to consider when looking at the lights beam. Majority of headlamps offer at minimum two basic modes, but how many modes are offered will vary based on manufacturer. The best fishing headlamp offers a variety of brightness modes allowing you to choose the brightness level based on how much light you need for a certain situation. Flatling lights, including beacon, strobe, or SOS, should also be included for use in emergencies.
The best headlamp for fishing provides fishermen with a flood and spotlight style of beam. You will find headlamps that only offer one or the other, but those should be avoided at all costs. Look for a zooming feature. This allows you to zoom in for a narrower beam or zoom out for a wider beam. The narrower beam helps you point light in a specific location, while the wide beam increases your field of vision.
The final thing to consider when looking the beam options a fishing headlamp provides is the color of the beams. The best fishing headlamp will provide you with red and white light. The white light is ideal for lighting up the water and even luring fish. The red beam preserves your night vision while allowing you to do up close work. Each light color is suited for specific situations. If possible find a headlamp that provides you with a straight to red option rather than having to cycle through the various brightness levels of the white light.
IP ratings play an important role in picking out the best headlamp for fishing. These ratings refer to how well the headlamp is protected from dust and water. The higher the number on the scale the better the light is protected. Another thing to note is the “X” that serves as a place holder for lights that don’t have a dust rating, but have a waterproof rating. For example, IPX8 offers no dust protection, but the highest level of protection for water. IP68 offers the highest level of protection for both dust and water.
As a fisherman your headlamp is going to be exposed to water every time it is used. With that being said you need something that is more than just water resistant. Look for lights with an IP rating of 5 or above when it comes to water. As you are going to be near large bodies of water, you generally want to look at headlamps with a rating of 7 or 8 as they offer the best water protection and performance is not affected when submerged in water for a short period of time.
Size and Weight
Comfort is a major concern with headlamps. If you end up with a headlamp that is uncomfortable to wear you just wasted your money because chances are you will never wear it. How comfortable your headlamp is will depend on the material used to make the headband, the adjustability of the band, and how heavy the headlamp is. You also have the option of a t-strap, which is more secure or a single strap.
Look for headlamps that offer a soft elastic band. The softer bands are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. You also need some kind of adjustability with the headband. This is important as you need to headlamp to fit properly so it is not sliding up or down. You want something that is going to stay in place.
For comfort you want a lightweight headlamp, the lighter it is the less chance it has of slipping down due to the weight. Some headlamps are front heavy. If this is the case opt for a design that offers a battery pack at the back of the headband to act as a counterweight.
Before buying a headlamp you need to determine what battery type you prefer. AA or AAA alkaline batteries are one of the most popular choices in headlamps, plus they are easy as they can be found in most stores, including bait shops and gas stations. CR123A batteries are another popular choice, but can be problematic as they need to be recharged.
When considering headlamps you need to take battery life into consideration. How long batteries last depend on two things, what setting you are using and how often you use the headlamp. The higher the brightness level the faster you will run down the battery. When comparing battery life look at how long the battery lasts when used on the highest setting available.
Best Headlamps for Fishing
Best Budget Fishing Headlamp:
One of the reasons why the Nitecore NU32 is on our list as one of the best fishing headlamps is because it offers fisherman multiple light sources. Using a CREE XP-G3 S3 LED the Nitecore NU32 features four brightness levels for you to choose from along with a CRI Auxiliary LED. The CRI Auxiliary LED offers a flood style beam for up close tasks and true colors are seen with this light even in the dark of night. A Red Auxiliary LED provides fisherman with the ability to switch straight to red so as to preserve night vision.
Controlled via a dual switch located at the top of the Nitecore NU32 the light offers three special modes: SOS, Beacon, and a lock out mode. The light is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that is recharged through the micro-USB charging port. A power indicator light keeps you informed on current battery power levels. The Nitecore NU32 can emit up to 550 lumens of bright white light for one hour. The polycarbonate housing is lightweight making the headlamp comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The durable light is waterproof up to 7 feet and can withstand impacts up to 3 feet without any effect on performance.
- Lockout mode
- Power indicator light
- Multiple light options
- Strap can be tricky to install
- Weight: 3.51 ounces with battery
- Dimensions: 2.5 inches long
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 330 hours
- Highest Setting: 550 lumens for 1 hour
Best Lightweight Fishing Headlamp (Pocket Size):
Coming in at about 2 inches long, the Nitecore NU25 is the best pocket sized fishing headlamp. The lightweight fishing headlamp utilizes a CREE XP-G2 S3 LED to provide fishermen with four brightness levels and two additional light sources. The 20-lumen high CRI LED offers the ability to see details, including color, as it appears in natural sunlight. The 13-lumen Red LED provides just enough light to not ruin your night vision. Powered by a single lithium-ion rechargeable battery the light can emit a maximum of 360 lumens for 30 minutes. Unlike other rechargeable lights, the Nitecore NU25 will continue working while plugged into a power source to recharge.
The Nitecore NU25 is controlled through dual switches located at the top of the light’s housing. The switches provide access to the entire light and provide users with the ability to go straight to red from the primary LED. The dual switches also provide access to three special modes: SOS, Beacon, and lock out. Fishermen can rely on this lightweight and comfortable headlamp as it offers continuous illumination and a high efficient constant circuit to prevent light fluctuations.
- Multiple light modes
- Continuous illumination
- Lockout mode
- Headband bunches up on light
- Weight: 0.98 ounces with battery
- Dimensions: 2.18 inches long
- Lowest Setting: 1 lumen for 160 hours
- Highest Setting: 360 lumens for 30 minutes
Best AA Headlamp For Fishing:
Powered by Ni-MH or regular AA batteries, the Fenix HL30 is an excellent headlamp for fishermen. The light uses two AA batteries to emit a maximum of 300 lumens for 4 hours and 30 minutes. Runtimes listed are using two AA Ni-MH batteries; you will get shorter runtimes with regular alkaline batteries. The Fenix HL30 features a CREE Xp-G3 White LED with a wide-range flood style beam. The soft and smooth beam provided by the LED offers a wide viewing angle making it ideal for up close work.
Dual switches located at the top of the lights body provides access to everything the Fenix HL30 has to offer including the red flashing signaling light, instant red light illumination, SOS, and the five brightness levels. Made from a tough aluminum alloy the Fenix HL30 comes with an IP67 rating, meaning it’s fully protected from water and dust. The body is also resistant to rust making it a preferred choice for those out on the water.
- Sweat channeling headband
- Lockout function
- Reverse polarity protection
- Beam is not projectable
- Weight: 2.6 ounces without batteries
- Dimensions: 2.5 inches long
- Lowest Setting: 4 lumens for 200 hours
- Highest Setting: 300 lumens for 4.5 hours
Brightest Fishing Headlamp:
The first thing you notice about the AceBeam H30 is that it is bigger than the other lights we have included, but in this case bigger is better. The AceBeam H30 can use either an 18650 battery or a 21700 5100mAh to emit a maximum of 4000 lumens for a minute and a half. 4000 lumens is a lot of light for a headlamp, so to prevent overheating the light will automatically step down to 1000 lumens. The light uses a CREE XHP70.2 LED to provide users with access to an SOS mode and six regular brightness levels. Fishermen will enjoy the CREE XPE2-R2 630nm red light that can be accessed at the push of a button, no cycling through various brightness levels.
Controlled via two switches located at the top of the light, the square style switch does most of the work. It is the round switch that allows users to go straight to the red light from the off position. The AceBeam H30 uses a rechargeable battery that can be recharged using any 5V/2A output device. The headlamp is able to charge three times faster than other rechargeable headlamps as it is a USB-C style light. Some will find it useful that the light can also be used as a power source to quickly charge other devices while on the go.
- IPX8 rating
- Multiple light options
- Memorized modes
- Silicone mount is fragile
- Weight: 2.8 ounces without battery
- Dimensions: 3.5 inches long
- Lowest Setting: 3 lumens for 200 hours
- Highest Setting: 4000 lumens for 1.5 minutes
Best Fishing Headlamp:
The Fenix HL60R offers fishermen a CREE XM-L2 U2 Neutral White light with amazing color rendering. Powered by a single 18650 battery, which is included with the light, the Fenix HL60R recharges through the built-in Micro-USB port. For those that prefer CR123A batteries the headlamp can be adapted to use them. On its brightest setting the headlamp can emit a maximum of 950 lumens for 48 minutes.
Using a single switch for operation the Fenix HL60R provides fisherman with the choice of five brightness levels, plus the ability to go straight to red light illumination. The light switch is not located on the top of the light, but on the side of the light’s body for easy access. The light offers an IPX8 rating making it fully waterproof. An anti-dust cover offers added protection, but even if left unplugged it will not affect the waterproof rating of the light.
- Multiple battery options
- Activation sequence could be improved
- Weight: 4.3 ounces without batteries
- Dimensions: 2.18 inches long
- Lowest Setting: 5 lumens for 100 hours
- Highest Setting: 950 lumens for 48 minutes
Ultimate Headlamp For Fishing (High Dollar):
If money is no concern and you want the ultimate headlamp for fishing, the Lupine Blika X4 is the one for you. The light uses not one, but two powerful CREE XM-L2 LEDs and XQ-E HI LEDs to provide 4 brilliantly white lights. The white lights offer fishermen the choice between 6 brightness levels, along with a diffused reading light, a SOS and RVLR mode, and an Alpine emergency signal. Using a 3.3Ah Lupine FASTclick battery the Blika X4 can emit a maximum of 2100 lumens for one hour. The light also has the ability to go straight to red allowing fishermen to keep their night vision.
The Blika X4 offers a new operating system that was developed by Lupine to be easy to use, but can also be used with a Bluetooth remote. The operating system uses two push buttons to access all lighting levels and other functions the light has to offer. Each of the push button is independently assigned to various tasks. The CNC-machined aluminum body features a hard anodized coating and offers an IP68 rating making it durable and waterproof without affecting performance. A FrontClick quick-change system allows you to remove the headlamp and attach it to a helmet without any special tools.
- Multiple light options
- Weight: 2.99 ounces without batteries
- Dimensions: 1.37 inches long
- Lowest Setting: 55 lumens for 80 hours
- Highest Setting: 2100 lumens for 1 hour
If you do any kind of fishing you need to invest in a headlamp for fishing. The best fishing headlamp provides you with hands-free lighting, no more worrying about who is going to hold the light while your reeling in the catch of your life. When looking for a fishing headlamp you want something that is comfortable to wear, but it also needs to be built to last. When making your decision you also need to consider the beam and its quality, as well as the battery type and life being provided.
All of the fishing headlamps we have reviewed in this post meet our requirements to be the best headlamp for fishing. Thee headlamps offer a range of features that fishermen like yourself will find useful, so look closely at these extras to find the headlamp that suits you best.
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