Today’s the day for a big fish. It’s perfect streamer fishing conditions with overcast skies and there’s been lots of aggressive fish. I’m pounding the banks with my favorite streamer for thirty minutes when I notice the grit on my fly line is starting to agitate my fingers. The fly line feels like it’s coated in fine sandpaper from the silt and grit it’s picking up from the floorboard of the drift boat. I tough it out for another half hour, telling myself, be a man dude, but every fast paced jerk-strip retrieve has my fingers getting beat up even more. The fact that I’ve yet to land a fish only magnifies my discomfort. I’m willing to put up with the sore fingers if there’s a reward every once in a while but that’s not happening today, and I’m seriously considering yelling uncle and manning the oars.
Then there was my last saltwater fly fishing trip where I had botched two strip sets on tarpon back to back failing to get satisfactory hook penetration. My guide and partner both sighed in total disappointment, as I missed two perfect fish opportunities. I asked for forgiveness and promised them that my next eat would end in a perfect execution. An hour later my shot arrives. I present my fly, initiate my long slow strips, and my line comes tight as a big tarpon eats and turns away. I set the hook hard and hold on tight to my fly line. The hook buries but as the tarpon realizes it’s hooked, it screams off into the distance at full speed and rakes the fly line across my bare skin fingers. Instantly, I know I’m going to pay for holding onto the fly line too long, but I land the silverking beast, and it’s all worth it. After the victory cry, high fives, and adrenaline rush wears off, the throbbing sensation of chard fly line fingers begins. That’s when I silently ask myself the question, why didn’t you consider wearing finger protection dumbass?
Have you been in this situation before on the water? I’m thankful to admit it happens to me only on rare occasions these days. After scouring the web looking for a solution and talking with other fly anglers, I’m glad to inform everyone, I’ve found the perfect product that significantly eliminates finger chaffing. Ever heard of the fabric material Lycra? It’s basically a tight woven stretchy spandex material that can be sewn into finger sleeves that you can slide on and off with ease. They provide fantastic finger chaffing protection. I purchased my three finger set for $6.99 at Bass Pro Shops, but you can purchase these slick finger stripper guards online at StrippingGuards.com.
Lycra Finger Sleeves Longevity
If you fish a hand full of times a year, and you take care of them they should last you a season. If you fish a bunch like I do, you can expect to replace them every month at least. I will worn you, they will get dirty and smelly pretty quick with frequent use. I wash and rinse mine between trips with mild hand soap, and air dry them to help eliminate the stench. I also lengthen their life by only using them when I’m streamer fishing or fishing in saltwater. Yes, eventually the fly line will wear through the lycra, but for the small cost of $6.99 for a set of three, I have no problem replacing my worn out set. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can easily make your own. As my friend Sherry Parker comments, she had no choice but to make her own since the standard retail size finger sleeves were way to big for her fingers.
Worry no more about stripping dirty fly line across your fingers. Streamer fish all day long with a smile on your face. Give yourself a little extra confidence on the saltwater flats with the added finger armor. I highly recommend lycra finger sleeves. I don’t leave home without them. Some of you probably are asking the question, why aren’t you using one of the numerous stripping gloves on the market? I’ve found them to be an annoyance to fish with, and many of them don’t even have the finger protection in the right spots/fingers. Furthermore, they wear out just like anything else and cost significantly more than lycra finger sleeves.
Keep it Reel,Kent Klewein Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com firstname.lastname@example.org Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!