Fish Monkey Gloves were introduced to the world during the 2016 ICAST industry trade show, and ever since seeing them at that event I’ve wanted to try a pair. This spring I finally stopped procrastinating and made it happen.
I chose Fish Monkey Pro 365 Guide Gloves (FM21). No, I’m not a fishing pro, and while I used to be a fishing guide, I’m not anymore. Fish Monkey offers a wide selection of gloves, everything from insulated full-finger models to Kevlar-reinforced styles designed to protect offshore anglers from cuts while managing mono, wire and cable.
As I shopped Fish Monkey’s website and clicked on the link for the Pro 365 Guide Glove ($29.95), this statement caught my eye, “The new Pro 365 Glove from Fish Monkey takes the best elements from our best-selling Stubby and Half-Finger Guide Gloves and adds a little more padding and protection in critical areas. This glove is perfect for those professional captains and guides that spend more time on the water than off.”
Like I said, I’m not a professional captain or guide, but I do spend a considerable amount of time on the water, often in less-than-ideal weather conditions. The Pro 365s come in four color choices — Royal Blue, Neon Green, Blue Water Camo and Tarpon — I chose Blue Water Camo.
First, let me talk about sizing. As the chart below shows, correct size is determined by measuring around the widest part of your palm on your dominant hand. FYI: Fishing line works great for this task. My measurement is just under 9 inches, so I wear a size Large. You don’t want the gloves to be loose/baggy and if they’re too small you’ll never get them on your hands (remember the O.J. trial?). Take the time to measure correctly.
The glove’s four-way stretch allows you to pull them on without difficulty. Even before I made my first cast for smallmouth bass recently in South Dakota, I was impressed with the overall second-skin fit and feel. Confession: I’m tremendously finicky when it comes to glove fit/sizing. Yes, I’m that guy at the PGA Super Store who must try on two dozen size L left-hand golf gloves before I find the one that fits just right. The size L Pro 365s were snug but not too tight and when I closed my hands I didn’t end up with a bunch of extra material in the palms.
Picking up my spinning rod, I immediately realized fishing with the gloves wouldn’t require me to do anything different in terms of rod, reel and line handling. The glove material is thin and stretchy, so there’s no concern with bulkiness or lack of feel. In fact, I never thought about the gloves after making a few casts in spite of being on the water that first day in South Dakota for 11 hours. Thinking back, I don’t think I removed the Pro 365s when I stopped to make sandwiches in the boat for lunch.
While casting can be done with full-finger gloves, I definitely wanted a design with exposed fingertips. With the Pro 365s, I could easily feel the line on my index finger when using a spinning rod, as well as feather the spool with my thumb while using a baitcaster.
Other glove features I like include: Non-slip silicon on palm and base of fingers, breathable and quick-drying fabric, UPF 50+ sun protection and finger “pulls” for removing the gloves.
Best of all, the gloves protected my hands from dreaded bass thumb, which for me manifests itself not on the pad of my right thumb, but at the thumb base almost into my palm. The sandpaper-like teeth of bass weighing 3 pounds or more can really tear up the base of my thumb, but I had no scars after catching numerous large and angry smallmouths. My son and I had a great first day of fishing in South Dakota; our biggest five smallies weighed 21 pounds 10 ounces.
On a 5-star rating system, I give Fish Monkey Pro 365s a 4.5. Only one person, place or thing ever deserved a perfect score, and Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci earned it in 1976. In terms of design, fit and function, I can’t think of any suggested improvements.
Currently, Fish Monkey offers the Pro 365s in only four colors, but I assume that number will grow in the future. The price of $29.95 seems fair. My field test is only in its infancy stage, but these gloves appear to be well made, and I expect them to last several years.