The best headlamps for fishing make a fisherman’s life easier and more efficient by keeping hands free, enabling you to focus on the task at hand. Not all headlamps are created equal for fishermen. Some headlamps will make your life easier, and others won’t.
The type of fishing you do will determine the best headlamp features for you. This post covers the best headlamps for a variety of different types of fishing so you can make the most educated purchase for you.
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Table of Contents
List of Best Fishing Headlamp Features:
- Battery type
- Battery life
- Light color
- Direct access to colored lights
- Battery lockout
- Low-battery indicator
Best Fishing Headlamp Features To Look For
A headlamp is easily one of the most useful tools for fishermen and women. However, if you choose the wrong headlamp you might find yourself more frustrated than not. This post will help ensure you choose the right headlamp with the best features for the types of fishing you do.
The best headlamps for fishing will be able to withstand some light to moderate abuse and have features that make them easy to use.
Fishermen shouldn’t even consider buying a non-waterproof headlamp because the weather can change unexpectedly. Also, as a fisherman, you’re surrounded by water. The last thing you want is to break your headlamp and have to navigate back in the dark.
Battery Type (Rechargeable vs Non-rechargeable)
Non-rechargeable headlamps that use batteries, like AAA, can be replaced if you carry extra batteries with you. When you use a rechargeable headlamp you’re out of luck unless you bring a power bank and a charging cord.
Battery lockout is a helpful feature because it prevents your headlamp from accidentally turning on in your bag or pocket. This can be an important feature for those who rely heavily on their headlamps for getting out of the woods.
Depending on the type of fishing you do you may need a long battery life. For some, a couple of hours might be enough. This post includes headlamps will all different battery life specs so you can choose the right one for you.
Light Color Toggle (Blue, Red, Green)
Although colored lights like red and green may help to avoid detection by fish, they are not invisible. Fish can see these lights, just not as well as white light.
That said, red lights on headlamps usually have fewer lumens, so they are less bright than white lights, making them great for sneaking into your fishing spots undetected.
The main purpose of green and red lights is to preserve your night vision. This way you can still see in the dark in your peripherals outside of the red beam. A red light will also stop you from accidentally ruining the night vision of other fishermen you’re fishing with.
Adjustable Brightness/ Lumens
The option of adjustable brightnesses for all color modes is very helpful for fishermen because you can customize your brightness to the surroundings you are fishing in, for the best results.
Bulk and weight are important factors to consider when choosing a headlamp for fishing. You don’t want a big and bulky headlamp that will get caught up in branches on your walk into your fishing areas. And a heavy headlamp will bob up and down more on your head which can be annoying.
Memory is a headlamp’s ability to remember the last setting it was on when it is turned on again from being off. This is helpful when there are different light colors and you don’t want to toggle through all of the colors to find the one you are looking for.
Direct Access to Colored Lights
Direct access to a colored light means that instead of toggling through all of the light colors to get to the color you want, there is a dedicated button that allows you to immediately access the light you want.
For example, having direct access to a red light will make it so you don’t shine a bright white light every time you want to use your red light. This can prevent the spooking of fish and preserve your night vision.
Low Light Indicator
Having a low light indicator is an important feature for a fishing headlamp because knowing when your headlamp is going to die allows you to plan ahead and get the batteries replaced so your headlamp doesn’t die when you need it most.
Best Headlamps For Fishing
Black Diamond Spot 350 Lumen Best Value Fishing Headlamp
Black Diamond makes some of the best fishing headlamps for the money. For under 40$, you get just about everything a fisherman would be looking for in a headlamp. This headlamp has 3 lights, a bright main light, a flood light, and a red light. All of these lights are dimmable. Also, it has memory so it will remember the settings you used last.
The Spot uses 3 AAA batteries. There is a battery lock option so it doesn’t accidentally turn on. The easy-to-read battery life indicator is excellent. The battery life is also great and will last 3.75 hours at max brightness and up to 200 hours at low brightness. The touch panel on the side conveniently toggles max brightness for all three lights.
It’s waterproof down to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes and weighs 2.93 oz.
Black Diamond Storm 400 Lumen Fishing Headlamp
The Black Diamond Storm headlamp is similar to the Black Diamond Spot headlamp in function, but with a few additional features. It has red, green, and blue light settings, and takes four replaceable AAA batteries. This allows the storm to run longer with high brightness settings with the trade-off of a little extra weight. The video below does a great job explaining the features:
Nitecore HU60 1600 Lumen Headlamp For Ice Fishing
The biggest benefit of this headlamp is that it can be used with an external battery bank. This means on cold days you can keep the battery bank in your pocket to keep it warm so that it will last longer in colder weather. Another benefit of using a battery bank is that you can make this headlamp last a lot longer than other headlamps by purchasing a battery bank with high capacity. Additionally, this is a bright headlamp that outputs up to 1600 lumens.
Petzl Tactikka 300 Lumen Fishing Headlamp
Petzl is a well-known company that makes excellent headlamps. The Tikka 300 is 2.89 oz and has 3 white light modes, low (6 lumens, 160 hours), medium (100 lumens, 12 hours), and high (300) lumens. One button is used to toggle through these brightness levels. To access the red light you press and hold the button. A cool feature of Petzl is you can use 3 AAA batteries or you can buy a rechargeable battery pack.
Petzl Tactikka + RBG 350 Lumen Fishing Headlamp
The Tactikka + 350 has all of the same features as the Tactikka 300, plus a few more. The differences include 50 extra lumens for added brightness and more light color options. For example, you get red, green, and blue lights. To access these lights you just hold down a single button as the headlamp it toggles through the different colors.
L.L. Bean Trailblazer Sportsman 420 Lumen Headlamp
L.L. Bean has an excellent 100% satisfaction guarantee for up to 1 year which is an excellent indicator of how much they believe in the quality of their products. This headlamp does not have a red light but does have a green light for night vision. The green light comes on first before the white light so you preserve your night vision. This makes it one of the best fishing headlamps with green light.
The Trailblazer’s brightness settings are very adjustable. The 420 spotlight setting is dimmable to 25 lumens. The 50-lumen white flood light setting is dimmable to 10 lumens. This is not a rechargeable headlamp, it uses 3 AAA batteries which are included, and will last up to 110 hours. It is waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
Biolite 200 Lumen Lightest Weight Fishing Headlamp
This is a minimal and simple one-button headlamp that just about does it all. It has an articulating light, 12-hour last-setting memory, and dimmable red and white brightness.
The battery is rechargeable only and lasts 3 hours at max brightness but will last 40 hours at low brightness. It has a low battery indicator and the battery has a lock mode so it won’t accidentally get turned on when you don’t want it to.
This is one of the lightest and most portable headlamps on the market at 1.76 oz, it has an IPX4 waterproof rating which means it can withstand light rain.
Brightest Headlamps For Fishing
Fenix HM50R V.2 700 Lumens
Fenix headlamps are great for fishermen because they offer a lot of lumens in a small lightweight 2.75 oz package. With this Fenix HM50R, you get 700 lumens, direct access to the red light, and a battery lockout feature. It’s easy to operate with a one-button operation.
The CR123A battery life is quite good, you get 65 hours on 5 lumens red light, 42 hours at 30 lumens, 8 hours on 130 lumens, 3 hours at 400 lumens, and one hour at 700 lumens. The battery is rechargeable only but can fully charge in 1.5 hours. You can check the battery life too so you know when the headlamp is running low.
Fenix HM70R 1600 Lumens
The Fenix HM70R 1600 is one of the brightest headlamps for fishing and has the best battery life. This is one of the best headlamps for fishermen and women who don’t care as much about weight and stealthiness and are more interested in brightness. You don’t have to run this headlamp at max brightness either, it will work great at lower lumens and has the best battery life out of all of the headlamps in this review.
It will last 2 hours at the highest setting of 1600 lumens, up to 100 hours at the lowest 30 lumens white light, and all the way to 400 hours at the lowest red light setting of 5 lumens using a 21700 battery.
How Many Lumens Is Best For Fishing Headlamps?
Brighter does not mean better when it comes to fishing headlamps. A 200-lumen headlamp is plenty. To navigate in the dark you don’t need many lumens, 50 lumens is comfortable for most people and will allow you to see +/- 20 yards easily.
Most headlamps have adjustable brightness settings so you can use your headlamp at lower lumens but still have the option to crank up the brightness to higher lumens when needed.
Are Bright Headlamps Good For Fishing?
Brighter headlamps are not necessarily better for fishing. Brighter headlamps will reduce the battery life greatly or you will need a bigger heavier and bulkier headlamp with a bigger battery to sustain higher brightness levels for longer periods. So there are trade-offs with getting a brighter headlamp for fishing.
Are Cheap Headlamps Worth The Money?
Don’t skimp on a good headlamp because cheap ones will break or not work properly when you need them most. Many fishermen rely on headlamps to get them out of the woods or off the water at night. A dependable headlamp is worth the money for your safety.
There are budget headlamps made by reputable manufacturers that would be okay to purchase, some of them are listed in this post. However, I would not buy cheap off-brand headlamps because their quality will be questionable.
More Headlamp Resources:
Best Brands When Buying Fishing Headlamps
- Black Diamond
- L.L. Bean
Stores To Shop For Fishing Headlamps
Some great places to find fishing headlamps include:
- Amazon – Free Two-Day Shipping For Prime Members
- Cabela’s – Free Shipping on Orders Over 50$
- L.L. Bean – Free Shipping on Orders Over 50$