headlight for night fishing

Best Headlamp for Fishing in 2020 (Brightest Rechargeable LED Headlamps Compared)

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Are you looking for the best headlamp for fishing? Being able to go fishing at night effectively doubles the time you can try to catch fish! Once you have the confidence to walk back down the river in the dark you can be fishing that perfect pool just on dusk.

They so much easier to use than a flashlight when fishing as you have both hands free (seems like a no brainer right?). But there are so many types on the market that it can be tricky to know which to choose. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight headlamp or a super bright one, we’ve rounded up the best ones out there. 

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Best Overall
Rechargeable Headlamp, OUTERDO 12000 Lumens 6 LED...
Easy to use
Black Diamond Icon Headlamp
Rugged & Durable
Energizer VISION LED Headlamp Flashlight, 400 High...
Rechargeable Headlamp, OUTERDO 12000 Lumens 6 LED...
Black Diamond Icon Headlamp
Energizer VISION LED Headlamp Flashlight, 400 High...
Four levels of lighting
One Quad Power LED
Unique, large magnifying lens
Head 90º swivel ability
Night vision modes
Zoomable broad beam Spot Head Lamp
Life-Time warranty
Power Tap Technology
AA battery powered
Best Overall
Rechargeable Headlamp, OUTERDO 12000 Lumens 6 LED...
Rechargeable Headlamp, OUTERDO 12000 Lumens 6 LED...
Four levels of lighting
Head 90º swivel ability
Life-Time warranty
Easy to use
Black Diamond Icon Headlamp
Black Diamond Icon Headlamp
One Quad Power LED
Night vision modes
Power Tap Technology
Rugged & Durable
Energizer VISION LED Headlamp Flashlight, 400 High...
Energizer VISION LED Headlamp Flashlight, 400 High...
Unique, large magnifying lens
Zoomable broad beam Spot Head Lamp
AA battery powered

Best Headlamps for Fishing in 2020 (Quick Guide)

Best Headlamps for Fishing Reviews

Outerdo Rechargeable Headlamp – Best And Brightest Headlamp

Outerdo Rechargeable Headlamp

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  • Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • Claimed brightness: 12 000 lumens
  • Waterproof: IPX4 offering protection against water splashing from any angle
  • Battery life: 4 – 9 hours

Pros:

  • Good output power to weight ratio
  • Very bright
  • Rechargeable
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • User has to wait for the light to recharge before using
  • Not compatible with standard AA or AAA batteries

The Outerdo rechargeable headlamp has six LEDs. The four main bulbs provide the main light source where two auxiliary lights offer low and red options. Two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are included. These batteries are charged via a USB cable from either a power bank, wall socket, or laptop.

The light offers IPX4 protection, which, in real-world situations means that it can handle a slight drizzle. For this reason, I would not recommend it if you fish in torrential rain frequently. The Outerdo headlight sits very securely, with an adjustable strap around and on top of your head.

The light is not compatible with standard AA or AAA batteries. On extended trips, the light would need to be charged via a power bank. The light comes with the required lithium-ion batteries and a USB charging cable.

Black Diamond Icon 700 Headlamp – Best Profesional Headlamp

Black Diamond Icon 700 Headlamp

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  • Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Battery Type: 4 x AA batteries (but an optional rechargeable battery is available)
  • Claimed brightness: 700 lumens
  • Waterproof: IP67 protected against temporary submersion at 3 feet for 30 minutes
  • Battery life: 7 hours on full power

Pros:

  • Excellent weather protection
  • Good battery life
  • Works with rechargeable and normal batteries

Cons:

  • Expensive

The Icon 700 headlamp is the most powerful lighting option available from Black Diamond. The light comprises three LEDs. The main bulb positioned in the center with two auxiliary lights to the side. A button on the side of the light allows for quick access to the maximum power output, which comes in handy at night. The auxiliary light can be toggled between red, green, and blue.

The Icon 700 is IP67 rated, which means that it can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes with the power on. This feature is one of the reasons I recommend the light to anglers looking for the beast headlamp for fishing.

Another great feature is the ability to run the light from either standard AA batteries (which are included) or a rechargeable lithium-ion power bank. Unfortunately, the power bank is quite expensive ($49.95), which would bring the cost of the headlamp to just under $150.

The headlamp is on the heavy side but has an adjustable side and top straps for a snug fit. The long power cable means that the battery pack can be removed from the headlamp and stowed in either a backpack or jacket pocket.

Energizer Vision Rechargeable Headlamp – Best Everyday Headlamp

Energizer Vision Rechargeable Headlamp

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  • Weight: Not disclosed
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery
  • Claimed brightness: 400 lumens
  • Waterproof: IPX4  offering protection against water splashing from any angle
  • Battery life: 4 hours in the brightest setting

Pros:

  • Rechargeable

Cons:

  • User has to wait for the light to charge before using
  • Not compatible with other batteries

The Energizer Vision rechargeable headlamp is perfect for a short camping or fishing trip, or to be used around the house. With four hours of battery life (at the brightest setting), it is not intended for multi-day hikes or fishing trips, unless you carry spare battery banks.

It offers IPX4 weather protection making it suitable for light rain, but will probably not survive if it falls in a river. The output is sufficient for close quarter work, but don’t expect to see hundreds of yards far at night. Auxiliary LEDs include a red and green light.

GRDE Headlamp – Best Value Rechargeable Headlamp

GRDE Headlamp

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  • Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Battery Type: Two rechargeable batteries included
  • Claimed brightness: 1800 lumens
  • Waterproof: IPX4 offering protection against water splashing from any angle
  • Battery life: 6 – 7 hours of battery life in low power mode

Pros:

  • Good value for money headlamp
  • Very bright

Cons:

  • Might be too heavy for any normal day-to-day activities

The GRDE Headlamp is hard to beat. At a claimed 1800 lumen, the light is very bright and will be more than enough for any fishing scenario. The LED headlamp includes two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. It also comes with a wall, car, and USB charging cable.

The head of the light can be tilted 90-degrees forward, allowing you to focus the light on your hands. This comes in really handy when tying knots, or untangling rigs at night time. The weatherproofing is rated at IPX4, making it suitable for light rain.

The main downside to the light is its weight. Carrying 12.8 ounces on your head for any amount of time is not that comfortable. I guess the light output does come at a cost.

Petzl Tikka Headlamp

Petzl Tikka Headlamp

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  • Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Battery Type: 3 x AAA batteries or Petzl Core rechargeable battery
  • Claimed brightness: 200 lumens
  • Waterproof: IPX4
  • Battery life: 3 – 4 hours on the brightest setting

Pros:

  • Very light making it comfortable to wear
  • Having the option to power the light from 3 AAA batteries or the Petzl Core rechargeable battery

Cons:

  • Not very bright

Petzl has been making headlamps since 1981 and has since then become an industry standard. The Tikka isn’t their most advanced headlamp, but rather an affordable model for the normal outdoor enthusiast. Brightness settings can be selected between proximity, movement, and distance. The red light can be used to preserve night vision and when in a group.

The standard Tikka comes with three AAA batteries. It is compatible with the Petzl Core lithium-ion rechargeable battery. I like that the light can be used with both power options, as this gives it more flexibility and means that the light can be used on extended trips.

The light is only IPX4 rated, which means that is not suitable for heavy rain and will not survive accidental water submersion. The Petzl Tikka is a good choice for the outdoor enthusiast looking for a light from the best in the business but won’t break the bank.

Vont Spark LED Headlamp – Best Low-Cost Headlamp

Vont Spark LED Headlamp

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  • Weight: 1.83 ounces
  • Battery Type: 3 x AAA batteries (not included)
  • Claimed brightness: 200 lumens
  • Waterproof: IPX5 protected against water jets from any angle
  • Battery life: 3 hours in high power mode

Pros:

  • Incredible value at $13.99 for two headlamps
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Low light output
  • Low battery life

The Vont Spark headlamp offers incredible value. What other headlamps can you buy for under $7 apiece? The light is very light making it comfortable to wear for long night fishing trips. It runs off three standard AAA batteries that are housed behind the LED.

At 200 lumens, it will not win the brightest light of the year competition. However, it provides ample lighting when working with your hands. It also features a red light to prevent night blindness to other anglers.

The light is IPX5 rated, making it more weather resistant than many other lights on our list. Unfortunately, the light only has 3 hours of battery life on its maximum power setting.

Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp – Best Fishing Headlamp

Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp

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  • Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Battery Type: 4 AAA batteries (included)
  • Claimed brightness: 400 lumens
  • Waterproof: IP67 protected against temporary submersion at 3 feet for 30 minutes
  • Battery life: 5 hours at the maximum power setting

Pros:

  • Fully waterproof
  • Three night-vision colors

Cons:

  • No rechargeable battery options available

The Black Diamond Storm 400 is cheaper and smaller than its big brother, the Icon 700. However, it has many of the same functionality and features. Three different night vision colors are available, red, blue, and green. A button on the side of the lamp allows the user to access maximum light power instantly.

What makes the light such a good headlamp for fishing is the IP67 rating. The light can be submerged at 3 feet for 30 minutes, while it is on, without any issues. At 400 lumens, it offers ample light for close and working distances.

The Black Diamond Storm 400  is the ideal choice for the angler looking for a durable and high-quality headlamp.

Foxdott Rechargeable Headlamp – Headlamp with the Most LEDs

Foxdott Rechargeable Headlamp

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  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Battery Type: 2 x 1500 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (included)
  • Claimed brightness: 18 000 lumens
  • Waterproof: IPX4 offering protection from water splashes from any angle
  • Battery life: Not disclosed

Pros:

  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Good value
  • Comes with a protective case
  • Adjustable to 90-degree downward

Cons:

  • Heavy

The Foxdott is a very unique looking headlight. Featuring 8 LEDs, it packs a punch at a claimed 18 000 lumens. The downside to this is that it weighs 11.2 ounces. The adjustable side and top straps secure the headlamp to the user’s head well.

The weather sealing on the light is only rated at IPX4, making it suitable for light rain. It is the only light on our list that has a rear, red safety light that can be turned on and off with a button. Having 8 LEDs, you have up to 8 work modes to choose from. From a high powered single beam to an SOS flashing red light.

The light is shipped in a hard protective case with two lithium-ion batteries and a USB charging cable. As the battery life is not disclosed by the manufacturer, I would recommend carrying a backup power bank on trips longer than a day.

Cabela’s by Princeton Tec Alaskan Guide XP Green Headlamp – Good Quality Headlamp

Cabelas by Princeton Tec Alaskan Guide XP Green Headlamp

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  • Weight: 9.8 ounces
  • Battery Type: 4 x AA batteries
  • Claimed brightness: 650 lumens
  • Waterproof (claimed): IPX7 protected against temporary submersion at 3 feet for 30 minutes
  • Battery life (claimed): 2 hours at max power

Pros:

  • Good weather sealing

Cons:

  • On the heavy side for a headlamp
  • Only 2 hours of battery life at maximum power

The Princeton Tec headlamp available from Cabela’s is a high-quality light suitable for professionals and occasional users. At 9.8 ounces, the light is heavy but features an adjustable side and top straps to keep it secure. At 650 lumens, it has enough power output for most fishing scenarios.

The headlamp’s weather sealing is IPX7 rated, making it an excellent choice for the angler looking for a robust and reliable light. It won’t stop working when dropped or submerged into water.

The light runs off 4 standard AA batteries. This only gives the light a maximum runtime at full power of 2 hours, however, that is at 650 lumens. I would consider investing in two or three sets of rechargeable lithium-ion AA batteries. There are 6 light modes which cover from spot high (delivering a beam to almost 400 feet) to flood low (only covering 70 feet).

Odear Super Bright Headlamp – Best Single LED Headlamp

Odear Super Bright Headlamp

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  • Weight: 10 ounces
  • Battery Type: 3 x rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which are included
  • Claimed brightness: 5000 lumens
  • Waterproof: IPX4 offering protection from water splashes from any angle
  • Battery life: 6 hours at high power mode

Pros:

  • Very bright headlamp
  • Good battery life
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No auxiliary colored lights for preserving night vision

The Odear is a single LED, high powered headlamp. The lamp and batteries are both mounted on top of the user’s forehead, making it uncomfortable if worn for extended periods. The adjustable side and top straps do help to a certain degree.

The three rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power the light on it’s brightest setting for up to 6 hours. This makes it perfect for up to a weekend of normal use. On longer trips, I would suggest carrying a power bank to charge the light. The light can be dimmed to preserve battery power. The batteries can be charged from any USB device, including a vehicle charger, computer, and power bank.

The weather sealing is IPX4, making it safely usable only in light rain.

When and how should you use a headlamp?

The best fishing is often to be had early in the morning [1] before the sun comes up, or late at night.  It can be tricky (or dangerous) finding your way through the undergrowth, setting up your gear or getting into a kayak in low light or complete dark, so it’s is an essential piece of fishing gear.

You can use your headlamp to get your kit set up, for brightening your surroundings and even for searching the water for those elusive fish! It also allows you to keep your hands free for better fishing. 

What to consider?

There are a few different factors to consider when you’re shopping for a head torch. We’ve summed them up here, so you can check off your specific needs. From brightness to comfort, here’s what to look for before purchasing:

Brightness

Brightness is a vital feature when it comes to fishing. You want to be safe when you’re travelling to the fishing spot in the pitch black at night.

Brightness is measured in Lumens [2], and for a super bright product, you’ll want one with at least 1,000 Lumens. If you tend to fish in a well-lit area, brightness might not be such a critical factor, and you might not need such a bright light. 

White and Red Lights 

You can get red light head lights, as well as the normal white light. Some anglers prefer to use red lights at night, as it allows your eyes to better adjust to the dark and see more sharply. If this is important for you, check to see whether the headlamp you’re buying has a red light mode. 

Comfort

You’re probably going to be wearing your lamp for several hours while fishing. It can feel strange to have something attached to your head when you’re not used to it, so you definitely don’t want it to be heavy and bulky. The best headlamps are well balanced in terms of weight, comfortable for long periods, and offer a secure fit to prevent slipping. 

Ease of selecting settings

When you’re fishing at night, you want a model that is easy and intuitive to use. You definitely don’t want to turn the light off by accident and be plunged into darkness, or get stuck on a strobe light setting. 

Durable Product

One of the most important factors is picking out a light that will be durable, and hence, good value for money. A durable lamp will be able to withstand scratches, bumps, and drops without breaking. 

Modes

Different headlamps feature a variety of modes, often including high, low, strobe lighting and sometimes different colour lights like red or even blue or green. Being able to adjust the intensity of the light, and zoom in and out can be a great feature for getting the perfect lighting for your fishing trip. 

Water Resistance or Waterproof

You’re going to be using your headlamp on or near the water, so being water-resistant or waterproof is an important factor to consider. It would be a pain if your lamp got wrecked after just a few uses due to an accidental submersion. Most headlamps can stand up to light rain or a splash of water, but some waterproof headlamps can even be submerged in water with no damage. 

Battery life

The battery life is important, because you don’t want your lamp to die halfway through a fishing trip. Take a look at how long the headlamp will last on the highest settings. 

When it comes to the type of battery, you can choose between rechargeable headlamps or one that takes normal AA or AAA batteries. The best rechargeable headlamps will save you money in the long run, but you need to have the patience to wait for the battery to recharge. 

Wrap Up

When you’re searching for the best headlamps for fishing, you’ll do well with any of the great models we’ve recommended. Remember, they should be lightweight, comfortable to wear, with a bright light and adjustable settings. 

Whatever your budget and whether you’re looking for a red light or a rechargeable battery, we’ve made it easy for you to choose the best one for your specific needs. 

Having a good headlamp out there will allow you to get more out of your night fishing and make sure you remain safe! So go get yourself a headlamp from your local fly shop or Amazon and hit the water! 

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References

[1] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/10870807/10-things-no-one-tells-you-before-you-take-up-fishing.html

[2] https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/save-electricity-and-fuel/lighting-choices-save-you-money/lumens-and-lighting-facts

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