If you are like me you don't want to stop fishing just because the temperature dips into what some casual anglers might consider uncomfortable. Fishing in the winter months, even without having access to a safe ice-fishing location, can still be productive and fun. You just have to know how to adapt both your technique and gear to the conditions.
When it comes to gear for cold weather fishing nothing is more important than a good pair of gloves to keep your hands warm and working. There are several types available and what is right for you depends upon conditions and preference.
First, consider the glove style. There are two basic types that will work the best and allow you to access reels and give you the ability to tie knots. Fingerless gloves are the best choice, but don't forget there are also fingerless gloves with an attached "mitten" style cover that you can "flip" on and off with relative ease. Since the extra material is attached on the back of the glove you can rest assured they won't get missplaced. In harsh conditions, this is the best choice that balances warmth, comfort and accessibility to your fishing gear.
The second item to consider is the material that makes up the gloves. There are rag wool gloves, but when they get wet they won't provide the protection you need. Rag wool also tends to allow wind to bust right through without much protection. Windy and wet is not a very good combination and can end your winter fishing trip almost before it gets started. I recommend and use a neoprene glove which is windproof. They also tend to trap water allowing your body temperature to warm the neoprene if they happen to get wet. The cost difference between neoprene style gloves and rag wool is minor. A pair of fingerless rag wool gloves will cost you between $6-$8, while the neoprene style fingerless glove (even with the mitten option) will still remain under approximately $15-$17.
Keeping your hands warm and still having the ability to manipulate your reels and ties knots in the cold weather months will make all the difference in your enjoyment level of winter fishing. Get out there and catch'em good!