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Apparel Review

Armor for your hands, Gillís Regatta Deckhand Gloves (continued)


The first thing you will notice when putting them on is that the wrist closure is inside facing versus the traditional top strap found on most gloves. Like Gillís other products the deckhand gloves are designed with sailing in mind and the reason that the strap is on the inner wrist is to prevent accidental starting of watches when racing. When I first put on the gloves I felt like they were comfortable but stiffer than I was used to, especially when I made a fist in fact I could feel my knuckles pressing against the stretch fabric on the back of the glove. After a short while the gloves did get a little looser and I started to feel more comfortable.


The short finger design allows for full use of your fingertips


I found I was able to fish with baitcasting gear quite easily with the Regatta Deckhand gloves and the reels didnít feel slippery in hand. The gloves contour well to the shape of reels and the extra cushion provides protection when palming and ripping lures. But when fishing spinning reels I felt like the stiffness of the glove was fighting me a little, this glove feels most at home when in a semi-open to open configuration. The open finger ends do allow for precision work such as tying knots and modifying lures.


The Amara surface provides a good grip on baitcasters


The Amara fabric looks and feels like leather and offers a solid grip on most surfaces, I was able to hold tools securely on the boat just as easily as I was able to grip the steering wheel on the boat. The Amara is also surprisingly puncture resistant and unlike many other gloves where hooks quite easily get through the cloth or rubber material it is actually very difficult to get a hook to puncture the Amara. It didnít matter if it was a worm hook or a treble hook I found I could easily hold them in my hand without concern and this protection extends all the way up to the end of the short fingers. The stretch fabric on the other side of the glove doesnít offer the same protection and hooks can get through just as easily as traditional materials but Gill extends the Amara up between the inner thumb for extra protection, most likely this was originally done to shield sailors from rope burns.


When making a fist or grasping spinning rods the glove does feel tighter


These gloves are not waterproof and while breathable I did find these gloves were best suited for cooler days and they do keep your hands warm when running the boat 50 plus miles per hour. Though not their primary feature the gloves do provide sun protection as well and the stretch fabric on the back does allow moisture to escape.


Hooks have a very hard time penetrating the Amara fabric...


Durability: The same Amara material that protects anglers from sharp objects also makes the gloves excellent for lipping fish. While you still will get a little bass-thumb with these gloves your palm is completely protected from the sharp teeth of big bass when lipping. Unfortunately we did find that these gloves take longer to dry than some of the other gloves we have tested and if you dip your hand to land or release a fish youíre going to have to deal with a soggy glove for a few hours.


...even treble hook will not bury easily


The Gill Regatta Deckhand gloves are extremely robust, we didnít experience any tearing or even observe any threads coming loose during tests. Each of the different fabrics come together with double reinforced stitching and unlike many other gloves this pair can handle being around even the sharpest hooks without getting stuck.


The gloves provide a decent grip on tools


Price and Applications: If anglers stateside wanted Gill garments in the past they would have to order from overseas or various sailing e-tailers. No longer, Gill North America has been working with many of the top tackle shops and the garments are now becoming more readily available from familiar shops like Tackle Warehouse, which is actually where I purchased these very gloves from.


A closer look at the double reinforced stitching, the attention to detail is excellent on these gloves


The Gill Regatta Deckhand gloves retail for $22.99 which is a reasonable price for gloves of this excellent quality. At this price point they are around the same price as offerings from Glacier Glove and 12 dollars cheaper than the popular Under Armour Hurlock gloves. The Gill Regatta Deckhand gloves are great for cooler days and fishing for everything from largemouth bass to inshore species. These gloves are built tough and can handle coming into contact with sharp objects and sharp teeth, but if your fly fishing or tossing spinning gear all day you are probably going to want a thinner glove that offers a bit more dexterity.


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Gill Regatta Deckhand Gloves (Short Finger) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A solid construction that is extremely durable. Makes use of excellent materials including Amara reinforcement. Plenty of double stitching to ensure long lasting durability 9
Performance Good for heavier applications like baitcasting and fishing round reels in freshwater and inshore. Not as good for finesse fishing or fly fishing as there is a dexterity tradeoff for protection 8
Price A very reasonable price for such a high quality glove, actually cheaper than many competitors 8.5
Features Many features that were originally designed for sailors like an inside facing strap and extra rope protection, these do translate into benefits for anglers though and the inside strap doesn't come open easily and the Amara offers great protection against hooks 8
Design (Ergonomics) Good ergonomics overall, a little stiff for finesse fishing but offers great protection while running the boat and lipping fish 7
Application Good for heavier applications and days where wind protection is necessary. Can be used for both freshwater and inshore applications 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Top notch construction and clean and elegant look L Palms are a little stiff for finesse and fly fishing
J Amara material provides a solid grip and protection from hooks L Takes a while to dry when wet
J Good wind protection for colder days  
J Breathable material  
J Reasonable price  


As an added bonus the gloves protect angler's palms from small but sharp teeth


Conclusion: Those familiar with Gill know that the companyís garments feature a lot of detail in their design and each garment is meticulously tested to ensure optimal performance on the water. Drawing from their roots in sailing Gill has now come to the U.S. with an assortment of garments well suited for serious anglers. The Regatta Deckhand Gloves have a lot of features designed for sailors and these same features offer unique benefits to anglers which include breathability, protection from the elements and stray hooks and an excellent grip. While I wouldnít consider this glove for fly or finesse fishing I would definitely use these gloves when targeting bass early in the morning or fishing for larger inshore species. Gill knows how to build a quality weather resistant garment and seeing just how much attention to detail the company puts into something like these gloves only raises our expectations as to what we can expect from one of their foul weather jackets.


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