5 Best Headlamps for Fishing + Buying Guide [2022 Update]


Updated on August 29, 2022 by

Night fishing has grown in popularity over the course of the last few decades due to the rapid increase in innovation related to equipment and lighting gear. It’s absolutely essential that you are able to see your surroundings when fishing at night and many of the top brands in the fishing industry have started to produce lanterns, flashlights, and other gear items that make fishing at night easier than ever before. 

One of the most important things you can have when it comes to night fishing is a good, quality headlamp. There are a number of different makes and models when it comes to headlamps, but deciding on the right one might be challenging when you consider how many different types there are currently on the market. 

In this article, I’ll take a look at 5 of the best headlamps for fishing and give you some pointers as to what you should look for when making a purchase. 

Quick Summary – Best Headlamp for Fishing

Preview
Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp
Battery Life
58 hours
Battery Type
AA batteries
Waterproof
IPX4
More Info
Preview
Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp
Battery Life
58 hours
Battery Type
AA batteries
Waterproof
IPX4
More Info

Why Do I Need a Headlamp for Fishing?
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One of the most important things to consider when it comes to any type of gear or equipment that’s related to fishing is whether or not it’s a ‘hands-free’ item. This basically means that you can use the item without having to hold it in your hands or operate it with your hands. The obvious reason for this is so that your hands will be free to use your rod and reel, tie on lures or grab a fish you’ve just caught. 

Another reason why you should always have a headlamp when fishing at night is simply so that you’ll be able to see your surroundings more clearly. Most headlamps on the market today that are high-quality feature very bright LED bulbs that help illuminate the surrounding area to a much greater extent than most other options are capable of. 

Advantages of Using a Fishing Headlamp 

There are some clear advantages that come with using a headlamp for fishing. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s highly important that you keep your hands free so you can deal with any fish that bite your hook, as well as handle any equipment or other items in your boat or along the shoreline. However, there are a few other advantages that should be mentioned pertaining to headlamps and fishing. 

You’ll have less of a chance of losing your headlamp compared to a flashlight. Anyone who has gone night fishing has probably realized how difficult it can be to adjust your equipment, steer the boat, or virtually anything else while holding a flashlight in your hands. You also won’t be at as much risk of dropping the headlamp in the water as you would when using a flashlight. 

Headlamps for Fishing Buyer’s Guide 

Just like anything else when it comes to shopping for items related to fishing, you’ll need to pay close attention to a few things pertaining to these products to make sure you’re getting the best quality. If you’re looking to find a more budget-friendly style of the fishing headlamp, there are some that offer certain aspects that others fall short on. However, as you might expect, you’ll get a much better product if you’re willing to invest a bit more. 

Comfort

When it comes to the most important factors regarding a fishing headlamp, getting one that’s comfortable is very important. While most brands focus on having a bigger, brighter lamp or light than any of their competitors, it won’t do you much good if it’s uncomfortable to wear for many hours at a time. Some brands focus highly on making a comfortable product that fits snugly on your head without being too tight or rubbing your forehead or ears too much. 

Make sure you purchase a headlamp that offers elastic EVA material as a strap. This will allow it to stretch and fit across your head without having to tighten it down too much. It also helps a great deal if you normally wear a hat while fishing. Also, pay close attention to whether or not the straps are made to fit a certain size, or if they are adjustable and can fit anyone from a child to an adult without any trouble. 

Some headlamps operate with straps that fit around your head while others are designed to clip onto the bill of a cap, which is sometimes more convenient for anglers who usually wear a hat while fishing. There is really no major advantage to having one of these clip-on headlamps, other than convenience. If you plan to do a great deal of night fishing, it’s probably best that you have a strap that fits around your head and can be secured to a greater degree. 

Brightness 

Another obvious factor you’ll want to make sure of is just how bright your fishing headlamp is before you spend your hard-earned money to purchase it. The brightness of any bulb is measured in lumens. It’s important to have a light with as many lumens as possible if you’re looking for the brightest headlamp you can get. 

You might also want to consider the beam distance that your headlamp is capable of producing. Certain brands might make a lens that has a wider beam, which is better suited for seeing more of your immediate surroundings easily. Other products might offer a farther beam distance, but this is probably not what most anglers will be looking for unless they’re trying to scope out decent spots to cast or looking for debris in the water as they maneuver their boat around the lake or river. 

Headlamp Brightness
Source: Headlamps101.com

Light Settings 

One of the aspects of a good headlamp that is often not considered is the different light settings that it offers. Other than the standard beam, which is white in color, some feature bulbs of different colors that allow you to operate the light with a blue, red, green, or virtually any other color you want to use. Some of these colors have a very specific use for other activities like hunting or even emergency response efforts. 

You can also use these different colored bulbs and lights to your advantage on the water to a certain degree. The red light setting on most bulbs is designed to allow you to see your immediate surroundings without putting off too much light and potentially spooking the fish in a given area. 

These different colored lights also help to preserve your battery compared to using the much brighter white light for extended periods of time. Another major factor to consider is that bugs won’t be nearly as attracted to the more dim red light as they would a very bright white beam. This is a very useful factor in having a fishing headlamp that’s capable of using different color beams. 

Battery Life 

Be sure to check on the battery life of any fishing headlamp that you’re considering purchasing – many operate using CR123A type batteries while others might use AAA or even AA batteries. It’s a good idea to be aware of the battery life that the brand claims the headlamp is capable of giving you. You should also plan ahead to have an extra set of fresh batteries in your boat or tackle box in the event that you run out of batteries. 

Waterproof Ability 

Another very important factor to consider is whether or not the headlamp you’re considering buying is waterproof or not. Some are merely water-resistant, which means they can withstand small amounts of water, but will usually be damaged if they’re soaked or dropped into the water and submerged. Some high-quality headlamps are advertised as being fully waterproof, which is what you should look for if you intend to use the product mostly for fishing. 

Price 

Finally, you should always consider the price of any item you’re looking at relative to its competitors and similar models. Most headlamps that are specially made for fishing are relatively inexpensive. There are premium quality options that are designed to be used as part of diving equipment that’s intended to be able to withstand the extreme pressure of being hundreds of feet below the surface. 

Most fishing headlamps can be purchased for under $50 with many options being under $20. Like anything else in the fishing industry, if you want to get one of the best possible on the market, you’ll have to spend a bit extra. 

Best Headlamps for Fishing 

1. Neolight LED Headlamp

One of the most powerful headlamps you’ll find on the market today comes from Neolight, a newer brand that is known for producing high-level flashlights, and other illumination products that are specifically designed for the outdoors. The Neolight LED Headlamp is our top pick for a number of reasons. 

This headlamp offers an impressive appearance that is sure to look the part when you’re wanting to have the brightest bulb possible on the water. It might have the look of a super-premium quality underwater light, but the Neolight LED Headlamp is one that’s affordable enough for anglers of all skill levels. 

What I Like About It

It features 5 LED bulbs that can be used in various modes which utilize all of them at once, or one or two at a time in order to help save your battery life. At full power, this headlamp is capable of shining a beam 500 meters into the darkness. You can also have the reassurance that this light won’t quickly run out of batteries as it’s advertised as having a battery life of 8 to 10 hours at a time. 

The Neolight is powered by 2x 3.7V 18650 rechargeable batteries and features four different modes to choose from when in use. This headlamp is rated as being IPX5 waterproof and is built to withstand almost any weather conditions you might find yourself in on the water. 

Pros

  • 5 LED bulbs can shine a beam 1600 feet away
  • 8 to 10 hours battery life

Cons

  • Nil

2. Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp

Bestseller No. 1

Bushnell is a brand that has a long, storied reputation in the outdoor industry. This company is best known for producing rifle scopes and other hunting products, but their newest line of headlamps is also very impressive. We’ve chosen to place the Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp as our No. 2 best fishing headlamp based on the many features and performance factors that this one brings to the table. 

What I Like About It

It operates using 325 lumens, which makes it incredibly powerful and capable of allowing you to shine a beam deep into the night on any lake or river. If you’re looking for a multi-color bulb that’s good quality and relatively affordable, this one is likely to be your best choice. It’s made to be more durable than most other alternatives in the same price range. 

This model also features an overhead strap that helps secure it to your head so that it won’t easily fall off when you’re in the middle of adjusting your equipment or reeling in a fish. It’s rated as being IPX4 waterproof, which means it can withstand a high amount of wetness and still manage to operate at full capacity. The TRKR 325L operates using AA batteries and includes three batteries with the headlamp package. 

Pros

  • Multicolor headlamp can help prevent insects from being attracted to you
  • Durable compared to similar price ranges

Cons

  • IPX4 waterproofing is less than some of the alternates

3. DanForce Fishing Headlamp

If you’re looking for a headlamp that offers high performance and an affordable price, the DanForce Fishing Headlamp is an excellent option. This features a military-style design that operates using a very comfortable EVA elastic strap that fits around and over the top of the user’s head. It operates with an astounding 6,000 lumens of light, which is much higher than most anglers require, but is capable of lighting up an area nearly the length of a football field. 

This headlamp model is powered by two 9-volt batteries that are rechargeable. The packaging includes a charging cable and extra batteries, which allows you to place a freshly-charged battery in the battery pack if you happen to run out of batteries on the water. 

What I Like About It

It features three Cree LED high-performance bulbs and can operate in four different light modes that include low, medium, high, and strobe, which is ideal for emergency situations. You can also use the device in green or red bulb lighting if you’re trying to conceal your location and not spook fish away from the immediate area. 

You can also tilt the light up or down up to 90 degrees depending on your own personal preference. The only basic concern that many users have is that this headlamp is not quite as durable as they expect it to be, but other than that, it’s a great option for night fishing. 

Pros

  • Comes with a charging cable and spare battery
  • Multi colors help avoid spooking fish

Cons

  • Not as durable as the other options

4. Cobiz LP014 Ultra Bright Headlamp Flashlight

ON SALE $7.00 OFFBestseller No. 1

If you’re in the market for a more budget-friendly headlamp, there are a number of different brands and models that you should consider. However, it’s hard to find one that’s actually of decent quality and won’t lack durability. The Cobiz LP014 Ultra Bright Headlamp Flashlight is one of the better models on the market today that’s available for less than $20 in most cases. This is a great multi-purpose product that you can use for hiking, working, hunting, and fishing as well. 

What I Like About It

It’s one of the lightest headlamp models on our list and is ideal for kids or ladies who don’t necessarily want to have a big, heavy device on their heads while they are on the water. It features a 3-in-1 brightness adjustment and is able to function in 3 different LED modes that allow you to get just the right amount of light to make sure you’re able to see what’s going on around you when fishing at night. 

This headlamp is powered by a two-piece 18650 rechargeable battery that is capable of recharging faster than most others you’ll find today. It offers a decent amount of battery life and works using 600 lumens, which is more than enough for fishing. It can be charged using a standard USB port, which makes it easier to find a capable charging cable or port. Best of all, it features a one-year warranty in which Cree offers to replace any part of the item that malfunctions. 

Pros

  • Extremely affordable and budget-friendly
  • Lightweight ideal for kids
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Lacks the bells and whistles of more expensive options

5. Ghost Bird Seiker X1 Head Lamp

Bestseller No. 1

For many night fishing anglers, having a lightweight headlamp that isn’t overly heavy or noticeable is more desirable than having one that’s big and bulky. If you’re looking for one that’s smaller and offers ample lighting for your night fishing trips, the Ghost Bird Seiker X1 Head Lamp is a solid choice. This headlamp is both compact and lightweight, meaning you can easily fit it into your tackle box or gear bag as your main light, or as a backup in case your primary one fails. 

What I Like About It

It operates using a lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable and is advertised as being able to operate for up to 48 hours at a time on a full charge. It works using 400 lumens and is actually one of the most waterproof options on our list of the best headlamps for fishing with an IPX7 waterproof rating. The single-strap design is very comfortable and can be adjusted to fit nearly any head size and is also able to fit around hats as well. 

This option is surprisingly durable considering its simple and straightforward design. If you’re looking for a fishing headlamp that is a great blend of affordability and high performance, the Ghost Bird Seiker is one that should be closely considered.

Pros

  • Simple, durable design
  • 400 lumens with 48-hour battery
  • Waterproof IPX7 rating

Cons

  • Nil

Last update on 2022-08-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Photo of author

Donny Karr

Donny Karr is a Tournament Angler and writer whose work has been featured in magazines for nearly a decade. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the south-eastern United States, as well as trout fishing in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. He enjoys keeping up with the latest news and gear items in the fishing industry and is always looking forward to his next outdoor adventure. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, The Outdoor Trip, Man Can Outdoors, Global Fishing Reports, and Bassmaster.