If you ever fish at night you definitely need a good fishing flashlight. But wait, even if you never fish at night you still need a good fishing flashlight as an emergency tool that can help you when the unexpected hits and you are stuck overnight somewhere.
If you're going to purchase a flashlight for fishing you might as well get the best fishing flashlight for night fishing that you possibly can afford. Flashlights are extremely useful when you are fishing in the dark or making a pre-dawn hike to an ideal fishing spot.
A powerful fishing flashlight can optimize your nighttime fishing experience because it takes the difficulty out of finding things in the dark. It also helps you avoid tripping over rocks and roots as you walk to your fishing hole.
Just like with buying any essential fishing gear, purchasing a new flashlight that can do it all is going to be a painstaking experience no matter how you look at it. To help, we've created this buying guide to give you some crucial tips on how to go about choosing the right fishing flashlight for your needs, including unexpected accidents or emergencies.
In This Guide
- Best Fishing Flashlight At A Glance
- Who Needs the Best Fishing Flashlight?
- Top 5 Best Fishing Flashlights
- 1. Best Overall: UltraFire A100 Tactical LED Flashlight
- 2. Best Runner-Up: LETION LED Flashlight
- 3. Best Illumination Range: Eornmor Rechargeable LED Flashlight
- 4. Best Multi-Color LED Light: Alonefire X37 4-Color Tactical Multicolor LED Flashlight
- 5. Best for Highest Lumens (Brightness): LED Tactical Flashlight
- Buying Guide for the Best Fishing Flashlight
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Best Fishing Flashlight At A Glance
Who Needs the Best Fishing Flashlight?
You need one of the best fishing flashlights if you ever fish at night, but even more so if you fish at night often like most of us die-hards do. Most times we're trying to reach the water as the sun is coming up. At least here in Florida where the weather gets warm really quick in the summer, we love to be out there casting away as the fish are waking up hungry!
Some of you, and I don't do this much, love to fish into the night in a dark area that doesn't have lights. If I go out at night I usually am fishing at a pier where there is plenty of light and my car is parked on the pier. I'm talking about the Sunshine Skyway fishing piers in St. Petersburg and the Bradenton area.
You may not need a flashlight for a long time but you could need one to at least give you some light to do simple things on your boat or just outside your car or fishing spot. When getting on and off your boat, you might need some additional light. I know as I tried to launch my kayak many mornings I was in pitch black and could hardly see what I was doing without a good light.
Flashlights are always very helpful and they don't weigh much now because we have lithium-ion batteries and not the heavy lead C and D batteries that filled up our MagLights what seems like ages ago!
Spearfishing enthusiasts need a good fishing flashlight above the water as they prepare, but also under the water at times as it can be pitch black. A good waterproof submersible flashlight that is super-bright can be a real help.
Commercial fishermen all use flashlights, headlamps, and lights on the boat to help them see what they're doing. They can't afford to 'fly by night' ; they need to see everything that's happening for safety and productivity reasons.
Top 5 Best Fishing Flashlights
If you intend to purchase a fishing flashlight, you should know that these gadgets have come a long way in the last few years. They have improved designs, added features, and of course, list at higher prices that you may be a little shocked by! The prices have gone up but the functionality has gone through the roof.
Below we outline the top five best flashlights for fishing that you can find anywhere today.
1. Best Overall: UltraFire A100 Tactical LED Flashlight
Are you looking for the most practical fishing flashlight available in the market today? Then this UltraFire light is your best bet. UltraFire has been producing quality flashlights for over ten years. This A100 incorporates a range of unique features that enhance its usefulness for fishing and other outdoor activities.
One such feature includes a tactile pressure switch on the end of the body that controls all functions of the flashlight. The gadget also features a rail mount for mounting the flashlight on other objects, like your net, tackle box handle, fishing rod, or handlebar of your bicycle.
It is worth noting that the manufacturer added considerable versatility when designing this tactical flashlight. As a result, the product has a waterproof, tough, and lasting metal design that protects it from damage if it accidentally falls into the water.
- 3 lenses – green, red, and clear
- brace, case, and lanyard included
- 1200 lumen brightness
- high-quality 2800 mAh 18650 battery
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What We Don't Like
2. Best Runner-Up: LETION LED Flashlight
If you are in the marketplace for a very functional flashlight with a unique feature (UV light), then this product may be a great match for you. The Letion's 500-lumen brightness rating is sufficient to illuminate whatever you need, including emergency signaling to another boat, aircraft, or someone on the beach. The illumination range is stated as approximately 1,640 ft., and in our experience that is about right.
Essentially, the flashlight’s hard metal design is ideal for outdoor fishing activities. Most notably, the product has a metal clip that allows you to strap it on your pocket or belt. In addition, the flashlight has a string that prevents the torch from accidentally falling into the water during your fishing expeditions.
- ultra-violet (UV) light capability
- aluminum construction
- large, at 7.9 inches long
- 5 lighting modes, including high, low, white light, UV light, zoom
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What We Don't Like
3. Best Illumination Range: Eornmor Rechargeable LED Flashlight
If you are looking for a waterproof fishing flashlight with plenty of power and heaps of high-quality 5-star ratings at Amazon, look no further, this flashlight is a great choice. This Eornmor hand-held high-lumen flashlight has two brightness modes, a low 2500-lumens mode, and the high 7000-lumens mode. The high mode is probably brighter than your vehicle's high beams.
The illumination range of this light is approximately 2,625 feet, making it one of the most powerful outdoor flashlights we've seen. It is probably too bright for most people.
The manufacturer designed this spotlight with your outdoor fishing experience in mind. In essence, the product has a rechargeable battery pack and comes with a power bank. You can also use the power bank to recharge other devices, including your phone.
- illumination range of over to 2,600 ft.
- 3 long-lasting rechargeable 9000 mAh batteries inside
- waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, snowproof
- made of military-grade ABS
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4. Best Multi-Color LED Light: Alonefire X37 4-Color Tactical Multicolor LED Flashlight
Are you in the market for high quality, light, and durable flashlights that meet your outdoor fishing needs? Then this gadget is your best bet. This is an LED flashlight with four different colors: white, red, blue, and green.
This flashlight is also ideal for your outdoor fishing experience because it has a rechargeable Li-ion battery. The battery’s high capacity also ensures that it lasts for approximately 9 hours. Lastly, the gadget’s illumination range of 100 to 200 meters (328-656 feet) is sufficient for your angling activities.
- strobe mode increases illumination distance
- multicolor LED
- aluminum construction
- high capacity 5000 mAh lithium-ion battery
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5. Best for Highest Lumens (Brightness): LED Tactical Flashlight
Are you in the market for the brightest outdoor fishing flashlight? Then this product is your best possible choice. This one claims to be capable of putting out 90,000 lumens. I'm not sure this is correct, but that's what the claims are.
Please keep in mind that when I had my OLight headlamp that put out 3200 lumens, it could start fires with the beam getting close to dry leaves. At 90,000 you can't possibly be able to hold this in your hand, it would get too hot.
In addition, the flashlight incorporates an advanced built-in LED chip with an illumination range of approximately 1,640 ft. when zoomed in.
Despite the relatively higher cost of this LED flashlight, its design and features make it ideal for nighttime fishing activities. The gadget features a high-capacity rechargeable battery to support its high-lumen output for 8 to 12 hours. Moreover, it has three modes that cater to your diverse needs in the outdoor environment.
- 3 brightness modes and a zoom feature
- two size 26650 lithium-ion batteries of 8000 mAh
- 90,000 claimed lumens!
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Buying Guide for the Best Fishing Flashlight
Before purchasing a fishing flashlight, you need to know the different designs, features, and specifications of flashlight brands on the market today. This buying guide outlines the factors you should look out for when purchasing the best flashlight for fishing whether it's from a boat, pier, shore, or wade fishing.
Practicality is an essential factor when selecting the best flashlight for fishing. When fishing in a lake, pond, river, stream, bay or the open ocean, your flashlight is exposed to sunlight, harsh weather, and a lot of potential for accidents including drops in the water. It is vital to purchase a practical flashlight that always gets the job done.
What kinds of things enhance the practicality of a flashlight? One feature is the tactile pressure switch that clicks on and off to give you a hands-free experience when using your fishing light. Another feature that improves a flashlight’s practicality is a rail mount so you can set it and forget it. A rail mount holds your flashlight steady so you can free up your hands for other fishing activities.
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A flashlight’s illumination range is another important factor you should consider when buying a flashlight. The ideal brightness setting you need as you fish is related to the type of fishing you're doing. Fishing from shore is different from fishing from a boat, and your needs will change. On a boat, you'll need to have a flashlight capable of bright bursts of light to warn other boats of your presence or to signal for an emergency.
So, on a boat, you'll need a long illumination range. If you're fishing in a river, you will have more modest lighting needs and just illuminating the nearby ground is usually enough.
A flashlight with a short illumination range can be better if you need light over a long period of time. Batteries last much longer when not tasked with high-lumen brightness for too long.
The measurement for a spotlight’s illumination range is in yards or feet. Ultra-long illumination ranges are around 1,640 to 3,280 feet. On the other hand, those with a short illumination distance range between 20 and 1,000 ft.
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If you are in the market for a flashlight, brightness is another factor you will need to consider. Brightness is measured in lumens and it takes into account the candlepower output of a power source and a light bulb or LED. In short, it's the brightness over a certain area of space that can be measured and turned into lumens.
Keep in mind that lumens ratings can seem to be much different between manufacturers. Some companies stretch the truth a bit. If you go with a brand name, you can be sure they've done the proper calculations.
Still, your light of certain maximum lumens may appear less bright than another light with the same lumen number.
Why is that? The shape of the light beam can have an impact on the rating in lumens. Some beams allow stray light out to the side that is very weak and not even seen, but they count it in the rating. Other beams tightly focus and put all the brightness into a very small area. This is easy to see and looks brighter.
An arbitrary number of lumens assigned to 'ultra-bright' fishing lights could be 5000 lumens. Meanwhile, fishing flashlights on the low end of the spectrum have a brightness level that falls between 60 and 300 lumens. The midrange would cover everything in-between.
Almost all flashlights today cover a number of different brightness levels like high, medium, and low. Some have many more levels than these.
If you intend to purchase a fishing flashlight for the first time, it is hard for you to know what exactly you need for your fishing activities until you get your flashlight out there to try it.
If boat fishing, any flashlight with 2500 lumens or more can be a good fit. If fishing on land, you really won't need anything with more than 700 lumens. As I mentioned, piers usually have lights but if they don't you can still get away with a 700 lumens light.
Before making a purchase decision to buy a bright flashlight for nighttime use, you should know that high-lumens flashlights have some negatives. First, they consume significant amounts of power and require a high-capacity battery back. Secondly, their batteries have a shorter lifespan since the high brightness drains them at a higher rate. Thirdly, they can take a long time to recharge!
Water resistance is another crucial factor to help you purchase the right flashlight for fishing.
When you're fishing, your flashlight is under constant assault from water spray from your reel, falling rain, boat spray, and the threat of dropping it onto a hard surface or into the water. It would really be ideal if fishing flashlights were made with 100% waterproof protection, but those kinds of lights are hard to find.
You can find diving lights that are 100% waterproof to some stated depth but their beam shape and output may not be ideal for you above the water.
Water resistance ratings go according to the IPX scale. IPX 4 is weak, and cannot handle water more than light rain. IPX 8 can handle the hard spray from any angle and some submersion. Each company making a flashlight decides how to define the ability of their products to resist water damage.
Usually, and this is good for consumers, they dumb down their estimates of how much water their flashlights can handle without damage. It's better for them to understate it than overstate the limits because people will push their flashlights to the extremes and end up getting water damage. Then what? Well, they try to get a new one under the warranty.
There are two ways to tell whether the flashlight on sale in the market is waterproof and to what degree. First, look for the IPX rating. Second, when you get your hands on one, check for o-ring seals in the battery compartment and for any screw cap that opens up.
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Battery capacity – how strong your battery is – can be vital in informing your purchasing decision for a fishing flashlight. The designation for a flashlight’s battery capacity is listed in milliampere/hour (mAh). This factor determines the duration your spotlight can remain on when you are out fishing based on what the draw is from the light bulbs or LEDs.
Batteries with a relatively high capacity of over 5000 mAh are ideal for fishing spotlights with high lumens. Batteries on the lower end of the spectrum have less than 3000 mAh and are suitable for fishing flashlights with a lower maximum lumen rating.
You probably can guess that spotlights and other flashlights with a high-battery capacity often have a higher cost. If you are operating on a restrictive budget, you can buy low-capacity battery flashlights that incorporate additional accessories or features.
Extra features like using your flashlight as a power bank to charge your phone is a useful feature.
Recharge Time and Usage Cycle
A flashlight’s recharge time and usage cycle are critical factors that should inform your purchase decision for a fishing spotlight. One area where flashlight technology has not really caught up and given back to the consumer is the amount of time that it takes to recharge a flashlight battery.
Multiple factors influence a flashlight's recharge time, such as the power source and the battery capacity.
Very few manufacturers are prioritizing fast charging in their flashlights and headlamps. Times of 6+ hours to recharge a flashlight battery are rather ridiculous when we can charge our phones in an hour or two. Recharge times of 4 hours or less should be the goal if you're in the market for a new light.
Several factors influence a product’s usage cycle. Factors like the flashlight’s brightness and the battery capacity can matter. If you intend to fish at night for long hours, you will need to purchase a spotlight with a relatively high usage cycle. Fishing flashlights with a short usage cycle need to be recharged after 1 to 4 hours of use, while those with a high usage cycle require recharging after more than 6 hours.
Durability is one critical factor involved in purchasing a good flashlight for fishing. Specifications like material used and craftsmanship affect how long the unit will last.
Fishing flashlights made of aluminum alloy are highly durable. Resistance to environmental elements like rain, dust, and shock can extend durability as well. Durable fishing flashlights are also referred to as shockproof and waterproof flashlights.
Durable gadgets give you value for your money because they last longer and ensure you don't need to repair or replace them soon after purchasing. Durable items usually come with a good warranty because the manufacturer knows their products will last for a long time. So, look for a good warranty when you buy your nighttime fishing flashlight.
If you want to purchase a fishing flashlight, the number and types of lighting modes in the unit should help you make your buying decision. Some of the options available on modern spotlights include high, medium, low, SOS, strobe, and different colors or even a zoom function. Each option matches some condition in your fishing environment.
- Zoom mode lets you make the beam wide or narrow by simply rotating or elongating the flashlight head.
- High mode increases the flashlight’s brightness and allows you to see farther objects.
- SOS mode lets you flash Morse code to emergency personnel if you are in danger.
- Strobe mode allows you to achieve intermittent light flashes and can attract attention to your situation like an emergency beacon.
- The low mode can help save your night-vision ability and save batteries if you need them over a long time period.
- Multi-colored beams can help you cut bright light in case you want to fish in stealth mode.
Most flashlights have a combination of at least two of these lighting modes. Some have all of them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does a standard fishing flashlight cost?
The cost of a standard fishing flashlight is approximately $30 to $60. However, the exact price of fishing flashlights and headlamps varies based on the specifications and accessories included in the package.
Do I need all the lighting modes in a fishing flashlight?
The variable power settings of high, medium, and low and the emergency SOS and strobe functions are nice to have and they are so standard that they really don't cost any extra.
What are the advantages of a multicolor LED flashlight?
A multicolor LED flashlight can be used for stealth fishing or hiking when you don't want the fish, or other people to see you.
How can I determine the best flashlight brand?
You can figure out some of the best flashlight brands by looking at customer reviews and the warranty length of their products.
Choosing the right fishing flashlight to match your needs when there are so many flashlight brands out there is a difficult task and can take some time.
Assess your specific needs and match them up as best you can with the available flashlights on the market. Some people realize they don't want a flashlight, they'd rather have a headlamp to free up their hands for fishing tasks. Everyone is different, but we prefer flashlights for beginners.
Our recommended best fishing flashlight for night fishing is the UltraFire A100 Tactical LED Flashlight, rated as our best overall choice. This one is from a known manufacturer that makes tough lighting gear.
Other brands you may look at include OLight, Petzl, Black Diamond, EverReady, NightCore, and Acebeam. So have a look at some of the flashlights we've linked to above and see if there's one that matches your needs and wallet!
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