We’re lighting specialists that understand what a good lighting product is, so to find the best headlamp for fishing on the market, we researched a variety of options and narrowed down the list based on the reviews of actual users, light output, battery life, features, and value.
We also spoke with Lee Ellis who is a long term angling enthusiast and all round fishing addict, who travels internationally to fish much to the annoyance of his partner! Lee happens to also have 15 years experience in the lighting industry, so is in a perfect postition to know what a good light is too.
A high-quality headlamp should “be lightweight, comfortable and have a variable output,” says Lee. And, of course, it should provide ample light to set up your bivvy and fish successfully. “Its primary purpose is to illuminate your immediate surroundings for tasks you are doing alongside a more general light, with an option to dim it or change to a color, so as to not scare off the fish when casting out and facing the water,” Lee explains.
Our top pick is the Ledlenser® MH11 Headlamp for it’s comfort to wear at just 179g, multiple output settings and manufacturer confidence with a 7 year guarantee.
So keep reading to discover our choices for the best headlamps for fishing.
Best Overall Headlamp for Fishing: Ledlenser® MH11 Headlamp
Best Budget Headlamp for Fishing: Streamlight 61435 Enduro Pro
Best Value Headlamp for Fishing: Victoper Rechargeable Headlamp
Best Comfort Headlamp for Fishing: Malasa Beanie Hat with USB Headlamp
Best Lightweight Headlamp for Fishing: Akerrelc Band Style Headlamp
Best Adaptable Headlamp for Fishing: Coast XPH30R
|High quality sophisticated multi featured headlamp perfectly suited for night time fishing.|
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Who is it for: People who want to invest in a pro quality headlamp that is reliable and loved by almost anyone who uses it.
The Ledlenser® MH11 Headlamp creates up to 1,000 lumens of white light which is plenty and is dimmable with multiple lighting modes for custom illumination. Ledlenser is a quality manufacturer whose Advanced Focus System gives you the brightest, most even light possible.
You can easily loose track of time when fishing, so the onboard battery meter is really useful to monitor battery life and how long you have left. This powerful headlamp offers up to 100 hours on low or 4 hours in its strongest setting – all powered by a convenient rechargeable internal battery.
The 3 colored light options of red, blue and green offer great night view quality with a minimal disturbance to the fishing environment.
This sophisticated headlamp adapts the intensity of light automatically to the task you are doing, minimising glare and offers control remotely via your app on your phone via bluetooth.
Robust with an IP54-rated weather resistance protects against most inclement conditions, but isn’t completely waterproof so don’t drop it in the lake!
Some people report the buttons and options are unnecessarily fiddly to use whilst fishing.
|Victoper 18000 Lumen Headlamp|
|Packed with features including 4 lighting modes, dimmable and adjustable focus with an onboard battery indicator|
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Who is it for: People who want a very bright headlamp that offers great value.
The Victoper Rechargeable Headlamp creates a whopping 18000 Lumens on its maximum output with a beam distance of hundreds of feet. It has 4 lighting modes, dimmable and adjustable focus with an onboard battery indicator so you know when it needs charging.
IPX5 waterproof rating makes this headlamp suitable for any conditions you may encounter while fishing and at only 5.3 oz it’s incredibly lightweight and comfortable on your head.
Its rechargeable battery needs just 1.5 hours to reach full charge and will last up to 6 hours on low light settings, great value for money at a fraction of the cost of pro models.
Our expert Lee recommends the adjustable focus, “I like to create a strong powered tight spot light to pick out a feature on the other side of the bank, for reference to consistently cast out to same location in your swim. Otherwise at night you cannot judge in the pitch black the direction to cast out to.”
No motion on/off switch, which can be a bit of a fiddle when you’ve got your hands full with tackle. Slightly heavier than some other options, just one colored light option. Other than that, not much else. It’s a bargain.
|Streamlight 61435 Enduro Pro|
|This USB rechargeable Headlamp is an affordable, reliable and no-nonsense headlamp for the budget conscious angler.|
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Who is it for: People who do not want to buy cheap but are budget conscious without compromise on important features for fishing.
The Streamlight 61435 Enduro Pro USB Rechargeable Headlamp is an affordable, reliable and no-nonsense headlamp for the budget conscious angler.
This lightweight yet robust headlamp creates up to 200 lumens of bright white light with incremental stages of brightness starting at 15 lumens light output which can run for 48 hours.
6 modes of light, 3 flood settings useful for around the bivvy and for fishing, with3 spot light settings useful for walking and trekking to the car and setting up.
A handy feature is the memory setting to return to the last light mode used.
This handy USB rechargeable headlamp is IPX4 waterproof and has a wide beam setting to light up your entire casting area, so you can see clearly in any conditions.
No colored light option, no motion on/off switch and although not the cheapest out there, it’s an unbeatable bargain for the value conscious angler.
|Beanie Hat with USB Rechargeable Headlamp|
|You barely know this low output light is on your head, even perfect for sleeping in so you’re ready for the bite alarm to wake you.|
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Who is it for: People who want a very light and comfortable light they can even sleep with on.
The Melasa beanie headlamp hat is a low cost supremely comfortable solution for night time fishing. Our expert Lee Ellis recommends, “this type of hat and headlamp combo intergrates a lightweight low output lamp in it, comfortable enough to allow you to sleep in it avoiding the discomfort of a more heavier headlamp pressing onto our forehead.” A ideal solution for a quick response when woken by your bite alarm!
This hat is warm with a removeable USB rechargeable lamp, which can be easily recharged in your bivvy from a portable power bank, for those 3 or 4 night time trips.
There are 3 adjustable output settings with a max run time of 10 hours, 4 hours of constant use at full power 120 lumens.
No options for colored light modes, just a low light level.
|The perfect combination of lightweight yet powerful headlamp with useful hand wave motion sensor to switch on and off. Variable levels of output.|
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Who is it for: People who want a very light yet powerful headlamp.
The Akerrelc is the perfect combination of lightweight yet powerful headlamp. It weighs a mere 2.4 oz and can throw out up to 1200 lumens.
On max output mode it has a possible beam distance of up to 300 ft (100m), useful for trekking across country from your truck, and with 5 lighting modes it will dim down to a low light level.
A very handy feature is the wave motion on off infrared switch control, saving you fumbling for buttons which is especially useful when you’ve got a rod in your hands.
The Akerrelc is IPX4 waterproof and will cope with any inclement weather however extreme, making it great for boat fishing too.
No options for colored light modes, just a low light level when facing out to the water.
|Coast XPH30R Headlamp|
|Well designed product from a reputable maker offering a ton of features, including magnetic surface mounting.|
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Who is it for: People who want a headlamp that is truly versatile, so great for fishing as well as an investment for other task related activities.
The Coast XPH30R gets our most adaptable choice as it’s a well designed product that offers a ton of features. Coast are a solid manufacturer and the ratings and reviews for this rechargeable headlamp are high across brightness, battery life, comfort and weight categories.
At best the turbo feature cranks out a 1000 lumen output which is can travel a whopping 550 ft (165m), with a run time of 7.5 hours which is impressive at this brightness. Running more economically at the fishing friendly 40 lumens, the Coast XPH30R will last up to 41 hours.
More common to a flashlight, this adaptable headlamp features a twist beam focus to quickly concentrate the light from flood beam width into a tight spot light.
We really like the detachable and magnetic headlamp, designed to solve lighting tasks at any angle. You can quickly turn this headlamp into a hand held flashlight without having to take the headband off or mount into onto a mettalic surface.
No motion on/off switch, no colored light option, it’s one of the heavier we have reviewed.
Our favorite fishing headlamp is the Ledlenser® MH11 Headlamp, which we love because of its sophisticated design features, comprehensive lighting options, and fabulous reviews by others.
But if you’re looking for a more affordable option, we recommend the Coast XPH30R. It creates the same light output, has variable beam width, and can be configured into a handheld flashlight or be magnetically mounted on surfaces.
When it comes to choosing the best headlamp for fishing, these are the most important considerations:
This is important if you plan on heading out into areas with limited natural lighting. Look for lamps that offer the correct brightness for your type of trip and regular usage. Headlamp outputs range broadly between 1000 lumens to 90,000 lumens!
Hiking from the car to your pitch would benefit from as bright and wide as possible, whereas when actually fishing and baiting up the light output needs to be comfortable and not too bright when shone on the water and scare your catch off.
For general illumination for your actual fishing you’ll need around 400 lumens for close up work and casting out.
Look for lamps with multiple settings from dim to bright, as well as any other extras such as floodlight day/night mode or UV light. This way you can tailor the output for close up work, or find a stealth setting when you need it.
Using a headlamp in and around your bivvy the range can be short. Though a long beam distance might not top the list of features for everyone, if you often find yourself walking considerable distances after dark as an angler, then it could be worth investing in something more powerful. A sufficient beam can come particularly handy for river anglers who fish until dusk before returning to their car walkiing across unlit country.
Look for a lamp that has an adjustable beam width so you can tailor your light to the areas you need it most. Some lamps create a staged increase by incrementing the number of LED sources that are powered within the headlamp, offering increased intensity and spread and beam width.
For extended fishing trips, battery life is an important consideration. Look for lamps with both rechargeable and replaceable batteries that offer long lasting power.
Making the switch to a rechargeable head torch is an excellent way of being more environmentally conscious, plus its battery can be conveniently recharged from your bivvy with any spare solar or USB power source throughout the day; but be aware that the brighter lamps will demand more juice, therefore needing either a bigger battery which could become uncomfortable or just not last that long.
Some headlamps feature multiple settings to tailor the beam to your needs. Modes such as red light, strobe and SOS are great for emergencies or finding certain targets in the dark.
Anglers, if you’re fishing at night with a white light, consider switching to red or green colored light. Not only will it avoid disrupting other anglers, but it can even help your own performance so you can see without scaring away the fish.
Colored lights are easier on the eye and keep your vision sharp for longer than their bright white counterparts. Some headlamps include this as an option alongside a stronger bright white light for general use.
When selecting a headlamp, opt for waterproof features so you can take it out on your boat or wade in the water without worry of shorting out the illumination when exposed to moisture. All lamps we have tested meet or exceed IPX4 water resistance rating.
Look for lamps with a robust rubberised construction and shockproof design to ensure it can withstand the harsh environments of fishing trips. Most have that design feature as standard and thankfully LED is very robust as a light source, but some are designed with endurance as a key USP.
An adjustable headlamp allows you to tailor the angle of the light beam to your needs without having to move your head in the exact direction you need the light. It also helps ensure that when using for longer periods the lamp is not pressing against your forehead, look out for a 90 degree tilt so it can light your feet whilst walking or concentrate the light on your hook whilst baiting up.
Yes, fish are sensitive to light and can be scared away from bright white light sources. To keep spooking levels to a minimum, anglers should use red or green lights for night fishing. Lee finds green is the best choice, “as it offers four times the brightness level to the human eye compared to the red colored light at the same output level, without disturbing the fish.”
“The wide beam flood option at a medium intensity of around 400 lumens is ideal,” says Lee. That delivery, he explains, is bright enough for most tasks, great for baiting without being too bright and “scaring aware the very fish you’re so desperate to catch!”
Not exactly, despite fishing involving being in or near water a lot, it is essential to look for headlamps with water resistant features, but not actually waterproof. “Waterproof products need to be IP67, which is unnecessary for a headlamp but they still require a level of water ingress protection. Fishing enthusiasts are not afraid of the weather, so your headlamp will get soaking wet at some point from the rain, so should have a minimum rating of IPX4” says Lee.
An IPX4 rating means the lamp is splash resistant, but not submersible. If you drop it in water and take it out quickly, then your lamp will be fine. However, if submerged for too long it may cause damage to the circuits inside.
This article was written by Andrew Orange, a writer for the Orange Lighting Blog, Quick & Easy Lighting, contributor to Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, and many other publications. He is a lighting consultant with over 25 years of experience and did significant research on headlamps including speaking with Lee Ellis, a globetrotting angler with years of experience who also works in the lighting industry.
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