7 Best Flashlights for Fishing: Tested in 2024

Last Updated on July, 2024

Imagine you know exactly what to do for the BEST results. But you keep failing. The reason? You’re not adequately equipped. 

Not having a suitable flashlight for fishing is like that.

I know EXACTLY how you feel when a big fish swims away when your weak flashlight struggles to spot it. 

So, I bought around ten fishing flashlights. Out of the ten, only 7 lived up to my expectations. 

Let me tell you what I found, so you can decide for yourself.

Editor’s Choice
LA Gear Recon
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

5.0

4.9

4.9

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

#2nd Best Choice
Nitecore MH12 V2
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

5.0

4.9

4.9

4.9

4.9

Overall Score

4.9

#3rd Best Choice
Fenix HT18
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

4.8

4.9

4.8

4.8

4.8

Overall Score

4.8

My Method of Assessment

What I initially do is check the specs thoroughly. Every single word, every single number. 

That’s essential in flashlight reviews.

And then, I took the flashlight with me on a nighttime fishing trip to test it in reality. The earliest I was in the lake was around 9 PM, and the latest was 2 AM.

Following the test, I note down what I discover. For example, gaps in specs in reality and on the package, such as the beam distance, etc.

Eventually, I will make these little review and rating tables, so it won’t take long for you to understand.

Let’s get on the list.

The 7 Best Fishing Flashlights 

1. LA Gear Recon Rechargeable Flashlight (Editor’s Choice)

I personally know the LA Police Gear brand since I own a couple of bags from them. But it was the first time I bought a flashlight from them; it was a recommendation.

For those who don’t know, the LA police gear brand is a store for tactical items like flashlights, backpacks, etc. 

What’s notable is that they are recommended for law enforcement personnel.

That brings exceptional value to the items, especially the flashlights.

The product at a glance

The Recon flashlight’s dimensions are pretty user-friendly, in my opinion. The dimensions are 5.75 inches in length, 0.875 inches in body diameter, and 1.1875 inches in head dia.

4.58 oz is impressive when you hear the maximum lumen output, 1000 lumens with 13,750cd intensity. But it would have been pointless if the beam distance had been shorter.

Recon brings you a 300m (328.1 yards) beam distance, so that’s more than enough.

The flashlight has impact resistance up to 1.5m and an IPX8 waterproof rating.

Here are the 3 operational modes,

  1. Low: 20 lumens for 40 hours
  2. Medium: 500 lumens for 4 hours
  3. High: 1000 lumens for 2 hours 

Luckily, there’s a charging indicator too. This is a very underrated feature that makes a flashlight quite valuable as you can track the charging level.

Pros for fishing

Flashlights’ reliability signs when they carry standardized resistance qualities such as IP ratings. So, you know for a fact that the flashlight will survive specific conditions.

  • Intense 1000-lumen light with 300m throw

The lumen count alone is not enough; the throw needs to be there too. On the other hand, you might even want to look into the water. LA Gear Recon has a strong light with excellent beam throw by design.

  • 40 hours of runtime at the lowest setting
  • Waterproof 

There can be times when you’re low on battery power after you’re done fishing. On occasions like these, you only need a gentle light to find the way.

40 hours on the lowest setting should definitely be enough for that.

  • 3 modes of operation

You wouldn’t want to use the 1000-lumen count at the shore itself. That might scare the fish away. On top of that, the user should choose the amount of light output in fishing flashlights. 

The Recon design understood this need and delivered 3 modes of operations accordingly.

Cons:

  • The zoomability of light isn’t there

It would have been nice to switch the focus mode, or the beam mode, to a flood mode. This would have illuminated a larger area with a 1000-lumen count.


2. Nitecore MH12 V2 (#2nd Best Choice)

I own the Nitecore NU33 triple-output headlamp, which I mainly use for hiking. So, I’m well aware of how much value Nitecore flashlights are.

Nitecore is a Texas-based flashlight company, although most of its production is done in China.

It’s the strict production guidelines by Nitecore that have preserved its value.

Out of their long list of successful products, the Nitecore MH12 V2 definitely stands out as a great fishing flashlight.

The product at a glance

You’d notice the sleek knurling patterns on the body and also that metal clip on the body. The knurling pattern provided a solid grip and the flashlight was not slippery, which is very important during fishing since your hands will be wet.

The Nitecore MH12 fits in the palm pretty neatly with its dimensions of 6.22 inches in length, 1 inch of head dia and tube dia, and 1.07 inches of tail (width) diameter. 

The weight is 2.98 oz (84.5g).

The impact resistance is 1 m, bringing the waterproof rating of IP68 (submersible up to 2 m).

I really love the metal side switch that makes the flashlight relatively easy to handle. It becomes even easier since it has a tactical tail switch as well.

There are 2 major mode types and 7 light modes; that’s 14 light modes altogether. The maximum light output is 1200 lumens at 202m (220 yards) beam distance.

The two major mode types are daily and tactical. Daily mode is the default mode, and the tactical mode is designed for self-defense and special operations such as fishing.

Here’s how they work along with their runtimes,

  • Ultra-low: 1 lumen for 1500 hours with a beam distance of 6m
  • Low: 55 lumens for 46 hours with a beam distance of 42m
  • Mid: 300 lumens for 8 hours with 102m of beam distance
  • High: 1200 lumens for 3 hours and 45 minutes with 202m of beam distance
  • Strobe mode: 1200 lumens
  • Beacon mode: 1200 lumens
  • SOS: 1200 lumens

Like the Recon flashlight, the Nitecore MH12 V2 has a power indicator too. What’s interesting is how they have their own patent for that. The power indicator lets you keep track of the power level easily.

Pros for fishing

  • Waterproof

What I mentioned for Recon goes for Nitecore MH12 V2 as well.

  • High mode throw and lumen count

1200 lumens for a 200m throw is perfect for identifying fishing spots.

  • Rechargeable

Replacing batteries every time you have to go fishing can be expensive if not for the rechargeability of the MH12 V2.

Cons

  • Zoomability would have been nice

3. Fenix HT18 (#3rd Best Choice)

Fenix’s website immediately pitches you 3 excellent benefits; free shipping, 20% off, and the Fenix loyalty program; these are telltale signs of a reliable company.

Fenix is actually based in China. So how is the brand so beloved in the USA? 

It’s because Fenix-store.com is an official distributor in the USA.

That’s how Americans get an extra advantage when buying Fenix products.

The product at a glance

The Fenix HT18 is designed for hunting. Most hunting flashlights are headlamps. But, when they are handheld, such flashlights are bespoke for fishing.

The HT18 weighs around 7.76 ounces (220g), excluding the battery, which is slightly higher than the Nitecore MH12 V2. On top of that, here’s how the diameter changes along the body.

Length: 7.24 inches

Head diameter: 2.68 inches

Body diameter: 1.02 inches

But there are so many similarities between the MH12 V2 and HT18. You’ll notice as we move along.

A6061-T6 aluminum body is the foundation of the IP68 waterproof rating with an impact resistance of up to 1m.

The HT18 has 5 modes of operation with a maximum output of 1500 lumens at 1011 yards (3034ft. 

Here are the lighting modes with the respective runtimes,

  1. Turbo (21700 battery): 1500 Lumens, 1.4 hours, 3034 ft
    • Turbo (18650 battery): 1100 Lumens, 1.4 hours, 2641 ft
  2. High: 500 Lumens, 4.1 hours, 1870 ft
  3. Med: 150 Lumens, 20.1 hours, 984 ft
  4. Low: 30 Lumens, 61 hours, 524 ft
  5. Strobe: 1500 Lumens

The flashlight also has a power indicator which communicates as below,

  • Solid green: 100%-85%
  • Flashing green: 85%-50%
  • Solid red: 50%-25%
  • Flashing red: 25%-1%

Pros for fishing

  • Waterproof

You know what it is now.

  • High lumen count and the throw 

The 1500-lumen count with a 3000+ft throw will do wonders in your fishing trip for sure.

  • Color filters

If you don’t prefer white light for fishing, the Fenix HT18 gives you two color filters; red and green. This is to blend that extra luminance with the surrounding.

It’s perfect camouflage lighting.

  • Longer lifespan

With Luminus SFT40, the HT18 has close to 50,000 hours of lifespan.

Cons

  • No zoomability
  • A little bit heavier

4. Foleto Rechargeable Spotlight

So far, I’ve been talking about small and compact flashlights. But now it’s time to pull out the big guns.

Foleto is one of the best spotlight flashlight brands based in China. Its Foleto-90000 is what I ended up buying.

When timed correctly, spotlights can increase the convenience of nighttime fishing.

That’s the exact requirement I was expecting to fulfill.

A glance at the product

This is a spotlight, so the dimensions are slightly bigger than a typical flashlight. 

So, it has a head diameter of 5.12 inches, which is the same as the body diameter. The length is 12.2 inches.

How much does it weigh? 1.5 pounds; that’s around 685g. Despite the larger dimensions, this spotlight is quite light in weight. 

There are 4 operational modes of the spotlight, and they are as follows;

  1. Low 
  2. Medium
  3. High 
  4. SOS

At the high mode, the maximum output is 90,000 lumens and that’s extremely high compared to the others in this list. The proportionate beam throw is more than 800m (875 yards).

In addition to that, the spotlight is IPX5 waterproof. 

Here’s how the IP rating works if you didn’t know it already.

So, IP stands for Ingress Protection; it’s a globally recognized water and dustproof rating system. When applicable, flashlights are rated based on this system.

If you didn’t know what they meant before, now you do, and you can verify product specs easily.

This spotlight has its own unique power indicator. It’s done by a lighting system. 

  • If there are 3 blue lights, it means the charge is between 66%-100%
  • 2 blue lights mean the power is between 33% and 66%
  • One light means the charge is less than 33% and needs to be charged

How long do you think the spotlight lasts? 10 hours of runtime in the lowest mode with a power of 8000mAh is technically super impressive.

Pros for fishing

  • Waterproof
  • Can be kept on the ground safely

The spotlight has a detachable tripod; you can simply set it on the ground and illuminate a massive area conveniently.

We know how nighttime fishing can be dangerous, and this spotlight provides you with that safety.

  • 360 degrees rotation

The attached bracket lets you rotate the flashlight all around the axis. So, you don’t have to move the tripod every now and then to illuminate a particular area.

  • Charge your devices during the fishing trip

The spotlight has a power of 8000mAh and a USB-C outlet. You know what it means; yes! You can charge your phone or camera with a cable.

That eliminates the cost of another power bank and the risks of your phone dying in the middle of a cold lake.

  • Rechargeability

I don’t need to tell you how much it’d cost to replace batteries for a spotlight. Foleto has identified the problem and made it cost-effective for its customers. 

Cons

  • A little bit bigger dimensionally

5. Victoper Rechargeable Headlamp

I came across the Victoper headlamp just in time when I wanted to replace my old one.

But in comparison, the Victoper is an absolute beast of a headlamp.

The company behind this headlamp is Victoper, which is identified as a company that specializes in lighting tools for the nighttime. So, I felt like the company knew what they were doing.

A glance at the product

Victoper surely knows how to showcase what matters in a headlamp. The product description is quite straightforward and easy to grasp.

The package dimensions are ‎4.92 x 3.82 x 3.62 inches, weighing 5.3 oz (150g). That’s how headlights should be in weight; not too heavy or too light.

There are 8 different modes, and I checked them to be the same TYPE but different lumen counts. This is mainly achieved by the use of 8 LED bulbs in the system.

The headlamp is IPX5-level waterproof and has night safety protection as well.

What’s the highest lumen output from the headlamp? 18,000 lumens; that’s the second highest so far on this list. The runtime is about 5-8 hours.

It comes with a warning light and a charge indicator as well.

Pros for fishing

  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable to wear

I can’t begin to tell you how crucial comfort is regarding headlamps. The fabric quality is everything since you’ll have a glowing light on your forehead. 

On top of that, wearing too loose or too light headlamps can ruin your fishing trip, a personal experience.

Victoper’s headgear is strong, adjustable, and, most importantly, comfortable.

  • Ultra strong light

You cannot go wrong when your lighting equipment has an 18,000-lumen output. The light is so perfectly diffused, illuminating a vast area. I personally always recommend a spotlight or a headlamp like this to cover a large area.

So, having two light sources, the flashlight and the headlamp is a precaution that’s not a waste.

  • The light pack can be adjusted to 90 degrees.

It can get annoying when you keep moving your head to illuminate certain areas. Every time I had to move my head up or down, I wished I could move the light instead of my head.

Victoper read my mind; the light can be moved up and down within 90 degrees. Words can’t explain how conveniently it made me look at the water with the light.

Cons

  • Runtime could have been longer

6. GearLight Headlamp

Gearlight’s headlamp caught my eye because of its product picture; the red and white light. The description clearly mentions that it suits outdoor operations. So, I had to check it.

Was it worth it? Let’s find out.

The product at a glance 

Gearlight flashlight is based in a Shopify company. They make powerful LED lights for all occasions. Most importantly, they market themselves as being very affordable.

They’re not wrong there at all.

The headlamp comes with dimensions 6.5″ D x 2.75″ W x 2.25″ H. That makes it a compact headlamp. With a weight of 3oz (85g), lightweight compactness is assured; you don’t need to worry about neck strains.

The fit is amazing thanks to the 15’’ to 50’’ circumference strap range. That lets both adults and children wear the flashlight easily.

This headlamp is unique as it features two light colors; red and white. Both lights collectively feature 7 light modes. The maximum output is 200 lumens, which is still amazing for fishing purposes.

The white light has 3 brightness modes and 1 strobe mode. The red light has one brightness mode with 2 strobe intensities. 

If you didn’t know, red light protects night vision. That’s why this light is exceptional for nighttime fishing. That’s because the light doesn’t signal the fish that you’re there.

That’s not the only unique factor about the Gearlight headlamp. You can tilt the light up to 45 degrees. That lets you illuminate more specific areas. 

Battery life is very important for fishing. Gearlight understands the customer well in that area. That’s why you can use the flashlight for over 10 hours with one charge. 

What about the design quality?

You get the IPX4 waterproof rating, and that increases durability immensely. 

However, the Gearlight headlamp is NOT rechargeable but runs with AAA batteries.

Pros for fishing

  • Water-resistant
  • Suitable for adults and children

You can share the light with even children as the strap size is 15’’ – 50’’.

  • Night vision protection 

The red light preserves night vision. It’ll be more useful because this is flood light emitted from a headlight. That increases the value of the GearLight headlamp.

  • Adjustable tilt 

Being able to tilt the light to 45 degrees gives you the most control of the light. With a wide adjustable flood beam like that, it’ll be easier to do fishing efficiently.

Cons

  • Not rechargeable

7. LHKNL Headlamp

Usually, not being able to find a company’s website is a red flag. But there are too many exceptions to that in the flashlight industry; LHKNL is one of them. 

The company has been based on Amazon since 2012 and produces some of the best flashlights.

Their headlamp qualified to get into my collection of fishing flashlights. 

The seller I came across was selling a two-piece unit, and I bought it since it was a good deal.

The product at a glance

The companies that list down all the product specs neatly want you to see the product’s worth; I’ve reviewed enough flashlights to know this fact.

The headlamp weighs only 1.87 oz, that’s lighter than an egg. A headlamp’s light weight is essential to avoid fatigue of the head.

Its dimensions are 4.13 inches in head diameter x 3.34 inches in width x 2.75 inches in length.

Four key features make the LHKNL headlamp unique. They are,

  1. Long press the key mode button for 3 seconds to turn the light off.
  2. One master button to switch between 8 operational modes.
  3. The motion sensor of the light switches between the strong main beam and a strong side beam (these do not belong to the operational modes).
  4. The red light.

In addition, the LHKNL headlight has the IPX4 rating and a comfortable and adjustable headband.

Since it’s rechargeable, you won’t have to keep spending on new batteries.

The battery indicator consists of four blue LED lights. One blue light will be turned on for 20%, 2 for 50%, 3 for 75%, and 4 for 100%. 

Once fully charged, it’ll run for 4 hours in the highest mode and 10 hours in the lowest intensity mode.

I mentioned there were 2 mode buttons. How do they work? Let’s check it out.

  • LED key mode

The first click enables the strong main beam, and the second click turns on the main weak beam.

The third click turns on the side strong beam, and the fourth click turns on the side weak beam.

The fifth and sixth clicks are for the red light.

The fifth click turns on the red beam, and the sixth click turns on the SOS red light.

The seventh click turns off the power.

  • Motion sensor mode

The first click turns on the strong main beam, the second click turns on the strong side beam, and the third click turns off the power.

What does the package (usually) include?

  • Headlamp
  • USB cable
  • User manual 

Pros for fishing

  • The adjustability of the head

Keeping your neck slightly bent for long periods when fishing is not healthy. But that’s inevitable when your headlamp’s light is thrown directly forward. That problem isn’t there with this headlamp.

You’ll love keeping your head straight and your light on the water.

  • Waterproof
  • Different modes of operation

You don’t need all the light all the time, and being able to change it quickly is the cherry on top.

Cons

  • It would have been nice to have a rechargeable device, but not a headlamp that runs on rechargeable batteries.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Fishing Flashlight 

a human using a flashlight while fishing
  • Maximum lumen output and the corresponding throw and duration
  • Availability of multiple operational modes
  • Water resistance and the rating (since each rating is different from the other)
  • Rechargeable or not?
  • Possible shock resistance?
  • Whether you’ll get customer service
  • The warranty period
  • Average nature of customer reviews

FAQs

To determine if a flashlight is a fishing flashlight, you can consult the manufacturer or look for features that are designed to work well in aquatic environments.

No, you cannot keep your waterproof flashlight underwater for as long as you want to. Most waterproof flashlights have maximum duration limits of 30-60 minutes.

It depends on the situation, but having more than one flashlight can be beneficial.

In Conclusion

You’re not going to find a well-balanced list of fishing flashlights anywhere. It’s because no one else can know the test results that I discovered. So, picking a flashlight, or a couple, from this list, is how to be safe in the water; that’s crucially important.

The LA Gear Recon rechargeable flashlight is the best solution for that.

Because before you go out at night for fishing, your safety should never ever be at stake.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATION
LA Gear Recon
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

5.0

4.9

4.9

5.0

5.0

Overall Score

5.0

visa, master, amex, paypal
Pros
Intense 1000-lumen light with 300m throw
40 hours of runtime at the lowest setting
Waterproof
3 modes of operation
Get the BEST PRICE until the end of July
Cons
The zoomability of light isn’t there

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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