Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fly Product: Review of 12wt's SUNwt and WORKwt Gloves

When I first heard about 12wt about a year ago, I was immediately drawn to their products. It was like I was back in elementary school again, when I had a Vikings Starter Jacket simply because I liked the colors. My whole family was Redskins fans, but I wanted the Vikings jacket because it was purple and yellow. 12wt drew me in with the same appeal, their colors. Neon green and grey, my (now) favorite color combination.

We had a lot of fun with this review. They were products we felt comfortable giving the full test to, in both salt and fresh, and with a wide variety of fish. Now, with the review aspect of the product finished, it has touch a wide variety of fish, from Trout (in Maryland and Alaska) to Largemouth, Striped Bass to Fallfish. And throughout the full lives of these gloves, they will likely soon touch Bonefish and Tarpon in Puerto Rico with Luis traveling down there at the end of the month and I traveling up the NY for Steelhead next year. But enough about that, I'm sure you want to hear why we will most likely have these gloves on out hands during all future trips.

Here's a little bit about 12wt just to give you some background...

Our designs are driven by function and perfomance, built with the idea that no detail is too small, no attribute too far reaching. Sun protection, unrestricted movement, and comfort whether wet or dry are fundamental to our design ethos.
We seek the very best product solutions, whether that means using old school concepts and fabrics, the latest technologies, creative sourcing - or a mash up of all of it. We are proud to present a unique sense of style and not afraid to defy convention to get there.
The 12 Wt. team is a diverse, passionate group - anglers, captains, experts in product design, marketing, and manufacturing. The Florida Keys inspire us. The fish, the people, the places and its unique environment serve as a great source of motivation for the company. We love the place and we love this magnificent sport.
Please join our community. Check our Facebook page and our blog to find out what we are up to and to let us know how we are doing. And feel free to email us at

Photography by Tim Pask, Capt. Will Benson, and Peter Smith 

When I got in contact with the good people at 12wt, I was stoked about trying out a pair of their gloves. What I got in the mail was two pairs. I was super stoked to say the least. Since I had no reason to mold two pairs to my hand, I decided to hand a pair over to Luis, knowing he had a bunch of trips coming up that would allow him to get a line wet and put some scales on the gloves. Luis took the SUNwt gloves and I the WORKwt gloves.

Here's what 12wt has to say about their SUNwt and WORKwt gloves...

SUNwt -

 The new SUNwt. gloves from 12wt. are designed to protect the hands from the harsh conditions on the flats without sacrificing dexterity or feel. These gloves have a surgical fit that makes you forget you have them on. The SUNwt. fabric is especially forgiving and comfortable, even when in use over a long period of time. The light and hydrophobic fibers feel dry even when wet and they resist grime and clean up easily. The panel construction orients the fabric in a way that improves comfort, fit and flexibility.

The unique finger finish grips the fingers and thumb with a small band of flexible adhesive. This band helps with fit adjustments and offers an extra measure of protection built right in. With this finishing technique there are no sewn edges to snag and unravel. Glove length provides protective overlap between the cuff and the wearer’s shirt even when “on plane”. The two tone color scheme adds stealth by breaking up the profile of the hand.

WORKwt -

The new WORKwt. gloves from 12wt. are designed to protect the hands from the harsh demands of working day in and day out on the flats. Using the same soft, forgiving stretch fabric found in the SUNwt. glove, the WORKwt glove adds a film laminate to create durability without sacrificing comfort and feel. The WORKwt. film provides wear resistance and grip in both wet and dry conditions. The film also wraps around the palm to cover the side of the hand for protection when putting the final oomph on knots. Then it is perforated to enhance flex and airflow so that the light, hydrophobic fibers of the foundation material continue to feel dry even when wet. Lastly, the laminate resists typical flats work grime and washes clean.

As with the SUNwt glove, the unique finger finish grips the fingers and thumb with a small band of flexible adhesive. This band helps with fit adjustments and offers an extra measure of protection. With this finishing technique there are no sewn edges to snag and unravel. The WORKwt glove adds a film based, dart pattern to the fingers and the thumb for an extra measure of seam protection where twisting forces are highest.

Glove length provides protective overlap between the cuff and the wearer’s shirt even when “on plane”. The two tone color scheme adds stealth by breaking up the profile of the hand.

At first glance, in all honestly, the gloves look cheap. But after busting them out of the package, and actually trying them, I was totally wrong. The color combination appealed to me big time, like I said before. 12wts gloves are unique, in the sense that, the are custom fit to your hands. When you first open the package, you want to throw them on and see how they feel. But before you do that, you have to read the directions, otherwise all you'll have is a ripped pair of neon gloves. The most important thing you could do in the entire life of this glove happens in the first moments of bringing it out of the package. When you first open them up, you must stretch out the tips of the fingers to get them expanded enough to fit around your fingers. After the first few times of wearing them, they mold to your hand and fingers giving you the total customized product, that fits only you (unless you have a twin). Its the combination of the film thats in the tips of the gloves fingers and the "forgiving stretch fabric" that give that customization that fits only your hand.

Luis headed to Carp water with his SUNwt Gloves on.

The basic model and 12wt's foundation product is the SUNwt gloves. Since Luis tried out and reviewed this product, I'll let him tell you what he has to say...

If you have spent any time fishing in the tropics there is a lesson you learn very, very quickly. The sun will take no mercy on the tops of your hands and your feet if you forget to apply sun block.

For years I have applied sun block with the back of my hands so I wouldn’t forget to cover that area and avoid getting chemicals on fly line later. But putting your hands in the live well, in the water several times or getting into some hot fishing you can easily forget to reapply through the day. I have become a big fan of the lightweight sun gloves on those long days of fishing.

Glove details:

12wt SUNwt. Tech gloves are perfect for the avid warm weather fisherman. They served me well fishing the Miami canals as well as the Chesapeake this summer.

Features include UPF 30+ rating for plenty of sun protection.

The SUNwt stretch fabric is light and form fitting. Giving you a comfortable snug fit that does not limit dexterity. All models come with ¾ fingertips.

Wrapped seamless construction keeps all seams on the top portion of the glove.


SUNwt gloves are breathable, form fitting gloves that you can easily forget you have on after several minutes of wearing them.

The fingertips are formed with a stretch adhesive technology to provide a custom fit giving you a snug fit that adds to dexterity and comfort.

The material is extremely quick to dry. After getting them wet I rung them out and hung them out to dry before packing up in 90 degree sunlight and gloves dried in about 15 minutes.

The gloves are offered in five sizes from X-small to X-large giving you a wide range to choose from to get the perfect fit.

After a few days of fishing the gloves went thru the washer and came out looking like they just came out of the package.


Unfortunately my biggest issue with the gloves is one of the major features. The stretch adhesive in the fingertips takes some getting use to. The tips need to be broken in and molded to your fingers. Initially, they may feel a bit uncomfortable and took a couple of uses for me to be ok with how snug the fingertips where.

I found that in removing the gloves because of the fingertip bands the easiest way is by starting at the wrist and rolling it back over itself (turning it inside out). The gloves took some shaking and digging the fingers tips back out in order to be able to put the gloves back on.

Only a single color scheme available.


Bottom line is these gloves work well are comfortable and well worth the price of admission. They add to your fishing experience and face it they look pretty sharp. They will cover you hands and wrist all day and when your done will dry quickly and pack small enough to stuff in you any pocket.

Me using my WORKwt gloves during a long day on the Gunpowder.

The WORKwt has all the bonuses of the SUNwt glove with the added protection from the film laminate that 12wt has added for preventing against continuous and repetitive motions that would typically cause blisters, especially while putting in "work" for the fish. Some of these may be double hauling for Bones on the flats or poling a skiff after some Reds. Since I was the one who tested the WORKwt gloves, I had to really put work in to try these bad boys out. After opening the package and getting them fitted to my hand, I went out for a 2 hour kayak trip in the Severn that would typically tear my hands apart, giving me bilateral blisters between my thumb and index fingers. The repetitive friction and movement of paddling didn't stand a chance against the WORKwt gloves. That added film saved my hands that day. After making numerous trips in the past, I've always walked away with either red spots from irritation or good sized blisters, not this time. The next test was double hauling for Carp on the flats with the guys. We spent about 6-8 hours fishing for ghosts and, as anyone whos fished for carp before knows, threw A LOT of casts. Not only was I blister-free at the end of the day, but the only sunburn I had was on the tip of my nose.

One of the great features of 12wt's glove is they give you that added protection against the sun, as is made obvious with the name of their flagship product, the SUNwt gloves. As the gloves were designed primarily with that focus, you can imagine they are ideal for salt guys or people who are out in the sun for a good duration of their trip. As Buff has done for a few years now, 12wt is picking up on as well, maintaining the safety of their customers. They've got your back. As someone in healthcare, believe me, the price you pay for a pair of 12wt gloves is nowhere near the amount that goes into treatment for melanoma. As a matter of fact, with the way healthcare insurance is today, one copay for a dermatologist could pay for the gloves.

So lets talk about price since were on that subject. As I was alluding to before, they are pretty well in line with what you would expect these gloves to cost. With 12wt standing "behind their workmanship and materials", this is a lifetime product. The basic 12wt gloves, the SUNwts come in at $29.00. If you want to go for the added protection, you can upgrade for only $10.00 more, making the WORKwt gloves only $39.00. You really cannot beat this price for the style, comfort, and functionality of 12wts awesome gloves.

So, lets give them their proper ratings. Now, heres a small disclaimer, I did rip my gloves slightly when I put them on initially but thats why I gave you fair warning above, MAKE SURE YOU STRETCH THEM OUT FIRST! This isn't going to deduct any points off of the scale simply due to the fact it was user error instead of product. With that said, Luis gave the SUNwt gloves a 3.5 out of 5 stars on the TLTFF rating scale for functionality, style, price, how user friendly the website is and overall use. I gave the WORKwt gloves 4.5 out of 5 stars on the same TLTFF scale for the above listed categories.

Although we did not get to try them out or see them in person, 12wt has some awesome looking headwear that ranges from $24.00-$29.99. They are also in the process of testing out their material for a Buff-like sun mask to really help pull together your overall 12wt fishing experience and again help protect you against UV rays.

Thanks again to Steve and all the guys at 12wt for making this review possible, and for protecting us against the sun and some gnarly blisters! Without them, we wouldn't have been able to do this great review. Keep your eyes on 12wt through their website and Facebook page, they've got some good stuff  going on in the near future and with the direction they are headed in, great stuff will be rolling out from them for years to come.

Boom...Morgan & Luis

*This review was completely unbiased and this/these product(s) were lent to me for review purposes only. This review, as with all of our reviews was, completely fair with no intentions coming into it of giving it a "good" or "bad" rating. We do our best to keep all reviews as fair as possible with biases being thrown out the door.


  1. thanks for the honest review TLTF2. all of us at 12wt. appreciate the feedback as we move forward with product development. the test comments will help us improve.

    here are a couple of comments in response to the review:

    when it comes to glove fabric and construction, we know we are walking a fine line in terms of durability but our 4-way stretch fabric offered the best long term comfort (wet or dry) than anything else we tested so far. we agree with your comments that it's critical to take time initially to stretch the finger openings to fit your fingers. this will provide a custom fit and the gloves should slide on/off without undue stress. we use a heated handform to pre-stretch the finger opening but we leave them slightly snug so that they can be dialed in perfectly. once the correct fit is achieved you will barely notice that you have them on and you will see no impact on dexterity.

    as for color, we wanted to make a statement in a world of mostly bland glove color options. we saw shirts, masks and hats with cool logo treatments and vivid color so we thought we'd treat gloves in the same way. with that said, we tried to use our color in such a way as to break up the hand form with a contrast panel. we will continue to explore both the idea of color and breaking up the form so that outlines become blurred, similar to the way mother nature does it. we hope to offer multiple colorways in the future and we are open to suggestions.

    for those who wear watches, we suggest that you put your watch over the glove cuff to maintain good coverage and to avoid bunching as shown in your photo.

    thanks again for the review. visit our web site, facebook page and blog for more information. we appreciate hearing from you. keep us in mind as the holiday season approaches
    all the very best,
    steve stracqualursi

    1. Awesome Steve, thanks for dialing in and clarifying as well as passing on more information! We loved this review and love what you guys are doing. We will leave the suggestions to our readers as we have already given ours! The only suggestion I can offer further is, while maintaining your awesome color and design, maybe looking into more of a camouflage that allows you to keep the functionality of the glove but also adding in a slight touch of stealth. Color doesn't bother fish, but things that look out of the norm, such as straight lines, that do. Thank you so much again!