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Best outdoor flashlights for hunting and fishing

People want the best hunting flashlight or best fishing flashlight. Some flashlights are good for both hunting and fishing but it is difficult to know what to look for in a great flashlight. Here we explain how to pick the best flashlight for fishing, hunting or other activities. Normally it’s best to go for a powerful flashlight with different modes that can be used for many things.

The important things to look for on a flashlight are the lumens which measures the brightness and the throw (or candela) which measures the intensity and beam distance. Some flashlights are bright and powerful but the light is spread out, whereas others are not so bright but the light is focused and intense, more like a laser. You can also get high power flashlights that are very bright and also have a high intensity. The best example of this is the IMALENT MS18, which is the world’s brightest flashlight at 100,000 lumens and 1350 meters range.

The best flashlights for hunting at night

For a good hunting flashlight you need to be able to see a long way to your target. Long distance flashlights work well for hunting because they can light up a target a mile away. Some hunting flashlights like the powerful IMALENT R90C are ultra long and can light up a target or animal miles away. These hunting flashlights normally have a focused beam and not so much spill. When looking for a powerful light like this, make sure it can output at least 1000 lumens and can throw about 1km (1000 meters beam distance).

Some hunters also do hunting at close range or short distance. Flashlights can be used on lower modes to see clearly at a short distance, so it’s important to pick a LED flashlight with at least 3 or 4 different modes for outdoor use like this. You can always use one of the most powerful hunting flashlights and just use it on a lower power setting.

When hunting it’s useful to be able to turn on and off the flashlight with a momentary button. These are common in tactical lights like the IMALENT UT90. The momentary switch means you can have the light off and then suddenly shine the light for a second as you aim and take a shot. A remote switch that can be attached with a gun mount is useful too, as it means you can keep your hands on the weapon.

Flashlights that can be mounted directly on a gun can be used with just 1 hand and always point where the weapon points. The standard rails used on guns are Picatinny rails (MIL-STD-1913) and Glock guide rail. Weapon lights like the IMALENT UT10 lock on to the gun and allow using it in dark places.

When using flashlights for hunting, green light is often used instead of white light. Some hunting flashlights use a green LED instead of a white one. Other flashlights, like the IMALENT UT90 include a green filter. Not only is the green light great for cutting through fog, it’s also hard to detect from side on. This means that animals aren’t spooked by the green flashlight, where they may have been with a standard white hunting flashlight. Green flashlights are often used for hunting pigs, feral hogs or wild boar. Green hunting flashlights are normally better than red LED flashlights, as the beam is brighter and is more useful at a distance.

Hunting flashlights like the IMALENT MS06 are incredibly bright at 25,000 lumens and allow you to light up a wide area at night. When hunting, powerful lights like this are good for searching a big area, looking for animals or your target.

The best flashlights for fishing at night

Having a quality flashlight is important for fishing at night. A cheap flashlight will not help you and you won’t catch many fish! Lots of flashlights can be used for fishing, depending on what you need.

Sometimes it’s useful to light up a big lake, like with the IMALENT R60C that is 18,000 lumens and has a beam distance of 1038 meters (over a kilometer). Other times it’s useful to have a smaller handheld flashlight for fishing, that is lighter and you can carry for a long time. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean that a light isn’t powerful though. Some handheld flashlights that fit in a pocket can be 9000 lumens or even more, such as the IMALENT MS03 and IMALENT R30C.

Another good thing for picking the best fishing flashlight is making sure that it is waterproof - in case you drop it in water. Some flashlights say they are waterproof but it’s important to make sure that they have an IP rating like IPX8 to show they are fully waterproof. Some flashlights also include how far they can be submerged underwater, such as the IMALENT DM35, which is 2m submersible.

What else to look for in a good hunting or fishing flashlight

When outdoors doing hunting, fishing or other activities at night or in dark places, it’s helpful to have both of your hands free. A 3000 lumen headlamp like the IMALENT HR70 shines a wide area and long distance, keeping your hands free to hold a weapon or fishing rod. Headlamps need to be light, so you can wear them comfortably for a long time whilst outdoors.

For extended use outdoors, you need to make sure that the light will have a long run time. Li-ion cells (batteries) that are 18650 or 21700 size have lots of energy capacity and allow you to light up the dark all night, for many hours.

For outdoors use, anodization is important too. A type III hard-anodized surface means the light won’t easily be scratched when dropped. Many outdoors lights will have an impact resistance rating too. This should be at least 1.5m to protect against drops.

At the end of the day, there are lots of important things when choosing a great hunting or fishing flashlight but the brightness and throw are top priority.