Dealing with small cuts on your fingers/hands

Oldtimer2

Well-Known "Member"
Jul 29, 2020
80
133
70
Iowa City Iowa
Name
Rob Malone
Boat
don't got no boat
I write this from sad experience. On my second long range trip (8 days) my finger got infected, and on return to the dock, I was driven (by a deckhand) to the emergency room at a local hospital. They did there doctor type stuff, and said if I started running a fever, come back. The next day, I was at 102.5, and back in the emergency room. They took out about 1/4 of my finger, and put me in the hospital with an IV antibiotic. I was there for 2.5 days. It was NOT pleasant.

On ALL subsequent trips, I used gloves. Despite that, I still got a few nicks and cuts. Every night I used Neosporin as a "handcreme", liberal amounts!, and put on more every morning directly over the cuts and then covered them with "Vetwrap" while fishing. If I noticed a particular nick/cut was very red (or worse, black) I would use alcohol and then open it up with a razor blade, wash it with alcohol, and then do the neosporin stuff. Gloves HELP. Use 'em.

When I started LR fishing, I thought, no problem. I been fishing local for years. I was WRONG! But there must be more tough bacteria on the LR trips than local. The problem is REAL. If you are older, your immune system isn't as active as it was when you were 35! Bring the necessary precaution stuff. Treat it seriously.

Last Comment. I fellow I knew was an avid LR angler. He went on 2-3 trips a year. At 71, he got an infection in his finger that went into his blood stream and he died. You gotta be proactive about it.
 

pukahd

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 30, 2004
763
583
Torrance
Name
Brian
Boat
Cabo 216
My first priority are to prevent cuts from spectra and on my right thumb from blistering. I used tape in the past but have found these finger compression sleeves worked even better. I was given a few to try on a 10 dayer and they lasted all trip while ripping spectra through my fingers and tying hooks. Came home with not a single cut. Just washed them each nite and reused but they are so cheap to just throw out.

Screenshot_20200916-064746_Amazon Shopping.jpg
 

tuner

pysgotwyr
May 24, 2006
1,360
898
Huntington Beach
Name
Steve
Boat
260 Mackinaw
If it gets infected, its not fun.
HibiClens, a bandaid, then finger tape over that and leave it alone for 2 days
+1

HibiClens is the best choice for wound cleaning.

Hydrogen Peroxide is fine for the first cleaning but damages the tissue and retards healing with prolonged use.

I ended up at urgent care due to a gill plate cut on my index finger. I suspected "fish handlers disease" and the Dr. said most cases like mine are due to staph infections. It was very painful and was close to needing to be lanced. I clean all bleeding cuts immediately and cover them.
 
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screamingreel

Long Range Fanatic
Jan 14, 2006
2,366
2,580
Hayward CA
longrangesportfishingsandiego.com
Name
Jeff Burroughs
Boat
Long Range and Private
Some of this depends on the individual and how their occupation affects skin durability. How tough is the skin on your hands? I work in an office, but do gardening often so my hand skin is probably average to less than average tough...

To avoid line cuts, I use hollow spectra on all my reels with loop to loop connections for leaders and inline splices when needed. No knots or nubs to tear up my fingers! Hollow spectra feels much less abrasive than solid spectra. I know it costs a lot more, but a small price to pay for fewer line cuts and possible infections.

I also wear all-synthetic material fishing gloves that have the tip of the thumb and index finger uncovered. They dry quickly. I remove the glove from my left hand when handling sardines. I always bring three pairs of gloves so I always have a dry clean pair available.

The gloves really help on over 10-day trips due to reel handle wear and tear. Even if you do everything correctly, line cuts happen. Keep them clean and use an antiseptic (Betadine) on cuts. Puncture wounds are the worst and can be serious on a fishing vessel. Chat with your doctor about prescribing some antibiotics to take with you just in case. It could save your life (or a finger).

- Jeff Burroughs
 

Jurel Hunter

We need to talk about your fishing reports.
Mar 11, 2007
601
176
Carlsbad
Name
Jim
Boat
FV Soldandgone
I use regular superglue. Cleaning it out first is a good idea. For deep cuts that won't stop bleeding without continuous pressure, I often put on a tight band aid, then drench that in superglue. It becomes a mini cast. Once the bleeding has stopped, I cut off most of the band aid so that the surrounding skin can breathe. After a few days, it just falls off.
smart man. super glue was originally designed for that purpose. the company got into an expensive battle to get it approved for medical purposes, so they just decided to sell it for other purposes. vets and morticians have used it gluing skin together for many decades. good lord, i'm bored to read and respond to this, but it is a juicy pandemic thread.
 

Tugboat64

150lb tuna club
Sep 8, 2017
568
488
La Mirada/Whittier
Name
Logan
Boat
Wanting a bigger boat
OK, I admit . . . this is kind of a dumb question (sorry). But one thing I really hate is when I get a small cut on my fingers/hands. They don't seem to heal during a trip and are more than a little annoying. I've been thinking about bringing medical super glue for this purpose. Does this work? If so, what brand is best?
Not a dumb question at all, we have all dealt with it, In my opinion those braid cuts on fingers hurt like none other
 

Jose Caballero

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 28, 2016
583
320
sb
Name
Jose Caballero
Boat
"Reveille" 17' arima sea chaser
all the good advise is already out but i will add the infection thing is no joke. i grew up around macho role models who worked with their hands so i always poopooed the germophobia... but i've since had two severe "up the arm" fish-handling infections, one of which was hours away from amputation at the elbow. now i'm REALLY careful about washing every little ocean wound...
 
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Fedge101

Newbie
Jul 7, 2019
2
1
San Diego
Name
Jeff
Boat
NA
No matter what you do keep it as clean as possible and soak in very hot soapy water every night. Clean and dry completely before you hit it with dermabond or any other sealer. And sometimes the only way it will heal is to completely wrap it with finger tape for several days to protect it.
Be aware that the finger tape will retain moisture. It's important to keep wounds dry which we all know is impossible when fishing. I got an infection at Cedros last year as a result so I would let the cut dry as much as possible and avoid the finger tape or remove it as soon as possible to let the cut dry.
 

Cubeye

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 26, 2007
3,423
2,426
Los Angeles
Name
Kub
Boat
17' Gregor
Be aware that the finger tape will retain moisture. It's important to keep wounds dry which we all know is impossible when fishing. I got an infection at Cedros last year as a result so I would let the cut dry as much as possible and avoid the finger tape or remove it as soon as possible to let the cut dry.
I've heard that many times. I cut my hand one time and the doctor told me to keep it dry and come back in a few days. I go back to him, and it's infected. He tells me to soak it in warm water.
 

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
1,903
2,561
Alaska
Name
JAM
Boat
Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
I guess I need to clarify. I only meant to say wrap it while fishing to keep slime etc.. out of it. Deffinelty a good idea to let it dry out at night when not aggravating it by tying knots and handling bait with wet hands.
 
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desmonic

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 11, 2013
293
279
Sunnyvale
Name
Dan
Boat
Hopefully One Day
A year ago on a local rock cod trip, I got poked by a fish spine and thought initially "I will deal with it later tonight". Later I forgot about it.. 2 months later and after paying 3K deductible for my insurance, I had a hand surgery to remove half inch painful cyst from my middle finger. I usually carry small bottle of Dakin solution with me on LR trips.
 

mmayo

Barking Spider
Jul 18, 2006
658
757
Tehachapi, CA
www.landofmayo.com
Name
Mark
Boat
Vagabond & Royal Star
Mark you may want to read up on using hydrogen peroxide on cuts...pros and cons and you may change your mind......I do agree it looks cool bubbling.....but it is killing good stuff and bad stuff.
I’ve read and had a few years of practical experiences. It works. I’ve also seen infections that became far worse in just a 6 or 8 day. The Star has a large bottle of hydrogen peroxide right near to the deck head, crew only but sometimes they share. It saves a trip to the forward staterooms.
 
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HighWildFree

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 16, 2018
666
890
OC
Name
Erik
Boat
Moooo!
Lost a wonderful rail buddy earlier this year to a simple infection. Keep it clean and dry. RIP Bob!!!!
 

Derby

My "Member" is Well Known.
Sep 9, 2010
4,756
2,142
SouthBay SF
Name
The Kid
Boat
Aquasport 222 FFV
If it gets infected, its not fun.
HibiClens, a bandaid, then finger tape over that and leave it alone for 2 days
Add neosporin and superglue instead of finger tape. Use large 4"x 2" cloth bandaid...lasts all day.

Clean and replace daily.

I started using bandaid and glue on first day. Way better, more durable and cleaner then finger tape. One on reel side thumb is all you need.
 

TanstaaflSD

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 3, 2013
468
293
San Diego, CA, USA
Name
Tanstaafl
Boat
n/a
I regularly got the finger-joint cuts from pulling line knots tight. Also got my share of spine and hook pokes . I now wear AFTCO gloves -- line-laying hand (L) has full finger/thumb coverage and cranking hand has open fingers. Fewer joint cuts, but still D-S- pokes and jabs.
I also brought finger-rubbers (plastic fitted sleeves for one finger at a time) [don't let anyone see these at a meal, if you want to eat in peace]. I bought after I needed, but didn't have a way to keep a cut finger dry. I have used them one trip (under a glove and to keep a cut finger dry). On anothert trip I gave a crew member a few and one of my gloves after he got a bad finger cut, but needed to keep working. And I have given a few to fellow fishermen when needed.
I saw a pet dog's small bite that was ignored kill the owner with a fulminating bacterial infection, and saw a cat owner's partial loss of use of a hand from a her cat's bite ... puncture wounds are particularly at risk of nasty infections.
 

afraser

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 20, 2008
1,644
1,176
sf, ca
Name
aaron
Boat
NA
That's a long wait on a 15 day trip.
Can’t wait on long trips. Had my finger swell up 50% and that’s was after using h peroxide and neosporin. Only antibiotics worked at that point, captain had some. Bring your own, and other above mentioned meds. Take extra care not to get cuts at the beginning of the trip. No cinching knots without protection, use line pullers, take care of cuts before you get on boat.
 
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Mfish618

Sea Reaper
Jun 5, 2007
1,694
43
San Diego/ Westport Wa.
Name
Mike
Boat
19 FT. Searay, 17 ft Champion
Clean well then apply Bag Balm [heavy coating] and slip a white sock over your hand before hitting the rack. This is an old school method that kept me net fishing daily for decades.
 
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fyermn

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 2, 2005
600
180
72
Utah
Name
Dan
Boat
LONG RANGE fishing
Many years ago, I discovered using Fly Fishing Finger Guard Protectors- Lycra. Best place to but them is on e-bay. They last just about for ever and are only about 2 inches in length. They fit snugly on your fingers that are used to move the line going on your reel during the retrieve. they work wet or dry.