First, let’s take a deeper look at all the uses pliers have.
What Are Fishing Pliers Used For?
Fishing pliers are used for several different reasons. That being said, pulling hard to reach hooks out of a fish’s mouth might be at the top of the list.
When a fish hook gets stuck in a particularly tough part of a fish’ mouth it is very difficult to remove it with just your hand. This is especially true if it’s a treble, and there are two other sharp points swinging around.
Being able to get leverage on the hook and keeping your hand away from the other points ensures a safe release for the fish, as well as yourself.
There are also several pairs on the market that are equipped with the ability to cut hooks. This may be one of the less used features on a pair of pliers, but you’ll be especially happy that they have this ability when you need it.
A good pair will also allow you the ability to cut line quickly and safely. Usually, somewhere at the base, they will come equipped with something that resembles scissors and is able to be used as braid cutters.
While also having the ability to slice through monofilament and fluorocarbon. that can cut through monofilament, fluorocarbon, as well as braid.
This can be used when a fish has either swallowed a hook and you need to cut the fishing line, you’ve gotten hung up on the bottom, or to quickly switch out hooks and lures.
If you find yourself having a rough day on the water, and feel like you pliers are going to waste, then you could always use them as a bottle opener.
Why Do You Need Fishing Pliers?
The short answer is safety and efficiency. Sure, you can do everything mentioned above without a pair of fishing pliers, but you’re going to either need multiple tools, which takes up valuable room in a boat or tackle box, or time and effort.
It’s worth it to spend a little money to save time and preserve the safety of yourself, your fishing partner, as well as your catch.
How To Use Pliers
Pliers are primarily used for assisting the angler in removing hooks that are too tough to pull out by hand (sometimes you just need an actual hook remover), or, if removing the hook by hand would cause the angler to be injured. Safety for yourself and the fish are priorities when on the water.
On top of hook removal, they can also:
Open Split Rings
Which you would use to change out hooks on your lures.
Crimp Split Shot
Some pliers have a tool on them that are made to crimp split shot. If not, just use the pliers themselves to mash it together. Which is still better than using your teeth.
Benefits of Using Fishing Pliers
Some of the benefits you’ll see when purchasing a decent set of pliers is just how long they’ll last. A high quality set could potentially last you decades as long as you are willing to stow and clean them properly after each fishing trip.
They also have a vast amount of uses, which means you’ll have to carry less equipment around with you.
What To Look For When Purchasing
There are several factors you should be looking for when purchasing a serious set of fishing pliers.
You should be looking at:
Split Ring Tool
Look for stainless steel fishing pliers or anti-corrosion aluminum. Madbite, in particular, makes a great set of pliers with aluminum handles. There are no two ways about it, these fishing tools are going to get wet.
Unless you only plan on using these once or twice a year, spend a little extra money to ensure that you purchase something that is strong and durable.
This is going to save you time, money, and future frustration, especially if you find yourself saltwater fishing. Nothing is more frustrating than wrenching out a hook with a pair of old rusty pliers.
This all depends on what type of fish you are going after. The majority of the time a good pair of needle nose in the 6-7” range is all you need. But if you are targeting fish of the toothy variety, then long nose pliers are going to be your best bet; typically, 8” or longer.
Ideally, you would like a set that has the ability to cut through every type of line you would be using, from monofilament to braided.
Check to see if the pliers have both line cutters as well as side cutters. A perfect pair will have both of these. That way you have the ability to cut whatever you need.
A line cutter works well for cutting monofilament and fluorocarbon lines. It has the ability to cut braid but needs to be continuously sharpened.
A side cutter is used for cutting hooks, wire, or any other hard, tough material. These are generally made of tungsten carbide. A pair of pliers with a nice set of wire cutters can make for a much easier day on the water.
If possible, find a pair that has replaceable cutters. The blades or cutters themselves start to wear down over time. This way you can purchase replacement pieces instead of having a useless tool on your pliers.
Portability is important when selecting a product too. A nice lightweight pair of pliers that is comfortable to hold and easy to access will make a world of difference.
Some even come equipped with spring-loaded grip handles, which is perfect because the majority of the time you will only be operating these with the use of one hand.
This pairs with ergonomics. You should be purchasing a pair that have a comfortable and non-slip grip. You’re going to be out on the water handling wet, slippery items so you will need something that allows you to hold on to your pliers.
Before purchasing, hold them in your hand to make sure the handles are not too big or too small. Ensuring you have the correct size means you will be able to handle them with ease.
Split Ring Tool
When the hooks on your favorite lure have become old and rusty it doesn’t mean you have to throw the lure away. All you have to do is purchase some new treble hooks and reattach them.
In order to do this you would need to have a set of split ring pliers. This is that bit at the end of pliers that looks like a bucktooth. You insert that into the split ring and take off the old hook and then replace with the new one.
You use a crimper for crimping leads into your line. This is where you join between monofilament and cable in your line. This is used primarily on saltwater fishing pliers or if you are attempting to catch anything with sharp teeth.
However, this also works well for bait cast, spinning, or even fly fishing.
Whether fishing from shore, boat or kayak, a lanyard, sheath, or tether is key to holding your pliers. Really, any gear you bring with you should be somehow attached to you or the boat.
This will help prevent items from falling overboard and getting lost. It is especially important for pliers because you are using those single-handedly and any slip could send them into the water. However, if they’re attached to you then you have no worries.
We’ve gone over exactly what to look for in fishing pliers, now let’s go over a few examples of what the market holds.
Top Fishing Pliers Reviews
KastKing Cutthroat 7” Fishing Pliers
These stainless-steel pliers are perfect for the hardcore angler. They are stronger than typical aluminum pliers and, because of the stainless steel, are perfect for both fresh and saltwater.
The cutters are made of tungsten carbide, giving them the durability needed to consistently cut mono, fluorocarbon and braided line over and over again.
Along with the ability to remove hooks, the jaws on these pliers also come equipped with holes on the side which allow you to thread a hook through to cinch down a knot.
They also come equipped with crimpers that are perfect for securing a split shot onto your line. The rubber handle allows for better grip when you have wet, slippery hands, and also has a spring-loaded jaw system for easy one-handed work.
Finally, it also comes with a nylon sheath and lanyard so that you know where your pliers are at all times and ensures they don’t fall overboard.
These are made of anti-corrosion aluminum, which means they will have great durability and are going to be corrosion resistant.
The spring-loaded pliers allow for easy use, and the titanium coated jaws are strong enough to remove the toughest hooks on top of having the ability to crimp split shot, as well as having a split ring tool.
The tungsten carbide cutters are fully replaceable and are heavy duty enough to cut through any type of line you desire. The sheath, belt loop clasp, and lanyard ensure you will never lose your pliers either on your boat or in the water.
Booms Pliers are made from anodized aluminum which makes them perfect for saltwater as well as freshwater fishing. The tungsten carbide cutters will work with all line types and are fully replaceable.
The carbon coated stainless steel jaws provide you with the ultimate strength and durability. The serrated jaws help grip whatever you need to handle and allow you to do so safely.
The steel coiled lanyard is perfect for ensuring that you don’t lose your pliers, and the spring-loaded handle will work perfectly for those times you’ve got a fish in one hand and need to access your pliers with the other.
These pliers have a corrosion resistance, that are made from aircraft grade aluminum and are saltwater resistant. The stainless-steel jaws have the durability and strength to last you many fishing seasons, and the split ring tool at the end is perfect for changing out hooks on old lures.
The tungsten carbide cutters are easily replaceable and the anti-slip handle will ensure you always keep a grip on your pliers. The spring-loaded handle is also perfect for single-handed use.
The booms fishing plier is a great set for a beginner. It has a classic design and basic functions that work well for the novice. It features a small line cutter, a crimper for lines ,
as well as split shot.
It features a spring-loaded handle on its small 6.5” frame and is made of stainless steel. Because of its small stature its best to keep these for smaller catches and younger anglers.
After you’ve equipped yourself with a rod, spinning reel, line, and lure the next item you should purchase is a good set of pliers. A good pair will last a long time and saves you time and effort out on the water.
Overall, they might be the most valuable tool you could have with you.