Mastering Fishing Pliers: Types, Uses, and Best Practices

Starship marine fishing spinners set

1. Introduction:

Fishing pliers are versatile tools that every angler should have in their toolkit. From cutting lines to removing hooks, these handy instruments play a crucial role in making your fishing experience more efficient and enjoyable. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the types of fishing pliers and their uses, share best practices for using them, and provide guidance on choosing the right fishing pliers for your angling adventures.

Fishing pliers are the unsung heroes of an angler’s toolkit, offering a range of functions that contribute to a seamless fishing experience. Understanding the types of fishing pliers, their uses, and best practices for wielding them ensures that you make the most of these essential tools.

2.1. Split Ring Pliers:

Designed for opening split rings, these pliers are perfect for changing hooks on lures or replacing rings on your favorite fishing gear.


2.2. Needle Nose Pliers:

Characterized by long, slender jaws, needle nose pliers are versatile and ideal for reaching into tight spaces. They excel at tasks like hook removal and crimping.


2.3. Side-Cutting Pliers:

These pliers are equipped with cutting edges on one or both sides. They are excellent for cleanly cutting fishing lines and wires.


2.4. Braided Line Cutters:

Specifically designed for cutting braided fishing lines, these pliers have serrated edges that grip and cut through the tough braided material.


2.5. Crimping Pliers:

Essential for creating secure connections, crimping pliers are used to attach leaders to fishing lines by crimping sleeves or connectors.

3. Uses of Fishing Pliers:

3.1. Cutting Fishing Line:

One of the primary functions of fishing pliers is cutting fishing lines cleanly and efficiently, ensuring smooth lure changes or emergency line cuts.


3.2. Removing Hooks:

Fishing pliers provide a safe and effective means of removing hooks from a fish’s mouth, minimizing harm to both the fish and the angler.


3.3. Split Ring Tasks:

Split ring pliers excel at opening split rings, allowing anglers to replace hooks, attach new lures, or make adjustments to their tackle.


3.4. Crimping Leaders:

Crimping pliers are crucial for creating strong connections between leaders and main fishing lines, especially when targeting larger or stronger fish.


3.5. Opening Split Shots:

For anglers using split shots for weight, pliers are handy for opening and adjusting these weights without damaging the line.

4. Best Practices for Using Fishing Pliers:

4.1. Safety First:

Always prioritize safety when using fishing pliers. Be mindful of hook points, especially when removing hooks from fish. Consider using a tool sheath to prevent accidental injuries.


4.2. Proper Grip and Technique:

Hold the pliers securely and close to the pivot point for better control. When removing hooks, use a gentle twisting motion to disengage the barb.


4.3. Maintaining Your Pliers:

Regularly clean and lubricate your fishing pliers to prevent corrosion, especially if you fish in saltwater. Check the cutting edges for sharpness and replace them if needed.


5. How to Choose the Right Fishing Pliers:

5.1. Material and Durability:

Look for pliers made from corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or aluminum, especially if you fish in saltwater environments.


5.2. Nose Length and Shape:

Consider the length and shape of the pliers’ nose. Longer noses provide better reach, while different shapes cater to specific tasks like hook removal or crimping.


5.3. Cutting Ability:

Choose pliers with sharp and durable cutting edges. Some models have replaceable blades, extending the lifespan of the tool.


5.4. Additional Features:

Consider additional features such as split ring tips, line cutters, or built-in crimping notches, depending on your specific needs.


5.5. Budget Considerations:

While quality is essential, there are budget-friendly options available. Assess your requirements and find a balance between affordability and functionality.

6. Top Brands and Models:

P-Line Adaro Pliers: Known for durability and versatility.
Bubba Blade Fishing Pliers: Feature non-slip grips and a spring-loaded handle.
Rapala Fishing Pliers: Well-regarded for their corrosion-resistant construction.

7. Where to Buy Fishing Pliers:

7.1. Online Retailers:

Platforms like Amazon, Bass Pro Shops, and Cabela’s offer a wide range of fishing pliers. Read customer reviews to gauge the effectiveness of different models.


7.2. Local Tackle Shops:

Visit your local tackle shop for personalized advice and the opportunity to handle different pliers before making a purchase.


7.3. Fishing Gear Expos and Shows:

Attend fishing gear expos or shows where you can explore various brands, models, and even take advantage of exclusive deals.

8. Conclusion:

Fishing pliers are indispensable tools that enhance your fishing efficiency and contribute to the well-being of both you and the fish. By understanding the types of fishing pliers, their uses, and the best practices for their use, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the right pair for your angling adventures. Invest in quality, practice safe handling, and let your fishing pliers become an extension of your angling expertise. Happy fishing!

Q & A

  1. Q: Why are fishing pliers essential for anglers? A: Fishing pliers are essential for tasks like removing hooks, cutting lines, and handling small tackle components, providing convenience and efficiency.
  2. Q: What types of materials are commonly used in fishing pliers? A: Fishing pliers are often made from materials like aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium for durability and corrosion resistance.
  3. Q: Can fishing pliers be used in saltwater environments? A: Yes, many fishing pliers are designed to withstand saltwater conditions and are made from corrosion-resistant materials.
  4. Q: What features should I look for in saltwater fishing pliers? A: Look for corrosion-resistant materials, coated finishes, and additional features like split ring openers for saltwater fishing pliers.
  5. Q: Are there different types of fishing pliers for freshwater and saltwater fishing? A: While many fishing pliers are versatile, some are specifically designed for saltwater use with added corrosion resistance.
  6. Q: Can fishing pliers cut braided lines? A: Yes, many fishing pliers have serrated edges or specialized cutting blades that can effectively cut through braided fishing lines.
  7. Q: How important is the spring-loaded feature in fishing pliers? A: The spring-loaded feature makes it easier to open and close the pliers with one hand, enhancing convenience during fishing tasks.
  8. Q: Are there different nose designs in fishing pliers, and what are their uses? A: Yes, needle-nose and split-ring nose designs are common. Needle-nose is for precise tasks, while split-ring nose is for opening split rings.
  9. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for crimping sleeves on leaders? A: Some fishing pliers come with crimping jaws that allow anglers to crimp sleeves on leaders for creating strong connections.
  10. Q: How do I clean and maintain fishing pliers? A: Rinse fishing pliers with freshwater after each use, lubricate moving parts, and occasionally apply a corrosion inhibitor to maintain their condition.
  11. Q: Are there fishing pliers with built-in line cutters? A: Yes, many fishing pliers come with built-in line cutters, providing a convenient solution for trimming fishing lines.
  12. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for removing fish hooks safely? A: Yes, fishing pliers with a hook removal feature make it easier to safely extract hooks from a fish’s mouth.
  13. Q: What is the advantage of having a lanyard or sheath for fishing pliers? A: A lanyard or sheath helps secure the pliers and prevents accidental loss while fishing, especially in turbulent waters.
  14. Q: How do I choose the right size of fishing pliers? A: Choose a size that fits comfortably in your hand and is appropriate for the type of fishing you engage in, considering the species you target.
  15. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for crimping weights onto fishing lines? A: Some fishing pliers are designed for crimping tasks and can be used to secure weights onto fishing lines.
  16. Q: Do all fishing pliers float in water? A: No, not all fishing pliers float. Some are designed with buoyant materials or additional features to prevent sinking if dropped in the water.
  17. Q: Are there specialized fishing pliers for fly fishing? A: Yes, some fishing pliers are designed with features specific to fly fishing needs, such as crimping and removing hooks from delicate flies.
  18. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for cutting hooks in emergency situations? A: Yes, fishing pliers with robust cutting edges can be used in emergency situations to cut hooks if necessary.
  19. Q: What is the benefit of having non-slip handles on fishing pliers? A: Non-slip handles provide a secure grip, especially when handling wet or slippery fishing conditions.
  20. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for opening split rings on lures? A: Yes, fishing pliers with a split-ring opener feature make it easier to change or replace hooks on fishing lures.
  21. Q: Are there multifunctional fishing pliers with additional tools? A: Yes, some fishing pliers come with additional tools like crimpers, cutters, and even LED lights for added functionality.
  22. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for cutting through heavy monofilament lines? A: Fishing pliers with sturdy cutting edges can cut through heavy monofilament lines with ease.
  23. Q: Are there fishing pliers designed for catch-and-release practices? A: Yes, some fishing pliers have features that minimize harm to fish, making them suitable for catch-and-release practices.
  24. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for removing fish from landing nets? A: Fishing pliers with a hook removal feature can assist in removing hooks from fish caught in landing nets.
  25. Q: How do I prevent rust on fishing pliers in humid environments? A: Applying a thin layer of lubricant or corrosion inhibitor and storing fishing pliers in a dry place can help prevent rust in humid conditions.
  26. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for cutting through steel leaders? A: Yes, some heavy-duty fishing pliers are designed to cut through steel leaders used in toothy fish situations.
  27. Q: What is the role of a crimper on fishing pliers? A: A crimper on fishing pliers is used for crimping sleeves or connectors on leaders, enhancing their strength and durability.
  28. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for cutting through braided lines without fraying? A: Yes, fishing pliers with specialized cutting blades can cleanly cut through braided lines without causing fraying.
  29. Q: Are there compact and portable fishing pliers for traveling anglers? A: Yes, compact and foldable fishing pliers are available for anglers who need portable and travel-friendly options.
  30. Q: Can fishing pliers be used for removing barbed hooks safely? A: Yes, fishing pliers with fine-tipped and precise jaws can be used for safely removing barbed hooks from fish.