Best Fishing Pliers – The DEFINITIVE 2021 Buyer’s Guide
Having a good pair of fishing pliers with you on a fishing trip can be an essential fishing tool, especially when it comes to cutting line.
We’ve probably all been in a situation where we could have done with a pair of fishing pliers and good tools to help us out. You know, like when you need to crush that barb to get your fish hook back? But there are a few things you should think about when looking for the top fishing pliers.
What are the best fishing pliers? Are all pliers created equally?
Fishing Pliers: At a Glance
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We have put together this guide to help you learn a little more about how to choose fishing pliers that will hopefully help you decide which ones you might want to pick.
Right, let's start with the reviews...
9 Best Fishing Pliers Reviewed
1: Manley Professional Saltwater Fishing Pliers
These top fishing pliers measure 7.5 inches long and are crafted from anodized aluminum and stainless steel, which has a protective coating on the surface to help prevent rust and corrosion, so they’re designed for fishing in all types of water and can be a great terminal tackle addition. They can also be an ideal pair of pliers for removing most hooks from both small and big fish.
The high quality handles are spring loaded and have a comfortable grip for your fingers. However, the grips on these quality fishing pliers are quite far apart which can be more difficult to get a firm grip, especially if you have small hands.
They are also designed to cut through any line, even braided lines, with the help of the tungsten carbide cutters providing a sharp cutting edge. For added convenience, they even come with a protective sheath and a coiled lanyard.
2: Piscifun Fishing Pliers (budget split ring)
These 6.5-inch Piscifun pliers have spring loaded handles with a non-slip rubber and plastic grip for extra comfort and ease of use. The pliers are made from titanium coated stainless steel to give added strength and durability against corrosion and rust. But they're not designed for saltwater fishing.
The strong tungsten carbide cutters are designed to cut through all types of line and they can also be replaced. The frame is crafted with aircraft grade aluminum, which makes them lightweight and tough, offering value at a good price.
There's also a split ring nose, which can help with hook removal and opening split rings. However, you might find that the fishing pliers become misaligned over time or after using on tough treble hooks.
They come with a nylon sheath and a coiled, retractable lanyard for better portability and convenience when you need it. These can be a good choice at an affordable price and are from a household name in value fishing tackle.
3: P-Line Adaro 7.5-Inch Aluminum Pliers
These 7.5-inch Adaro pliers from P-Line are designed to stand up to saltwater environments and can be a good tool for fishing in a range of conditions. They are crafted from machine cut aluminum with coated stainless steel jaws, making them both lightweight and durable.
They feature tungsten carbide fishing line cutters, designed to cut braid up to 500 pounds. They easily cut monofilament too. They also come with a protective pouch and a nylon lanyard, and they can be purchased in a range of colors.
However, the handles don't have much grip on them, which could make them slippery when wet. You might also find them tricky to use if you're trying to remove a stubborn hook.
4: Buck Knives 0030RDS Splizzors Fishing Multi-Tool
If you’re looking for a multi-functional tool then these Buck Knives fishing pliers could be ideal. They are durable and tough, made from corrosion resistant stainless steel with a comfortable Dynaflex rubber handle for excellent grip. However, these pliers might not be the best choice if you're heading out to fish in saltwater.
The handle on these ones differ slightly from other ones in that they’re designed more like scissors, which could make certain tasks a little easier, having the sharp scissors built in, such as scraping off fish slime. They also have long needle nose tips for a deeper reach when removing hooks from a fish's mouth and can be used to close split shots. These jaws can be useful for tying and untying tag ends.
This pair of pliers benefits from having a large and small split shot crimping tool and a loop to attach a lanyard. Another feature of these pliers is the built-in bottle opener, making it all the more handy a tool when you’re out for a long day of fishing.
5: MadBite Fishing Pliers
These pliers could be handy for fishing in low light environments or at night, as they come with a built-in LED light that directs a bright light towards the end of the pliers so it can be easier to cut line in the dark.
The 7.5-inch aluminum fishing pliers are built with anodized aircraft grade aluminum, so they’re lightweight as well as being built for strength and to resist rust and corrosion. However, you might find them a little cumbersome for intricate work or if you're removing small hooks from a fish's mouth.
The handles are spring loaded for ease of use and they have a non-slip silicone grip that’s comfortable to hold. They have a split ring feature for easily opening split rings and fishing lures, as well as tungsten carbide line cutters - ideal for cutting braided lines - and serrated jaws.
The convenience of the built-in light could make these a good choice for anyone looking to save space in the gear and could be particularly handy for kayak fishing at night. They also feature a lanyard hole for attaching them to your vest or gear bag with the included lanyard.
6: Wolftop Saltwater Aluminum Pliers
These 7.2-inch Wolftop pliers are designed to handle both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Crafted from anodized aluminum, they’re built to withstand rust and corrosion but they’re also lightweight.
The jaws are made from coated stainless steel to give the tool reinforced protection against corrosion and the handles have been ergonomically designed for comfort and good grip. However, the handles can become slippery when wet because there's no rubber coating for traction.
These aluminum fishing pliers also feature a line cutter for all types of fishing line and they come with a handy wire coiled lanyard and a protective sheath with a belt loop.
7: Lix&Rix Auto-open Rustproof Fishing Pliers
These 6.7-inch split ring fishing pliers could be a handy tool to have when you’re catching that prize fish, as they feature an automatic opening function with spring bearings on two sides so that you can get the pliers open with just one hand.
This can make them useful for fly fishing or kayak fishing where you may not have two free hands to work with. They're also pretty compact, so they're ideal for fitting in your tackle box.
They benefit from lightweight space grade anti corrosion aluminum handles that have been ergonomically designed for comfort during use. The jaws are crafted from stainless steel and there are also tungsten carbide line cutters for all types of lines and even hooks. They also feature a split ring tool at the tip for easy removal of fishing lures.
These angler pliers are designed for both freshwater and saltwater, so they’re built with corrosion resistant materials. They even come with a handy connecting lanyard, sheath with a belt loop and a soft storage pouch. But the sheath can be a tight fit for the pliers, meaning it can sometimes be difficult to get them out.
8: Cuda Titanium Alloy Pliers
These 7.25 inch Cuda pliers are made from highly durable titanium alloy, which helps to make them corrosion resistant while keeping them lightweight.
They are also built to withstand extreme temperatures, which can make them useful in many fishing conditions and can be ideal for either fresh or saltwater.
These titanium pliers feature tough tungsten carbide cutters to cut through steel leader, braided line, monofilament line and fluorocarbon fishing line and they also benefit from a comfort grip handle.
For added convenience this pair of fishing pliers come with a leather pouch and a handy lanyard so you can keep them attached to yourself or clip them onto your gear. But the lanyard may not hold up to much wear and tear, so it's probably best not to rely on the lanyard alone.
9: Penn Bull Nose Pliers
These 8 inch Penn fishing pliers are crafted with stainless steel for corrosion resistance but have the added durability of a black nickel titanium coating over the body and the jaws, which can also provide added strength. But if you're frequently using them on tough hooks or with excessive grip, you might find the pliers loosen over time.
The pliers feature line cutters that can cut mono and braided line, with the benefit of the cutters being replaceable, for improved longevity of the pliers. They also feature knot cinching holes in the jaws.
The handles have been ergonomically designed so that they’re comfortable to hold and they also benefit from having a non-slip grip, which can be useful when handling wet fish. They can also be used in both fresh and saltwater environments.
Video: Picking Fishing Pliers
Fishing Pliers Materials
When you’re choosing your fishing pliers you will need to make sure they are suitable for both freshwater and saltwater, as well as having all the features you'll need.
This is where the materials you choose can be important and where the best fishing pliers differ from other types of pliers, because they are generally being used in more corrosive environments compared to standard pliers being more suited to a dry environment. The materials can be a key difference between standard pliers and fishing pliers but it can also be down to personal preference.
A lot of angler's pliers will be made from stainless steel and this can be a good material but you will need to ensure that the steel is coated in another material that will give it its resistance to rust and corrosion. Often stainless steel will be coated with a titanium layer or a teflon coating, which will give it that extra durability for saltwater use.
Another durable material that you will find on some of the best fishing pliers is aluminum, which is often aircraft grade anodized aluminum that will help to protect the tool against corrosion while providing it with the strength for the job.
With pliers that have not been specifically designed for fishing, using them in a wet environment can prove disastrous for the pliers, as the water can cause them to rust and, if not dried properly, they can become fused shut, never to be of use again. If your last pair seized up then it could be down to the materials used. So it's important to choose anti-corrosion materials so the pliers don't rust shut.
How To Choose Good Fishing Pliers
Some pliers for fishing will be super versatile, with the ability to cut all types of fishing lines, as well as being a crimping tool for making joins and having the ability to remove hooks. Some may be marketed as multi tools.
You will also find pliers with a spring loaded handle, for ease of use, which can be particularly important if you’re using them repetitively and frequently, as it will help lessen the chance of fatigue.
The nose length can be an important factor in your decision, as the longer and narrower the nose the more easily you might be able to remove deeper hooks. Because of this, long-nose or needle-nose pliers can often be a good choice for saltwater fishing or if you’re fishing for larger fish.
Side cutters can be useful on pliers if you need to cut hooks or strong wire but most fishing pliers will have line cutters on the side that can let you cut different types of line. However, you might find that some pliers may have both types of side cutters, for both hooks and fishing lines.
You may also find that some fishing pliers will have split rings with a small hooked end on the nose of the pliers, that can let you open a split ring more easily. A split ring tool can also be useful for removing hooks.
One feature you will want to look out for on your next set of pliers is the general portability and usability. Having lightweight pliers that are comfortable to hold will make your fishing trip a lot easier and they shouldn’t add too much weight to the rest of your gear.
Lightweight tools can be useful for fly fishing or kayak fishing, where you want to keep your gear to a minimum so you can keep everything within easy reach or on your person.
Choosing ones with a protective sheath and lanyard might also be a good idea, especially if you’re heading out fishing in a kayak or boat and need to keep them handy.
Having extra tools and functions, such as knives or lights can also be convenient if you want to pack light, as having a multi-use tool can reduce the number of items you need to take with you on your trip.