You don’t need much to enjoy a day on the water. A rod and reel, a few lures, and a sandwich for later are just about all you’ll need to fall in love with fishing. But as you dedicate more time to fishing, you’ll start looking for other pieces of equipment.
Investing in a quality set of fishing pliers is one of the first tools you’ll want to add to your cache. Fishing pliers make it easier to complete many different tasks on the water. Like for example dehook fish and get them back into the water when you’re catching and releasing.
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|Van Staal Titanium Plier||Check Today's Price|
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|PLUSSINO 8” Split-Ring Plier||Check Today's Price|
|Tails Up Tools Pistol-Grip Plier||Check Today's Price|
Read on as we cover everything you’ll need to know to select the best fishing pliers. And we’ll share our top ten list of the best fishing pliers on the market.
Top Ten Best Fishing Pliers
There’s something for everyone on our list of the top ten best fishing pliers. You’ll find split-ring pliers, multi-tools, and titanium pliers. These will last through the next century.
Dr. Slick Squall Plier
An excellent set of pliers that includes plenty of extras. The Squall pliers from Dr. Slick are perfect for anglers who need affordable gear that will last.
These 7.5” pliers are made from anodized aluminum. And they feature rubber inserts to ensure you always have a sure grip on the tool. The pliers’ jaws are half-smooth and half-serrated. These jaws offer the most versatility possible. And the HR70+ tungsten carbide cutters make quick work of any cutting tasks, including braided line.
What sets these pliers apart are the extras they include. Each pair of Squall pliers includes a set of replacement jaws and replacement cutters. So you can swap them out if they become worn or damaged.
Van Staal Titanium Plier
These pliers are the granddaddy of all pliers. The Van Staal’s will outlast you, your children, and perhaps even the world itself.
These pliers are made from 6AL-4V titanium, which is corrosion-proof. These are the only pliers that will remain 100% free of corrosion over their lifetime.
These pliers offer channel cut jaws, which offer maximum gripping power. And they’re spring-loaded, so they’re open and ready for use whenever you reach for them. The replaceable tungsten cutters measure at a 60 on the Rockwell scale. So they’ll be able to cut through any line quickly.
These Van Staal pliers come in 6, 7, and 8” sizes and include a gorgeous leather sheath and lanyard.
You can take a look at our post here on our picks of the top fly fishing lanyard.
The Magniplier by Gerber offers the ideal blend of performance, comfort, durability, and value. You’ll see that many pliers are inexpensive but don’t last very long.
These pliers have an intuitive design that offers many features others lack. The jaws are extra-long to make dehooking a fish a breeze. And keep your hand safely away from fish even if they’re hooked deeply. The cutters are also replaceable but also reversible, doubling their cutting life.
They’re spring-loaded and feature a plunge lock to keep them closed for storage. And they’re treated with the SaltRx coating, which helps dramatically inhibit corrosion.
KastKing Cutthroat Plier
The Cutthroat pliers from KastKing are an affordable split-ring fishing pliers. They offer a comfortable rubber grip.
These 7” stainless steel fishing pliers are made from 420 grade stainless. This allows for long-lasting corrosion resistance. The multi-function jaws make quick work of all fishing tasks. And the long nose makes it easy to remove hooks from fish. There are also holes in the plier’s nose for you to anchor a hook to when you need to cinch knots.
The Cutthroat is an ideal choice for anglers looking for a rubber grip split-ring plier that offers stainless steel durability.
Loon Iconic Multi-Tool
This Loon Iconic Multi Tool two-piece kit is ideal for minimalist fly and surf anglers who need reliable tools. They don’t add extra bulk to what they’re carrying. One of the best fly fishing multi tool kit out there.
The locking forceps are ideal for everything you’d use fly fishing pliers for. They also have a convenient carabiner handle for attaching to your vest or belt loop. The line cutter is heavy-duty and makes quick work of any fishing line, including heavyweight fly line and tippet.
Loon supplies the line cutter on a long lanyard that you can hang anywhere.
Bubba Blade Plier
An excellent set of pliers from a brand that anglers know and trust. These 7 ½” standard angler’s pliers from Bubba Blade offer intuitive features and the design and build quality you expect from Bubba.
These Bubba pliers are crafted from aerospace-grade aluminum with patented Bubba non-slip grip handles. The jaws are Ti-Nitride coated to provide additional corrosion resistance. The tungsten side cutters effortlessly cut through all line materials.
Gonex Plier Kit
If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, this kit from Gonex is tough to beat. This kit includes a pair of 8 ½” fishing scissors, a braided line cutter, and a hook remover.
The Gonex pliers feature aluminum handles. The jaws are a proprietary alloy that’s even more corrosion resistant. The pliers offer a split ring tool, an extra-long nose, and a tungsten carbide cutting blade.
The pliers alone are worth the price. But you’ll also receive a modern-style de-hooker and a pair of braid scissors. This helps you practice best catch and release habits. Gonex also throws in two lanyards and a plier sheath. So you can always keep your tools at the ready when you hit the water.
Cuda Titanium Plier
Anglers who demand the superior durability of titanium but don’t want to spend hundreds on pliers are sure to love these 7 ½” fishing pliers from Cuda.
These Cuda Titanium pliers are made from a titanium bonded aluminum alloy. The titanium coating offers the durability of a full titanium plier for an affordable price. And if the coating is ever damaged, it can reform itself immediately, providing continued protection.
Two separate titanium-bonded tungsten carbide cutters make quick work of braid, mono, steel leader, and other materials. The patented Cuda Grip inlaid rubber handles provide an unbeatable grip. And a deluxe molded plier sheath with a lanyard ensures your pliers are always ready when you need them.
PLUSSINO 8” Split-Ring Plier
These PLUSSINO 8” split-ring pliers are ideal for anglers on a budget. An excellent pair of aluminum fishing pliers at perhaps the best price on the market.
These pliers offer an ergonomically-designed aluminum alloy body with coated 2CR13 stainless steel jaws. This allows for superior durability and corrosion resistance. The nose of the pliers is long. This makes hook removal easy, and a split-ring tool at the tip allows you to tune up your lures quickly.
A tungsten carbide cutter in the middle of the jaws easily cuts all types of fishing line. And a deluxe molded sheath keeps your pliers at the ready when you’re on the water.
Tails Up Tools Pistol-Grip Plier
An excellent hook remover that pulls double-duty as a full-featured pair of split-ring pliers, these pistol-grip pliers from Tails Up Tools are the ideal companion for catch-and-release anglers.
The Tails Up Tools Pistol Grip pliers have a pistol-style design, where the jaws are at a 60-degree angle to the handle. The orientation of these pliers allows you to easily remove hooks from fish while protecting yourself from their mouths. Even toothy predators that are deeply gut-hooked can be freed in seconds with these useful pliers.
Beyond working as a hook remover, these pliers offer all the features you’d expect from a pair of angler’s pliers, including a carbide line cutter, split ring tool, and alloy jaws that are exceptionally corrosion-resistant.
What to Look for in the Best Fishing Pliers
With so many different brands and models on the market buying fishing pliers can be a challenge for beginners. Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping.
The material the pliers are made from is critically important, especially for saltwater anglers.
Fishing pliers are almost always used in moist environments. Whether you’re using them on the water or storing them in the boat or garage, these tools will always be exposed to levels of moisture that would quickly cause corrosion. This is especially true for saltwater fishing pliers, which are exposed to even more corrosion.
To ensure your pliers can stand up to years of use without rusting, you’ll want to look towards pliers made from aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or titanium. These materials will provide you with years of corrosion-free use.
One of the core functionalities of quality fishing pliers is the ability to cut different things. A quality pair of pliers can cut through hook eyes, metal leaders, and all types of fishing line.
Over time, as cutters get dull, they become less useful. Usually, the first thing you’ll have trouble cutting is braided line, which anglers cut more than almost anything else when they’re fishing. Look for pliers with a high-quality carbide cutting surface, which will serve you well for years to come.
The type of grip the plier provides is mostly a matter of personal preference. Some anglers prefer pliers with rubberized handles, while others forgo the grip altogether. Regardless of whether you like a rubber grip, you’ll want to make sure that the pliers feel comfortable and natural when they’re in your hands.
You can take a look at our fish gripper recommendations here.
The length of the pliers is another feature that’s mostly a matter of personal preference. More extended pliers usually offer a bit more strength than shorter ones, and they’re better suited for larger jobs on the water. But, they can be challenging to maneuver in tighter spaces. Most quality fishing pliers are between 6-8” long. Choose the length that feels best in your hand.
Beyond how long the pliers are, the length of their jaws or nose is crucial from a tactical perspective. Longer pliers with a narrow nose are best for precision work, like dehooking a fish or tuning lures. Meanwhile, pliers with stout, wide jaws are better suited to tasks where strength and ruggedness are more critical.
Split Ring Tool
A critical feature that’s important for anglers who fish with lures, a split ring tip makes it easy to open the split rings that connect hooks to fishing lures. Split ring fishing pliers have special jaws where one end comes to a point that nests into the other jaw of the pliers when they’re closed.
The point can easily split a ring, so you can make lure adjustments and add or remove hooks.
A warranty offers anglers peace of mind knowing that if their pliers fail before they should, you won’t be on the hook for the cost of a replacement pair. Most fishing pliers are pretty inexpensive, and many rarely include a warranty.
Still, there are plenty of high-end pliers that the manufacturer backs with a comprehensive warranty. A warranty is essential if you’re spending big money on a top-of-the-line pair from manufacturers like Van Staal or Gerber, and it lets anglers know that the brand produces quality tools that you can trust.
Fishing Pliers FAQ
What do you use fishing pliers for?
Fishing pliers are a multi-function tool with several applications when you’re on the water. Fishing pliers can remove fly fishing hooks, cut lines, tune lures, make repairs, and much more.
Are fishing pliers necessary?
While you can undoubtedly fish without having pliers, they make it much easier to accomplish certain tasks on the water.
Can I use standard needle-nose pliers?
You can absolutely use standard pliers out on the water. While regular pliers might not have the specialty functions of fishing pliers, they’ll do the job in a pinch. Keep in mind that you might end up with a rusty pair of pliers after a few fishing trips with regular pliers since they aren’t as corrosion-resistant as fishing pliers.
A quality pair of fishing pliers is an indispensable tool every angler should have in their tackle box. Thankfully, there are tons of excellent pliers on the market for everyone, whether you fly fish, target big bass in the lake, or shoot offshore to tangle with pelagic monsters like bluefin and shark.
Our top choice for the best fishing pliers is the Gerber Magnipliers. These pliers offer the ideal blend of features, usability, and durability, and they’ll stand up to anything you can dish out.