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3 Features You Need in a Pair of Fishing Pliers

Most anglers are never without their fishing pliers when they’re on the water.
Most anglers are never without their fishing pliers when they’re on the water. (KastKing/)

A pair of good fishing pliers is useful in every angling situation, whether you’re chasing catfish, tuna, bass, salmon, sharks—whatever you choose to pursue. True fishing pliers are not simply for removing hooks or mashing barbs. It’s the tool serious anglers keep on their hip or in their pack at all times. Leave the rusty needle-nose pliers in the tool chest at home where they belong, and look for these traits as the mark of modern fishing pliers.

Light Weight and Rust Proof

Pliers made from anodized aluminum are important if you plan to fish in the salt.
Pliers made from anodized aluminum are important if you plan to fish in the salt. (Piscifun/)

Purpose-built fishing pliers are usually made of anodized aluminum or stainless steel, which virtually eliminates rust. That is especially important in saltwater environments. In either case, an ergonomically friendly grip with a slim profile and holes ported into the handle material will keep weight down.

Cutting Teeth

Pliers that can cut through wire are important in case you or another angler are impaled with a hook.
Pliers that can cut through wire are important in case you or another angler are impaled with a hook. (Booms Fishing/)

A quality pair of pliers should feature cutting teeth made of hardened steel or tungsten carbide for cutting through everything from monofilament to braided line, rigging wire, and even hook shanks. When it comes time to nip off that barb to remove a hook from tender flesh, you and the patient will both be glad you had the right tool for the job.

Crimping Jaws

A good fishing plier should also be able to crimp split shot or open split rings to change hooks.
A good fishing plier should also be able to crimp split shot or open split rings to change hooks. (KastKing/)

In addition to having a fine point for more delicate work, such as opening split rings, some jaws include indents or slots for crimping. This is useful not just for manipulating lead split shot, but also for working with the flat metal sleeves used in more elaborate wire rigs for big game fishing.

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