Which Kind of Fishing Pliers are Best for Me?

Should you get the basic needlenose pliers or consider more expensive models?

If you don’t fish in saltwater and you’re good at taking care of your gear, steel needlenose pliers will last you a long time. They also won’t make you cry when they fall into water too deep for you to get them back. The opposite of these simple pliers are the expensive fashion statements you can get from speciality manufacturers, made out of titanium, aluminum, and other exotic materials. These kinds of pliers will last you forever, even in harsh saltwater conditions, and they’ll make your fishing buddies drool, but after one wrong thrash from the fish you’re landing they’ll sink just as quickly as the cheaper ones.

Fortunately for the rest of us, there are a number of companies out there now making mid-priced models that care less about the fashion statement they’re making while still delivering durability and utility. Here are three good pliers to consider for your next adventure.

1. Basic pliers

Rapala 6 1/2 Fisherman's Pliers
Pliers with ergonomic grips and springs that keep them open help you handle them with one hand more easily.Rapala

If you don't fish in saltwater and you're good at taking care of your gear, even a cheap pair of stainless steel needlenose pliers will last a long time. These don't come with the same bells and whistles as higher priced models, and you'll have to maintain them to keep them sharp enough to cut braided line, but they do a great job of making it easier to take your hook from a fish's mouth without hurting the fish or letting your fingers get too close to sharp teeth and hook points.

2. Feature pliers

Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers
Multi-function fishing pliers let you swap hooks out on your lures, remove those hooks from fish, and cut braided line easily.Piscifun

If you're a saltwater angler or just like bombproof gear that can kick around in the bottom of your tacklebox without rusting shut, a more fully featured pair of fishing pliers might be your best option. Many companies now offer corrosion resistant aluminum pliers at very reasonable prices. These pliers often come with useful features like split ring tips, special braid-cutting tools, and built-in lanyards that help you reduce the chance of dropping them in the water.

3. Fancy pliers

KastKing
High-end fishing pliers make great gifts!KastKing

Three hundred dollar fishing pliers make great gifts that will last forever and can be handed down to your kids someday. They come with features like leather sheaths, titanium handles, and replaceable blades that'll stay sharp for years. Just make sure those kids know they're not designed to float.