8 Best Fish Lip Grippers: Comprehensive Ratings & Reviews

Last Updated on

Although there’s a bit of debate on whether or not the use of fish grippers is necessary, the trend for most anglers is that yes, they are one of the most essential fishing accessories on the market. If you’re unfamiliar with what a fish gripper is, it’s a tool that holds the lip of the fish in place so that removing the hook is easier and safer.

Whether you’re a novice or pro angler, it’s time to start using fish grippers to have full authority over each fish that you reel in. You'll realize just how handy this fishing tool can be, not only for enhanced safety and easier de-hooking, but also for causing less harm to the fish.

Preview

Model

Type

Max Weight Limit

Check Price

Boga Grip 315 15lb Scale

BogaGrip

Traditional

15, 30, or 60 lbs

Rapala 9' Floating Fish Gripper 9'

Rapala 9" Floating

Floating

About 25 lbs

Yak-Gear The Fish Grip Blue 10'

YakGear The Fish Grip

Floating

About 20 lbs

Entsport Fish Lip Gripper Fish Scales...

Entsport

Traditional

33 lbs

Piscifun Fish Lip Gripper with Digital Scale...

Piscifun

Traditional

60 lbs

Fishing Pliers Fish Grip Tools Set, Fish Lip...

Z ZANMAX

Traditional

40 lbs

Fiblink Portable Fish Lip Grabber Gripper...

Fiblink

Traditional

40 lbs

Mossy Oak 4pc Fishing Tool Kit - Pistol Grip...

Mossy Oak

Pistol

35 lbs


Why Use Fish Lip Grippers

The main reason to start regularly using the best fishing gripper is to keep yourself safe from each flailing, biting fish that you just reeled in. A gripper won’t necessarily help an angler to land a fish, but it is definitely useful for controlling the fish once it’s been caught.

Another reason to use fish gripper is for the well-being of the animal. Ripped hooks are not uncommon from flailing fish, so the fact that the gripper holds the fish in place means that you're doing it a favor. It's an excellent tool for catch and release fishing if you're trying to avoid harming the fish and safely release it back into the wild.

Grippers are especially helpful if you’re fishing from a kayak or low-profile boat. Using a gripper means that you won’t ever have to deal with knotted nets, and handling a fish boat side has never been easier. It’s even possible to find a digital fish scale with lip gripper for hassle-free weighing.


How to Choose Quality Fish Grippers

Material

There are three common fish gripper materials to choose from, including plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel. Plastic is the cheapest of the three, but it is still highly effective thanks to its durability and resistance to corrosion from saltwater. Some anglers find that plastic grippers are a bit flimsy, but there are a few brands that you can trust to deliver a solid plastic product.

Aluminum is another popular material, which is the next step up from plastic. Similar to plastic, aluminum grippers are durable and effective, but they’re slightly more expensive. The highest class of grippers are made from stainless steel, which is known for its strength, anti-corrosive properties, and easy-to-clean surface.

Style/Type

For fish gripper style, you have three choices: the traditional gripper (also known as T-style), the floating plastic gripper, and the pistol gripper. The most common is the traditional gripper, which is almost always made from aluminum or stainless steel. It is shaped like a T and is built with claw-like tongs that securely latch onto a fish’s lips.

A floating gripper floats on the surface of the water since the claws are made from highly buoyant plastic. This type of gripper is easy to use and great for beginners, especially for those on a budget. Lastly, a pistol gripper resembles a small handgun (hence the name), and it works by opening and shutting a pair of moveable jaws. The ergonomic design makes this the most comfortable type, but it also tends to be the most expensive.

Size

The majority of fish lip grippers are around the same size, but it’s still important to think about the size of the fish you plan on handling. A gripper that is more ideal for small fish won’t work quite the same on large-bodied bass, so choose a size based on your angling needs and the common fish of the area.

Handle

The handling quality of the fish lip gripper can make a huge difference in comfort. Many anglers prefer the pistol-style gripper since this offers the most comfort, but it’s still possible to find something that works well with your grip when you opt for a traditional or floating plastic fish lip gripper.

Durability

There are many factors that an angler needs to consider when it comes to durability. Your gripper should not only have durable materials and solid build quality, but it should also be resistant to corrosion from saltwater. Stainless steel is great since it works well with a variety of weather and water conditions.

Safety Features & Extras

The entire point of using a fish lip grabber gripper is to stay safe and prevent injury while fishing, but that doesn’t mean that every gripper is as safe as the next. Quality construction plays a huge role in how safe the gripper is to use, and the same goes for easy handling. A fish gripper that feels comfortable to use will be easier to handle, therefore, safer.

The most common extras to come along with a fish gripper are a measuring tape, a digital scale, pliers, and a wrist strap. Each of these items helps with boat-side fish handling, especially if you’re a fan of measuring and weighing each catch. Choosing a fish lip gripper with scale might not sound necessary right now, but it can quickly enhance your entire fishing experience.

Price & Warranty

Considering how helpful they can be, fish lip grippers are actually very affordable, but they still range drastically in price based on materials and extras. You can find one for about 10 bucks, but the high-end grippers can cost hundreds. For the pricier models, check to see about warranty coverage; you might get lucky with a 1-year manufacture’s warranty.


8 Best Fish Lip Grippers Reviewed

1. BogaGrip

Our Top Pick!

Type

Traditional

Size/Length

9 oz, 9”

Max Weight Limit

15, 30, or 60 lbs

Material

Stainless Steel

Warranty

1 year

Most anglers agree that the best fish lip gripper is the BogaGrip, and we’re totally on board with this. It’s used for landing a fish, handling it safely once it’s been landed, and even weighing it with complete accuracy. This stainless steel gripper is as good as it gets, weighing just 9 ounces and small enough to easily fit in the palm of your hand.

If you're looking for the best fish gripper for pike, catfish, or bass, this is a great choice. It's especially useful for cold water fishing environments and hard-to-handle fish, which isn't something that all grippers can do. This is specifically designed for catch and release fishing, and it causes no harm to the fish when used properly. One of the most-loved features is the scale that is compatible with a variety of fish sizes. It’s available in three sizes, including 15, 30, and 60-pound.

The company says that “the BogaGrip’s Accurate and durable scales have been used to certify the weight of over 3,400 IGFA World Record Fish. The BogaGrip has been the top IGFA scale for the last several years.”

All metal parts of this gripper are made from stainless steel that is great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. There are a few plastic pieces, but this is mostly for adding to handgrip comfort. You’ll check the fish’s weight by reading the point that the main tube's embossed scale has been pulled down to inside the grip tubing, which is surprisingly accurate.

The scale displays weight in ¼ pound increments - it’s not a digital scale, but it's still incredibly accurate. To release the fish once you're done weighing it, simply pull back on the trigger and let it go. It's quite pricey compared to other grippers, but the product is made entirely in the USA using only the best materials to ensure that you’ll be using it for years of angling.

Pros
  • Integrated scale
  • Made in the USA
  • No harm to fish
  • Lightweight for easy handling
  • Great for cold water
Cons
  • Expensive

2. Rapala 9" Floating

Best Rated for the Money

Type

Floating

Size/Length

8 oz, 9”

Max Weight Limit

About 25 lbs

Material

Plastic

Warranty

N/A

For anglers who are on a budget, the price tag of the BogaGrip was probably an instant turnoff. The good news is that you can still experience quality and durability with the Rapala fish gripper. This 9” gripper allows you to easily land and release your catch without causing any harm to the animal - it’s a great catch and release tool that doesn’t break the bank.

With the Rapala, you’ll be able to secure your landed catch with one hand, so go ahead and take the obligatory photo before releasing the fish back into the water. The quick-release mechanism holds strong, but it also easily releases as soon as you're ready. You never have to worry about dropping the gripper in the water, thanks to the handy lanyard attachment.

Even though this gripper is made mostly from plastic, some anglers prefer it that way. First off, it floats, and second, plastic is entirely resistant to corrosion caused by saltwater. It's not ideal for large fish species like the BogaGrip, but it definitely gets the job (especially for fish in the 10 to 20-pound weight range). One reviewer even goes as far as to say that “every tackle box needs one.

Rapala takes extreme pride in its products, saying that “it’s our mission to always maintain the integrity of design and manufacturing that has become our trademark. Our promise is that no Rapala item will never reach the eager hands of an angler if it is not extremely effective at its intended function." 

This is a name you can trust and a price that we can definitely get behind.

Pros
  • Quick releasing mechanism
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Trusted brand
  • Wrist lanyard included
  • Lightweight design
Cons
  • Not for large fish
  • Plastic isn’t as durable

3. YakGear The Fish Grip

Best Plastic Fish Gripper

Type

Floating

Size/Length

4.2 oz, 9.8”

Max Weight Limit

About 20 lbs

Material

Plastic

Warranty

N/A

The Rapala is a great option for anyone looking for a plastic fish gripper, but the YakGear plastic gripper is another excellent choice for budget-weary anglers. It's made from a combination of plastic and stainless steel, so it’s a bit more durable than the Rapala. On top of that, it comes with an over-center locking design - all you have to do is grip to lock and flip to open.

This gripper is brightly colored and easy to see, no matter if you're a daytime or nighttime fishing enthusiast. It comes with an adjustable wrist lanyard in case of slippage, and it floats, so you never have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the ocean floor. Since it’s made from plastic and stainless steel, this handy device will never rust, even in extremely salty waters.

The YakGear company says that “the Fish Grip is the perfect fish landing tool for fishermen of all kinds. The unique jaw design holds the lip of the fish without harming the fish, and the wrist lanyard always keeps it close at hand."

It's not ideal for angling heavy fish - 20 pounds is about the max - but for the price, it’s hard to beat this plastic gripper. The other perk of this gripper it’s the lightest weight product so far, only 4.2 ounces, so you can definitely count on it being easy to handle.

The main drawback of the lightweight design is that you won’t be lipping any 60-pound fish any time soon. If you’re using it frequently, you might find that it wears out quickly compared to pricier grippers, so it’s a good idea to keep one as a backup.

Pros
  • 7 colors available
  • Lanyard attachment
  • Lightweight gripper
  • Over-center locking
  • Never rusts
Cons
  • Low max weight limit
  • Wears out with frequency use

4. Entsport

Best Stainless Steel Fish Lip Gripper

Type

Traditional

Size/Length

8.5 oz (with measuring tape), 9.6”

Max Weight Limit

33 lbs

Material

Stainless Steel

Warranty

N/A

If you’re looking for a stainless steel gripper that doesn’t come with the normal stainless steel price, you’ll love everything about the Entsport.  It resembles the BogaGrip but doesn’t come with the hefty price tag. It’s got a 15kg (about 33 pounds) weight limit, so it’s suitable for all kinds of fishing. This gripper is designed for single-handed operation, and it's extremely easy to use.

The thing anglers love most about the Entsport is its comfortable ergonomic handle grip. It comes with a non-slip EVA handle and an adjustable wrist strap for added comfort and usability, and it’s convenient to carry since it weighs just 7 ounces. It weighs slightly more if you opt for the retractable measuring tape attachment, which is recommended.

In addition to the optional measuring tape, the Entsport comes with a weight scale. The scaling system is remarkably similar to the BogaGrip, but the Boga is capable of weighing up to 60 pounds while the maximum on this one is just 33. This isn’t a big deal to most anglers, but if you’re hoping for a heavy catch, the Boga is worth the extra money.

There are a lot of good things to say about this gripper, and we love the durability of the stainless steel construction. There have been a few complaints about the accuracy of the scale - one reviewer says that his scale was off by about a pound. This doesn’t seem to be the trend, but for better accuracy, you’ll want to go with the stainless steel BogaGrip instead.

Pros
  • Optional measuring tap
  • Integrated scale
  • Non-slip EVA handle
  • Simple operation
  • Convenient carrying
Cons
  • Complaints of scale inaccuracy
  • Low load capacity

5. Piscifun

Best Digital Fish Scale with Lip Gripper

Type

Traditional

Size/Length

10.2 oz, 12.6”

Max Weight Limit

60 lbs

Material

Stainless Steel

Warranty

1 year

So far, we've covered two perfectly reliable grippers with scales, but neither of them came with a digital scale. The Piscifun fish lip gripper with digital scale offers added convenience with an integrated easy-to-read LCD that displays the weight of your fish. It’s accurate, reliable, and perfect for those who don’t want to mess with the more traditional scale ruler.

The Piscifun gripper is a powerful tool constructed from rugged high-grade stainless steel, and it's compatible with both fresh and saltwater environments. It’s got a high load capacity of 60 pounds - much higher than the average gripper - and the traditional T-style design is easy to use. Even though this isn’t an overly pricy product, the company has so much faith in it that they offer a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase.

A lot of anglers worry about water harming the LCD screen, but Piscifun has designed the gripper to be completely water-resistant (including the display). Every Piscifun gripper has gone through a 1-minute water immersion test to ensure that it remains fully functional, even when fully submerged underwater.

The best feature, by far, is the digital scale, which displays weight in pounds and ounces. The screen is backlit and comes with memory-saving modes for up to 10 weight readings. You'll need two AAA batteries (not included), and the low battery indicator will let you know exactly when it's time for a replacement.

Pros
  • Anti-corrosive steel
  • Non-slip rotatable handle
  • Integrated digital scale
  • Great for big fish
  • Water-resistant screen
Cons
  • Heavier gripper
  • Batteries required

6. Z ZANMAX

Best T-Style Fish Lip Gripper

Type

Traditional

Size/Length

7.7 oz, 9.5”

Max Weight Limit

40 lbs

Material

Stainless Steel

Warranty

2 years

T-style fish lip grippers are the most common (which is why they’re often referred to as “traditional” grippers), but very few of them compare to the Z Zanmax. In terms of quality construction, this one isn’t quite on the same level as the BogaGrip, but it scores high in all categories, including cost, performance, and ease of use.

When you purchase the Z Zanmax, you won't just be getting a gripper, but also a sturdy pair of fishing pliers. If you don't already have pliers in your tackle box, it's time to change that. Having a pair of serrated pliers like these makes de-hooking each fish easier than ever. In addition to pliers, the Z Zanmax also comes with a scale ruler and measuring tape.

This gripper has a max load capacity of about 40 pounds, and the non-slip EVA handle makes it easy to grip just about any fish with one hand. There has been a lot of feedback about the Z Zanmax combo set, and a lot of reviewers rave about how high-quality these tools feel, which is surprising considering the low price.

Our only complaint has to do with the notched scaling system. It’s not the most accurate in the world, and it definitely doesn’t compare to the digital scale of the Piscifun. Like most basic gripper scales, this one only measures in pounds (no ounces), so weighing your fish might feel like guesswork. But for the value, it’s nice that there even is a scale, so we can’t complain too much about its lack of precision.

Pros
  • Fishing pliers included
  • Great customer service
  • Measuring tape attached
  • Compact design
  • Affordable quality
Cons
  • Scale isn’t precise

7. Fiblink

Best Aluminum Fish Lip Gripper

Type

Traditional

Size/Length

8 oz, 11.4”

Max Weight Limit

40 lbs

Material

Aluminum

Warranty

1 year

The Fiblink is the only aluminum fish gripper to top the list. It's constructed from aircraft-grade anodized aluminum that delivers impressive durability and excellent corrosion resistance. It's a great choice for long-term use since you don’t have to worry about it rusting or oxidizing from regular use in saltwater environments.

The style of this one is a bit different from the traditional T-style grippers covered so far. It operates in a very similar way, but you only need to use one finger to release the gripping mechanism. The handle is completely rotatable, making it more convenient to weigh your fish, and the scale numbers are easy to read and measure up to 40 pounds.

The rotating handle isn’t just for your convenience, but also great for the well-being of each fish you catch. It gives an angler way more control, which means you can quickly grab, weigh, measure, and release the fish back into the water. Fiblink specializes in all sorts of fishing products, but this is without-a-doubt one of their best.

The gripper comes with a looped clasp and an ergonomic handle for an easy, comfortable grip. There’s a built-in spring at the front top, which is resistant to rust and corrosion for the most part. If you’re regularly fishing in saltwater, it’s suggested that you give the gripper a good cleaning with fresh water after each use to prevent corrosion.

Pros
  • Durable aluminum alloy
  • Rotatable handle
  • Protective sheath included
  • Convenient carrying
  • Easy-read scale numbers
Cons
  • Spring rusts when not cleaned properly

8. Mossy Oak

Best Pistol Style Fish Lip Gripper

Type

Pistol

Size/Length

2.96 oz, 7.5”

Max Weight Limit

35 lbs

Material

Stainless Steel & Plastic

Warranty

N/A

The Mossy Oak fishing tool kit comes with everything you need for your next fishing trip. In addition to the pistol-style fish gripper, it comes with fishing pliers, a fish fillet knife, a line snip, and a fly fishing zinger. There’s also the option for a 5-piece kit that includes a 25-in-1 multi-piece tool (like a Swiss Army knife, but for fishing).

According to Mossy Oak, “the 4 piece fisherman's kit includes all the essential fishing tools you will need for your next outing. The easy-to-use 45° grip fishing pliers are designed for deeper reach. Built-in cutter, crimper, split ring tool, and wire cutter for easier hook remover and multi-use.”

Even if you already have the other tools and only need a gripper, it doesn’t hurt to keep a spare set of tools in your tackle box.

The trigger-pull fish gripper is an excellent choice for those who prefer pistol-style grabbing. It weighs less than 3 ounces and is built with stainless steel tube components that won't break down in saltwater and is designed to last through years of hard use. The rub grip allows for a firm grasp for anyone, and you won't have to worry about slippage while handling your next catch.

The gripper comes with an adjustable wrist strap that extends up to 12 inches long and a safety guard to protect your fingers. It’s more compact than many fish grippers, so it’s not the ideal choice for heavy angling, but you should have no trouble with fish weighing up to 35 pounds. Its affordable price and reliable functionality make this the perfect give for angling friends and family members.

Pros
  • Easy-grip trigger
  • 4-piece set
  • Great gift for anglers
  • Lightweight yet powerful
  • Stainless steel components
Cons
  • More tools than some need
  • Fillet knife is too dull

How to Use a Fish Lip Gripper

Even if you've never used a fish lip gripper before, the process is relatively simple. All fish grippers come with a jaw (or clamp) of some sort that secures the fish lips into place, but the main difference from model to model is how the trigger that opens and closes the jaw is operated.

Some fish grippers come with a button to control the jaw, while others come with a hand triggering mechanism. Once you’ve triggered the jaw to open, however that may be done, the fish can be safely released back into the water. For specific steps on how to use your new fish lip gripper, you’ll need to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for use.


Safety Tips For Lipping A Fish

There’s a lot to keep in mind in terms of safety when planning a fishing adventure, and these safety rules apply to using a lip gripper. The main thing to remember is to work quickly and efficiently to release the fish back into the water without harming it. 

As always, you should exercise extreme caution when removing the hook, but the good news is that a gripper allows you to do this with complete control while the fish is still in the water. It’s a good idea to wet your hands before handling any fish to protect it’s protective outer "slime," and do your best not to touch any of its delicate gills. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is the best material for fish grippers?

Stainless steel fish grippers are, without a doubt, the best, but these tend to be much pricier than plastic and aluminum grippers. If you choose to save a buck or two and go with a plastic product, just be sure to read fish lip gripper reviews to rule out flimsiness and cheap construction.

Are lip grips bad for fish?

There’s a lot of debate on this going around the angling community, but as long as you use fish grips properly, you’ll be doing no harm to the fish. A fishing expert from Field and Stream answered the question on the debate on lipping your fish perfectly:

“In my mind, lipping is the easiest way to calm a bass, crappie, or striper and ensure I don't end up with a treble hook in my hand or arm, or a fin ray in my palm, and it allows me to control the fish most effectively, thus speeding up the hook removal and release. The 10 or 20 seconds of a lip grip may not be the best thing for the fish, but it beats the catch flopping in the bottom of the boat or on the rocks, or having to play it longer to get a better grab angle without lipping.”

Do fish lip grippers come with a scale? Do they float?

It’s easy to find a high-quality fish lip gripper with a digital scale for weighing the fish before you release it back into the water. Just be prepared to pay a bit extra for this feature. Also, check into the scale’s weight limit; a lot of them max out at 15 pounds, but some of them go all the way up to 30 pounds.

What is a Boga grip? Why is it so popular?

The Boga fish lip gripper is, without a doubt, the most popular fish lip gripper available, which is why we've dubbed it the #1 pick on our list of reviews. One of the reasons that the Boga brand is so popular is that the company's top-rated product is so easy to use, plus it comes in 3 different models depending on the size of the fish you plan on catching.

What are the best fish lip gripper brands?

Boga is definitely a popular brand, but it’s not the only one out there. You’ve also got great options from brands like Piscifun, Entsport, Berkley, and more. Whether you're looking for a vintage fish gripper on eBay or a modern fish gripper with scale on Amazon, you can trust any product from one of these brands.

Can you lip a striped bass?

Yes, you can, but when lipping a striped bass, the main thing to remember is that the bottom lip is fine, but the top lip is a no-go. Just as you would with any fish, avoid contact with the gills (the most sensitive area of the fish) and always support the weight of the fish with the hand that is not handling the gripper.

Where Is The Best Place To Buy These Fish Lip Grippers And More Fishing Accessories? 

The trend these days is to shop online, a Riverbend fish lip gripper, or a Rippin Lips big fish gripper is no exception. Amazon is an excellent source for trolling the reviews and opinions of other anglers, plus you'll find the best prices and the most selection with online shopping. And of course, you can’t beat the convenience of having something delivered to your doorstep.


Conclusion

It doesn't matter if you're looking for the best catfish gripper or you're planning on lipping a striped bass; there are very few grippers that compare to the BogaGrip. This product is superior in so many ways, but the main thing anglers love is the choice of size and scale limitations. It’s definitely not the most affordable gripper on the market, but it’s worth every penny.