10 Best Fishing Pliers For Freshwater & Saltwater

by Andrew

10 Best Fishing Pliers For Freshwater & Saltwater

by Andrew

by Andrew

Most anglers find out they need a pair of fishing pliers the hard way, like when they’re already on their fishing adventure. These pliers make it really easy to unhook a fish, tighten hooks and cut fishing lines. Above all, they save you time and worries when you’re fishing. If you’re on the hunt to buy a quality pair of pliers for fishing, you’re at the right spot. Our guide and reviews will narrow down your search, so you'll have the best fishing pliers in your tackle box in no time.

Preview

Product

Material

Size

Corrosion Resistant

Check Price

Gerber Gear 22-01471N Suspension Needle Nose...

Gerber 22-01471

Titanium

4 x 1 x 6 inches

Yes

Rapala Salt Angler's Pliers 8.5' SACP8: Salt...

Rapala Salt Angler's Pliers SACP8

Carbon steel

8.5 x 4.6 inches

Yes

Piscifun Fishing Pliers Aluminium Hook...

Piscifun

Machined Aluminum & Stainless Steel

7.1 x 10 inches

Yes

Booms Fishing X1 Aluminum Fishing Pliers Hook...

Booms Fishing X1

Stainless Steel

7.8 x 2.3 inches

No

PENN Leader Crimp

PENN Saltwater

Stainless Stee

14 x 5 x 2 inches

Yes

Cuda 8' Stainless Steen Freshwater Fishing...

Cuda 18112

Titanium Bonded Stainless Steel

11 x 5 x 1 inches

No

Bite Fishing Tackle Professional Aluminum...

BITE Saltwater Fishing Pliers

Aluminum

6.7 x 3.4 inches

Yes

Van Staal 6' Titanium Pliers Kit with Lanyard...

Van Staal FP6000-SET

6AL-4V Titanium

7 inches

Yes

KastKing Cutthroat 7 inch Fishing Pliers, 7...

KastKing Cutthroat

Stainless Steel

7.2 x 3.0 inches

Yes

Manley 2006 Pliers with Teflon and Vinyl...

Manley 2006 Pliers

Teflon coated stainless steel

6.5 x 4.3 inches

Yes


Why Use Fishing Pliers?

The primary use of a fishing plier is to cut hooks and lines, but they’re just as useful for your catches, too. Sometimes the hook can become stuck in a fish's mouth, and fishing pliers can remove it easily. This can save anglers a lot of time and mess instead of doing it manually.

You can also use them to make joints in monofilament lines. The process is called "crimping." If you don’t properly crimp the connection, it could result in you losing a catch and cutting your fishing trip in half. Some pliers are better suited for certain situations, and there are many factors to consider before you make your purchase.

If you choose the wrong pair, you may find yourself with a rusted, unusable set of fishing pliers that’s ready for the bin after a few trips. Read our buyer's guide below, so you know what to look for in a good set of fishing pliers.


How To Choose Quality Fishing Pliers (Buyer’s Guide)

Types

  • Split Ring Pliers
    These pliers are perfect for swapping out hooks and split rings on your line. They typically feature a small notch at the tip of the jaw so you can open up the split rings with ease.
  • Needle Nose Pliers
    These pliers have a longer nose, and they’re best for cutting wire and line. They’re also great for removing hooks from a fish’s mouth after a catch.
  • Crimping Pliers
    Crimping pliers compress lines ranging from 0.1mm-2.2mm in thickness together to create a stronger bond within the line. Some crimping pliers will have side cutters so you can trim or cut wire and line.
  • Multifunction Pliers
    Multi-functioning pliers will have more than just one head. They are filled with other tools (likes scissors, screwdrivers, saws, etc.), so you can use them on a variety of projects as well as for fishing.

Material

The best pliers tend to be made of high-quality aluminum as they’re lighter in weight while remaining incredibly durable. For a cheaper alternative, look for stainless steel that’s coated with Teflon for a higher level of durability.

Corrosion Resistance & Durability

Choosing the right material will determine whether or not your fishing pliers are resistant to corrosion. If you plan on taking your fishing pliers exclusively to saltwater environments, then be sure they're corrosion-resistant, or else they will rust in no time. Also, check if your spring or spring bearings are of good quality, as these can help keep your pliers remain durable for longer.

Size & Weight

By purchasing a new fishing plier, you’re adding an additional tool to your kit. This means you’re going to have to pack or fit it within your tackle box. The size and weight are important factors, especially for anglers who hike or cycle long distances to new fishing destinations. We’ve listed the style and weight of all the reviewed pliers in our reviews so you can keep it in mind.

Grip Comfort

Maintaining a proper grip is one of the key elements, and it should be considered when purchasing new fishing pliers. Some handles are constructed of foam, whereas other models will be constructed with the same lightweight material as the jaw to keep the weight down. Either way, a good grip will have individual finger inlays and should be easy to apply pressure and tension.

Safety & Extra Features

There are some added features that are offered with the purchase of your fishing pliers that will be beneficial for storage and your safety. For high-end fishing pliers, a sheath and lanyard are often included so you don’t risk losing your new tool when you’re on or near large bodies of water. Some extra features to look out for are line-cutters, side cutters, and a spring-loaded design. We recommend fishing pliers with a spring-loaded design as it helps when you’re using it one-handed. 

Value For Money

You can purchase a pair of fishing pliers for as little as $10, but you shouldn’t expect them to last for life. Some of our reviewed models are built to last a lifetime, and their warranties support this. To get the best value for your money, we recommend purchasing a pair of pliers that are constructed of corrosive-resistant material and that have replaceable parts. Otherwise, you may end up buying a whole new pair of pliers after every couple of fishing trips.


10 Best Fishing Pliers Reviewed

1. Gerber 22-01471

Best Fishing Pliers

Material

Titanium

Item Weight

9.6 oz.

Size

4 x 1 x 6 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

Stainless Steel

Key Feature

12  integrated components in 1 tool

Durable, reliable, and easy to handle, the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is our top pick for the best fishing pliers. Not only is it perfect for fishing, but it’s also engineered to tackle jobs in just about every situation you can imagine. These foldable pliers open up with a sleek butterfly design, and you’ve easy access to 12 integrated components in one tool.

Some of the handy tools accompanied in this model are the small and large flatheads, mini saw, and it even features a bottle opener. We loved the spring-loaded pliers with the needle-nose tip for removing hard-to-reach hooks. And, the plain and serrated blades work perfectly for cutting an assortment of lines. As there are many hazardous tools in one plier, Gerber used their patented Saf.T.Plus component locking system on this model for worry-free use.

Its titanium construction is strong yet lightweight, so it cuts down on space inside your tackle box. Simply slide it into the ballistic nylon sheath, and you’re ready to go. Lastly, this tool's unique suspension-style handle made of stainless steel will sit comfortably in your hand, giving any angler a well-balanced feel. With a lifetime warranty, it’s hard not to love this all-in-one plier.

Pros
  • Includes a nylon sheath for easy transportation
  • Lightweight open-frame design
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Some users found the blades to become blunt quickly

2. Rapala Salt Angler's Pliers SACP8

Best Saltwater Fishing Pliers

Material

Carbon steel

Item Weight

9.17 oz.

Size

8.5 x 4.6 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

Co-molded grips

Key Feature

Features a side cutter

The brand Rapala has created some of the most popular baits and fishing accessories for the past 80 years. Now they’ve used their knowledge of fishing to create a brand new range of fishing pliers. Their Salt Angler's 8.5" Pliers are our pick for the best saltwater fly fishing pliers by a long shot. They are designed to withstand the harsh environment in which saltwater anglers live and breathe.

Corrosion won’t be a problem thanks to new chemical treating processes throughout the manufacturing run. These pliers are constructed with nickel-plated carbon steel, making them incredibly durable and long-lasting. This body is finished with a classy white and grey soft touch and anti-slip molded handles. We found this handle to be extremely comfortable to use.

The needle head allows anglers to have an extended reach, which comes in handy when removing hooks from fish’s mouths. These pliers also feature a side cutter that’s ideal for cutting any kind of fishing wire and higher breaking strains of monofilament. If this size doesn't suit your needs, then no worries! Rapala's saltwater-friendly range consists of 23 tools with everything a saltwater angler needs, from braid scissors to double leverage side cutters and pliers.

Pros
  • Reach deep hooked baits easily
  • Cuts line and wire with the side cutter
  • The handle is molded with an anti-slip design
Cons
  • Spring action can give out quickly if not properly maintained

3. Piscifun

Best Split Ring Fishing Pliers

Material

Machined Aluminum & Stainless Steel

Item Weight

7.23 oz.

Size

7.1 x 10 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

Aluminum

Key Feature

Lanyard and sheath included

The next on our list is the best split ring fishing pliers by Piscifun. This sharp-looking pair of aluminum pliers can be used on fishing lures and tackle quickly and with ease. They’re perfect for removing hooks from a fish’s mouth with their long-headed plier design. With a nylon sheath, lanyard, and belt loop clasp, you can wear or pack these pliers when you’re on or at the water.

The Piscifun Pliers are made from high-strength anti-corrosive aluminum, and they feature a titanium-coated stainless steel jaw. As the aluminum is aircraft-grade and anodized, you should expect them to be great for long-term use without any signs of oxidation and rust. Furthermore, you’ll see that the handles have CNC cutouts. This offers an extremely lightweight feel for users and gives you more durability.

These are spring-loaded pliers, which means they can open freely, and they’re comfortable enough to use one-handed. This model also has the sharpest tungsten carbide cutters (which are fully replaceable), making it easy to cut the strongest braided lines or monoline and leaders. Crimping sleeves and leads won't be a problem either, so you've got a lot of versatility in just one pair of pliers. Choose between 2 sizes and 3 colors, and you’ve got yourself a sturdy and reliable tool for fishing.

Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Spring-loaded set of pliers
  • Remove hooks, crimps sleeves, and cuts line
Cons
  • Can bend when under a lot of pressure

4. Booms Fishing X1

Best Fly Fishing Pliers

Material

Stainless Steel

Item Weight

6.7 oz.

Size

7.8  x 2.3 inches

Corrosion Resistant

No

Handle

Aluminum

Key Feature

A small hook at the top for opening stubborn split rings

If you enjoy fly fishing, then the Booms Fishing X1 Fishing Pliers could be the right pair for you. As you know, fly lines can be tedious to cut and even harder to crimp. The X1 pliers by Boom can do it with ease. It has a sturdy split-ring design that can cut lines with just one simple grasp. Removing hooks, crimping sleeves, and fixing split leads are all very easy tasks to do with this pair of fishing pliers.

From the aluminum handle to the coated carbon stainless steel jaws, there’s a lot to love with these pliers. As Boom uses aluminum for the handle with perfect contour finger inlays, it makes it more lightweight and supportive for you to use on more than just your fly fishing trips. Its’ weight is perfectly distributed between the 7.8” plier and handle. The head of the pliers isn’t as long as its competitors, but it opens as wide as 1.3 inches with a spring-loaded design.

Don’t worry about losing this pair of pliers if you're kayaking, boating, or simply sitting by the water. You’ll receive a braided metal lanyard with a metal hook to go along with. It also features a nylon sheath as well for easy storage. These pliers are durable and can last you a long time. However, they aren't entirely corrosion-resistant, so we only recommend bringing them to freshwater applications.

Pros
  • Very light in weight
  • Lanyard and sheath included
  • Cuts braided, mono and fly line
Cons
  • Not corrosion resistant

5. PENN Saltwater

Best Fishing Crimping Pliers

Material

Stainless Steel

Item Weight

9.8 oz.

Size

14 x 5 x 2 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

EVA Foam

Key Feature

Ergonomic non-slip grips

Some anglers prefer to have a dedicated pair of pliers for crimping, and Penn is one of the first brands to produce this specific pair of pliers for the job. The Leader Crimp Fishing Tool is our top pick for the best fishing crimping pliers for its precision and comfort. These pliers are saltwater and freshwater friendly, and they look pretty snazzy, too. There’s only one color to choose from, and that’s a sleek black/grey design.

You can cut and crimp heavy wires and monofilament ranging from 0.1mm-2.2mm with this model, thanks to its dual-sided cutters. It also features an easy-to-use locking mechanism for simple storage. What we loved was its design and its level of comfort. The stainless steel construction has a black nickel-titanium coating, making it great for all water types, and the handle features ergonomic non-slip grips with EVA foam.

Don’t expect any fun add-ons when you buy this product; you'll simply unbox the crimping pliers and nothing else. However, if you’re looking for a crimping plier that will wear well, and perform perfectly under pressure, then this could be perfect for you.

Antonio23 loved these pliers just as much as us. He reviewed this model on PennFishing’s website and said,

“I fish out of southeast Florida. I love the crimper, great tool to have!”

Pros
  • Perfect for crimping lines and wires
  • Titanium coating makes it saltwater friendly
  • Black and gray, sleek design
Cons
  • No sheath or lanyard included

6. Cuda 18112

Best Fishing Needle Nose Pliers for Freshwater

Material

Titanium Bonded Stainless Steel

Item Weight

5.64 oz.

Size

11 x 5 x 1 inches

Corrosion Resistant

No

Handle

Non-slip Cuda scale pattern grips

Key Feature

3x times harder and stronger than steel

The Cuda Stainless Steel Freshwater fishing pliers are among the highest-reviewed models on the web, and for good reason. These pliers have a needle nose design so anglers can get to hooks out of fish quickly without trouble. They feature a ring splitter to cut titanium wire, fluorocarbon, and monofilament lines, making them strong and versatile.

The strength isn’t just in regards to the ring splitter, the whole head of the pliers is 3 times harder than traditional stainless steel as it’s bonded with titanium. This patented titanium bonding process makes the Cuda Freshwater Pliers harder than untreated steel. It will cut better and stay sharper longer, according to Dr. Lisa Detter (Ph.D., Sr. Research Scientist) from Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Getting a good grip won’t be a bother either on these 8-inch pliers. The 'Cuda Scale Pattern' on the grips provides a comfortable and incredibly secure grip for complete control in all freshwater environments and conditions. There’s also an integrated crimper on the long nose, so you have to carry fewer tools on your fishing endeavors. It doesn’t come with any add-ons, but there is a Cuda Sheath available to buy along separately. Overall, this is the best fishing needle nose pliers for freshwater on the market, and it shouldn’t let you down.

Antonio23 loved these pliers just as much as us. He reviewed this model on PennFishing’s website and said,

“I fish out of southeast Florida. I love the crimper, great tool to have!”

Pros
  • Integrated crimper and ring splitter
  • Cuts wire  fluorocarbon & mono
  • Tested and used by professionals
Cons
  • No safety features included

7. BITE Saltwater Fishing Pliers

Best Aluminum Fishing Pliers

Material

Aluminum

Item Weight

5.64 oz.

Size

6.7 x 3.4 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

Aluminum handle

Key Feature

Some parts are fully replaceable

You might remember BITE for their footwear line. Now they’ve gotten into the game of creating fishing pliers, and we must say, they’re remarkable. The Fishing Tackle Professional fishing pliers have aircraft-grade aluminum that’s anodized to deliver excellent corrosion resistance. It’s paired with a comfortable handle with anti-slip properties for greater comfort and added safety.

This model comes in an electric red color, so there’s no way it won’t stand out in your fishing tackle box. They also come with a belt loop clasp, coiled tether, and a nylon sheath to make it easier for you to fish and hold your pliers.

What we loved the most with these pliers is that the sharp tungsten carbide cutters and the black stainless steel jaws can be fully replaced if they need an update. The carbide cutters can get through the toughest braided lines as well as the heaviest mono leaders.

These fishing pliers are 100% corrosion resistant, and if they begin to lag or rust, then simply send them back! You’ll have a full 5-year warranty for complete peace of mind. Keep in mind that they’re a little more costly than their competitors, but if you’re looking for heavy-duty aluminum fishing pliers, they’re worth checking out.

Pros
  • Spring Loaded design
  • Strong and sturdy
  • 5-year warranty
Cons
  • More expensive compared to its competitors

8. Van Staal FP6000-SET

Top of the Range

Material

6AL-4V Titanium

Item Weight

7.2 oz.

Size

7 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

Spring-loaded ergonomic handle

Key Feature

No rust, no wear

Looking for a top-of-the-range pair of fishing pliers that will last you years? Look no further as Pure Fishing has released 2 sizes of Van Staal Pliers in 6" and 7" models. The pliers come with a brown leather sheath and lanyard that looks good and keeps the pliers safe. These new-to-the-market pliers are manufactured from corrosion-proof 6AL-4V Titanium, so they're built to last a lifetime, even in saltwater environments.

Van Staal pliers also include grip-tight channel cut jaws for maximum holding power for your safety. Furthermore, the handle has an ergonomic, spring-loaded design that keeps the pliers open and ready for action. They’ve been tried and tested before entering the market and scored a  60 rating on the Rockwell scale. This proves just how tough and reliable they are for day-to-day fishing trips.

You can cleanly cut both and gel spun and braided lines with Van Staal's unique line-keeper feature. It prevents the line from slipping out of the cut zone. The tungsten cutter can be easily repaired or replaced if you need it after years of use and abuse. Expect consistently smooth cutting and gripping action with these pliers, but also expect to pay a lot for this premium product.

Pros
  • Corrosion Free in the worst saltwater environments
  • Replaceable tungsten cutters
  • Available in 7" or 6" models
Cons
  • Popular product- often out of stock

9. KastKing Cutthroat

Best Stainless Steel Fishing Pliers

Material

Stainless Steel

Item Weight

N/A

Size

7.2 x 3.0 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

Ergonomic textured rubber handle

Key Feature

Stronger and more flexible than aluminum

Stainless steel is one of the most common materials used to make fishing pliers. You’ll find a couple of dozen pliers claiming to be the best. From our research, we’ve picked the KastKing Cutthroat 7 inch Fishing Pliers to be the best stainless steel fishing pliers on the market. Not only are they priced well, but they also are filled with multi-functioning features and are created with a unique Teflon coating for superior strength.

According to KastKing’s website, these corrosion-resistant 420 stainless steel pliers are 46% harder than aluminum pliers, yet they have almost 3 times the bending strength of aluminum, too. This allows you to turn, bend or pull hooks without running into any damage, and they’re ideal for both freshwater and harsh saltwater conditions.

We’ve picked the 7” straight nose style as the best KastKing stainless steel fishing pliers, but there’s also a split ring model available as well. On the straight nose model, you’ll find super hard tungsten carbide cutters which slice through mono, fluorocarbon, or braid lines. The side-mounted anvil cutters allow you to cut your tag end as close to the knot as you wish. You’ll also find a raised surface behind the blade to ensure your line will always be in the cutting zone.

With the ergonomic textured rubber handle, it’ll be hard to lose your grip on these Cutthroat Pliers, and they allow for easy one-hand use without worrying about the pliers slipping. There’s also a polyester sheath and plastic lanyard included, so your fishing pliers will always stay protected.

Pros
  • Three colors available in two styles
  • Incredibly comfortable handle
  • Features super hard tungsten carbide cutters
Cons
  • Some users reported rust appearing around joints

10. Manley 2006 Pliers

Best Pliers for Surf Fishing

Material

Teflon coated stainless steel

Item Weight

9.6 oz.

Size

6.5 x 4.3 inches

Corrosion Resistant

Yes

Handle

Vinyl Grips

Key Feature

Perfect for monofilament line and leaders

Surf fishing is very popular amongst anglers, so having the right fishing pliers for the job is a necessity. As monofilament line is the most common type of fishing line, we’ve picked the Manley Pliers with Teflon and Vinyl Grip as the best pliers for surf fishing. These may look like a general pair of pliers found in any toolbox, but the brand Manley has supplied fishing enthusiasts with the highest quality tools for more than 25 years. This set of pliers is no exception.

These 6.5” super pliers have a red, rugged vinyl grip and it’s made of stainless steel coated with Teflon. The Teflon coating helps protect the pliers against saltwater corrosive properties and protects against rust. These pliers are remade every 1-2 years at the beginning of the 2000s. They have new coatings or features, so be sure to get the 2006 or 2007 edition for the rust-resistant Teflon coating.

Manley has some of the most accurate and affordable scales in the industry. These scales are perfect for nipping monofilament lines and leaders. They’re not the best fishing pliers for removing hooks as the head is blunt and not long. However, it hasn’t stopped anglers from using these pliers across the shallow flats of the Bahamas or on trout streams everywhere in the US.

Pros
  • Popular model amongst anglers for decades
  • Great split ring pliers for surf fishing
  • Covered with a 2-year warranty
Cons
  • Not the best pliers for removing hooks

How To Use & Maintain a Pair of Fishing Pliers

Fishing pliers are generally easy to use, but you may need some training beforehand to make sure you're prepared for the unknown. The first thing you need to do is get used to opening the plier’s handle to move the jaws. Try doing this one-handed a couple of times before you get to the water. Next, open up split ring pliers by pressing on the nose of the plier. You’ll find this in between the rings.

Once this is done, you can begin to change a hook by closing the pliers onto the ring’s end. Slide the old hook around the ring until it gets out of the split ring's open end. You should slide it in a way that the split ring is open for the hook to pass through. Now you can add a new hook while the pliers are open.

To maintain your pliers, rinse them with clean, fresh water after every freshwater or saltwater trip. Then, towel-dry them and occasionally treat your pliers with an anti-rust spray. This process will keep them operating without rust longer!


People also Ask (FAQs)

What are the best fishing plier brands? Are they made in the USA?

Some of the best fishing pliers are created by Gerber, Danco, Bubba, Cuda, Lews, and Rapala. If you are looking for pliers that are constructed in the US, we recommend Gerber and Danco. Orvis has a line of fishing pliers created in the US but be sure to double-check the model before you buy.

How do I use split ring fishing pliers most effectively?

Split ring pliers are easy to use so long as you use them the right way around. The straight jaw is inserted into the ring, and once you close the pliers, the wedge will open the ring up. For a visual representation of this, please check out this video.

Can I use fishing pliers for cutting other things, like cutting braid

A sturdy pair of fishing pliers can cut through many types of lines, including braid without needing much tension on the line. If you know that cutting line is something you wish to do, then invest a little more on a durable set rather than a cheap model.

Do I need to sharpen these fish pliers?

Most of the time, fishing pliers won’t need to be sharpened unless you really put them to work. If this occurs, find a sharpening file and secure the pliers in a vice for better protection. Rub the blades with the file and remember to add some oil at the end of the process to keep the pliers well lubricated.

Where is the best place to find good fishing pliers?

All of the best fishing pliers on our list are available on Amazon. They can be shipped directly to your address, and you can read customers' reviews before you purchase for more peace of mind. You can also check out retailers like Walmart or your local fish tackle store if they’re more convenient for you.


Conclusion

A set of fishing pliers is a crucial tool. Without it, you’ll go through the same frustration that comes with being in short supply of any other fishing gear. Don’t ruin your fishing trip, and be as prepared as possible with the Gerber Multifunctional Pliers. This 12 in 1 tool can cut lines and remove hooks with ease. With a lifetime warranty and killer reviews, it’s hard for us not to love it, and we’re sure you will love it, too.

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