Picking the Right Fishing Pliers

Picking the right fishing plier might be a more complicated task than it appears at first glance. In today’s market, with so many different options, sporting different features and materials help complicate this seemingly easy task.

The first question you should ask yourself is, what is my budget? Where are you going to use these pliers? And finally, what are the features you need to accomplish your fishing goals?

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There is such a diverse selection of pliers that it can be an interesting decision. It’s very easy to end up owning quite a few sets of pliers and switch them up based on what tasks you’re doing, where you’ll be fishing, and what your needs for any trip might be.

If you’re one of those anglers that don’t enjoy just one type of fishing, this question gets way more interesting. One day might, you might be fishing offshore for tuna and other pelagics, the next day chasing bass and stripers from a kayak, the next stalking shallow flats for redfish, or even a summer foray into a mountain meadow to fly fish for trout. Each one of these scenarios really can call for a very different fishing plier.

Here is a list of things to think about when selecting a pair of fishing pliers for such a diverse set of possible uses.

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CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL: This is probably one of the first decisions you should make about your new pliers. If you’re spending a lot of time fishing saltwater, picking a plier not made from non-corrosive materials or coated with something to inhibit rust will be a poor decision. With the proliferation of affordable yet super high-quality aluminum pliers, this step should be a piece of cake!

FEATURES: This is an easy place to get buried in the weeds, especially considering how densely packed many of today’s fishing pliers are with interesting features. The questions that should be given the most relevance are these. Do you need side cutters? Do you need spring-loaded handles? Should the jaws be smooth or serrated? Do you need a sheath to hold them? And finally, do you need split-ring openers?

LENGTH OF THE JAWS: This can seem silly at first glance, but it comes down to a few simple things. Are the fish you’re targeting known for swallowing hooks where you might have to dig a lure deep from inside their mouth? And more importantly, does your quarry sport sharp dentures? Saltwater almost always seems to call for pliers with longer, pointier jaws!

USE OF YOUR PLIERS: This can also seem simple until you consider things like this. Are you using pliers to work a boat deck, fish for panfish with the kids, or rigging blue water tackle in preparation for your next offshore foray? Each of those scenarios calls for a vastly different product.

BUDGET: How much do you have to spend? If you’re primarily fishing freshwater with the family, a fancy set of rigging pliers is probably not where you should sink some hard-earned cash. Conversely, if you’re rigging marlin lures on the back of a new Viking Sportfisher, bargain pliers are not the best option.

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Here are some great options from Smith’s Consumer Products that fulfill the needs mentioned above:

SMITH’S MR.CRAPPIE 6 1/2″ CARBON FIBER FISHING PLIER (51171)

Smith’s ‘Mr. Crappie®’ 6 ½” Needle Nose Pliers are made from durable nickel-plated carbon steel and feature over-molded non-slip handles with double-leaf springs, split shot crimper, light-duty side cutters, lure tuning tools for quick and easy use. These pliers are essential for any tackle box. Great for hook removal, pinching and opening sinker weights, pulling knots tight, and straightening hooks.

MSRP: $11.99

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SMITH’S LAWAIA 6 1/2 ” STAINLESS STEEL PLIERS (51173)

Smith’s Lawaia 6 ½” Needle Nose Pliers are made from durable 400 series stainless steel and feature over-molded non-slip grips / handles with double-leaf springs, split shot crimper, light-duty side cutters, lure tuning tools for quick and easy use. These pliers are essential for any tackle box. Great for hook removal, pinching and opening sinker weights, pulling knots tight, and straightening hooks.

MSRP: $16.99

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SMITH’S REGAL RIVER ALUMINUM SPLIT RING PLIERS (50966)

Smith’s Regal River Aluminum Fishing Pliers are made from 6061 aluminum with stainless steel jaws. Pliers feature diamond hook sharpener, fillet knife sharpening slot, split shot crimper, side cutters, and incorporate coil spring for quick and easy use. Comes with a sheath with belt clip and a coiled tether.

MSRP: $72.99

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SMITH’S REGAL RIVER 8 1/2″ NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS (51289)

Smith’s Regal River 8.5″ Needle Nose Pliers are made from durable nickel-plated carbon steel and feature over-molded non-slip handles with double-leaf springs split shot crimper, light-duty side cutters, lure tuning tools for quick and easy use. These pliers are essential for any tackle box. Great for hook removal, pinching and opening sinker weights, pulling knots tight, and straightening hooks.

 MSRP: $16.99

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SMITH’S LOCKING ALUMINUM FISHING PLIERS (51300)

Smith’s Anodized Aluminum Locking Pliers are designed to be used in both saltwater and freshwater without rusting. The ergonomic, lightweight, and spring-loaded design makes them perfect for those situations when your hands are tired. Spring load design makes them easy to operate with one hand. In addition to the lightweight design, the handles are equipped with a built-in carabiner for quick connections to your belt or loop, so you can have it handy at all times. The needle nose design jaws are equipped with carbide line cutters and split shot crimpers

 MSRP: $28.99

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SMITH’S SPLIT RING ALUMINUM FISHING PLIERS (51301)

Introducing Smith’s Anodized Aluminum Locking Pliers with a Split Ring. Just like the Smith’s Locking Aluminum pliers these pliers are designed to be used in both saltwater and freshwater without rusting. The ergonomic, lightweight, and spring-loaded design makes them perfect for those situations when your hands are tired. Spring load design make them easy to operate with one hand. In addition to the lightweight design, the handles are equipped with a built-in carabiner for quick connections to your belt or loop so you can have it handy at all times. The needle nose design jaws are equipped with carbide line cutters and split shot crimpers

MSRP: $28.99

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About

Smith’s Consumer Products is an Arkansas-based company that traces its history to 1886. Smith’s produces the broadest line of knife and scissors sharpeners available, ranging from simple, fixed angle pull-through sharpeners for consumers that want quick and easy sharpening to sophisticated Precision Kits designed for the knife sharpening enthusiast. Our offering includes both manual and electrical sharpeners that incorporate many different abrasive materials, including diamond, carbide, ceramic, bonded synthetic abrasives, and, of course, natural Arkansas stones. Smith’s Consumer Products designs products that are appropriate for the field or gourmet kitchen.

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