An unsung hero of fishing tackle boxes, the humble long nose fishing pliers. I’ve always recommend to beginners that owning a pair of highly versatile fishing forceps are a must for starter fishing kits. Anglers can use them as a make shift disgorger, removing difficult hooks and lures whilst pike or sea fishing and are very useful for wiring and tying rigs. In this article we’ll take a gander at why fishing pliers should be in your toolkit, how to use them and what style are best. Let’s get started…
What are the best fishing pliers?
There are several things to consider when buying a pair of long nose pliers. I suggest going with ones made of stainless steel to help prevent corrosion, an extra long (200mm long plus) bent needle nose to provide a long reach for retrieving deeply swallowed hooks, a vise grip clip to prevent wrist strain when holding small objects, a laynard to connect to belt and either a snap ring, circlip or split ring to act as an opening spring. A long reach and slight curve are the most useful aspect of any good fishing forcep, so look for them first… Everything else is a bonus.
What are fishing pliers used for?
The most common use for fishing pliers is for difficult to remove hooks. Fish can deeply swallow hooks and the barbs can get embedded within the fishes gullet. Long nose fishing pliers have the reach to tightly grab these stray hooks and remove them safely, and without causing the fish distress. They are also handy when predator fishing, where putting your hand in to a big pikes mouth isn’t the smartest idea.
Fishing pliers can also be used for squashing down barbs on hooks to make them easier to remove, are great for securely holding hooks and flies for threading or tying and for general fishing gear maintenance. I’ll quite often use them to bend and straighten eyelets back in place, connect or remove split shot sinkers and modern fishing pliers come with useful cutting tools for lines and leaders.
What does long nose mean?
Whether you call them needle-nose pliers, pointy-nose pliers, long-nose pliers, pinch-nose pliers or snipe-nose pliers they are all the same tool. They were originally designed for electricians and jewellery makers, where holding small components in tight gaps are common place. The long slender pointy gripping jaw allows you to reach places standard snub nose pliers can’t. This means long nose pliers are a great addition for a fisherman’s tackle box, because most of the components we use are small and fiddly.
What is the best fish hook remover?
This is an easy question to answer… The best hook remover is your hands. By using barbless hooks and presenting the bait just right, 9 times out of 10 you can gently remove the hook without causing any distress to the fish. The only time where a hook removal tool is necessary, is when the fish has swallowed the bait too deeply and using your hands isn’t an option. In an ideal world the hook should fall out on It’s own accord whilst netting. When hooks are snagged in the fishes throat a disgorger or fishing pliers are the next best thing, and will get the job done.
What is the difference between flat nose and chain nose pliers?
There is very little difference between chain nose and flat nose pliers to be honest, and none that relate to fishing. The major difference is in the shaped design of the jaws outside. Chain nose pliers have a round semicircle exterior to help jewelers and other tradesmen manipulate wire and thin metal in a circular motion. These could be useful for bending hooks, but not much else. Flat nose pliers are more than adequate for most fishing situations, and are usually cheaper than their specialized counterpart.
Can needle nose pliers cut wire?
Yes, if you buy a pair with a wire cutting option! The basic fishing (surgical style) forceps don’t include wire cutters, but modern pliers designed specifically for angling can cut through and strip wire. You’ll find a induction-hardened tempered steel cutting block at the base of the pliers jaws, this sharp metal block is for wire cutting. A great addition to fishing pliers, and very useful for changing leaders, cutting snagged hooks and trimming line.
What are locking pliers used for?
Having a pair of locking pliers comes in very handy for fishing! The center clip at the top of the handles allows you to apply constant pressure and grip objects without straining your wrist. I find holding hooks with my fishing pliers and locking it off, makes it easier to thread line and add sinkers. They’re also great for prying out deeply embedded hooks, letting you concentrate on the unhooking motion, rather than having to grip at the same time.
A good pair of long nose pliers should be part of every anglers toolkit. The best I’ve reviewed, and came #1 on the table above are made by Ultimate Angling Fishing Tackle. These are high quality stainless steel fishing pliers with all the bells and whistles. They include lead split shot crimps, line snips, curved serrated nose, carry case, hook extraction tooth, comfortable ergonomic plastic handles, spring-assisted jaw opening and a generous 12 month warranty. The under £10 price tag, makes them an absolute bargain. Happy Fishing!