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No matter what kind of fisherman you are, there’s a space in your tackle box for fishing pliers. These useful tools are the workhorses of any fishing trip, allowing you to remove hooks, cut lines, tighten knots, and flatten barbs. Because they’re so indispensable, it’s important to invest in a pair that will last a long time and do a good job. Your first step should be to make sure that they are made from a rust-proof material such as aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium. Needle nose jaws are usually best for reaching deep into a fish’s mouth to remove a hook; while tungsten carbide line cutters are the sharpest on the market. In this article, we look at a handful of the best options available now.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: MadBite Aluminum Fishing Pliers
They're not the most expensive or even the strongest pliers on this list, but the MadBite Aluminum Fishing Pliers fulfill the needs of most fishermen for less than $25. Made of aircraft grade aluminum, they are 100-percent corrosion resistant, even in saltwater. Their 7.5” length gives you plenty of leverage for cutting and crimping, while the 3.2” needle nose jaws are great for removing deep-set hooks from larger species. The pliers are spring-loaded and feature tungsten carbide braid cutters that make short work of the heaviest monofilament or braid.
Other handy features include a crimper for making big game fishing rigs and leaders and a split ring tool for replacing treble hooks on your favorite crankbait. The ergonomic handle is silicone padded to keep your hands from slipping even when they’re wet and slimy. At 4.48 ounces, the pliers are also amazingly lightweight. Colors include gunmetal, blue, golden, and red. Whichever you choose, your pliers come with a coiled lanyard, a belt sheath, and a five-year warranty.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: PLUSINNO Stainless Steel Fishing Pliers
The PLUSINNO Stainless Steel Fishing Pliers are praised for their quality construction and multipurpose use. Available in black only, they measure 7.5” in length and weigh 7.23 ounces. The jaws are made of stainless steel with a titanium coating for faultless corrosion resistance, while the needle nose shape keeps your fingers well away from the business end when removing hooks from toothy fish. Other key features are the pliers’ side-mounted tungsten carbide line cutters, which slice through mono, braid, fly line, and backing line with zero effort.
The pliers also feature a crimping notch and a split ring tool, giving you everything you need to modify your tackle out on the water. The non-slip, spring-loaded handle is made of silicone and ergonomically shaped to fit comfortably in your hand. You can keep the pliers close using the included belt sheath, or attach them to your fishing trolley, tackle box, or deck station using the retractable lanyard. The lanyard extends 40 inches and has a convenient carabiner clip. Your purchase is protected by a one-year warranty.
Best Budget: Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers
Saving money doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality, and Piscifun's Aluminum Fishing Pliers are praised for its performance and durability. They are available in two lengths — 7.1” or 8.4” — and are made from rust-proof aircraft-grade anodized aluminum. The jaws are stainless steel and coated with titanium for excellent hook-removing strength.
The line cutters on these pliers are located at the base of the needle nose jaws rather than on the side. They are made from tungsten carbide and can be replaced if they get too blunt. The pliers also boast a split ring tip and a crimping notch, while the CNC cut handles are both comfortable and lightweight. They’re also spring-loaded for easy one-handed use. Whether you choose black, blue, blue/silver or silver, the pliers come with a nylon sheath and coiled lanyard. The sheath can be attached to your belt and the lanyard includes a carabiner.
Best Splurge: Van Staal 6” Titanium Pliers
The Van Staal 6” Titanium Pliers are a beautiful, high-performance statement-maker for serious fishermen with cash to spare. They have incredible durability, the result of titanium construction that doesn’t rust or wear even in the harshest saltwater conditions imaginable. The channel cut jaws offer maximum holding power for removing stubborn hooks, while the spring-loaded, ergonomic line cutter is rated 60 on the Rockwell scale and cleanly cuts through the toughest braided and gel spun lines. In an emergency, it can sever hooks and offers precision cutting of very light line as well.
The tungsten cutter and anvil blades are replaceable and as such, these pliers should last you a lifetime. Spring-loaded, ergonomic handles keep them open and ready at a moment’s notice. The pliers come with a lanyard and embossed, stitched leather sheath. They lack multipurpose features such as a split ring tool or crimper, however, and for some their longevity and craftsmanship are not enough to justify their $300+ price-tag. Both 5” and 7” versions are available.
Best Set: Orvis Hydros Aluminum Fishing Pliers
Several of the pliers on this list have replaceable cutting blades, but all of them require you to buy them separately. The Orvis Hydros Aluminum Fishing Pliers come with an extra set of cutters, screws and a wrench — so you aren’t left high and dry if you need to replace your blades out on the water. The pliers come in two versions: a 5” length for freshwater fishermen and a 7.5” length for tackling bigger saltwater species. The freshwater pliers have needle nose jaws, while the saltwater ones are rounded for greater pulling power.
Both models are made from aircraft grade aluminum, making them corrosion resistant, super durable, and amazingly lightweight. The cutters are made of stainless steel and can handle everything from Spectra-based lines to monofilament — and even cut through the wire leaders used for toothy predators like pike or muskies. Ergonomic, non-slip handles offer safety in all weather conditions, while the included sheath and retractable lanyard keep the pliers handy. The freshwater and saltwater versions come in mossy green and turquoise blue respectively.
Best Heavy Duty: Manley 6.5” Teflon and Vinyl Grip Super Pliers
The Manley 6.5” Teflon and Vinyl Grip Super Pliers are made with serious bluewater fisherman in mind. They are built to withstand the tough conditions of offshore fishing and have stubby jaws with the strength required to remove big hooks from powerful game fish. They don’t have the precision of some others on our list, but for sheer sturdiness they cannot be beaten. The side-mounted line cutters make light work of all types of line.
They also stay sharp when cutting through wire and can easily sever hook shafts as — a fact you’ll be thankful for if you ever end up with a barb through an arm or leg. You can also use the pliers for crushing hook barbs when catch-and-release fishing. They are spring-loaded and coated with rust-resistant Teflon, and have been proven on the ocean from the Caribbean to the Great Barrier Reef. Red vinyl plastisol grips on the handles help to prevent slippage and reduce hand fatigue.
Best for Fly Fishing: Cheeky 550 Fishing Pliers
Fly fishermen who like to travel light will love the 550 Fishing Pliers from specialist fly fishing brand Cheeky. Made from aircraft grade aluminum, they are durable, rust-proof, and amazingly lightweight. At 1.8 ounces and just 5.5” in length, they are designed to fit in the pocket of your favorite fly fishing vest, or to be worn unobtrusively on your belt. The pliers come with an ergonomic sheath optimized for comfort and lightness; and an expandable lanyard with a carabiner clip.
The needle nose jaws are tipped with stainless steel and offer the forcep-like finesse needed to handle delicate flies. At the base of the jaws you’ll find sharp, replaceable HSS line cutters, while the ribbed handles are shaped to fit comfortably and securely in your hand. Choose red/black, green/black or blue/black to match the rest of your gear. These pliers are expressly intended for freshwater fishing. If you like the sound of them but sometimes fish in saltwater as well, the brand also makes a 7.5” version that’s better suited for dual use.
Best Multitool: Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
Save space and money by opting for a multitool that includes fishing pliers but can do everything else as well. The Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier has a lightweight open-frame design and a butterfly opening mechanism that reveals a pair of sturdy, spring-loaded needle nose pliers. It also boasts eleven other Saf.T.Plus locking tools, including a wire cutter for severing line and leaders, a fine edge knife for bait preparation and filleting, and a serrated knife for processing larger fish. If you’re on a fishing and camping expedition, the saw comes in handy for preparing fire tinder.
Other useful tools include a pair of scissors, a can opener, a crosspoint screwdriver, and small and medium flat drivers. After landing a record fish, use the bottle opener to help celebrate your catch. The multi-tool measures 6” when open, 3.5” when closed and weighs 9 ounces. It comes with a durable ballistic nylon sheath and a pre-drilled lanyard hole, while a limited lifetime warranty gives you peace of mind.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular fishing pliers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different pliers overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers and read over 35 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.