10 Best Fishing Pliers Reviewed

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Best Fishing Pliers

Hello there! If you’re on the hunt for the best fishing pliers, you’re in the right place.

Any angler worth his or her salt will have a pair of fishing pliers. Pliers aren’t a luxury, but a must-have. Whether it’s unhooking fish, removing hooks, or cutting line, you can’t do without a pair of pliers. Given how important pliers are, it’s crucial to get a good pair that won’t let you down when you need it.

To help you find the best ones, my team and I spent a total of 23 hours looking through every pair of pliers out there. I’ve been fishing for 21 years now, so trust me when I say I know what a good pair of fishing pliers looks like. A solid pair of fishing pliers should not only be durable, but should also have a sharp line cutter and be comfortable to hold. Also, depending on what you need it for, you might need a longer nose. Based on these criteria, these are the 10 best fishing pliers on the market.

Out of these 10, one stood out high above the rest – the Van Staal Titanium Pliers. Not only is it the most durable pair of fishing pliers available, but it’s also highly corrosion-resistant, comfortable to grip, and slices through braided line like butter.

That said, it’s totally fine if you found it too pricey and want something more affordable. That’s why we included nine other cheaper options for you to take your pick.

Let’s begin!

Our Top 10 Picks

  1. Van Staal Titanium Pliers (Best Overall)
  2. Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool (Best Multitool)
  3. Gerber Magniplier Fishing Pliers (Best For Freshwater)
  4. Bubba Fishing Pliers (Best For Beginners)
  5. Dr. Slick Squall Fishing Plier (Best Bubba Alternative)
  6. Cuda Titanium Bonded Pliers (Best For Big Hands)
  7. Dr. Slick Barracuda Pliers (Best Comfort)
  8. KastKing Cutthroat Fishing Pliers (Best Budget)
  9. Piscifun Fishing Pliers (Best Cutthroat Alternative)
  10. Booms H01 Scissors (Best Budget Durability)

The 10 Best Fishing Pliers

Before we get started, note that for some of the pliers, you’ll see we’ve listed a different handle material from the product page. That’s because we’re listing the layer around the handle while the product page’s is what’s inside that layer, eg stainless steel, aluminum.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s jump right into it!

Best Overall

1. Van Staal Titanium Pliers

  • Length: 7.3 inches
  • Jaws Material: Titanium
  • Cutter Material: Tungsten
  • Handles: Titanium
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

Kicking things off is the absolute best fishing pliers in the world – the Van Staal Titanium Pliers. These fishing pliers are unbelievably durable, razor-sharp, and comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

As you can probably guess from the name, the Van Staal Titanium Pliers are constructed with titanium. If you thought steel and aluminum were tough, think again. Titanium is as strong as steel but 45% lighter, and twice as strong as aluminum but only 60% heavier. Add that to the fact that titanium is almost 100% corrosion-resistant and you’ve got the most durable fishing pliers in the world. I do hardcore fishing at least 120 days a year and my Van Staal Titanium Pliers have been with me for 8 years now. I do zero maintenance on them, and they still work like new. Needless to say, these will last you a lifetime.

On top of this incredible durability, the tungsten cutter on these pliers is extremely sharp. You’ll be able to slice right through braid like it isn’t even there and handle any kind of snipping with minimum effort.

To seal the deal, the titanium handles are designed for comfort, with finger grooves to provide a comfy but secure grip. This ensures that your hands and fingers won’t ache even after a long day of fishing.

I also really like that the strong jaws are thinner than most other fishing pliers. Many other fishing pliers have thick jaws that crush the fish’s mouth rather than humanely extracting the hook. With the Van Staal Titanium Pliers, you can minimise the amount of pain the fish feels when you extract the hook.

The only flaw that these pliers have is their advertising. For some reason, Van Staal puts them at 7 inches when they’re actually 7.3 inches. This may not seem like a big deal, but airlines don’t allow pliers longer than 7 inches. Anglers who want to bring these pliers on their travels will need to stash them into their check-in luggage.

Other than that caveat though, these pliers are flawless. They’re comfortable, super sharp, and will outlast any fishing pliers out there. This pair of saltwater fishing pliers may be expensive, but they’re worth every penny. If you’re looking for the best of the best and won’t settle for anything less, these are the fishing pliers for you.

Best Multitool

2. Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool

  • Length: 6.3 inches
  • Jaws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cutter Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handles: Stainless Steel
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Sheath

As incredible as the Van Staal Titanium Pliers are, they’re built for one purpose and one purpose only – fishing. Some anglers need something more versatile, and that’s where the Leatherman Wave Plus comes in.

First, let’s talk about what makes these good fishing pliers.

For the line cutter, the corrosion-resistant stainless steel used is sharp and as sturdy as they come. It can cut through wire with ease, so cutting through any fishing line, even braid, will be a piece of cake.

For the jaws, like the Van Staal Pliers, they’re not too thick and won’t get in the way of any fishing applications.

As for durability, I temporarily replaced my Van Staals with these stainless steel pliers to see how they would hold up, and they didn’t disappoint. After two months of intensive fishing, the cutter still felt no different from when I first got it. The pliers as a whole also showed no sign of wearing out or rusting at all. I wouldn’t expect these to last a century like the Van Staals, but I dare say they’ll hold up fine for the next few decades.

Grip-wise, there aren’t any finger grooves, so these aren’t very comfortable. But this can’t be helped because of the nature of multitools. Anyway, your fingers won’t ache unless you’re using this multitool for hours at a time, so the lack of comfort isn’t a huge issue.

Now that we’ve established that this a good pair of fishing pliers, let’s go over what makes this such a great multitool.

In terms of the functions it has, it’s like bringing a whole toolbox along. Aside from the pliers function, you’ve got a wire cutter, screwdrivers, scissors, a ruler, a can opener, and a variety of knives.

What’s more, as mentioned earlier, every one of the tools in this multitool is high-quality and long-lasting.

The best part about the Leatherman Wave Plus is that it’s designed for one-handed operation. From the knife blades to the pliers, everything can be easily opened with one hand.

The catch is that with so many tools, naturally, there will be more weight. As such, you’ll find this fishing multitool to be a fair bit heavier than most fishing pliers out there.

All in all, the Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool may be heavy, but it’s the most versatile fishing pliers there are. These sharp heavy-duty saltwater fishing pliers are also covered by a 25-year warranty. Clearly, Leatherman is very confident of the Wave Plus Multitool’s toughness. If you value versatility in your fishing pliers, look no further. This is the best multitool for fishing on the market.

Best For Freshwater

3. Gerber Magniplier Fishing Pliers

  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Jaws Material: Alloy Steel
  • Cutter Material: Carbide
  • Handles: Aluminum
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

Next up is the best fishing pliers for freshwater fishing – the Gerber Magniplier.

Featuring a carbide cutter, the Gerber Magniplier will cleanly cut all kinds of lines. It’s not as sharp as the previous two pliers so it takes just a tad more effort, but it still gets the job done.

The Gerber Magniplier also features alloy steel jaws and aluminum handles. Both these materials are hardy and can take lots of abuse. The problem is, the alloy steel used doesn’t take well to saltwater. After just a couple of days of fishing, my Gerber Magniplier started to rust. This isn’t to say these are bad pliers. They’re just not meant for saltwater use. As long as you stay away from saltwater, these aluminum fishing pliers will last for at least a couple decades or so.

The poor corrosion resistance aside, I was impressed by the overall construction. These aluminum fishing pliers are silky smooth and I found opening and closing them very effortless.

You’ll also notice that its jaws are thin so as to facilitate fishing applications.

To sum it up, these aluminum fishing pliers may not have the corrosion resistance of the past two pliers, but it’s still very much a first-rate pair of fishing pliers. Since it can only be used for freshwater fishing, it won’t cost as much as the Van Staal and Leatherman, so anglers who only fish in freshwater might want to give these quality fishing pliers a shot.

Best For Beginners

4. Bubba Fishing Pliers

  • Length: 6.5/8.5 inches
  • Jaws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cutter Material: Carbide
  • Handles: Rubber
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

Well-rounded but not too outstanding, the Bubba Blade Fishing Pliers are perfect for new anglers. Whether it’s toughness, sharpness, or comfort, you’ll find that the Bubba Fishing Pliers don’t excel in any area, but instead performs fairly well.

Starting with toughness, you’ll have corrosion-resistant stainless steel jaws and handles. The chromium in stainless steel reacts with oxygen to form a protective layer. This layer then helps stainless steel resist corrosion. Combining this corrosion resistance and the natural strength of steel, the result is a long lifespan for the Bubba Fishing Pliers.

The carbide cutters are the same as the Gerber Magniplier’s, so I won’t elaborate too much. Basically, you’ll be able to handle line with no problem.

Lastly, the Bubba Fishing Pliers have a rubber layer around the stainless steel grip. This will give you a slightly more secure and comfortable grip than any of the pliers before this.

So far so good, but titanium is 3-4 times stronger than stainless steel, and the Leatherman Wave Plus uses higher-quality stainless steel. As such, the Bubba Fishing Pliers won’t outlast the Van Staal and Leatherman pliers. I’d give it a decade or so, which is commendable for its price.

In short, the Bubba Fishing Pliers doesn’t do super well in any aspect like the pliers before it do. However, it’s a pair of great all-around fishing pliers that will allow beginners to explore both freshwater and saltwater angling. It’s also less costly, so new anglers won’t have to make such a huge investment to start fishing.

Best Bubba Alternative

5. Dr. Slick Squall Fishing Plier

  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Jaws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cutter Material: Tungsten Carbide
  • Handles: Rubber
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

If you liked the Bubba Fishing Pliers but it was just out of your means, you’re going to love the Dr. Slick Squall. The Dr. Slick Squall is, in essence, a less comfortable and corrosion-resistant Bubba Fishing Pliers.

As a glance at the specs would tell you, both pliers are alike in every way. But there’s a good reason why the Dr. Squall Slick is 20 bucks cheaper. Let me explain.

The biggest difference between the two is comfort. I could feel the difference immediately when I held both pliers side by side. With its thinner handles, the Dr. Squall Slick is less comfortable than the more rounded and thicker handles of Bubba. The thinner handles translates to less materials, so of course the Dr. Squall Slick costs less.

Another smaller difference between both pliers is the corrosion resistance. The pliers themselves are evenly matched, but their carabiners aren’t. The Dr. Slick Squall’s carabiner has just about zero resistance to corrosion. I took it trolling and at the end of the day, before I’d even returned to shore, the hinge pin had rusted.

I’m sure by now you can see why the Dr. Slick Squall is $20 less costly. Anglers who don’t mind the decreased comfort and inferior carabiner can get these pliers to save that 20 bucks.

Best For Big Hands

6. Cuda Titanium Bonded Pliers

  • Length: 7.5 inches
  • Jaws Material: Titanium Bonded Aluminum Alloy
  • Cutter Material: Tungsten Carbide
  • Handles: Rubber
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

We included the Cuda Titanium Bonded Pliers for those with big hands.

As you can see from the picture, these pliers have huge handles. This was actually a recommendation from a fishing buddy of mine. He loves these handles because they fit his big hands like custom-made gloves.

After analysing its features, I decided to add it to the list. The tungsten carbide blades work great for all lines and the titanium alloy jaws are sturdy.

Unfortunately, on my first surf fishing trip with it, the screws rusted within a few hours. Safe to say, these aren’t built for saltwater.

Although not a must, if you have big hands, it’s a good idea to get pliers with big handles. Nevertheless, if you do saltwater fishing, these pliers won’t stand up to it. But if you have big hands and only fish in freshwater, the Cuda Titanium Bonded Pliers are worth checking out.

Best Comfort

7. Dr. Slick Barracuda Pliers

  • Length: 8.5 inches
  • Jaws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cutter Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handles: Foam
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

When it comes to comfort, the Dr. Slick Barracuda Pliers have no equal.

Equipped with a foam handle, these stainless steel fishing pliers are a pleasure to use. It’s like gripping a soft cushion every time you hold these pliers.

Its other aspects are no slack either. Both the cutter and the jaws are stainless steel. The only qualm I have with these stainless steel fishing pliers is that the cutter sucks at cutting braid. The stainless steel must be of a lower grade, or maybe Dr. Slick didn’t sharpen them. At least you’ll be able to cut fluorocarbon and mono fishing lines though.

Either way, I wouldn’t advise getting these pliers if you need to cut braid. But if you’re big on comfort, these could just be the fishing pliers you’re looking for.

Best Budget

8. KastKing Cutthroat Fishing Pliers

  • Length: 7 inches
  • Jaws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cutter Material: Tungsten Carbide
  • Handles: Rubber
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

If none of the above fishing pliers appealed to you, I’m guessing it’s a matter of price. If that’s the case, I’ve got just the thing for you.

In the beginning, when I tested these split ring fishing pliers out, I couldn’t figure out why they were so affordably-priced. As time went by though, I realised these are great pliers, but they won’t last.

The KastKing Cutthroat will slice cleanly through any fishing line – at the beginning. But after a few months, you’ll find your tungsten carbide cutter getting dull. It may also rust depending on how much saltwater you’ve exposed it to.

The carabiner is also pretty much useless. It broke on literally my first fishing trip out.

Still, at this price, there are no better fishing pliers available. We found all the pliers cheaper than this to be pure garbage with the exception of two. They’re the last two on this list, but try to avoid them. Even on a shoestring budget, we recommend getting the KastKing Cutthroat if you can afford it.

Best Cutthroat Alternative

9. Piscifun Fishing Pliers

  • Length: 7.1 inches
  • Jaws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cutter Material: Tungsten Carbide
  • Handles: Aluminum
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Both

These next split ring fishing pliers are for those who really can’t fork out that extra seven bucks for the KastKing Cutthroat.

It would take too long to compare every aspect of these and the KastKing Cutthroat, so I’ll summarise it.

Same as the KastKing Cutthroat, the tungsten carbide cutters dull very quickly and the pliers itself have poor corrosion resistance. But more importantly, the jaws are too flimsy to handle bigger hooks and fishes with harder lips.

If you’re truly unable to find that seven bucks more for the KastKing Cutthroat, you’ll have to stick to small hooks and small fishes.

P.S. Tungsten carbide cutters are good, but the tungsten carbide used is low-quality, which is why it dulls quickly. This does not in any way mean that tungsten carbide cutters suck.

Best Budget Durability

10. Booms H01 Scissors

  • Length: 6.7 inches
  • Jaws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cutter Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handles: Rubber
  • Lanyard/Sheath: Lanyard

Last on the list is the Booms H01 Scissors. These are the cheapest fishing pliers so far, and it’s not hard to see why.

First off, the handles are short, so short that I found them a bit awkward to hold. This means lesser material is used, which helps lower the cost.

Next, there’s a gap in the pliers which makes grabbing items difficult, especially thin ones like hooks and fish lips.

Finally, the jaws are flimsy. Similar to the Piscifun Fishing Pliers, these pliers aren’t sturdy enough for larger fish and hooks.

Ultimately though, we still chose to include these pliers because of their corrosion resistance. These were the only pliers we could find for cheap that could endure saltwater fishing conditions. If you’re looking for the most wallet-friendly saltwater fishing pliers on the market, this is it.

How To Find The Best Fishing Pliers

This section will go more in-depth into each factor that we looked at. This way, you’ll know how to judge fishing pliers for yourself.


For pliers, the most hardy and corrosion-resistant material is titanium. However, titanium is expensive, so stainless steel and aluminum pliers are great alternatives. These are all heavy-duty corrosion-resistant materials.


This boils down to personal preference.

Multitools are more versatile for sure, but not every angler appreciates the extra weight that comes with them.

If you often find yourself needing many of the tools on a multitool, then a multitool will be worth the extra weight. But if you don’t need most of the tools or will only need them once in a blue moon, the extra weight may not be worth it.

Line Cutters

Braided line is stronger and will require more force to cut through. As such, you will need sharper cutters. Look out for materials like tungsten, carbide, tungsten carbide, and stainless steel.

If you only fish with monofilament and fluorocarbon line though, you won’t need cutters that are too sharp. Even lower-grade stainless steel will do.

Jaws/Nose Length

Longer noses allow you to reach hooks deeper into the fish’s throat.

The larger your target fish, the deeper down the hook will be when they bite. Thus, you’ll need a longer nose to remove a deeply embedded hook from bigger fish.

You’ll see many long-nosed pliers on this list, so not to worry. Any one of those will suffice for large saltwater fish.


It’s critical that your grip doesn’t slip, especially when you’re holding on to a large, heavy fish.

In most cases though, it’s unlikely that a plier’s handles are so slippery that they slide through your hand. The bigger worry is comfort.

You may be using your pliers for long periods of time, so make sure to get comfortable handles. Finger grooves and rubber layers are usually signs of comfortable pliers.

Split Ring Tool

The split ring tool is that little hook at the end of the jaws of your fishing pliers. You won’t see it often, because it’s nice to have, but not essential.

The split ring tip makes opening split rings a breeze. But since you can open a split ring by hand too, albeit with much more effort, a split ring nose isn’t a must to have.

Lanyard And Sheath

On land, these aren’t that important. But on boats or on piers, once you drop your pliers, they’re gone for good.

In situations like those, a lanyard and sheath are lifesavers. They’re like buying insurance for your pliers. Just imagine dropping your brand new Van Staal Titanium Pliers into the sea. See how important a lanyard and sheath are?

Fishing Pliers FAQs

Here are some questions that have been asked time and again about fishing pliers.

Can You Use Regular Pliers For Fishing?

If you only need the pliers function, then yes. Regular pliers often lack a line cutter, so if you can live with that, then standard pliers will do.

Also, whether it’s fishing pliers or standard pliers, if you’re doing saltwater fishing, make sure to invest in a solid corrosion-resistant pair.

Do You Really Need Pliers When Fishing?

For fishing, pliers enable you to to unhook fish quickly and with as little harm done to them as possible. Pliers also allow for safe removal of sharp hooks from fish with sharp teeth.

Fishing pliers will also have a line cutter which will come in handy more often than you think.

In the end though, you can still fish without pliers. It’s just that a pair of pliers makes fishing safer and speeds up many of the processes in fishing. This includes hook removal, unhooking fish, and cutting line.

Even if you’re strapped for cash, I would highly encourage you to invest in a pair of fishing pliers. Fishing just isn’t the same without pliers.

Who Makes The Best Fishing Pliers?

Ask any seasoned angler and their answer will be the same – Van Staal. I’m fiercely loyal to Van Staal because I’ve been fishing for 21 years now and still haven’t used a better pair of fishing pliers than Van Staal’s.

Having said that, due to how well-made they are, Van Staal pliers tend to have a high price point. Some other less pricey brands that make great fishing pliers are Gerber and Leatherman.

How Do You Use Split Ring Pliers For Lures?

It’s quite straightforward. Just put the hook on the jaw in between the two rings. Then, press down to wedge the rings open.

Afterwards, you can insert any fishing lures you like into the split ring.

My Verdict

As a final word of advice, try to stay away from cheap fishing pliers. It may seem like you’re getting a good deal, but that’s not the case in the long run. Buying lower-quality pliers means you’ll soon need to buy another pair. Eventually, the costs will add up and you’ll end up spending more than if you had just bought the higher-end pliers. You’ll also have had a much better time fishing with the better pliers.

For that reason, I’d recommend any angler to get the Van Staal Titanium Pliers, regardless of your budget. It may not seem like it, but in the long term, it’s actually the most cost-efficient option. Plus, it’s exceptionally rugged, sharp, and comfortable to handle. What more could you ask for?

I hope we’ve helped you find your ideal pair of fishing pliers. If you need any other gear, we also have a comprehensive compilation of various fishing equipment like rods, reels, and lures. You can check it out here.

With that, happy fishing!

Photo of author


Reuben went on his first fishing trip when he was 9. That's when he fell in love with fishing. When he's not fishing, he's searching for new gear and ways to fish better.