Bass Pro Shops' floating grippers and pliers
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Product: Bass Pro Shops' floating grippers and pliers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Cary
    Posts
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    Thumbs up Bass Pro Shops' floating grippers and pliers

    Product Manufacturer: Bass Pro Shops
    Click image for larger version.

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    Floating grippers

    Floating pliers

    The grippers are currently $3.99 and the pliers $5.49. These are regular prices and factor largely into my overall positive rating of them. I am rating them together because they make a great pair - the gripper to grab the lip and the pliers to grab the hook. They work great for releasing toothy fish in the water. When you hoist fish, the gripper is less trustworthy than alternative lip grippers. The plastic can bend and twist and I have had catfish of 3# or so shake loose by twisting while being held out of the water for a picture.

    Both tools do float, but barely; don't attach anything else to them. I attached my little metal knot tying jig to the pliers thinking that was a sensible thing to do and when I tested it, it was pretty close to neutral buoyancy.

    The pliers also have a line clipper that works well, but you can't get it to clip too close to a jig head.

    The pliers are plastic; the purpose is to grab hooks and dislodge them without damaging your line. They can be used for very light duty mechanical work like bending wire/spinners to tune a lure but don't count on them as a tool for engine work or anything.

    The gripper does have a latch of sorts so you can flip the wire bracket over the handles to keep it closed without squeezing. That works okay, but my earlier caveat still applies - if you lift large fish using it, some will twist off.

    If you read the comments at BassPro, they are overwhelmingly positive but almost always say "for the money". That sums it up pretty well for me. They are not Bocas, but they are only $4. The few negative comments are generally about breakage. I can see how that would happen to the grippers. They are plastic and the design is such that there is no such thing as "totally closed". I think people squeeze them harder after experiencing twist with a big fish. That won't make the plastic rigid, it will just break it.

    Anyway, overall I recommend them, but with a caveat - if you know you need a Boca or similar gripper because you catch a lot of large toothy fish, then these won't be adequate. But if you mostly fish for bass and panfish and just occasionally need to release a pickerel or bowfin, these are great. For catfish, they work great up to about 3# and are okay for larger but not brutes if you don't try to lift the fish only with the grippers.

    For reference, this one stayed on:

    Click image for larger version.

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    this one was able to twist off:

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    Diversified likes this.

    -Andy

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Monroe
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Recommended: No
    Cons: Cheesy
    My son has a pair of the pliers. He moves them out of the way to get to my Berkley fishing pliers.
    Every cast is an endeavor of hope.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Cary
    Posts
    3,624

    Default

    Recommended: Yes
    Quote Originally Posted by Bempster View Post
    My son has a pair of the pliers. He moves them out of the way to get to my Berkley fishing pliers.
    With all due respect, that is apples to oranges. You are referring to metal pliers that are more general purpose and cost over 7 times as much (and value is a big part of my recommendation). As I mentioned in my review, the pliers are plastic and won't damage the line when used for hook removal. Other uses are pretty limited. The Berkleys are better general purpose pliers, no question. But they can damage a line removing hooks and I am pretty sure they sink. The Berkleys are great to have in your box. The BPS are good to have out where anyone can use them, even kids prone to dropping things. Anyway, I would trade with you in a heartbeat, but then I would buy another BPS one to replace the one i traded away and keep the Berkleys for the things they are better at.
    -Andy

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