The good and great of Nippers

While they may not be the flashiest piece of equipment you own, they can sometimes be the most valuable accessory for a good day out on the water. Nippers come in all shapes, sizes and price points, and it is important to understand the difference between spending money upfront on a good pair of nippers, and spending money overtime on inexpensive nippers. Its hard to say which way is the right way to go when buying nippers, but there are a few things to consider next time nippers are on your list of things to buy.

Lets highlight some of the things that should come into consideration when looking for nippers:

High Quality Nippers:

  • If you fish quite a bit, these will not need to be replaced as often and can last multiple seasons without getting dull
  • Have much more versatility. High quality nippers will be able to cut 40lb saltwater mono filament when your out chasing tarpon, as well as be able to cut 7x tippet fine enough to thread through a size 24 midge in the middle of January on your favorite tail water
  •  Are generally more corrosion resistant. They wont rust out if you take care of them even after a heavy dosage of saltwater.
  • Typically companies such as Abel, Simms, and Hatch are good about replacing blades if they do become dull, increasing the lifetime of your nippers
  • Typically run between 30-100 dollars

Cost Effective Nippers:

  • Are easy to replace if you misplace them, or they get lost.
  • Have minimal versatility, but if you fish a particular way, such as mostly fishing 2x-5x tippet will do just fine cutting tippet and leaders.
  • If you dont get out quite as much as you would like, they will last at least a season
  • Typically cost between 3-10 dollar

With those important considerations highlighted, it is important to consider which highlights are most applicable to you. Personally as someone who spends at least 100 day of the year on the water I am either going to spend 5-6 dollars on 10 pairs of nippers over the course of a guiding and fishing season, or I can  put the money upfront on a high quality pair of nippers that will last me the whole season. Either way you slice it, I am going to end up spending 50-60 dollars on nippers in a season. For me the upfront cost of the high quality nippers is going to be worth it in the long run. I wont have to worry when I am out on the water about if my nippers are going to be sharp enough to cut the different tippets and leaders I will be using throughout the day. However, say I only got a chance to get out on the water 10-15 times in a given season, it would make more sense to just buy a few cost effective nippers for the season in case they were to get dull or I were to misplace them between fishing trips. Categorizing yourself into one of these two groups will also go a long way in helping to decide what type of nippers to buy.

Finally, it is important to understand what type of accessories are important to have on your nippers. All nippers are going to feature blades that are used for cutting, that is a given. The other typical accessories that are nice to have on nippers are going to three things. One is a sharp prong to clear head cement from the eye of the hook, the second is going to be the that the nippers are either spring loaded or are manufactured in way that you can just grab and snip. Having a flip spring such as toenail clippers makes for more time wasted when clipping tippet, as well as more parts to falter during extensive use. The third and final accesory that is nice to have is either a lanyard that comes with the nippers, or an easy way to attach the nippers to a zinger to be places on whatever pack or bag that you fish out of.

With these details lined out, here are some of my recommendations for High Quality and Cost Effective nippers:

High Quality:

Hatch Nipper Red

Hatch Nippers:$100 Buy Here

The Hatch Nipper is crafted from 6061T6 aluminum and protected with type II Anodize. The cutters are made from Tungsten Carbide for abrasion resistance and reliable cuts through all fishing line material.




Abel Nippers PaintedAbel Nippers: $50-$100 Buy Here

Anodized aluminum body construction, Saltwater Resistant, 2 year limited warranty on the cutting blades, designed to cut 7x-100lb mono

nipper-simms-orange-fishing-gear                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Simms Nippers: $29.95  Buy Here

                                     Built for prime cuts across a mountain of fluorocarbon, mono, and wire, Simms’ new Nipper takes this angling mainstay to the next level with non-corrosive parts that work in harmony to slice better and stay sharp longer than the rest. Features include a wide body built from CNC aircraft grade aluminum, coupled with hard-biting stainless steel replaceable jaws. Easy-attachment options stem from a tenacious stainless steel hinge.

Cost Effective:

scientific anglers Tie-Fast Clippers


         Scientific Anglers Nippers: $9.00 Buy Here

         The Tie-Fast Line Clipper is a tool you simply can’t be without. Sharp nipping jaws to keep your knots clean, as well as a needle for those obstructed fly eyes you need to clear to get the tippet through, this tool is indispensable. Make sure you don’t find yourself on the water without one.

Hopefully this information and recommendations will make your next purchase of nippers an easy one.

Tight Lines,