Nippers are neat little devices. When I was younger I would fish mono lines and cut them with just about anything I had on hand; including my teeth. These days with the all the braided lines and strained pursuits to tie the perfect fly line knots, you need something a little more precise and something that guarantees a nice cut every single time. Nippers are not to be underestimated.
Nippers are the perfect little helpers that you can keep on your skiff to cut and tie all these knots and lines, and in some cases do a little more. Some nippers can cost upwards of $50 a piece- pretty pricey. Not to say that I wouldn’t like to own a sweet pair of billet aluminum and anodized nippers, but we can get the job done with much less.
The last pair of nippers I had on my skiff keys was a cheap pair of Wright & McGill’s that quickly went downhill. After only a week of use they started rusting and after a few more weeks the ‘nipper’ end became completely unusable to cut braided line.
I keep my nippers on my engine keys. Notice the rusty bead chain below, but no rust on the nippers!
Fishpond has been putting out some sweet stuff lately, from their backpacks to their boat bags that I did a review of last year. Late in 2014 Fishpond released the ‘Barracuda’ Aluminum Clippers aka ‘nippers’. These aren’t just a single use pair of nippers that only cuts line, though.
Ever tie on a fly or new jighead and need to tighten your line without hooking yourself in the finger? The Fishpond Barracuda clippers are the perfect length and have an ample amount of holes in the solid aluminum construction to pull your super sharp hooks tight to your leader without poking a few new holes in your hands.
That’s cool…But what else does it do?
The blade itself, inside the tubular aluminum body, is made of stainless steel and is replaceable. That means if you manage to dull the ultra-sharp blade from weekly use, you can replace it! I like that allot better than having to throw away a pair of nippers after a few months of heavy use.
Stock photo from Fishpond.com since I can’t afford a fancy camera.
The Barracuda nipper has one last trick up its sleeve: A hook eye cleaner.
Embedded inside the clippers is a small, and sharp, pin-like protrusion that allows you to poke out excess glue from your drunken nights of fly tying (or anything else that could get stuck inside the tiny eye of a fly hook).
These tiny little helpers, as I like to call them, have saved me multiple times during quick fly changes and braid-to-leader knot changes while staring at oncoming fish. If you’re looking for a neat pair of nippers for the skiff then definitely check these out!