Fishing Pliers Vs Forceps: Which One Is Right for You?

John Hunt
Owner at - FishingMet

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his...Read more

Engaging to work with both freshwater and saltwater, fishing pliers and forceps are useful accessories for any angler interested in fun, challenging, and exciting fishing. From casting to fish handling and landing, these excellent tools give you more control over different kinds of fishing activities.

But which one is the right tool for you? In general, fishing pliers are intended to cut through fishing lines, while forceps are used to grip and remove hooks from the fish’s mouth. However, both can be used for various purposes, depending on the circumstances.

In this article, we’ll take a more detailed look at the differences between fishing pliers vs forceps, including their needs, purposes, and which might be the right choice for your tasks.

Fishing Pliers Vs Forceps: Comparison Chart

Take a quick look at the following chart to see how fishing pliers compare with fishing forceps.

Factors Fishing Pliers Fishing Forceps
Main Purpose Cut thorough fishing lines Remove hooks
Jaw Type Resembles electrical pliers, has wider, serrated jaws Have slim, tweezer-like jaws
Handle Type Short and bulky Long, slim, scissor-like handles
Ergonomics Superior grip, easier to hold for an extended period Slim profile, easier to work on tricky settings
Durability Thicker, more durable during tougher tasks Slimmer, suitable for low-profile works
Features May include line holders, hook sharpeners, or similar features Doesn’t include any additional feature

What Are Fishing Pliers?

Fishing pliers are two-in-one tools that offer both cutting and gripping capabilities. They are typically designed with stainless steel jaws that can cut through different types of fishing lines, including monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines.

what is Fishing Pliers

Most fishing pliers also come with built-in split ring tools that you can use to open and close rings found on lures and other accessories. Some models also offer additional features like needle-nose tips, line holders, and hook sharpeners.

Fishing pliers are one of the most versatile tools you can bring on your fishing trips. These can be used for various tasks, including removing hooks, cutting lines, and opening split ring.

Pros and Cons of Fishing Pliers

Fishing pliers offer many benefits that can make your fishing trips more enjoyable. However, they don’t come without some drawbacks.

  • Removes hooks from the fish’s mouth
  • Can be used for various tasks like cutting or bending wires
  • More versatile than forceps
  • Offer better grip
  • Helps change split rings
  • Often comes with built-in features, such as line holders and hook sharpeners
  • Not as precise as forceps
  • Can be difficult to grip small hooks

What Are Fishing Forceps?

Fishing forceps are designed primarily for removing hooks from fish. They have a slimmer profile and offer more precision than pliers, making them ideal for anglers who want to avoid damaging the fish.

What Are Fishing Forceps

Fishing forceps are also excellent for removing hooks embedded deep in the fish’s mouth. With their slim jaws and long handles, you can easily reach the hooks and remove them without harming the fish.

Most fishing forceps are made of stainless steel or aluminum for durability and corrosion resistance. Some models also come with Teflon-coated jaws to prevent hooks from slipping.

Pros and Cons of Fishing Forceps

Fishing forceps are a great addition to any fishing gear as they come with several advantages. However, they’re also not without some downsides.

  • Removes hooks from the fish’s mouth
  • More precise than pliers
  • Ideal for removing small hooks from fish
  • Crimps hook barbs
  • Can be used to remove deeply embedded hooks
  • Slim jaws make it easy to reach tricky areas
  • Squeezes split shots between leaders
  • Not as versatile as pliers
  • Less convenient hold than pliers

Fishing Pliers vs Forceps: What Are the Differences?

As you can see, both fishing pliers and forceps have a few in common, and they have their own set of pros and cons. Here, we’ll explore the main differences between these essential fishing tools.

Fishing Pliers Vs Forceps - Which One Is ok for You

Jaw Type

The most obvious difference between fishing pliers and forceps is the jaw type. Fishing pliers have wide, serrated jaws that can be used for various tasks, such as cutting lines and removing hooks.

On the other hand, fishing forceps have slim, tweezers-like jaws designed specifically to remove hooks from fish. The slim jaws allow you to reach deeply embedded hooks and remove them without harming the fish.

Handle Type

Another telltale difference between these two tools is the handle type. Fishing pliers have shorter, bulkier handles that provide more leverage when cutting lines or removing hooks.

In contrast, fishing forceps have longer, scissors-like handles that give you a wide range of movement when removing hooks from fish. The long handles also make it easier to grip small hooks and reach crannies inside the fish’s body.


When it comes to ergonomics, fishing pliers are more comfortable to hold than forceps. The shorter, chunkier handles in fishing pliers offer a more secure grip, making them easier to use for extended periods.

Contrastingly, fishing forceps have slim handles that can be difficult to hold for long periods. The slim handles can also make it difficult to grip larger hooks.


Fishing pliers are generally more durable than forceps since they’re made of tougher materials like stainless steel or aluminum. The wide jaws of fishing pliers can also take more abuse than the slim jaws of forceps.


Fishing pliers are more versatile than forceps and often come with built-in features, such as line holders and hook sharpeners. Meanwhile, forceps have no built-in features and are designed solely for removing hooks from fish.


Fishing pliers are typically more expensive than forceps because of their more durable build, superior versatility, and extra features. On the other hand, forceps are typically less expensive because they are designed for a specific purpose.

Final Thoughts

As you can see from our fishing pliers vs forceps comparison, fishing pliers are more versatile than forceps. In addition to cutting lines, they can also remove hooks, sharpen hooks, hold lures, and crimp barbs. Besides, they’re more comfortable to hold over time.

Hence, if you’re looking for something that you can use in multiple ways while fishing, pliers are the way to go. However, if you’re only looking for a tool to remove hooks from fish, forceps may be a better option since they’ll assist you in reaching tricky areas.

Consider what you’ll be using the tool for and how often you’ll use it to help you decide. Whichever one you choose, these two are essential tools every angler should have in their tackle box.

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his favorite fishing gear. As a pro angler, he is sharing his valuable fishing guide with newbie anglers...

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