Fly Fishing Gear 12 min read
Top 5 Best Fly Fishing Nippers: Complete Reviews With Comparisons
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The best fly fishing nippers will quickly become one of the most-used tools in your kit once you find the perfect set. As a tool often overlooked, the sheer versatility of nippers is something most fly fishers can’t live without.
From Orvis to Loon, many high-end manufacturers have designed nippers, showing how useful they truly are. Let’s explore some of the best sets of fishing nippers you can get your hands on to add to your kit and use in your next fishing expedition.
All fly fishing nippers have a common goal – to snip off excess line. They also all share a common problem – they all get dull sooner or later!
- For thrifty anglers the Facikono knot tying tool and nippers will get the job done but won’t last as long as the more expensive ones.
- For a few bucks more you can pick-up the Loon Classic nipper. It’s simple design and comfy handle makes it our favorite.
- Loon also sells the Outdoor NIP N’ SIP that features a replaceable cutting blade. So when the blades get dull you can replace them rather than having to toss the whole nipper.
Best Fly Fishing Nippers: A Review
1. Facikono Fishing Quick Knot Fishing Nippers
The Facikono Fishing Quick Knot Fishing Nippers is an excellent option for the everyday angler. Whether you enjoy shoreline fishing or kayak fishing, they will prove to be a handy item to have.
Let’s look at some of the most impressive highlights of the Facikono Fishing Quick Knot Fishing Nippers.
- Four-in-One Design
There’s nothing better than having a single tool that tackles an assortment of jobs in one design. These nippers assist with dealing with the end of your line and offer a cleaning needle for your hook eye.
As an added benefit, you’ll be able to use the quick-knot tool for tying combo knits paired with a hook sharpener.
- Set of Two
Instead of purchasing a single nipper, the Facikono Fishing Quick Knot Fishing Nippers comes with two individual tools. With this benefit, you can keep one on you while fishing and the other at home as a backup.
Alternatively, you can give the second nipper to your fishing partner, so you’re both prepared.
- Versatile Uses
There’s no doubt the Facikono Fishing Quick Knot Fishing Nippers is bound to be beneficial for fly fishing. It’s also helpful for several other activities.
You’ll find it’s also remarkable for kayak fishing and ice fishing, especially when managing your line.
- Retractable Buckle
Nippers are often small, making them challenging to keep on you while fishing. Fortunately, this model is designed with a retractable buckle, making it easy to stow in your fishing vest or on your belt. The perfectly tensioned retractable 24” string makes it easy to access and use on the fly.
- Stainless Steel Component
Another notable feature of this set of nippers is it’s made primarily of stainless steel. You’ll find this material efficiently manages high-tension activities while withstanding plenty of wear and tear. It’s also a fantastic tool for fresh and saltwater anglers alike.
What To Like About It
The Facikono Fishing Quick Knot Fishing Nippers is a valuable option if you need a small and compact tool for knot tying. You’ll find the high-quality materials withstand plenty of use over the years with the benefit of a compact design.
What Not To Like About It
The most significant issue with the Facikono Fishing Quick Knot Fishing Nippers is that it’s not the best option for cutting or managing your line. You’ll find you will need to use far too much force for it to be as helpful as other options.
- Helpful for tying knots
- Small and compact design
- High-quality materials
- Set of two
- Requires a lot of force
- Cuts fishing line poorly
2. Loon Fly Fishing Classic Nippers
The Loon Fly Fishing Classic Nippers is a fantastic no-nonsense tool for all your fishing excursions. It has a simple, low-profile design that makes it easy to use for an assortment of tasks.
Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive features this nipping tool has to offer.
- Surgical-Quality Steel
There’s no doubt these nippers are designed to handle even the most demanding applications. As they’re crafted from surgical-quality steel, you’ll be able to have high-performance nipping with a fraction of effort. You’ll also find this material withstands water exposure without running the risk of tarnishing or corrosion.
- Straight Cutting Surface
With the straight cutting surface, managing high-tension lines has never been simpler. You won’t have to worry about your line getting caught or having to apply too much pressure.
Overall, the cutting surface is one of the most efficient you can use to your advantage.
- Eye Clearing Needle
As with most nippers, the Loon Fly Fishing Classic Nippers also has an eye-clearing needle. It’s conveniently placed, so you can effortlessly clear your hook eye with minimal effort.
- Comfy Grip Handles
By far, the most notable feature of these simple nippers is their comfortable handles. You’ll find the added grip to help you get the best positioning for managing your line and tying knots. Even if your hands are soaked, the grip fits comfortably without the worry of slippage.
- Ring Attachment
Instead of opting for a D-ring or a retractable leader, these nippers have a ring attachment. You can easily unscrew the lanyard to add to your fishing vest or belt.
You’ll also find that once it’s secured, it won’t accidentally fall or break off, giving you peace of mind.
What To Like About It
You’ll love the Loon Fly Fishing Classic Nippers after your first few uses. The sharp cutting edge makes snipping easier, and the hook eye cleaner is the ideal size.
With the help of the wire connector, you’ll find it’s easily affixed to your fishing gear, so the small tool isn’t lost.
What Not To Like About It
The overall size of these nippers leaves much to be desired, as they’re much smaller than expected. Also, the cutting edge dulls, which can render them useless after a few months of use.
- Have a great grip
- Sharp cutting edge
- Conveniently thin hook eye cleaner
- Useful wire connector
- Smaller than expected
- The cutting edge dulls quickly
3. Loon Outdoors NIP N’ SIP 2.0
It’s easy to see how the Loon Outdoors NIP N’ SIP 2.0 is one of the more heavy-duty nippers on the market. With its remarkable design, it comes with an assortment of great features.
Let’s take a look at some of the most notable highlights this nipper has to offer.
- Versatile Design
The Loon Outdoors NIP N’ SIP 2.0 is the perfect combination of a handy tool with fun uses. You’ll have access to a fully functional nipper paired with a bottle opener, making it the ideal tool for fly fishing.
Even with the added convenience of the bottle opener, you’ll find plenty of other heavy-duty features.
- Improved Lanyard
One of the most significant concerns anglers have with nipping tools is how they’re fixed to fishing vests and belts. This tool takes it a step further by offering an intuitively designed lanyard to keep your devices closer to you.
The braided cable quickly attaches to your favorite pack or vest, offering just enough length for easy access.
- Stainless Steel Cutting Jaws
Instead of having a bare flat surface, these nippers are upgraded from the previous Loon Outdoors nippers. You’ll find stainless steel cutting jaws in this model, making it easy to cut through thin and heavy lines.
Anglers will appreciate how effortlessly they can handle their line to get back to fishing.
- Grated Pads
Instead of integrated cushioned grips, this heavy-duty nipper is designed for all-weather use. You’ll find grating on the finger pads, offering optimal grip in dry and wet conditions.
Fishers will no longer have to worry about accidentally letting go of their tools and losing them in the water.
- Integrated Eye Cleaning Needle
As expected, the Loon Outdoors NIP N’ SIP 2.0 also features an eye-cleaning needle. Its perfect size makes it an iconic addition to helping clear your hook eyes.
What To Like About It
The Loon Outdoors NIP N’ SIP 2.0 are useful nippers for braided and mono lines of various thicknesses. You’ll also appreciate the lanyard’s design, making it easy to take off your vest or pack as needed.
What Not To Like About It
An issue with these nippers is that although they have removable stainless steel blades, they aren’t currently replaceable. If the cutters dull, you’ll have to replace the entire unit until blade replacements are available.
- Helpful for mono and braided line
- Intuitively designed lanyard
- Removable stainless steel cutters
- Minimalistic design
- No replacement blades
- Requires full replacement
4. Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers
The Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers is a fantastic solution for fly fishers searching for an easy-to-use tool. With its simplistic design, it offers specific benefits with an incredibly user-friendly style.
A few distinctive features put the Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers at the top of our list. Let’s take a look at some of its greatest conveniences.
- Comfy Grip
If there’s one thing crucial about nippers, it’s how their grip is designed. Ideally, you’ll want a set that fits comfortably in your hand and reduces tension and strain.
This set features a comfortable grip that allows you to control the nippers in all weather conditions.
- Surgical Stainless Steel
Another significant benefit of the Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers is its build quality. It’s machined from surgical stainless steel, known for its remarkable strength and resilience.
You’ll also have the added benefit of the metal being protected from corrosion over time.
- Durable Cutting Edge
The cutting edge of these low-profile nippers is what sets them apart from the competition. You’ll have a straight-edge cutting surface, making it remarkably easy to manage all types of fishing lines.
With the added benefit of the comfort grip, you can always apply the perfect amount of pressure.
- Cleaning Needle
When it comes to managing your hook eyes, the pointed cleaner on this set makes it simpler. With the help of the cleaning needle, you can get into tight crevices with far less effort.
What To Like About It
The Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers is a helpful set with a reliable design paired with precise cutting power. It’s even comfortable to use in cold weather thanks to the great padding and sharpened edges.
What Not To Like About It
One significant issue with these nippers is they’re not the best option for small-ring zingers since the mounting hole is poorly placed. Also, the metal chinks easily over time, especially if you’re continually cutting thick lines.
- Exact cutting
- Comfortable padding
- Highly reliable design
- Sharpened edge
- Not useful for small-ring zingers
- Metal chinks easily
5. Umpqua River Grip Nippers
The Umpqua River Grip Nippers has a similar design to the Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers. With a straightforward style, you’ll find it’s an excellent solution for a ready-to-use set of nippers.
Let’s review some of the most impressive features the Umpqua River Grip Nippers offers.
- Japanese Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel
If you’re searching for a set of nippers crafted from high-quality materials, this model is a great option. It’s machined from top-grade Japanese surgical stainless steel, offering optimal cutting power.
You’ll also find their crimping and clamping are done more effortlessly.
- Rubberized Grip
There’s nothing better than having a rubberized grip on your tools while on the water. You’ll find maintaining control over the Umpqua River Grip Nippers is significantly easier in all weather conditions.
- Wide Cutting Blade
Compared to other nippers, you’ll find this set has a significantly wider cutting blade. This design makes it simpler to find the ideal placement for all your needs.
- Curved Ergonomic Shape
When working with your line, it’s important to have tools that bend to your needs.
Fortunately, these nippers have an ergonomic shape, featuring curved handles. You’ll notice significantly less hand fatigue and strain at the end of your fishing trips.
What To Like About It
The Umpqua River Grip Nippers has an excellent design for larger hands, and the cutting gap is ideal. You’ll appreciate the sharpened edges at first, making them easy to use with an assortment of line thicknesses.
What Not To Like About It
Over time, the sharpness of the nipper’s blades will dull, making them less helpful with a thick line. Also, the cleaning pin is far too wide to fit into smaller hook eyes.
- Great for bigger hands
- Perfectly sized opening gap
- Very sharp edges
- Convenient storage ring
- Poorly sized eye cleaning pin
- Less ideal for thick lines
There are several essential features to consider when you’re on the hunt for your ideal pair of nippers. Let’s take a look at some of the top things to keep an eye out for when you start searching.
The most important feature for any set of nippers is the material they’re made from. You’ll need to find a pair designed to withstand all types of water and weather conditions. You won’t have to deal with corrosion or tarnishing, especially since it can reduce your cutting power.
Ideally, surgical stainless steel is one of the best materials to look for in the perfect pair of nippers. Any other material wouldn’t be strong enough to manage thin and thick lines as effortlessly.
Another type of material that’s quite popular with these tools is aluminum. Aluminum is relatively strong and can withstand both saltwater and freshwater without showing signs of rusting.
It’s also one of the few metals known to be incredibly lightweight, making it ideal for travel. If you need an easy-to-use set of nippers that take away from your gear’s weight, aluminum is a good choice.
Of course, as with any tool, tungsten carbide is another notable metal to consider for power and strength. The durability of tungsten carbide is very impressive, but it’s also heavier than stainless steel and aluminum.
One of the more significant benefits of this material is that it maintains its sharpness over time, reducing your blade replacements.
The type of blades built into your nippers is the second trait to consider. Typically, nippers either come with removable or fixed blades, depending on their price.
Removable blades can often be preferred since all you have to do is replace the blades when they go dull. If you have fixed blades, you’ll either need to consider having them sharpened or buy an entirely new tool.
Depending on how much money you spent on your nippers, you’ll want to choose the most convenient and cost-effective blade design.
Nippers are often seen as a versatile tool, and you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. They help with cutting lines, and you should also have a cleaning pin for managing your hook eyes.
Some higher-end designs also come with extras like bottle openers, making the nippers even more versatile. One feature often overlooked with nippers is their color, which may seem unimportant at first.
However, when you’re managing several fly fishing tools on your vest, you want to distinguish them easily from each other. Finding nippers that come in an assortment of colors can make it easier to organize your essentials.
If you have high-vis colors, they’ll be easy to spot on your vest or when they’re accidentally dropped in the water. Alternatively, you can choose colors that match the rest of your gear to have a fully fitted professional outfit.
When you use nippers for the first time, it’s interesting to see how small they truly are. With that said, the last thing you want while in rushing rapids is a small tool that can get lost in the water.
You must find a pair that comes with easy-to-access and secure storage options. The better-designed nippers come with a securable ring or a detachable lanyard that you can affix to your vest. Without this secure attachment, you’re more likely to lose the tool accidentally.
Another feature that contributes to the ease of use your new tool has is its grip design. When your hands are wet and slimy from managing fish, you’ll want an exceptional grip on your fishing gear.
Nippers usually come with a type of comfort padding, but it’s vital to ensure you can maintain control over the tool. Having grip is also essential for helping you apply more pressure to the line when needed. Instead of having to strain your hands, you can easily cut through thick lines with extra grip.
Best Fly Fishing Nippers FAQs
1. What Is a Nipper in Fishing?
A nipper is a unique tool that fly fishers love to have. It allows you to tie knots quickly, cut lines, and clean your hook eyes. Instead of having to carry all of these tools separately, nippers have everything built into one unit.
2. What Do You Use Nippers for in Fly Fishing?
Many anglers suggest nippers are an essential tool when fly fishing. When looking at the tool, you’ll notice two straight-edge blades with impressive sharpness. These blades will be responsible for safely and securely cutting line when needed.
Of course, you can also find nippers with a few additional features to help make your fishing experience easier. As mentioned, they are often used to help tie and cut knots and clean hook eyes when needed.
3. Can You Sharpen Fishing Nippers?
Depending on the blade design on the nippers you’ve purchased, it’s likely they can be sharpened. It’s also important that you choose a material that you can resharpen, such as stainless steel. It’s highly recommended you seek out a professional who offers tool sharpening to get the perfect edge.
4. How Do You Use a Line Nipper?
Line nippers are particularly easy to use, especially when it comes to cutting lines. At first glance, their design is quite similar to a pair of nail clippers, and that’s how they’re used. You simply use the nippers to slice the line where needed by placing it between the blades and squeezing.
5. What Is a Fly Fishing Zinger?
Keeping your tools within a reasonable distance is of the utmost importance. With the use of a fly fishing zinger, you have a retractable lanyard that attaches to your pack or vest. You can then attach your tools to the other end of the lanyard, giving you easy access.
Which Nipper Should You Choose?
Our choice for the best fly fishing nippers is the Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers. Its remarkable build quality sets it apart from the competition, especially with its sharpness. You’ll also appreciate the integrated hook eye cleaner that’s perfectly sized for small crevices.
Looking for more product reviews? Check out our Buyer’s Guide to the Best Fly Fishing Gear.