Tweaking grip-lead wires, off-setting hooks or snipping line are all meat and drink tasks to good pliers… but some tools are better than others. Planet Sea Fishing reports how the multifunctional Saltwater Pliers from Snowbee shape up.
A number of quality hand-tools for sea angling have appeared on the market recently, and the latest examples to pop through my letterbox are the 7-inch Saltwater Pliers from Snowbee. These are constructed from aircraft-grade T6511 anodised aluminium stock. Most aluminium pliers are made from standard T6 stock, this higher grade material provides greater strength and rigidity, while still providing an excellent finish. Optional stainless steel split ring jaws are also available.
These lightweight Saltwater pliers weigh in at 6.6oz or 184g, fit neatly in the hand, and come complete with a sheath and lanyard. A quick cutting session left me in no doubt that they will handle cutting almost all diameters of nylon, wire and braid. The jaws are strong enough to remove hooks, crimp sleeves and tighten knots. Snowbee offer replacement carbon steel jaws and tungsten carbide cutting blades, which are easily swapped with the supplied screws and Allen key. Alternative stainless steel split ring jaws are also available. These pliers are ideal for opening split rings when replacing hooks on lures.
I was concerned over the corrosion resistance of the blue and silver anodising. For the purpose of this short review I needed to establish just how they held up after regular prolonged use in the ‘live’ saltwater environment. So, I gave them to Milo Pragnell, an angler who regularly fishes from his own boat and is also a member of the Yarmouth, IOW, RNLI lifeboat crew. On top of that he is also a bricklayer by trade, so I told him to treat them the same as he would treat his trowel! Four months of Milo abuse later and I am pleased to say that the pliers have come through very well. As would expect of any such implement there is some evidence of salt build-up around the hinge joint, but the anodising has not been compromised and the jaws and blades are still as good as ever. Most importantly, there was no play in the jaws after this time, which, more than anything, served to underline the quality of the engineering.
These pliers are not cheap but quality of this sort costs more than many of the run-of-the-mill alternatives that will fall to pieces in less than a fishing season. I told Milo the RRP was £49.00 and his opinion was that the price reflected the quality he had experienced. He extolled the virtues of a what he described as a beautifully engineered tool that could cut mono and braid with equal ease, bend lead wires, straighten booms and unhook fish among myriad applications.
For more information go to www.snowbee.co.uk or phone 01752 334933.
Best price found at publication: £44.10 (with 10% checkout discount) Devon Angling Centre