Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Tools Review

Slicker than ever, Rapala's new Stainless Steel pliers (continued)

Durability cont'd: Rapala addresses all these areas with the new SS pliers, not only is the entire surface of the pliers coated with a nickel-zinc finish for corrosion resistance, but the handles are now ergonomically shaped single piece grips. No more two piece molded plastic grips. The surface of the grips are matte in finish, and are shaped so well that rough grips are really no longer necessary.


The new pliers feel more precise thanks to the constant even pressure provided by the leaf spring


Price & Applications: The standard pliers come packed alone and retail for $9.99. Availability is mixed at this point, with many retailers and e-tailers still carrying inventory on last year’s Pro-Guide pliers. I walked right into a local retailer and picked these up, and they also can be ordered from BassPro already.


The old spring weakened after time, and teh old grips were not nearly as comfortable

The $9.99 price point for the 6 ˝” model is very reasonable, and in-line with what most fishing pliers run for these days. The 8 ˝” model retails for just 2 dollars more. At this price point the new stainless steel pliers are actually priced in between the Rapala entry level Sportsman pliers and last season’s Proguide series.

The grips are more comfortable to grasp, and are shaped well so even without a rough surface they feel secure in your hands

The one thing missing from the package is a Rapala sheath, something that came with the previous generation Proguide pliers. Rapala does have an improved sheath this year but to get the sheath you need to step up to the 19.99 Carbide Pro pliers which come outfitted with a tungsten carbide cutter. For saltwater anglers the higher end model makes sense as the cutters will be useful for slicing through heavy braided lines, but for freshwater angles the standard stainless steel model should be just fine.


The cutters on the standard model will do fine with mono and fluorocarbon lines, but if you work with braid a lot then you will want the carbide pro pliers


While the pliers are very durable the one downside of a complete stainless steel construction is that the pliers do weigh just as much as conventional pliers. This isn't likely to be a concern for boaters, or even most anglers on shore, but anglers constantly on the go with all their gear, like fly fishermen, may yearn for a lighter pair of pliers. The only way to achieve a lower total weight is with a reduced mass, porting, or a complete substitute of materials. Aluminum pliers are much lighter but not as well suited for heavy applications. The Stainless Steel Rapala pliers effectively address the wide range of freshwater to medium saltwater applications.      


The pick tip makes it easy to change out hooks on the fly


Rapala Stainless Steel Pliers Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Rapala Stainless Steel pliers are built out of quality materials and the more corrosion resistant finish is a nice addition. We were skeptical about the plastic leaf spring at first, but soon found it to be very reliable and durable 9
Performance The leaf spring is more reliable than single sided springs, and we found the pliers felt more precise. The durability of the pliers in our test was good, but long term tests will tell. There is a loop for a wrist lanyard but none is provided, and unfortunately no sheath is included as well 8
Price Overall a reasonable price for a quality pair of pliers. We would definitely pay a little more to get a sheath 8.5
Features This pair of pliers has a number of quality features including the spring, crimps, cutters, and ergonomic grip. We hope a more complete kit will be released soon 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Ergonomically the SS pliers are far better than the previous generation model. The only thing that would make these pliers even better is if they were just a bit lighter, but for most ultralight pliers consumers have to turn to aluminum 8.5
Application The standard SS pliers will do just fine for freshwater applications, but saltwater anglers that work with braid will want the Carbide Pro model 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Corrosion resistant finish L No wrist lanyard or sheath bundled
J Center leaf spring provides even counter pressure  
J Ergonomic handles  
J Reasonable price  

The 6 1/2" pliers make it easy to get to deeply hooked points

Conclusion: If you are a freshwater angler the updated Stainless Steel Rapala pliers are a definite upgrade from the previous generation Sportsmen and Proguide series. At the current time all we could find were the pliers by themselves, and we hope that down the line they will be sold in kits (complete with a lanyard, sheath, and snips like their predecessors). Evaluated just by the tool alone the SS pliers are a great deal for the money. Impressive upgrades include the more reliable leaf spring, new corrosion resistant finish, and more ergonomic grips. If you are a saltwater angler you will want to step up to the Carbide Pro pliers which feature all of these features plus a tungsten carbide cutter designed to handle tougher braided lines. The new Stainless Steel pliers are as good as they look, and help prove once again that the brand name “Rapala” represents so much more than just the lures we are all familiar with.  










Copyright © 2000-2022 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information