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Tool Review

Draw, engage, and lock with the innovative new Berkley TEC Pistol Trigger Grip tool

Date: 4/08/08
Tackle type: Tools
Manufacturer: Berkley
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 7.0 + INNOVATION AWARD!

Tools aren’t new to Berkley, but their past offerings are honestly nothing like their new line of TEC tools when it comes to design and quality. These high-tech and high-utility tools are made for serious anglers. Our first look into Berkley’s new line is their TEC Pistol Trigger Grip fish handling tool which is the first pistol style gripper on the market.

Berkley TEC Pistol Trigger Grip (TPTG) Specifications

Overall Length 8 in
Handle Length 3.6 in (measured inner side)
Jaws Opening Width 0.8 in (measured tip to tip)
Weight 6.6 oz (with lanyard)
Storage Belt clip holster
Material Stainless steel locking jaws
Additional Features Softorx™ handle, lanyard
MSRP $49.99

When I first picked up the TEC Pistol Trigger Grip, my first thoughts were this gripper feels solid and well made. Berkley makes use of a high grade stainless steel for their new gripper and the handle is made from a Softorx™ material. When I grasped the pistol handle it felt comfortable in my hand with a good fit and the trigger was within easy reach of my index finger.


Introducing the new Berkley TEC Pistol Trigger Grip tool


The TEC Pistol gripper weighs 6.6 ounces with the lanyard attached and is eight inches in length. The pistol handle length is 3.6 inches measured from the inside, and the jaw are 0.8 inches in width from the inside, tip to tip.


A sheath and lanyard is included


Included in the package is a nice lanyard to put around your wrist and a quality holster to store the Pistol Trigger Grip when not in use. The holster’s back side incorporates a belt clip that swivels to allow you to push it to an angle when kneeling or sitting to get it out of the way.


The red parts on the TEC tool is Berkley's Softorx™ rubber material

Field Tests:
We only tested the TEC Pistol gripper against largemouth bass but given its size, I feel it can be applied to other freshwater and saltwater species. During our field tests we were able to apply the lipping tool to over fifty fish including some good sized largemouth bass.


Stainless steel is used for the jaws and body construction


Convenience: The Berkley TEC Pistol Trigger Grip is very easy to use. When it’s time to land a fish, you can quickly draw the gripper from the holster and put your index finger on the trigger to unlock and open the jaws. Release the trigger once the jaws are in place and it’ll lock onto the fish’s lip. At this stage the jaws will not open unless the trigger is pressed. Once you have the fish on the Grip you can just hold onto the handle to bring the fish onboard.


Easy to use and fits nicely in your hands


The TEC Pistol gripper doesn’t come with a swiveling head design which would be nice especially when the fish starts to thrash around or roll while it’s lipped. A rotating design would eliminate any stress placed on the fish or the wrist and make the tool all the more useful and convenient.


The jaws when closed


Another area for improvement or enhancement would be the option of a built in scale. With the TEC Pistol Grip, if you want to get your catch’s weight you need to use another tool. This can be a bit troublesome and time consuming if you’re in a hurry to get your line back in the water. If Berkley designed a scale into the Pistol Trigger Grip that would make it a multi-purpose tool.


The jaws open to 0.8 inches in width from tip to tip


In terms of usage the trigger design is great for rookie anglers. On countless occasions I’ve been caught asking my boat guests to use my Lipper, a tool that requires the user to use two fingers or two hands to open the jaws, and many of them could not figure out how to operate it. The Pistol Trigger design is very straightforward and intuitive allowing anyone picking it up for the first time to use it without much thought.


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