The International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Orlando is two weeks away, and I’m starting to see a number of good new products that will be launched in the coming months, like these Typhoon pliers from Dr. Slick. I think these pliers are going to be a contender for some serious awards and I know a lot of anglers will want to buy them.
I’m finding myself using pliers on trout rivers more and more. And I definitely rely on pliers when I fish for salmon and steelhead, as well as carp.
There are a number assets good fishing pliers should have. I like how the Typhoon looks with that green and gold anodizing. I think they’ll be easy to spot if they happen to fall in a relatively clear and shallow river. I like how these feel in my average-sized hand (I can barely palm a basketball). They fit ergonomically. I like how they are spring-loaded to start open and have non-slip rubber built into the grips.
They’re 6.5 inches long, weigh 4.5 ounces, and made out of anodized aircraft-quality aluminum (so they will withstand salt water). These are individually machined pliers; not die cast. But the best thing about these pliers is clearly the price: $60 will get you a holster, lanyard, an extra set of cutters and jaws, and a hex key to install them with. Just for kicks, I replaced the jaws and cutters. It was easy to do and only took five minutes.
The jaws grip is a half-smooth, half-striated design, and hang onto large and small hooks well. I was able to pinch down the barb on a size #14 fly, no trouble. The cutters are offset to one side so you can make clean cuts close to knots. Of course, it’s important to test the cut quality, and these pliers work well with big and small lines and different materials. I haven’t had any problems slicing through line as heavy as 50-pound fluorocarbon (I could go bigger, I’m sure) and as light as 6X monofilament tippet.
What I cannot tell you right now is how well or long the cutters will actually last because I’ve only used them for a few weeks. So far, so good, obviously, and I know it will be easy to swap blades when I have to.
In a day and age when you can easily spend a couple hundred bucks or more for quality fishing pliers, the Typhoon costs $60 and offers many of the same attributes of the high-dollar models. I recommend them and think they’re worth a serious look.