Reviewed by Captain Mike Schoonveld

There’s no handier hand tool on my boat than needle-nosed pliers. I keep a descent-sized tool set on board but I don’t use the adjustable wrench everyday or the screwdrivers or most of the other tools. But I use needle-nose pliers daily and I always have a couple of pairs on my boat.

Having spares is how I learned when it comes to pliers – often squirreled away in a damp environment – there’s no such thing as rust-proof, stainless steel construction. Maybe if I spent fifty bucks or more for a pair I’d get better results but I manage to litter the bottom of the lake with perfectly good needle-nosers often enough I won’t spend that much on a pair.

“Why not,” thinks me, “try a pair of aluminum pliers?” So I got a pair for less than $20 from Bass Pro Shops, called simply BPS Aluminum Pliers. They are a sexy bright blue color, so they look good, come fitted with a set of stainless steel wire cutters which, new, cuts 30 pound stranded steel trolling wire just fine, as well as mono and braided line. I would guess the nippers will eventually dull and rust up but I don’t expect to ever pull the pliers out of the storage compartment and find them rusted shut or open.

They come with a nylon sheath featuring a belt loop so you can wear it like a holster. I never do that, but some people will find the carrier a plus.
In the meantime, when I’m holding the first fish of the day I can ask the person who caught it, “Hey, open that hatch and grab the bright blue pair of pliers inside.” They’ll spot them immediately and when I put them to work, they won’t be rusted shut.

As a side note, the serrated teeth inside the jaws grip well enough to grab, hold and pull the pin bones out of salmon and trout filets. Try that with your rusted-up stainless steel model.

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