Have you ever had a dull or broken hook and struggled to take it off the split ring? As an avid price conscience fisherman, I repair, update, and clean my lures before buying a replacement. I constantly found myself fighting rusted or corroded split rings when changing out hooks with a pair of needle nose pliers, and decided to find a better way. Having the right tool for the job is half the battle.
The Shimano Power Pliers are a split ring tool available in two sizes. Shimano provides a 7″ for offshore/big inshore use and for #5 – #11 split rings or a 6″ option for inshore/freshwater use and for #1 – #5 split rings. The stainless steel makeup with a fluorine coating means they are safe for use in the garage and out at sea. They also offer serrated blades for cutting line to include braided line.
I recently tested out the 7” model while cleaning up lures and out on the water. The pliers are comfortable, easy to use (they’re pliers), and have a special tip for opening split rings. They are lockable and the lock is easy to manipulate with one finger. Shimano Power Pliers cost $29.99 for the 6″ and $49.99 for the 7″, which is higher than some pliers that are split ring tools only, but they are equipped with the cutting tool and are durable/corrosion resistant.
They are not truly meant for pulling hooks out of fish, and my fellow Catch, Photo, Release (CPR) anglers will likely still need needle nose to assist in a faster hook removal ultimately getting fish back in the water faster. The serrated blades and “tooth” on the tip of the pliers for the split ring are great, but are not set up for reaching in and getting a solid grip on a wet and slimy hook. I say that because some will try to remove a hook with them and will get upset, but that ultimately is not the intended purpose of this tool.
Overall, great tool, but the price point and limited ability for hook removal lowered the overall GHR.