The Fish Gripper

The Fish Gripper by Dale Snead

Back on July 17, Sammy reported on some new products at ICAST. One of the products that caught my eye was “The Fish Gripper“.

In a subsequent report on July 25, Sammy gave a brief review of that product. Shortly after that I was on our friend Hank’s boat and saw it in use also my fishing buddy Del got one and was using it in a video Sammy did.

Fish Gripper Video

That did it for me.  I was the last kid on my block to get one.
I HAD to get one!

Usually I fish out of a yak and most of the time I am in the water. As a result, lightweight is very important to me.
I have been a fan of the Boga grip for a few years and I still am but it is a good bit heavier and bulkier than “The Fish Gripper”.

The dimensions of “The Fish Gripper” is
1/2 inch wide
10 inches long
it has a opening gap of 2 inches (fully opened) and there is a distance of 5 1/2 inches from the lip opening to where your hand is.
It weighs only 5 ounces (it floats)
It comes in 5 colors (the white one I have glows in the dark)

I got my “Fish Gripper” about a month ago and am very pleased with it. It opens and closes like a vice grip. I have not experienced any premature unlocking as it closes securely. When you are ready to release the fish, a simple outward push on the lever does the trick. The use of it is quite simple – you simply insert the lip into the fish’s mouth and lock The Fish Gripper.

The angle you use to insert it is not at all cumbersome and boy does it hold! A couple of weeks ago I has a 30 inch or so red that I used this on and it worked like a charm. Because the lip closes flat and in 1/2 a inch width it does no damage to the fish’s mouth.

This is also true with the more tender mouth of a trout. Sometimes (being metal and having a smaller lip) a Boga can do damage to a mouth so tender. It also holds up to the less than tender mouth of a small shark. When using this on a larger fish the lanyard could be used to hold the fish after The Fish Gripper has been locked.

This way the lanyard would be used as a pivot and the torque would not be passed on to  the body of the gripper from an active larger fish. It would be suitable on a tarpon or other offshore fish. Tests using weight well in excell of 150 pounds did not compromise the Gripper.

One final attribute is, being the excellent catfish fisherman I am, I was very pleased for the 5 1/2 inches of plastic keeping my knuckles away from those #@^^ ^ catfish barbs.

Another use for it is in actually grabbing the hooks on a lure (such as Del does in the video previously mentioned) or even a circle or J-hook and getting a frisky fish off without having to tough it or without having to risk a hook being thrown into your hand or finger.

The components are simply plastic and stainless pins at the 4 pivot points. A wrist lanyard is attached and there is a slot to attach a scale if for some reason you would need to weigh the fish. The design is quite simple but the genius of it is it’s simplicity and lightweight.
They are available at many local tackle shops (I got mine at Dogfish Tackle) and through Cabela’s or the company’s website.

I still have my Boga and on occasion I will still use it. But this little tool reminds me of the “Little Train That Could”. Time will tell just how durable it is but for $15 it is an excellent buy!