When it comes to heavy braided line, getting a clean cut with no fraying can be a real pain. Using dull or poor-quality blades can result in torn, frayed ends that are difficult or impossible to thread through eyelets and tie effectively. Good fishing line cutters will give you the ability to quickly and cleanly cut braid, mono, and fluorocarbon line in seconds.
Most are also compact and designed to fit in a small pocket or clip to your vest – so you won’t be stuck fumbling around inside your tackle box when you need them most.
Recently, manufacturers have been stepping up their line cutter game – with some impressive cutting-edge features that make them a valuable addition to your kit. Let’s take a look at some of the best fishing line cutters, snips, and clippers available now!
Quick Answer: 5 Best Fishing Line Cutters
Types of Fishing Line Cutters
There are plenty of different implements out there for cutting fishing line – everything from micro-scissors to shears to snips can all work well for cleanly slicing through fishing line. The right one for you can depend on several different factors.
Snips may be the most compact cutting tool out there – making them perfect when you want a cutting tool that takes up a minimal amount of space. These cutters have small cutting surfaces, making them perfect for cutting through braided line, but not great for heavy-duty cutting tasks like cutting rope or chopping bait.
Snips can be attached with a lanyard to your vest or belt, so they’re always within arm’s reach when you need them.
We’re all familiar with scissors. They work well for a variety of different tasks and have the backbone for more heavy-duty cutting tasks if necessary. Most fishing scissors feature micro-serrations for gripping fishing line as you cut through – resulting in a smooth, clean cut.
Shears are generally the most heavy-duty cutting tool for fishing use out there. They cut through heavy-duty line like butter, and also have the backbone to cut through netting, rope, fish fins, and bait.
They’re heavier and larger than other cutting tools, so they’ll take up more space in your tackle box than other line cutters.
Nippers are small line cutters shaped like nail clippers. They’re ultra-portable and are popular with many fly fishermen. Most don’t possess the same cutting muscle as proper line cutters – so don’t expect to cut through heavy-duty braid as easily as traditional shears.
Top 5 Fishing Line Cutters and Snips
Compact, feature-packed, and well-made, these retractable line cutters are the perfect solution when you need to cut line in a hurry. They come with a built-in carabineer and 36” retractable nylon tether – so you can clip them to your vest or belt for easy access. The retractable tether also prevents accidentally losing the tool if you drop it in the water.
The razor-sharp 420 stainless-steel serrated blades cut cleanly through braid, mono and fluorocarbon line. An integrated safety feature allows you to lock or unlock the blades with a small slide of the blade handles.
The tool design is easier to handle than full-sized scissor-style clippers – even when your hands are cold or soaking wet. Like other fishing gear, you’ll want to give it a nice rinse in freshwater after use, as well as an occasional anti-rust spray coating.
- Compact, retractable snips are practical for nearly any angler.
- Built-in 36” retractable nylon tether.
- Razor-sharp 420 stainless-steel serrated blades.
- Cleanly cuts through braid, mono, and fluorocarbon line.
Best Fishing Scissors
Gerber’s taken simple fishing scissors and turned them into something spectacular. They’re optimized to withstand harsh saltwater environments but work just as well for freshwater use. Micro-serrations are ground into the blades – creating a surface that grips braided line and keeps it in place for a precision cut.
Thick blade material means they can cut through thicker line just as easily as lightweight line. The high-leverage grips are ergonomic and easy to use for prolonged periods without wearing out your hand. Full tang construction means you’ll have rock-solid handles that can’t come loose from the blades.
Gerber also makes a freshwater version of the same scissors, but for just a few bucks more, the added corrosion-resistance of the saltwater version makes sense. Also keep in mind that no lanyard or case comes included, so you’ll want to pick up something to secure it while you’re on the water.
- Micro-serrated blades for gripping braided line.
- Blunt-nosed tip.
- Bottle opener and split shot crimper included.
- Corrosion-resistant coating for saltwater usage.
If you’re looking for a larger pair of snips capable of cutting through line, rope, netting, and bait – these spring-loaded snips make an excellent option. Micro-serrations in the blades make cutting through braided line a breeze, and will also cut through mono and fluoro like butter.
Like many other Cuda brand tools, the blades are titanium bonded – making them 3 times harder than untreated steel and ensuring they stay sharper longer. An integrated wire cutter comes in handy when you want to cut through heavy wire without risking damage to the blades.
At 8-inches long, the snips are the perfect size for general use tasks, making them far more useful around the house than compact fishing snips. Cuda’s patented scale pattern grips provide a sure grip no matter how slippery it gets out there, while the full tang construction means they’re built to last.
- Full-tang, stainless steel construction is tough and durable.
- Titanium coated blades are three times harder than untreated steel.
- Built-in wire cutter for quickly cutting through heavy wire.
- Cuda scale pattern grips provide sure hold no matter what the conditions are.
Best Line Clippers
While they might look similar to the nail clippers in your bathroom drawer, these corrosion-resistant 420 stainless steel clippers will cut through most fishing line like butter. They’re suitable for both freshwater and saltwater use and includes a convenient lanyard for wearing them around your neck.
Rubber coated thumb grips give you a sure hold no matter how wet it gets out there, while a multifunctional blade/bottle opener and pick/jig buster come attached to the rear of the clippers. They’ll cut through most braided line cleanly, although braided line less than 30lb test can be a little trickier to get a clean cut with.
- Made from tough corrosion-resistant 420 stainless steel.
- Rubber-coated grips.
- Included lanyard, blade, bottle opener, and pick/jig buster.
- Cuts through most line with ease.
Another fine pair of line-cutters from Cuda, this 5.5” long pair of fishing scissors is ideal for slicing through braided line, mono, and fluorocarbon. They feature dual serrated blades that grip and slice through heavy-duty line like butter.
Titanium-bonded stainless-steel blades ensure long term performance, while full-tang grips provide excellent durability. Oversized non-slip bow grips give you total control while your cutting and allow folks with larger hands to use them comfortably.
They’re also some of the cheapest line cutters on the market – so you’ll get terrific value for your dollar.
- Made from tough corrosion-resistant titanium bonded stainless steel.
- Cuts through all types of line – including heavy braid – like butter.
- Compact 5.5” overall length.
- Oversize non-slip bow grips give you a solid hold.
How to pick the right fishing line cutters?
Choosing the right fishing line cutters can be a tricky task. With so many different manufacturers, designs, and features, picking the right one for you can be a challenge. Let’s take a look at some of the key features to keep in mind.
Most good-quality fishing line cutters feature some form of micro-serrations on the blades. These serrations work by ‘gripping’ line in place as you cut – so you get a clean, no-fray cut every single time you use them.
Good grips are a must for any pair of fishing line cutters. Look for grips with full-tang construction – which means the metal material extends all the way through the grips. These are far more durable than partial tang construction – and feel more solid in hand while your cutting.
Good grip material is another key feature – so you can keep the cutters from slipping out of your grip when they get wet.
Anytime you’re using metal tools around water – especially saltwater – you’ll want to make sure they have a decent level of corrosion-resistance. Titanium coated stainless steel works well for this, but there are several different coatings that can provide excellent corrosion resistance.
Beyond just cutting fishing line, many line cutters have several extra features that make them highly useful all-around fishing tools. Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.
Wire cutters: Wire cutters are a great feature to have, and make setting up wire leaders a breeze. Instead of wrecking your line cutters trying to power through heavy-duty 100lb leader wire, you can nip through them effortlessly.
Lanyard Hole: There’s nothing worse than dropping your brand-new pair of fishing cutters in the water and watching them sink to the bottom of a lake! Attaching some form of lanyard will give you the peace of mind to keep your cutters close by without worrying about losing them.
Split Shot Crimper: A split shot crimper is another handy feature to have – and will eliminate the need for a dedicated crimper tool in your tackle box.
I’ve loved being in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s what lead me to start this site and share my passions for fishing, diving, kayaking and more. Nowadays you can find me writing about my passions or (preferably!) preparing for my next outdoor adventure.