If you’ve ever caught a monster fish only to lose it while pulling it in for a mandatory trophy picture, you know that it’s the worst feeling ever. Most people will lose a fish when trying to get it out of the water without any equipment. Grabbing by the gills may work but it’s not the safest way to do it. A fish lip gripper is what you really need for the job.
You will have great control over your fish, and you are less likely to hurt yourself or the fish in the process.
What is a Fish Lip Gripper?
Fish lip grippers, often known as fish grippers, are specialized tools that anglers use to secure the fish by the mouth. How do they work? Fish lip grippers have a claw mechanism. You can pull its trigger to open its claws, pass them through the lip of the fish, and release it to lock them in place.
Much like a pair of locking pliers.
Why do you need a Fish Lip Gripper?
Pulling your just reeled-in fish out of the water can be a difficult task. A tool often used by anglers to make the task easier is a net or a gaff. But the gaff is mainly for the anglers looking for food and not to catch and release. It might strip off the slimy layer of the fish which can cause it to eventually die, and it just doesn’t work very well for big fishes.
A fish lip gripper makes sure you don’t hurt yourself or the fish. It keeps your hands away from the teeth of your catch, saving you from possible bleeding. You can grab your fish to remove the hook, or just pick it up to take a victory photo without having to worry about it diving back into the water.
Simply put- fingers saved, fish secured, and the angler’s job made easier.
7 Best Fish Lip Grippers
Now you know that fish lip grippers are a piece of essential equipment for fishing. But which one is the best fish lip gripper?
Today we bring you a number of fish lip grippers from the market that have been used and trusted by many professional anglers. We will go through each product in detail and provide you a comprehensive buying guide so that you can get just the right one for yourself without breaking the bank.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into the reviews.
7 Best Fish Lip Grippers | At a Glance
- Rapala 9″ Floating Fish Gripper – Top Pick
- Entsport Fish Lip Gripper – Best Traditional
- Kastking Floating Fish Lip Gripper – Best Digital Scale
- Fiblink Portable Fish Lip Grabber – Best Portable
- ZACX Fishing Pliers, Fish Lip Gripper
- Piscifun Fish Lip Gripper with Digital Scale
- Yak-Gear The Fish Grip Blue 10″
7 Best Fish Lip Grippers – Product Comparison
7 Best Fish Lip Grippers – Reviewed
- Plastic build.
- Locking mechanism.
- Wide jaw makes sure it doesn’t puncture the lip of the fish.
- Built-in hook to add a scale.
- Built-in wrist strap.
Starting off, we have the Rapala Floating Fish Gripper. It’s a heavy-duty plastic fish gripper that is surprisingly light. It is fairly durable and sturdy as well.
It has a floating plastic design that is completely corrosion-resistant. The plastic jaws being wide and smoother than metal, it is less likely to hurt the lip of your fish.
A clear disadvantage though, is that the Rapala Fish Gripper lacks a rotatable head. Meaning it might be a little hard to handle massive fish that won’t let go without a spinning fight. But don’t worry, you can slide your wrist through the Rapalas convenient wrist lanyard, so you won’t lose your catch even if the handle slips.
It might not feature any fancy weighing scale or measuring scale like some of the other products we have reviewed here, but that is perfectly fine for fishermen looking just for a pair of pliers to grab their fish.
- Clamping jaws are not rotatable.
- Maximum lifting weight is only 25 pounds.
- Traditional T-style Design.
- Stainless steel construction.
- EVA Foam handle for a firm grip.
- Rotating head.
- Comes with a weight scale
The Entsport Fish Lip gripper is the least expensive product we have on the list today. It is easy to associate price with quality, but the Entsport lip grips are here to provide useful features at a remarkably low price.
This traditional T-style gripper has a durable stainless steel body that provides it with corrosion resistance. And you get an EVA handle that adapts nicely to your hand. You don’t have to worry about it slipping through since it comes with a durable wrist lanyard.
A big advantage of the Entsport fish lip gripper is that it comes with a built-in mechanical weight scale and up to 33 pounds of lifting capacity. It’s not gonna lift the biggest fish in the river but if you’re out for bigger monsters, you are probably better off with something a bit more premium.
- Long handle.
- Non-slip handle.
- Weight scale at an affordable price.
- Thin claws risk puncturing the lips.
- Locking mechanism.
- Ergonomic design.
- Comes with an external digital scale.
- Heavy-duty lip gripper.
- LCD with backlight.
- Non-puncture jaw design conforms with most tournament rules.
The KastKing Floating Fish Lip Gripper is a professional fish lip gripper that won’t break your bank.
It comes in a package with a sturdy plastic gripper and a separate electronic scale that simply hooks onto the gripper. Making it great for carrying as you can simply disassemble it.
This fish lip gripper has the same locking claw mechanism as the Rapala one we looked at before.
However, some users have complained that the jaws are a little small, so you might have a bit of trouble lifting massive fish. The lip gripper is designed to be non-puncture though, meaning it conforms with most tournament rules.
If you are ready to spend a little extra to get all the bells and whistles, the KastKing gripper is just the right choice for you.
- Perfect for both saltwater and freshwater
- Digital scale provides an accurate reading.
- Grippers and weight scales are waterproof and they float.
- Lip gripper clamp does not puncture the fish lip.
- External digital scales make it harder to weigh your fish.
- Very lightweight.
- Anti-slip rubber Handle
- Anodized aluminum body.
- Coiled steel lanyard – retractable.
- Belt loop clasp for easy portability.
- Nylon sheath bag.
The Fiblink Portable fish gripper is one of the more unique fish grippers in the market.
Unlike the mainstream stainless steel T-style gripper with plastic handles, the Fiblink one comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum body with rubber handles. Making it very lightweight and portable without sacrificing durability. Perfect for anglers on the go.
However, even though the anodized aluminum body is resistant to corrosion, the spring strap has been reported to get rust over time with saltwater usage. We recommend washing it off with clean water every time to prevent corrosion.
The Fiblink fish lip gripper conveniently comes with a nylon sheath. You can put the gripper in it when you are not using it, or just use it as a protective cover when throwing it into your toolbox.
- Built-in weight scale.
- Tested to work in saltwater.
- Scale numbers are clearly visible unlike some other grippers with mechanical scales.
- Rotatable handle.
- Easily portable.
- No wrist lanyard.
- Aluminum hook is not friendly for fishes with thin lips; might puncture through.
Who doesn’t love it when the tools come packed with useful accessories. ZACX has your back with this fishing pliers and fish lip gripper combo.
It features a stainless-steel body, once again, with a traditional T-Style grabber. With only 5.6 ounces of weight, it is very portable and easy to use. Saltwater is also not a problem for this durable little kit.
At the top of the gripper, you will find an EVA Foam handle that is long enough to fit your entire hand. The high-quality spring-loaded handle ensures a secure grip, and the added wrist lanyard will make sure you will not lose it in the water.
However, the weight limit is only around 30 pounds as suggested by reviews. We certainly wouldn’t recommend it if you are fighting beasts in the ocean.
- Conveniently comes with pliers.
- Can be operated with just one finger.
- Non-slip handle.
- No weight scale.
- The pliers could be of better quality.
- Stainless steel construction.
- Digital scale.
- Backlit LCD display.
- The display can be rotated.
- Adjustable lanyard.
- Up to 60lbs lifting capability, great for massive fishes.
If you are in the market looking for a fish gripper with a built-in scale, you are looking at the right product. The Piscifun is a great kit to easily land and weigh your catch.
It has a stainless steel body with a scale right on top to weigh your fish. The digital scale has a backlit display and can be rotated up to 90 degress, which means you can quickly get a clear reading even in the dark from any angle you like.
This fish grabber comes with the highest lifting capability on our list today. With a weight capacity of whopping 60 pounds, it will lift some really massive fish. While you do have to pay a bit of a premium for all the features you are getting, it’s really worth it and will last you years with proper care.
You can really catch plenty of fish in the sea with this fancy kit.
- Convenient digital scale with a fairly accurate reading.
- Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater.
- Doesn’t float.
- Not waterproof for long periods of time.
- Easy to use design.
- Full plastic body.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Wrist strap.
- Great choice for beginners.
- USA-Made product.
Those who bought the Yak-Gear Fish Grip have been really satisfied with its quality. It is an excellent floating plastic lip gripper made in the USA.
It is lightweight, floats in the water, and has a decent claw mechanism to secure your catch. Coming in 6 different colors, the Yak-Gear Fish Grip is really easy to find among other equipment. It may not lift a monster fish with its 20-pound lifting capacity, but it’s just a great choice for beginners.
- The plastic body floats in the water.
- No risk of corrosion.
- Lightest lip gripper on our list.
- Bright color for easy visibility.
- The Claw opening is not very wide.
- Only 20 pounds of weight limit.
Buying Considerations: How to Pick the Best Fish Lip Gripper for Yourself
While most fish lip grippers with good reviews might seem decent enough to get your job done, there’s a lot of particular aspects that you might not realize you need to check before buying one. Hence we have prepared a detailed buyer’s guide.
We will go through all the different types and features of the best fish lip grippers you can commonly find in the market. Be sure to read all of them so that you can pick just the right one for yourself.
Here are the things you should consider:
There are mainly three different types or styles of fish lip grippers available in the market. Some may be a little more convenient to use than others, but they all have the same purpose, securing your fish by the lip. Let’s talk about the different styles:
Tradition T-Style Grippers:
These are the most common type of grippers you will find in the market. They are typically very durable and can lift heavy fish with ease.
It features a handle that fishermen can grab with a fist, and a clamp shaped like a T to engage or open the claws of the machine. However, the more modern T-style grippers also work just fine with a single finger.
Since the T-style grippers are mostly made from stainless steel or aluminum, you shouldn’t expect them to float. So do wear the wrist lanyard if it comes with one.
Plastic Grippers look and work like a pair of locking pliers. You just squeeze them with your hand to tighten the claw opening.
What’s great about plastic grippers is that they all float on water. So if your fish gripper does go overboard, you can be sure that it won’t just turn into marine debris.
Plastic grippers also come in flashy colors that make them more visible and easier to find among all your other equipment.
As the name suggests, these grippers resemble a pistol/handgun. They are ergonomic and have a very simple claw mechanism. Just pull the trigger of the machine and your claw will open right up.
Pistol-style grippers are slightly less common among fishermen and often have a slightly higher price tag. However it’s usually more comfortable in the hand, so it might be worth it if you are ready to spend a few extra bucks.
You want a fish gripper that would last long and won’t get corroded in any kind of water condition. The most common materials include plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Aluminum fish lip grippers are known to be very lightweight and durable. However, they are not great for use in saltwater unless you buy one with protective coatings against corrosion.
Aluminum fish grippers come at a slightly higher price but the portability makes them worth it.
Plastics are usually the most common and affordable material for fish grippers. They are typically made from very lightweight buoyant material, so you can forget about losing them overboard.
Plastics are invincible to water in terms of corrosion. However, they are not as sturdy as metal and can degrade over time under sunlight. Their fragility makes them prone to breaking when dropped. So they are really not meant for rough usage.
Stainless steel is the most durable and premium material for fish lip grippers. They are sturdy, safe from corrosion, works perfectly fine in saltwater, and won’t break too easily.
But all good things come with a trade-off. Stainless steel fish grippers are heavier than both plastic and aluminum ones. That is something to consider if you are out in the market looking for a piece of portable equipment.
You will mostly be using your fish lip gripper with wet hands while on an unstable boat in the water. So choosing one that won’t just slip out of your hands is necessary. Otherwise, you might end up releasing a fish into the water with a piece of trash hanging off its mouth for the rest of its shortened life.
EVA foam handles are usually the most commonly used on metal fish lip grippers. They provide a really good grip. However, they are usually not as good as rubber ones.
The handles on plastic lip grippers, on the other hand, are usually just made of plastics. In spite of plastics being a slightly slippery material, they manage to provide a decent grip with the modified shape of the plastic.
Fish lip grippers can come with a wide variety of features. While some features are certainly not mandatory, a few features can really save you some time and money.
Wrist lanyards are definitely a must-have on a fish lip gripper. Even the best quality handles can slip out of your hands when a monster fish tries to fight back. A lanyard will ensure you will have control over your fish even if the gripper slips.
Weight scale and measuring tape are also great features to have, especially if you like to keep a fish log. However, it will run you a few additional bucks for the extra swag.
Lastly, having a rotatable head on the gripper is useful to keep you safe from a fish that just wants to spin its way out of the claws.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Lip Grips Hurt Fish?
While it depends on the weight and type of fish, most fish species aren’t likely to get hurt when grabbed by the lip with a fish gripper. Lip grips can actually help protect fish from being damaged when handling. They prevent hurting the gills or taking off the slimy protective coat of the fish.
Just don’t keep them hanging vertically by the mouth for too long.
What is the best material for fish grippers?
Plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel are the most common materials for fish grippers. Stainless steel is the most premium material you can get for them.
Do fish lip grippers measure weight?
Fish lip grippers often come with a mechanical weight measuring scale, even in the affordable price range. Digital ones, however, cost a bit more.
Fish lip grippers are amazing little tools that can be lifesavers. Whether you are catching regular catfish or handling monster fishes like walleye that can simply bite your finger off, a lip gripper will help you do a clean catch and release in the water.
We reviewed the top seven best fish lip grippers in the market and provided you a well-curated buyers guide. And as always, we addressed some of the most common questions you might have to clear up any confusion.
Remember, the best fish lip gripper is one that meets your needs the best. Free yourself from the burden of handling slippery fish and make your life easier. Happy fishing!