Review: Abel Nippers

Abel Nippers

Abel Nippers

I have never seen any fly fishing gear item stir more impassioned debate among my angling buddies as this little gizmo right here. These Abel nippers are sharp, durable, easy to handle, smartly designed, and all those wonderful things.

They also cost happen to cost $50.

Which, by itself, is a polarizing issue. On the one hand, there are those who draw the line in the sand and say, “Fifty bucks, for nippers?” On the other, there are those who consider their fishing gear sacred—they want to use the best at seemingly any price. For better or worse, the “quest for the best” makes a lot of the fly gear marketing world go around. Love it or hate it, it is what it is.

No gear item splits the field as cleanly as these nippers do. The one thing I will point out is that, of all the items you hang of your vest, pack or lanyard, the tool you probably use most (next to, perhaps, your hemostats) are your nippers. Personally, I’ve used everything from $2 toenail clippers to Fishpond barrel-shaped nippers to these Abel dealies, and I like them all. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. The toenail clippers are perfectly functional, but you might not want to look like you just stepped out of Walgreen’s when you hit the river. Plus they get dull quickly.

I will say this about the Abel nippers. They cut line—any line I’ve fly fished with—like a deli slicer handles aged cheddar. They’re smartly designed to shave tag ends extremely close. They come with a two-year warranty, and Abel will replace the blades if they wear out. Most of all, they’re easy to handle. Pin them in the right spot within easy reach, and they are almost extensions of your fingers—no fumbling, no messing around, no painstaking effort to line up the clip.

Can you fish an awful long time and make great cuts with many types of clippers? Sure. But there are indeed worthy advantages to consider. My friend Andrew Bennett of Deneki Outdoors recently reviewed the Abel nippers, and I think his observations are spot on.

Whether or not the price tag is an afterthought or a serious bone of contention… well that’s a fight you’ll have to take on yourself. I’m sitting that one out.

Sponsored Link: Buy Abel Nippers

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  • Krebster

    Are they worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!  I have two, one in black and one painted brown trout (add an extra $50).

  • Simonuca

    I dabated and searched a lot when on the move to a new pair of nippers…Finnaly Ive made the plunge and buy one of these…. they are great (they better be for that price). To the unknown reader, I go through a lot of nippers on my fly fishing life (23 years and counting), including the Fishponds and now as a backup nipper. So if you have the money and are considering this ones, go and buy them!

  • Anonymous

    Well of course I don’t need these nippers but it sure makes sense to not have to rebuy nippers over and over. I gave away my fishpond nippers (dumb) and have been using my forceps w/serrated edge as nippers which just haven’t “cut it”. Looking forward to getting these soon.