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Best Fish Grippers for 2023 — How to Safely Secure Your Fish

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Best Overall
Rapala 9" Floating Fish Gripper 9"
Editor's Choice
Boga Grip 315 15lb Scale
Feature 1
Made of plastic so you won’t have to worry about rusting
Well built and doesn’t rust
Feature 2
Super cheap
Scale weighs fish up to 15 pounds
Best Overall
Thumbnail
Rapala 9" Floating Fish Gripper 9"
Feature 1
Made of plastic so you won’t have to worry about rusting
Feature 2
Super cheap
Editor's Choice
Thumbnail
Boga Grip 315 15lb Scale
Feature 1
Well built and doesn’t rust
Feature 2
Scale weighs fish up to 15 pounds

Have you ever been fishing, caught a monster catfish, and had to lift up your catch without gloves or a fish gripper?

Best Fish Grippers Reviews for 2023

Rapala 9″ Floating Fish Gripper 9″

Best Plastic Grippers

Sale
Rapala 9″ Floating Fish Gripper 9″
  • Land and release your catch without harm to you or the fish
  • Securely hold fish with one-hand
  • Quick release mechanism holds strong and releases with ease

Rapala Floating Fish Gripper has been around for ages and has made quality fishing products. This fish gripper is no different.

It’s simple in its design and made of plastic, so you won’t have to worry about rusting. Plus, it is super cheap and can help you carry the big fish you catch on the water.

This is one of the best plastic lip grippers if you don’t need a scale. I know a few fishermen who swear this is the best catfish gripper.


Boga Grip 315 15lb Scale Fish Gripper

Best Grippers with Scale

Boga Grip 315 15lb Scale
  • This BogaGrip is Model 315: The scale weighs fish up to 15…
  • The BogaGrip is designed to promote “catch and release…
  • The fish’s weight is checked by reading the point that the…

If you’re looking to take detailed notes about how much your fish weighs, then it’s essential you get a Boga Grip. We consider this one of the best fish scales on the market. It’s made from stainless steel, plastic, and metal.

This is the best tool for the job if you plan to file for any IGFA records. Just remember to send it to them to get certified.

It’s well-built and doesn’t rust. I have one and love it. It’s worth the money and can be passed down from generation to generation.


When lifting a large fish out of the water, most people will lose the fish when it tries to get away and fights the angler.

Best fish lip gripper is the Boga Grip
My fish lip gripper of choice is the Boga grip 15lb.

With a pair of the best fish grippers, the threat of losing your fish is essentially nonexistent. Most lip grippers grab and do not let go unless the angler releases the teeth of the gripper.

This, in turn, grants the angler a safe way to handle the big fish and the toothier fish when freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing.

What is a Fish Lip Gripper?

A fish lip gripper is a tool that clamps a fish’s lower jaw. This ensures that the angler’s hands do not have to reach into the fish’s mouth, where there could be sharp teeth or very rough toothy patches.

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The fish gripper keeps the angler from putting his/her hands in harm’s way and keeps the fish from getting away while thrashing violently in an attempt to escape into the depths.

Yes, a net or gaff works wonders. However, the gaff is mainly for the angler looking for food, not to catch and release. As well as, a net can become cumbersome in a smaller vessel or kayak.

Some higher-end fishing grippers are equipped with a digital scale to weigh the fish and quickly ensure a proper release.

Fisher Gripper Materials

Grippers are made from various materials – from plastic floating fish grippers to aluminum ones, stainless steel, and many different alloys to aid in corrosion resistance in a saltwater environment.

These come in a variety of styles. The small fish gripper, softer aluminum, and plastic with entry-level springs in the jaws are for average fish. Some models include a 30 lb scale.

For some of the larger saltwater fish, you’ll need the expensive and larger models made of stainless steel with powerful springs in the jaws. These can include a digital scale ranging up to 100 lbs.

Handling Fish Safely

A fish gripper helps anglers handle fish safely. They are also a better way to handle fish.

When most people catch bass, they ‘lip’ the bass, holding the fish by the bottom lip and allowing the fish’s body to make an arch. This is bad for the fish as it stretches the fish’s spine and hurts them greatly. When the fish is released, it’ll have a very low chance of surviving.

How To Use A Fish Gripper

Essentially, all fish grippers are the same. The different models and types have various triggers that open the jaws of the lip gripper. It has a locking mechanism that either has a button or a switch you can press that locks and holds the jaws in place.

In other models, it is as simple as engaging the trigger to open the jaws. When the jaws are around the fish’s mouth, releasing the trigger and the spring will hold the jaws on the lip of the fish.

Once you finish handling the fish, all you have to do is return the fish to the water and release the jaws of your lip gripper. The fish will swim away without incident.

Why Would You Use a Fish Lip Gripper?

As noted earlier, there are various reasons to use a fish lip gripper.

This tool helps and aids a fisherman in holding the fish to keep it from getting away when it thrashes violently.

It ensures the fisherman has a good hold on the fish when attempting to take the hooks out of the fish’s mouth. Grippers help to keep the hooks from the lure from snagging the angler in hand as well.

Grippers are suitable for fish and help keep an angler from damaging the nervous system when handling the fish. This can be ideal when removing hooks or taking pictures of a trophy catch!

Some fish grippers also come with a scale that keeps the fish from slipping off of the sharpest fishing hook on conventional scales. This has happened to me more times than I would like to admit!

How Can a Fish Lip Gripper Help Handle Fish?

A fish lip gripper helps handle fish when pulling them out of the water. As well as gives the angler something solid to hold onto when extracting the hooks from the fish’s mouth.

They also aid in keeping specific species of fish, such as trout, from being damaged when handling. This is important if anglers forget to wet their hands before touching the fish. This could remove the slimy layer on the fish, which will lead to the death of the fish.

Imagine pulling in a 100 lb great sea catfish and having nothing but the good lord between you to handle the fish and remove the hook from the fish’s mouth.

A pair of grippers will aid and keep the fish from getting away and keep your hands out of the mouth if the fish decides to clamp down on your hand, which is as good as running your hand against a belt sander going full speed.


Final Thoughts

I have been in many situations and needed a pair of grippers.

Whether it’s catching a monster Mekong giant catfish or fighting massive striped bass, a pair of fish grippers have come in handy in every situation that requires handling a larger fish or an aquatic animal that could easily take a finger off with a simple bite like what a walleye teeth can do.

These are essential for the modern fisherman or any fisherman. They help an angler in a clean catch and release and keep an angler’s hands from having to lip a feisty bass, walleye, pike, or crappie. These tools are most definitely essential for a fisherman.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do most grippers come with a scale?

Most fish lip grippers come with a digital scale, and cheaper options do not and are just jaws that help you hold your fish.

What are the different sizes of fish grippers?

The sizes range from small, rated up to 3 lbs, all the way up to 100 lbs.

Can a lip gripper damage a fish’s mouth?

A fish lip gripper does not damage a fish’s mouth. Most grippers have round and smooth jaws that do nothing more than clamp both sides of the fish’s lip.

What are the differences between lip grippers?

There are many different shapes and sizes of lip grippers. They can come in a T shape, pistol grip, and a simple plier style in the cheaper variants. Most fish lip grippers are the same per advertised strength; they all use a strong spring to hold the jaws closed.

Do fish lip grippers float?

Some models of plastic fish lip grippers float. However, if you purchase metal grippers, you can expect them to sink. Most metal variants come with a wrist lanyard and a carabiner clip to attach to your pants or pack.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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Articles » Gear Reviews » Best Fish Grippers for 2023 — How to Safely Secure Your Fish