To save everyone time, almost any nipper, clipper or fishing scissor will cut through monofilament or fluorocarbon. Although the very fragile petite ones can struggle to get through heavy tests. So for cutting tippet or leader material a $5 toenail clipper does a perfectly fine job. No need to spend big money on a luxury brand.
Braid and fly line backing is where things get more tricky, the cheap clippers, nippers and even some scissors really struggle to cut through braid. Some even tear braid rather than cut. For cutting braid or fly line backing then a pair of braid scissors work best.
Again, there is no need to spend big money. Ten dollars is more than enough to get scissors which will slice through braid like it is butter, although the cheap scissors become blunt quite quickly, and rust can shortens their life expectancy. I typically lose my scissors, before they break or wear out so I own multiple pairs of cheap fishing scissors.
If you also want to cut through wire, or 400lb test then you are certainly not trout fishing, and most scissors and nippers will not be up to the task. That is where wire cutters on a pair of pliers really comes into their own. Crimpers often also have inbuilt cutters but I have found them to be rather blunt implements.
These I what I use to cut line, AKA the cheap option.
To cut tippet I use 777 Toe Nail Clippers, the main reason I use this brand because I like the build quality, they feel solid. Plus the gold gives them a prestigious appearance. They easily cut through tippet and even my finger nails.
To cut braid, I typically buy the cheapest braid scissors I can find. I previously used Shimano branded scissors, but they are a bit pricey. These Cuda 3’’ Titanium-Bonded Fishing Scissors meet all my criteria.
The titanium-bonded blades are a bit of sham, it is a soft coating which will likely flake/rub off with use… but the underlying scissors is good for the price.
The Booms Fishing S1 Braided scissors also work well. Plus they come with a cheap lanyard which will reduce the chance of losing them. It is possible to spend a lot gear to cut fishing line, but the cheap tools work just as well.
For cutting through wire and very heavy test, I use the cutters on my Rapala pliers.
Premium Quality Line cutting tools
I accept not everyone wants to fish with cheap quality junk, some people just like to use quality products. Well, I have also tried many of the expensive options, and have lost most of them over the years. They are very nice to use and generally cut through line just fine.
My recommended premium Line Clippers
Well, this tool comes with line nippers, a file for sharpening hooks, a needle for cleaning fly eyes and a little tool to assist in tying knots. I have never used the knot tool. It is also made in the united states.
Able and Orvis Nippers
These are luxury nippers and are expensive. Apparently they are sharp enough to cut through braid. If you want the ultimate in fly fishing nippers these are among the best options. I do not know much about them, I consider them too expensive.
The best Braid Scissors
These are very high quality scissors which do an excellent job at cutting through braid. In my experience these are the best braid scissors on the market.
Most fly fishermen will know the brand Dr Slick and that their products are generally of good quality. Their braid scissors are no exception, very sharp. Also quite likely to find them in most fly fishing stores.
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