Until recently, it seems like nippers have always been a commodity for fly anglers – they get lost, dropped, or discarded but were always pretty cheap to replace. Well, nippers are no longer your father’s clippers from Walgreens. The “better” nippers have replaceable blades, hook clean-outs, and are rust resistant. Fishpond’s Barracuda clipper ($29.95) have those basic features and are feel good in hand. Abel started the trend towards higher end nippers with their Abel-anodized, stainless steel and T-6061 T6 aluminum models that come in solid colors ($49.95) and sexy fish graphics ($99.95). Hatch recently got into the mix with their own nipper design that is available in a variety of colors and with a great lanyard ($100). The Hatch nipper feels especially good with a spring-like action that is a joy to use.
But, is there a better way at a more affordable price?
Yep, and it’s the C&F 3-in-1 Clipper ($19.95). Jim test drove these and decided they are the way to go. They are especially light and easily handled. But they really shine with respect to their functionality. They come with razor-sharp, replaceable blades that cut tippet like nobody’s business. They even come packaged with 3 additional blades, which is kind of interesting…..does that mean the blades don’t last long? It’s too early to tell, but in the meantime Jim’s just keep cutting. The clipper also comes with C&F’s threader for those of us who can’t see 6x tippet as easily as we once did. Plus, the threader folds into the body of the nipper so the wire threader remains straight. Finally, it has an eye cleaner that is more convenient to use than any other nipper that comes to mind. It, too, folds into the body of the nipper so it won’t catch on things.
Fly fishing gear is famous for gimmicks and gadgets that often fall short of expectations. The C&F clipper is not in that category. Check it out the next time you’re in the Shop.