Braided fishing line has completely transformed the way anglers approach their craft. With its exceptional strength and unique properties, it’s no wonder that it has become a favorite among fishing enthusiasts. However, there is one challenge that comes with using braided line: cutting it.
If you’ve ever tried cutting braid with generic clippers or household tools like scissors or nail clippers, you know how frustrating it can be. The material used to make braid is incredibly strong, which makes it difficult to cut cleanly. But fear not, there are several effective methods to cut braid with precision, allowing you to spend more time fishing and less time struggling with your gear.
What Happens When You Cut Braid With Traditional Tools
Braided fishing line is made by weaving multiple fiber strands together, creating a strong and durable line. However, this strength also makes it challenging to cut. Traditional tools like scissors or nail clippers are not designed to handle the strength of braid, resulting in frayed ends and compromised line integrity. This can weaken your knots and reduce the length of your casts.
The 6 Best Ways to Cut Braided Line
Let’s dive into the six most effective methods for cutting braided line, so you can choose the one that suits you best.
1. Line Cutters
Line cutters are purpose-built tools specifically designed for cutting fishing lines. They excel at cleanly cutting braided lines and should be a staple in every angler’s tackle box. Look for quality line cutters with compact designs that allow for quick and precise cuts. Tools like those from Boomerang Tool Company even come with retractable leashes to keep them secure and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
2. Angler’s Pliers
Angler’s pliers are another reliable option for cutting braided lines. While most fishing pliers have integrated cutters, they tend to wear out quickly. However, some top brands offer replacement cutting blades, allowing you to retain the excellent cutting performance of your pliers.
Purpose-built braid scissors or any sharp pair of scissors also work well for cutting braided lines. Look for compact models that are easy to handle when you’re out fishing. Remember, precision is key when it comes to tying knots, so make sure your scissors allow for clean and accurate cuts.
4. Nail Clippers
Nail clippers have long been a favorite tool among anglers for cutting fishing lines. While they work wonderfully on mono and fluorocarbon lines, they can struggle with braided lines over time, leaving behind frayed ends. Opt for quality nail clippers that will last you a season or longer to ensure a clean cut every time.
While using a knife to cut braid is not ideal, it can be a temporary solution in a pinch. However, be cautious, especially when using a knife on a boat. A small pocket knife with a serrated edge tends to work better and faster than a regular blade, but we strongly advise against this method due to safety concerns.
6. Letter Opener
Believe it or not, a cheap plastic letter opener can do a remarkable job of cutting braided lines, and it’s much safer than using a knife. While it may not be the best option for making precise cuts or trimming tag ends, it is a convenient alternative if you happen to have one available.
Characteristics of the Best Braided Line Cutters
When selecting a tool to cut braid, look out for these key characteristics to ensure you get the best results:
Serrated Cutting Surface
Tools with a serrated cutting surface have an advantage when it comes to cleanly cutting through braided lines. The fine serrations grip the slippery line, allowing for a clean cut in a single pass. This feature is especially useful as blades become dull.
Fishing requires precision, and the same goes for cutting braid. Compact and streamlined designs allow for better maneuverability, making it easier to position the tool precisely where you need it. Avoid using bulky tools that may hinder your ability to make clean cuts or trim tag ends effectively.
Stainless Steel Cutters
Fishing gear is exposed to harsh conditions, particularly for saltwater anglers. Stainless steel cutters are corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for withstanding the corrosive nature of water. While other metals like titanium can also offer anti-corrosive properties, they are usually more expensive. Stainless steel cutters strike the perfect balance between durability and affordability.
Fixing Frayed Line
Despite our best efforts, there may be occasions where you’re forced to cut your line with inferior tools, leaving behind frayed ends. One way to salvage those frayed cuts is by using a lighter. Carefully pass the flame over the frayed area for about half a second at a time, allowing the braided fibers to melt and fuse together. Be cautious not to burn through the line or leave it over a direct flame.
Remember, investing in top-notch line cutters is the best way to avoid frayed cuts and ensure a smooth fishing experience.
Happy Fishing & Tight Lines!