For some reason, cutting braided line seems to confound and frustrate anglers, especially those new to using super lines. The same qualities that make braid attractive for fishing (strength, toughness, and durability) also make it more challenging to cut. Fortunately, with the proper tools and some practice, trimming braided line quickly and cleanly becomes much easier.
The Easy Method to Cut Braided Fishing Line
Cutting braided fishing line doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Imagine you’re out on the open water, reeling in a big catch. Suddenly, you realize the need to trim the line. What do you do? Fear not, for with a few simple steps, you can master the art of cutting braided fishing line.
Begin by holding the knot or main line in one hand. With the other hand, take the tag end and position the cutters or scissors near the desired trimming spot. Create tension in the braid by gently pulling on the tag end. Then, in one smooth motion, bring the braid down to where the cutting blades meet and snip.
Voila! You should now have a cleanly trimmed tag end on the knot. If you find that your cutters are not up to the task, it may be time to invest in a new pair. Consider the following specifications for your cutting tools:
- Sharp Blades – Dull scissors or rusty side cutters are simply ineffective when it comes to cutting braided line. Braid is composed of multiple fibers woven together. Dull blades will only squeeze the fibers, resulting in frayed ends that are difficult to thread through and tie knots.
- Hard Cutting Edge – Even with sharp blades, if the cutters are not hardened, they won’t maintain their cutting ability for long. The synthetic fibers of the braid will wear down the metal, leaving you with dull edges once again.
- Precision – Bulky scissors may make trimming precise knots more challenging than necessary. Opt for short, sharp blades that offer a stiffer and more precise cutting action. Keep in mind that tying leader knots to braid requires precision as well. An excessively long tag end may catch on the rod guides and compromise the knot’s strength.
The Best Tools for Cutting Braided Line
Now that you know the technique, let’s explore the best tools for the job. When it comes to cutting braided fishing line, you have three main options: scissors, side cutters, and snips. Each tool has its advantages, so let’s take a closer look.
1. Fiskars Titanium Craft Scissors (5”)
Craft scissors, particularly the titanium-coated versions, make excellent line cutters. Precision is crucial when trimming knots and tying fluorocarbon leaders onto braided main lines. The short blades of craft scissors allow for precise cuts and trims, while the titanium coating ensures a sharp and hard cutting action that slices through braid effortlessly.
These scissors are readily available and affordable at stores like Wal-Mart or Target. Consider keeping a set in your boat and another in your fishing backpack for easy access whenever you need them. Just remember to use them solely for cutting braid to maintain their longevity.
Braid Cutting Ability = 7/10
2. Fiskars Titanium Micro-Tip Scissors
If you’re looking for a tool that takes craft scissors to the next level, the Micro-Tip Scissors are your best bet. With sharp titanium-coated blades, these scissors fit snugly into an easy-grip handle. The spring-loaded handle allows for easy opening and reduces hand strain, making it a perfect choice for cutting braid in cold weather when fingers may not cooperate.
The 5-inch version is ideal for fishing, as it easily slips into tool holders on boats. The Micro-Tip Scissors outshine regular scissors with their convenient open and close operation, proving especially helpful in chilly conditions. After all, fishing with cold hands can be challenging, and these scissors provide a little extra help.
Braid Cutting Ability = 8/10
3. Boomerang Braid Snips
For anglers who prefer specialized tools, the Boomerang Braid Snips are designed specifically for cutting braided fishing lines. This compact device fits easily in a shirt or jeans pocket and even features a split ring attached to a retractable lanyard cord. Kayak anglers, in particular, will appreciate the convenience of not having to fumble with scissors; they can simply pull out the snips from their personal flotation devices (PFDs).
Attach the Boomerang to a belt loop at the start of your fishing day, ensuring it’s always within reach. The small cutting mechanism, housed in an ergonomic plastic body, requires a quick squeeze of the sides to effortlessly slice through the line. The stainless steel blades are short, strong, and sharp, allowing for clean and rapid cuts. Just keep in mind that the snips may rust a little when used in saltwater.
Braid Cutting Ability = 9/10
So, whether you prefer craft scissors, micro-tip scissors, or specialized braid snips, rest assured that cutting braided fishing line can be a breeze with the right tools. Choose the method that suits you best and enjoy frustration-free angling adventures!