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Best Fly Fishing Nippers – Budget Options

Nippers are one of the most important tools in our arsenal. They can cut tippet, leaders and also clean the eyes of flies. Nippers are one of the most used tools by all fly fishers, so it is important to select a good pair.

Nowadays, there are many high end nippers from companies like Abel, Hatch, and Simms. These high end nippers can cost hundreds of dollars, which is a hefty purchase for most fly fishers. Although I like these nippers (especially Abel), I don’t think they’re necessary for most folks. There are better ways to spend your hard earned money – I like to put this extra cash into rods, lines and reels, which are much more important to me.

The nippers listed below are made by trusted fly fishing brands. They provide a quality, sharp nipper without having to break the bank. These nippers cost much less than their higher end counterparts, but they will still provide years of service.

Rising Big Nippa

I love the Rising Big Nippa. It is large enough that any angler will find it easy to use. The cutting blades are .75 inches long, which makes it super easy to cut tippet. There is also a nice contour where your thumb goes, which makes them very ergonomic.

The Big Nippa cuts all types of nylon and fluorocarbon tippet, and will even cut braid. No matter what type of fly fishing you like to do, the Big Nippa will serve you well. They last for years, and are priced at a point that is very appealing to most anglers.

The hook eye cleaner is protected by a slot, so it will stay intact for a long time. Whenever there is glue on your hook eye, simply use the cleaner to clear it out.

With multiple colors available, the Big Nippa will appeal to lots of fly anglers around the world. It also comes with a warranty from Rising. This warranty ensures that you are satisfied with the product, or you can return it.

Loon Outdoors Rogue Nipper

The Rogue Nipper is a great option for folks who prefer a smaller nipper. The grip is very high quality, with the Loon logo in the middle. The hook eye cleaner is good quality, and comparable to the Big Nippa from Rising.

Rogue Nipper blades are extremely sharp, and are made of stainless steel. Loon is known for making quality fly fishing accessories, and the Rogue Nippers are no exception.

For fly fishers looking for a smaller profile nipper, the Rogue Nipper is a great pick. They are also one of the most affordable nippers in this lineup.

Umpqua River Grip Nipper

The River Grip Nipper from Umpqua is a larger nipper, which is similar in size to Rising’s Big Nippa. For fly fishers looking for a larger nipper, this is a good choice.

The tungsten carbide blades last for years, and are very durable. They will stay sharp for longer than a regular steel blade.

The rotating ring allows for easy attachment to any vest or pack. I like to put these on a retractable zinger for easy use.

The River Grips are also available in 5 colors, so fly anglers have a good range of options when it comes to colors.

The wide cutting blade on these make them super easy to use. This is especially helpful for anglers with poor eyesight.

Orvis Comfy Grip Nipper

The Comfy Grip Nippers from Orvis have a similar profile to the Loon Rogue Nippers. This small profile is perfect for minimalist anglers who want less bulk in their accessories.

The Comfy Grips come in 3 colors, and feature a quality cutting blade. Although this blade is sharp, it isn’t as durable as the tungsten blades found in other models. They will get dull a bit faster than the Umpqua model.

These nippers also feature a hook eye cleaner, and a hole which allows for easy attachment to a zinger.

Dr. Slick Traditional Nipper

Dr. Slick is known for making very sharp scissors, nippers, and other fly fishing accessories. The Traditional Nipper is a bare bones nipper that is extremely sharp. For anglers looking for simplicity and quality, this is it.

One unique feature is the hook file on the back of the nipper. This is perfect for sharpening your flies when you’re out on the water. Normally, you’d have to buy a separate hook hone for this, so it’s a great included feature.

The Traditional Nipper is available in satin or black, and also features a hook eye cleaner.

Orvis Flow Nipper

This is the priciest nipper on this list, and for good reason. The entire nipper is machined from high quality stainless steel. Instead of an actual dipped grip, it features machined grooves for an ergonomic grip.

The Flow Nipper is .5 inches wide by 2 inches long. The blades are premium steel, and are what you’d expect from a premium nipper. However, the Flow Nipper costs much less than an Abel or Simms nipper.

For anglers looking for a high end nipper without spending hundreds, the Orvis Flow Nipper is a great pick.

Rising Nippa

The Rising Nippa is a slimmed down version of their Big Nippa. It still offers sharp blades and a great grip, but it’s just an overall smaller nipper. It also costs less than the Big Nippa, which is a nice plus.

The Rising Nippa is a quality cutting tool that will last for a long time. I know many anglers that use them, and they’re all satisfied.

If the Rising Big Nippa is a bit much for you, consider their regular Nippa. This nipper also comes with a solid warranty from Rising, so you can return it if you don’t like it.

Best Nipper Choice

My personal favorite is the Rising Big Nippa. It is extra large, has very sharp blades, and also comes with a good warranty. It is also a top seller in fly shops around the country. Rising has really cemented their place as one of the best accessory makers in fly fishing. If I could only fish with one nipper, it would be the Big Nippa.

Cheaper Vs Expensive Nippers

When thinking about buying your first pair of nippers, it is important to factor in your budget. There are many accessories required for fly fishing, and we don’t want to blow our budget on a pair of nippers. This is why I recommend that beginners start with a cheaper pair. You can always upgrade as you get more into the sport. 

All of the nippers shown above will last for years, but probably not a lifetime. If you’re looking for a nipper that will last for decades, then I would recommend looking at Abel, Hatch or Simms nippers. These are machined out of the highest grade metals, and have extremely durable jaws. They are also anodized for a beautiful finish. 

However, for the price of a premium nipper, you can buy many sets of cheaper nippers. For this reason, choosing a premium nipper isn’t very economical. 

Another factor to think about is losing your nippers. This happens quite often with fly fishers, and it’s better to lose a cheap pair than a premium pair. They are really easy to misplace since they are so small.