A good pair of pliers or forceps are absolutely critical pieces of gear all anglers should carry during a day on the water. I've got a sweet pair of higher-end machined pliers I've been using for the last year or so with great results, but my past and current forceps are always rather cheap and basic. Oh yeah, they work totally fine, but since I do often carry forceps both by themselves and along with pliers, I started shopping for some with a little more quality and refinement. Enter the Loon Outdoors Rogue Forceps!
Measuring 5.5 inches overall, these forceps are what you'd expect but with a couple of extra features thrown in. Crafted from surgical-quality stainless steel, they sport a matte-black finish that's rust-resistant, jaws that are half serrated and half smooth, a locking and coated handle, and a tiny needle for clearing clogged hook eyes.
Aside from looking cool and being the right size for most of my needs, the feature that stood out to me was the handle. It's "double-dipped" in a kind of grippy soft-touch material that's really pleasant to hold wet or dry. Unlike standard forceps that can be uncomfortable when manipulating or applying heavy force, this material coupled with the overall handle thickness remains extremely comfortable. On top of this, the handle holes still provide plenty of room for my fingers to pass in and out of quickly. The material seems very durable and I have no worries about it thus far, but time will of course tell here.
The little eye cleaning needle sits between the jaws and handle. It's quite small and has a fine, sharp tip that accommodates hooks from big to tiny. The needle worked perfectly during testing when I cleared some hardened resin from hook eyes. In addition, the needle sits at a part of the tool that's flat and open which makes it simple to get hook eyes in and out. I do have to remember the needle is there, though, as I've lightly poked myself a few times when handling the tool!
The locking handle provides two locking positions for a very secure hold. This makes it easy to clip onto a vest, pack, pants pocket, or whatever, and gives you the option of locking the handles securely or SUPER securely for added peace-of-mind.
This particular set of Rogue Forceps works well for removing many hooks, but small nymphs and dries would be served best by the Rogue Spring Creek or Micro Forceps, both of which are scaled-down a bit for even more precise work. With the front half of my Rogue's jaws being smooth and the back being serrated, the jaws work well for removing hooks or flattening barbs (I flattened the barb on a 3/0 saltwater hook easily). I was actually expecting the smooth/serrated portions to be the other way around as it makes more sense in my mind from a gripping standpoint, but as is these have worked well for me so far—the smooth portion grips hooks very well.
Although there are several other styles of Rogue Forceps offered by Loon, I just wanted a more "standard" style of forceps that were just a little nicer than average. These delivered. Great forceps that look cool and don't have an overblown price tag—works for me! Check out the link below to scope out all of Loon's various fishing tools.
Link: Loon Outdoors Tools