Like many things in fly fishing, selecting the proper tools can be an intimidating task. However, it doesn’t have to be. First of all any angler must be able to evaluate what type of fishing they will be doing. Chances are that as a trout angler you won’t ever find yourself in a situation where you need extremely heavy-duty pliers. Instead, chances are you will want to opt for something with much more precision and that is a more finely tuned instrument.
Over the past couple of weeks we have been able to get our hands on a bunch of the different tools from the awesome staff over at Rising. These guys have been handcrafting fine tools since early 2005 and needless to say they have got you covered in just about every situation.
In order to give these tools a proper run out I enlisted the help of one of our more regular blog contributors, Spencer M., and he was more than happy to oblige. Below you will find our collective thoughts on the Rising collection of tools. In part one of our overview, we will be looking at the Ultralight Pliers.
Rising Ultralight Pliers:
JC: I have been using these pliers for close to five years now. I was introduced to these shortly after joining the team at Fishwest. Since then, I have had these with me on just about every angling adventure I have been on. They have seen time in both fresh and saltwater on bonefish flats and trout streams alike.
- Built in Scissors: When I am out fishing, I don’t like having a ton of different things with me so this was a no brainer. I have found these scissors to be a replacement for nippers almost 100% of the time. I would say that these scissors do well on a variety of different size tippets ranging from 8x to 30lb mono or fluoro.
- Ease of use: As someone who has Cerebral Palsy I have always struggled with tools like scissors and traditional hemostats. The closure of traditional looped hemostats has always given me trouble and honestly, those loops become even harder in the cold winter months. Queue the Ultralights; these pliers feature a spring-loaded, rubber-gripped design, that is really easy to open. Simply apply a little bit of pressure and your good to go! No more messing with pesky finger loops.
What doesn’t work:
- Jaw Length: I realize that these are meant to be precision tools for smaller and tighter spaces. However, I wish these had just a little bit more length when it came to the jaws.
- No eye clearing tool: I feel it would be extremely beneficial to somehow work a eye clearing needle into the design of these pliers. If that were the case, my nippers would then be considered irrelevant.
Spencer: Before my first in person experience with the Rising Ultralight I was told that they were an awesome tool and that they were worth every penny to purchase. At first glance there wasn’t a lot of “wow” factor. The Ultralight have a simple offset rubberized grip, a simple opening mechanism, and normal pliers. My immediate response was “these look simple, user friendly, and look like they will get the job done.” After having my hands on them for a while now that immediate response has been validated, but with one change, the “wow” factor is in how well they work.
- Ease of Opening: Quite possibly my favorite thing about the ultralights is how easy they are to open up. They require a moderate grip strength and then they will open up fairly easily. I asked my wife to try and open the Ultralights; a quick squeeze and she was able to get them to open fairly easily. That right there is a big plus.
- Built in scissors: Having scissors incorporated into the body helps eliminate the need for extra tools while on the water. While they are not a perfect replacement for nippers they definitely work well.
- Lanyard hole: I’ve been known to drop a thing or three in my life – being able to protect my investment from falling into the river is a big time plus. The hole is small and discrete so if you don’t want to use it it is not an eye sore.
What doesn’t work:
- Length: this is a minor concern. If I didn’t know about any other Rising tools the length would be good – but knowing about the Work pliers (they boast the same easy open design) makes me wish the Ultralights had the extra inch.
- Fit in Hand: I found that if I didn’t hold the Ultralights the correct way that my hand got uncomfortable very quickly. The lanyard hole causes the grip on that side to be very short. When I hole side against the palm of my hand and opened the Ultralights a few times it wasn’t nearly as comfortable as I would have liked. (Easy solution – grab them the right way)
Stay tuned for part two of our review of Rising’s tool offerings when we review the Work 6” Clamps as well as the Bob’s Tactical Scissors.