There is a debate among fisherman on whether to lip your fish or not. If you are a seasoned fisherman, then you likely stand firmly on one side of this argument and have for years. If you are new to the world of fishing, then perhaps you are still forming your opinion on this contested topic. Either way, if you are going to lip your fish, then the safest and most effective way to do so is by using a fish lip gripper.
Why Use a Lip Gripper
Although most would agree that a lip gripper is not the most practical tool to use in every single situation, it certainly does serve a useful purpose in the right context. For those who utilize a lip gripper, achieving better control over your catch while keeping yourself and the fish safe are generally the main objectives.
Prior to the invention of lip grips, fishermen were left to use just their hands and perhaps a pair of pliers to try and control a struggling fish while they removed the hook, took pictures, or measured their fish. This often resulted in a multitude of injuries to either the fisherman, the fish, or both.
Without the use of a lip gripper, it’s far more likely that you will impose dangerous injuries to the gills of your fish, ultimately putting them back in the water only to die. Furthermore, when you are handling a toothy fish, you put yourself at risk for injuries by letting your hands get anywhere near the mouth of your catch.
What to Look For
So, what makes for a good lip gripper? When starting your search, you want to make sure that the product is sturdy. There is no point in lipping your fish only to have it thrash around and come loose. You want to make sure that your gripper is made from durable materials that will not easily break or rust. Therefore a product that is made from high quality steel is likely your best bet.
Other features such as a locking mechanism to keep prongs shut, a built in fishing scale, or spring and swivel capabilities are all useful attributes but certainly not standard or required.
Price will likely play a large role in your decision as these products have a wide price range.
Whether you are looking for a basic and simple model or a high-quality professional grade version, we can help! We have compiled a list of several brands so that you can find exactly what you are looking for.
The BogaGrip is one of the most widely-acclaimed and highly rated of any brands on the market today. This product has a great reputation, though it comes with a price tag to match, as it is one of the more expensive grippers for sale. You pay a higher price for high quality gear, and quality is what you will get with the BogaGrip. Constructed from the highest grade stainless steel, this gripper will stand the test of time without breaking, bending, or rusting.
The Boga Grip offers three models, each with different weight limits for the given scale: 15, 30, or 60 pounds. With a multitude of desirable features beyond just the incredibly accurate scale, it is no surprise that this brand is a fan favorite. The Boga Grip has prongs that shut to a specific degree of tightness based on the weight of the fish as well as a locking mechanism installed to keep those prongs shut in the tightest position possible.
In addition, the gripper has the ability to swivel, allowing for less torque due to spinning fish. And if all of that wasn’t enough to impress you, the BogaGrip also utilizes a shock absorber in order to hinder any of your fish’s attempts to break free. This revolutionary product seemingly does it all so that you don’t have to risk your safety or the safety of your fish.
Although the BogaGrip is pricey, you might want to look at this purchase as an investment. Buying the BogaGrip might cost you more right now, but you can rest assured that you will end up paying less later when you don’t have to replace it every few years, as you likely will with some of the less expensive grippers options.
If the BogaGrip is too pricey for your lip gripping budget, then Berkley’s gripper is for you. The Berkley Gig Game Lip Grip has solid reviews and although it does not feature a built in scale or tape measure, it does a decent job of gripping the fish which is the most important aspect of this tool.
Even though Berkley doesn’t offer the same bells and whistles as the BogaGrip, it does have some desirable qualities. Due to its lightweight design and a trigger that is not overly tight, you have the ability to operate this device with just one hand. This allows for greater mobility and handling of the fish with less effort and strain on you.
This gripper can handle fish up to 50 pounds with ease, but watch out with the more petite fish as some feel that the lip-grip is too large for smaller catches. Equipped with a studded rubber handle for excellent grip and a firm lock on the fish’s lip, this brand is a quality choice for anyone on a budget or anyone just looking for a simple and straightforward design.
3. Booms Fishing
If you fall somewhere in between wanting to go all out with your fish lip gripper selection and buying the least expensive one, then the Booms Fishing model might be the right choice for you. At around double the cost of Berkley’s lip grip, this heavy duty brand packs a lot of punch for a reasonable price.
Constructed from corrosion resistant stainless steel and aluminum, Booms Fish Grip is durable and highly resistant to saltwater. With an EVA handle, you will be able to comfortably grip this tool without worrying about it slipping from your hands and thanks to its 360-degree swivel, you won’t struggle with squirmy fish.
This brand keeps your safety in mind by ensuring that the clip mouth is kept five inches from the handle to avoid dangerous injury. This model also features a scale with two accurate units of measurement so you can weigh your catch of up to 40 pounds. One of the most appealing features of this gripper is the spring mechanism that allows for one-handed operation by simply pressing the trigger with one finger.