Monday, June 13, 2011

In The Field Review: Hydros Pliers

Back in March I got a couple of pairs of the new Orvis Hydros Pliers thanks to my friend Tom. As you can see I put up an initial review after I got them. I have put them to the test for the past few months and I can give a much more thorough review on them. I have had them with me constantly in that time frame and I can say without hesitation that they are one of the best tools I have ever used.

Hydros in use- they have been fantastic!
I am not easy on equipment. I have used a number of other pliers before and have had mixed success. My biggest complaint with other pliers has been the cutting blades. No complaints with the Hydros. They cut through mono and wire like a hot knife through butter. I have been using the Freshwater pair more extensively so far and have cut everthing from 60 lb wire to 26 lb wire to 50 lb fluorocarbon to light tippet with no problems. I have yet to see a change in the sharpness of the cutting blade. The cut they provide is good and clean too. Very nice. For a multi-species angler like myself this really does help out a lot. I like to cut down on the amount of stuff that I carry so if one tool can provide multiple functions I am all about it. I used to carry nippers, forceps and pliers. Now I just carry the Hydros.

When I am fishing I don't like to have to be concerned about my gear. The sheath provided with the Hydros has let me do that. Not once has the pair of pliers fallen out of the sheath. It keeps the pliers very secure but also allows easy access to them when they are needed. The lanyard has worked out great so far too- although I have to admit that once or twice the clip came undone. I don't blame the clip though. I  know I have put the pliers back into the sheath in a funky manner (all twisted up) when this has happened. I do have to say that I wish they would put the lanyards by themselves for sale (hint hint). My biggest complaint with the sheath is that the belt loop is a bit small to put on a standard wading belt. I know they weren't intended to go on wading belt so for 90% of people that is fine but I like to have them on my side when fishing. I can get them through with some work but another 1/4 inch would make it sooooooooo much easier.
Big fish, small fly, long lanyard- great pliers!

As far as de-hooking fish: awesome! No issues there. They aren't intended to be used on small fish so don't expect to be getting a #16 nymph from deep in a trout's mouth, but with big streamers and nymphs they do the job incredibly well. I have used them on bass, bowfin, gar, musky, panfish, suckers, trout and a turtle that managed to take my fly too. No problems on any account there. And they were darned handy with that turtle too (he was a tad bit upset).

I did use the Saltwater model frequently when I was in Florida and everything I said about the Freshwater model is the same. I haven't used them as much here yet, but musky season is just around the corner. They will be perfect for the bigger flies I use and the larger fish I will be seeking out. They are definitely heavy duty- I grabbed smaller bonefish flies by the bend with these pliers and they straightened out the hook. Very strong so use caution with them.

I am very pleased with these tools. They are well thought out and work exceptionally well. I don't need to carry multiple tools any more thanks to the Hydros pliers. Keep up the good work Orvis!

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