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Tool Review

The 2Handee's Sibling : Buck'n Beel Enterprises' Braidmaster Pliers (continued)

The usual position for a pair of pliers on a boat or even sometimes on shore when you're fishing is out on deck, in the open. On hot sunny days, this can pose a bit of a problem when you need to grab the tool and its handle is not insulated from the heat. There are few places where the sun is as hot as the Amazon. Thanks to the Braidmaster's unique, and minimal rubber sleeves, the handle of ours was easy to grasp on each occasion without worry of burning our hands.

The Braidmaster features a lever lock to keep the blades closed ...

These days, of course, almost more important than how a pair of fishing pliers handles the duties of assisting you in unhooking your catch is how well the tool cuts your fishing line. This goes for not just any fishing line, but specifically braided lines.

.. shown here in the locked position.

There are a few strategies for cutting jaws on a pair of pliers designed to cut braid. Most of these implementations involve some type of crimping of the line either with two sharp edges meeting together at the point, like a nail clipper on steroids, or with one sharp edge meeting against a smooth, flat surface. In either of the afore mentioned implementations, the cutting jaws of these pliers are usually replaceable.

There is a rather unsophisticated, but effective spring to assist in opening the pliers.

The Braidmaster makes use of a much more simple strategy but one that does not always work well with braid, scissor type blades where two sharp blades slide next to and then pass each other to facilitate the cut. In order to assure the Braidmaster's blades have enough bite to grip, and then slice braided lines, Buck'n Beel Enterprises implemented a very fine serration on this tool's cutters.

The grips are well insulated to guard against heat build up when laid out on the deck.

The end result? The Braidmaster surprisingly slices braided line with little difficulty. We tested it on Power Pro, Sufix Performance Braid, Sufix 832, and Daiwa Samurai Braid all ranging from 40lb to 70lb test. We had this tool for a few weeks before leaving for Brazil, and this performance was actually what tipped the scales in my decision to make this my go to pair of pliers on our trip to the Amazon.

A look at both sides of the Braidmaster's handle.

Ours was a seven day trip with roughly five and a half to six days of fishing. The Braidmaster performed flawlessly in cutting line for tying and retying through the first half of the trip, then suddenly, on day 3, the jaws stopped cutting my braided line cleanly. As the day wore on, performance got worse and worse. I figured, from all the jostling around, perhaps the jaws just needed to be tightened up, so back on the house boat that evening, I did just that but was unable to test the result right away.

The Braidmaster had just a little difficulty with larger hooks caught in tough jaws. It will work fine for the majority of freshwater species, but in the Amazon, it was just a hair overmatched.

The next morning, performance was unchanged. My Braidmaster would no longer slice cleanly through the braided line. I was left without a tool to cut my line. I took quite some time trying to diagnose the issue selecting a different spot on the blade in an attempt to cut my line, but it didn't work. The change in performance was so sudden, it was as if the Braidmaster ran out of batteries, only there was no way to re-energize the tool.

The Braidmaster may not have earned the pedigree of being Amazon Certified, but for a mere $20, it's a very good value in a pair of pliers that will suit most freshwater fishing needs.

On more premium pairs of pliers, the cutting jaws are replaceable. This is not the case with the Braidmaster nor would I expect that to be the case with an eighteen dollar tool. I'm sure the replacement cutters on any of the premium ocean going pliers cost close to if not more than the Braidmaster itself! In either case, when the cutting jaws go out on you, it's not as if you are likely to have a spare on hand anyway.


Buck'n Beel Enterprises Braidmaster Pliers Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Solid but not bullet proof 7.5
Performance They perform well for the most part with just a question of longevity 7
Price Tough to beat here 9
Features Replaceable cutting blades would be a nice touch 7
Design (Ergonomics) Light, comfortable, and just the right size for freshwater species 7.5
Application A good, medium duty pair of fishing pliers 7.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Light and affordable - Because the jaws are thin, they don't have as much power as some machined pliers
+ Jaws get into tight spots - Cutting blades cannot be replaced
+ Insulated handle  


Conclusion: The Braidmaster is very useful pair of fishing pliers. It doesn’t have the bells, whistles, or sophistication of products costing ten times more, but it’s not intended to be “all that” either. The way in which the tool’s cutting jaws failed on me with no warning is a bit of concern, but if you have a backup cutting tool in your arsenal, being caught short handed is easily mitigated. Normally, because stuff tends to happen, I have a few backups on my boat. The Amazon trip was a unique circumstance so that wasn’t possible. It is also a trip that is really harsh on your equipment, so while this tool may not have earned Amazon Certification, if you’re looking for an affordable pair of pliers that can do a lot of different things and do them well, the Braidmaster pliers from Buck’n Beel Enterprises is certainly worth consideration.









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