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Abel Pliers are Pricey but Exude Quality (continued)


Operation cont'd: Below the jaws is the joint of the pliers and a sealed spring mechanism. This spring keeps the jaws of the Abel pliers slightly open but doesnít deliver a lot of resistance like many other pliers. This makes it easy to hold the pliers closed for extended periods without feeling like you are fighting the pliers. Because the spring keeps the pliers open it also makes it easy to reach and simply clamp on objects rather than using your fingers to open the pliers. 


The pliers feel food in hand with one side featuring machined edges to match your fingers


The jaws on the Abel #4 pliers sport two very pointed tips and if you notice the arms of the pliers donít extend all the way up to end of the jaws, this allows anglers to do extremely detailed work like picking up very fine hooks on flies. Below this is a textured area good for grabbing split shot and other items that require compression, and below that are the actual cutting edges of the pliers.


A quick look at the Abelblade which is currently still in testing


Unlike many other pliers that have cutting edges on the side of the pliers Abel positions them in the main jaws allowing anglers a very balanced full pressure cut. When comparing these pliers with many competing pliers it was hard to notice a difference when cutting mono and fluorocarbon leaders but when it came to braided line it was absolutely no contest, the Abel pliers simply cuts through braided line easier and stays sharp much longer.


The center of the pliers features a sealed spring mechanism


The same thing that happened to me all those years ago when I broke my non-branded pliers happened recently to a pair of P-Line pliers we were also testing at Lake Falcon. For the rest of the trip we used my Abel pliers and not only did it cut through all our braid but it was able to sever through all but the superline hooks without issue. While we donít recommend cutting hooks with pliers this expensive it is good to know that in an emergency the Abel pliers can get the job done. I did note that while it was easy enough to cut line with the Abel pliers the position of the cutters in the base of the jaws did make some cuts awkward where a side cutter was easier at times to position.


A dip in the highly alkaline waters of Pyramid Lake, Nevada


The one thing that the Abel #4 pliers are missing is split ring jaws. It is a bit of a trade off since fly anglers will not use this function much and will prefer the pointed jaws but bass and saltwater anglers will miss the ability to quickly change out split rings. During my tests I had to carry my Texas Split Ring pliers for this function, nonetheless for anglers looking for one pair of fishing pliers to do it all, this is a missing feature.  The holster is not an essential option but it is a very nice one. I liked both the standard holster as well as the dual holster which held the Abelblade. How well did the Abelblade hold up to our tests? Well that review is still ongoing so stay tuned.


The handle is ported for weight reduction


Durability: The Abel pliers are built to be refined but I found they are also built to be robust. Throughout our tests I didnít find any rust on these pliers and even after fishing in the very alkaline water at Pyramid Lake Nevada as long as we made a quick rinse under a bottle of water the Abel pliers remained in ďlike newĒ condition. The spring has held up well throughout two seasons of fishing and the finish on my trout version has not scratched or scuffed up, scratches are more visible on the standard black pair but nothing has penetrated the top layer. The cutters on the original black pliers is starting to dull but this is also because I subjected it to extremely stressful conditions including cutting hooks.


Screws hold in the replaceable jaws


We also had no problem with the bottle opener, while it was the one feature I could probably do without it was convenient to bust open a cold one after landing those big fish. These pliers are likely to last a long time, so long that anglers can quite easily pass them on from one generation to the next much like a quality fly reel or collectors watch.


To keep the pliers dry I attached them to my vest while wading at Pyramid Lake


Next Section: So what about that price and customization?










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