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Tools Review

Delivering the Ultimate Catch and Release Tool...The Lipper

Date: 5/19/04
Tackle type: Tools
Manufacturer: Lipper Tools
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.08 + Editor's Choice!

There are four major players on the market when it comes to offering gripping solutions. While the objective has always been to properly land, control, weigh, and release fish without harm, all of these tools address the aim with a different design philosophy. The Lipper from “Lipper Tools, Inc.” is a exciting new tool that strives to deliver unique elements and inventive features where other catch and release tools fall short.

Lipper 26 (LIP26BP) Specifications

Scale Maximum Capacity 26 lbs
Overall Length 9.5"
Handle Length 5"
Gripper Opening Width 1 1/2"
Material Premium 308 Stainless Steel
Additional Features Cock and lock main housing, easy to use release button, non slip rubber grip, adjustable set screw, adjustable lanyard, high quality leather sheath
Price $99.99

About Lipper Tools: Lipper Tools is headed by Richard Wieder, and is based in Miami Florida. Richard was not satisfied with the limitations posed by the current tools on the market and sought to uncover the ultimate tool when it comes to ease of use, reliability, and robust feature set. Today Lipper Tools is an exclusive distributor of "The Lipper," which is engineered and manufactured in Paraguay by renowned fisherman and conservationist Jorge Xifra.


Introducing the Lipper from Lipper Tools (Cocked in Open Position)


Impressions: Before exploring the details of the Lipper it is important to sum up the competition. There are three other grippers available on the market that proffer related lip and weigh features, these include the Berkley Big Game Lip Grip, the Rapala Lock’n Weigh, and the Boga Grip. Up to this point the Boga has been the easiest to use, and offered solid performance, but at a premium price. The Rapala Lock’n Weigh has a much more affordable price, and the toothy jaw is rather innovative but does have limitations when used on fish with smaller mouths. The Berkley Big Lip Grip by comparison is the cheapest solution available, but the build quality is simply not at a equivalent level as the competition. Enter the Lipper…this tool is the most feature rich gripper on the market, and comes in two sizes (26lb scale and 60lb scale).

The initial examination of the tool the Lipper instantly appeared quite distinctive. The overall profile of the Lipper is smaller and more streamlined than most tools, yet the jaw opening is the largest. Unlike other tools that chose to use foam based handles the Lipper makes use of ABS plastic. The enlarged handle is comfortable to grip, even when wet, and is the easiest to clean by far. My final observation was the adjustable lanyard which might just save your Lipper should you find yourself trying to regulate that fish of a lifetime.


Cocking the Lipper is easily done with one finger by cocking the locking top housing

Real World Tests:
If you have ever fished for Stripers you know how powerful these fish are. Even the smaller 18 inch fish can do a real number on you and your boat by thrashing around violently while the hooks are still embedded in their mouths. We employed the Lipper to see just how effective this tool was in landing, controlling, and weighing these vigorous fish. To gain experience with a range of fish sizes we also fished local lakes for blacks and bronzebacks.


When open the Lipper has a very wide jaw, making it easier to position on fish


Usage: A good fish gripper effectively controls fish without harming them, a great gripper makes the entire process quick and easy. The Lipper is by far the easiest and fastest to make use of. All of the other tools rely on constant pressure to maintain the jaw opening. In contrast the Lipper boasts a cock and lock mechanism and has a release button to instantly secure the jaws. The Boga actually loses half of its jaw depth when opened due to the scissor action, and the Rapala Lock'n Weigh has a thicker apparatus and involves some dexterity to manipulate into position. The Lipper uses a reverse lever action so that the jaws open wider and no depth is lost. The precise jaws can be cocked with one finger, in advance, so that when you are ready to land a fish all you need to do is position one end of the jaw on the fish's lip and depress the release button, SNAP...the jaws close instantly and the fish is secured and ready to be weighed! These jaws are so precise that it is possible to lip gaping Lings or small bronzebacks with the same straightforwardness.

Push the trigger button and the Lipper's jaws close to any size

Gripping Power: Interestingly the Lipper's jaws close swiftly but do no damage to even the smallest fish. The secret is the lock which closes securely without the need to exert excessive pressure since the mechanical clutch doesn't have any give. We tested the jaw on materials like paper, foam, and even our own hands. The gripper doesn't hurt, and still retains an exceptionally precise grip. If you put the Boga at the end of your finger they will not fully secure and you can actually pull the tip of your finger right out. Remember other tools require pressure to open and close their jaws, the Lipper clutch does all the work for you.

The Lipper features a "set screw" which prevents unwanted rotation for ultimate control

Releasing Fish: Ease of use doesn't stop at just lipping fish. The Lipper is the easiest tool on the market to disengage as well. Simply place your fish back in the water and cock and lock. Not only have you just released your fish, but you have already pre-armed the Lipper for your next fish! While fishing for stripers JIP and I drifted into a enormous school of fish. Within a span of 5 minutes we landed over 20 fish ripping with jerkbaits. This normally wouldn't have been possible as removing jerkbaits safely from these tenacious fish requires great care. JIP and I found ourselves able to land, control, and release these fish in a span of seconds. We tossed the Lipper back and forth across the bass boat as we dealt with double hookups, and managed to truly milk this school of fish for everything it was worth.


The Lipper's scale is very accurate and can weigh fish up to 26lbs


The Scale and Set Screw: The features just keep adding up, and unlike any other tools the Lipper features a set screw for ultimate control. Every tool on the market spins freely when fish thrash about, this is excellent when the fish are ripe, but does not allow full control over the fish when it begins to settle. The Lipper's set screw can be locked or loosened to allow the fish to spin freely. When the fish tires roll your wrist slightly and the set screw will flip back into the locked position. Fish grippers are designed to help take pictures of fish because you can hold them safely in front of you. Unfortunately with free spinning tools the fish will sometimes rotate and when you get your pictures back all you see is the white underbelly of your prized catch. With the Lipper's set screw you can make certain to capture that memorable pic every time.


Lipper Tools offers the tool bundled with a very high quality leather sheath
(at the time of test this useful accessory came with the Lipper at no additional cost)


IFGA Certifiable Scale: The Lipper features a quality scale which proved to be very accurate in our lab. This tool can be IFGA certified if shipped to the International Fish and Game Association. Once validated the Lipper can be used for submitting records as long as all the other requirements of your catch meet the IFGA rules.

The Lipper makes it much easier to control fish while de-hooking, and prevents fish from thrashing about and doing injury to themselves or you


Durability & Maintenance: The Lipper is a durable tool, and our test unit has already landed over 60 fish and shows no sign of damage whatsoever. To further stress the Lipper we submerged it in both salt and freshwater, as well as dropped it on hard surfaces from the height of six feet. The Lipper is made from high quality stainless steel and the non slip ABS handle and cocking mechanism can take plenty of abuse. The one Achilles heel the Lipper has is an opening that becomes exposed when the tool is cocked. Foreign particles can enter the tool through this opening, and while this shouldn't be an issue for most fisherman, surf anglers want to make sure to not expose the tool to sand.

When done fishing it is good practice to rinse the entire tool and towel dry. You can grease the mechanism through the cock & lock opening, and prevent rust by spraying the tool with a protective lubricant.

The Lipper is a real winner when it comes to ease of use and performance on a wide range of species

Additional Features & Uses: The Lipper can actually be used as a effective de-hooker. If the fish is hooked on the outer lip or mouth you can engage the jaws around your line and bring it down to the lure or hook and free the fish with a twist or shake of your wrist. The Lipper can double as a portable drag tension scale. Simply use a large swivel and release the set screw and you can adjust your reel's drag pressure out in the field. Finally, the Lipper can actually be used as a handy bottle opener when it comes time to quench your thirst.

Warranty: The Lipper is guaranteed against all defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year after the purchase date. There are other tools on the market that have two year warranties, but our stress tests put the Lipper through more abuse than most anglers should in a lifetime, and the tool remained thoroughly effective.


Lipper 26 (LIP26BP) Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Lipper is finely crafted, and while it may not look as polished as the Rapala Lock'n Weigh it proved to be extremely rugged 9
Performance The Lipper performs like a champ and is simply the easiest and fastest fish gripper that we have ever employed 9
Price The Lipper is a reasonable priced tool that falls in the middle of the spectrum but is a exceptional value when you consider all the features and performance you are getting. Compared to its nearest competitor, the Boga, the Lipper is a fantastic price 8.5
Features The McGuyver of tools, the Lipper brings a smile to anglers looking fro the ultimate landing tool 10
Design (Ergonomics) The design of the Lipper is fantastic, and ergonomically speaking the Lipper is fantastic. All of the features from the cocking mechanism, set screw, and enlarged handle are all implemented to provide the preeminent ergonomics 9
Application The Lipper is an extremely flexible tool that can be used for any type of fish. This tool proved effective on the smallest mouthed fish, as well as the sizeable stripers 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Excellent design L Harder to find than other tools
J Fantastic added value features L Small opening under cocking mechanism exposes tool to elements
J Ergonomic and easy to use on all fish  
J Accurate certifiable scale  
J Good Price, Good Value  

Conclusion: Lipper Tool's may be a new company, but they have a tool that is a worthy competitor in comparison to all the current offerings on the market. So good in fact that the Lipper is the first tool to ever win a TackleTour Editor's Choice Award! The Lipper delivers a complete feature set that really makes sense, and allows anglers to land, control, weigh, and release fish...all in a matter of seconds! The innovative cock and lock mechanism makes it possible to get a grip on fish of all sizes, control them properly for pictures, and release them safely. There are other tools on the market that have existed longer, and others that cost less, but when it comes to a superior design and ease of use, the Lipper is second to none.

Note: Some readers have expressed difficulty finding out more about the Lipper. To access the company's website you can go here.









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