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Tools Review

Improving the fishing experience...one fish at a time

Date: 6/23/05
Tackle type: Tools
Manufacturer: Rising
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.75

Introduction: Some tools are made to lock onto fish quickly, others are intended to handle aggressive fish to prevent injury, and then there is the Lippa4Life...a new tool from an equally new company called Rising. This unique tool is designed to be minimally intrusive, helping anglers to manage a catch right at the water level to minimize stress on the fish and facilitate a quick catch and release.

Lippa 4 Life 60361 Specifications

Overall Length 8"
Handle Length 5"
Gripper Opening Width 1 3/4"
Closed Width 1/8"
Material Aluminum
Weight 2.83oz
Additional Features Drilled for weight reduction, steel spring bar, leash clip, hard anodized finish, optional leather holster ($42)
Price $70.00

About Rising: Rising is a brand new company headed up by Dylan Rothwell, who is a veteran from the well known fly fishing company William Joseph. Dylan started Rising with the intention to focus on innovative fishing tools that are just as good for the fish as they are for the angler. In addition the company sells branded technical clothing and Lexan hydration bottles. While most of the company's tools are aimed at fly fisherman many of them like the flagship L4L (Lippa4Life) tool are also designed to address the needs of anglers that pursue toothy gamefish, carp, and bass.


Introducing the Lippa4Life, a minimally intrusive fish gripper


Impressions: The first thing I noticed about the L4L was the tool's fine craftsmanship which is absolutely excellent. Like a fine reel the L4L is machined from high quality aluminum. Unlike the other tools we have looked at this unique product does not feature a tension spring to hold the jaws shut, instead like an oversized pair of pliers your hands provide all the pressure. While this means more work on the part of the angler it also means increased feel and a direct connection with the fish you are trying to manage.


Our test unit came loaded with all the trimmings including a finely crafted leather holster complete with belt clip, and room for another Rising tool which was aptly named "Crocodile Pliers." This pair of pliers fits into the front of the optional holster while the L4L slides into the back. A spiral leash connects the holster to a ring in the rear of the lower handle for added security. Overall I was impressed with the quality of the L4L as well as quite thrilled with the well thought out total package that Rising had put together.

Available options include a finely crafted leather holster and accessory pliers

Real World Tests:
We decided to test the L4L on both largemouth bass and Striped bass to see how this tool would fare against some larger fish. We went bass fishing for largemouth in local lakes and went out for a few fly fishing trips to the O'Neil Forebay in pursuit of some springtime striper action. Over a total period of 3 months the L4L found itself lip to lip with quite a few fish.


The Lippa4Life features a unique jaw design that doesn't actually fully close, and closes to 1/8" to help protect smaller more delicate fish
(not shown fully closed to 1/8" here)


Materials: The Lippa4Life makes use of some very high quality aluminum in its construction. The aluminum is sculpted so nicely that the handles do not require any type of plastic overlays to feel comfortable. This 8" tool is incredibly light, weighing in at only 2.83oz! The L4L has 16 drilled holes throughout the handles and jaws to help reduce the weight of the tool. These holes are attractive and strategically placed so as not to compromise the durability of the tool. The only parts of the L4L that are not aluminum are the center bolt and stainless steel spring bar which helps return the L4L to an open position when no pressure is applied to close the jaws.

A stainless steel spring bar helps keep the tool open when not in use

Design: The Lippa4Life is Rising's flagship product and is machined within exceptionally tight tolerances. Rising went through many different prototypes before they approved the current design, which looks like a combination between a pair of pliers and a work of art. The tool has no sharp edges, every angle is smooth in design, helping ensure that there will be no injury done to you or the fish during your meeting. The tool bears no markings other than an appealingly etched Rising logo and "USA" positioned on the upper handle arm. This is one of the few tools that is completely designed and manufactured here in the United States.

The L4L lips a bass similar to how you would with your thumb

Operation: This is one tool that nobody is going to need to read a set of instructions prior to operating. Simple in design, the L4L is extremely undemanding to bring into play. When we caught our first few bass we discovered we were able to use the L4L to help control the bass on shore, or on the side of the boat right at the water level when removing deeply embedded treble hooks. Like your thumbs the pressure of the L4L stuns bass instantly, and you actually feel much more connected to the fish than when using vertically oriented gripping products. The L4L does not close all the way, and is actually designed to close to a precise 1/8" gap to minimize damage to fish tissue. Fish still can be damaged if they roll side to side so it is important to try and control the fish, holding the lip squarely. The ends of the L4L are rounded and enlarged to provide a smooth rounded surface area as well as prevent fish from slipping away.


We found that when lipping both largemouth and stripers the L4L was able to hold fish securely. So secure that when we had overzealous striper completely inhale our streamer fly and break off the tippet we were able to pick up the fish and do some dental surgery with ease. The Striper was unharmed throughout the entire process and we never felt as if the fish was going to slip away. The only downside to having increased feel and control over the fish is that unlike other gripper type products constant pressure from the angler is necessary in order to use this tool. We found that the steel spring can be tuned to increase or decrease counter pressure to suit our individual preferences. Another nice design feature is the fact that the L4L can be utilized by any angler no matter what size hands you have. If you have larger hands you can comfortably hold the outsides of the handles, just like pliers. If your hands are smaller you can put your fingers inside the protective knuckle guard and operate the tool just like a pair of scissors. Either way the tool is lightweight, comfortable, and effortless to employ.


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