Braided fishing lines are growing in popularity day in day out. They are strong, flexible, and durable, which makes them a viable option for deep-sea fishing and monster game fish hunting.
There are many other reasons to use this multi-stranded line, but plenty of fishermen have been displeased by the frayed edges left when they cut their lines. There are many ways of cutting braided fishing lines. Some are more efficient than others and, of course, every angler picks the easiest and most effective one when it comes to dealing with the splayed ends.
We are going to look at how to cut braided line in detail and the appropriate tools to use to get the best results. But first, let’s learn a little something about braid fishing lines. Shall we?
As the name suggests, braided fishing lines are made by weaving or braiding man-made fiber materials into strands of lines. The process produces a very sturdy, abrasion-resistant fishing line that requires proper tools to break. Although it is very unlikely for a fish to break a braided line, some species like Muskie and pike can still cut it.
Braids are very slippery and if you have cut yours and left some splayed edges, it will be very difficult to make a knot. In fact, some knots will completely not work with braided lines. You need to know which knot is right for your line and how to tie it properly. Otherwise, your line will just slip and come undone.
Palomar knot has worked well for many folks but if you decide to do an improved clinch, make sure to wrap it like six times. And once you are done tying and are ready to slice your line, ensure that the cut is not too close to the knot. If you are worried about the knot slipping, you can put a drop of adhesive on it and the frayed ends.
Braided fishing lines will be your best friend if you are planning to fish in a spot that has heavy aqua vegetation like lilies, cattails, water hyacinths, and hydrilla. They will cut through most of these plants’ stems so that the fish doesn’t tangle you up. With braids, you will go home with a catch that you would have lost using other lines.
There is more! The fact that braid lines don’t stretch will make them perfect for fly fishing, especially when hunting topwater baits for catfish, bass, or Muskie. Since you will have plenty of line out that doesn’t stretch, it will be easier for you to hook your catch. And when deep-sea angling, the minimized stretching will help you get your lures down deeper.
Some anglers argue that braids can cut into the fishing rod guides, especially those that come with a high price tag. So, if you are going to use braided lines on your next fishing expedition, be sure your rod is in a position to handle it.
Also, as braids wear, they get this fuzzy look that many anglers don’t like. And although this doesn’t always mean that the lines have become weaker, most people just don’t find the look pretty.
All in all, braided lines are good in many fishing applications. If you look around today, you will realize that braids manufacturers have also introduced various tools to make your cutting much easier. All you need now is to know the quality, size, and thickness of the material used on your line so you can purchase the right cutter.
The Easiest Way To Cut A Braided Fishing Line
The best way to cut a braided fishing line is to use a tool sharp and strong enough to make a straight, constant trim. In the following procedure, we are going to use a pair of cutting pliers. Note that other tools can be used for the job, which we will discuss further in the article. Here is how to cut a braided line:
- Give your braided line a strong grip and pass it between your thumb and the index finger.
- Create some tension by pulling the spooled line already attached to the reel.
- Grab your pliers and cut the braided line. Remember that there are multiple strands of material so you need to make one quick snip.
- To prevent fraying and ruining the longer edge, you must make a straight continuous slice. Avoid holding your cutting tool at an angle, as this could also cause splayed edges.
- To seal split ends, bring them near a heat source like a flame from a lighter or match. Don’t hold the frayed edges for more than three seconds over the flame, as this could burn it. You want the loose strands melted, not scorched.
- By now, you should have a short, clean edge on the knot. If not, maybe the tool you used for cutting is just not meant for the job.
Features Of An Excellent Braids Cutting Tool
As stated, a good braided line cutter could mean the difference between a clean and a frayed cut. But as always, the market has something for everyone. There are quality cutters that are made for the job but being human, anglers will always try cheaper alternatives whenever they have an option too. To know whether your cutter is up to the task, make sure it meets the following specs:
1. Sharp Blades
Using rusty pliers or dull scissors to cut your braids will be pointless. Since you are trying to break multiple strands woven together, blunt blades just won’t cut it (literally). And even if you finally succeed to break the line, you will be left with loose ends that will be difficult to tie knots.
2. Strong Cutting Edges
You may have a brand new braid cutter with sharp blades but if the cutting edges are not strong enough, they will not cut well for long. With synthetic fibers, you need a blade hard enough to make a clean cut. Otherwise, these will wear down the cutter leaving you with blunt edges. You know what that means, right?
Big, bulky cutting tools could make cutting accurate knots harder than it actually needs to be. You see, small, sharp cutters are stiffer but will make a nice cut rather than trimming with brute force. Tying knots on braided lines requires precision. Leaving overly long tag ends on lines is not such a great idea as the loose ends could catch the fishing rod guides and cause the knots to fail.
Best Cutters For Braided Fishing Lines
There are several tools that you can use to cut your braided fishing line. Some are specially made for the job and others can easily be improvised. Just make sure that any cutter you choose meets the specs we have discussed above, is easier to use, and helps you make accurate cuts. Below is a list of the tools that anglers have been using over the years for their braid work:
1. Line Cutters
These are by far the most accurate tools to trim your braided line. A line cutter is designed to do the work safely and efficiently. Forget about scissors and knives that you will probably keep on sharpening; these right here are the real deal.
There are many brands and types to choose from but at the end of the day, it all sums up to the features you are looking for. However, most line cutters are small enough to slip inside your shirt or jeans pockets, which is a feature to die for.
A good example of cutters designed for slicing braided lines is the snips. These are small in size and come with plastic housing. To cut the line, just give the cutter a quick squeezing on the sides and it will snip the braid like nothing.
The blades used in this cutter are short, sharp, and strong and cut the line quickly and cleanly. If you are looking for something that will make precise knot trims and leave no fraying edges, then a pair of snips is all you need.
If you are a kayak angler and don’t want to carry bulky scissors on your fishing trip, then invest in snips. Just slide them in your wader pocket and you will be good to go.
If you are a serious angler, you must have a pair of pliers stashed somewhere in one of your fishing backpacks. Maybe you have been using these all along to remove hooks from fish but never thought that they can be a great line cutter.
It’s true, fishing pliers will serve as a dual purpose grinder – they will pull the hooks from the fish mouth and trim your braided line nicely. With so many options in the market, Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers have proven themselves something worth a try. They are sharp, lightweight, and nicely positioned to trim even the toughest of braided fishing lines. The jaws close securely and tightly to make the quickest and cleanest cuts. And if they wear out, you can easily replace them.
This pair of pliers is also very easy to use. Its cut handles feature a non-slip grip to provide a stronghold and extra comfort using a single hand. And with its small, easy to carry design, you can easily slip it into your pockets.
If you are on a budget, there is a cheaper alternative too – scissors. A good pair may be able to do the job. As long as it is sharp enough and has strong edges, you may be able to make a clean trim.
However, different scissors will make different cuts depending on how they are designed. If you are not careful, you may end up with inaccurate cuts or a broken pair after a few uses.
Also, compared to snips and pliers, scissors are not that easy to use. If your thumb is too big for the finger holes, you will have a really hard time cutting your braided lines. Besides, cheap scissors may result in fraying ends.
Scissors are also not the safest tool to stow away on a kayak especially if you are fishing from an inflatable one. With most of the blade tips being too sharp, packing your scissors anyhow may pose danger to your inflatable kayak. If they come into contact with its fabric, they could rip or tear it, leaving your kayak with a leak. If you must carry scissors, store them safely. You can even lock them in the first aid kit just to be sure there are nowhere near your kayak’s fabric.
4. Nail Clippers
Nail trimmers are also a cheap option and can do a fairly good job on braided fishing lines. But how to cut braided line successfully will largely depend on how strong and durable the cutter is and unfortunately, nail clippers have the same longevity issues as scissors.
Some anglers, however, claim that toenail cutters are longer lasting than fingernail cutters. Well, this could be true but just like scissors, nail clippers are not made to be used in a marine setting and so they are definitely not the best cutters to carry on a fishing expedition. If you constantly expose them in wet conditions or salty water, they will start rusting and won’t be able to make cuts on braid lines without leaving fraying strands.
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A knife could also be a workable solution for trimming braided lines. However, this one will only work if you are fishing from the shore. For kayak or boat fishing, try any of the options above, the reason being, using a knife on a moving boat can be really cumbersome, not to mention dangerous.
If you must use a knife though, make sure it is sharp so you can get good, clean slices. And when it comes to stowing it away in your boat, do it safely so there are no accidents.
6. Your Teeth (No Kidding!)
Gnawing through a braided fishing line is one of the worst and most dangerous ways to cut your line. First, your teeth and gum will end up with so much pain and second, the resulting cuts will not be so pretty. It is not the wisest thing to do but if you forgot your cutting tools at home, “chewing” your braid could be your only option. But just so you know, 70% of anglers who try this method end in failure.
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How to cut a braided line may sound somehow complicated but evidently, it is pretty easy. The secret is to have the right tools and to ensure that they are sharp enough to make a nice continuous trim.
So far, snips and pliers are the safest and most viable options, but of course, these will come with a higher price. Other cutters like scissors, nail clippers, and knives will not be so pricey but may not give the best results. Don’t even try using your teeth if you are not ready to give your dentist a visit.