Fly anglers typically hook fish in the jaw. Nice. So removing the hook is usually an easy task. But the recent snook bite here has been an big exception. These snook are so aggressive that many of them inhale the fly. Hence they are taking the fly so deep, it difficult to extract it without causing damage to the fish. Not good.
Because of that, I’ve been looking around to replace my standard size forceps with a longer pair, long enough to reach down a snook’s gullet. What I found was a new item from Dr. Slick called their Long Range Clamp.
I’ve used them several times, so let me to offer some initial thoughts. Here we go – a review of Dr. Slick Long Range Clamps. These clamps are indeed long range, measuring 10 inches. They weigh 5.45 ounces. That makes them sturdy, but also a bit heavy. I got them at Bears Den for $20.50.
Honestly, they worked great on the snook, although they are bigger and heavier than I really need. And it is easy to see they will be super for tarpon, sharks, barracuda, especially when landed from a high sided boat. On the flats, these clamps are also handy for unhooking fish you want to avoid handling because of poisonous spines, slime, or teeth. In that regard, I’m using them for critters like catfish, ladyfish, blowfish, leather jacks, and lizard fish. So these clamps are proving quite handy, and I’m glad I got them.
In my experience, Dr Slick products typically tarnish in saltwater, and these clamps are no exception. You’ll want to rinse them off occasionally or expect problems down the road. I’ll report back as these clamps get more wear.
Update Well I’ve been using this item for over a month now, and I can’t recommend it to you. A few days ago, I removed the clamp from my tackle bag and unlocked them. Immediate half the jaw fell off. Ouch! Apparently the steel used can’t withstand the pressure generated by the long handles. The jaw snapped off cleanly. Too bad. This could have been a handy device. Thankfully Bears Den Fly Shop gave me a refund.