6 Best Ways To Cut Braid Fishing Line

Braided fishing line has revolutionized the way most anglers fish. Braid is exceptionally strong, and its properties make it much easier for you to land that trophy fish. But, there’s one caveat: braid can be tough to cut.

Any angler who has tried to cut braid with any old generic fishing line clippers can tell you it can be very frustrating unless you have the right tools. 

Fortunately, there are several different ways you can cut braid cleanly so you can focus more on fishing and less on your gear. 

Today, we’ll cover them all. 

What Happens When You Cut Braid With Traditional Tools 

Braided fishing line is made by weaving multiple fibre strands together, like a braid. Hence the name!

Some braided lines are a 4-strand braid, while the high-end stuff is typically 8 or 9 strands. 

The material used to make braid is super strong, and as you’d imagine, weaving multiple strands together increases its strength.

But, this also makes it difficult to cut. If you try and cut braid with line clippers designed for mono or fluoro or with household tools like scissors, side cutters, or nail clippers, you end up with a frayed mess.

These tools cannot cleanly cut through the braid, and you’ll have to make multiple cuts to make it through each strand. 

If braid isn’t cut properly, it will look like a frayed mess. But, more importantly, it can compromise the strength of the line, make your knots weaker, and reduce the length of your casts as the frayed ends can catch the line guides. 

6 Best Ways to Cut Braided Line 

From line cutters to letter openers, there are several ways you can cut braided lines. Read on as we take a closer look at each method.

Boomerang Tool Company Original SNIP Fishing Line Cutter with Retractable Tether and Stainless Steel Blades That Cut Braid Clean and Smooth Everytime! (Black)

1. Line Cutters

Line cutters are far from the best tool for the job. 

These purpose-built tools are made for the sole purpose of cutting fishing lines, and they do the best job at cutting braided lines. 

A pair of quality line cutters shouldn’t set you back more than $15, so there’s no reason not to add one to your tackle box.

Line cutters have two serrated blades, and they function like scissors. The main difference is they have a compact shape that allows you to easily make precise cuts quickly, which you can’t do with a bulky pair of scissors.

Most line cutters are compact, which makes them easy to lose. Look for tools like these from Boomerang Tool Company, which have an integrated retractable leash so you can keep your cutters secured and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Rapala (SAS7C) Salt Angler's Side Cutter

2. Angler’s Pliers

The next best choice for cutting braided lines is a pair of angler’s pliers.

Virtually all fishing pliers have an integrated cutter that easily cuts different fishing lines. These cutters are ground flat, and they use pressure to cut the line.

The issue with angler’s pliers is that while almost any pair does an excellent job of cutting braid, they don’t last very long. 

The blades lose their edge rather quickly, and once they do, they do a mediocre job of cutting braided lines and often leave frays behind.

Thankfully, some top brands offer replacement cutting blades, so you can change out the blades whenever they’re worn and get back to cutting braid cleanly. 

SAMSFX Fishing Heavy Duty Anti-Slip Serrated Edge Scissors Saltwater Freshwater Braid Scissors Braided Line Cutter with Plastic Belt Case Sheath Kit (Common Finger Hole)

3. Scissors

Scissors are your next best bet for cutting braided lines, especially the purpose-built models made especially for braid. 

If you don’t have a pair of braid scissors, any scissors with sharp blades should do the job well enough.

Most of the scissors made for cutting braid are compact, making them easy to use for cutting fishing lines in any scenario. The larger the scissors, the more difficult they’ll be to use when you’re out fishing.

4. Nail Clippers

Nail clippers have been the tried-and-true choice of anglers for decades when they need to cut their line. 

Clippers work like magic for mono and fluoro, but they tend to suffer from the same design flaws as angler’s pliers when it comes to cutting braid. 

At first, they do an excellent job, but they leave behind frays as the blades become worn.

A quality pair should last you for a season or longer. But, if you’re using a pair of clippers from the dollar store, you’ll be lucky to get a trip or two out of them before they begin fraying your line.

5. Knife 

While they’re far from ideal, a knife will do the trick in a pinch. 

A small pocket knife can quickly cut braided lines, and knives with a serrated edge tend to do the job quicker and more cleanly than a regular blade.

This method is dangerous, especially if you’re on a boat, so we don’t recommend it. But, it’ll get you by if you have nothing else for the job. 

6. Letter Opener

Believe it or not, a cheap plastic letter opener does a darn good job of cutting braided lines, and it’s much safer than using a knife. 

This doesn’t work well when you need to cut a tag end or make precise cuts in close quarters. But, it works in a pinch if you happen to have one available. 

Characteristics of the Best Braided Line Cutters

As you shop for different tools to cut braid, you’ll realize that the best options all share similar characteristics. 

When you’re picking out a line cutter, make sure the product you choose has these properties, and you’ll have no trouble finding an ideal tool. 

Serrated Cutting Surface 

Most tools with flat cutters have difficulty cutting through braid, especially as the blades become dull. 

A serrated cutting surface does a much better job of cleanly cutting through braided lines. 

Each blade has fine serrations throughout, which allow it to grip the slippery braided line and make a clean cut in a single pass. 

Compact Design

Tying knots is an exercise in precision. 

If your knots aren’t cleanly tied with the tag ends trimmed as tightly as possible, the knot will catch as it comes through the guides, robbing you of casting distance and accuracy.

The best braid cutters are compact and streamlined, allowing you to maneuver the tool where you need to when making clean cuts. 

Avoid bulky tools because you won’t position them where you need to when trimming lines or cleaning up tag ends. 

Stainless Steel Cutters

Fishing wreaks havoc on gear, especially if you’re a saltwater angler.

Stainless steel is one of the few materials that can stand up to the corrosive nature of water, so the cutter you select must be made from this material.

Sure, other metals, such as titanium, are also anti-corrosive and do an excellent job cutting braid. But, these tools are usually prohibitively expensive. 

Unless you’re interested in spending $100 on a tool to cut your fishing line, stainless steel is going to be your best bet. 

Fixing Frayed Line 

There are bound to be times where you’re forced to cut your line with inferior tools, leaving behind a frayed mess that makes it difficult to fish at your best. 

The best way to avoid this is to use top-notch line cutters. If that isn’t an option, you can fix up your frayed cuts with the help of a lighter. 

Applying a flame to the frayed end will melt the braided fibers and fuse them together. 

You’ll want to do this very carefully to avoid burning through your line.

Never leave the braided line over a direct flame. 

Pass the flame over the frayed line for about a half-second at a time until the line fuses together.

Happy Fishing & Tight Lines

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