Review of Mustad KVD pliers
Ever since the loss of my beloved Grauvell stainless steel fishing pliers, I have been looking for a replacement. The Rovex needle nose pliers were amazing value for money, but I was after something suitable for bigger fish. I also did not care for the models which had the split ring hook at the end of the jaws (I find it gets in the way, when you are trying to unhook fish). There were quite a few models in the £60+ range which looked good, but to be honest, given they were for use on the kayak, there is always a risk that they will be lost to Davey Jones’ locker. With that in mind, I set about trying to see if there was anything under £30. I found a couple of pliers which met the criteria; this is the review of the Kevin VanDam Mustad 6.5 inch pliers.
I have been using the KVD pliers for several months now, and this is my view so far…
As a kayak fisherman, the first things I liked about the pliers, were the pouch (with a clip) and the leash. In terms of the quality of the fittings on both, they probably will not stand pro-longed exposure to saltwater – but that is no matter – the leash itself and the pouch are the important things, and they are tough.
The clip on the pouch is designed for attachment to a belt, but it worked just as well clipped to webbing or the side of the seat o the kayak. For even more security, you could dispense with the pouch altogether, and just attach the leash to a pad eye on the kayak.
The pliers have contoured handles, and they fit snugly in the palm of your hand. They are surprisingly light, I am guessing mainly due to the fact that they are made from aircraft grade aluminium. According to the specifications, the aluminium has been heavily anodised. This is a good job, because otherwise, they would not last more than a few weeks without seizing (I have lost count of the number of cheap non-stainless pliers I have trashed through saltwater kayak fishing). The pliers are lightly spring loaded; this is a handy feature which makes it a bit easier to use them with one hand (the jaws are sprung to open outwards).
The jaws look like they are an extension of the handles, so I am guessing that they are probably made of aluminium as well. Only time will tell if the material is hard/corrosion resistant enough, but so far after months of being used in saltwater, there are no signs of corrosion – just a couple of areas where the handle covering has been removed, and a small portion on the jaws where the red paint has come off (see the images above). Both of these appear to be cosmetic only, which is encouraging.
The jaws are thick enough to deal with some ruff and tough stuff, but still delicate enough to get fairly small hooks out of fish – they are much better than the small needle nose Rovex pliers for dealing with treble hooks (the jaws are wider). This makes them ideal for lure fishing.
The jaws have small teeth, and some grooves for crimping. When they are closed, the teeth on both sides connect with each other properly, which is always good !
The jaws also have a pair of cutting blades which are replaceable (though there is no mention of how to order replacements included with the packaging, so a bit of googling might be needed).
The cutters are made from tungsten-carbide, and they made short work of cutting thick nylon and wire. I also tried using the cutters on braid – and I was surprised when they cut through 6 lb braid with ease.
I used them in Australia to extract treble hooks from bream and lures from the jaws of red snapper – if you have ever seen the dentistry on a red snapper, then you would be impressed. They have also been lying in the bottom of a saltwater filled crate for several weeks, and they seem none the worse for the ordeal. I will be using the pliers over the coming months, so watch this space for a long term test. But given the price of these pliers and the results so far, I reckon they are ideal for kayak fishermen.
The Mustad KVD pliers are available from Veals Mail Order currently priced at £25 (normally £35). I suspect at that price they are not going to be around for long, so get them whilst you still can…