|No rust! No wear! Corrosion-free in the worst saltwater conditions you can put them up to. Nothing else comes close in the quality department on pliers. Van Staal titanium pliers are built to perform and built to last. With spring-loaded ergonomic handles, a unique like keeper to help keep any line your cutting right in the cutting zone. and replaceable tungsten cutter & anvils, these pliers make the cut consistently and smooth on both braided and gel spun lines, and any sized mono line you can fit into the cutters, cutting it like butter with a nice clean tag end. Think remarkably lightweight. Think amazingly tough. That is what your buying with Van Staal quality and unsurpassed performance. |
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VS Pliers - Give us Your Thoughts on this Van Staal Favorite
Feb 26 2013 5:00PM
|We see a lot of debate around the internet when it comes to VS Pliers. Some see them as the ultimate surf plier and integral piece of equipment while others feel they're overpriced. What are your thoughts?|
Feb 26 2013 9:14PM
|I purchased a pair of the winter of 2011, so i could use them in 2012, I scored a great deal on the 7" from ebay, brand new for around $200 shipped. |
The price is what kept me away for so long, its tough to swallow a high price tag on an item that sits most of its life on the belt. Unless I fish is hooked in an odd spot or the tough part of its mouth I need pliers. When i head out I usually a new leader on at the truck and use my scissors or everyday pliers to cut the tag ends or mono from the spool.
The cutters on the VS are nice and the jaws do have plenty of power to pry a hook out of the corner of a fishes mouth.
On small fish or small blues that always show up the 7" are sometimes too big, but im still glad I got that size.
Invest in a good lanyard is a most.
Have they made a difference? I dont think so, i was plenty happy with my dr.slick pliers that lasted 1.5 seasons for $35 bucks, but jumped on the chance to get the vs ones cause the deal was so good.
As long as I don't lose them or have them stolen I know its one piece of gear I'll never have to replace.
worth it my eyes if you have the money and see yourself staying in the sport for years to come.
The other plus is they do demand a high resale value if you sell em used.
Feb 27 2013 10:08AM
|IMHO it all comes down to the high price tag... Would I rather be driving a Land Rover vs a Chevy? SURE! I probably could own a Land Rover if it came with a kitchen sink, stove, and hot water bc that would be the last thing I own. |
Would we all like to own a pair?? Absolutely why not they are the best, who doesn't want the best!?
Some could buy a pair of Accurate (which I own) Handsom, Dr. Slicks, or Bass Pro Specials and they all get the job done some better than others.
For the amount you save by buying the Handsom pliers you could add some more arsenal to your bag or upgrade your rod. Vs dumping your money on a single pair of pliers.
Since I'm in the market for a new set of pliers, I myself have been kicking around the idea (again) of getting the VS pliers. 3-4 seasons on the Accurate have served me VERY well. Never failed on me, I've only had to replace the cutters and anvil once. Though I don't like how they are starting to twist while unhooking a fish. I see that as a soon-to-be weak point.
Just my 2 pennies
Hope I win me a set! lol
Feb 27 2013 10:20AM
|I pretty much went from cheap $15 pliers to the 6" Titanium VS in 2006 or 2007.|
Price was not an issue as I won them in a VS promotion....where you
post a picture of fish you caught with a VS reel. Who would have thought
a picture of a 25" halibut caught in Malibu, Ca would be worth a nice set of VS pliers. Score!
hahaha....what a goofy dude.
For maintenance free pliers they are pretty nice. My cutting jaws need to be replaced
as recently they tend to tear braid. The pliers I have do not grip fishing
line, especially braid...which is a bummer. There is a gap in the pliers so I cannot clamp
down on small diameters. For hook removal it works like a charm.
It seems like there are a lot of pliers on the market. If I ever lost this pair I would probably
investigate others before replacing them. $300 bucks is a lot of dough for something
that could easily be lost. My lanyard snaps are immobile with salt/corrosion and I have
not tried to unsnap it for years....which begs the question why not make a permanent lanyard.
Because these were free, I do not maintain them or pay attention to them as much as I should.
Things to improve.
1. jaws that can grip small diameter objects
2. a permanent lanyard....less potential of failure.
I think that these pliers might be like any product on the high end.
There will always be camps of debate....and people with negative reports.
I have had these for six years and have not had any reason to consider replacing them.
If I were forced to replace them, the price would be the only motivation to do a lot
of legwork looking at other options. Saving $150 or more is significant.
Feb 27 2013 3:14PM
|Good opinions guys. I'm sure they'll be helpful to those interested in these pliers. I'm working up a short video on the pros/cons and for the most part the main con is the price. The gripping braid issue that Puppet mentioned has been addressed via a redesign to the jaws (see picture below).|
Chef's comment was a good one, unless they get lost or stolen it's a piece of gear you don't have to worry about. Many pliers made from aluminum with steel inserts on the jaws can run into the torsion issue Grega is noticing on his pliers when under continual heavy use - which is a testament to how hard Grega fishes (nice job bro).
Just like buying a really nice plug bag or a VS reel, the pliers are definitely pricey, but will provide years of worry-free use under extreme conditions w/o requiring maintenance.
Puppet - would you be able to take a picture of the tips of the jaws on your pliers? I'm interested in what generation you have. The new design is supposed to be able to grip down to 2lb monofiliment diameter and they look like this:
Feb 27 2013 3:32PM
|I have the small ss vs pliers which I love because they were cheap, bought em used, and they are small. I dislike the bigger vs pliers simply because well they're much bigger. The smaller ss ones are easier to use on smaller fish and blues.|
Feb 27 2013 7:17PM
At quick glance they look similar to the pliers you posted, but a picture will confirm. The issue comes
up when the line is perpendicular to the nose of the pliers. The line seems to find its way
between the nooks of the pliers. Like I said, it is not a deal breaker. I can use my hands to
tighten down knots....but sometimes pliers help if the tag ends are too short.
Mar 2 2013 9:05PM
|Well, perhaps my post doesn't entirely count but it made me completely convinced that the VS pliers are worth sacrificing dead presidents for an engineering masterpiece. |
You see, my wife and I decided to go on a Caribbean cruise. We planned, then packed, flew to sunny Fort Lauderdale and boarded this floating mega city. Spirits were high! We wanted to do absolutely all the ship had to offer. For some reason, first on my wife's list was the Flow Rider, a surfing simulator on the top deck. Bathing suits went on and off we went to take our turn. She signed the waiver, received 15 seconds of expert training, and she was Floooooow Riiiiiiding... I was so proud. I snapped a quick photo to lock in the moment. This was going to be the bestest most unbelievablest trip ever!!!
No sooner did I set the camera down when the board under her foot dug into the jet of water and shot her against the back wall like a Roger Clemens fastball into a sweaty catcher's mitt of the first inning in the World Series, albeit ankle first!!! Yep, when she tried to stand up her ankle looked like that baseball had been lodged inside. Strike three! She was out!
7 days on the high seas, 21 trips to the ice machine, and $150 in Long Island Iced Teas made for truly an unforgettable trip...
Fast forward weeks and weeks...
When it was time for the cast to be taken off, her heroic, jack of all trades, home grown handyman husband was going to take this bad boy off himself. How hard could it be??? It was only a cast... I would just peel it off...
Nope... I was wrong. Very wrong. This wasn't going to be like filleting a fish, or taking apart my old 704z, or vacuuming out 50 lbs of sand from my floor boards after a fall season of beach fishing. The cast would have its way with me. I picked and pulled, twisted and tugged. Screwdrivers bent and scissors dulled. When I mumbled words sounding like "dewalt" and "extension cord", my wife had enough and put her foot down, literally, on my hand! After the lil' spinning stars left my vision, I begged for one more chance! I had one more idea!!! My buddy had the one tool that could match the brawn, toughness, and resilience of modern cast technology. Behold... The Van Staal titanium pliers!!! I took those pliers and with my one good hand, grabbed a hold of that cast and ripped it to pieces! The pliers were solid, tight, comfortable, and would not give up.
About this time a crowd was gathering around. Their noisy banter was silenced by the superb machinery before them. In the hush it was as if you could hear the pliers growling, much like Boston terrier biting a knotted rope as you swing him in circles with his body parallel to the floor.
My wife? Still terrified...
Me and the pliers? Giddy with delight...
It took about an hour but eventually that cast was in shreds and my wife was finally FREE! I had done it! I took off the cast alllll by myself. It was a wonderful moment that won't soon be forgotten. And I owe it all to the most amazing pliers in the surfcasting world...
Once I finish paying off the doctors' bills I'll start saving to buy a pair of my very own...
Mar 3 2013 5:57AM
|that was great and funny, best story in a while....now we need a story of VS pliers used to pull a tooth...|
Mar 4 2013 7:57PM
|Not sure what generation it is...considering they are at least 6 years old...they might be an older model.|
The last image shows the gap. I figured a white background would illustrate the size of the gap.
I think it even has trouble gripping 50# mono. The cutters prevent the plier jaws from
clamping down...note the cutters meet.
It was a gift...and they have served me well.
Mar 5 2013 5:53AM
|Have you taken them apart and put them back together? Might help. Might make it worse.|
Mar 5 2013 8:42AM
Even if I can only use them for unhooking fish and cutting leader....I am cool with that.
You do bring up a good point though.... as it got me to really look close at the pics. Taking them apart
probably won't make much of a difference as the cutter heads are what is preventing a tight
closure and the cutter position is fixed. But! Look at the cutter heads. One bevel is ground down further
into the counter sink of the screw head than the other. This suggests that they are of different lengths.
Perhaps this is the issue...one is too long...thus preventing it from closing. Perhaps replacing the heads is a solution.
Mar 5 2013 9:43AM
|Puppet, those definitely are the style that is supposed to grip down to 2lb mono. Great pics, obviously a gap there. It'd be worth loosening the cutters and squeezing down hard before tightening back up. It's a sometimes overlooked step in the instructions when replacing/installing cutters. I'm looking at a pair here at the shop that definitely has a similar gap that closes with a little extra pressure. It is a delicate balance, can't have the jaws close before the cutters touch or they wouldn't cut . I'd give the loosen up, close down hard, and tighten back up a try. Could make them grip better, even if you just gain a very small amount of play by doing it.|
Mar 5 2013 9:54AM
|Puppet, thanks for letting us make your pliers the guinea pig here Not to make a mountain out of a molehill, but since this thread might come up for a customer curious about a similar issue I emailed Craig C and got a fast response with a similar take.|
Thanks for the email. It appears from the photo that the pliers cutters may not be aligned correctly by how the screw is not centered in the anvil hole. The VS pliers are designed to crush 2lb test and still cut all the nastiest super braids. You do need to apply pressure to the handle and squeeze and you will see this gab disappear.
However, have the customer loosen the anvil screw and squeeze the handle and retighten to install correctly.
Mar 5 2013 10:48AM
For the record, these are factory installed cutters. I have not tampered with them. So, it is not an issue of user error.
As for loosening the screws and re-seating them.
I will give it a shot, but I have my doubts that the cutters can be shifted.
If you review the pic again. Note, how snug the cutters are in the recess of the titanium.
No gap, so even if the screw is not centered it has no place to go...probably cannot force it to center.
I suppose that I could grind the back end cutter head down a bit, but risk it going out of square and not cutting at all.
Other than trying to reseat them, I will probably just leave them be. Or the next time I am in the
shop take a look at the replacement heads to see if any would be a better fit.
Like I said....not the end of the world.
They are great pliers and it sounds like this is an isolated issue.
On another note....Does VS recommend any method of sharpening/touching up the cutter head?
Mar 5 2013 1:11PM
|I am curious if the VS pliers can handle cutting a hook.|
I have heard that they cannot. Anyone try to get this done using the VS pliers?
I am getting concerned about walking deep into the south side of Montauk and then having a hook get stuck.
I have been using the manley's but they don't hold up well to the saltwater. One or two seasons is all even with the freshwater washdown after each trip.
Mar 5 2013 1:20PM
|I've always heard the VS pliers will cut a hook, but that it *could* damage the cutters in the process, and it's a better idea to carry a pair o manley pliers or bolt cutters for this purpose since the VS replacement cutters ain't cheap.|
That's just what I've heard though. Maybe someone here has had unfortunate real world experience of being in that predicament.
Mar 5 2013 5:40PM
|should we point out that plier cutters ..VS and otherwise....aren't designed to cut hooks ?...I cringed a little whan I saw that|
Mar 6 2013 11:17AM
The manleys will cut through any hook and will more than likely survive to cut braid another day.
Either way, I'd rather trade a pair of $40 pliers to get the hook released from my hand or a buddy's while attached to a struggling fish.
I guess we all get the idea I am trying to get at.
Mar 7 2013 4:47AM
|also agree that in a pinch and in the situation that you describe I guess you'd/I'd give it a shot, the cringe factor was only a result of seeing returned "defective" pliers with cracked-dented-damaged cutters and pliers bent out of alignment due to something more than mono or braid cutting....as a rule they are line cutters...didn't mean any disrespect|
Mar 7 2013 6:39AM
|When I was paying for mine (at SWE), I said "this is the single most ridiculous purchase of my adult life".......|
but I like them.
Mar 7 2013 11:10AM
Mar 13 2013 2:27PM
|I was talking to Craig at the show and a guy came up to him to have his cutters replaced. The whole cutting hooks thing came up and he said if you must cut a hook, it's very important that the hook is at the bottom of the cutters and not even with the set screw. If it's even, it's very possible the cutter will break. I don't own any but I've been contemplating getting a pair for a while now. I use my pliers quite a bit and I'm really tired of the aluminum ones twisting. Even the 50$ berkley ones.. just though I'd share with Craig said.|
Mar 20 2013 5:43PM
|I keep mine on a surf belt that I wear over my bibs. This past fall while setting the anchor tuna fishing, my belt unclipped and my pliers went overboard - sheath, lanyard, everything. |
There was that split second where I thought about jumping in after them, and then thought off 52 degree water offshore kicked in. Pretty much my worst day of the season.
It absolutely sucked, as they had become one of my favorite possessions, and I want another pair badly.
I used to make fun of people that spent that much on pliers, but then once I got a pair, I understood.
Mar 29 2013 10:40AM
|They can cut hooks (Iron Mike cut a 3/0 VMC out of my bicep with the Offshore set...) but anything thicker then that is asking for trouble, IMO.|
They are not the right tool for the job, but, with proper placement of the hook in the jaw and some good luck you can definitely do it.