What are Greys Prowla Side Cutters for?
Greys Prowla Side Cutters are heavy duty wire cutters that are designed for chopping through wire when you're building traces for your pike fishing - they are also strong enough to chop through hooks. In my opinion, side cutters like these should be carried by every pike angler.
Why is it so important to carry sidecutters?
Sometimes pike can be tricky to unhook, even when you're lure fishing. At times, I've had big pike literally engulf the lure and swallow it relatively deeply, even with an instant strike. If I'd not been carrying side cutters, I'd have really struggled to free the fish from the hooks. With a pair of cutters like the Greys Prowla Side Cutters, it's relatively simple to just chop the hooks out.
How should you use side cutters to unhook a pike?
In general, pike are relatively straightforward to unhook. You simply rest them carefully on a good quality unhooking mat, straddle them with your legs to hold them in place and reduce their risk of thrashing themselves off the mat. Then you flip them gently onto their back and then slide your hand under the gill flap to open their mouth.
With decent unhooking forceps, such as the Savage Gear Pistol Deep Throat Hook Out I use, a turn of the trebles is usually enough to free them and you can have the pike back in the water in seconds. If a pike inhales your lure, it's sometimes easier to cut the hooks out - which is where the Greys Prowla Side Cutters come in.
You can slide them down the pike's open mouth (or carefully enter via the gills, taking extreme care to avoid contact with the gills). Then you just chop the hooks off (ensuring that you remove the chopped off parts) and save yourself the hassle of a fiddly unhooking job. Hooks are replaceable, but pike aren't.
How powerful are the Greys Prowla Side Cutters?
In most cases, mine have only been used to cut through wire when trace making, which they do with total ease, and to chop the trebles off spinners to fit them with split rings and single barbless hooks.
However, they've also got me out of a couple of scrapes and I've chopped through some massive trebles with them, again with no problem. They're unlikely to have too many problems with the hooks on most lures we fish with in the UK. They're extremely sharp - mine even cut through braid without problems.
How big are the Greys Prowla Side Cutters?
These side cutters are about 30cm/12" long. They're quite weighty and bulky, but that's really their only drawback. The extra length means they have plenty of leverage to make light work of thick wire and chunky hooks. I keep mine in the bottom of my bag and forget about them, but they're there in case of emergencies.
The Greys Prowla Side Cutters cost about £11.99, but you can sometimes pick them up for a tenner if you shop around. Not bad value for something so tough and well made, and well worth keeping with you, just in case.
Mine have been used for a few years and still work like new. One word of warning though, if you get them wet, dry them out afterwards or they will go rusty!