They are a great way to remain safe while holding or unhooking a fish and keeping your fingers and hands out of harm’s way from things like hooks or teeth.
Our resident expert and fishing guide Shawn Chapin has broken down the key features of the famous Boga Grip in this article and also come up with the best boga grip alternatives below for those who don’t want to spend well north of $100 on a set of grips.
What’s so great about the Boga Grip?
Boga Grips have become very popular in recent years and for good reasons. These grips are the best for keeping your hands safe and out of harm’s way when dealing with large fish or fish with sharp teeth and hooks which could easily send you to a hospital room while trying to wrangle them out from a large fish’s mouth.
Boga Grips are well constructed using high-quality components and boast swivelling jaws, great gripping power and can even weigh your fish.
Boga Grips are even designed to be able to be disassembled for maintenance their classic design was the first product of this kind on the market, hence their popularity.
However, as we mentioned, they are considerably more expensive than the other alternatives on the market now, and can cost in some cases seven times more than some grippers, primarily the plastic models on the market.
Depending on the fish you commonly target, the Boga brand grips may not be worth the price when other offerings can handle these not-so-toothy fish just as well at a fraction of the price.
Let’s take a look at some alternatives for the Boga Grip and help you decide which one best fits you.
Boga Grips alternatives we’ve tested
This gripper takes a bit of a different route with its design in comparison to other fishing grippers on the market – for one it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminium alloy and stainless steel critical components.
Along with the choice in materials, which seriously hamper any type of corrosion from saltwater or freshwater, Fiblink Portable Fishing Grip also has a scale capable of weighing fish of up to 40 pounds and has a swivelling handle to keep the fish safe from harmful twisting while you are handling and weighing it.
The handle has a very nice and user-friendly ergonomic design and features a non-slip rubber grip making it easy to hold onto and also prevents it from sliding around in your boat or kayak.
The gripper is also extremely easy to carry and features a nylon sheath for your belt, and a coiled steel-wire lanyard with a carabiner if you wish to fasten to a belt loop or somewhere on your boat.
The spring construction and location within the grip is forward and front centered making the operation of opening the jaws easy.
The Booms Fish gripper has a built in scale so not only can you hand those large and unruly fish, you can also see the weight of it simultaneously, making it a great tool for competitive and tournament anglers, or anglers who like to keep track of their personal best weights.
The spring loaded scale will max out at 40 pounds or 18 kilograms. The Booms fish gripper is constructed of polished stainless steel and has an EVA foam-infused grip so that even when wet you have great grip and control when dealing with writhing and angry fish.
The United Plastics fish grip is made almost entirely of a high quality and extremely durable plastic, with the exception being the stainless steel pins that hold the entire assembly together.
This plastic design eliminates the worries of corrosion – always a factor in the salt water environment. With a unique jaw design that securely holds around the lip of the fish, and an over-the-center locking mechanism that you simply flip to open, this fish grip is designed to be easy to use and is a great example of simplicity and function.
The grip is also made in a high-visibility orange color so it is easy to locate in day or night conditions, and has a stretchy nylon lanyard to secure to things like a rope tie, but also slim enough to fit in your pocket.
The Morefishing Outdoors gripper comes in a variety of colors, giving you not only a high quality gripper, but also having one that fits your preferences.
The gripper comes in four colors: blue, red, bright green, and white.
This gripper is also made from durable plastic and stainless steel components. The gripper‘s overall design is different from other “heart shaped” designs – along with the lip locking hooked inner jaw it also incorporates a flat section to give the jaws more surface area.
The Piscifun gripper is another stainless steel constructed gripper, giving great corrosion resistance.
The grip features foam EVA for ultimate grip, and the handle section that opens and closes the jaws has a prominent tab to make opening and releasing of the grip to release the fish very easy with no struggling.
The jaws feature the very successful heart style shape, and the gripper also comes with a lanyard to secure to you or your boat, preventing loss.
What to Look for in a Fish Grip?
Obviously the most important part of a fish gripper is the jaw and release mechanism. Be sure your gripper has something resembling a heart shape, or inward protrusions at the tip to securely lock the fish around the lip.
Ease of release is also important, you don’t want to struggle with either the clamping process or release process due to the safety of the fish in catch and release situations.
Grips are another factor considered, and this comes down to personal preference on grip material, as most grippers have some sort of gripping aid.
Another personal preference consideration is if the grip features a scale and how important it is to you to have a gripper with a scale to weigh the fish.
Catch and release is paramount in modern angling and helps ensure healthy populations, as well as leaving a fishery for future generations.
Lip grippers help with fish post release survivability rates in multiple ways, when handling certain species it might be more beneficial to use the gripper while keeping the fish in the water beside the boat and unhooking and immediately releasing the fish back in the water.
Other good practices for catch and release with a gripper is to unhook the fish alongside the boat, grab the fish with one hand on the gripper, and the other supporting the fish at the back third while holding the fish horizontally, take a quick photo and immediately release.
Maintaining support is crucial to prevent serious internal damage if all of the weight of the fish is hanging from the gripper.
The key is speed, you should have your fish unhooked in the water to keep the slime coating intact, lifted with support, take a photo, and released in 30 seconds to a minute maximum.
And laying a fish on a dry boat deck or carpet can be very harmful to a fish, removing its slime coating and leaving it prone to infection or parasites.
The truth of the matter is you just can’t beat the Boga Grips when it comes to quality and design.
But we hope that these alternatives in this article help anglers on a tighter budget, or who simply want to save money and still have a reliable gripper in the boat.
Be sure to use care when handling delicate fish and remember that successful catch and release has an enormous impact on our fisheries and waters that we fish.