In whatever sport or pastime you enjoy it often boils down to the small details to make for a better experience, and angling is a great example of exactly this. While the larger items – rods, reels, etc may be more glamorous and desirable, it tends to be the little bits which make a difference during the day. It’s no good having the best rods on the market if your hooks are blunt, the best fly reel won’t enhance your day if the tip of your fly line is sunk, and your £100 spool of top end braid won’t look so hot if you cant cut it properly. In fact, I’d say scissors, or any bladed fishing tool, might just be as important as any other tackle item. We do a lot of cutting, and the old nail scissors just aren’t always up to it.
If you’re a regular user of heavy lines, particularly braid, you’re going to want to read on, because I think I may have found the best fishing scissors on the planet.
HPA may not be a household name in the UK fishing scene, but if you were on a sportfishing boat in the Indian Ocean, or fishing alongside a European saltwater Bass angler, then you’d start to notice them very quickly. HPA specialise in saltwater fishing kit, particularly high quality waterproof luggage. All the tackle is well thought out by experienced anglers, and it shows in their products. A great example of this is the ULKUT scissors, which HPA confidently describe as “the world’s best”. Having had mine for three years, it’s hard to argue with that statement!
Straight out of the packet, the HPA Ulkut Scissors looks different – those serrated white blades are so distinctive! They’re also the key to what makes these scissors totally different. The blades on the Ulkut are made of a ceramic material which is very close to the same hardness as diamonds! These short and thick blades are durable too, I’ve bounced mine off rocks and towpaths plenty of times but they keep on going. This hardness makes them ideal for cutting both braid and fluorocarbon, materials with their own significant inherent strength.
Not only are the blades on the Ulkut ceramic, but one of them is also heavily serrated. This might not sound much but these tiny “teeth” help to grip the line or braid you’re cutting, and this grip aids cutting lines hugely. One of the problems with most scissors is the line slipping as the blades close – this isn’t an issue with the Ulkut. If this doesn’t make sense then please check out this YouTube review of the HPA Ulkut Scissors.
While it is the blades which make these scissors really stand out, the whole product screams intelligent design. The bass pin around which the blades pivot can be adjusted, meaning if you’re using specifically thick or thin line you can tailor the scissors to get the best out of them.
The handles are made out of a sturdy material which looks like plastic but feels different and is incredibly strong. The black colour is probably the only thing I’d change about them, I’d prefer the handles to be really bright so they’d be easy to locate if dropped on the bank side or in the water.
On the subject of water, these scissors are made entirely of non-corrosive materials, they’re totally saltwater resistant. Mine have been in the Caribbean Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Trent & Mersey Canal, and show no signs of any wear or tear – even after three years of use!
In terms of materials, I’ve used them for braided lines between 0.06 and 0.75 and it cut them both equally well – the Ulkut scissors make mincemeat of whatever braid you throw at them. They’ve also sliced fluorocarbons from 0.10 to 1.2mm with ease, so if you’re using fluorocarbon pike traces then these would be perfect. They cut thick mono excellently too, with the 200lb Suffix which we made big game traces from in the Seychelles being no match for the Ulkut.
They’re not designed for cutting metal however, so avoid using these for wires and stick to specialist tools, as the ceramic blades can be worn or damaged more quickly by wire.
I’ve not used them for this purpose, but I imagine that these scissors would be perfect for cutting carp anglers hooklinks too, as they’ll cut perfectly neat edges on both coated and uncoated materials.
So all in all a really fantastic product, something that has been in my kit bag for years and will be for plenty more to come. The nicest thing I can say about the HPA Ulkut scissors is that I often barely notice them! There are many scissors out there which cut braid really poorly, I’ve owned a few of them, and it used to infuriate me, but I know that when I pick these up out of the bag that whatever I need to cut, they’ll do it perfectly every time.
These aren’t cheap scissors, but seriously, is £20 too much for an item of tackle which you’ll use EVERY time you go fishing? I don’t think so, which is why I suggest that every angler, particularly those who use braid, should treat themselves to a set of HPA Ulkut Ceramic Scissors – the world’s best.