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Get A Lip Grip, Or Get Your Hand Chewed Up!

catfish_lip_gripI have talked a little about lip grips in the past and the value of these items stating my preference was to use a Berkley Big Game Lip Grip for landing catfish. In this week’s catfishing quick tip video I am going to take a close look at a couple of options in a lip grip for fishing, why you would want to use these for landing big catfish (especially big blue catfish and flathead catfish).

Why You Need A Lip Grip

People fish with me and see my pictures online on the North Texas Catfish Guide Service website all the time and wonder why I always have electrical tape on my hands. My hands stay split open, cracked and chewed up all the time from being wet, covered in catfish slime and shad slime, and working hard all the time. Throw in handling trophy class blue and flathead catfish and you have a painful situation.

Lip grips help eliminate some of the pain of handling big fish, make them much more manageable to handle and release (even if you use a dip net) and for those that might be a little intimidated handling the fish takes the worry out of it.

The Lip Grip – Metal Vs’ Plastic

I have been using the Berkley Big Game Lip Grip for years and have never broken one. I have lost many of them over the years in the water but never broken one. This is a “must have tool” in my catfish boat.  When I first covered the lip grip on this site I made it pretty obvious I preferred metal over plastic.

Since then I have given the Team Catfish Lip Grip some time and used their product extensively and it has worked very well. I even used it to land and handle my son’s Texas junior angler record blue catfish and it performed flawlessly.

The Team Catfish plastic lip grip works well and honestly is much more durable than I anticipated (and other plastic lip grips I have used in the past). It is definitely a cut above the other plastic versions I have used in the past. I still feel that the metal grips are much more durable overall and will last much longer but that comes with a price of about double what the plastic ones cost.

Product Links

You can find direct links to the products mentioned in this article and video through the links below.

Berkley Big Game Lip Grip

Team Catfish Lip Grip

The Catfishing Quick Tip

In this weeks catfishing quick tip video we take a look at the lip grip, how they are used, the metal versus plastic options and how and why you should be using them.

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About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. chad i`ve always wondered about these holders-i felt that they could tear the lip or jaw up- in other words i didn`t want to waste the money-after hearing & seeing the video i`m more at ease about them thanks a lot have a great day & GOOD FISHING

  2. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Chad,

    Now, I see why you use the lip-grippers.. If you can get it in their mouths without touching the body you leave the slime protectorate in place.. That’s good for catch and release.. Does it work as good on bass & crappie or is their mouth too paper-like!! GO BEAT LANE!!

  3. The draw back with the plastic gripper I have seen on larger fish as they twist and turn people loose the grip on the gripper nad drop the fish. The metal type rotates inside the handle securing the fish and the keeping ahold of th3e gripper. I have both types.

  4. I also use the Berkley Lip Grip and haven’t had any issues with it. As for you hands being dry and cracked have you tried Okeefees Hand Cream after a weekend on the water dealing with catfish and bait my hands get a bit tore up also and this stuff helps heal my hands.

  5. Joanne Vaillancourt says:

    I use the Team Catfish Lip Grips. It works well for me and being bright yellow, I can easily find it in my fishing bucket.

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