Jaw spreaders?

sjkirkpa

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This is mostly for the pike/musky fishers out there, but saltwater folks, please chime in.

What are your thoughts on jaw spreaders to help gain access to a deep hook on toothy fish? Fishing for trout as much as pike, makes my hair curl just thinking about using jaw spreaders, but on pike and the like, I can see an advantage in reducing getting cut on the teeth. Being on anti-coagulants now, I am looking for ways to not bleed so much.

Thanks
 

Ard

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I learned to carry a piece of 2X2 about a foot long in my boat, kinda like a dental block used during oral surgery. It works and I had it handy at the cabin.
 

falcon53

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I have used jaw spreaders and pliers for the toothy pikes and usually get by with pliers alone with bluefish. Pickerel and Pike tend to swallow or engulf streamers rather deeply. Extracting your fly without at least pliers (using just your fingers) is like trying to "change your spark plugs while the engine is running".
 
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smarty140

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I use jaw spreaders with northern Pike when needed. Like a previous post said, pike often inhale flies very deep, even small pike with big flies.

They aren't the most gentle tools on the fish, but seem better than struggling to get the hook out and stressing the fish more.

ryan
 

joe_strummer

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I have all the usual ones out there. The ones I use are the Cuda jaw spreaders. With a float attached -- stuff can get trashed or lost overboard when there's a big pike in the cradle.

Amazon.com : Cuda Jaw Spreaders : Sports & Outdoors

I also use duct tape on my thumb and just lip the *******s quite a bit. And sometimes I just lip the *******s without any duct tape on my thumb. I come back from Canada with a nasty looking left thumb.
 

Unknownflyman

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I just use an old hook out, or at least that's what we called them, they look like a pliers handle on one end with a long shank and jaws at the end. Do not stick your hand in there! even if using spreders, they thrash around and the side teeth will send you to the emergency room. seen it a few times.

I don't use jaw spreaders, just a hook out.

ADD- I found a picture. Cabela's Online Store - Quality Hunting, Fishing, Camping and Outdoor Gear
 

srock

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I use jaw spreaders for pike routinely. Interestingly, I do not usually need them for muskie. For some reason, muskies do not shut their mouths closed like pike and removing hooks is generally easier. Pike, especially mid size pike between 20 and 26 inches are the worst for closing their mouths from my experience, and the jaw spreader makes it easier and safer for both the fish and fisherman. Best, SR
 

Druunkonego

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I have a small rubber-made type container in my bag, I store a few big flies in, that I cram in their mouth while I remove the hook. My old man uses a wedge shaped piece of plywood. Something to hold their mouth open is necessary. I don’t have a special tool but if someone gave me one I’d probably use it.
 

sjkirkpa

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Thanks, All, for your thoughts. Seems like jaw spreaders of some sort are generally considered an OK thing. I've always just used long handled needle-nose pliers, but I think next season I will combine them with a pair of jaw spreaders. If any of you have been on anti-coagulants, you'll appreciate how much even a small cut will bleed. If jaw spreaders helps to reduce the chances of slicing my thumb or fingers, I'll give them a shot.

They just seem so hard on the fish, but maybe I'm thinking about it wrongly. If jaw spreaders help me get the hook out faster and easier, it might actually be easier on the fish.

Thanks again.
 

joe_strummer

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Yep, pike tend to get the fly deep and then like to lock their jaws. This is why I like those Cuda spreaders -- the flattened tips help get them in their locked mouths.
 

joe_strummer

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It's always a bit of relief to see that a pike's going to be an easy release -- many times everybody bleeds. These are my tools, Cuda jaw spreaders, Rising 9" pliers, plus a Frabill musky cradle. I've tried a Boga Grip for handling them but found that tends to cut a hole, and tried the Rising Lippas, but found you can readily break a fish's jaw with those if you don't release them when they thrash. Pike like to thrash a bit.

IMG_4959.jpg
 

flav

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I caught many pike on the fly when I was young. I never used spreaders, just my fingers or a pair of pliers. Scars from pike teeth were a badge of courage we showed to our buddies.
Fast forward 35 years and I now dread hooking pike. They're slimy, the slime reeks, they're poor fighters, and I definitely don't enjoy bleeding anymore. Now I discovered that if I use flies with smaller hooks in the front of the fly and no bite tippet the only pike I land are hooked in the corner of the mouth, the deep hooked ones bite me off before I can even set the hook and just spit the fly out. With barbless hooks and a little dehooking tool I don't even have to touch those slimy, smelly "slime scheisters" anymore. I may have become a little softer with age, but I'd like to think maybe I've gotten a little smarter too.
If I was using big flies and bite tippets, like many guys do, though, I wouldn't hesitate to get myself a spreader. Gator pike will cut you deep, no need to get stitches when you can prevent it.
 
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