What’s the Best Electrical Fish Tape in 2021?

Best Fish Tape Review

Laying out the electrical connections requires a careful amount of planning and execution.

It requires being completely precise from start to finish. You require even having accurate measurements of your required applications. Thus, such projects need ideal tools to carry out efficient output, and fish tape is one of those tools.

RankPictureModelRatingShop
#1Splinter Guard Wire Fish Rod and Glow Rod Kit ReviewSplinter Guard Wire Fish Rod and Glow Rod Kit9.7/10Check Price
#2Klein Tools 56331 Fish Tape ReviewKlein Tools 56331 Fish Tape9.6/10Check Price
#3Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape ReviewGardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape9.5/10Check Price
#4RamPro 100 Foot Reach Spring-Steel Fish Tape ReviewRamPro 100 Foot Reach Spring-Steel Fish Tape9.4/10Check Price
#5Southwire FISH TAPE ReviewSouthwire FISH TAPE9.3/10Check Price

Running the wires through electrical tubes and arranging them for flexible use is one task.

While few electricians face a difficult time running the wires in the electrical tubes, few things are required for easy execution. It requires being the one that would make you easily route cables without any issue.

With the best electrical fish tape, you can ensure that your wire ends will quickly meet other openings of each tunnel. In this way, you can easily spend sufficient time planning out & less time with wire routing. 

Winner: Splinter Guard Wire Fish Rod and Glow Rod Kit

Splinter Guard Wire Fish Rod and Glow Rod Kit Review

The Splinter Guard Wire Fish Rod and Glow Rod Kit has a package dimension of about 8.89 X 12.7 X 8.89 cms (L X W X H). It is the best-rated fish tape with the potential of meeting the user’s demand regarding the electrical fish tape. Splinter Guard Wire Fish Rod and Glow Rod Kit come in 33-Foot length and a complete accessory set and case Klein tools 56400. 

It involves fish & glow rods in different sizes & flexibilities. The product also has a complete accessory set & a premium carry bag for ensuring that your kit stays protected from elements & is ready to conduct the next wire job of installation.

The splinter guard permits you to efficiently work pain-free & glove-free as it maintains specific skill, whether it is about installing the wires above the ceilings, through walls, in attics, in the crawl spaces, raised floors, or under carpets. 

  • Style: Fish and Glow Rod Kit
  • Size: 76 x 3.5 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds

Benefits

  • Users can rotate innovative double s-hooks for securing wires within the prongs. Once you have gotten used to it, these hooks can save you a lot of time.
  • The attachments can fit ll the Klein splinter guard fish and glow rods. You can also hook up the product with many other accessories from Klein Tools.
  • The luminescent rods glow nicely in the dark & are rechargeable in generally available light. It means you can have proper control during low-light environments.

Drawbacks

  • Even when we consider the additional features and build quality, we believe the product is a little expensive.

Extra Features

The kit involves eight splinter guard fish & glow rods with seven attachments & one carry bag. The seven attachments include a whisk, magnet, double s-hook, single hook, bullet nose & twin hook. You must also note that rods are durable stainless steel connectors with splinter guard protective coating for keeping the hands utterly free from fiberglass splinters.

Buying Advice

As a buyer, you should know that products manufactured by the company, Klein tools are one of the leading American brands in hand tool manufacturing. This brand has set the bar very high regarding quality since 1857.

The splinter fish & glow rod kit even continues on the same tradition with splinter guard protective coating. Klein tools do not just make products; they create unique, high-quality products that eventually stand up and meet the demands of experts who use them daily. 

Runner-up: Klein Tools 56331 Fish Tape

Klein Tools 56331 Fish Tape Review

Klein Tools 56331 Fish Tape is a steel wire puller with a double loop. It has optimized housing and handles. It is 1/8-Inch x 50-Foot is a durable 1/8 inch extensive steel fish tape, firm and flexible for the large wire pulls.

It has an optimized design, which lowers payout effort. It has slip-resistant geometry that facilitates winding power. The tool has a multi-position handle, which endows it with a steady and firm grip as the user pulls off the tape from the case. 

It has to descend laser-etched markings in every 1-foot increment. The Klein tools included here are a 50 feet steel fish tape, which is ideal for the wire that runs being associated with residential, commercial & voice data installations. Optimized housing and handle design lowers the payout effort & reduces binding. A large handle permits for a steady, firm grip as you pull off the tape from the housing.

  • Style: 50 inches Fish Tape
  • Size: 7.55 x 1.25 x 8.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

Benefits

  • It comes with durable 1/8 inch wide fish tape of steel, firm and flexible for huge wire pulls. In addition to being the standard, the fish tape can stand various needs. 
  • It has an optimized design of tape housing, which lowers the payout effort. It comes with a slip-resistant housing geometry for ameliorating winding power. 
  • The large handle endows the user with a steady, firm grip as the user pulls the tape from the case. 
  • Simple to read distance markings on the fish tape allows the user to measure accurately. The polypropylene case & the handle offer maximum resistance.

Drawbacks

  • Once you have unwinded it, winding it up can be an issue. In general, the process needs some experience from your side.
  • While it is simple to use, the tape is very flimsy. On the bright side, the product is not as expensive as the other ones.

Extra Features

The fish tape is durable, and 1/8 inch wide with the firm and flexible for huge wire pulls. It has an optimized design of tape housing that lowers the payout effort. The slip-resistant housing geometry ameliorates the winding power. The multi-grip handle endows you with a steady, firm grip as you pull out the tape. 

Buying Advice

As a user, you should know Klein Tool is an American manufacturer producing hand tools for over 160 years. The brand makes entirely premium quality and expertise grade tools that deliver durability, performance & precision. Their team continues forward on putting six generations of professionalism on the tool by using the best quality of materials & superior artistry. 

Alternative: Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape

Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape Review

Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape is made of corrosion-resistant plated carbon steel. It has a Nylon / ABS housing & UpperHand design with a rubber grip. It has 65-foot tape; it is tough & durable. It has a ⅛ inch tape width, patented, impact modified handle & housing, fishing tape.

The Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape comes with ergonomic handles, which help secure grip at the most vital point & keep users’ wrist in an upright and normal position to lower strain & enhance productivity on the job. It comes with comfort-formed grips, which reduce forearm strain. 

Their corrosion-resistant plated wire makes it the most challenging and durable tape with long-lasting use. The interior grip of the fish tape fits the palm of the users well and lowers the number of pressure points, which is usually common in maximum fish tapes. Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape is a facilitated and traditional hand fishing tool.

It has easy to grip, simple to retract & is backed by an industry-leading five-year limited warranty. Ameliorated housing design is well manufactured with impact-resistant ABS & nylon resins, which surpasses 25 feet drop test. Its corrosion-resistant plated steel wire makes it the toughest and one of the most durable tapes for a thorough, long-lasting use. 

  • Style: Steel
  • Size: 2 x 8.5 x 13.75 inches
  • Weight: 3.03 pounds

Benefits

  • Its handle design and shape cater to unparalleled ease of use. The company has placed the grips in the right places so that you can ensure maximum control.
  • The tool has a corrosion-resistant plated tip & tape of steel. Therefore, you can throw the fish tape into almost any bag and expect it to stay there without a problem.
  • It has a non-conductive tip & fiberglass core along with a nylon coat. Therefore, you can use the product in diverse scenarios, even under too much dust and moisture.

Drawbacks

  • Very tough to unwind. You will have to apply some pressure to use the fish tape without making much hassle. Of course, things would become easier as you get used to the kit.

Extra Features

This fish tape is an ameliorated traditional form of hand fishing. The upper handfish tape comes with a rubber grip. The ameliorated design is well manufactured with high impact resistant ABS & nylon resins, which involves a complete and wrap-around interior ring for enhanced durability.

Buying Advice

As a buyer, you should know that a five-year limited warranty backs this series. Moreover, it contains 65 feet of corrosion-resistant plated steel (carbon).

Altogether, if you are looking for a fish tape that prioritizes control over fancy features, you should check out this alternative. While it has a few bottlenecks, especially when it comes to unwinding, it should not stop you from using the product for creating desired circuit designs.

Alternative: RamPro 100 Foot Reach Spring-Steel Fish Tape

RamPro 100 Foot Reach Spring-Steel Fish Tape Review

RamPro 100 Foot Reach, Spring-Steel Fish Tape Reel comes with a high impact case for electric or communication wire-pullers. It has 100 foot wholly flat and flexible spring fish tape of steel. It withstands high impact on the plastic case & caters to durable and comfortable grip, making it simple to handle and carry within the built thumb lock. 

The reel winds up & even stores the excess tape as the wire is pulled out. The fish tape makes it simple to move or even thread cables & re-wire through the conduit, drywall, or even insulation. You require to guide the electrical fish tape through narrow openings and attach wires.

  • Style: Reel
  • Size: 14.4 x 13.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 3.64 pounds

Benefits

  • It comes with a simple to use installer solution for easy installation in a conduit. Even if you have to spend some time on the system, you can ensure the maximum results. Reels the windup & stores sufficient fish tape as wires get pulled.
  • It has an in-built thumb lock to hold wires in the right place. Finger-fitting grips easily fit the user’s hands comfortably even while wearing work gloves. Altogether, the user-friendly design will help you speed up things.
  • The greasy lubrication thoroughly covers the steel, which helps it move properly. The hand trigger assembly assists wind tape very tightly as it wipes off excess lubricant automatically. 
  • The end of the tool is tapered in the form of a hook, making it simple for you to attach the cable or cord & pull it easily back through the wall. 

Drawbacks

  • It is priced more than its features and efficiency. We believe the manufacturer can lower the price a bit.

Extra Features

The RamPro 100 Foot Reach Spring-Steel Fish Tape does not come with many extra features. The company has instead focused on the overall build quality and the usability of the design. We also loved the diverse nature of the product. It is even suitable for wiring the vehicle, such as for alarm, keyless entry, remote starter, dash/rear backup camera, horn, stereo, etc. 

Buying Advice

The handle lever helps in rolling the cable back in. Note that tape is about 1/8 X 1/16 X 100 inches long. You can use the exterior and interior electrical site of wiring like the plug, outlet, socket, ceiling fan, light fixture, switch, dimmer, electrical panel, etc. 

And having this device is a must for any cable and wire installation. As a user, you should know that the device is housed in sturdy carrying reel casework & is wholly made of high-grade carbon steel for best performance. The feature of easy reel out permits you to end the work faster without having to strain your entire body. 

Alternative: Southwire FISH TAPE

Southwire FISH TAPE Review

Southwire FISH TAPE works well in either empty or filled conduit. It is best used for nearly 2-inch conduits. It comes with either 360 degrees swiveling flexible metal leader or a non-conductive glow-in-dark leader.

It even has low friction that permits the tape to glide through conduit with zero bindings at the joints, turns, or couplings. Has a spiral extruded polymer design, which prevents the tool from rusting & even lowers the amount of required effort to pull or push the fish tape through the IMC, EMT, PVC, or rigid conduit? 

Southwire FISH TAPE is best fueled by creativity and innovation. The line contains nine items in differing leader width, type, case size, and length. Fish tapes are produced from non-conductive polymers, low coefficient friction, permitting the fish tape to glide effortlessly through the PVC & EMT conduit way faster than fiberglass and steel fish tapes. 

  • Style: Swiveling Flexible Metal Leader
  • Size: 1.75 x 13 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds

Benefits

  • It has a spiral extruded polymer design that lowers the effort level needed to pull or push the fish tape through the PVC conduit or EMT. 
  • It is of swiveling flexible metal quality that can glide through the bends. Therefore, if you are dealing with a complex circuit design, this alternative product will surely help you.
  • Has low friction material, which lowers binding at the joints, 90-degree bends, or couplings. 

Drawbacks

  • However, if you have a limited budget, the Southwire Fish Tape is a little expensive. We believe the product is worth the amount of money you invest in.

Extra Features

The tool is highly flexible as it combines the strength of a steel fish tape with higher flexibility than fiberglass fish tape. The fish tape will not break on being folded. We also noticed the extra flexibility in terms of accuracy.

Buying Advice

As a user, you should know, unlike the fiberglass fish tape that comes with a tendency to snap on being bent. This fish tape is unbreakable virtually & is resistant to the typical problems you find in an electrical working environment. While these features are helpful for the most part, you have to spend a relatively high amount. You are essentially paying more for the flexibility of the kit.

Best Fish Tapes FAQ

Which is better, steel or fiberglass fish tape?

steel fish tape

Steel fish tapes and fiberglass fish tapes are two of the best options you have in the market. Simultaneously, both of these options come with their advantages and disadvantages. 

If we take the case of steel fish tapes, they are noted for their increased tensile strength and heavy-duty. You can easily use the product through tough conditions without a problem. If you are dealing with empty conduits where you do not have to worry about existing wires, you can count on steel fish tapes. Things could be a little difficult if you use steel fish tape if there are other wires in the conduit. 

On the other hand, we have fiberglass fish tape noted for its non-conductive nature. It means you do not have to worry about any electrical risks out there. It should also be noted that fiberglass fish tapes stay more flexible. Therefore, these tapes could move through the conduits quite smoothly.

What is the fish tape used for?

cable installation with fish tape

As we mentioned in the introduction, you can use fish tapes to smoothen the cables through an electrical conduit. Typically, the process would take a lot of time as you do not get proper control over the process. However, when you attach the different parts of the fish tape to both ends, the process becomes streamlined.

Once you have properly attached both ends, a fish tape allows you to finish the process by simply pulling the fish tape. Depending on your requirements, you can choose fish tapes of 50m or 100m in length. You would also have to consider other aspects such as the tensile strength and usability of the housing.

What can I use instead of fish tape?

As we said, the fish tape can smoothen routing cables. However, if you do not have this nifty gadget at your disposal, you can turn to a few alternatives. Here are some of the options you can choose, but you will have to compromise control or flexibility by a long shot.

Measuring tape is one of the best options you can find in the market. More importantly, most electricians would have this product in their kits. Because this wire has considerable length, you can easily connect the ends to the electrical cables and get the job done.

You can also use other options like plastic tubing and rigid cables. Regardless of the options you pick, you will have to compromise usability to some extent. Therefore, you should use the correct type of adhesive. We recommend getting a fish tape if you can afford one due to these issues. You will not regret the investment.

What do you do when the fish tape gets stuck?

fish tape stuck

Getting the fish tape stuck on some part of the conduit can be frustrating. It could occur due to problems with the fish tape or the conduit. However, you can employ quite a few ways to get rid of the situation.

As you can guess, the first method is flipping the fish tape around a few times. It will move the tape from the stuck position, and you can move it around with ease. You can also use some other material to move the fish tape from the stuck position. It may work if it gets stuck at a point closer to either end.

Conclusion

Conducting work with differing electrical connections can be a complete task.

It requires us to cover all aspects of compatibility, safety & usefulness. By considering such factors, you can create an effective & efficient project. 

The perfect fish tape is the one that you can easily use to make your task safe & guaranteed to work. All you require having is the proper knowledge of these & confidence to get a good outcome. However, make sure that you choose a fish tape that suits the specifications of your electrical project. 

If you end up with a shortened fish tape or a less flexible one, you may have a tough time dealing with the project. It is also one reason why we recommend spending as much as you can so that you get premium fishing tape for electrical projects.