best fish tape

Best Electrical Fish Tape: Top 6 of 2021 Reviewed

Last updated on June 27th, 2021 at 10:22 pm.

Are you looking for a new fish tape?

Fish tapes are an essential tool in the electrical trade. They allow you to pull wire through walls, ceilings, and floors without having to cut holes or make their own paths.

The best fish tapes should be easy to carry, have a smooth pull, and have a strong impact-resistant case.

While a poorly made fish tape is made from crappy plastic and is difficult to pull in and out.

So to help you separate the good from the junk—we reviewed the Top 6 Electrical Fish Tapes of 2021.

Buy with the confidence that you’re getting one of the best fish tapes on the market.

Let’s dive straight into the reviews.

Preview Product Key Features
Southwire FISH TAPE, 1/8' STEEL 50' Southwire FISH TAPE, 1/8" STEEL 50'
  • Southwire’s 1/8"-wide tempered spring steel Fish tapes provide excellent fishing performance and are the perfect addition to your other electrical tools
  • EASIER PULLING: High quality steel for longer life and easier pulling
  • LONG LASTING DURABILITY: High impact case and carrying handle ensures it will be durable enough for the worksite
100' Jameson Wee Buddy 1/8' OD Fiberglass Fish Tape 100' Jameson Wee Buddy 1/8" OD Fiberglass Fish Tape
  • 100' x 1/8 inch OD fiberglass fish tape
  • Fish occupied conduit as small as 1/2 inch
  • 1-1/2 inch bending radius
Klein Tools 56005 Fish Tape, 25-Foot Steel Fish Tape, 1/4-Inch, Plastic Tip, Etched for Measuring,... Klein Tools 56005 Fish Tape, 25-Foot Steel Fish Tape, 1/4-Inch, Plastic Tip, Etched for...
  • Tempered, 1/4-Inch high quality steel tape keeps its stability as it glides between surfaces for effective pushing and pulling of wire under carpets, through insulated walls and over suspended ceilings
  • Updated model 56335 now available!
  • 25-foot (7.62 m) length is perfect for short wire runs associated with light commercial, residential and voice-data-video-audio installations
Katzco Electrical Fish Tape Reel - 50 Feet Reach - Impact Case for Electricians, Pull Communication... Katzco Electrical Fish Tape Reel - 50 Feet Reach - Impact Case for Electricians, Pull...
  • HIGH QUALITY - Katzco electrical fish tape reel is made of high-quality, heavy-duty plastic and contains a durable handle and a built in thumb-lock to hold wires in place wherever you want. The steel cable wire is made for a lifetime of use.
  • DURABLE - Katzco’s electrical snake reel has a high impact resistant case to ensure your electric reel never breaks while on the job. Electric cable is made of high quality, stiff steel to ensure non breakage and accurate use.
  • CONVENIENT - This electrical fish tape reel is super convenient to bring anywhere. Its compact design allows for easy portability and can be stored in tool bag, tool belt, even a belt loop. Perfect for construction workers, carpenters, DIY, and home remodeling. Makes wiring much easier due to the size.
Greenlee FTS438DL-150 Tool, 150-Feet Greenlee FTS438DL-150 Tool, 150-Feet
  • Made in United States
  • Package height :5.08 cm
  • Package length :40.64 cm
Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape, Corrosion-Resistant Plated Carbon Steel, Nylon / ABS Housing &... Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape, Corrosion-Resistant Plated Carbon Steel, Nylon / ABS Housing &...
  • Ergonomic handle secures your grip at the strongest point and keeps the user's wrist in a normal, upright position to reduce strain and enhance productivity on the job
  • Comfort formed grip reduces forearm strain
  • Impact modified handle and housing that exceeds the 25 ft drop-test.

Top 6 Best Electrical Fish Tapes

Southwire Fish Tape

Southwire FISH TAPE, 1/8" STEEL 50'
  • Southwire’s 1/8"-wide tempered spring steel Fish tapes provide excellent fishing performance and are the perfect addition to your other electrical tools
  • EASIER PULLING: High quality steel for longer life and easier pulling
  • LONG LASTING DURABILITY: High impact case and carrying handle ensures it will be durable enough for the worksite

A good quality fish tape will make your job so much easier. A bad one can be a nightmare to deal with – it’s hard to pull in and out, the metal is thin and wears quickly, or just plain doesn’t feel comfortable when you grip the reel tight against your hand. But Southwire has created an amazing product that solves all of these problems at once – their new 1/8-inch tempered spring steel fish tape won’t wear down as you constantly wind (and unwind) through flooring layers; provides even tension for easy pulling action; feels sturdy enough not slip from between fingers while gripping firmly on both handles. There are no excuses not buy this great tool!

Laser-etched footage markings in 12-inch increments make it ridiculously easy to determine the conduit length during a pull. The fish tape itself comes in 5 different lengths—from 25 feet to 240 feet.

I’ve always hated when I try to buy fish tape, but the one size isn’t big enough. If you ask me this is a total rip-off! That’s why it was great for me that Southwire has 5 different lengths of wire; there are more chances than ever before that my perfect length will be in stock – so go ahead and purchase without worry!

You may not have much space in your toolbox, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the perfect fish tape. A good one should be able to absorb all of those nasty falls – which is why we think this reel has just what it takes!

Plus, its super-strong case will make sure it stays together as long as possible. And lastly…the handle: This reels durable grip makes fishing for cables a breeze and means no more sore wrists from awkwardly holding onto them with tiny hands.

Southwire’s fish tape is an essential tool for both apprentice and veteran electricians. It can be used to snake wire through tight spaces or up walls, which makes it the perfect addition to any professional’s work bag.

CHECK PRICE
Advantages
  • Nice big handle – very handy when you’re wearing large gloves
  • Laser etched footage markings make it easy to identify length of pull
  • Affordable price
  • High quality steel
  • Easy to pull in and out
Disadvantages
  • I’d prefer a slightly smaller wheel diameter

Jameson Fish Tape

100' Jameson Wee Buddy 1/8" OD Fiberglass Fish Tape
  • 100' x 1/8 inch OD fiberglass fish tape
  • Fish occupied conduit as small as 1/2 inch
  • 1-1/2 inch bending radius

Ever find yourself in need of a fish tape and don’t know which one to get? We did too, so we found the Jameson Fish Tape. It’s great for those looking for quality that won’t break your bank. The only downside is it doesn’t come with any attachments like an integral accessory kit (sold separately).

Jameson’s fish tape is designed to be more flexible than the competition, as it’s made of fiberglass and has a diameter of ⅛-inch. For those that are going to need threading wire through smaller conduits, Jameson fish tape should easily accommodate their needs with plenty of room left over for some added materials or tools on hand too!

As you would expect with any good product worth it’s salt–you’ll end up paying a little more money than for competing 100-foot models from other brands (with prices starting at just under $100).

But overall quality makes all the difference in this case: The high-level craftsmanship combined with top-notch material selection really stands out against anything else available today—it will truly stand

CHECK PRICE
Advantages
  • Features a bend radius of 1-½ inches
  • The tape is narrow and flexible
  • 100 feet long
Disadvantages
  • The accessory kit isn't useful if you have a tool belt
  • Expensive

Klein Tools Fish Tape

Sale
Klein Tools 56005 Fish Tape, 25-Foot Steel Fish Tape, 1/4-Inch, Plastic Tip, Etched for Measuring,...
  • Tempered, 1/4-Inch high quality steel tape keeps its stability as it glides between surfaces for effective pushing and pulling of wire under carpets, through insulated walls and over suspended ceilings
  • Updated model 56335 now available!
  • 25-foot (7.62 m) length is perfect for short wire runs associated with light commercial, residential and voice-data-video-audio installations

Klein Tools fish tape is our favorite value option offering a combination of versatility and an affordable price point.

For customers who want fish tape that is reliable but don’t want to break the bank, this 25-foot spool from Klein tools offers durability without compromising usability. For example, its handle can be rewound much faster than with other models because it slopes downward for easier use; as well as laser etchings along the length so you know how far you have gone!

There are also grips along the side of your tape spool that allow you to get a hold on it while winding up for faster work. The USA-made steel ensures no permanent deformation but is still durable enough to last!

The most durable fish tape is here! This one features a plastic tip to ensure that it doesn’t snag while partway through the conduit or wall cavity. Plus, you can be confident your case will stay intact even if you accidentally drop this model.

Overall, we think Klein’s fish tape is a great option and this gets our vote for maximum value.

CHECK PRICE
Advantages
  • No-snag tip
  • Grips help you wind it
  • The tape is made of durable yet flexible steel
  • Durable case
Disadvantages
  • Reeling in can be a challenge
  • The tape is a little flimsy at times

Katzco Fish Tape

Katzco Electrical Fish Tape Reel - 50 Feet Reach - Impact Case for Electricians, Pull Communication...
  • HIGH QUALITY - Katzco electrical fish tape reel is made of high-quality, heavy-duty plastic and contains a durable handle and a built in thumb-lock to hold wires in place wherever you want. The steel cable wire is made for a lifetime of use.
  • DURABLE - Katzco’s electrical snake reel has a high impact resistant case to ensure your electric reel never breaks while on the job. Electric cable is made of high quality, stiff steel to ensure non breakage and accurate use.
  • CONVENIENT - This electrical fish tape reel is super convenient to bring anywhere. Its compact design allows for easy portability and can be stored in tool bag, tool belt, even a belt loop. Perfect for construction workers, carpenters, DIY, and home remodeling. Makes wiring much easier due to the size.

Finally, we have this 50-foot fish tape from Katzco that is one of the most affordable options on our list. You can get it for around the same price as 25 feet worth of other manufacturer’s tapes and you’ll be surprised by how well it works! It also has viewing cutouts to let you know when your supply starts running low and conveniently folds up so you don’t take up too much space at a job site or in storage.

The multi-use cable design used on this fish tape means that it works with a vast range of cables and wires. The interior ring of this fish tape’s case features indentations which give you a spot to place your fingers while you’re pulling wire, though the handle isn’t as comfortable as you’d expect. With its low profile steel head, the cabling itself is convenient for many uses – whether fishing or not!

There are a few issues with this product and they may make you think twice about it. First of all, there is far too much grease in the spool which will most likely cause an issue when unboxing for the first time. The wire also gets tangled up way more often than not so be prepared to deal with that extra hassle!

CHECK PRICE

Advantages
  • Multi-use cable
  • Finger grips along the interior surface
  • Very affordable price
Disadvantages
  • Wire isn’t stiff enough and gets tangled
  • Too much grease

Greenlee Fish Tape

Greenlee FTS438DL-150 Tool, 150-Feet
  • Made in United States
  • Package height :5.08 cm
  • Package length :40.64 cm

The Greenlee’s 150-foot fish tape looks like a bargain when you compare the price to the length of tape that you get, but nearly everything else about this product is abysmal.

When using this very long piece of fabric (aka fish) with a metal wire inside for easy unspooling and measuring purposes, it’s usually difficult because they packed too much into its case!

The tape is only 25 feet long, so you’ll have to struggle with it the whole way. The end of this fishy friend has a unique problem—once you manage to get it out of its case and start wrapping around your reel or rod, there will be problems if any force is applied!

Winding up the tape can also take over an hour because each spool needs special attention – keep at that patience for hours on end!

This product is sold with the promise of a flexible head, but it doesn’t flex all that much and you feel like it will come off at any moment. The two redeeming features are laser-etched markings along the length of the tape (which can be difficult to get out), and a viewing port that allows you to see through your case.

While this may seem appealing, I would suggest looking for alternatives from Southwire, Jameson or Klein Tools as they offer better results in both quality and cost-efficiency

CHECK PRICE
Advantages
  • Viewing window for remaining spool
  • Laser-etchings let you see the length
Disadvantages
  • Poor-quality tip
  • Can’t use the full length of tape
  • Difficulty unwinding the tape

Gardner Bender Fish Tape

Gardner Bender FTS-65R Fish Tape, Corrosion-Resistant Plated Carbon Steel, Nylon / ABS Housing &...
  • Ergonomic handle secures your grip at the strongest point and keeps the user's wrist in a normal, upright position to reduce strain and enhance productivity on the job
  • Comfort formed grip reduces forearm strain
  • Impact modified handle and housing that exceeds the 25 ft drop-test.

The Gardner-Bender Fish Tape is surprisingly affordable when you consider that it’s 65 feet long, and has a few features that make it more durable than the competition.

The fish tape itself features plated carbon steel for added corrosion resistance which will improve its longevity so don’t be afraid to use this in tough jobs.

This fish tape also comes equipped with an ergonomic handle making sure your hand won’t get sore after using all day or during tough jobs like unspooling wire off of cable spools. The angled design makes it easier on the wrist as well!

The Fish Tape with Curved Hook is designed to be more durable than the competition, having survived a 25-foot drop test. It even has viewing ports so you can watch your progress!

One downside of this product is that it curves too much. While some curve is necessary for feeding the fish tape into place, this model makes fishing difficult without running into problems caused by its curvature

CHECK PRICE
Advantages
  • Compact design
  • The plated carbon steel tape is resistant to corrosion
  • Case durability
Disadvantages
  • Sometimes gets stuck
  • Tape curvature

About Thomas Hawkins

I run Electrician Apprentice Headquarters, a one-stop-shop for learning how to become a licensed electrician in the USA. I'm a licensed Master Electrician with over 20 years experience working in the Mining & Construction industries. Why do I do it? Well, because even plumbers need heroes.

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