The 2018’s Top Rated Electrician Fish Tapes On the Market!

Anyone involved in construction electricity work will either own or have access to fish tape. However, for those of you that are unfamiliar with this term, a fish tape is a method of transferring electricity wires through long sections of electricity piping in a construction site.

Fish tape is in my list of necessary equipment for fishing. To that list also comes:

  1. Fishfinder GPS combo to locate a good spot;
  2. Fishing kayak for comfortable fishing;
  3. High-quality fly reel made of carbon fiber.

A construction site can also be a home renovation that requires re-wiring of electricity.

Top-Rated Electrician Fish Tapes List:

PhotoProduct nameLengthMaterialMore information
1. Greenlee FTS438DL-250 SmartMARK Laser Etched Steel Fish Tape with SpeedFlex Leader1. Greenlee FTS438DL-250 SmartMARK250.’Stainless SteelView on Amazon
2. Klein Tools 56008 1/8-Inch Wide Stainless Steel Fish Tape, 240-Foot Length2. Klein Tools 56008240′ (x 1/8” x 0.062′)Laser etched every 1’View on Amazon
3. Southwire Tools & Equipment FTSP3-240FML Simpull Electrical Fish Tape Flexible Metal Leader, Large Case, 3mm x 240 Feet3. Southwire Tools & Equipment FTSP3-240FML240.’NylonView on Amazon
4. Gardner Bender FTS-250R Fish Tape, 250 ft, Plated Carbon Steel, UpperHand with Rubber Grip4. Gardner Bender FTS-250R250′ (x 1/8″ x .060″)Stainless SteelView on Amazon
5. Klein Tools 56055 Multi-Groove Fiberglass Fish Tape, 100-Foot5. Klein Tools 56055100′ x 3/16” (30.5 m x 4.8 mm)FiberglassView on Amazon
6. Klein Tools 100-Foot Multi-Groove Stainless Steel Fish Tape 560086. Klein Tools 100-Foot240′ x 1/8” x 0.062”Stainless SteelView on Amazon

Essentially, when you try to push a wire through a pipe, you will end up with issues when having to push through bends and corners. That is why in the olden days, the electrician would first introduce a steel wire through the pipe, and then hook the electrical wire to the other end, pulling it through the system.

This hook and pull are like fishing, hence the name.

The fish tape of today is a much-advanced model of the old steel wire use to push the cable through the pipe. The models used today include special non-stick materials and are easier to reel as well as pull.

Here are the six top fish tapes we found through extensive research, actually testing in real life scenario’s as well as checking online sales figures and customer reviews.

What we look for in a good fish tape are length, weight, material, and markings.

Best Electrician Fish Tape Reviews:

1. Greenlee FTS438DL-250 SmartMARK Laser Etched Steel Fish Tape with SpeedFlex Leader

Quality87%
Durability84%
Practicality 83%
Price86%

Introduction

This is the Greenlee SpeedFlex leaders model that uses their proprietary SmartMARK system that comes with laser etched markings for exact distance values.

This model comes with rubber overgrip to make it easier for holding and securing while measuring and pulling in the wire. The overall feel of this unit is smooth, and there are viewing ports to see how much tape remains in the casing.

This model is manufactured in the USA.

Length: 250.’

Weight: 9Lbs (4Kgs)

Material: Stainless Steel

Markings: Laser etched at every foot
Greenlee Datasheet PDF
 

 

2. Klein Tools 56008 1/8-Inch Wide Stainless Steel Fish Tape, 240-Foot Length

Quality89%
Durability87%
Practicality 86%
Price84%

Introduction

Klein tools will feature here in this guide since they produce some of the finest tools on the market. This is their stainless-steel rust proof tape, and it comes in a polypropylene case with sloping handle for the maximum in impact resistance. The raised finger-grips and full grip-style handle give you a firm, and steady grip while working.

This tape gives a very smooth feel, and the reel is extremely comfortable to work with.

Klein is an old USA company with exceptional products.

Length: 240′ (x 1/8” x 0.062′)

Weight: 7.5 lb (3.4 kg)

Markings: Laser etched every 1’

Material: Stainless Steel
Product Brochure
 

 

3. Southwire Tools & Equipment FTSP3-240FML Simpull Electrical Fish Tape Flexible Metal Leader, Large Case, 3mm x 240 Feet

Quality87%
Durability87%
Practicality 86%
Price84%

Introduction

This is Southwire’s fiberglass fish tape. You might know Southwire for their copper and aluminum rod, wire, and cable products but they also produce some fine tools too.

What is great about this model is that it’s a non-conductive polymer that gives off low coefficient of friction. This enables the wire to glide smoothly through any EMT or PVC conduit.

This line is also extremely durable, kink resistant and basically very hard to break. This model also comes with either a 360° swiveling flexible metal leader or with a non-conductive glow in the dark leader. The only downside is its lack of markings.

Obviously, this product is made in the USA.

Length: 240.’

Weight: 3lbs

Material: Nylon

Markings: None

SouthWire SIMpull Video

 

 

4. Gardner Bender FTS-250R Fish Tape, 250 ft, Plated Carbon Steel, UpperHand with Rubber Grip

Quality84%
Durability83%
Practicality 84%
Price86%

Introduction

This is the GB FTS-250R fish tape model that comes in unbreakable stainless steel. The casing is made of impact-resistant ABS and nylon resins that exceeds the 25ft drop test. The SS wire is rust proof, so you get a lot of mileage out of this tape.

This model comes with a 12” external ring diameter with 5.5”internal ring diameter

Length: 250′ (x 1/8″ x .060″)

Weight: 8.2lbs

Material: Stainless Steel

Markings: None

GB Manual PDF

 

 

5. Klein Tools 56055 Multi-Groove Fiberglass Fish Tape, 100-Foot

Quality87%
Durability84%
Practicality 83%
Price84%

Introduction

This is the Klein tools 56055 multi-groove model, and it comes with a 7-Inch spiral steel leader for pushing effortlessly through crowded conduit tubes. This version is fiberglass and comes with a laser etched grooves for better measuring. The case is 13” not your standard 12”, so you get faster reeling in, and the standard Klein polypropylene case comes with a sloping handle for the maximum in impact resistance. The raised finger-grips and full grip-style handle give you a firm, and steady grip while working.

Length: 100′ x 3/16” (30.5 m x 4.8 mm)

Weight: 3.0lbs (1.4 kg)

Material: Fiberglass

Markings: Laser etched every 1’
Product Brochure
 

 

6. Klein Tools 100-Foot Multi-Groove Stainless Steel Fish Tape 56008

Quality88%
Durability87%
Practicality 88%
Price85%

Introduction

This is the Klein tools 56008 multi-groove model, this version is stainless steel and comes with a laser etched grooves for better measuring. The case is also 13” not your standard 12”, so you get faster reeling in, and the standard Klein polypropylene case comes with a sloping handle for the maximum in impact resistance. The raised finger-grips and full grip-style handle give you a firm, and steady grip while working.

Length: 240′ x 1/8” x 0.062” (73.2 m x 3.2 mm x 1.57 mm)

Weight: 7.5 lb (3.4 kg)

Material: Stainless Steel

Markings: Laser etched every 1’
Product Brochure

 

 

What Is A Fish Tape?

A fish tape is an electricians tool used to push and pull wires through complex piping systems. There are many types of fish tape, but they all rely on two basic features: material and length.

Types of Material

Stainless Steel fish tapes are strong, high tensile strength and rigid. They are highly conductive too, so when you are working near live conductors, you should not use a stainless-steel model.

Nylon fish tapes are the most popular tapes in use, the reason being is that they produce less friction, are cost-effective and can be used in most applications.

Fiberglass fish tapes are usually used for telecommunication and data communication cables. Fiberglass is non-conductive, so it’s a safer used material for electricians.

Safety Issues

Whenever you use a fish tape, don’t fall into the complacency of easy environments. Make sure you follow these basic rules:

  • Always wear protective eye glasses
  • Make sure all electricity is turned off, as well as electrical appliances connected to an outside source.
  • Never remove the winder reel screws when the fish tape is coiled inside.
  • Always make sure you are in a comfortable position, and if you are using a ladder or other means to reach the tubing, make sure you are secure and will not fall or trip during the job.
  • Wear electricity and wear resistant gloves. You have to be careful of any unknown electricity sources your reel might come into contact with, as well as any sudden pulls or pushes while holding it.
  • Don’t go through insulation, go around it.
  • Only use the non-conductive fiberglass models for live wire or live circuit operations.
  • After use, always wash the tape clean using detergents, and dry it off completely.
  • Check your tape before use makes sure there are no cracks, bends or fractures.

Buying Guide

Length: Always check your tape for the correct length. You should buy a longer length then you actually need, since this will always give you a wider option of use. However, if you only do short work, such as 50’ then buy a 100’ reel, and if you do 100’ work, then buy a 150’ or 200’ reel. That way you are sure to never run out of length at any junction.

Quality: Always check whether the tape is well received on the market, has good reviews and is made by a respectable company Buying a cheap model from an unknown manufacturer will end up in breakages and problems. Materials are always an issue, and you don’t want to buy an unverified fiberglass model, only to find out it has copper wiring twisted into it or stainless steel that is really only some cheap carbon iron (steel) wire. We have prepared a good list, these are the leading models, and will not let you down, ever.

Durability: This is what determines the life of the tape. If you buy a cheap model, you end up having to buy a new one once a year at best, maybe once a few months at worst. Don’t waste your money or your time. Buy one good model and stick to it. Choose a great brand, and you won’t be let down.

Bottom Line: This isn’t rocket science, its common sense. The fish tapes in this guide are budget-friendly, coming from good brands and are all made in the USA.

Leave a Comment