Cutting line, adjusting lures, removing hooks and cleaning fish are just a few tasks that require all sorts of fishing snips, pliers, and knives. What’s great is that over the years, tools have become stronger, lighter, more durable, and more functional than their predecessors, so you can do just as much, but carry less. However, with so many new tools flooding the market each year, it’s tough to know which ones are built to last and worth your hard-earned dollars. To help you replace a lost or broken tool in your boat or tackle box, here are 10 that will make your 2019 season go smooth.
Rapala 3-inch Hook Remover
Rapala 3-inch Hook Remover Rapala
Most hook removers don’t work well for releasing baitfish or other small species. However, the Rapala 3-inch Hook Remover works wonderful and is great for anglers who need to quickly fill a livewell to get on the bite, or anyone targeting fish that fit inside a small frying pan. The scaled-down size of Rapala’s 3-inch Hook Remover makes it easy to get enough leverage to pop hooks free and it neatly fits in a back, front, or side pocket of your jacket or pants for instant access. The remover also has a coiled wrist lanyard to make sure it doesn’t accidentally go overboard.
The Bass Pro Shops (BPS) Anglers Essentials 5-piece kit bundles a few basic angling tools into a single, affordable package. The kit’s biggest component is a pair of BSP’s popular longnose aluminum pliers, which are made from anodized aircraft aluminum and feature spring-loaded handles, serrated jaws, and a sharp steel cutter. Also in the package is a 2 3/8-inch line clipper with an integrated pick, a bait tuner and a 1 ½-inch knife, a jig eye cleaner to remove paint, and a ceramic hook sharpener. There’s even a nylon lanyard to attach all the tools and keep them close by for when you need them.
Whisker Seeker Tackle 110-pound Digital Catfish Scale
Whisker Seeker Tackle 110-pound Digital Catfish Scale Whisker Seeker Tackle
Both blue and flathead catfish can surpass the 100-pound mark, so if you catch the fish of a lifetime and don’t have a scale to properly weigh it, you’ll regret it. Although Whisker Seeker Tackle caters to the catfish crowd, their 110-pound scale is a solid buy for anyone targeting big fish. It’s water resistant, has an ergonomic design that’s easy to hold, and an oversized hook that’s great for attaching directly to a fish, grip, landing net, or sling. The scale is also backlit for nighttime adventures and certifiable if you’re trying to break a fishing record. It operates on three AAA batteries and has an automatic shut-off to save power.
Whisker Seeker Tackle Lockjaw Catfish Grips
Whisker Seeker Tackle Lockjaw Catfish Grip Whisker Seeker Tackle
Most good fishing grips on the market have steep price tags, the less expensive options don’t seem to last long, and virtually none are designed for the hard mouths and thick jaws of big catfish. Whisker Seeker built their Lockjaw Catfish Grip from the ground up so anglers can easily land and handle oversized fish, not just catfish. They’re constructed of stainless steel so you can use them in either salt or fresh water, the heavy-duty, reinforced jaws won’t twist and bend under force, and a rotating head prevents fish from twisting and pulling free. Lockjaw Catfish Grips have a wrist tie that secures to your hand, but the grip also floats if you accidentally drop it in the water.
The ReelFlex Pak Filet Kit from Outdoor Edge includes three different size filet knives constructed from pro-grade, V-ground German 4116 stainless steel. The combination allows you to choose the right tool for the fillet job at hand and make clean, precise cuts on whatever fish you bring home for the table. The knives have a uniform 5 ½-inch handle and the blades are 6-inch, 7 ½-inch and 9 ½-inches long. The blade edges are razor-sharp and double-tempered for superior flexibility, and the handles are treated with a rubberized TPR that makes for a comfortable, non-slip grip, even when wet. The ReelFlex Pak Filet Kit comes with a two-stage carbide/ceramic sharpener and it’s all housed in an easy-to-carry hard case.
Formerly known as “Bubba Blade,” the company rebranded itself and recently launched a string of new products. Headlining the releases is the 110V Electric Filet Knife. If you prefer an electric filet knife over a traditional fillet knife, the Bubba 100V Electric Filet knife is as good as it gets. The handle has an 8 ½-inch non-slip contoured grip so its easy to make consistent cuts with no interruptions. The set comes with 7-inch and 9-inch E-flex blades for careful cleaning, and 9-inch and 12-inch E-stiff blades when cutting requires a blade that’s more rigid, and it’s all packaged in a hard EVA case. Together the four blades can process any type and size of fish.
Multi-tools are hugely popular with anglers and a variety of other sportsmen, and there’s no shortage of options on the market, though some are more expensive than others. That’s why I like Gerber’s Suspension-NXT. It contains a comprehensive selection of tools and it’s made with the same level of craftsmanship you would expect from a much pricier multi-tool. There are a total of 15 tools on the device, including needle nose and regular pliers, scissors, a selection of screw drivers, and a wire stripper. The Suspension-NXT has a slim butterfly design that compacts down to 4 ¼-inches long when closed. It’s lightweight at just over six ounces and you can carry it in your pocket or clipped on your belt without it getting in your way.
Bubba’s new 6 ½-inch Pistol Grip pliers are designed to be comfortable, provide a solid grip when closed, and give an angler exceptional leverage for dislodging the most difficult hooks. Handles are made with Bubba’s signature, soft, comfortable, grip padding to prevent missteps while contending with flailing fish. A spring loaded handle makes it easy to open and shut the jaws when you need to make quick adjustments, and the strong split-ring openers at the tip make quick work of a variety of ring sizes. If you’re often swapping or replacing hooks, or adjusting lures, you’ll appreciate the benefit of the pistol-grip design for control and greater leverage when opening split rings.
Gerber catered to freshwater fishermen by designing an entire set of durable tools anglers use every day. One of those items, the Line Driver, is a multi-functional tool that’s great for addressing any issues you have with your hook to lure connection, and other small tasks. This one device has a hook-threader for quick knot connections, scissors to snip tag-ends or cut line to make repairs, a spinning hook vise, and a split shot crimper. The Line Driver has an eyelet clearing spike that is slight enough to fit the smallest line-ties and strong enough to penetrate through thick paint on jig heads.
Another standout in Gerber’s freshwater collection is the Processor Take-Apart Shears. Gerber designed the Processor after researching what tools besides knives anglers use to clean fish, and then put the characteristics of those tools into one package. With a gut hook, a fine edge blade, and a fin clipper, these powerful scissors can quickly process your fish from just-caught to pan-ready with ease. An ergonomic handle coated with HydroTread Grip gives you precision control during each stage of the cleaning process. The hefty shears are 10-inches long and weigh 7 ½ ounces. There is a lanyard hole and the shears come with a rinsable sheath.