There are only a few days left until Christmas. It’d be nice to think that everyone’s shopping is done, but the reality is that many of us will scramble for stocking stuffers until the last minute. If you have a bass angler on your list and are stumped about that final grab-and-go gift, here’s an idea. Instead of picking up another multi-tool near the cash register at the Home Depot, find a set of surgical tools. You can skip the bone saw, no one needs that, but stainless surgical tools are virtually corrosion proof and I’d argue that they’re more useful than a multi-tool. Here are the three I always carry.


Kelly Forceps are an excellent tool for opening skirt collars when dressing/changing jigs and spinnerbaits. They’re also very handy when you need to grasp and manipulate tiny objects like split rings, or if you have to turn the small O-ring on a crankbait during tuning. And they’ve also saved quite a few fish that required something smaller than regular pliers to get to the hook out of odd or tight spots.

Littauer Stitch Scissors are my favorite line/braid cutters. The rounded nose makes them safer to have lying around a boat, and they also feature a small U-shaped cutout on one blade that precisely cups the line where you want to cut it. This reduces the potential of accidentally nicking other parts of the line around knots. They’re also great for trimming soft plastic or skirt material, and they’re even strong enough to trim thick weed guards. I also carry a tiny pair of pointed-nose surgical scissors. Flyfishermen use them regularly, but they work just as well on fine materials like feather hook trailers, or to precisely cut around super tight locations like lure eyelets.

One other oddball tool I keep on board is a stainless dental pick. The sturdy tapered points are basically like a duller, straighter version of an extended hook point. I use this more than you would expect for tasks like cleaning the paint/epoxy out of hook eyelets, and even getting to the tight areas of backlashes and unwanted knots I hope to untangle. So hurry up and get to the medical supply store while you still have time, and have a Merry Christmas.