Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today we are going to open the tool shed to look at my 5 best fishing tools for everyday use in 2021. These are the tools that if you carry no others, you will have enough to assist you with everything you are trying to do when at the water’s edge whether that be on a river bank, in a lake, on a jetty or anywhere else where the fish are biting.
I will list a few others worth mentioning at the bottom of this post, but to me, these 5 are the ones that allow me to spend as much time as possible doing what I am there to do, which is stand around with my fishing line in the water. So with that, let’s check out my 5 tool options below:
First on our list of tools is a good set of pliers. These are used for any number of reasons whilst fishing including to:
- Remove hooks from fish
- Create gang hooks
- Fix equipment
- Hold fish
- Change lure hooks
- Hold line whilst you tie it to tackle etc.
- Cut line
- Straighten bent hooks or swivels
- And the list goes on and on.
I like the long nose option myself however if you have a set of normal, ‘every day’ pliers in your garage, grab em! Although if you are looking for fishing specific pliers then I recommend some made from sturdy aluminum (they are light and won’t rust) with a cutting bar incorporated as there are also times where you might need to cut a hook.
If you take no other tool, take pliers!
Now I know I mentioned above that if you are purchasing fishing specific pliers to get ones with a cutter in it but in my humble opinion, that does not negate the need for a decent pair of scissors. Pliers struggle to cut braid and are also not real good when you are trying to clean up freshly tied knots etc.
Scissors are also one area that I recommend going for options made for the purpose of fishing. This is for a number of reasons including:
- Normal scissors tend to rust – really fast
- Handles are usually made to not slip off your hands
- Many come with a belt loop or clip for easy access
- Fishing scissors are generally made for the purpose of cutting line whereas normal scissors are not and tend to fray the ends making threading through hook eyes etc. way more difficult
And if you are going ask whether fishing line cutters would fit into this category – as a backup, I would say yes!
3. Fishing Knife
A fishing knife is the one that you take with you when you go fishing and use for cutting everything from:
- Seaweed and other snags
- Plastic packets
- Your lunch
- and so on
They are also good for scaling fish and the like too. And when you are in the thick of the action with rods going one way and fish the other, no matter how good they are a pair of scissors or pliers are – a fishing knife will always be your go to as well.
To that end, in reality any decently sharp knife will do as it does not necessarily need to be as long and slender as their filleting cousins. I guess the only real difference here then is the fact that many everyday kitchen knives are not good in salt water – i.e. they will rust quite quickly – and do not have the non-slip handles etc. to make use easier in when they are wet either.
A second point here too. Knives used for general fishing tend to suffer from some fairly rugged use so I would suggest not using your favourite filleting knife for this job – unless you like minced fish fillets of course.
Now let’s talk about rulers. One great thing about fishing is that it can often throw up a number of different species types with different legal limits.
Where we fish, fines for undersized fish can be steep so add a ruler to your tool list as well. This doesn’t have to really be an exact science – I mean if it is that close then maybe just throw it back anyway – so anything that will measure the length of a fish will do.
I admit to liking the fit for purpose hard plastic option however one of my fishing buddies uses a sewing tape that he keeps in his pocket. School rulers, fish stickers or even a pre-cut length of string will work here too. If the fish is longer than the string – it is legal!
5. First Aid Kit
Ok, so this last one is probably not a ‘tool’ as such but when it comes to the options above – there are some obvious dangers to be accounted for. We have already discussed the use of scissors, knives and pliers – all of which can inflict some damage to us. And then of course there are the other sharp ‘dangers’ associated with angling such as hooks, fish spikes, oysters and other little nasties found around water as well. Not to mention the fact that you are generally outdoors amongst all the flying ‘biteys’ too.
So, to that end, I highly recommend adding a small first aid kit to your list as well. Obviously you don’t want to be carrying a hospital ward around with you however as a minimum, I would add:
- Small bandages
- Waterproof medical tape
- Scissors (NOT your fishing pair)
- Insect repellent
- Insect bite spray
And while we are on the safety train, make sure you have some sunscreen and clean drinking water with you as well!
Others worth a mention
As we discussed at the top of this post, the items listed above are what I believe to be ‘must haves’ when it comes to tools for fishing. However, there are some other options here that you may prefer, or feel should be added to this list. These include:
- Hook remover – Hook removers are like extra long pliers that are designed purely for removing hooks from fish – especially if they have swallowed it. Again, pliers will work here but I actually carry one of these and to be honest, I almost put it as must have number 6 above
- Fish lip grip – These are specialised tools designed to grab the fish by the lip as you remove the hook or carry it up the beach. Pliers will do this job as well but these are worth it if you are dealing with particularly spiky or ‘toothy’ fish. They are must haves for the boat or kayak too if your species is good at throwing the hook.
- Multi-function knives – A.K.A. Swiss army knives – can be helpful as they tend to have all the basics above (pliers, scissors, knives etc.) as well as other tools such as screwdrivers (see next) and other stuff too. They tend to not be as effective as the really thing but can definitely work in a pinch.
- Screwdriver – I needed one the other week when the bale came loose on my fishing reel. I have never needed one in the past but did this time. Luckily a guy fishing near me had one on hand. Also good for humanely dealing with fish as well.
- Fishing scales – For bragging purposes only
And there they are – my 5 best fishing tools for everyday use this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences or any other tips you may have.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time