5 Kayak Fishing Tools

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today we are going to get ourselves fully equipped for some action with my 5 kayak fishing tools to dehook this year. I mean these are the tools that if you don’t them have with you, then frankly, you will really struggle when out of the kayak with a fishing rod in hand! And as someone who went out recently without any tools you can trust me when I say that things will run a little smoother if you take my advice below.

I will list a few others worth mentioning at the bottom of this post too, 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 float around on my kayak with my fishing line in the water. So with that, let’s check out my 5 tools options below:

1. Pliers

First on our list is a good set of pliers. These are used for any number of reasons whilst on the kayak including to:

  • Remove hooks from fish
  • Fix equipment
  • Hold fish (if you don’t have a fish lip holder with you)
  • 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!

Fishing kayak tools - Pliers

2 Scissors

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 another 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. Knife

kayak fishing tools - knife

Our third option is probably obvious (and maybe should have been promoted to item #1) however for the sake of this post, let’s just assume that we need to know why. We have already touched on some of the reasons above in terms of cutting line etc. – which a knife can also certainly do for us – however think of all the other things you may need to cut as well such as bait, tangled weed and so on.

And when you are in the thick of the action on a tiny kayak with rods going one way and fish the other, no matter how good they are a pair of scissors is simply not going to cut it – pardon the pun haha. And to that end, they are also extremely useful on these small spaces to assist you in quickly and humanely killing your catch as well.

A final point here too. Knives used on a kayak 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.

4. Fish Lip Gripper

As we have mentioned above, there is not a lot or real estate on a kayak which is something that becomes more than evident once you have a live catch flopping and jumping around the place. My next suggest tool for kayak fishing then is a fish lip gripper. As the name suggests, this is a little tool that grips onto the lip of the fish allowing you to hold it whilst you do things such as:

  • Remove the hook
  • Place the fish in a keeper bag or bucket
  • Release back to the water
  • Scale and/or fillet

Now again, a pair of pliers can do the job here however if you need them to remove the hook as well then you will wish you had one of these. A fish lip grabber simply gives you an option to hold the fish effectively whilst you perform any of the actions above without it taking up too much room or bouncing all over the floor of the vessel.

5. Net

And finally, let’s talk about nets. This is probably more of a fishing accessory than a tool however I am such as strong believer in their need when on a kayak I have listed it here as well. .

This is definitely a requirement I learned the hard way. You see where we fish we chase a particular species called a Flathead. These are long and flat with a big mouth and are particularly good at spitting the hook out as you try and lift then into the kayak. So after losing a few I realised that a net for the kayak was a definite need.

Again, these are good for a lack of space on a kayak as if you have ever tried to balance yourself, a rod and a paddle whilst a rather annoyed fish tries to circle your craft, then you will know you need a net.

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 on a kayak. 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 these are better if the hook is waaaayyy down and you a hoping to release the fish back into the water.
  • Ruler -Where we fish, fines for undersized fish can be steep so you could 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.
  • 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 the fishing reel. I have never needed one in the past but did this time so I was glad it was in my tackle bag.
  • Fishing scales – For bragging purposes only.


And there they are – my 5 kayak fishing tools to dehook 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

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.