At the end of the day, most anglers want the same thing: to maximize success and enjoyment on the water. Fishing tools, in addition to your rods, reels, and lures, help achieve this goal by increasing efficiency and improving your overall experience. Whether you’re choosing top-of-the-line, purpose-built tools, or improvising with what you have around the house, being able to tie, snip, and modify ensures that you will have more fun while fishing. In this Tackle Warehouse DIY article, we have identified the top five fishing tools that we believe no bass angler should be without!
1. Line Cutter
Braided fishing line has not only transformed the way most anglers approach bass fishing, but it has also changed the tools necessary for cutting fishing line. Anyone who has tried to cut braid with household scissors knows exactly how difficult it is to get a clean cut without creating a frayed mess. To achieve a precise cut, look for cutters with a serrated blade, which holds the line in place while slicing cleanly through the fibers. Consider choosing snips with a retractable carabiner so you can attach them to your bibs or belt loop for easy access.
A quality pair of pliers is a basic fishing tool that should be in every angler’s arsenal. Whether you’re removing a hook, tuning a crankbait, or bending a hook, pliers provide utility for all kinds of tasks. If you’re on a budget, any pair of mid-size pliers will cover almost every situation. However, it can be advantageous to carry multiple types of pliers, like pistol-grip pliers, which are great for removing deeply buried hooks, or low-profile forceps that make quick work of small hooks.
3. Wacky Rigging Tools
Arguably one of the best lures to use when fish aren’t actively feeding, the wacky worm is an invaluable weapon around tight-lipped fish. However, some wacky worms possess a heavy salt content that causes them to fall apart easily. Applying a silicone O-ring or tube around the middle of the worm creates a secure hold for your hook and also bolsters durability, so you get the most out of every bait.
O-ring tools make this process quick and easy. Simply insert the worm into the hollow opening, slide the ring up the tool, and apply the ring around the center of the worm. If you prefer a silicone worm tube, specialized pliers like the ones listed below allow you to expand the sleeve and apply it in seconds.
4. Split Ring Pliers
An essential tool for any angler who loves throwing crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, or umbrella rigs, split ring pliers are a must-have for swapping out blades and dull hooks. While all split ring pliers function the same way, you may opt for different sized pliers depending on the application. If you’re swapping out trebles on a bite-sized crankbait, extra-large pliers may be too big to fit inside the split ring.
Conversely, low-profile split ring pliers might not have enough muscle to open heavy-duty split rings on an oversized glide bait. Additional features to consider when buying split ring pliers are spring-loaded handles and corrosion-resistant coatings, which make them easier to operate and prevent rusting.
5. Hook Sharpener
Most hooks are sticky sharp out of the package, but every hook is subject to dulling as soon as you make the first cast. Rocks, wood, and even a fish’s mouth can easily roll a hook point, so don’t forget to routinely inspect your hooks while fishing and sharpen them as needed.
A quick and easy way to test the sharpness of your hook is to run it across the surface of your fingernail. If it leaves a scratch, your hook is good to go. If it doesn’t, that is usually a sign that it is time to take out the hook file. A dull fishing hook could be the difference between landing the fish of a lifetime or missing the hookset completely, so be sure to keep a hook sharpener in your tackle box.
As anglers, our focus is often consumed with dialing in fishing tackle or tying up a strong knot before we head out to the lake, making it easy to forget the proper fishing tools until they are needed on the water. Just like a mechanic requires a specific tool to get the job done, every angler should have the right tools available to ensure their success and perform essential fishing tasks with efficiency.
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