Multi-tools are incredibly handy devices that allow you to work or adapt to a range of different situations. They have a lot of versatility but are commonly used for fishing.
Owning a single device that can cut a line, scale a fish, and tighten a screw as you need is quite useful out on the water. However, through all models are similar, they do have their differences.
For that reason, it is best to do your research before making a purchase. Here, we will break down a slew of the highest rated models to help you find the best fishing multi tool for you.
Best Multi Tools for Fishing
There are many different fishing multi-tools on the market, and they range from everyday carry tools (which have simple features like screwdrivers and can openers) to tactical multi-tools that use heavy-duty items like wire cutters and bolt grippers.
Often, the best fishing multi-tools will have a mix of both traits. Such is the case with the following items, all of which have enough unique characteristics and special add-ons to ensure all of your fishing trips run smoothly.
Gerber MP600 Pro Scout
Kicking off this guide is the Gerber MP600 Pro Scout, a fantastic fishing multi-tool that offers both strength and durability in one compact package.
Though commonly used by the military, this model has a ton of fishing applications. Not only does the solid, stainless steel construction ensure it can be used over and over again, but the fourteen different tools packed inside allow you to be ready for any occasion.
Versatility is the name of the game with this model. The fourteen tools are a great mix of heavy-duty and lighter options. You have your basics, including a can opener and pliers, but you have more specialized tools like wire cutters and a wire crimper as well.
In addition, it is easy to operate the MP600 with one hand. This feature is particularly useful for fishermen because it enables them to hold the line or rod in one hand and work with the other.
That ease of use, combined with the choices and durability, make this a multi-tool that casual and avid anglers can use year after year with little worry.
Our next fishing multi tool is the PowerLock from SOG. This device blends great characteristics, ranging from quick use features to Compound Leverage mechanisms, to ensure you get the most out of its different add-ons.
Here, you get multiple screwdrivers, a crimper, 3-sided file, needle nose pliers, bolt grip channel, partially-serrated blade, awl, ruler, scissors, wire cutter, and wood saw all wrapped up in one easy-to-handle package.
As with the Gerber MP600, the PowerLock comes with one-handed opening, enabling you to work with your line without needing to pause or break. This also makes the model easy to operate in tricky or slick conditions.
Beyond that, the Powerlock has a heavy-duty construction that ensures it will last a long time. Fishing multi-tools take a lot of abuse, and it’s nice knowing yours will stay strong years into the future.
It is also important to note that there are many subtle advantages to this tool that are not apparent right away. It is not simply that you get great features and solid construction, but that each tool operates beyond the industry standard.
For example, the scissors and saw both cuts with ease, while the screwdrivers and crimpers do their job without any hitches or issues. A small bonus, but one you’ll feel every time you use the PowerLock.
The Wingman is another example of a fishing multi-tool done right. This model comes with fourteen different add-ons that work together to create one of the most dependable multi-tools around.
As you would expect, this comes with a spring-action plier system on the top. However, you also get scissors, needlenose pliers, wire cutters, a wire stripper, 420HC combo knife, a ruler, can opener, file, bottle opener, package opener, and three different screwdrivers.
The list doesn’t stop there. To make sure you’re always prepared, the Wingman also comes with a replaceable pocket clip, locking blade, one-handed opening capabilities, and outside-accessible features.
The sharp blade is one of the most impressive aspects of this tool. Not only does it lock into place when fully deployed, but it only folds away once manually unlocked. That then makes it much safer to operate.
The removable pocket clip adds to that functionality by providing you with a way to put the multi-tool directly onto your pocket or belt loop without a sheath. Of course, you can use a sheath if you want, but it’s always nice to have options.
The one-handed functionality is as great here as it is in other models. However, the outside-accessible features that enable you to take advantage of the tool while it’s folded, add an extra layer of usability other multi-tools lack.
Read our full Leatherman Wingman review
Leatherman Wave Plus
Continuing with the best Leatherman models, the Wave Plus is a multi-tool for all anglers. This device takes all of the aspects packed into the company’s best-selling model and improves upon them in various ways.
The Wave Plus is made from stainless steel and comes with a soft, black nylon sheath. In addition, it also provides a staggering number of tools to meet all of your fishing needs.
The switch between needlenose and regular pliers ensures you’ll be able to grip line, hooks, or fish with ease, while the crimper and wire cutters enable you to work on motors or electronics if needed.
Adding to that, there are numerous handy outdoor tools as well. The two corrosion-resistant knives are perfect for stormy weather, the spring-action scissors can cut through line, and the file sands down both wood and metal. There is even a diamond-coated file to sharpen blades.
However, with so many options, the Wave Plus is for more than just business. The easy-to-use bottle and can opener make this great for people who like to camp and fish at the same time.
It is unlikely that something goes wrong during a trip, but accidents do happen. The Wave Plus’ versatility ensures you’ll never be caught off guard.
Read our full Leatherman Wave Plus review
Victorinox SwissTool Spirit X
Moving away from Leatherman, the Victorinox SwissTool Spirit X is one of the most versatile multi-tools on the market. That makes it a great choice for all anglers.
The most notable aspect here is the sheer number of tools the Spirit X comes with. Many multi-tools, including the ones reviewed above, have a long list of different features. However, none of them can match the Spirit X’s twenty-four.
You get everything with this model. Not only does it come with the usual culprits like a strong blade, screwdriver, and wire cutter, but it also has a chisel, scraper, reamer, and multiple saws.
However, do not think those options make the Spirit X bulky or awkward to use. The unique craftsmanship ensures all of the tools are expertly tucked back behind two metal strips.
That creates a sleek, attractive package that is not only pleasing to look at, but easy to use. On top of that, the Spirit X is also incredibly light, allowing anyone to handle it with little worry.
All of those features come wrapped up inside Victorinox’s incredible warranty. That statement not only promises all tools to be first-class stainless steel but provides a lifetime guarantee against any material defects.
Though that does not cover normal damage, it does ensure you’re making a strong purchase. It is always nice to know you’re buying something backed by the company, and that you’ll be protected should something go wrong.
Victorinox Deluxe Tinker
While not nearly as big or multi-faceted as the Spirit X, the Victorniox Deluxe Tinker is one of the best small fishing multi-tools around. This model gets high marks because of how well it fits premium tools and enhanced durability inside a compact and affordable package.
This is a pocket knife that provides you with every essential tool you’d ever need while fishing. It is easy to assume the Tinker lacks versatility as a result of the size, but it has seventeen different tools inside.
There are two blades, scissors, pliers, a wire cutter and crimper, a multipurpose hook, tweezers, a toothpick, reamer, bottle opener, and various screwdrivers.
Each of those features then comes inside Deluxe Tinker’s easy-to-handle package. The multi-tool weighs just 4.3 ounces and measures only 3.5 inches long. In that way, it is a perfect item to drop in your pocket or toss in a bag before heading out.
Those features enable you to cut, hack, saw, or pinch whatever you need while on an outdoor excursion. In that way, though the Tinker is perfect for fishing, it is great for those who like to hike or camp around fishing as well.
As you would expect, this also comes protected with Victorinox’s stellar guarantee. You can purchase a well-crafted leather belt pouch for it as well.
This section ends with the Gerber Center-Drive. This model is just as dependable as any other tool on the market, but it stands out from the pack as a result of its unique design.
Most multi-tools come with a standard look. They have a two-part body that opens up to reveal or give access to the different tools inside. The Center-Drive does not follow that approach.
Rather, this model comes with a special center-axis driver that opens to align like a screwdriver. That creates an incredible amount of power and provides the same torque you’d get with a full-sized tool.
To back that up, this also has a long outboard blade and a special one-thumb opening mechanism to easily access the tools inside. All of the larger features are accessed with a quick flick.
In addition, the Center-Drive offers sixteen different well-made tools that provide you with all the functionality and use of similar models. That includes a nail puller, standard pliers, wire cutters, bottle opener, and serrated blade.
Though you may not always use the screwdriver while out on the water, you’ll definitely access many of the tools during your trips. The increased design and functionality are just there for you whenever you need them.
Read our Gerber Center-Drive Review
Best Specialized Fishing Multi Tools
The above multi-tools are all about versatility. They provide numerous options, giving them the ability to tackle a range of different situations in a range of different ways. It is not about having a tool that can do one or two things well, it is about having a device that can do a bit of everything.
However, those go-wide multi-tools are not the only ones for fishing. Sometimes you need a tool that, while dependable, is a bit more specialized for one task. That is what you’ll find in the section below.
The first specialized fishing multi-tool we’ll cover, the Gerber LineDriver, is all about line management. There are many different things you need to balance while trying to bring in a big catch, but none are more important than keeping your line in the water for as long as possible.
The LineDriver helps with that by allowing you to quickly tie knots and handle a tricky line. It has two ends, each of which brings their own unique tools and functions to the table.
The front rotates to clear eyelets and tie knots, keeping your fingers out of the way so it is easier to thread a new line. It also comes with a spinning vise that clamps down onto hooks or lures.
In contrast, the back has numerous utility tools that help manage tough line. The scissor snips cut through thick or thin cord depending on their setting, the crimper adds extra general utility, and the hook threader funnels line through the eyelet for quick exchanges.
All of those features are then backed by the pocket clip and tether point. Each of those work to anchor the device and ensure it stays secure during use.
Everything about this multi-tool makes your fishing time easier. Though this does require a bit of maintenance, you have to rinse it after use and regularly apply oil, it is durable and made to last a long, long time.
Every angler knows that fishing can take you to some wet, slippery, or unstable conditions. Even nearly-calm lakes or slow-moving rivers can make balance a hassle. To help with that, there is the FreeHander.
This Gerber device, as the name suggests, is a multi-tool that allows you to both cut and secure line with one hand. It does that by combining a line nipper with a tool that can quickly manage line or lure exchange.
It also has a special wide-paddle design to ensure the angler makes the most contact they can with the tool. That feature makes the FreeHander, not just useful, but perfectly suited for small lures, thin lines, and wet/cold conditions.
All of those upgrades stem from the device’s SuperVise Tech technology. That feature is a special pivoting retention clip that cinches the line during lure exchange to prevent you from losing lines or lures to the waves.
The FreeHander also has a tether point built directly into the line cutter so that you can move the tool in any direction. That increases mobility and makes it easy to use in tighter spots.
Continuing on the train of great specialized Gerber fishing gear, the Gutsy is a special grab-and-go fish processing tool that works with all popular species.
Anglers typically bring tackleboxes with them while they fish. However, sometimes that is not an option. You never know when you’re going to have a spontaneous trip, and that is where this device comes in.
The Gutsy is a massive upgrade to the standard fish scaler. Instead of only being able to process fish, this device can perform four different functions that help maximize your fishing experience.
The scaler has sharp teeth to quickly and easily remove scales, a gut hook that slides right into the fish vent to open the cavity, and the scooper to remove any remaining veins. There is also a bottle opener to crack open a beverage as you wait for something to bite.
As an added bonus, the Gutsy is sleek and easy to carry. You don’t just get a great device, you get a compact tool you can easily throw into your bag, pocket, or car. It’s perfect for on-the-go travel and something you can keep with you at all times.
You don’t always know when you’ll head out to the water. However, with the Gutsy you’ll always be ready when the occasion arises.
Rapala Fishermans Multi-Tool
One of the most affordable high-end fishing multi-tools, the Rapal Fishermans Multi-Tool is a device that may seem similar to the tools of the first section. However, it differs because it is specially designed for fishing use.
Rather than providing a broad range of tools that are useful when casting a line or sailing, it offers specific tools that anglers need. In that way, this is perfect for people who want to blend versatility with specialization.
Perhaps the best example of that comes from the retractable line scissors and jig eye buster. Each of these only pop out when in use, allowing you to quickly use and put away the device. They can be a bit unwieldy at times but should be easy to handle after a few uses.
On top of that, there is also a multi-size line threader and carabiner clip. The threader makes it much easier to get your device out on the water, while the carabiner clip enables you to never lose the device.
This tool also has a die-cast metal frame to ensure it lasts a long time. Though some worry about discomfort, there is also a soft-grip handle to ensure you never get sore.
The beverage wrench, which helps pop open any can or bottle, is simply icing on the cake. This is not a necessary feature, but a handy one that saves you space and keeps all of your items in one tool.
As with the above model, the Booms Fishing Tool is a multi-tool that, while similar to the first section, differs through the fact that it is only for anglers. You get all of the multi-tool functionality, but in a way that furthers your hobby.
This small device is all about allowing you to quickly and easily perform various tasks while fishing. The pliers, which are at the forefront of this model, have thick, durable jaws and a bearing loaded spring.
That is then backed by the usual assortment of utility tools, including knives and saws. Those not only make the tool easy to use, but also enable a range of tasks like splitting rings, cutting fish lines, and crimping split lead and sleeves.
As all of the tools on this specialized device are multi-functional, they can be used for many non-fishing applications while on the boat or on the shore. For instance, this tool is perfect for driving in screws, cutting food, or opening cans.
Something else to note about this model is that it is made to last for decades if taken care of correctly. The gear is crafted with polished stainless-steel, ensuring it is resistant to the corrosion that comes from water or harsh weather.
The compact package also makes the tool easy to take along for a trip. If you don’t want to drop it into your bag, or if you want to free up pocket space, there is a custom sheath that fastens directly onto your belt.
TyePro Fishing Knot Multi Tool
Perhaps no item on this list is more specialized than the TyePro Fishing Knot. This multi-tool is unique because it is made to help anglers tie fishing knots in situations where sight is compromised. That means low-light times of day like dawn or dusk, as well as rocking boats in uneven conditions.
However, it has another application. The tool is also perfect for people who have poor eyesight or shaky hands. If you are someone who deals with either of those, this is an amazing tool to bring along on your trip.
The TyePro doesn’t just help tie knots either. It also improves threading and allows anglers to tie hooks, jigs, and lures. Rather than enabling you to only do one take, this offers a great amount of versatility.
To increase the general functionality, this also comes with a stainless-steel line cutter, detachable lanyard, o-ring, and a spring-loaded handle. That then provides you with an all-in-one tool with great functionality for all conditions.
Just be sure to know that this tool is only for hooks and jigs that have an exposed shank above the eyelet. It won’t help much with other styles, and it should be tested before use.
This model works best for tackle used for popular species like bluegill, walleye, perch, small catfish, and bass. It is great for many common fish.
Buyer’s Guide – What Does the Best Fishing Multi-Tool Need?
There is no doubt that the above sections cover the best fishing multi-tools on the current market. However, when searching for a solid device, there are many great options out there.
To separate the wheat from the chaff, it is important to know the aspects that help make a multi-tool special. You don’t want a device with one or two great qualities, you want a durable tool that is useful in all fishing situations.
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As covered above, one-handed operation is a critical aspect for any fishing multi-tool. There are countless times where you’ll only have a single hand available while out on the water, including when wrestling with a fish or keeping your rod steady. Being able to perform such tasks and operate your tool at the same time is invaluable.
Water Resistant/Stainless Steel
You simply cannot use water-oriented tools that are not water resistant or crafted from stainless steel. Anything that does not meet those marks will quickly rust, which then ruins your purchase. In fact, this is so important that it is not worth considering any multi-tools that do not meet this requirement.
Needle Nose Pliers
You will find needle nose pliers on just about every fishing multi-tool, and there’s a reason for that. They are perhaps the most important fishing instrument, providing you a quick, easy way to grab or manipulate hooks while on the water. It is not worth looking at a tool that lacks this feature.
It is unlikely you’ll encounter wires while fishing. Even so, wire cutters are great to have on a multi-tool because they allow you to chop through line with ease. This simple add-on is much more effective than using your teeth, and they come in handy when using a braided or heavyweight line. If you can, look for tools that enable you to replace the cutter blades.
Just about every fishing multi-tool comes with a blade, but that is not true of scissors. Though both tools work towards the same end, scissors are especially important because they are so easy to use. Rather than attempting to saw at a line while teetering in unstable conditions, you can cut it with a simple snip. These have the added function of being able to open plastic or snack packaging as well.
A good metal file is one of the most overlooked features in fishing multi-tools. Though it is easy to dismiss this as a little-used add-on, there are many ways to take advantage of it over time.
As you fish, you’ll find that your hooks wear down or rust. Being able to quickly sharpen them up ensures your gear stays at the top level and stops you from needing to buy new items.
Tools are Spring Loaded
Getting a spring-loaded multi-tool may not seem like a big deal, but this feature is vital. You want a tool that is both easy to use and operate, which is exactly what this small upgrade ensures. Though you will find spring-loaded tools in most of the top models, do not bother with those that don’t have it.
Calling back to the idea of stainless steel, you have to get a multi-tool that will last. There is nothing worse than purchasing a new tool only to have it break down after a few uses. Fishing accessories can take a beating. Always ensure the model you buy is a high-quality device from a well-respected or well-reviewed company.
When purchasing a multi-tool, bigger is not always better. It may seem like a good idea to get the largest tool possible, but such options do not typically work for fishing. The size makes them hard to control (especially in tough conditions) and they do not easily fit into pockets or tackle boxes. When searching for the ideal multi-tool, it is better to go with a lightweight, compact package.
Price is perhaps one of the trickiest features to balance. It is important to stay within your budget, but that does not mean you should buy the cheapest multi-tool you can find. Price often reflects quality. The trick is to purchase an affordable model that also comes with all or most of the essential features listed above.
There are many steps needed to narrow down the best fishing multi-tool. Not only it is important to ensure it comes with a range of critical characteristics, but you also need to know exactly what you want to get out of it.
Specialized multi-tools are great to have, but wider-reaching options go a long way. Know what you need at first, then break down the different models listed in this article.
Remember, while some tools seem great at first glance, they may only help solve one problem. It is best to choose the one that will give you the best results in every single fishing situation.