Choosing the Best Multi-Tool for Fly Fishing
An angler is only as good as their tools. Search “fly fishing accessories” and you’ll be slammed with hundreds of tools, lines, gadgets, and other equipment. While you’ll never need many of the one-task tools in your search results, there’s one thing no angler can live without – the multi-tool.
A good multi-tool can take care of several tasks while easily fitting into your tackle box or fishing vest -but what makes a good multi-tool? Let’s get the skinny on fly fishing multi-tools including what to look for and ten of our top picks for the best fly fishing multi tools you can buy today.
What to Consider When Buying Fly Fishing Multi Tool
What Can It Do?
What do you need your multitool to do? Below we’ll cover multi-tool basic needs, but some fly fishers need more than a knife and pliers. Think about your needs and make sure your multi-tool matches them. Imagine the entire day on the water including camp and not just your time fishing so your multi-tool is never lacking.
Weight and Size
If you’re slogging across thickets and streams all day – weight and bulk matter. Choose a multi-tool that you can easily carry and that won’t weigh you down all day. The perfect multi-tool is a compromise between weight and its capabilities.
Materials are important. A cheap stainless-steel multi-tool is going to break down much faster than a high end, corrosion resistant titanium model. Like choosing between capabilities compared to weight, a fly fisher also needs to choose the right materials based on their needs and budget.
What Do You Need in a Fly Fishing Multi Tool?
Scissors – Scissors or snips are necessary to cut line.
Needle Nose Pliers – You can use needle nose pliers to unhook fish, hold flies, and much more.
Wire Cutters – Wire cutters are normally found at the base of a multi-tool’s needle nose pliers. You need the strength of wire cutters to cut thicker backing, leader, and other line.
Knife (With Serration) – All multitools need a knife and a knife with a serrated edge. Some multi tools have distinct blades while others combine the tools into one blade.
Top Ten Best Multi-Tools You Can Buy Now
Now that we know the basics of multitools and what to look for, let’s look at 10 great multitools. For ease of browsing, we’ve split them into three brackets to match your budget.
Best Fly Fishing Multi-Tools on a Budget ($9.99-$25)
Gelindo Premium Multitool ($12.20)
The cheapest choice on our list the Gelindo Premium Multitool won’t win any prizes, but it’s a great beginner model if you’re looking for rock bottom price. The Gelindo is packed with 15 tools and won’t rust thanks to a stainless-steel coating. If you lose or break the Gelindos, who cares – it’s ten bucks.
Pro-Master 15-in-1 ($12-$15)
Are you constantly losing your expensive multi-tool, or do you need an affordable option to start? The Pro-master is a great choice. Though it’s inexpensive, Pro Master stand behind their products and will fully refund your purchase and let you keep the 15-in-1 if you experience any issues.
Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool ($16-$25)
The Dime is one of the best matches between quality, function, and price on our list. The Dime offers ten unique tools fly fishers will need and folds up to less than 3” to fit in anyone’s pocket. At barely over 2 oz, you’ll hardly notice the Dime’s weight no matter how long you’re fishing.
Best Fly Fishing Multi-Tools for Price ($24-$40)
Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers ($24.99)
If you’re a seasoned fly fisher you probably don’t need the extra baggage of a classic multi-tool but something more like the Piscifun Fishing Pliers. Piscifun’s spring-loaded tungsten carbide pliers offer different notches for cutting fishing line, crimping leads, crimping sleeves, and hook removal.
Bits and Pieces 8-in-1 Multitool ($24.99)
Not a typical multi-tool but the 8-in-1 Bits and Pieces gadget takes care of many fishing tasks a normal multi-tool can’t. The 8-in-1 comes with tape measure, weighted scale, knife, fish scraper, and 4 other tools in a compact and lightweight package.
Leatherman Squirt PS4 ($39.95)
If you need the quality of a great brand like Leatherman but not the bulk, pick up a Leatherman Squirt PS4. The Squirt PS4 is only equipped with 9 tools but at only 2 ounces, you’ll never feel its weight. Even the small Squirt comes backed by Leatherman’s legendary 25-year warranty.
Best High-End Fishing Multitools ($40 – $135)
Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier ($35$45)
One of the most popular multi-tool names on the market, the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is the perfect blend of quality, tools, and price. The Suspension features 12 components, a proprietary safety locking system, a complementary ballistic nylon sheath, and a limited lifetime warranty.
Gerber Freehander ($40)
The classic fold-open multi-tool has its place in the fishing world, but it can be cumbersome and awkward. For fly fishing specific functions only, you need the Gerber Freehander. The Freehander is tiny, lightweight, and comes with 6 different tools including a spinning hook clamp. A handy fly fishing tool if there ever was one.
Leatherman Wingman ($50-$60)
Not everyone needs a million tools of a large multi-tool, but Leatherman offers a great balance between size and capabilities in the Wingman. With 14 tools anchored by spring action bolt cutters, the Wingman is ready to take care of nearly any job. Like all Leatherman products, the Wingman is backed with a 25-year warranty.
Leatherman Surge Heavy ($110-$155)
If you want close to two dozen tools built by a reputable manufacturer you want the Leatherman Surge Heavy. While beefy, the Surge offers 21 different tools with one-handed opening capability. The Surge features Leatherman’s largest pliers, longest blades, and comes with a 25-year warranty. The best choice for an angler that needs tons of tools and great quality.
PowerAccess Assist MT ($89.95)
If you’re searching for a daily use Multi-tool from a manufacturer known for building quality knives and tools, SOG is precisely what you’ll want. The Power Access Assist has assisted opening with 21 tools and a sheath. It’s the perfect EDC Multi-tool, but also an ideal addition to any tackle box or vest. The ideal choice for any angler that wants a plethora of tools, quality construction, but for a bit less than the Leatherman Surge.
SAMSFX Quick Knot Tying Tool with Carabiner ($12)
Not a household name in the fishing world, but a very cool tool nonetheless. This is one of our best selling multitools with a line clipper, hook sharpener, line cutter, jig eye cleaner/line knot picker and a knot tying combination tool.
Choosing the Best Fly Fishing Multi-Tool
There are hundreds of different multi-tools to choose from, but these ten tools top our list for a variety of anglers. Play a day of fishing through your head and think of all the different tools you’ll require before picking a great fly fishing multi-tool that fits your needs and budget.