FishUSA Fishing Tools: A Detailed Review
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Editor’s Note: Each year, tens-of-millions of anglers spend money on fishing licenses, rods, reels, line, and the latest, hottest lures. While the gear necessary to catch the fish often gains the attention and market share within our industry, choosing the right utility tools is an endeavor worthy of attention. The folks at FishUSA have provided the Premier Angler team with several of their latest fishing tools for review. Below, you will find our honest, first-hand review of these items.
FishUSA Fishing Tools: A Detailed Review
Fact: The right tools make any job or project run more smoothly. It never hurts to have an extra level of confidence in knowing that your tools will serve their intended purposes.
Having used a wide assortment of fishing tools from numerous brands over the years, I was eager to give the FishUSA line a try. If you have spent enough time fishing (or, for some, within fishing stores), you know the brand names that appear on the shelves. We have reviewed some of these items in the past and the names (and their associated reputations) speak for themselves. In that sense, this is not so much a comparison article, nor is it intended to rank, prioritize, or create any degree of quality hierarchy.
For this article, I wanted to answer two questions confidently: would I buy the FishUSA tools and, if so, would I use them on my own boat?
To answer these questions, I first had to have these items in-hand. Putting the physical tools to the test is really the only way to make an informed decision.
Since these items were provided as sample products, they would either find their way to the shelf in my garage or became a staple of my multi-species toolkit. After testing the items out over the past couple weekends, here are some thoughts and observations.
Location and Versatility
The first opportunity I had to use these tools allowed me to give them a thorough and honest test. Instead of fishing from the comfort of the boat, I took the FishUSA tools to a local creek where I was wading for small. This was going to serve as the litmus test as they would be accessories on my body the entire trip. From a boat, or even fishing from the shore, tools often remain dormant until needed. On the creek, however, they had to be comfortable, durable, and accessible.
Two particular tools proved beneficial that day: the Premium Braid Scissors and Ultimate Aluminum Fishing Pliers.
Something to consider: FIshUSA provides a handy nylon sheath with its Ultimate Aluminum Pliers, which made accessing the tools incredibly helpful.
One question I often ask when purchasing any item or tool within a given industry is “was this item designed by someone who would use it in the field?”
That certainly seems to be the case here.
The tools were not bothering me or poking me while I was navigating the stream. At the same time, they felt secure enough that I was never worried about them slipping out of the sheath into the water. This is a concern I have had when using other tools, so the proactive inclusion of the sheath, along with the comfortable and efficient design, was appreciated.
Since wading carries a moderate physical demand, another positive is that the tools were light. I also enjoy backpacking and primitive camping, so economy is king. Half a day of wading creeks can involve covering a couple miles across unpleasant terrain, so the less additional weight one has to carry, the better. Thus, the recreational versatility is noteworthy.
Given their light weight, the tools are surprisingly sturdy as well. These might not be my go-to items while fishing for muskie, per se, but they also weren’t designed with large, predatory fish in mind. If you are targeting trout, bass, crappie, channel catfish, etc., however, these tools hold up to pretty much any offerings on the market.
Below, I will take a look at all of the tools individually.
Ultimate Aluminum Fishing Pliers
Key Features of the FishUSA Ultimate Aluminum Fishing Pliers
- Versatile: Great for multiple outdoor environments
- Quality material
The term “ultimate” often sounds like hyperbole, but let’s consider the ground this tool covers. It can cut line, adjust split rings, crimp split-shot, remove lodged hooks, etc.
As discussed above, it is also light weight and designed to fit comfortably and securely within a nylon sheath for easy access.
Verdict? The Ultimate Aluminum Fishing Pliers will definitely make a solid addition to the tools on my boat. That said, the tool will be especially helpful when wading, shore fishing, or partaking in other recreational activities.
Premium Braid Scissors
Key Features of the FishUSA Premium Braid Scissors
- Sharp edges
- Flathead screwdriver
- Comfortable grips
I know plenty of anglers who will use just about any pair of scissors available. I am guilty of this as well. I’ve used a pair of cheap scissors that came with a Wahl hair trimmer in my arsenal at one point. Use what you have, right?
That said, cutting braid line is a different story and those Wahl scissors weren’t cutting it (pun intended).
Braid line can be tough to cut due to its high strength and multiple strand construction of synthetic materials. Using the Premium Braid Scissors allowed for nice, clean cuts – something that is not necessarily true of other scissors. The FishUSA product easily cut through both lighter 10 lb. braid all the way up to 80 lb. braid line.
Each side of the scissors are thick and sturdy, gradually tapering down to a fine edge capable of cutting most lines. I was able to slice through monofilament and fluorocarbon just as easily as I was the braid.
The design of the handles might be my favorite aspect of these scissors, however. They are designed with comfort and grip in mind and allow for precision cutting.
Stainless Steel Split Ring Pliers
Key Features of the FishUSA Stainless Steel Split Ring Pliers
- Strong titanium coated stainless steel construction
- Comfortable grip
- Sharp line cutting edge
Options can be good.
The FishUSA Stainless Steel Split Ring Pliers come in both small and large options. This is a great tool to have if you are changing out a bent, cut, or broken treble hook.
This is a helpful tool to have around if you will be fishing for multiple species and changing hooks of various sizes on a regular basis.
The smaller option is effective when changing out standard hooks with EWG styles on crankbaits for bass. The larger option is nice if you will be working with muskie lures.
Needle Nose Fishing Pliers
Key Features of the FishUSA Needle Nose Fishing Pliers
- High carbon steel construction
- No-slip grip handles
- Sharp line cutter
Outside of the gear needed to actually catch a fish, pliers might be the most important tool an angler can have on the boat. In a pinch, these can tighten your split shot, cut your line, and even retrieve a hook.
Where I found them most effective, though, is as a troubleshooting tool. I was having battery and cable troubles recently and these pliers definitely came in handy, removing tight wing nuts and clamping a new connection to the end of a corroded wire.
While I do prefer the offerings from a couple other brands, these serve as a quality back up. I generally use them for rough mechanical applications like working on different components around the boat.
FishUSA’s branded tools might not be on every angler’s radar, but that is not indicative of any lack in quality.
Overall, there are several tools in the set that will definitely be getting regular use moving forward. Further, there are a couple I would endorse to other anglers who will be using tools regularly.
The Ultimate Aluminum Fishing Pliers and the Premium Braid Scissors, for me, are the stars of the ensemble. These hold up to just about any comparable items I have tried over the years. Likewise, the Stainless Steel Split Ring Pliers and Needle Nose Fishing Pliers serve are excellent backups for folks who already have tried-and-true favorites or as potential front-runners for anyone in the market for new items.