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Best Swiss Army Knives for Fishing

Fishing is a popular outdoor activity worldwide. But whether you practice it as a profession or pursue it only occasionally as recreation or hobby, having the right tools and accessories will make fishing an enjoyable experience. That is a compelling reason to go fishing with a Swiss Army Knife in your pocket or in your fishing tackle box.

While not all Swiss Army Knives are made the same, there are in fact a few that have been designed keeping the fisherman in mind. And in case that is not enough, there are a few others that can aid you even better. To select the best fishing SAK, let’s first understand the basic requirements for fishing.

Just in case you are looking for a Swiss Army Knife for outdoor activities other than fishing, do read: Best Swiss Army Knives for the Outdoors. In case your requirement is more generic, you may have a look at the best 3 Swiss Army Knives for EDC.

So apart from the fishing rod and reel, and the baits, what are the bare minimum tools you need for fishing?

Fishing tools in a Swiss Army Knife

Pliers: Anybody who has successfully caught a fish with a fishing hook knows how important a pair of pliers is. Most use them to remove hook from the fish. Pliers can also be used to bend back a twisted hook for a better curve, attaching the lure, changing split rings, or punching sinkers. You can also sometimes use the cutters at the base of the pliers to cut the fishing line.

Scissors: Scissors are the best tools for cutting nylon monofilament or braided fishing lines. A good sharp pair of scissors are also useful in trimming the knots in fishing hooks, cut open sealed bait packs, or any other type of light cutting duties.

Fish scaler: The fish scaler that comes with a Swiss Army Knife also has a hook disgorger at the tip. While this may not be the most effective fish scaler, but it can surely get the job done. And in case you don’t have a pair of pliers, you can use the hook disgorger to get the hook out of the fish.

This tool also has a ruler (cm/inches) at one end, in case you want to measure your catch maybe?

Screwdrivers: It s always good to have screwdrivers with you while you go fishing. Minor equipment problems, like tightening the screws in the bait caster or fixing the drag on the spinning reel, can be handled with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.

File: Fishing hooks often get dull with use. While there are dedicated hook sharpeners available, you can use the file in a SAK to hone and sharpen your hooks.

Blade: A knife blade is a general-purpose tool that is useful in many situations. A knife can help chop your bait into small pieces. While you won’t be cleaning or preparing fish during your fishing adventure, the SAK knife is sharp enough to get the job done in case you decide to fillet a fish. Of course, it can also be used to cut the fishing line, though scissors do the job better.

Corkscrew: In addition to drawing corks from wine bottles in your fishing boat, the main advantage of having a corkscrew is to be able to loosen up tight knots.

Now that we have the bases covered and know the tools that we will need to have a great fishing experience, let’s see what Victorinox has to offer to the fishing enthusiast. Here are some of the Swiss Army Knives that can be the perfect partner to your tackle box.

1. Victorinox Angler

As the name itself suggests, the Victorinox Angler is designed and built with the needs of the fisherman in mind ‘.

You can identify the Angler from its scales as it has a metal inlay of a fish.

The Anger is a four-layer SAK that has the mandatory tools that all 91mm SAKs have, i.e the two blades, the bottle and can openers, and two screwdrivers.

Victorinox Angler
Victorinox Angler | Image source: Victorinox

Apart from those, it has a set of pliers and a fish scaler cum hook disgorger. And yes, it has a corkscrew.

While the Anglers cover all the basics, it is missing a pair of scissors in the mix.

This may or may not be important to you, depending on how much you use the scissors, or whether you have a separate pair of scissors with you.

Tools in the Victorinox Angler

  • Two blades, large and small
  • Pliers
  • Fish scaler and hook disgorger, with ruler
  • Flathead screwdrivers, 3mm and 6mm
  • Corkscrew
  • Bottle-opener and can-opener
  • Awl
  • Tweezers and toothpick

I see the Angler going out of stock frequently in Amazon. Maybe Victorinox is not interested in continuing with this model? You may check the availability on Amazon here.

2. Victorinox Fisherman

The Victorinox Fisherman is perhaps the first SAK by Victorinox that was designed for fishing. From the outside, it looks the same as the Angler, being a 4-layer 91mm SAK with a fish imprint on the scales.

From the inside, it is almost the same with one significant difference. Instead of the pliers, the Fisherman has a pair of scissors.

This can be a good combination since a pair of scissors finds a lot of use in fishing.

Victorinox Fisherman
Victorinox Fisherman | Image source: Victorinox

Also, if the primary task of the pliers was to remove hooks, the hook disgorger can also do the same task. In that sense, it seems you are not losing any functionality by not having the pliers.

In case you prefer carrying a set of dedicated long-nose pliers with you in your fishing expeditions, the Fisherman is much better suited to aid you in everything else that doesn’t need pliers.

Also, it does have one extra tool – a multipurpose hook.

Tools in the Victorinox Fisherman

  • Two blades, large and small
  • Scissors
  • Fish scaler and hook disgorger, with ruler
  • Flathead screwdrivers, 3mm and 6mm
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Bottle-opener and can-opener
  • Awl
  • Multipurpose hook
  • Tweezers and toothpick

The other minor difference is the addition of a Philips screwdriver in place of the corkscrew.

You may check the availability of Victorinox Fisherman on Amazon from this listing. At least from the ratings on Amazon, the Fisherman looks like a very popular model.

3. Victorinox Deluxe Tinker

Ok, I know what you are thinking! How can you sacrifice the pliers or the scissors? They are both useful tools for fishing, right?

The Deluxe Tinker is not specifically designed for fishing. As such, it doesn’t have the fish scaler/hook disgorger. But, it is a four-layer SAK that has both the scissors and the pliers!

If you are like me, you probably don’t find the fish scaler/hook disgorger very useful. After all, you won’t start scaling a fish while fishing, right? And who needs the hook disgorger if you have a pair of pliers?

Well, in that case, the Deluxe Tinker is a much more suitable SAK for your fishing expedition. You will also probably find the Philips screwdriver more useful than a corkscrew.

Victorinox Deluxe Tinker
Victorinox Deluxe Tinker | Image source: Victorinox

Tools in the Victorinox Deluxe Tinker

  • Two blades, large and small
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Flathead screwdrivers, 3mm and 6mm
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Bottle-opener and can-opener
  • Awl
  • Multipurpose hook
  • Tweezers and toothpick

This is a much sought-after model as it is a general-purpose SAK and not a model specially designed for fishing. I got the Deluxe Tinker quite cheap from this listing on Amazon.

4. Victorinox SwissChamp

The SwissChamp is not a fishing SAK, but it is the only model in the Victorinox catalog that has all the basic tools for fishing discussed above.

And of course, it has many more tools which you may never need to use in your fishing expedition. So if you are ok with the width and the heft of this monster, this may be the only multi-purpose tool you will be carrying.

Its eight layers consist of all the tools Victorinox has made for the 91mm SAK series. They have still somehow managed to keep the width manageable and I have seen people carrying this in their pocket. If the size is not an issue for you, go for it. This not only has all the tools for fishing, but it is a true multi-purpose Swiss Army Knife that will come in handy in many indoor and outdoor activities.

Victorinox SwissChamp
Victorinox SwissChamp | Image source: Victorinox

Tools in the Victorinox SwissChamp

  • Two blades, large and small
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Fish scaler and hook disgorger, with ruler
  • Flathead screwdrivers, 3mm and 6mm
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Corkscrew
  • Bottle-opener and can-opener
  • Awl
  • Multipurpose hook
  • Tweezers and toothpick
  • And many more …

The only negative thing I can think about the SwissChamp is that it may not be ideal for everyone, especially if you have small hands. You might find it difficult to maneuver it at various angles, especially while working with the pliers or the scissors, for example.

I don’t have to tell you how popular the SwissChamp is, as is evident from a perfect 5-star rating in the Amazon listing. I have also seen that this model never goes out of stock. Victorinox probably makes a huge profit from selling the SwissChamp.

Wenger Swiss Army Knives for Fishing

Wenger, the other company that used to make Swiss Army Knives besides Victorinox, in fact, designed more models for fishing.

Wenger SAKs for fishing

  • Wenger Trout
  • Wenger Bass
  • Wenger Master Fisherman
  • Wenger Fly Fisherman
  • Wenger Catch and Release

After Victorinox took over Wenger, many of these models were discontinued to eliminate redundancy and to focus on a few core models. Most of the original Wenger models are not in production anymore. But you may find some of these models from second-hand markets if you look around.

Wrapping Up

There you go… we have covered everything that Victorinox has in its arsenal for fishing enthusiasts. If you think about it, it is much easier to just carry a SAK rather than all the individual tools for fishing separately. Another advantage of Swiss Army knives is that the stainless steel construction of the tools makes them very resistant to rust. As such, saltwater environments are perfectly ok to use these tools.

Just a note before we end our exploration of fishing SAKs. Some people prefer a bigger set of pliers for fishing as the hook sometimes gets swallowed by the fish and it then becomes difficult to get it out. In case you think that a plier-based multi-tool might be a better investment for fishing, then Victorinox also has an awesome option for you – the SwissTool Spirit.

The SwissTool Spirit is perhaps the only full-size plier-based multi-tool available in the market that is functional, reliable, and also highly resistant to corrosion due to its full stainless steel body. You may have a look at the complete review of the SwissTool Spirit before you decide.

Best of luck with your future fishing adventures!

About Me
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deb is passionate about pocket tools, bags, and accessories, especially any type of everyday-use gear (or not so everyday-use gear) that makes life efficient, comfortable, and more enjoyable.

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