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Top 7 Panfishing Tools

Affordable must-have items that can make panfishing a whole lot more efficient, fun, and rewarding.

Top 7 Panfishing Tools

Don't head to the water in pursuit of panfish without these handy tools. 

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Panfishing shouldn’t be rocket science, despite access to amazing fish-finding technologies that can kind of make it feel that way ... On the other end of the spectrum, there’s walking down the bank or dock with a rod, reel, a pocket-size tacklebox, maybe some live bait, and a cooler to ice your catch.

Both approaches are legitimate and have something in common–the need for problem-solving gear.

High-quality panfish tools are must-haves, not only for removing hooks without compromising line and lure, but to ensure trophy panfish survive to fight another day. Still, selectively harvesting panfish for the table is one of the sport’s rewards. To that end, it’s a good idea to look at products that keep live bait kicking longer—and the prized catch cold and fresh.

What follows are a few affordable items that can make panfishing a whole lot more efficient, fun, and rewarding.

Tools

Better Micro-Braid Scissors: With more panfish anglers turning to micro-diameter, braided superlines for various techniques, good braid scissors are essential. The Rapala Retractable Line Scissors was developed specifically for cutting micro-test superline (mono & fluoro, too) with a ‘V’ cavity line fits neatly into, requiring only a simple squeeze of the red handles. A carabiner makes it easy to connect to a lanyard around the neck with other frequently used panfishing tools. $11.99; scheels.com

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Rapala Line Scissors

Panfish Toothpick: The Cold Snap T2 Toothpick & Lanyard Combo excels for removing small jigs from the far inside reaches of panfish mouths. Traditional pliers can be hard on jig head paint, even break hook shanks. The T2 Toothpick pretty much eliminates lure damage and makes “popping” small jigs out of panfish quick and easy. Also features a 24” retractable lanyard for easy use. $6.99; fishusa.com

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Cold Snap Toothpick

Bait Management

USB Live Bait Aerator: Say goodbye to expensive “C” or “D” sized batteries with this USB-powered aerator, which will accept a charge off the same power brick you’d use to charge your phone, tuck in the pocket of your heated fishing/hunting/work vest, or any small lithium ice fishing battery with USB ports. Especially great for on the boat (or in the truck), it’ll plug into a dash USB dash port and you’re good to go all day, no floating minnows. Features a carabiner clip for secure mounting to the bait container of your choice. $24.99; fishusa.com

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Norsk Lithium USB Bait Aerator

Catch and Keep

Quick Measurement: The B ‘n’ M Slabmaster Crappie Saver allows the angler to quickly and accurately measures crappie length up to 16 inches. Durable ABS plastic design with markers that provide weight estimates by length, approximate fish age, and a unique Air Bladder Deflation Guide that assists in finding the correct location to “fizz” crappies with a needle, either for live tournament weigh-ins or releasing after deep-water catches, although biologists are still examining data on fizzing and crappie mortality. $19.99; bnmpoles.com




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B ‘n’ M Slabmaster Crappie Saver

No-Hurt Hands: Cleaning panfish is hard on the hands. As a remedy, Lindy’s Fish Handling Glove is made with SuperFabric material that deflects hooks, knife blades and teeth, while providing a sure grip on fish. According to Lindy, it provides 800% more puncture protection than similar fish handling gloves. Odor resistant and machine washable for years of use. Available in three sizes (M-XXL) and right- and left-handed versions. $29.99; scheels.com

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Lindy Fish Glove

A Proven Panfish Fillet Knife: If you’re frequently fishing with a lot of friends and family and plan on keeping a lot of eater-sized sunfish and crappies, you might want to look into an electric fillet knife. But if you’re just looking for a standard, non-motorized knife that holds a good edge and will stand the test of time, hard to beat birch-handled Rapala Fish ‘N Fillet Knives, especially the 4- and 6-inchers for sunfish, crappies, and perch. Since they were introduced over a half-century ago, the company has sold over 100 million; that should tell you something. Prices of those mentioned are between 20 and 30 bucks—pretty hard to beat. The knife comes with the same sheath it always has and a sharpener. $22.99-$48.99; scheels.com

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Rapala Fillet Knife

Tackle Management

Panfish Jig Boxes: Although designed for ice fishing, Gruv’s Micro Jig Box compact tackle storage (5” x 4” x 1” & 4.2 ounces) is great for storing pre-rigged plastics and jigs, panfish hooks, and other small panfish baits for use in open water, too. Features a silicone anchoring system to ensure all tackle stays securely in place, polycarbonate shell for durability, stainless steel hinge pin, clear lid for visibility, and neodymium magnetic closure for strong and quick access. Will hold up to 68 panfish jigs, depending on size. $18; gruvfishing.com

Recommended


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Gruv’s Micro Jig Box

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