After a fishing gear and PFD next most important thing that you need on your kayak fishing trips is a good knife and basic tools, or even better a multi-tool that will cover most of the situations and be always at your hand if needed.
Except having more lures than probably needed another thing I like collecting are knifes, so there is always more than one knife on my kayak. Despite that, thing I never go fishing without and is always at reach in my fishing vest or PDF is a multi-tool.
I got my Leatherman ChargeXTi more than 10 years ago and got so addicted having it close by that on those rare occasions when I somehow forget to take it on my fishing trip I have a feeling like walking naked. It became the most important thing not only in kayak but also in the house or any outdoor activities.
Leatherman has been known for quality but after having one and been using it for years I can sure witness that. With minimum maintenance it is still as good as new.
When you take it Charge XTi leaves an impression of sturdy, precise top quality multi-tool. Combination of titanium in handles to reduce the weight and increase durability , premium stainless steel and diamond coated file just confirms material quality used. Everything is assembled nice and tight as it should be folds perfectly every time.
At the time of getting it was their flagship product, not cheap but well worth every cent.
It comes loaded with features and tools, 16 in total.
- 154CM Knife
- Ruler (8 in | 19 cm)
- Bottle Opener
- Can Opener
- Diamond-coated File
- Needle nose Pliers
- Regular Pliers
- 420HC Serrated Knife
- Small Bit Driver
- Large Bit Driver
- Large Bit Driver (II)
- Wire Stripper
- Wood/Metal File
- Wire Cutters
All the tools are top quality and very functional and they all have very reliable, user friendly safety locks which are really important for heavy usage.
Blades are made of 154CM stainless steel that keeps the edge and stays sharp 3x longer than usual steel blades. Another thing I like is a big and long blade when comparing to other brand multi-tools.
What I am really amazed with is a saw. This 7 cm (bit less than 3“) saw is brutal. Sturdy made and sharp like sharks teeth cuts the wood and branches almost as thick as the saw length itself and cuts them with ease, like cutting through butter.
Files, especially fine diamond coated file can be used for hook sharpening.
Pliers are really strong, capable for more serious stuff than most other pliers on multi-tools. Needle nose tip is precise, strong and it’s easy to work with. This comes handy for taking out hooks from fish mouth. Pliers also have a crimper and a wire cutter which is another great feature when you need to cut a wire leader.
Bit drivers are really functional and easy exchangeable. Multi tool comes with a set of double sided bits so almost any job that needs a screwdriver can be done with these.
Can opener is also great; I don’t use any other can opener in my kitchen because I really like functionality of the one in multi-tool.
Only thing that is missing to make it perfect fishing tool are scissors for cutting and trimming excess fishing line, otherwise I can’t find any negative side of this tool. Charge Xti is not produced anymore and it is replaced by Charge Tti model that has scissors and some other upgrades.
Despite being pricy, its functionality, built quality, reliability and capability to handle serious workload and tasks I find it worth every cent.