Ugly Stik is entering the knife industry with their new line of "Ugly Tools."
Shakespeare Ugly Stik has long been a trusted brand by anglers for their lines of quality fishing rods. From spinning rods to casting rods, the Ugly Stik name has earned a great reputation with anglers for toughness and durability. It may not have been on many angler's wishlists, but perhaps it was only a matter of time before Ugly Stik products expanded to include a line of fishing knives and tools.
They are calling them Ugly Tools and we got a first-hand look at this new line of knives, pliers, shears and a fish skinner during a new product presentation with Pure Fishing. This year's new product unveilings that are traditionally held at ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) were held online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In any case, Ugly Stik seems to have positioned themselves well to release a popular new product on the market this fall.
Quality and affordable knives.
Going from rods and outerwear to a new line of fish cleaning gear was probably not something many people expected from the Ugly Stik brand. However, it will likely be welcome news for many anglers who already love their equipment.
"This is a first for us to get into that with this brand," Pure Fishing's Greg Tiller told us during a video conference. "The whole premise here was to build a set of tools that function like $50-70 tools, but at a more affordable price range for the angler."
In total, five full-tang knives are being included in the first line of Ugly Tools. It includes a 9-inch flex knife, a 7-inch tapered knife, a 7-inch utility with partial serration and a 7-inch blade with full serration. Another interesting addition to the line is a 5-inch bait knife with a partial serration and a gut hook.
"A lot of the guys are already talking about using this one for hunting," Tiller said.
The idea of Ugly Stik dipping their toe into the hunting market, even if it is through a fishing knife is an interesting one. The blades are all made from an 8CR14 high carbon stainless steel for better a better edge and retention straight out of the box. It should help the blades last longer if used in saltwater conditions too. One nice feature Ugly Stik added here is a sharpener built right into the air-through sheath of each knife. This allows you to quickly sharpen on the fly without looking for another tool. Several of the blades also have a notch in the blade designed to quickly snip through fishing line.
"We spent a lot of time working on the ergonomics of the handle," Tiller said.
The handles, which the company is calling "Ugly Tuff," are designed with a custom polymer that was made just for the Ugly Tools line and they are designed to always stay tacky.
"Once you get this thing in your hands, no matter how wet or slimy it gets, it ain't going anywhere," Tiller said.
The price point for the knives is set at $19.99 for the bait knife and $24.99 for all the others. Not bad at all for an angler looking for new blades on a budget.
Pliers, shears and skinner
Ugly Stik was not content just to release a line of knives. The Ugly Tools line also includes two sets of fishing pliers, a set of shears and a fish skinner. Tiller said both pliers are spring loaded for use with one hand. They also include "triggers" that give better balance and allow the user to manipulate the pliers from an upside-down angle if you need more leverage.
"The cool thing about the pliers, they utilize the same grip, so they have the same amount of tack when they get wet," Tiller said.
The pliers include the Ugly Tools 90° which has high carbon steel jaws and as the name implies, a 90-degree angle for tough un-hooking jobs. It comes with a 36-inch coiled lanyard. The other set of pliers Tiller called "the workhorse." These are the Ugly Tools 9-inch pliers. They have 420 stainless steel jaws and replaceable line cutters. This plier comes with the lanyard, but also a vented sheath and belt clip. Speaking of that sheath, it has an interesting feature in that it is totally ambidextrous in design for any user to attach to their belt loop with a slight adjustment.
"Should you be left-handed, it's very simple to flip this over to the other side and again the needle points to the back so it is not in your way," Tiller said.
Both pliers will retail for $29.99.
Ugly Stick retained many of the pliers features for their new Ugly Tools Fish Skinner. It has the same grips and triggers that make it easy to skin catfish from any angle. The jaws are also spring-loaded and are made from 420 stainless steel. That should help them stand up to the elements and plenty of fish-cleaning sessions for years to come. The MRSP has been set at $19.99 for the fish skinner.
The Ugly Tools Marine Shears also feature the Ugly Tuff grips and a similar air-through sheath as the knives. The interesting thing about the shears is that they come apart for easier cleaning and also so anglers can utilize a scaler built into one of the blades. The opposite side also works as a pick in case you need to break up frozen bait.
The shears use 420 stainless steel in the blades and come with a fin snip. They will retail for $24.99.
"We really believe in this collection," Tiller said. "These are all going to carry the same 7-year warranty we have with the rest of the Ugly Stik products."
Check out Ugly Stik in the future for more information on these new tools. The company plans to release them at an undisclosed date this fall.