Best Fish Mouth Spreaders: Reviewed & Compared

by Andrew

Best Fish Mouth Spreaders: Reviewed & Compared

by Andrew

by Andrew

Your next adventure involves targeting toothy creatures from the depths, and you are looking into potential gear you should bring with you on the trip. An essential in this scenario is a quality set of mouth spreaders.  When dealing with fish that sport teeth, you will need a tool to keep those razors from tearing up your hands when removing hooks.

Preview

Product

Material

Water-Resistant

Size

Check Price

Booms Fishing Z1 Galvanized Spring Steel...

Booms Fishing Z1

Galvanized Steel

Yes

2” X 10”

Baker MS10 Mouth Spreader (10-Inch)

Baker MS10

Galvanized Steel

Yes

10”

Eagle Claw Fish Mouth Spreader

Eagle Claw

Galvanized Steel

Yes

6”

Baker MS8 Mouth Spreader (8-Inch)

Baker MS8

Galvanized Steel

Yes

6”

SouthBend SBFMS-1

South Bend SBFMS-1

Powder Coated Steel

Yes

9”


Why Use Fish Mouth Spreaders

Using mouth spreaders to extract hooks from deep within a fish mouth will seem like a no-brainer once you have gotten used to it. Having a quality set of mouth spreaders can last for years and save your hands from countless razor-like cuts that could come with handling toothy fish.

Most serious anglers keep a pair in a sheath affixed to their belt for easy deployment. Safety is a main priority on any fishing adventure, and these mouth spreaders are just a simple way to keep you or fellow anglers from getting cut and bloody while out fishing.


How to Choose Quality Fish Mouth Spreaders

Material

Mouth spreaders, commonly referred to as "jaw spreaders," are made from various materials. There are plastic, aluminum, and even stainless steel versions. The best version may be different based on the environment you are fishing in. Aluminum is excellent, but due to the metal's soft nature, it may lose tension over time. Stainless steel is perfect because it is non-corrosive and durable in cold or warm climates of both freshwater and saltwater.

Quality & Durability

Like with any fishing gear, being exposed to all sorts of elements, including saltwater, is standard. Your gear has to hold up to make it worth the investment. Mouth spreaders are no exception to the rule. You need to invest in spreaders that will not let you down by melting in the heat, cracking from the sun, or rusting from moisture exposure.

Size

You will want to buy an appropriate size set of mouth spreaders based on the fishing you plan on doing most often. While spreaders come in many shapes and sizes, you do not want to get caught trying to use your Walleye size spreaders for that 50-inch Musky or that saltwater Barracuda, whose teeth are genetically engineered to shred skin and scales!

Handle

What is their most important feature? The grip, of course! The handles on your mouth spreaders have to be high quality so that you have confidence in them no matter what the conditions. Some varieties have plastic handles; some have no grips at all.

Safety & Extra Features

The whole point in using a mouth spreader, to begin with, is safety. You do not want to have a fish bite you, so you don’t want your fish mouth spreaders to bite you! Traditional spreaders are constructed of a large spring that could easily pinch you if you are not careful. Most spreaders have a rubber sleeve that is tight along the spring and arms to keep you from being pinched.

This sleeve also acts as a grip, and in my opinion, is the best version of mouth spreaders to use. People also sometimes use grip tape on the handle portion. Wrist straps are also a nice feature so that you do not lose the spreaders when the fish begin to flop around.


5 Best Fish Mouth Spreaders Reviewed

1. Booms Fishing Z1

Best Value Fish Mouth Spreader

Material

Galvanized Steel

Water-Resistant

Yes

Operation

One Hand

Size

2” X 10”

Weight

126 LBS

Key Feature

lightweight/portable

The Z1 is the best bang for the buck mouth spreader on the market today. For the few bucks these will run you, they are a no-frills, safe, well-made set of spreaders. With their compact design, this set of jaw spreaders easily fits in any tackle box or tackle tray of your boat. They provide a quick and simple way to keep your fingers out of danger when retrieving your hooks.

The Booms Z1 mouth spreaders are single-hand use spreaders that make it easy to position, remove hooks and safely pull the spreaders for the angler as well as the fish. The material used in construction is galvanized spring steel that makes these spreaders corrosion-resistant and long-lasting. The spring steel ensures that the spreaders return to their original shape after each use.

Negatives on these particular spreaders are that the spring is exposed and that they lack proper grips. They would be easy to modify; I would also add some sort of wrist strap to make sure they did not get lost in the commotion of wrangling fish.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Lacks hand grips
  • Lacks wrist strap

2. Baker MS10

Runner Up

Material

Galvanized Steel

Water-Resistant

Yes

Operation

One Hand

Size

10”

Weight

2.6 oz

Key Feature

Small, Simple to Use

These are the highest-rated fish spreaders on the market. The Baker MS10 is the industry standard among anglers around the world. These spreaders can be found everywhere, from a shore angler's trusty tackle box to the fancy tackle drawers of large, offshore sportfishing vessels. Very similar to the Z1, this is a single-hand use mouth spreader.

The Baker MS10 is heavier gauge galvanized steel that makes it a bit easier to hold and handle than other spreaders. Measuring ten inches, this set of spreaders is meant for large freshwater or saltwater fish. They are also great for fish with large teeth. The manufacturer of these mouth spreaders has been creating and selling fishing tools for over 50 years; this gives anglers confidence in their products. Knowing that your spreaders will perform well and last a long time makes them worth the investment.

Ease of use is a crucial factor when discussing fish mouth spreaders. The Baker MS10 spreaders are convenient to use due to their ergonomic size and shape.

“The biggest advantage of this tool is that you can operate it with one hand (open and close).”

Pros
  • Heavy duty
  • Easy to use
  • Long-lasting
Cons
  • No hand grips
  • Exposed spring

3. Eagle Claw

Best for Beginners

Material

Galvanized Steel

Water-Resistant

Yes

Operation

One Hand

Size

6”

Weight

2.2 oz

Key Feature

Easy Grip

When a beginner is searching for a set of fish mouth spreaders, I would immediately point them in the direction of the Eagle Claw Fish Mouth Spreaders. Eagle Claw is a popular brand of hooks and related tackle that you can find in most tackle boxes. Eagle Claw is known for its easy-to-use products, like their pre-tied leaders for live bait hooks and their uniquely designed fish mouth spreaders.

While the idea of prying a large metal spring into the mouth of a fish, who happens to have hundreds of razor-sharp teeth, might seem daunting at first, these spreaders are inexpensive and relatively easy to use. They have a small divot in the handle that makes them easier to grip. They are also lighter-duty, which makes them easier to position and remove from the mouth of your fish. While they do not have a strap or a set of rubber grips, they do make a great beginner-quality tool from an established brand in the industry.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Ergonomic handles
  • High quality
  • Established brand
Cons
  • Small for large fish
  • No grips or straps

4. Baker MS8

Best Cheap Fish Mouth Spreader

Material

Galvanized Steel

Water-Resistant

Yes

Operation

One Hand

Size

6”

Weight

2.2 oz

Key Feature

Inexpensive

The Baker MS8 is a small, inexpensive version of traditional mouth spreader tools. They are basic but effective for small fish you may be targeting from land or docks. You would not want to be using a tool like this for large saltwater fish, but they are very effective for small fish or fish that may not even have teeth.

A mouth spreader tool does not always just have to be for keeping your hands safe from teeth. A small spreader like the Baker MS8 can be great for getting the hooks out of any fish mouth. Using a fish mouth spreading tool combined with a long set of pliers is the least intrusive way of unhooking fish in most scenarios.

Michael from Emperium Outdoors says,

"I've attached a lanyard from the mouth spreaders to my net, so that they are always handy."

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to handle
Cons
  • Small
  • Light -duty

5. South Bend SBFMS-1

Best Large Fish Mouth Spreading Tool

Material

Powder Coated Steel

Water-Resistant

Yes

Operation

One Hand

Size

9”

Weight

.1 LBS

Key Feature

Powder Coated Grip

The South Bend SBFMS-1 Is the optimal tool for spreading mouths on large fish. The SBFMS-1 Mouth spreaders are unique to this list due to their heat-treated coating. These spreaders are great because they are powder coated. This gives them a durable finish that is also great for handling. While the other mouth spreaders we have discussed could potentially be used as a canteen holder over a fire to disinfect water, these particular spreaders are not designed to be used near fire.

Bob Gwizdz from Traverse City writes,

“They’re worth the cost as they can often save you from a bloody confrontation with a mouthful of sharp teeth and can help keep you from damaging a fish you intend to release.”

The South Bend spreaders open roughly 6-8 inches, which is perfect for large freshwater or saltwater species. The coating makes the spreaders less likely to slide around in the tackle box or your hands. They are also easily applied with one hand while attempting to unhook your catch.

Pros
  • Powder coated
  • Extra large
  • Durable
Cons
  • It may be too large for small hands
  • Coating could deteriorate over time

How to Use a Fish Mouth Spreader Properly

So you have purchased the appropriate fish mouth spreading tool for the fish species you intend to target. Now, how do you use it? Well, it is super simple to use these tools. Once you land the fish, squeeze the handles together, the tips will separate. Insert the tips of the spreaders into the roof and jaw of the fish mouth.

You release the handles slowly, and the spring's tension holds the mouth of the fish open wide enough for you to remove your hook. To remove, just reverse the steps, and you have successfully used your mouth spreading tool.


People also Ask (FAQs)

What is the best material for fish mouth spreaders?

A stainless steel or galvanized memory steel spreader is the best material for mouth spreaders. These materials are lightweight and corrosion-resistant, so they will last as long as you take care of them. Plastic is sometimes used to make fish mouth spreaders, but it is not the optimal choice.

Can you lip a striped bass?

You can and should lip a Striped Bass. Larger fish should be cradled. The health of a fish should always play a role in how you handle them, and lipping is a great way to safely handle fish if you plan on releasing it. This method keeps the fish still enough for you to remove hooks without the fish flopping around and potentially falling or hurting itself.

Where is the best place to buy these fish mouth spreaders and more fishing accessories?

The best place to purchase fish mouth spreaders are either Amazon or outdoor retailers such as Walmart.


Conclusion

So what is the best fish mouth spreader for you? Our number one choice is the Booms Fishing Z1. For the price, it is the best quality product. In function, the Z1 works great for spreading the mouths of any fish, both saltwater or freshwater.

Fish mouth spreaders are a vital addition to your tackle box. They will save your hands from fish teeth and save time removing hooks. Less time out of the water is healthier for the fish and using mouth spreaders becomes a win-win.

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