New to the streets is Gerber’s Flik Fish multi-tool, and one of our writers spent a little time giving this niche specific tool a workout and has just completed his thoughts about this new piece of gear. Jump on it and check it out; the water’s fine!
Multi-tools, in a general sense, are a tricky species. In an attempt to be a “jack of all trades” tool, they can end up becoming a dunce of all trades. How does this happen? In my opinion, it’s usually because of a lack of cohesiveness in the overall design of the tool. Or put another way, all the pieces don’t really work together. But of course the counter-argument is, it’s better than nothing! When you attempt to shrink such a conglomerate of tools into something pocket-sized, there are obviously big sacrifices to make. You may only have one choice of screwdriver size, or needle-nosed pliers when you really needed a wrench. But even with this acknowledgement, they’re sometimes just more trouble (and weight) than they’re worth. (Can you tell my first exposure to multi-tools was a $10 special that I got when I was 12, waiting in line at Lowe’s?)
Because of this prejudice, I was certainly apprehensive when I first heard that Gerber was coming out with a certain hobby-specific multi-tool, the Flik Fish. Weird name, right? But it wasn’t the name, so much as the notion that bothered me. When I go fishing, I like having certain helpful tools; some simple needle-nose pliers to dig out a hook, small scissors for quick line trims, and an easy-to-reach knife (just because). Do I really want a half-hearted version of those taking up belt space? Apparently yes! The Gerber Flik Fish turned out to be far more purpose-built, natural, and capable than I’d imagined a multi-tool could be. The design of the Flik Fish is owed to a ‘base’ model, the plain Flik. Like the Flik, the Flik Fish has the very neat-o ability to deploy a set of pliers (needle-nosed on the Fish) with the flick of your wrist! (Ah, now the name makes more sense, eh?)
Beyond this feature, it boasts several other key pieces including pinch cutters for cutting hooks, carbide coated hook sharpening file with groove, scissors, small and large flathead screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, can/bottle opener, plain straight-edge blade, and serrated blade. Quite a lot of useful gear to fit in a single belt pouch! Each tool also locks into place when opened, and two tabs (located along the ‘spine’ of either handle) must be pulled away from the tool to release it. The exception to this is the pliers. This is stowed by pressing two retaining buttons near the joint, which allows them to be slid ‘downward’ into the body of the tool. When fully collapsed, the Flik Fish doesn’t appear much different than any other multi-tool, save for a half inch or so of the pliers’ tip protruding.
As mentioned, the Flik Fish comes with a nylon belt pouch that’s largely similar in appearance to other multi-tool sheaths. It’s a simple flap-cover design that is secured by healthy patch of Velcro. The main difference incorporated for the Flik design is the presence of an opening at the bottom of the sheath. This allows the small protruding tip of the pliers to slide through, so that the body of the tool can be securely seated. And more interestingly, this allows the Flik to be stowed even when the pliers have been deployed! This is darn handy when you’ve got an “award-winning” 1 lb. Bluegill in one hand and need to stash it quick! (Or was that 9 lbs.? My memory gets hazy after all the excitement settles down.) Overall though, the belt pouch is simple and rugged, matching the Flik Fish quite well.