I was able to find some time to head to a nearby lake, and ‘coerced’ a couple of buddies to go along with me. Both are fishermen to their core, and would likely do it daily if things like a job or a family didn’t get in the way. I’m not nearly so hardcore, more of a ‘once in a while’ fisherman. I tried to be gutsy and leave behind a few pieces of normal gear, such as dedicated pliers, shears, and folding knife. I still kept a belt knife, but stowed it in my pack lest I be tempted to use it instead of the Flik Fish. Upon arrival I picked a good spot and whipped out some lovely gut-coated hooks that had been around the track a couple times too many. I used the sharpening groove on the file to try and bring back a good edge (as well as de-gunk it a bit, frankly). It performed admirably at this and put a better-than-new point on it in a jiffy. The file was not at all awkward to deploy and locked securely in place without worries of folding back into my hand.
I also had to reload my reel with some fresh line, and found some 80-pound Spiderwire in my tackle box. I’ve never in my life pulled a fish that’d require anywhere near that size, but apparently I was feeling heroic when I bought it. I decided to try some overkill for the afternoon and threw it on my reel. I had been disciplining myself to use the Flik Fish with one hand whenever possible, so thumbed out the scissors (reportedly able to cut 150# line) to trim things down. This worked like a charm! These are definitely the sturdiest scissors that I’ve ever found on a knife/multi-tool before. Trying to find some limitations, I went so far as to eat through a soda can and a bit of heavy cardboard, but these kept on chugging. High-five to Gerber for quality parts!
Because of my impeccable choice of bait and ability to find flawless spots, I eventually caught a fish (read as: there was a boat on the other side of the lake scaring fish towards me, and finally caught something fish-like after a couple of hours). Even my wet and slightly slimy hands were able to operate the Flik Fish without any problems, and a quick gesture left me with some functional pliers! I pulled out my hook without issue or thumb-stabbings. I stowed the open Flik back in the belt pouch and went on with my business. After a bit, I found my buddies and had them goof around with the Flik Fish for a while, and they were quite impressed. Both wouldn’t allow anything to lower the quality of their kits, so I took their endorsements seriously. I wasn’t surprised to hear that the two most enjoyed aspects were the ability to get the pliers out with just a flick of the wrist (versus a fair amount of manipulation with most multi-tools) and having a decent pair of scissors around.
I didn’t have much call for the serrated blade, but the plain blade saw a hefty amount of use. Out of the box, this blade was shaving-sharp (truly popping hair off my arm). During the afternoon, it kept proving how sharp it was by making some great fuzz sticks for a fire to cook on, opening a few lunch packages, and slicing up some summer sausage (this is a great test, tons of blades that you think are sharp end up failing to get through the outer layer of greasy plastic). I certainly wasn’t under-knifed and didn’t have to reach for my fixed blade at any point.
Overall, I’m impressed with the Flik Fish. Gerber has managed to really pick some tools that work well together towards a common function, and more importantly keep the total package streamlined. On top of this, there are features like the ‘flik’ opening mechanism and locking tabs. They’ve certainly helped to change my mind about what a multi-tool ‘has’ to be, and the Flik Fish even won over some real-deal fishermen. I’ve found it’s pretty rare, but this is truly a gizmo that lets you take less with you, in both bulk and weight. I’d certainly never feel that I was lacking if this is all I had with me on a fishing trip!