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Hess Bird & Trout Review

The Hess Bird & Trout has been in the store lineup for a number of years and I’ve wanted to try one out but just haven’t done it!   My recent field trip was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Hess Bird & Trout Black Leather

It’s a great representation of all of the Bird & Trout knives that have gone before it including the Marble’s, Western, etc.  If you’ve followed the pricing on some of these older B&T’s, they’ve gotten expensive.  The Hess Bird & Trout offers up the same features at a much more reasonable price.

Measuring a trim 6.75″ OAL with a 3.375″ 1095 blade, weighing 2.3 ounces,  the Bird & Trout is a compact package.  I have fairly large hands and it’s not a knife I’d want to spend a lot of time cutting with.  But that’s not what it was designed for.

I don’t want to call the Hess Bird & Trout ‘delicate’ because that’s not accurate.  It’s just a compact knife made for field dressing fish or birds.  You wouldn’t tackle dressing out a deer with it but I have no doubt with some patience you could.

While I was camping I didn’t get an opportunity to do any fishing so I didn’t get a chance to try it out on a ‘trout’.  I did use it for some food prep and it was a great tool around the table.  The convex ground blade held an edge very well for 1095 and I didn’t find a need to touch things up.  One of the things I’m tempted to try is a flat bevel on the blade just to see how it works out.  I typically only use a convex grind on my thicker blades and the Bird and Trout might work just as well without it.

The stacked leather handle didn’t get slippery when it was wet and lends a great ‘classic’ look to the knife.  The one point to keep in mind is, typical of all 1095 steel, it’s unforgiving if you don’t clean it thoroughly after use.  It’s the perfect example of a knife that I use Frog Lube on.  The Frog Lube is food friendly and does a fantastic job cleaning and protecting metal surfaces.  And it doesn’t stink or taste like motor oil.

While using it I had to keep reminding myself that the Hess Bird & Trout is what I’d classify as a specialty knife.  It’s not an all around ‘utility’ tool you’re going to use for trimming brush, batoning kindling wood or dressing big game.  It’s made for lighter tasks and does a great job on them!  I’d recommend having one in your kit to fill the gap between your traditional folder and your larger bushcraft knife.

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Fenix UC35 V2.0 Field Test

I just added the Fenix UC35 V2.0 to the store inventory a couple of months ago.  Last week was the first chance I really had to get it out in the ‘field’ to try it out.  I’ve used it around the house and in the garage for a few night time searches, but I finally had the opportunity to try it in ‘the dark’.

Measuring just 5.5″ long, 1″ in diameter and weighing 4.9 ounces it’s truly a powerhouse.  With 5 power settings from 1 lumen to 1000 lumens it has a range of intensity that’s unmatched.  At the 1 lumen setting it has an advertised 800 run time.  Power it up to 1000 lumens and you still have 2 hours and 15 minutes of continuous run time.  Plus you have the option of a strobe for personal security purposes.

Fenix UC35 V2.0

It’s submersible to 2 meters (about 6 1/2′) and shockproof which I can personally attest to it’s durability.  About the second time I used it I had lain it down on the bench in the garage and immediately knocked it off onto the concrete floor.  No foul, no harm.

Most of the time we were camping I used it on the second setting of 50 lumens.  It served it’s purpose lighting up the campsite at bedtime to pick up and put away odds and ends and in the camper.  My wife’s nephew and wife were with us and I did turn it up to 1000 lumens just to see how bright it was.  In that part of the world there aren’t any street lights in the woods and 1000 lumens will definitely light things up.

After years of carrying/using a MagLite I had some difficulty getting used to the tail switch.  Like anything else, since I’ve gotten used to it I like it.  Sometimes finding the switch on the side of the MagLite with gloves on was a guessing game in the dark.  With the tail switch, pretty easy to figure out where it’s at.   For tactical use against things that go bump in the night, the tail switch is the only way to go.

The rechargeable battery is fantastic and easy to recharge.  A really nice feature is the light intensity doesn’t start to fade as the battery discharges and checking the battery charge status is simple.  The run time is outstanding.  Recharging is as simple as you could ask for.

On the forward part of the flashlight body is a small brass colored ring with a battery status light in the center.  By pressing on the tail switch the color of the status light will let you know if it’s time for a recharge.  After a couple of months usage, I’m still in the green.

Battery Charge Status Indicator

When you’re ready to recharge it, simply take the standard supplied USB charging cord and plug it into the USB port on the flashlight.  You can use either a wall plug in your house or the accessory plug in your vehicle and charge it on the go.  To me this was a huge feature.  In the past I’ve avoided the rechargeable lights that required a separate charging station and a 120V outlet.  If I”m camping the only power source I typically have is my vehicle.  With the Fenix UC35 V2.0, problem solved.

USB Port for Charging the battery

Try as I might, I can’t come up with a negative on this light.  I have several other Fenix lights ranging from a little pocket light that uses a single AAA battery, an LD20 mounted on my AR and now this gem.  All of them are stellar performers but the Fenix UC35 V2.0 is definitely the king of the hill in my book.  Highly recommend it.

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Field Test Reports are coming SOON!!!!

I just returned from a quick trip to the North Woods with a couple of knives I’ve wanted to Field Test and will be reporting on them in the next few days.  For now, unpacking and mowing grass comes first….I’m told.  In addition, Dave also spent a couple of days in the desert cutting stuff up with his Fallkniven HK 9CX and has some interesting Field Test info to share as well.

So hang tight and I’ll get some notes together and a few pix to share as well.  Always a good time getting out in the field and actually using this ‘stuff’!!