FRENCH-made Wichard knives are promoted primarily for sailing, kayaking, camping and hiking, and all feature highly corrosion resistant stainless steel blades and soft grippy handles. The various models come with either plain or serrated blades, with the option of a corkscrew or a shackle key, presumably aimed at hikers and campers and yachties respectively.
The knife being reviewed here is the Offshore model with a serrated blade and no extra attachments. Over the last couple of months it’s been consigned to a deliberately tough role… sitting in the bottom of an often-wet rock fishing pack and not really receiving the care it deserves. It’s been trotted out to cut bait, kill and gut fish and trim knots. After many outings it basically looks like new and the blade still doesn’t require sharpening. The opening and locking mechanism is just as precise as when it came out of its packaging, and the only lubrication it’s received has been a splash of fresh water.
It’s got a lanyard to loop around your wrist and is light and comfortable enough to slip into a pocket when moving from spot to spot. In the rock fishing environment that’s probably its best use. It’s not either a specialist fish cleaning, a bait or a rigging knife, but at a pinch can do all three. It would perform the same role quite happily on a beach, in a yak or alongside a trout stream.
The bottom 4.5cm of the Offshore’s 8cm blade is serrated, which makes it useful for cutting through fish backbones. The top third to the knife point is straight edged, good for knot trimming and jobs requiring neater cutting. I like a reliable folding knife with just a sharp blade when fishing….no need for screwdrivers, scissors, spanners or other attachments, especially if it’s going to end up in salty water a good deal of the time.
Having treated this knife badly for a while now and being really pleased with its performance, I think its future with me will be in my lightweight “explorer’s” pack, the one that gets lugged or paddled into new areas where there might just be a fish that will end up as dinner. It will complement my 14cm blade folding Buck fillet knife just nicely.
More info www.wichard.com.au
By John Newbery