Let’s talk tackle boxes before bringing up the Buck Protege. If you fish, you probably do have a knife tucked away in the bottom compartment where everything gets wet and nasty. Not every knife will hold up to that, and probably you’ve stashed something cheap under the extra reel of fishing line and the old stringers.
The Buck Protege probably is too good for the tackle box, but it certainly has the features that a spare fishing knife requires. The high carbon stainless steel blade with its combo serrated cutting edge isn’t for the person who hones a knife after every use. Serrated blades are for rough cutting quickly and hold up well to occasional use. Great for trimming monofilament, not much good for fileting fish, this type of knife can still be a handy friend when you need to do things fast.
The blade swings open with a flick of thumb pressure on the stud at the blade’s base. Fully open, it locks back with the same type of dependable mechanism that Buck uses on its 110 folders. While I’d never leave my brass and rosewood 110 in a damp metal box, I wouldn’t be concerned about the Buck Protege’s chances there. The rubber coated thermoplastic handle and the 420HC stainless blade won’t be affected by less than perfect surroundings.
The Protege also carries well in the nylon belt sheath provided. This very functional knife weighs only three ounces — handle and three-inch serrated blade combine for an open length of seven-and-one-quarter inches. Where it falls short is appearance. Brass and rosewood beats rubberized thermoplastic, at least in looks.
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