There is an old adage in paddling sports that ropes and water do not mix, at least not without the eventual problems, and as any serious rafter, kayaker, or canoe enthusiast knows, a dependable knife is a much needed tool. Gerber Legendary Blades, based outside of Portland, Oregon, has come out with a line of knives to meet the demands of those who run rivers with passion.
The River Shorty, with a 3″ double-edge, serrated top edge, medium carbon stainless steel blade, is hard polished to limit corrosion from water exposure. The interesting handle design is made from molded, glass-filled nylon with deep and extended grooves for a sure grip in slippery circumstances. The blunt chisel tip limits the chances of an accidental stabbing (whether yourself or the raft) while the water is frothing, but the Gerber River Runner is a nearly identical knife with spear tip if you need it. At less than seven inches long, this is a mid-sized knife: one that won’t be burdensome on your mobility but one you won’t be grappling to locate in a tense moment.
The sheath is one of the important features of the River Shorty. Made from hard plastic, which lasts against water, it can be worn in several ways – on your belt, boot, or attached to your PFD. The River Shorty is a fixed blade knife, and easy extraction from the sheath makes this model handier than other folding variety river knives, which you are more likely to fumble and drop while trying to open.
I recommend the River Shorty for its size (which I think is just right for a rafter or kayaker) for the unique handle design, and for the convenience of the accompanying sheath.