Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Fishbones - Piranha

Yes, here I am again with another Kickstarter project. I'm actually reporting this one out-of-sequence, as through some kind of fulfillment time warp, this is the second of two projects that Brent and Eldrick Garcia put forwards. The first being their very cute "Fishbones" but I haven't had a chance to properly review those just yet.

These are the "v 2.0" product, the Piranha "Knotless gear tie"

As you might have noticed, I am rather enamored of paracord and so should you be! It's great stuff, but one of its great advantages can also be a disadvantage. It holds great knots! Sometimes trying to pick apart a tightly cinched knot can be very arduous, and Brent and Garcia came up with a very elegant solution with their Fishbone tools.

The Piranha is the result of a number of design stages, and really offers great utility as well as a great aesthetic.
Cut from 3/16th" thick 304 Stainless Steel the Piranha measures 60mm (2 1/4") from lip to tail, and 28mm (1 1/4") from crest to fin. There is also a titanium option, for the mass-conscious.

It fits nicely into  MOLLE channels, with the dorsal fin hooking neatly over, and being held in place with the tail-fin notch. I found that that tail-fin notch was a snug fit for Type 111paracord, which proved to be very useful in snagging and camming the cord into place.

Speaking of camming, it is worth noting the Fishbones teams own warning about these devices

"Note: Not for climbing or load bearing applications where failure would cause damage or injury."

So, with that in mind, lets have a look at some of the fun things that you can do with them.

The stonewashed edges of the steel are smooth and rounded,  having been sharp cut originally, but that significantly bites into the cord, so the current models are rounded to avoid this.

You might worry that the rounded edges would slip and not hold the loops, as seen above, in a top and bottom view of one of my preferred hitches, but they hold fast.

The two hook gaps are sized to interlock, giving you a solid connection of two ends of cord if you prefer.

Splicing two lines together is also a breeze with the Piranha, simply by winding one through the other, friction will hold  the lines together, even once tension had been released. Again, here are top and bottom views of this splice.

This was a really nice way to link two ends of cord together, without adding a knot that would likely bind and bite, making undoing troublesome.

One of the things I liked about the balance of the took, was that the "tail fin" notch allowed a loop to be fitted snugly, and dangled to make a fish hook. I successfully snagged and hauled my Bullock Echo from one of its D-rings through this method. For extra security,  I could have threaded a leader through the keychain opening, but that hole is too small for paracord, unless you are using the inner cord after gutting it.

 I also found that I could set three lines simply by using the dorsal notches which gave me a no-slide anchor from which I feel would give a very adequate hold for a tent guy rope, or any other three way roping you might need.

The versatility, small size and light weight (well, at just over 25g per unit in the 304 stainless steel) means that this is going to find its way into my EDC in no short time. If nothing else, they feel great in the hand or pocket, and gives me a fidget-focus when I need to keep my hands busy.

The hook gap also doubles as a bottle opener, adding some multi functionality that I really appreciate, as well as the other uses that the guys behind the Piranhas have already stated.

One of the awesome things that they offered is a quick summary of some modifications that you could apply to the Piranhas. I'm going to give a couple of these a try (and I'll get back to you with how they turn out ... )

 I also found that I could wrap the Piranha around an already strung line, given sufficient slack, to give a mid-line attachment option. So many options, such versatility. I'm also going to cover their original Fish Bones and the heavy-duty Snapper so stay tuned!

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