This is the trout version of the Hit Man telescopic priest. 10cm extended, 6.2cm closed, neatly machined from stainless steel. (The larger salmon version is 12cm extended and 7.2cm closed.
This Hit Man is quite a meaty lump of metal, certainly heavy enough to dispatch a good-sized fish. I found myself holding the butt of the handle pinched between thumb and forefinger, using a flick to make the hit – surprisingly effective. Held in the fist, like a club, this is really too short to make a fast effective ‘whack.’ When my hands are warm this is fine, but in freezing conditions and/or in a gloved hand I would prefer a longer priest with a meatier grip.
Closed, this Hit Man is tiny. Heavy. But tiny. When space is not at a premium, eg boat fishing, I’d probably opt for a longer more conventional priest. For fly fishers who wander, who wade stream or roam the banks this wee thing is just about ideal, it takes up so little space.
I’m probably preaching to the converted, so if you have a priest about your person every time you go fishing – miss this bit out. Even in these days of catch-and-release a priest is essential. From time to fishing time we find ourselves faced with a choice of returning a fish we know will die, or killing it quickly and humanely. Carrying an effective priest and knowing how to kill a fish efficiently is part and parcel of fly fishing
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