the Cut? The Ardent Rigger Tool (continued)
on the side of the tool, the hook sharpener was probably the best feature. The
sharpener is designed with a v-notch that cradles the hook point and makes the
task much easier. About the only gripe here is that the surface area of the
sharpener could be longer, but in this case that would mean a whole redesign of
the housing. As it is, it works relatively well and gets the job done.
The hook sharpener was efficient, but could be bigger.
On the inside
of the tool is a seemingly handy belt clip with a jig-eye cleaner that's built
in. Unfortunately, the design of both really promotes frustration! The curved
belt clip is quite difficult just to put on, and trying to wear it on an elastic
waistband is basically a futile effort. In addition, it should be slightly
longer so it grabs the belt or waistband more securely. Lastly, if you place
your thumb on the top of the clip for added force when pushing it on, the
jig-eye cleaner is right there and sticks into your finger—ouch!
This feature begs for a redesign!
cleaner was a bit of an oddity. While it should work to clear certain styles of
larger jig eyes, it is useless on smaller eyes that are recessed into the head
slightly, such as on every single one of my football jigs!
Located on the
bottom of the tool, the extendable line threader is a neat addition that works
as advertised. The long, thin wire extends out from the housing via a
thumb-operated slide mechanism and features a tiny hook on the end. This is very
handy for threading line through a casting reel levelwind as well as picking out
a dreaded backlash.
This is a creative feature, however I still would rather just use my fingers.
Take notice of how the right (bottom in the picture) side of the jaws is blocked
off by the lanyard eyelet.
Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide)
Ardent Rigger Tool
Not a high quality or
precisely made item, it broke within just a short period of normal use. We
were concerned this was an anomaly so we even bought a second one to test
and the clippers broke within the first week of use as well
Parts of the tool did not
perform as expected
If everything worked as
intended it would be a "fair" price, but with the issues it was "sub par."
We would rather pay more for a tool that lasts
Great features; if
everything functioned! This tool has good intentions but is simply not tough
enough for even weekend warriors
Comfortable to hold and
stays out of the way but there are some questionable ergonomics with the
lanyard eyelet getting in the way of the cutter
The tool could still
sharpen a hook, slice braid, and pick out a backlash even after the cutter
lever snapped. Overall the tool would address a wide range of applications
if it was built more robust
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
Pluses and Minuses:
+ Lightweight and compact
- Clippers were not good
and quickly broke|
+ Handy lanyard
- Belt clip and jig eye
cleaner are not user-friendly|
+ Decent hook sharpener
- Cheap feel
+ Made in the USA
Anglers are always on the lookout for gadgets that make fishing easier. While
the Ardent Rigger was designed to be one of these gadgets, it unfortunately
missed the mark in a pretty big way. It was a disappointment since it promised
to deliver many handy functions, but it ultimately wound up falling short in
regards to both design and overall quality. While the initial concept for a
multi-functional rigging tool is a good one we would like to see Ardent take
another stab at it with a more robust, functional design. There are a lot of
Ardent products we like including the company’s recent reel designs and the
Smart Cull Pro Culling System but unfortunately the Ardent Rigger Tool just
doesn’t make the cut.
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