My youth had already passed by the time Spyderco introduced its first knife, and that humpbacked folder just didn’t look right to me. I mean, who thought up that concept of putting a hole in the blade? It was a few years later when a friend gave me a Spyderco and I got my first chance to put one to use. Needless to say, I learned a lesson, realizing that you can always start a new tradition.

Since that time, Spyderco has been included among the possibilities any time I’ve shopped for a new knife, with one exception: when I was looking for a fixed-blade hunting knife. Then the company’s 2012 catalog showed up in the mail. Spyderco surprised me by bringing out a knife that just had my name all over it. Right on page 53 was a brand-new hunt’n knife!

Spyderco’s South Fork
The South Fork was designed in collaboration with Phil Wilson, and at all angles it has the traditional look you expect from a hunting knife. Phil, an avid hunter and fisherman, imbues his designs with his outdoors experience. The South Fork’s 4.8-inch, flat-ground blade has a slightly upswept profile and is fashioned from CPM S90V tool steel. The knife has a full tang with green G10 scales. Lately I’ve noticed that shorter handles seem to be a trend in knife designs. Fortunately the South Fork has a handle long enough for all four fingers. The handle is 4.75 inches long, and the overall length of the knife is 9.56 inches.

An integral lower guard ensures that your hand stays away from the edge during use. According to Spyderco, Phil learned the benefit of this feature the hard way. (Apparently I am not the only one to have a mishap while skinning out game.) I strongly favor such a guard but have found many to be overdone. The guard on this knife works when needed, but does not interfere with your grip when you choke up on the handle for better control. There is also a finger choil just forward of the guard to increase control.

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