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Thread: Anyone Carry a Machete When Creekin'?

  1. #1

    Anyone Carry a Machete When Creekin'?

    This is my favorite (of two) "Curtis Creeks" I have been blessed to fish over the last 12 years

    After plunging down from the heights it levels off in a small steep gorge. There a road intersects it in one location where it happens to be too swift and shallow to hold fish which may be why I have never encountered another angler there. But hike a couple of hundred yards from the road and it's full of these

    The stream continues relatively level for about 4 miles from the road, but just 50 feet from the road you will encounter lots of this

    and a jungle of these prickly darlings right up to the water's edge

    So wading is the only practical way to travel up or downstream. But if you are going to hike more than 100 yards from the road you will encounter this

    At the end of that gravel bar is a 5-foot deep hole in early summer, that I am not foolish enough to cross.

    I've taken to carrying a good pair of *garden pruners* on my wading belt however it can be difficult to cut a path through the jungle of Devil's Club just large enough to avoid turning me or my waders into a pincushion using *one-handed pruners*. So I've been thinking about a small machete. My Dad used to have an 11" Marine Corpsman's Knife but it was a heavy beast and was lost by my little brother many years ago. After some research I am thinking of a Golok - Parang style blade that has a thicker blade than most other machetes, with a prominent primary grind that prevents the blade from lodging in green wood. The Condor 12" Pack Golok has some very good online reviews with similar blade and pommel length as the Corpsman's Knife but a thinner height near the handle. It still weighs in at 1.75 lbs.

    Any other Creekers carry a machete?
    Last edited by Brian; 12-31-2012 at 12:49 PM.

  2. #2


    I am researching a traditional Japanese knife for stream utility. In every old Tenkara book from Japan, a "Nata" knife is shown or referenced.

    I am friends with many Japanese people and have asked them "where do I get one of these Nata?" and was sent here (or here.) This one is appealing... This one is too.

    My Nata arrived, pretty stoked.

    A very good tool for the forest.

    It won't replace my Al Mar knife but it will be on my side, especially for long days in the forest.



    I will report on it's usefulness.
    The above is from another post here. Not a machete but more of a hybrid knife/axe, heavy enough to cut through brush and limbs, almost light enough for knife duty.

    Super nice tool for the forest.
    Japan: Tsuttenkai, Jolly Fishers, member since 2010

  3. #3
    Some quick web search about the Nata turns up hits on bushcraftusa.com where the reviewer says he really likes it as an alternative to a hatchet and speaks to the smooth & fine cut of the single bevel chisel grind. A review quoted with a video at knifetest.com examines a "Professional" 8" Nata from Japan Woodworker that costs $90, *that turns out to a cheap entry level in quality, which may not be a fair comparison with your Nata*. The White Oak handle secured with two small pins (like brads) cracked during the chopping test and the spine also cracked. There is also some heartburn at knifetest over over the traditional Nata not having a full tang. The Silky 240 9" 3/16" thick Nata departs from the traditional with a full tang and rubber handle but weighs 1.8lbs; as much as the Condor Pack Golok.
    Last edited by Brian; 01-02-2013 at 09:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Mine is double ground and cheaper than the Japan Woodworker version. The blade isn't as thick and it is shorter.

    I looked at purchasing the Japan Woodworker version, glad I didn't.

    if you are looking to clear a path, not the tool.


    http://www.eseeknives.com/junglas_machete.htm


    That would get my money but I am looking more in the tradition of the Japanese.
    Japan: Tsuttenkai, Jolly Fishers, member since 2010

  5. #5
    When I was a kid I carried a cheap machete with an 18Ē blade when camping in the woods. It worked better than any of the hatchets that I owned to clear the small stuff out of a campsite and to hack up small firewood, and it was lighter to carry.

    A buddy and I once found a large beaver dam on a small creek about 100 yards from a gravel road. We needed a canoe to fish the dam well, and we cut a trail through 50 yards of alder tangles to get the canoe to the water. The trail was disguised from the road. It was a lot of work, but when we got the canoe in there we had fun with fat brook trout.

    Thatís about the extent of my experience with a machete. I havenít picked one up in years. Your part of the world may be different than mine. We have some small thorn trees (ďprickerbushesĒ) on some streams, but itís easier to find a way around than to hack my way through. I also donít want to encourage the other fishermen who donít now fish these streams. These are just little creeks, and they can use the protection of the thickets.

    Thereís 200 yards of one stream where any kind of fishing is impossible due to the brush. I leave this to the fish as a refuge, and I fish above and below.

    In my earlier years I spent a lot of time cutting brush, felling trees, logging, and splitting firewood, and itís all hard work. I donít want to add any more hard work to my fishing. If you have to do the work in order to fish at all, go ahead, with all the good luck I can send your way.

  6. #6
    I have a Gerber Mini Gator in the car for just this purpose. Texas briars and brambles. The thing cost me $20 and it does the job.

  7. #7

    Re: Anyone Carry a Machete When Creekin'?

    Quote Originally Posted by adam View Post
    ...if you are looking to clear a path, not the tool.
    http://www.eseeknives.com/junglas_machete.htm
    That would get my money but I am looking more in the tradition of the Japanese.
    That Junglas is a great looking tool but I want to avoid a brush cutting blade with a sharp point.



    Sent from my Droid RAZR Maxx using Tapatalk 2

  8. #8
    I spent three years in the jungle(s) and a cheap machete is the way to go.

    I don't spend any more time there so when I choose a Nata, it is because I want to know that tool and it fits in to what I am doing in the forest.

    IF I were to buy a cheap machete, I would not, I would buy the Junglas because I wish I had that thing when I was in the infantry learning jungle techniques.

    That thing is the deal, jungle knife.
    Japan: Tsuttenkai, Jolly Fishers, member since 2010

  9. #9

    Anyone Carry a Machete When Creekin'?

    A knife dealer buddy offered me one of the ugly zombie Junglases at cost a while ago, didn't have the coin, but they are cool knives. Big swangin' choppers, but not big like machete big. Perfect size, really.

    The little machete does the job for bushwhacking when I need it, which is actually more often than I bring it.

  10. #10
    I found an old machete in November next to a pool which I caught an AZ trout in. My son played around with it splitting wood even though it was not close to being sharp.

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