Hardy Combo Tool review

The Hardy Combo Tool includes a set of nippers, a hook eye cleaning needle, a hook sharpener and a nail knot tool in one tiny package.

Hardy Combo Tool review
© Fly and Lure
Hardy Combo Tool review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Hardy Combo Tool review
Accessories Estimated reading time 2 - 4 minutes

What can the Hardy Combo Tool do?

The Hardy Combo Tool is designed to serve several functions. First and foremost it's a set of nippers for cutting leader and tippet. It also includes a hook eye cleaning needle, a hook hone and a nail knot tool.

How good are the snips?

The snips on the Hardy Combo Tool are OK. While not the sharpest snips I've ever used, they're certainly sharp enough to cut through most regular trout tippets and leaders, so they're perfectly adequate.

What's the hook hone like?

The hook hone is small and flat and folds back out of the way when not in use. It's OK for smaller flies but the coating of sharpening grit doesn't seem especially thick and it's already come off in places on mine.

It is, however, smaller, lighter and less hassle to carry around than my usual hook sharpener, so for sporadic use this seems a fair compromise. I'd be extremely surprised if it lasted for long though and it's not even that good at sharpening either...

And the hook eye cleaning needle?

The hook eye cleaning needle is well positioned in the top of the Hardy Combo Tool, which means you're unlikely to accidentally stab yourself or pierce your waders, as you could with the tool on my previous set of nippers.

It works brilliantly for clearing flies of excess head cement or varnish that's blocking the eye and preventing you from threading through your tippet.

How does the nail knot tool work?

The nail knot tool allows you to attach a leader or backing to the end of a fly line which doesn't have a braided loop fitted.

Like the hook sharpener, the nail knot tool tucks out of the way when not in use. It also works well - even if I am unlikely to use it much on the bank.

What's the Hardy Combo Tool like to use?

My Hardy Combo Tool stays permanently attached to a Simms Retractor on the side of my Simms Headwaters Chest Pack, so it's always within easy reach. The D-ring on the end of the Combo Tool provides a secure fixing and it's small, light and works well.

How much is it?

The Hardy Combo Tool costs £17.99, which is a reasonable amount for a fancy pair of toe nail clippers. However, it feels well made and includes some extra widgets that make it well suited to the fly fisher.

If you shop around you can also pick it up for less. Unlike cheaper models, mine's also been resistant to rust so far. However, after a couple of years of regular use, it's starting to get blunt, the hook hone no longer has any grit on it and I wonder whether it may have been better value to buy cheaper snips and replace them more often...

About the author

matt

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