Prepping for shore lunches this year while camping? You probably need the Ricu Cut and Clean.
I'll admit that I am, through and through, a person who is never far from her utility knife. That trusty knife has gutted and cleaned many a fish for me over the years, and done its job well. That's why I was skeptical when I picked up the Ricu Cut and Clean, a 3-in-1 Fish Gutting Knife, Scaler, and Gutting Spoon.
I can effectively whip up a shore lunch with my own little utility knife, along with the help of a small paring knife for larger fish, but would I be able to do it as easily with a multi-functional tool? The answer I found was a resounding yes. So what is the Ricu? Well, let's see.
It's made by Ricu-tuotteet, and is designed with the outdoorsman or woman in mind. Typically I'm skeptical of multi-functional products, but the Ricu is really all you need for a fresh shore lunch (well, you have to catch a fish first). There are four easy steps to cleaning and gutting the fish with the Ricu.
Use the de-scaler to remove the scales easily from the body of the fish, which is always a struggle for me when prepping my own shore lunch just with a knife. The de-scaler easily strips away the scales without much elbow grease, making it a seamless transition to step two.
The Ricu has a gutting knife uniquely folded into the body of the red tool that's angled for the perfect slices. The knife folds out and easily folds back inside. I've had my Ricu for about seven months now, and the knife never falls open and the screw hasn't loosened after uses, which was my initial concern.
After using the knife blade to open the fish, you run it along the length of the fish, a move familiar to any shore lunchers to open it up for cleaning. Now this is where the Ricu really shines.
The tip of the Ricu is shaped like a scooper, or a wide and flat spoon, perfect for scooping out the fish's insides easily. I can't tell you the countless times I wished I had brought along a spoon to scoop the fish on the shoreline, and it's so convenient having it just attached to the tool.
The two shining features of the Ricu outside of its function is the fact that it floats in the water so if it goes overboard or off the dock, you just grab a net and boom! Back in the boat. How many knives have you lost off the deck of your boat or the dock? My answer is too many.
The second feature I love about the Ricu is that it seamlessly fits my hand. I have smaller hands, and I was able to get a stellar grip on it, even when wet. My boyfriend experienced the same ease of use in his much larger hand, which was great to see. The finger-grips in particular make it easy to hold and prevents your hand from cramping if you're going to town on a Biblical-style feast of fishes and loaves.
If you're teaching the kids how to clean a fish, the Ricu is a safe and educational option. It's near impossible to hurt yourself on the knife blade as it flexes fully away from your hand.
The Ricu has thoroughly impressed me time and time again on my fishing trips here in Texas, and I'm looking forward to taking it north to Maine with me this summer. It packs easily, is lightweight, and doesn't have any scary sharp edges. If you're interested in your own Ricu, check it out on Amazon for $24.95 with the Prime guarantee, meaning it can be on your doorstep in two days or less for free.