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AustriAlpin - Fish - Belay device tested

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Mischa's profile picture
Staff
| Tübingen
Surprisingly Versatile Device.

On first glance this device looks somewhat over-engineered, but in use proves surprisingly pleasant to use.

Handling when belaying is on par with competitors such as the Mammut Smart or Edelrid Jul 2, but it is when lowering off that this device shines. The quick lower using the front 'nose' alongside the highly precise lever for small adjustments makes for a potent combination.

This device also handles skinny ropes considerably better than the competition which is a surprising boon. This fact combined with the seriously impressive weight means that the Fish is perfect for fast and light alpine sport climbing action combined with the likes of the Beal Opera 8.5.

It also makes for an acceptable ascension device combined with a Tibloc or Micro-Traxion offering a comfortable and light combo for when rope ascension is required.

The price of the light weight is a certain 'flimsy' feeling when compared to other devices. The Jul 2 makes for a total contrast being steel and utterly bombproof. I suspect this would not affect performance much in practice although I'd imagine it may not survive too well if dropped from a high crag.

The use of bearings is excellent for lowering performance but could also present itself as a wear and tear issue much earlier than other devices that do not use such complex engineering.

Overall the device is ideal if you like going fast, light and controlled. It handles well if you've got skinny ropes and doesn't mind going up ropes as well as down - just don't drop it halfway up ;)

  • Advantages
    Easy to use
    Lightweight
    Versatile in its use
  • Disadvantages
    Feels Flimsy
    Bearings may wear out.
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