Joe SillsWritten by

Duct Tape, Bare Blades and a Dream

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It started with a blade wrapped in cardboard and duct tape—Howard Aberman remembers when he saw it, when the idea for his business sparked.

“I was fishing offshore with my friend Wayne, and he asks me to grab a knife for him. He was using a large, Forschner knife, and it was wrapped up like that, in duct tape and cardboard. I laughed at him. I said, ‘Wayne? What are you doing?’ Then, he explained that you simply couldn’t find a sheath for those knives.”

That’s when the idea hit.

“After about a year of using that seriously unsafe setup, we had to make a change. Safety is a big concern for boaters, especially when they have knives in the boat or under the seat. They’re like razors. Looking at that duct tape mess, I said there must be a better way.”

The better way became Blade Tamer, and the company’s foundation involved months of experimentation and research, learning to craft a durable, safe sheath for flexible fishing knives up to 14 inches in length. Aberman and crew spent over a year tinkering with designs and processes from injection molding to extrusions: none of them worked quite right. “Finally,” he tells, “we found a company in Ohio, owned by a Japanese firm that does the tooling and design in Japan. They make one continuous extrusion. We ordered those, and fabricated those into Blade Tamer at home for a while. As we grew, we moved to a company in Texas who found a way to injection mold it and make the entire product here in the U.S.”

What is Blade Tamer?

Aberman’s original product—the Blade Tamer— has become an essential for knife-wielding captains and anglers. His patented sheaths are engineered to fit curved or straight blades, with an outer cover of Military Ballistic Nylon, Sunguard UVR bonded stitching and custom inner liners that feature an open tip for drainage. The entire line ranges from 6-inch up to 14-inch blades, and with MSRP’s ranging from $14-$29, they’re a no-brainer sell for anyone purchasing a blade in store or carrying a blade onboard.

13 years after his idea first became a reality, Aberman says he’s still dedicated to making quality products that last. “The fishermen appreciate when you make something good. They know they’re not spending money on something with planned obsolesce. It’s going to last. Anything I’m going to make, I’m going to stand behind. And fishermen appreciate that. They appreciate you going the extra mile.”

This month, Blade Tamer moved into a new, Texas warehouse: a scaling up, of sorts, that Aberman says is needed to process orders from large-scale distributors. “We can handle orders of 600,” he nods. “Or we can handle orders of six.” In addition to the original Blade Tamer, Aberman’s company has also expanded to carry a full range of knives from Victorinox and four different models of pliers and holsters.

As for Wayne? “He was one of the first guys to get a Blade Tamer when they came out,” Aberman laughs. “I’m pretty sure he’s still got the first one I gave him.”

How to order

If you’d rather your customers not dabble in homemade blade safety solutions, reach out to Howard Aberman at [email protected]. His company can take direct orders or put you in touch with a distributor to fit your needs.

Joe Sills Hi there, did you know? Each week, we curate a list of the Top 5 stories in fishing and send them right to your inbox. Reading Tackle’s Top 5 is one of the best ways to become or remain an industry expert. -Joe Sills, Digital Editor

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