The Fly


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title The Fly
Manufacturer DMM
Page By Ari
Page Type Feb 19, 2002 / Feb 19, 2002
Object ID 134
Hits 3391
-modular curved shaft ice tool for steep waterfall ice, alpine face and mixed routes

-7075 T6 aluminum head, tool fastening with two head-set allen bolts - lets you change tool sets quickly, allen keys required.

-curved 7075 T6 aluminum shaft ,

-high tensile steel pick, works great for snow plunging

-natural rubber grip, diameter 93mm, works great for snow plunging

-piece Razor blade pick/tool set, 3.3mm, laser-cut high tensile EN24 Steel

-CE certified to UIAA (T) standard


Viewing: 1-5 of 5

Ari - Feb 19, 2002 1:45 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
The Fly is wonderfully light all-round tool for all types of climbing that is equally at home in vertical ice falls as in snowy and sub-vertical surroundings found on alpine ascents. This is high-precision tool, wrist flicking and hooking is a way to go, full-arm swinging is definitely not the most effective way withy this tool. While the balance and lightness might require a bit of getting used to, once you do, you love the feel and save a lot of energy.

Razor Blade pick and/adze/hammer form one unit. The ground of the pick is beveled, thus enabling easier removal. When appropriate wrist flick is applied, the Fly penetrates readily even into very hard ice and does not shatter the ice nearly as much as many other tools. Worth a minor grievance is the tool system. Pick is fastened with two allen bolts, and changing the pick requires two allen keys. Despite the pick/tool combo, replacement cost is reasonable. If you want to take a spare pick for alpine outings, saw off the adze/hammer from the pick to save weight and bulk.

The shaft has modest curvature, which offers reasonable clearance even on chandeliered ice. Yeat the curve is not so steep that it would interfere while plunging the shaft into snow. Spike could protrude a bit more though, as little finger tend to be pressed against the ice when hanging on the tool while placing pro. Same applies for the handle. While it plunges readily into snow, slight contouring would be welcome on steep water ice climbing.

The Fly is equipped with a basic, no-frills choke-down leash. It is also possible to fit Clipper Leashes.

JScoles - Mar 11, 2002 8:05 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
I was on the prowl this season for a new set of ice tools and so I rented or borrowed a number of different tools checking each one out and I finally came to the conclusion that the “The Fly” was my choice.

I am not a radical ice climber by any means but I do try to get out every weekend for some moderate climbing but in general the ice where I live is usually quite poor. So I need a tool that is good for mixed climbing, good on crappy thin ice or very hard thin ice, is light (I usually have to hike a few kms to get to the climb) at the same time I enjoy alpine ice in the summer so I need a tool that will be good in an alpine setting as well.

Overall I found the balance of this tool to be excellent and they fit my swing perfectly. The tools might be light but because the blade is quite a unique design there is no need for big hard swings to get placement thus saving arm strength. On hard ice I found them to be no better or worse than other tools I have used in terms of dinner platting or fracturing.

On thin ice is where the low weight is quite useful. One just has to give a gentle wrist flick and the pick is set. In mixed climbing they worked quite well but I found the hammer to be too symmetrical for really good jamming, they would be better off putting an asymmetrical head like on the Alien. I found that they have just the right amount of curve (the same as the Black Diamond Cobra BTW they are lighter as well) enough to keep you knuckles from bashing and not too much to stop the tool from plunging into the snow for alpine work. I found the tool to be very comfortable to hold while daggering, no bolts or pointy bits. It is also a very thin tool so if you have small hands, like me, you will find it much less taxing to use them.

The bad news is the semi modular pick design. It is only modular in the sense you can replace the pick if it breaks and even then you need two Allen keys. Thus, with these tools there is a limit to how far you can push them and that is a real draw back. You cannot tailor your tool for the conditions of the day but the same holds true of a number of more expensive tools as well.

Thus “The Fly” fits the bill with me. I found it to be the best price for performance tool that I could find. They are cheap at about 100$ (150$ Canadian) and have all the performance of the more expensive types.

Andy Kennedy - Apr 23, 2003 6:24 am - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
I used the Flys for one season in the Alps having borrowed them from a friend.

The first thing that struck me was the lightness of them, they really do seem to weigh next to nothing. The first use i had out of them was ice climbing on top roped crevasses. The picks had been sharpened and penetrated well into the ice if given a sufficient swing. I did find though that on approaching the top of a particularly knackering, overhanging wall that i was starting to lack the energy to drive the picks fimly into the ice.

This was the major draw back i found with this tool. Axes with a slightly heavier head tend to place themselves better, requiring less force to be applied. I suppose its neither here nor there really as you have to balance out having a light weight axe against the need to be a little stronger in your use of it to acheive good placements. I certainly apprecieated their lightness on longer less technical climbs where the use of the axe was not quite as important.

In general the rest of the axe is well desinged, allowing just enough knuckle clearance to be comfortable, both at the handle and the shaft. The clip leash though did have a habit of uncliping itself if it became twisted. The flip side of this being it is easy to release yourself from your tools if needs be.

Overall, the lightness is an advantage but I personally prefer a slightly heavier axe for the sake of secure placements and not having the pick bounce back off the ice infront of you! Also the uncliping of the leash is something to be aware of.

BigLee - Jan 27, 2007 7:34 pm - Voted 5/5

I've used these axes for two years now and really like them. I mainly use them for mixed climbing for which I find a straighter shaft better for torquing than a more aggresive shaft.
The picks are T-rated making them ideal for mixed routes where torques are likely. The axe is well-balanced and feels light. Climbers who like a relatively heavy axe head may not like this axe. For mixed I find a more equally balanced axe is easier to climb with (although I like a more top heavy axe for ice). The ad on the axe is huge and I've used it for hooking on a number of routes.

The leashes are ok but not as good as BD Androids. Taking the leashes off when setting up belays takes too long for my liking as they cannot be unclipped. I use Androids instead of the standard Fly leashes.

For ice I use another set of axes (Petzl Quarks) as I find the shaft too striaght for steep ice and the T rated pick isn't ideal. The picks also seem to wear down quicker than my Petzl picks. B rated picks can be purchased for theaxe.

HuecoRat - Mar 4, 2009 4:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Great Tools
I have used a set of Flys for the past 6 seasons, and they are fantastic. Good balance, easy to stick, easy to remove. I have found that they are better in brittle conditions than my Cobras are (titan pick...need to try the laser pick). Everyone who tries them are surprised at how good they are. I highly recommend them!

Viewing: 1-5 of 5