Made in the South Awards

2013 Outdoors Category

​Reed Moore’s handwrought fillet knives are a sportsman’s dream

Photo: Tara Donne

Outdoors Category Winner

Red Forgeworks
Product: Fillet knife
Made in: Timmonsville, SC
Est.: 2007

To make each indestructible blade, Reed Moore first forges a blank of Damascus steel from more than four hundred layers of metal. Then, he freezes the steel cryogenically and tempers it three separate times. He shapes the blade with a Scandinavian-inspired single-bevel flat grind to give it spring as it moves along the spine of a fish. He carves a handle—Pacific yew, in this case—and rivets the material to the full-length blade tang to create a permanent bond, so that one day its owner will think of the grandfather who owned the knife before him.

It’s a fine tool for a morning’s work of trout or a brace of fresh-shot teal. Moore figures, modestly, that this just might be the best bream fillet knife on the planet. The very fact that he would dub such a work of knife-making art a bluegill blade speaks volumes of his Southern bona fides. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Moore started smithing while studying chemistry at Warren Wilson College. He also produces stunning hog splitters and meat cleavers, steel furniture, and architectural ironwork, all with his particular alchemy of minimally worked raw materials married to polished design. Happily, his one-at-a-time fillet knives are also available in a larger redfish-and-Canada-goose size.

Price: $295

Outdoors Category Runners-Up

French Broad Boatworks
Product: Guideboat
Made in: Asheville, NC
Est.: 2011

The drift boat might be more closely associated with Western trout rivers than Southern streams, but there are deep waters in the South when it comes to traditional wooden river craft. For its eye-catching Guideboat, French Broad Boatworks draws on genres as varied as Huck Finn’s “borrowed” riverboats to the colonial-era bateaux that plied Southern rivers for centuries. Hulls are built with New World polyethylene honeycomb board, then skinned with gorgeous mahogany veneers and white oak ribs. Moved by either oars or a solar-powered electric motor, the boats are substantial enough for a serious tailwater trout expedition, and stealthy enough for a remote birding excursion. A bench seat in the bow features sculptural casting braces, so boaters can wield binoculars as steadily as a fly rod.

Price: From $14,000

Dangerfield Calls
Product: Trumpet call
Made in: Orangeburg, SC
Est.: 2010

The trumpet call is not for the turkey-hunting dilettante. Akin to the ancient wingbone call, the rare trumpet can make all of a gobbler’s vocalizations, from a syrupy sweet yelp to the kee-kee call and the fighting purr. It takes time and patience to master—which can also be said about the process of making these distinctive calls. Each of John Dangerfield’s trumpets sports a barrel of hand-selected and lathe-turned Mexican cocobolo, a mouthpiece of water buffalo horn, and a solid brass ferrule. The call’s double bell is a Dangerfield signature. “That second bell lets you replicate the exact hand placement every time you pick up the call,” he says. “Once you get it right, nothing beats the crispness.” Each is signed, dated, and numbered on the inner barrel—and tuned to the raspy South Carolina hens he still hears in his sleep.

Price: From $150

Brothers Rich
Product: The Charleston Bicycle
Made in: Baltimore, MD
Est.: 2013

For years, passionate cyclist Paul Rich, a Charleston, South Carolina–born architect, and his twin big brothers, Jim and John, searched for a collaborative design venture. When Paul stumbled across a trove of heritage Raleigh DL-1 bicycle frames, the die was cast. “The geometry of the DL-1 is perfect for anything from cobblestones to country roads,” Paul says. Building on tradition, the brothers transform each relic into a handsome modern-day commuter. It takes a month just to prep and paint the frames—Charleston green, of course—before outfitting them with the best contemporary components. With every bike completed, more vintage frames find their way to Paul. “My apartment looks like a bicycle orphanage,” he says. “We’ve gone from a kick-it-around-at-the-bar idea to a dream gig.”

Price: $3,790