But it’s not all about fish on a fishing trip. Sure, the fish are the primary reason you’re out there, but there’s something special about the experience. Maybe it’s the time spent with family or friends, or maybe it’s the feeling of being one with nature. Whatever it is, it’s made even better by the rewards. And what is the ultimate reward? When you get to enjoy the fish you took the time to catch and clean. Every fisherman understands the importance of having the right tools for the job, and the right tool for cleaning your catch is a quality fillet knife.
The key to eating fresh fish is to use a high-quality fillet knife. In this article, you’ll find the best fillet knives from famous brands like Zwilling, J.A. Henckels, Shun, and Wusthof, as well as recommendations for the best sharpening steel for fillet knives and fish cleaning kit.
Fishing is more than just a way to pass the time at the lake. Fish are a delicious and nutritious food source that can be enjoyed on the spot if you have a sharp fillet knife. Take a look at the best fillet knives to clean your catch.
Derrek Sigler 05.11.21 There are two types of fishermen: those who strictly adhere to the principle of catch and release and those who like to take part of their catch home for a delicious dinner. No offense to the former, but I definitely fall into the carnivore category. I like to eat fish. And for those who eat their catch, that means another piece of equipment becomes essential on our fishing list – a good fillet knife. Fillet knives can be useful for many things, but for cleaning fish you must have one. Other knives are not suitable. I have used many fillet knives over the years, and I have a few that have found their way onto my list of the best fillet knives for cleaning catches. I’m sure there are other knives out there that are very good competitors, and believe me, I’ll get around to it eventually. Sirloin knives are distinguished by several characteristics. They generally have thinner, more flexible blades with an extended tip for precise cutting. They are also made of corrosion resistant steel, since they will be in the water most of the time. This also applies to salt water, which is why the best fillet knives have an additional coating to ensure a long life in salty environments. The cover photo is taken by the author Table of contents
1. Buck Silver Creek – Editor’s Choice Single Knife
I was looking for knives for another item and came across the Silver Creek fillet knife. Since I really like filet knives, I had to buy one. Why wouldn’t I want to? The 420J2 titanium-coated stainless steel blade offers the flexibility you need for a great fillet knife, yet is strong enough to avoid cutting mistakes. The handle is reinforced with fiberglass with a textured band at the top and a stainless steel guard. The metal of the blade sticks out enough at the end to secure the buckle to your wrist. This is a handy feature for anglers trying to hook bait on a boat as the waves come and go. Believe me, I know! Another nice feature is a molded plastic sheath with a drainage hole in the bottom and a clip that allows you to attach it to anything, including drawstring pants. There are two sizes of fixed blade version – 6 ⅜ inches and 9 and ⅜ inches. I liked the feel of the pen and ended up buying both. There is a folding version of these knives that is very good, but I prefer the fixed ones. However, the shirt is much easier to store in the tackle box. Pro / Sharp blade with titanium coating and excellent handle. Cons/ The rubber handle could slide less, but so far everything is going well. Conclusion/ If you are looking for a fillet knife, this knife is the best I have tried lately.
2. Outdoor Edge ReelFlex Pak – Editor’s Choiceknife set
Sure, I just bought two fillet knives, but I didn’t tell my wife. Yeah, I know. I was playing with fire. But instead of going wrong, it went in my favor. My wife saw a set of fillet knives and bought them for me because she heard I needed a new one. So I got my hands on the Outdoor Edge ReelFlex Pax, a set of three great long-handled knives, a sharpener for them, and a nice plastic bag with latches to carry and store them. The knives are made of 4116 stainless steel and have rubber TPR handles. The knives are 9.5 inches, 7.5 inches and 6 inches long, so you have everything you need to cut or catch fish. This set is perfect for cleaning everything from panfish to walleye to salmon, which is a big bonus for me as I always aim to catch a few of these fish every summer. The sharpener seems to do an excellent job of restoring the super sharp edge that the brand is known for. Pro/ The set completely covers your filleting knife needs, no matter what kind of fishing you do. Cons / I would like more flexibility in a shorter blade to catch bottom fish, but it is good. Conclusion/ Absolutely the best set of fillet knives I have tried so far.
3. Rapala Deluxe Falcon – economical version
We all have at least one Rapala fillet knife. I have several, including a slightly older version of this model, with a different colored handle. I will admit right away that this fillet knife is not particularly remarkable. It has a 4-inch stainless steel blade and a polymer handle that allows you to make non-slip cuts. The knife also comes in a resin sheath. However, this fillet knife has some very good features that make it fit well in this list. First, there’s the price, which is hard to beat. I found this knife for less than $9! Another advantage is that it works very well. In fact, it performs better than one would expect for its price. For / For the money, this is a very good knife. Disadvantages: While it’s good, it doesn’t hold the thread as well as better quality blades. Conclusion/if you need a good, cheap fillet knife, buy one.
4. Bubba Ultra Flex – the most flexible
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Bubba Blade fillet knife. These are very high quality fillet knives, with perhaps the best handle material available. It is a molded, rubberized handle that does not move. Period. A good friend of mine uses larger Bubba knives to clean salmon. He also uses this knife to bone out fillets and cut fish. I’ve also used it to get boneless pike fillets. This is an excellent fillet knife with an 8 inch blade, made of high quality carbon steel with a bubba titanium coating for durability and corrosion resistance. It is thin and very flexible, which facilitates delicate incisions. Oh, and it’s razor sharp and holds the edge well. If you are considering a Bubba Blade fillet knife, this is a good option, but you really can’t go wrong with any knife. Pro / High flexibility, sharpness and strength Cons / These fillet knives are expensive, but honestly they are worth it. Conclusion: These knives are not among the best filleting knives for nothing.
5. Gerber Controller – Intermediate Pick
Another brand you can expect to see on one of these lists is Gerber. The company is known for its high quality knives, and the Controller fillet knives are no exception. Gerber designed this knife without a preconceived idea of what a fillet knife should be. They asked hard-core fishermen like you and me from all over North America what they look for in a fillet knife. This knife is the end result. The joystick has a contoured, non-slip handle. The blade maintains its sharpness while withstanding all the abuse anglers can take. Gerber uses 9Cr steel, known for its strength and corrosion resistance. These knives are kind of a hidden choice. Some people don’t know they exist, but those who do love them. For / Gerber quality and attention to detail in a knife with a large handle. Cons / Not so easy to find (but we’re here to help). Conclusion: a very good filleting knife with a nice feel, a sharp blade and a decent price.
What to look for when choosing a filleting knife
There are two things I look for in a fillet knife: it has to fit well in the hand and the blade has to be high quality and do exactly what I want it to do. Therefore, I have several filleting knives that I use for different types of fish and for different purposes. When working with large fish, look for a fillet knife with a longer blade, preferably curved, to make as few cuts as possible and obtain an even fillet. If it is a straight blade, make sure it is slightly curved and very sharp. You will need multiple fillet knives of different lengths for different sizes of fish. If the blade is too long, you cannot cut accurately. I like the big curve of the blade for catching small fish like panfish and crappie. Put together your own set to suit your taste, and you’ll have the best filleting knives for any fish you catch.
Keep fillet knife sharp
This is very important because you need a sharp knife to make the right cut and not lose the tasty proteins in your catch. Here are some tips on how to keep your fillet knives sharp.
- Always keep the blade covered so it does not touch the ground.
- Clean after each use and store in a dry place.
- Never use the dishwasher – always wash by hand.
- Use a high quality knife sharpener – I like the WorkSharp motorized unit.
- Don’t try to use it for anything else – keep one or two other fillet knives for this purpose.
I like to use loin knives to work on game meat, but I don’t use my fish loin knives for that. I have a second set of knives for things like deer and birds. I would add that using a good cutting board to clean the fish will improve the sharpness of your fillet knife. If you maintain them properly, your fillet knives will last a long time.
How do you find a good fillet knife?
To choose a good fillet knife, pay attention to the type of blade, the type of handle and the material the blade is made of. You need a fillet knife that holds the edge while you clean the fish and doesn’t slip out of your hand easily.
Which fillet knife should I use for walleye fishing?
Since walleye is a popular table dish, it is important that you get the best possible fillet. For most food-sized walleyes, look for a knife with a 7.5- to 9-inch blade, and if you’re not used to cleaning them, take your time.
About the author
Derrek Siegler. Derrek Sigler has been writing professionally about the outdoors for over twenty years, ever since he earned his Master’s degree in Creative Writing with a thesis on fishing humor. But if you ask anyone who knows him, he’s been telling fishing stories since he was old enough to hold a fishing pole. He has written for Cabela’s and was editorial director of Gun Digest books. Over the years he has also written for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildfowl, Grand View Media, and worked with Bass Pro Shops, Hard Core Brands, and Bone Collector. Successful Farming invited him to write an article for their magazine, and he appeared several times on their television show to talk about hunting and ATVs. He writes about what he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boats, snowmobiles, and the outdoor life he leads with his family in their home state of Michigan, as well as his adventures across North America. We are committed to finding, researching and recommending the best products. We receive commissions for purchases you make through the links in our product reviews. Learn more about how it works.You’ve caught the big one and you’re ready to take it home and prepare it for your dinner party. You’re not going to want to use just any old kitchen knife to clean your fish. Many people are under the false impression that all knives are created equal—but far from it! (And that was a pun if I’ve ever heard one.) If you don’t use the proper knife, you run the risk of accidentally cutting yourself while you’re cleaning your catch, which is no fun at all. (I’ve done it.). Read more about best american made fillet knife and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best fillet knife for cleaning fish?
If you are a fisherman, a fillet knife is an essential tool to have on board when fishing. A good fillet knife will not only help you clean the fish you caught, it will also keep you safe from nasty cuts. Although the process of choosing the right fillet knife can seem daunting, it is actually quite simple. First, you will need to consider whether you want a fillet knife with a fixed blade or a folding blade, then decide what type of blade material is best for you, and finally decide on a handle material. There are many types of fillet knives, but in the end you’ll want to pick the one that best fits your needs for usability and safety. Because a fishing trip is no fun if you don’t have the right equipment to filet your fish, it is very important to have the right gear. A fillet knife is a chef’s best friend when it comes to cleaning fish. The type of knife you choose can determine whether or not you have an easy time cleaning your catch.
What kind of knife do you use to clean fish?
The best fillet knives to clean your catch should be sharp enough to cut through the fish’s skin, yet flexible enough to bend around bones. They should be made with quality stainless steel that will resist corrosion when it comes into contact with other materials, like water, oil, or blood. And they should be easy to clean; fillet knives should not trap meat, blood or fish scales in the grooves and crevices of the blade. (One of the best fillet knives for the money is the Victorinox 4-Inch Flex Boning and Fillet Knife . It performs like a professional fillet knife for a much lower price.) The Fillet knife is a type of knife used mainly for fish fileting. They are a great addition to any fisherman’s toolkit. They are not the only tool you need. You will also need a sturdy surface and plenty of cleaning and cutting tools. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned fishing pro, a good fillet knife will make cleaning and cutting your catch easier.
What is the best fillet knife for salmon?
When it comes to filleting fish, you need a sharp knife that doesn’t require too much work to get through the skin and bones. A fillet knife is really the only tool you need to get your fish from the dock to the dinner table. One of the most common fillet knives is the stainless steel blade, and many fillet knives come with a protective cover. As long as your knife is sharp, it doesn’t matter if it’s the shape of a rectangle or a triangle. Are you looking for the best fillet knife for salmon? This is a pretty common question, as there are quite a few companies that make salmon fishing knives. While there are some general tips that can help you when choosing a knife, there is no single knife that is perfect for every salmon fishing application.
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