Best Fishing Knives Reviewed & Rated For Quality

When we think of fishing/filleting knives, we immediately think of stainless steel. For any metal that’s going to continually come into contact with water and blood and that may not get a good wash immediately after every use – stainless steel is a must. And for saltwater applications, there’s no other option. When comparing stainless knives particularly for use in saltwater, it’s sensible to stick with top quality manufacturers.

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To ensure you are aware of the most recent changes in the market as well as more rich content, we regularly update our list. While we did not find any knives that should replace the ones already listed, we have added some questions and answers, more criteria when selecting, and information about flex tests, electric knives, sharpeners, and pouches. Be sure to check back periodically for any new changes.

Featured Recommendations

Rapala Fish-n-fillet Superflex
  • Rapala Fish-n-fillet Superflex
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • low-cost
  • Price: See Here
Victorinox Fibrox Blade
  • Victorinox Fibrox Blade
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • quality steel
  • Price: See Here
Rapala 6” Fillet Knife
  • Rapala 6” Fillet Knife
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • rugged construction
  • Price: See Here

Fishing knives get a lot of work. They aren’t like pocket knives that sometimes spend most of their working lives tucked safely away, only to skin the odd animal. Fishing knives are constantly turned to the use of processing fish, as well as all kinds of other uses when on the water – from cutting fishing line to chopping bait and all things in between.

It’s important to buy quality knives for this type of work, and the best of the bunch that handles blood and salt without worry are those designed for butchers and chefs. This list deals predominantly with brands suited to this purpose – Victorinox, F Dick, Wusthof, and Wenger, to name a few.

One notable exception has always been Rapala. These fishing knives are well regarded, and while relatively cheap and manufactured from lower grade steel – they perform admirably at their task. In fact, they are fantastic value for money. Just don’t expect them to perform heavy duty tasks day in, day out.


10 Best Fishing Knives


1. Rapala Fish-n-Fillet Superflex

1. Rapala Fish-n-Fillet Superflex
Rapala is well-regarded by anglers, not only for its lures but fishing accessories. The Superflex knife by Rapala is a great low-cost, attractive knife that comes with a sheath. With three sizes to choose from, it’s likely that there’s one to suit your needs.

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Superflex, PFTE coated blade

The blade of this Rapala is extremely flexible allowing the user to hug the frame of fish no matter how fiddly. This, of course, has limitations when it comes to cutting through heavy bone (as are found in the bass if eating them is your thing) but again, this blade is designed to slip over them for a boneless fillet. The PFTE coating ensures that minimal effort is required to slip the blade through fish flesh which can be sticky resulting in clean, well-shaped fillets for the pan.

Features and Specifications

3 blade lengths available – 4; 6; 7 1/2”
attractive leather sheath included
PFTE coated stainless steel blade
Superflex blade
birch wood handle

Cost and Value

The Rapala Superflex is great value for money, and Rapala knives are well-regarded by many fishermen. For an attractive, useful knife and sheath this is a bargain.
  • Number of sizes available for different tasks
  • Attractive knife and sheath package
  • Non-stick coating for ease of cutting fish
  • Superflex blade isn’t as well suited to cutting through heavy bones
  • wooden handle can degrade with sustained use in/around water

2. Victorinox Fibrox Flexible Blade – 6”

2. Victorinox Fibrox Flexible Blade –  6”
Victorinox make some of the best knives available – full stop. They don’t come with any gimmicks, just top quality steel that’ll most likely last as long as you’re capable of catching a fish.
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Simple 6”

The 6” Fibrox version is a handy size for small and medium-sized fish and is well suited for fresh or saltwater use.

Features and Specifications

Fibrox Pro handle
High quality flexible stainless steel blade
Straight blade design

Cost and Value

This knife is very affordable and for the price, you receive a top quality knife from Victorinox – a leading knife manufacturer.
  • Excellent quality product
  • 6” straight blade extremely versatile
  • Comes with a Fibrox Pro handle. 
  • Sheath not included

3. Rapala 6” Fillet

3. Rapala 6” Fillet
The Rapala 6” fillet knife is the no-nonsense, knock-about workhorse of the Rapala team. Its simple, rugged construction with a cast resin handle and stainless steel blade will work and last in the toughest conditions.
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Won’t Rot or Rust

For a fishing knife that’s going to see a lot of use either in fresh or saltwater – the Rapala 6” is a good choice. The hard plastic handle won’t rot or warp like wood can, and its stainless steel blade will perform without blemish for years as long as it’s given the odd rinse.

Features and Specifications

cast resin handle
stainless steel blade
6” blade length very versatile

Cost and Value

For what it is this knife is the best value around. The blade isn’t going to be the same grade steel as some of the other knives on this list but it’s still going to get the job done.
  • Stainless steel
  • Plastic handle for longevity and grip
  • Low cost
  • Sheath not included

4. Victorinox Fibrox Flexible Blade

4. Victorinox Fibrox Flexible Blade
The 8” knife from Victorinox is for heavy-duty work and larger fish. It’s a great choice for salmon and large saltwater species.
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Increasing Size and Strength

The 8” flexible blade ensures that this knife will work great on fish with more depth of blade to exert extra power when cutting through bones and a longer blade for wider filleting jobs.

Features and Specifications

Fibrox Pro handle
High quality flexible stainless steel blade
Straight blade design
8” blade length

Cost and Value

The Fibrox 8” fillet knife is another great value product from Victorinox. For larger fish, this knife is great value for money.
  • Deeper blade for exerting more power
  • Victorinox product
  • This knife is incredibly powerful and strong.
  • Long, broad blade makes it difficult to fillet small fish

5. Victorinox 7” Straight Blade Fillet

5. Victorinox 7” Straight Blade Fillet
The Rosewood handled 7” filleting knife from Victorinox is a high quality, great looking fishing knife.
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The Appeal of Wood

There’s nothing quite like a wooden handled butchers knife. For looks and comfort in the hand, they have no plastic equivalent. This knife from Victorinox fits the niche for anyone wanting an attractive, top quality knife.

Features and Specifications

Rosewood handle
7” flexible, straight blade

Cost and Value

This knife is the most expensive option on the list but that being said, it is still an affordable knife that’ll last as long as any other product out there.
  • Great looks and feel in the hand
  • 7” blade useful for medium to large fish
  • Made from one of the best brands in the industry. 
  • Wooden handles require more maintenance

6. F Dick Ergogrip 8”

6. F Dick Ergogrip 8”
F Dick is the other big name in butchers’ knives, and the 8” fillet knife is a good choice for large fish.
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Plenty of Cutting Surface

The 8” F Dick is a long knife to start with and by incorporating a curved blade design, extra cutting surface is provided. The broad point at the tip of the knife gives a more forgiving stroke than s similarly curved, sharply pointed one making this knife easy to use.

Features and Specifications

8” curved flexible blade
ERGOgrip handle
Hi-carbon stainless steel

Cost and Value

F Dick knives are of similar cost as other brands like Victorinox and offer the same level of quality manufacture. They are well worth the price.
  • Made in Germany by F Dick
  • Shallow blade design cuts through flesh with less resistance
  • Comfortable handle
  • Less suitable for small fish

7. F Dick Ergogrip 6”

7. F Dick Ergogrip 6”
The 6” version of the filleting knife by F Dick fills the gap for a quality, German-made knife for small to medium sized fish.
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A Handy Package

Curved blades are most common as butcher’s knives for livestock but they give a greater cutting surface for blade length, and a high degree of agility control when cutting around bones. The most noticeable difference between straight and curved blades when used for fish is in skinning the fillets with it being slightly more difficult with curved blades. That being said, they are very functional knives.

Features and Specifications

6” curved flexible blade
ergo grip handle
Hi-carbon stainless steel

Cost and Value

This is another affordable, great value fishing knife up to any work you can throw at it.
  • Made in Germany by F Dick
  • Shallow blade design cuts through flesh with less resistance
  • Comfortable handle
  • Versatile size for small to medium fish
  • Less suitable for large fish

8. Wusthof Pro 9”

8. Wusthof Pro 9”
Wusthof knives are another quality product from a German manufacturer. They are known for the quality of their knives.
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Big Knife for Big Fish

With a 9” blade, the Wusthof is designed for large fish. It’ll cut great fillets off salmon, but don’t try to work on a panfish unless you like to struggle.

Features and Specifications

9” flexible blade
high carbon stainless steel
black poly handle

Cost and Value

The Wusthof is on par with other quality knives on this list and makes another affordable option.
  • Proven filleting blade shape
  • 9” blade length for large fish
  • Made in Germany
  • Unsuitable for small fish

9. Kershaw Fillet

9. Kershaw Fillet
The 7 and 9” options available in the Kershaw fillet knife give the choice of a blade more suited to small/medium fish or medium/large fish. This knife is a good, inexpensive option that comes with a sheath.
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Comes with Sheath

Having a sheath to protect the knife and people around it when it’s not in use is a good idea – and the Kershaw is one of few knives on this list that comes with one. The sheath is snug fitting and the knife positively ‘clicks’ into place – ensuring it doesn’t accidentally fall out.

Features and Specifications

7 and 9” blade lengths available
420J2 stainless steel
Co-polymer handle
Plastic sheath included

Cost and Value

It's an inexpensive knife and good value as it comes with a sheath.
  • Comes with positive gripping sheath
  • Economical
  • Comes in two different sizes for consumers to pick from.
  • Bulky

10. Swibo Fillet

10. Swibo Fillet
Swibo by Wenger is another well-regarded butchering knife produced in Switzerland. The blade is almost 8” in length and it in the class of mid to large-sized.
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Hard Steel

Swibo knives hold their edge well due to the hardness of the steel used in their manufacture. The steel is also highly resistant to corrosion – which is another good thing for saltwater use. Being so hard, however, means that it’ll take a bit more work to put an edge on these knives.

Features and Specifications

7 9/10” straight flexible blade
Yellow, plastic handle for good grip and high visibility

Cost and Value

The Swibo is one of the more expensive knives on this list. It’s a good quality knife.
  • Very durable steel resistant to damage
  • Yellow handle easy to see
  • One of the higher quality knives on this list today. 
  • Steel hardness can make it difficult to sharpen

Things to Consider When Buying a Fishing Knife

There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when selecting a fishing knife. For these users, it’s best to keep things simple.

Steel Type

As was stated in the introduction to this review, stainless steel is really the only way to go for fishing knives. There isn’t much need to get bogged down in specific steel grading. As long as you buy quality from the start – you’ll never have an issue with corrosion.

Flexible blades are very important for fish filleting knives as they allow pressure to be applied to slicing while the knife forms to the bones of the fish ensuring a clean cut and minimal wastage. Additionally, a flexible blade can be pushed down against the cutting board while skinning a fish fillet, keeping the blade flat against the skin without making a mess of the flesh or cutting through the skin itself.

Blade Shape

The generic style of a fish filleting knife looks similar to that of the Rapalas in this list: a relatively narrow, straight-spined blade with the cutting edge curving up to the tip. Some knives have a slight upward curve in the spine towards the tip. This design allows the blade to slice flesh with minimum resistance due to its narrowness. The very narrow, up-curved point gives great dexterity for fine work (depending on blade length).

Generally speaking, any straight-bladed knife design works best for fish filleting. This allows for easy skinning of fish fillets in particular. Curved ‘boning’ style blades end up with a lot more surface area in contact with flesh and skin during this process and are more difficult to finish the job with.

Blade Length

The length of the blade effectively limits the size of fish a knife is capable of working on easily. Panfish and even small walleye are well suited to a dinky 4” blade for ultimate accuracy and fine work without an extra blade to deal with and keep sharp. Knives in the 5 to 7” range are good all-rounders that’ll perform well on smallish to largish fish. Long knives of 8” or more are best suited to large fish – like salmon or tuna – where long cuts are called for. It’s much easier to get a clean fillet with a knife that is longer (but not too much) than the fish’s depth of body.


It’s best to keep a knife sheathed when not in use – to look after the knife and to protect the user and others around. Unfortunately, most butchers knives don’t come with a sheath and one will have to be sourced separately.

Two options in this list, the Rapala, and the Kershaw, do come with an included sheath. Both are inexpensive knives so may be a good option for that reason.

Criteria Used to Evaluate Fishing Knives

Blade Length

As it’s important to choose the right size of the knife to sit the majority of work it’ll be used for, blade length was an important consideration. Several of the models included in the list are available in various blade lengths which makes it easier to pick a knife you like then choose the length. Others are similar knives with different models of different lengths.


The inclusion of a sheath says nothing about the quality of the knife and it’s unfortunate that the best knives don’t come with a sheath included. The few models that did contain quality steel and that included a sheath were obvious candidates for inclusion on this list. The Rapala Superflex ticks a lot of boxes here as it’s affordable, attractive, made from relatively good steel and comes with a snug-fitting leather sheath. This makes it one of the best options for the fisherman after a one-stop-and-go option.

Handle Construction

Continued exposure to water, salt, sun, and blood wreak havoc on handle materials. Wooden knife handles fare the worst in these conditions, and for simple reliability and longevity, plastic handles are to be favored in most cases for a fishing knife.

A couple of wooden handled knives were included in this list because – let’s face it – wooden handled knives look good! They also fit well in the hand and are comfortable to use. With a little extra attention, a wooden handle can last for a long time, even in the testing conditions of a fisherman’s pack.


The good thing about fishing knives is that you can get the best quality available for an affordable price. Butchers’ and chefs’ knives as tools are made to be economical and this is a great bonus to the recreational angler. None of the knives on this list is going to hurt the hip pocket.

The Rapala knives on this list are fantastic value considering how fit for purpose they are. If you’re in the market for an inexpensive knife these are the way to go.

Other Things to Consider

Flex Test

An important consideration when choosing a fishing knife is the amount of flex it possesses. When it comes to optimum slicing and cutting, flex can be vital to making the job of filleting much simpler.

The flex in most cases is contingent on the thickness of the blade. The thinner the blade, the more flex it will have, and vice versa. There should be more flex in a shorter blade, as sharper cuts and tighter angles are required when working on smaller fish. When working with longer blades, there should be a certain degree of flex to them. However, maintaining the flex in the shorter blades are more important.

Blades that are four and 6-inch fish knife blades should be considered flexible and quite thin. When applying pressure while the tip is pressed straight down, the blade should turn or “bend” about an inch, perhaps more. As the lengths of the knife increases, the entire blade should maintain flex. But, thickness is added when the length of the blade is increased, as they must exude greater strength capabilities.


While most fishing knives are durable, many factors are involved when it comes to determining how durable one it. The greatest of these factors is the user, themselves. A knife not properly cared for will dull, rust, break and more; therefore, ensuring the blade is cleaned and dried after each use will significantly increase the life of your knife.

Another major factor is the steel. A softer steel does not always maintain the edge necessary despite proper care. On the other hand, a harder steel may not flex the way one should because it is too brittle.

Electric Fillet Knife

For those of you that clean fish regularly, another option you might consider is an eclectic fillet knife. This type of tool effortlessly works through all sorts of fish, saving effort, time, as well as patience. An electric fillet knife can take some getting used to, but once you catch on, there are great benefits.

Most models of electric knives include a rechargeable battery pack, 110V wall plugs, 12V light plugs (excellent for those times when the only source of power is your vehicle), as well as 12V battery post clips. Add a travel case and you are good to go.

Fishing Knives Maintenance Tірѕ

Hеrе are some tірѕ on whаt to watch оut fоr to еnjоу уоur knife a vеrу lоng tіmе:

1. Alwауѕ ѕtоrе уоur knife сlеаn! Yоu dоn’t gо dirty tо bеd, so why ѕhоuld уоur knife. Generally, wаѕh wіth сlеаn wаtеr, іn the саѕе of grease аnd fаttу/оіlу smudge, uѕе ѕоmе ѕоару wаtеr, rinse аnd wіре уоur knife dry.

2. Don’t use уоur wіfе’ѕ Sсоtсh Bride ѕроngе іn thе kіtсhеn sink on your blаdе оr handle. Sсоtсh Brіdе іѕ hіghlу аbrаѕіvе and wіll gеt ѕсrаtсhеѕ іntо your blаdе аnd guаrd. We uѕе Sсоtсh Brіdе аbrаѕіvеѕ іn mаkіng satin fіnіѕhеѕ аnd bеfоrе wе роlіѕh thе blade, ѕо dоn’t dеѕtrоу оur fіnіѕh аѕ nо steel will stand іt!

3. Take ѕресіаl саrе оf thе hаndlе. Natural hаndlе mаtеrіаl lіkе wооd, bоnе, аntlеr, ivory etc wіll аbѕоrb mоіѕturе if уоu ѕоаk іt fоr a long tіmе. Stаbіlіzеd hаndlеѕ will ѕtаnd іt better, but thеу will budgе down оvеr time tоо. NEVER рut уоur knіfе in thе dishwasher аѕ thе handle and adhesive will nоt ѕtаnd the hot tеmреrаturе аnd the dеtеrgеnt. You mіght nоt ѕее аnуthіng thе fіrѕt fеw tіmеѕ, but іt wіll соmе. Evеn rеѕіn lаmіnаtеd Diamond оr Pаkkа Wооd wіll bе affected over tіmе, thе natural material соuld bе аffесtеd the fіrѕt time уоu dо it.

4. If your knіfе hаѕ a brаѕѕ or nісkеl ѕіlvеr guаrd/роmmеl уоu mіght gеt some coloring over tіmе аѕ mоіѕturе, dirt, оur ѕkіn-grеаѕе will аffесt thеѕе materials. Tурісаl ѕіgnѕ are thаt your fіngеr prints wіll ѕhоw оn thе brаѕѕ guаrd. Prеvеntіоn іѕ the bеѕt thing, сlеаn аnd wіреѕ drу аftеr uѕе. Yоu can uѕе оnсе a whіlе ѕоmе mіld роlіѕh, hоuѕеhоld polish уоu fіnd in thе kitchen еtс, tо get thе stains оff.

5. Kеер thе sheath сlеаn! Thіѕ is very іmроrtаnt as wе mоѕtlу ѕtоrе our knife in the sheath. In case the sheath is lеаthеr and уоu ѕtоrе your knife іn a wet ѕhеаth уоu mоѕt certainly can еxресt ѕоmе ѕtаіnіng and соlоrіng, in thе саѕе оf CS blаdеѕ еvеn оn thе ѕtееl itself bаѕеd on rеѕіduаl tаnnіng асіdѕ in thе lеаthеr. D2 Knives аrе рrоnе to ріt соrrоѕіоn undеr these сіrсumѕtаnсеѕ.

6. Wе hаvе seen ѕоmе SS knіfе where thе blаdе got ѕtаіnеd durіng wеt ѕtоrаgе. If уоur ѕhеаth іѕ Kуdеx, Kevlar or ѕіmіlаr materials you do not hаvе thе additional tаnnіng acids аѕ іn lеаthеr but mоіѕturе оr dіrt wіll not dо any gооd. Aftеr a rоugh trір іn the оutdооrѕ, mаkе ѕurе уоu don’t have аnу sand оr dіrt in the sheath. Sаnd оr dirt саn еmbеd іtѕеlf іntо thе lеаthеr, thе fаbrіс, аnd еvеn thе Kуdеx аnd wіll wоrk slowly away оn уоur knife еvеrу time you sheath іt. Rеmеmbеr we use ‘sanding bеltѕ’ tо work on ѕtееl, ѕаnd іѕ hіghlу аbrаѕіvе.

7. If уоu еnjоу a ѕhіnу knіfе аnd are рrоud to own a ріесе оf bеаutу аnd аrt, use a ѕоft, dry wаѕh leather, Nара lеаthеr еtс tо gеt drу ѕtuff оff уоur knife, blаdе, hаndlе, guаrd аnd pommel. Yоu will get rіd of уоur fіngеrрrіntѕ and it will lооk shiny. The bеѕt and еаѕіеѕt wау to dо some short tеrm сlеаnіng іѕ tо hаvе a ѕmаll, ѕоft leather іn your pack whеn huntіng, fishing, саmріng еtс. Mіnd not to uѕе thе lеаthеr оn a wеt knife, the lеаthеr is mоѕtlу рut a nісе ѕhіnе nоt tо get rid оf dіrt. (See step 1 fоr gеnеrаl сlеаnіng)

8. If уоur knіfе hаѕ a CS blаdе аnd уоu intend to ѕtоrе іt for a longer period оf time рut a light film of oil on thе blаdе to protect іt frоm оxіdіzаtіоn, gun оіl wіll dо nicely. Thіѕ is аdvіѕаblе even fоr роlіѕhеd CS knіvеѕ. The polishing will рrоtесt thе ѕurfасе a bіt but not for a lоng tіmе. Yоu can even wipe thе hаndlе wіth this оіlу rag, wоn’t hurt іt unless уоu have an exotic mаtеrіаl lіkе Ivory еtс. Yоu can do this wіth your gun, fishing rоd аnd other outdoor’s gеаr ѕо include уоur knіfе tоо.

9. If уоu аrе a fіѕhеrmаn & аnglеr аt the coast, аlwауѕ rіnѕе your knіfе аftеr uѕе іn ѕаltwаtеr соndіtіоnѕ with frеѕh wаtеr еxtеnѕіvеlу. Thеrе іѕ nо steel thаt wіll NOT get аffесtеd bу ѕаlt wаtеr! Thіѕ is gооd рrасtісе аnуwау as dressing оf fіѕh, еvеn оur bеlоvеd rainbow trout, will expose the knіfе tо асіdѕ. Dо уоu know thаt whеn a trоut іѕ hооkеd tоо deep, juѕt сut the lіnе, іt wіll DIGEST thе hооk.

10. Don’t store уоur knіfе in a wіndоw, car wіndоwѕ аrе especially bаd аѕ thе ѕun саn hеаt it uр рrеttу gооd. Sun саn blеасh thе exposed handle, lеаthеr, Kуdеx, аnd Kеvlаr. Unlеѕѕ уоu like thе change of арреаrаnсе from ѕіnglе colored hаndlе to duаl соlоrеd wіth a blеасhеd раrt уоu shouldn’t dо іt. Exроѕurе tо sunny conditions fоr a long time саn аlѕо gіvе сhесkеrіng іn thе hаndlе mаtеrіаl аѕ wеll as ѕhrіnk іn natural materials. Sоmеtіmеѕ еvеn Micarta, G 10 еtс саn bе affected thаt thеу wаnt to wаrр аnd ѕtаrt сrасkіng the аdhеѕіvе bоndіng to thе blаdе.

11. Dоn’t be ѕurрrіѕеd if уоu mоvе і.е. frоm thе соаѕt tо thе mоuntаіnѕ аnd уоur handle ѕhrіnkѕ or еxtеndѕ a bіt. This is quite natural аѕ thе сlіmаtе is different. Humіdіtу in thе аіr, dіffеrеnt tеmреrаturеѕ wіll influence all materials, ѕоmе mоrе than others. It is within the laws оf physics thаt аll mаtеrіаlѕ wіll rеасt tо temperature аnd mоіѕturе, but dіffеrеntlу. Sо іѕ thе еxраnѕіоn реr dеgrее Celsius оr Fahrenheit dіffеrеnt in steel compared tо wood, brаѕѕ, etc. All thеѕе mаtеrіаlѕ wіll асt a bіt differently thus thе сhаngе. It might tаkе weeks or month to bесоmе арраrеnt but іt can hарреn.

Nоw hаvіng ѕаіd all thіѕ, don’t get саrrіеd away. If уоu аrе on a 10-dау camping, fіѕhіng, huntіng оr whatever оutdооrѕ trip you do a сlеаnіng/wіріng after еvеrу uѕе (уоu want tо peel your аррlе with a сlеаn knife) аnd a thоrоugh оnе when you аrе back hоmе. Juѕt ѕаlt water needs dаіlу care аnd always keep the dіrt out оf уоur sheath as іt wіll start grinding on your knіfе immediately.

Tools and Accessories You Need for Your Fishing Knife

Ask anyone what the most important tool a fisherman needs is and their answer will be fishing rod. However, ask them what the next important tool, is and most of the times they would name a few other things before they remember the fishing knife. In this article, we are not looking at fishing knives per se. Our aim is to deal with the accessories and tools that will show the tender loving care you have for your fishing knife. You could call getting the right accessories for your knife a way of complimenting and thanking it for all the great work it does.

Before we look at the specific accessories we think your fishing knife needs, let’s look at some of the reasons why you need these accessories. O

Why You Need a Knife and Accessories

In order for your knife to be able to do its work for you the right way, you will need to have the right accessories such as knife gloves, sharpeners, boning hooks, knife cleaners/rust removers, and other such accessories.

  • Sharpeners

Having a good day out fishing does not always guarantee it will end just as well with the filleting process. Even though this tends to be the hardest part for many fishermen, you can make your life easier by ensuring that you have a knife that is sharp enough. To achieve this, you will need a good knife sharpener and also be able to use it properly.

A sharpener is required in order to make the preparation of your fish not only easier but also a more satisfying experience. On the other hand, using a knife that’s not sharp enough doesn’t only make your life difficult, it also makes the whole process dangerous. Instead of cutting through your fish, a blunt knife actually gets pushed by the fish and its bones. The idea is to slice through the fish in such a way that you are proud of the work you produce.

One choice is a built-in sharpener, as it allows swift touch-ups of the blade while you are cleaning your catch of the day without the need to stop and find the nearest whetstone. Full-length honing rods allow for quick and complete restorations of the blade’s sharp edge. But, another helpful one is a small V-style sharpener.

  • Cleaners/Rust Removers

To keep your knife bright and shiny, you will need a knife cleaner. So what exactly does the knife cleaner do? It cleans the knife so that the fish it cuts is clean too. Can you imagine all that dirt from the fish getting stuck in the crevices of the knife and remaining to rot and dry in there?

Most of the dirt accumulating on your fishing knife will do so on the locking areas and the pivot. The pivot is the feature that allows your knife to move easily when you either open or close it. If you do not clean this area, the knife will become difficult to both close and open. If this is left to go on for extended periods, the knife may end up not closing or opening and as you try to force it, it could lead to injury.

Even though the type of rust which accumulates on knives is not usually dangerous and you can still use the knife safely, a rusted knife doesn’t look good. Also, if you are using the rusted knife to fillet your fish, the rust could end up on the food and if you are preparing it for others, you may discover that they are not too excited about the fish you have just prepared.

There are a few other easy methods that you can use to remove rust from your fishing knife. One of this is to take a lemon and slice it in half and then run the rusted side on the one-half of the lemon. When rust has been accumulating for a long time, you can leave the juice on the spot for about 30 minutes. If you have vinegar, you can also soak the knife in vinegar and then use a scrubbing pad to remove the rust.

  • Polishing Cloths

Now that your knife is clean and free from rust, you can use a polishing cloth to make it look extra shiny. These clothes are designed to ensure that the knife looks new for many years.

  • Pouches

Having a quality fishing knife sheath is useful for helping you comfortably and easily carry your knife, and also when you are storing it. However, this is not the only reason why you need the pouch: it also helps you ensure that the blade does not harm yourself and others.

They come in a variety of materials, like leather, plastic, and nylon. Both leather and nylon are popular, but both types have the ability to soak up and retain moisture along with stench from maintenance tasks. In contrast, a fast-drying, durable molded plastic is an ideal choice. So, when shopping for a sheath, be sure that it has plenty of draining ports and ventilation.

Pouches for carrying your knife come in different options. Some can be attached to a tactical vest or a backpack while other ones can be attached to your belt. The best choice for a fishing expedition will possibly be one that attaches to the belt.

  • Lanyards

Knife lanyards can attach either to the knife itself or the pouch that carries the knife. Lanyards can assist you in drawing the knife either from the sheath, pocket, or the backpack. As much as you will need to keep the knife clean, it will also be advisable to keep the knife lanyard clean if you do not want that fish smell to linger around every place where your knife is.

Now that you have an idea what you need for your fishing knife, the filleting process is going to be easier and more satisfying.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How durable are fishing knives?

A: It sometimes seems a bit odd that such a light gauge blade can be that durable but rest assured – they are. The flexibility built into the blades of fishing knives ensures that they can withstand considerable forces placed upon them. Remember to keep this within reason though. It’s easy to feel the limit of a blade – it’ll bend easily to a point before extra pressure causes little change in the bend. The point where this begins is the maximum safe bend inherent within the blade. Don’t over-bend any knife because a flying shard of the blade can cause all kinds of accidents.

Q: Are they easy to sharpen?

A: Most are. Particularly those from high-quality manufacturers like Victorinox and F Dick who use steel designed to be the best trade-off between hardness and ease of honing. Flexible bladed knives come with their own intricacies of sharpening. The very flexibility of the blade can cause problems when sharpening them on a whetstone, with the blade bending and causing uneven grind. The easiest way (and the correct way to use a stone) is to apply minimum pressure on the stone while grinding the blade.

You don’t want to wear the blade out unnecessarily! Even, firm pressure is all that’s required to take the shoulder off a blade and re-hone the edge. Due to the thinness of fishing knife blades, a little work goes a long way and you’ll be back to shaving sharp in no time.

Q: What is the best length?

A: The length of the blade depends on what it’s going to be used for. Short blades are best for fine work and small fish, while longer blades work are most effective on large fish and where slicing is more prevalent than tricky boning.

As a rough guide – the ‘correct’ length blade should be just a little longer than the depth of the fish’s body (from back to belly) at its widest point. This ensures that the blade can be passed entirely through the fish during filleting and entirely through the fillet during skinning to give a single, clean cut and solid fillet with minimal wastage. Long knives are also great for slicing steaks/cutlets from large fish, and a short blade would need many slices to do the job.

Q: What are the differences between a manual fishing knife and an electric?

A: The many differences between an electric and manual knife. When compared to the manual, an electric one weighs more and works quicker. Electric is also more expensive than the manual.

Q: Are a boning knife and filleting knife the same thing?

A: No, these knives are not the same. The fillet knives are the best when it comes to filleting fish as the blade has a thinner construction. A boning knife has a thin blade, but not as thin as the one on the fillet knife. Boning knives are also not as flexible as a fillet knife.

The Final Choice

A fishing knife sees a lot of work in its lifetime and this needs to be considered when choosing the knife. Selecting a high-quality product from the start will ensure that the user is satisfied with their purchase. The best quality knives are those designed for use by professionals in the industry such as professional fishermen, butchers, and chefs. These knives will stand up to all the abuses a fisherman can throw at them and continue to be reliable for years to come.


  1. Survival Common Sense: How to Survive: Choose the Best Fillet Knife for Preparing Fish
  2. Bass Pro Shops: Fillet Knife Buyer’s Guide
  3. Knife Planet: Choosing the Best Fillet Knife to Fillet Fish Like a Pro
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