The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Fishing Knife

best fishing knife

As avid anglers, we understand how important it is to have the right tools for the job. And when it comes to fishing knives, having a high-quality, durable and reliable blade can make all the difference in the world.

Whether you’re filleting fish for dinner or preparing bait, a good fishing knife is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing the best fishing knife.

Read more: What Defines The Best Fillet Knife For Salmon?

Why You Need a Best Fishing Knife

A best fishing knife is essential for any angler. Here are some reasons why:

  • Efficiency: A sharp fishing knife can make the process of cleaning and gutting fish quicker and easier.
  • Safety: A dull knife can be dangerous and increase the risk of accidents. A good fishing knife with a sharp blade reduces the chances of injury.
  • Versatility: A fishing knife can be used for more than just cleaning fish. It can be used to cut bait, trim lines, and even open cans.
  • Durability: A high-quality fishing knife is designed to withstand the harsh and corrosive environment of saltwater fishing.

What Makes a Good Fishing Knife?

When it comes to selecting a fishing knife, there are a few key factors to consider:

Blade Material

The material of the blade is one of the most crucial factors when choosing a fishing knife. There are three main types of blade materials to choose from:

  • Stainless Steel: Stainless steel blades are highly resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for use in saltwater environments. They are also easy to sharpen and maintain.
  • Carbon Steel: Carbon steel blades are known for their superior sharpness and edge retention. However, they are also more prone to rust and require more maintenance than stainless steel.
  • Titanium: Titanium blades are incredibly lightweight and corrosion-resistant. They are also very durable and hold an edge well.

Blade Shape

The shape of the blade is another important factor to consider. There are three main blade shapes to choose from:

  • Filleting Blade: A filleting blade has a thin, flexible blade that is ideal for filleting fish.
  • Gutting Blade: A gutting blade has a short, curved blade that is designed for gutting fish.
  • Serrated Blade: A serrated blade has teeth along the edge that are ideal for cutting through tough materials like bone and scales.

Handle Material

The handle material is also a crucial factor to consider. The handle should be comfortable to hold and provide a good grip, even when wet. Some popular materials for fishing knife handles include:

  • Rubber: Rubber handles provide a non-slip grip, even when wet. They are also comfortable to hold.
  • Wood: Wooden handles provide a classic look and feel. However, they can become slippery when wet.
  • Plastic: Plastic handles are lightweight and easy to clean.

Blade Length

The length of the blade will depend on your personal preference and the type of fish you’ll be cutting. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • For small fish: A blade length of 4-6 inches is sufficient.
  • For medium-sized fish: A blade length of 7-9 inches is recommended.
  • For larger fish: A blade length of 10-12 inches or more is ideal.

Top Picks for Fishing Knives

Now that we’ve covered the key factors to consider when choosing a fishing knife, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market.

1. Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife

The Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife is a versatile option with a stainless steel blade and comfortable handle. The blade measures 6.1 inches long and has a flexible design that makes it ideal for filleting fish of all sizes.

2. Gerber Controller Fillet Knife

The Gerber Controller Fillet Knife is a high-quality option with a corrosion-resistant stainless steel blade and comfortable rubber handle. The blade measures 6.5 inches long and has a versatile design that makes it ideal for filleting, skinning, and trimming.

3. KastKing Fillet Knife

The KastKing Fillet Knife is a budget-friendly option with a flexible stainless steel blade and durable polypropylene handle. The blade measures 7 inches long and has a tapered design that makes it easy to fillet fish of all sizes.

Maintenance Tips for Your Fishing Knife

To ensure your fishing knife lasts as long as possible, here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  • Clean your knife after each use: Rinse the blade with fresh water and dry it thoroughly with a towel.
  • Sharpen the blade regularly: A dull blade can be dangerous and make filleting more difficult. Use a sharpening stone or honing steel to keep your blade sharp.
  • Store your knife properly: When not in use, store your knife in a sheath or blade guard to protect it from damage and prevent injury.


Choosing the best fishing knife can make all the difference in your fishing experience. When selecting a fishing knife, consider factors such as blade material, shape, handle material, and blade length.

Some top picks for fishing knives include the Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife, Gerber Controller Fillet Knife, and KastKing Fillet Knife.

Remember to maintain your fishing knife properly by cleaning it after each use, sharpening it regularly, and storing it properly.


How often should I sharpen my fishing knife?

  • It depends on how often you use it. A good rule of thumb is to sharpen your knife every 2-3 uses.

Can I use a regular kitchen knife for filleting fish?

  • While you technically can, it’s not recommended. Regular kitchen knives don’t have the flexibility and durability needed for filleting fish.

How do I clean my fishing knife?

  • Rinse the blade with fresh water and dry it thoroughly with a towel after each use.

What’s the difference between a filleting blade and a gutting blade?

  • A filleting blade has a thin, flexible blade that’s ideal for filleting fish, while a gutting blade has a short, curved blade that’s designed for gutting fish.

Can I use soap and water to clean my fishing knife?

  • It’s best to avoid using soap and water as it can cause rust and corrosion. Stick to rinsing the blade with fresh water and drying it thoroughly.


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