Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best fishing knives to cut the lines with this year. Now, right from the start here i just want to be clear. Based on personal experience, I am a strong believer that you need two knives for fishing. The first is a good filleting knife and the second, a decent fishing knife.
Why? Because take it from me – if you take your good filleting knife with you when you go fishing and start cutting line, bait, seaweed, fish bones and so on with it, you WILL destroy the blade. Hence, a good fishing knife will allow you to do all of this stuff out on the water’s edge leaving a good filleting option for once you land your catch.
Let’s check it all out…
My 3 recommended fishing knives
I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:
What is a fishing knife?
As mentioned above, I see a distinct difference between a fishing knife and one used for filleting. A fishing knife is the one that you take with you when you go fishing and use for cutting everything from:
- Seaweed and other snags
- Plastic packets
- Your lunch
- and so on
They are also good for scaling and cleaning fish and the like too. And when you are in the thick of the action with rods going one way and fish the other, no matter how good they are a pair of scissors or pliers are – a fishing knife will always be your go to as well.
To that end, in reality any decently sharp knife will do as it does not necessarily need to be as long and slender as their filleting cousins. I guess the only real difference here then is the fact that many everyday kitchen knives are not good in salt water – i.e. they will rust quite quickly – and do not have the non-slip handles etc. to make use easier in when they are wet either.
So with all that in mind we will take a look at what we need to consider when discussing a good fishing knife below…
What should you be looking for?
Again, the function here is pretty simple in that you are looking for something that will cut whatever you need to cut whilst you are out on the fishing grounds. Even within this simplicity however, there are some influences to consider prior to purchase as follows:
Composition – As with everything, the better quality of material that your knife blade is made of, the better it should work. Base kitchen models tend to rust quite quickly so you really do need something made of a decent stainless steel (a must at a minimum if working in or near salt water) with increased carbon inclusion in the better models.
Look for good quality stainless steel as a minimum and high carbon options if you can.
Shape – Filleting knives are generally long and slender and lead to a needle like point making them work better for that purpose. This does tend to mean that most fishing knives are shaped like this as well. However, again, as long as it can handle the conditions and is sharp enough, then any shape is generally ok – although most tend to go for a smaller option so it can fit in their tackle bag or backpack too.
Flexibility – Again, flexible knives are good for filleting as they will allow you to slide down the spine and manoeuvre around any curves with ease without damage to the flesh or cutting into the bone. Flexibility can work for a general knife as well if you are cutting bait or need to work around other materials such as nets etc. however my preference here is a slightly wider and more rigid blade (look for a thicker spine) as they allow for better cutting and stability across a number of requirements.
Sharpness – This probably has a lot to do with the quality of the blade material however it needs to be sharp. Sharpness is often measured by degrees and my research indicates that a good knife is something that sites around the 18 – 20 degree mark. Oh, and always check the recommended sharpening options for the knife when you purchase it.
Handle – Much like a fishing rod, a knife handle is generally either a matter of personal preference, or in most cases simply what you get with it. Handles can be made of wood, rubber or plastic and will definitely be dependent upon the price paid for the knife. That said, most fishing knives come with plastic or rubber handles as they handle salty, wet conditions better than wood.
Other additions – As with hunting or camping knives, fishing knives are often manufactured with extra additions forged into the spine of the blade such as a serrated grill for sawing, grills for scaling or even bottle openers. These are probably not anything that will greatly influence your purchase however if they are there, then they can be of assistance out on the water.
Is it legal to carry a fishing knives
Always check with local authorities but in most areas, it is legal to carry a knife if it is for a specific purpose such as fishing or hunting.
What Do I use?
I got given a really nice fish filleting knife as a gift a few years back. It is a mid range brand (Buck) with an 8.6 inch blade made of high quality stainless steel. It has a durable plastic handle and sheath. I then lost my general fishing knife and started using this for general use. It is ruined as a filleting knife but works a treat for general use.
The general fishing knife I had however was shorter blade and was shaped a lot like a hunting knife. It was stainless steel with a rubber handle and had a scaling grill and bottle opener on the other side. It was strong and would cut anything. I really miss it and have been on the lookout for another ever since.
My three recommendations broken down
There is quite a large range of fishing knives available online so I have chosen the following three in an attempt to give you options taking into consideration the information above. Based on this, I recommend the following:
1. Topfort Outdoors Bait Knife
This first one is a basic option for those who just want something quick and easy to use for fishing at a decent price. It is manufactured from good quality materials and sharp enough to handle most general needs and could also certainly fillet a fish if the need arises. Specifications as follows:
- Composition: G4116 German Stainless-Steel
- Length: 5″
- Sharpness: Razor edge
- Handle: Slip proof Polymer
- Additions: Serrated edge and line cutter on spine
- Protective Sheath that locks to handle
Why have I chosen it?
I like this one purely for its attributes for the price with a great review rating. It is razor sharp with a strong, rust proof blade and extras that will cut just about anything you would need to cut whilst fishing. You could do a lot worse than this one for the price.
2. Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife
Our next knife is made in the more work site or toolbox style which is again a good one for simple general use across a number of fishing environments. It is short, sharp and high quality with a blade that will cut anything you will need. Its specifications include:
- Composition: High-quality Swedish steel
- Length: 4.1″
- Sharpness: razor sharp
- Handle: TPE rubber soft friction grip
- Additions: Nil
- Protective hard plastic sheath with belt clip
Why have I chosen it?
This is a great one for those looking for a good quality knife that is short enough to easily fit in a backpack or tackle bag. It is a little thicker than general filleting knives and strong enough to cut through tougher materials as well.
3. Kershaw 1670TBLKST Tanto Serrated Blur Knife
The third option I have chosen is a slightly different type that traditionally considered but good for those who want something a little smaller and easy to use especially where space is at a premium (such as on a kayak etc.). It offers the stretch and cutting power of a normal knife with the folding advantage of a pocket knife as well. Specifications as follows:
- Composition: Sandvik 14C28N Stainless Steel (6061-T6 anodized aluminum handle)
- Sharpness: 16 – 18 degree razor sharp edge
- Handle: 6061-T6 anodized aluminum handle with non-slip grip
- Additions: Serrated edge at back of blade
- Cerakote coating on blade for extra corrosion resistance
- Secure locking system
- Sheath with pocket clip
Why have I chosen it?
Again, this is a great one for those looking for a high quality knife that can fit into the pocket (for easy access) or tackle bag pouch with ease. It has a strong corrosion resistant blade and serrated section for harder cutting or snag clearing as well. And of course would be good for camping too.
And there they are – my 3 best fishing knives to cut the lines with this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time