Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish – Review and Buyer’s Guide

best fillet knife for saltwater fish

Knives are one of the most important and often used kitchen tools. But, one knife model cannot be used for every kitchen task, for example, you need a fillet knife to fillet your fish after catching it or before cooking. Fillet knives are also designed for different occasions, for instance, you will need a specialized fillet knife for saltwater fishing, a knife that can endure the elements. In this article, we are going to help you choose the best fillet knife for saltwater fish.

The post is broken into two parts – buyer’s guide and review of the 10 knives – so I implore you to read till the end so that you know the best fillet knife to take on your saltwater fishing expeditions.

Best Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish | Buyer’s Guide

Things to look for in a fillet knife for saltwater fishing

Consider the following features when shopping for your next skillet knife for saltwater fishing:

Blade

Fillet knives are usually put under extreme conditions compared to traditional kitchen knives – salty water, salty air, and strong fish – so you want to ensure you get one that has a great quality blade.

By quality blade, I mean one that is rust and corrosion-resistant.

Most fillet knives are made of stainless blades, which you don’t have to worry about rusting and corrosion.

Besides the blade, the tip of the knife is also an important consideration for a fillet knife. Experts recommend trailing points as they are brilliant slicers. Trailing points knives have a blade that curves up, leading to a sharp point tip. This design makes it easier to fillet your fish and is less likely to catch on hard objects or bones when you put in great pressure. 

Size

The size of the fillet knife depends on the size of the fish you will be fishing. For example, you want a longer knife if your catch is large, like a halibut.

Sharpness 

Generally speaking, fillet knives tend to have around 55 Rockwell hardness scale. This is relatively medium when you compare to traditional chef knives, but it allows the blade to maintain its edge for longer since the metal is a little laxer.

In terms of bevel, look for ones with between 12 to 17 degrees.

Grip and handle

When you talk about a knife handle, it is not just about comfort grip, it is also about, and most importantly, the ability to prevent your fingers from slipping onto the sharp blade. Remember the saltwater and even the fish itself will make the knife super-slippery.

I personally would recommend a trigger handle design as this provides a place to fix your index finger, which is usually the most likely to slide onto the razor-sharp blade.

Cost 

Last but not least, the cost is also another factor you should consider when picking your next fillet blade. Saltwater will expose your blade to a harsh environment, which means the knife will require a lot of maintenance. So if you buy an expensive fillet blade, know that you will need to take care of it properly in order to get a return on your investment.

Since you will be interested in getting value for money, be sure to find out the features the blade comes with, before making a buying decision.

Manual or electric

Fillet knives come in two versions – manual and electric. If will be filleting a large number of catches, electric fillet knives would be the ideal pick as they will make it quick and easy to fillet.

However, for an electric fillet knife, make sure the motor is powerful enough to withstand the bones and other hard objects it will encounter.

What is more, electric fillet knives can be cordless or plugged in. This means that if you plan to take the blade with you on a boat, plug in version will not work.

10 Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish

1. Bubba 9 Inch Flex Fillet Knife

Bubba 9 Inch Flex Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle

Bubba knives have been a fan favorite for many years for their collection of household blades. However, when it comes to fillet knife for saltwater fish, Bubba 9-Inch Flex Fillet Knife is second to none. Designed with a 6-inch red handle, the total length of the knife reaches 15 inches when you include the blade.

Its bright color makes it easy to spot even in poor conditions like under the pile of your catch or water.

The blade’s ultra-flexibility stands out among the competition while the sleek, sporty blade slices through any type of fish without any issue.

Bubba 9-Inch Flex Fillet Knife is great for cleaning all sorts of fish and its extreme flexibility means you can precisely fillet around bones while offering enough stiffness to cut through the tough meat or even cut through fish bones.

The construction includes a little bit of stiffness with a flex, thus making it highly controllable and ideal for small and large fish.

Product Features

  • Bright in color for high-visibility
  • Nonslip for safety and comfortable grip
  • Trailing type, thus efficient and extremely sharp
  • Stiff and flex making ideal for cutting large fish

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Highly visible
  • Reliable and Durable

Cons

  • Requires sharpening out of the box

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2. KastKing Fillet Knife 9 Inch

KastKing Fillet Knife, Razor Sharp G4116 German Stainless-Steel Blade 5" - 9"

KastKing Fillet Knife 9-Inch is one of the most sought after filleting knife on the market, and it is not hard to see why.

First and foremost, it comes with an extremely sharp blade that can cut through any meat with ease or even bones, without bending. It has a dark finish and a finger guard with a polymer rubber grip, but the handle is orange in color for visibility.

The handle feels comfortable in the hands and makes sure you have a solid grip all the time when you use the blade. The handle also cleans up easily and maintains its luster for a long. 

Its blade comes with a protective sheath, which is lightweight and durable, to help protect the blade and ensure it doesn’t lose its sharpness. The sheath is uniquely designed to lock the blade’s handle in for added security. Moreover, the open slots punctured on the sheath allow water to drain out easily that the blade can always stay sharp and dry.

The saw-like top edge means that you can cut frozen catch or wood with great ease and precision.

In terms of durability, all KastKing knives offer years of service.

Product Features

  • Hard enough to hold its edge well for long
  • Comfortable grip for convenience
  • Flexible, meaning it can easily remove the skin from your catch  

Pros

  • Razor-sharp and Affordable
  • Nonslip grip
  • Protective sheath

Cons

  • Not sharp out of the box

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3. Rada Cutlery Fillet Knife

This sleek-looking fillet blade will be a great addition to your tackle box. It is highly flexible and will make your job filleting super comfortable and easier. You will take just a few minutes to prepare your catch.

It comes with great features, starting with the most important one, the grip. The handle is made from a nonslip rubber that feels safe and comfortable in the hand. This means you can use this blade even in an extremely wet environment.

The blade on the knife measures approximately 7 inches and if you add the length of the handle, the whole knife is around 12 inches long.

It is made with surgical-grade, T420 high carbon steel from German, but it is hand sharpened to ensure it keeps its edge for long. The hollow ground edge offers a precision concave surface for enhanced edge retention.

For added safety, the knife comes with a black leather sheath. The scabbard also allows you to carry the knife around your belt. Also, it features a clip at the top, which lets you lock the handle securely in place.

Product Features

  • Flexible steel blade for cutting flesh away from the bones
  • Soft rubber grip for the much-needed comfort
  • Lifetime guarantee for added confidence

Pros

  • Has a lifetime warranty
  • Soft and comfortable grip
  • Durable

Cons

  • Low-quality sheath

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5. Buck 0220BLS Knives Silver Creek

Folding Fillet Fishing Knife

Buck 0220BLS Knives Silver Creek Folding Fillet Fishing Knife, Blue, 13 3/4-inch

Buck Creek Folding Fishing Knife is one of the best fillet knives for saltwater fishing, thanks to the premium materials used in its construction. Besides, the brand behind this blade is one of the leaders in knife manufacturing in America and they have been producing knives in different styles for hunting, camping, and kitchen.

Now, they have produced a knife for filleting saltwater fish. Buck Creek Folding is a lightweight, extremely sharp blade that will satisfy any fisherman. Because its blade is designed to fold, there is no need to carry a casing or protector. Just throw the knife in your backpack and pocket.

This knife is made to withstand heavy-duty jobs, this is perfect for professionals. It is made with titanium-crusted stainless steel for corrosion and rust-resistant so you can use it in both saltwater and freshwater.

Its handle is made of blue glass with nonslip reinforced polypropylene and TPE rubberized so strong and comfortable grip.

Product Features

  • Titanium coated for rust and corrosion resistant
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Multipurpose use for any outdoor task

Pros

  • Folding blade for easy storage/carrying
  • Comfortable handle

Cons

  • Hard to re-sharpen

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6. Dalstrong Gladiator Fillet Knife

DALSTRONG Fillet Knife - 7" Flexible Blade

The Gladiator Fillet Knife is precision forged from a single piece of premium quality, ThyssenKrupp German steel, which gives it its razor-sharp edge with stain and wear resistance. The blade has been painstakingly designed for deboning, descaling, skinning, filleting, butterflying, and trimming.

With a spine of 1.5mm thick, this fillet blade is extremely flexible and super maneuverable, enabling you to simply breeze through meat and sinew.

The knife comes with a travel scabbard with a belt loop for when you want to take your blade on the dockside of a boat during your outdoor fishing, as well as a BBPA free PerfectFit sheath for protecting the edge of the knife.

Product Features

  • The edge is carefully hand-honed to 16-18 degrees per side for a perfect balance
  • Polished spine for comfortable pinch grip
  • Tapered design for enhanced flexibility and hardness
  • Tripe riveted to provide more durability

Pros

  • Striking hand-polished
  • Easy to carry and store
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • The blade tip is weak

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7. Shun Cutlery Classic

Boning and Fillet Knife

Shun DM-0743 Classic Boning 6-inch High-Performance Double-Bevel Steel Blade Luxurious, Hand-Crafted Japanese Knife

This fillet knife is inspired by Japanese seasonal food, and as such, it is exquisitely beautiful and offers ultra-premium performance. But it is not just aesthetic; Shun Cutlery is a great fillet knife thanks to its carefully handcrafted spine. According to the manufacturer, each knife takes no less than 100 steps to complete.

With its 6 inches razor-sharp blade, this knife is perfect for filleting and boning. It is strong and extremely sharp with an elegant design, making it easy to use and store.

The VG-10 stainless steel blade features 16 sheets of SUS410 high-carbon stainless steel per side as well as 33 layered Damascus stainless steel premium materials for protecting the blade from corrosion and rust.

When the time comes sharpening, all you need is a sharpening stone and you will restore the edge of your knife razor-sharp.

Product Features

  • D-Shaped handle for a secure grip and excellent control
  • Razor-sharp blade for precise slicing
  • Stainless steel construction for durability

Pros

  • Made in Japan
  • Ideal for filleting and boning
  • Comfortable handle

Cons

  • Expensive

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8. Rapala 4 Soft Grip

Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet / Single Stage Sharpener / Sheath

One of the things that I loved about this knife its sheath has a single-stage blade sharpener that keeps it sharp all the time. In just a minute, your blade will be razor shape and ready for your next outdoor, saltwater fishing job.

It is extremely affordable and ideal for travel thanks to its high portability.

You can also choose between manual and electric fillet knife and either version comes in different sizes between 4 inches and 9 inches. This means you can choose the ideal size for your fishing trip.

Product Features

  • Soft grip for comfortable and secure use
  • Comes in an electric or manual version
  • Back sheath for easy carrying and storing

Pros

  • Nonslip handle
  • Comes with a single-stage sharpener
  • Use to use

Cons

  • Small grip

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9. Morakniv Fishing Comfort

Fillet Knife

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife features a blade made from cold-rolled, Swiss, stainless steel with a dark rubber handle. The knife is designed to work in a damp environment and its patterned rasping grip is made with TPE rubber to prevent your fingers from slipping onto the sharp razor. The rubber handle also doesn’t conduct cold, meaning you can use the knife any time of the year.

What is more, the knife is incredibly cheap, selling at below $100. But the lower price does not mean low quality, far from it!

The knife is razor-sharp straight out of the box, thus watch out and make sure you wear safety gloves if you can.

Its stainless steel blade can be put to different tasks including slicing fruits, veggies, herbs, raw meat in addition to de-boning and filleting.

Product Features

  • High-friction handle for maintaining grip when filleting
  • Dishwasher safe for easy and quick cleanup
  • Versatile for nearly all fish sizes

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Swiss made
  • Comes with two belts for

Cons

  • Not as flexible as other fillet knives

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10. Mercer Culinary Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife

Mercer Culinary Millennia Narrow Fillet Knife, 8.5-Inch, Black

Mercer Culinary Fillet Knife is one of the best cleaning knives on the market today. It is beautiful, affordable, versatile, and extremely flexible. This shouldn't come as a surprise since Mercer is a household name in the cutlery world with more than 30 years of experience.

The knife features an 8-inch narrow blade made from premium non-staining Japanese steel that is rust, discoloration, and corrosion-resistant.

Its sharp edge makes chopping and slicing a breeze and easy to maintain, while its ergonomic handle is made from Santoprene, which provides added comfortability and polypropylene for enhanced durability.

For safety, the knife comes with textured finger points to prevent your hand from slipping into the razor-sharp edge.

Product Features

  • Ergonomic handle for safety and comfort
  • Textured finger points to protect your hands
  • Stainless steel material that is rust and corrosion resistant

Pros

  • Rubber handle
  • Sharp blade
  • Lightweight knife

Cons

  • A too sharp blade with no sheath

Kitchen Dominion is reader-supported. If you buy from the links here, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Conclusion

Filleting and boning should be effortless and that is why cutlery brands across the world are competing to produce the best fillet knives for saltwater fishing. In this review, We have included a buyer's guide as well as our top 10 picks of the best fillet knives on the market today. We hope this review gives you a clear picture of what you should expect from a fillet knife, and help you choose the best fillet knife for saltwater for you. If you are also planning to buy a chef knife, our review on best budget chef knife will give you some good insight as well as a top 10 list for that.

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