fillet knife

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by IShootBack, May 2, 2005.

  1. IShootBack

    IShootBack Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    Here is an easy problem. I need a great fillet knife for fish.

    I have discovered saltwater fishing and am now addicted. I went last weekend and caught about 60 fish - stripers, flounder, blue fish, and whiting - all legal size and quantity. My trusty and very old Uncle Henry bone handle knife required several trips to the stone & steel for sharpening - making the cleaning a long, long, tiresome task. In the past, I only had a half-dozen or so to clean.

    Must have a flexible blade
    at least 6" long
    hold a razor edge for long periods of time
    fairly easy to sharpen
    I'd like to stay around $50 f possible - I may go to $80.

    Thanks for you advice.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  2. z537z

    z537z New Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Maine, love it or get the heck out
    It's hard to find something that'll hold an edge and bend. Typically the sharpest stuff (e.g. M2 steel) is fairly brittle.

    Worth checking out is the Cold Steel filet series (3 sizes), though it's not stainless so watch the coating on it. It's Carbon V, which is basically a decent carbon steel that'll hold an edge fairly well.

    Buck's filet knife is 420 steel, which will not hold an edge very long, but is easy to sharpen for each catch.

    Other companies offer stuff too, mostly more of the same. Henckel's filet knife gets good reviews. I've got a few of my own in the kitchen, they're nice, and sharpen easily when you do need to do it. Fileting should NOT dull up a knife very quick if you hand-wash it soon afterwards, and dry it so it doesn't corrode.

    Outside of that, I say try the Cold Steel. I carry one as my EDC (not a filet knife, but same brand) and they turn out a good product.


    P.S. Salt water KILLS knives and other metals quick. Wash it right away and you should be fine. If you're doing this on a boat, keep some fresh water around to rinse it off in, then rub it down, rerinse and dry it.
    Last edited: May 3, 2005
  3. bill k

    bill k New Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    I'm not sure how many fish you fillet at a sitting but I've used the rapalla 6" for years. I've gone through three limits of rock fish (45) many times with only a couple of touch ups on the blade. Make sure you have a little sharpning stone with you. I use one of my hook sharpeners. If you notice the blade sarting to grab just touch it up relly quick.
    It also works great on bass, flounder and sturgon. Catfish on the other hand is a different story. There skin eats my fillet blade, so I cut through the skin with my hunting knife, then fillet with the other knife.

    I rarely fish for catfish only bass and salmon but. Sunday I was out flipping sincos at brush piles and nailed an 8 pound catfish with a rubber bait.
  4. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    All the pros down here on the Texas gulf coast seem to agree on the subject of knives, though on little else.
    Without exception, they use cheap electric carving knives! Last trip my crew made to Port O'Connor, we boated 41 reds, which were fileted, wrapped, and in the cooler in about 15 minutes.
  5. offeror

    offeror New Member

    May 17, 2004
    NE Indiana
    I dislike cleaning fish but do it anyway because I like to fish and don't get to do it very often. Last time we cleaned in a garage to avoid some of the bugs...

    It seems to me I recall seeing a Swedish Mora fillet knife in a catalog -- if it exists, I'd highly recommend a Swedish Mora Fillet Knife because I have Moras and they are superior knives for the measly $10 or so you'll pay -- sharp as a razor and strong too.

    Maybe some day somebody will show me how to apply an electric carving knife to filleting fish... I can see cleaning one the old fashioned way with the bones in, but getting the skin off with a carving knife strikes me as a puzzle...
  6. rnshooter

    rnshooter New Member

    May 25, 2003
    New Orleans
    try Cutco...i'm sure you can find them on the web. i used to sell them when in college. they are the best in the world...they use them in the white house. anyway, they make a pretty good fillet knife and it comes with a few extra gadgets in the sheath. let me know what you think.

    be safe
  7. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    As a former Charter Capt, I can tell you I've cleaned more fish than the average fisherman. The Rapalla 6" fillet knife is hard to beat and I've used almost all of them. I've also used electric knives but was never really impressed with them. It's easy to mess up a good fillet if you aren't careful.

    With the Rapalla, I can remove the fillet and read a newspaper thru the bones. Takes a little practice but clean enough fish and you have practiced. JMHO
  8. blackhawkkid308

    blackhawkkid308 Member

    Nov 4, 2005
    pensacola florida
    schrade has a nice filet knife for about $40.00
  9. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    One of the few old Case knifes I still have is my 25 or 30 year old SS Case XX fillet knife that I won from a drunk ex-bro' in law who used to work at Case, after he didn't have the cash to pay up after his 3 ladies didn't beat my boat :)

    Even though it's pretty obvious the designer was a HUNTER and not a fisherman (Who ELSE would put a "gut spoon" on the end of a FILLET definition, if you FILLET, you don't even SEE the guts usually...) it's a darn good knife, flexible, holds an edge well, and is easy to sharpen with stone or steel, and is just DANDY for boning and cutting up venison too.....(even though about halfway through a string of channel cats last year I AGAIN pondered grinding off that damn "spoon..." :mad: )
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2006
  10. corniceman

    corniceman New Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    I'll agree with the cutco fillet knife. Best knife I ever used, and I fish more than I shower!
  11. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Now that is something I never thought about! I believe I've filleted more fish than I've had showers, but I would hope the opposite were not true! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    But do you save time and fillet fish In the shower?

    Just wondering... :cool:
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