Top 5 Best Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish

To correctly filet fish, you need the right tools and, in this case, the best filet knife for saltwater fish. There are many traits a saltwater filet knife needs, and we have found the top 5 that have all of the features needed. These consist of corrosion-proof, flexible, and comfortable if you need more help check out our buying guide below.

KastKing Fillet Knife 9 Inch, Professional Level Knive

KastKing Fillet Knife 9 Inch, Professional Level Knive

KastKing not only makes outstanding rods and reels, but they also make a ton of other high caliber goods to enhance your fishing experience from top to bottom. Their products are made by experienced engineers and designers specifically with the avid angler in mind. That is what you’re getting when you pick up the KastKing Fillet Knife 9 Inch. Some people are catch and release hobbyists and the rest of us actually plan on eating our fish and to do so, you are going to need a quality fillet knife to get those fillets just right.

The KastKing Fillet Knife 9 Inch has a super sharp black stainless steel blade that gives you easy clean cuts every time and washes off super easily. It features nonslip polymer grips which ensure that the blade sits comfortably and safely in your hand during the slicing process. It comes with a handy sheath that keeps the blade free from gunk and harm when not in use. KastKing has designed this knife in six different sizes so you can get a blade that fits your needs seamlessly.

  • A fillet knife made by a fishing company for anglers
  • Super sharp German stainless steel blade
  • Comfortable and safe polymer handle
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Rhinoreto Fish fillet knife

Rhinoreto Fish fillet knife

The Rhinoreto Fillet Knife Fishing is one of the best selling fillet knives on the market today and it is not hard to see why. It is portable, small enough to be taken along on the trip without being obtrusive but sharp enough to fillet things on the fly. This all in one kit provides everything you need in a portable and effective fillet knife kit.

This kit includes the 5” stainless steel fillet knife, a vented sheath that keeps the blade cool and dry when not in use, and a portable sharpener to keep along with the blade to ensure that you never go dull. Want something a little heftier? No problem, they also provide an 8” model which is good enough to be used by chefs or in a professional kitchen. Either way, you get a high grade fillet knife that is capable of slicing the best cuts whether you are at the cleaning table on the dock or in a chef style kitchen.

  • Includes everything you want out of a fillet knife including sharpener and sheath
  • Available in a 5” and 8” variety to fit your needs
  • Best selling Rhinoreto brand continues to deliver quality
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Sea Strike SSFK Fillet Kit

Sea Strike SSFK Fillet Kit

If you are someone who likes to clean and prepare your own fish, don’t just get a single fillet knife and expect it to be able to do the job of a whole fillet set. You need to get a full kit that includes everything you could possibly need during fish preparation. That is what you get with the Sea Strike SSFK Fillet Kit. This is an 8 piece kit that comes with everything you could possibly need while prepping and cleaning your own fish.

The Sea Strike SSFK Fillet Kit includes three fillet knives of different lengths for different sized fish, a pair of protective gloves that help you grip each knife and protect from cuts, a cutting board, a pair of heavy duty scissors, a sharpener and a useful carrying case. All of this together gives you a portable, ready to go, fillet kit that can cover all of your bases at once. Don’t settle for anything less than the best, get yourself this portable fillet kit today.

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DPNAO Fishing Fillet Knife, Razor Sharp Stainless

DPNAO Fishing Fillet Knife, Razor Sharp Stainless

The DPNAO Fishing Fillet Knife is a super effective and super safe fillet knife that makes filleting your own fish faster and easier than ever before. For a single low price, you get a scorchingly sharp fillet knife and protective sheath that anyone can use comfortably, even if they are new to filleting. The blade comes in three different sizes so you can get one that best matches the fish you are filleting. Get a size you use the most, or get them all, you won’t be disappointed either way.

Each of the DPNAO Fishing Fillet Knives has a super flexible blade which allows you to fillet with greater precision, accuracy, and safety. The combination of the safety sheath for storage, extra grippy handle, and super flexible blade makes a complete and fluid fillet knife that will feel like an extension of your hand. In addition to that, they have included a sharpener with everything else so you can keep your knife sharp, fish after fish. No more trying to fillet with dull blades, which can be as dangerous as it is frustrating, now you can keep your knife in top shape all the time.

  • Flexible, sharp fillet blade
  • Easy to use for advanced users and beginners alike
  • Comes with a safety sheath and sharpener
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KastKing Spartacus Fillet, Boning and Food Prep Knive

KastKing Spartacus Fillet, Boning and Food Prep Knive

Upgrade your fishing box with a fillet knife made by anglers for anglers. KastKing has been a big name in the fishing market for many, many years and if you think they only make rods and reels, you’d be wrong. They are committed to making all kinds of tools that anglers need including fillet knives. The KastKing Spartacus Fillet, Boning and Food Prep Knives are sharp, durable and flexible fillet knives that any angler will appreciate.

They are made from easily cleanable, corrosion resistant black stainless steel which are then coated with a unique Cerakote Ceramic Finish. This makes the blades able to hold up over time and it allows them to keep their razor sharp edge for longer than the competition. KastKing’s knives come with a handy sheath that will protect both you and the blade. Sharpness is the most important factor in a useful and safe fillet knife which is why they have focused their efforts and creating a blade that arrives sharp, stays sharp, and won’t degrade over time.

  • A fillet knife made by anglers for anglers from KastKing
  • Ceramic coated stainless steel stays sharp longer
  • Works amazing on all kinds of fish for filleting and deboning
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Best Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish Buying Guide

Every angler has their own set of priorities when it comes to their fishing kit. But one thing that no angler can dare to miss is a high-quality fillet knife that is just the right cut, design, and material to fillet the catch just as they desire.

Why We Need a Quality Fillet Knife

Here’s why this one piece of equipment is a must for anglers and why normal knives are nowhere close to what’s actually required to properly fillet a saltwater fish.

A fillet knife performs three major functions: filleting, de-boning, and skinning a fish. These functions cannot be precisely performed with a normal knife that doesn’t have the cutting ability, blade retention, flex, or the shape that a fillet knife does.

Choosing A Fillet Knife

Choosing a fillet knife goes beyond just picking the sharpest knife available. Here are a few features to carefully consider when making the purchase.

Blade

This is the most critical aspect of a fillet knife. The most well-suited fillet knife a certain fish would be very sharp, highly durable, have thin edges, have good flex, and be the right length for the fish. These features are achieved by a combination of design and material.

Blade Size

The most common sizes for fillet knives are between 4 and 10 inches. However, the blade’s length can be tailored to a certain extent to fit the needs.

It is recommended to get 2-4 fillet knives of different sizes so that one’s prepared for any kind or size of fish with their set of knives. For those who cannot afford to buy this many knives or simply want to get their first one, a 6 or 7-inches knife is usually a safe choice.

Blade Material

The most preferred material for these knives is high-quality stainless steel. Though different varieties of it are used, such as Swiss or Japanese, stainless steel is important because it doesn’t corrode, wear, or rust even when they regularly come in contact with water, and saltwater at that.

Blade Flex

The flex of a blade refers to the blade’s ability to slightly bend when pressure is applied to it. This is extremely important because sometimes the knife needs to be bent a little to properly extract maximum meat from a certain position. Smaller knives usually come with more flex while larger knives are harder with less flex.

Blade Surface

Apart from these, some knife blades come with a coating on them which prevents corrosion, wear, and other forms of damage to the blade.

Knife Type

There are two main types of fillet knives: the regular, manual one and the electric-powered one.

Manual knives are easier to use and master and they give more precision. Additionally, they can extract the most meat from even fish such as gamefish. In fact, to remove the Y-bone which is considered quite a tricky task, many people prefer a manual knife.

An electric-powered knife is faster and requires much less effort but it’s also much more expensive and heavier than a traditional knife and of course, it costs a lot. That being said, it goes without saying that a lot of practice is required to efficiently operate an electric-powered fillet knife. Not only that, but it also requires a power source, where it is a rechargeable battery or a plug-in.

Beginners should definitely go for a manual knife as it is much safer and easier to get their hands accustomed to, and they are less prone to accidents.

Fish Type

Certain knives are better to fillet certain types of fish because of their bone structures. For example, manual knives go well with the different varieties of gamefish such as catfish, trout, and panfish, etc.

Also, manual knives are preferred for smaller types of fish as they can precisely make the cuts and remove small bones. For bigger varieties of fish, those who can handle an electric-powered knife usually go for it.

Knife Handle

The handle should be made from an ergonomic material that comfortably fits in the hand. Many knives also come with fingers etched on the handle to improve the grip. Apart from this, the length of the handle is also an important consideration because the better one can hold a knife, the more precisely they can use it.

The most common materials used for a fillet knife handle are rubber, plastic, and wood.

Additional Features

If the fillet knife is coming with any accessories, it is a huge plus. These can include knife sheaths or a blade sharpener, etc.

Comparing Knife Types

Fillet knives for saltwater fish come in different types and varieties.

While there are different types of fillet knives available, most of them are a hybrid of the two main types: Scandanavian and Japanese fillet knives.

  1. The Scandanavian fillet knives usually have flexible, slightly curved blades ending on pointed tips. These come in varying lengths. They have a grind on both sides.
  2. The Japanese fillet knives have a curvature of about 45% and they are often long in length. They have a grind on one side only which gives them their sharpness. Also, these have less flex as compared to the other type.

How To Safely Sharpen Fillet Knife Blades

The unique curvature and flex of fillet knives make them difficult to sharpen. This is why sharpening a fillet knife should never be taken easily as a mere wrong flick of the wrist or slightly jerky movement by a finger can lead to disastrous results.

A fillet knife can be sharpened using a whetstone, a grinding wheel, or a tabletop sharpener. While the latter two might be safer to use, they might slightly damage a fillet knife and take away from the sharpness of the unique blades. Therefore, using a whetstone is a far better option.

To be even safer, one can use different types of steels to rub them against the knife blade. However, these do not sharpen the knife as well as say, a whet stone does.

How To Fillet A Saltwater Fish

The following steps detail how to fillet a saltwater fish.

  1. Any water, slime, or other slippery substance should be cleaned off the fillet knife before beginning to prevent any accidents due to the knife slipping.
  2. The fish is to be laid on its side on a flat surface.
  3. The fish is to be cut behind its pectoral fin and the gills, right up til the rib cage.
  4. The blade can then be turned to cut along the ribs (hint: the rib cage is a good guide to follow).
  5. The knife should then be inserted near the rib bones in order to fillet away the rib part.
  6. This step is slightly tricky where the blade is to be inserted about half an inch away from the tail and by gripping the tail firmly, a cut should be made against the skin to remove the fillet.
  7. The fillets should be washed with cold water and then carefully dried right afterwards.

Best Fillet Knife Brands

For those who are looking for some safe options to get quality fillet knives from, these are a few brands that can be trusted. However, the ‘right brand’ or ‘right knife’ depends upon one’s own personal needs and preferences regarding the knife.

Rapala

Rapala is a renowned brand when it comes to fishing equipment. Its Fish’n Fillet Knife features a slender, Finnish blade which uses one of the following: 4, 6, or 7-inches Swedish stainless steel. This blade is the most obvious pro of the knife and the reason it is a top choice among many anglers.

Besides this, the knife is very durable and corrosion-resistant. Not only this but it isn’t likely to be damaged by wear. Lastly, this fillet knife comes with its sheath and a single-stage knife sharpener.

Buck Knives

Buck Knives offers its Silver Creek which is a very popular folding fillet knife. The company confidently assures that the folding joint wouldn’t get loose despite continuous use. Having a 6.75-inches blade made of 420J2 stainless steel, the knife has a glass handle covered with polypropylene and rubber, making it a dream knife for many fishermen.

The titanium coating of the blade prevents rust and corrosion, apart from weather-related wear. Moreover, this one has a lifetime warranty as well.

Knives of Alaska

The Knives of Alaska Steelheader SureGrip is intended for use on smaller fish. The blade measures 5.75-inches and is made of 440-C stainless steel. The greatest advantage this knife has over others is that the handle has finger grips which gives a very strong hold over the knife.

In addition to this, due to the nylon sheath, the knife is safe from wear and tear owing to the weather and other harsh conditions.

Victorinox

The Cutlery Fillet Knife by Victorinox is known for how comfortable it is to use. The handle is made of ergonomic polypropylene while the blade has a low sweep which makes it ideal for boning. Moreover, despite this knife not being very suitable for difficult fishing conditions, it can still easily stand wear due to sharpening it multiple times.

Conclusion

When I first set out on filleting my own catch I did a lot of learning to help me find the best filet knife for saltwater fish. That’s why I put together this complete guide to condense all my learning to help you find the best available.

There is no one best for me all five on the list will be perfect and I would choose any within my own personal budget.

All I can now say if get many tight lines on your next trip to the lake and enjoy your filleted fish at home.