Best Fishing Knives Reviewed and Tested
There are a variety of reasons that people enjoy fishing. Some enjoy it because of the relaxing atmosphere it provides. Others enjoy being surrounded by nature, and taking in the tranquility of it all. Some others like to perform some hunting in a low-stress environment. And then there are some who enjoy going out to catch as many fish as possible so they can fill there freezer and enjoy fish for many moons. In order to do this, though, one of the most important tools you will need is having a top notch fishing knife.
Our Top 3 Picks
How do you determine what kind of knife will be best for your fishing needs?
We’re here to answer that question within this buying guide. As you venture through this guide, we’ll cover certain topics like what you should look for within each kind of fishing knife. In addition to this, we’ll offer some reviews of the top fishing knives within the market today. After that, we’ll help you determine what characteristics you should look for within a fishing knife so you can figure out which one will be best for you and your needs.
With all of this in mind, let’s get started!
Check out our detailed reviews and choose the best fishing knife for your next trip.
1. TAC Force TF-705 Series Folding Knife
Made from a Stainless Steel Material
Very inexpensive in comparison to other fishing knives in the market
Has a blade which is ½ serrated and ½ teeth
Easy to open
Tough to sharpen, as it is only 3 ¼” long
Does not come with a carrying case
2. Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife
Is available in a 3 ½” and just over 6” blade length
Has a carrying case
Comes with corrosion protection
Blade does not absorb odors
Blade is not very thick
Morakniv knives are known for being more expensive compared to other models
3. Rapala Fish’n Fillet Knife
Comes with a leather sheath
Blade has a tapered design to fillet any kind of fish
Comes standard with a knife sharpener
Blade is made out of a Swedish stainless steel material
Long blade takes some skill to use
Will need to be sharpened regularly.
4. TAC Force TF-800BK Spring Assist Folding Knife
The price is lower in comparison to other fishing knives in the market
Blade is 3mm thick
Blade is ½ serrated and ½ full of teeth, making cutting easier
Spring Load action allows you to open easily with one hand
Hard to sharpen
Doesn’t come with a case
5. Gerber Bear Grylls Folding Sheathing Knife
Knife is considered Military Grade, meaning you can feel confident in its durability and function
Folding ability makes this easy to carry
Rubber handle ensures your fingers will not slip during cutting action
Stainless Steel makes this corrosion and mildew resistant
Blade is not very long
Hard to sharpen
6. MTech USA Ballistic MT-A705 Folding Knife
Has a Pocket Clip so you can easily store it when not in use
Has a titanium coating on both the blade and base to help prevent mildew and corrosion
Blade is 3mm thick
Fully Serrated Blade
Blade is only 3 ¾” in length, which is not ideal for all fish
Does not come with a carrying case
7. Rapala 4” Bait Knife
Comes with a sheathing case
Base has a hole in it so you can easily hang it up on a wall
Blade is fully serrated
Needs to be sharpened regularly
Base only comes in white color
8. Kershaw Fillet Knife with Sheath
Long blade length
Comes with a Sheathing Case made out of Polymer
Unique blade design allows you to easily fillet fish
Priced well within the market
Blade is not very wide
Not corrosion resistant
9. Rogue River Knife with Serrated Blade
Comes with lots of accessories
Priced well within the marketplace
Blade is fully serrated
Has a nylon sheath for the blade
Sheath is not mildew resistant
Angle of the blade does not create a sharp tip
10. 3 Oaks Fishing Fillet Knife
Stainless steel blade
Length of the blade is 5 5/8”
Comes with a fully protective sheath
Handle is comfortable and ergonomically designed
Only comes in one color and design
Blade is very sharp, but point can dull easily
What makes a Great Fishing Knife?
When it comes to having a fishing knife, there are a couple of different components which are important to ensure you have one that is durable and effective. When you talk with some fishermen, they brag about how long they have had the same fishing knife, or how it has been passed down thru generations. In order for a knife to have this kind of long lasting quality, it is important for the blade to be made out of a high quality material and for the handle to be comfortable and have a solid grip.
When it comes to picking out the material for a blade, you need to consider how often you will be using the knife, as well as the type of water you fish within. If you do not fish that often, then you can choose to go with a lower quality of blade, as you don’t need to sink a lot of money into a knife. However, the more often you fish, the higher grade of blade you want, because you do not want to be buying a new knife nearly every time you go out fishing.
A higher quality knife is going to be made out of a steel material, not aluminum or a hard plastic material. The lighter weight the blade, the easier it will be for it to break while you are cutting into a fish. The scales along the fish are not that easy to cut into, and therefore you need to have a blade which will easily penetrate the scales and be able to fillet a fish as needed. A higher quality knife will also have an edge which does not have teeth, but rather a smooth or serrated blade from top to bottom. There are different kinds of edges of knives, which all have the strength and weaknesses:
- Hollow Grind – The two edges curve into each other until they meet, which gives you an edge that is razor sharp. However, the edge tends to dull easier compared to other edges.
- Asymmetrical Grind – This is when the two sides of the blade have different styles. As an example, you could have a curved edge on one side and an angled bevel on the other side. This allows you to have a knife which can give you multiple uses, but you can really only use ½ of the knife at one time.
- Flat Grind – The grind of the knife starts right away from the spine, which allows you to have a very sharp edge, but it is not durable and it’s hard to sharpen.
- Compound Bevel Grind – The grind within this family is one that gives you a combination of a hollow grind, as well as bringing in a concave design to it. This double grind feature means your knife will not chip or break very easily, as the base of the blade is quite strong; however, it is not as sharp as other knives.
- V Grind – The grind of this knife doesn’t start until it is close to the edge, meaning you do not have to take long to sharpen and allow it to keep its shape, which you will have to do often because it does not stay sharp for very long.
- Convex Grind – The grind of this blade is more of a curve/convex, and doesn’t start until it is closer to the edge of the blade. This allows the blade to be very durable and hold its shape for a long time; which is good, because it is very hard to sharpen due to is shape.
- Chisel Grind – This type of grind is flat on one side, and has an angle on the other side. This angle starts around the middle of the blade, and looks very similar to what you would find on a chisel (hence the name). This kind of angle on the blade means it is very sharp, but it does dull quickly.
When it comes to the material that makes up the handle, there is a large variety to choose from. The material matters a little bit concerning durability and the long-lasting quality your knife will have, but not nearly as much as the right blade does. The handle is no affected much by the type of water, the sun or any other weather elements. Whether you have a handle made out of wood, hard plastic, a rubber material or something else, it should hold up under most conditions.
Therefore, the important decision you need to make is how does the handle feel within your hands. The only way to figure this out is to actually hold each one, and see what feels best. Do you want a smooth handle, or one that has ridges in it for your fingers? Do you like to have a handle which is skinny, or one that is wider? Do you want a handle that is longer, or one that is shorter? When it comes to the handle, it is all based on personal preference, so get out there and start holding some knives to see what fits best within your hands!
Other Factors to Consider
There are a large variety of factors you can take into consideration when picking out a fishing knife, however there are two other major factors you should consider.
The first actually affects the material your blade is made out of. The major determining factor you need to take into consideration is the type of water you typically fish within. Freshwater has a vastly different effect on your blade compared to what fishing in saltwater will do. Saltwater can eat up blades which are not protected from the corrosion that being around salt will do. The price of a knife does not mean it will or will not be protected from salt – you must ensure the material is corrosion resistant. Even stainless steel will have some corrosion if exposed to saltwater for too long. No matter what kind of knife you have, you should always wash your blade as quickly as you can after use.
Lastly, you should determine how much flex you need within your knife. Each knife within the market will offer you different flex properties, so you need to be sure of the amount of flexibility you need. This is determined by the type of fish you typically catch – the tougher the skin and scales are, the less flexibility you want with the blade. On average, every knife offers 1”-2” of flexibility, which will take care of most fish. The softer the fish, the more delicate your knife needs to be, meaning you need to make sure you have more flexibility. The tougher the skin and scales, the less flexibility you want, as you don’t want your blade to bend too much while attempting to penetrate the fish.
At the end of the day, you want a knife which will allow you to easily cut the fish you catch. Mostof our best fishing knives will be a good fit for you. However, if you can spend 20-30 minutes of time, you can find a knife that will be the best fit for you. As with all things, you should have a budget in mind when you go look at buying a new knife. Taking all of the important details into consideration:
- Type of cut on the blade
- How long does the blade need to be
- How flexible does it need to be
- Do you fish within fresh or saltwater
You can find the right knife for your needs. With your budget, depending upon how much time you have to look for a new knife, you should always look at knives which are up to 25% more than your budget. Knives tend to go on sale, which you can take advantage of and find the right knife for the right price. If you buy a new fishing knife, please let us know which one you decided upon and why, as we would look forward to hearing about your own fishing knife experience. Thank you, and good luck!