A fillet knife is just as essential as baits and reels for every fisherman. It is an important piece of kit that any fisherman who needs to cut their bait in the right size fillets a simple task. However, despite the fact that the initial concept was passed down generations, some things changed over the years and fillets knives are not built the same anymore. Some knives corrode when exposed to saltwater, others break when under pressure while others are built with less-than-average quality. This makes choosing a fillet knife that can sustain your needs, not an easy task. With that in mind, we have put together a list of the 10 best fillet knives that offer durability, reliability, and flexibility.
Best Fillet Knife: Our Top Picks
Are you wondering how to pick a fillet knife suited to your needs? Read on to learn more about the knives we chose to review:
Rapala Fish ‘N Fillet Superflex Knife (7 1/2-Inch)
The Rapala Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife is made by Marttiini, a company with more than 50 years in the industry. It boasts a bold design that includes an extra thin and flexible blade forged from hand-ground stainless steel. The blade features PTFE non-stick coating that allows fillets to fall away effortlessly. A full tang construction ensures that the blade is securely anchored into the reinforced, baked birch handle.
The Fish n Fillet Superflex Knife also comes with a tooled genuine leather sheath for safe storage and transportation. The sheath has an integrated belt loop for convenient portability. There are three blade length options i.e. 4, 6 and 7.5 inches for different cutting needs.
- Hand rubbed baked birch handle offers a firm grip
- Full tang construction for more durability and strength
- Comes with a tooled leather sheath for safe storage
- Razor sharp blade with excellent edge retention
- Handle may chip
Bubba Blade 9 Inch Tapered Blade Flex Fillet Knife BB1-9TF
The Bubba Blade 9” Tapered Blade Flex Fillet Knife boasts full tang construction from a single piece of steel. This ensures optimal strength, balance, and stability, allowing you to fillet and cut smaller panfish with ease and more control. It offers extreme grip with a 6” red non-slip handle made from thermoplastic polymer and wrapped with synthetic rubber. It will remain firm and not slide even when your hands are wet or slippery.
The 9” blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel and bonded with titanium for the ultimate strength and corrosion resistance. It is coated with a non-stick substance that allows fillets to slide off effortlessly. The blade has a Rockwell hardness rating of 56-58 and sharpened by hand at the factory. Bubba Blade integrates safety guards to protect users from the blade as well as spines of fish. There is a trigger grip that allows you to heat the knife when cleaning fish.
- Full tang construction ensures strength, stability, and balance
- Non-slip handle made from thermoplastic polymer offers outstanding grip
- 9” blade is made of high carbon stainless steel and has excellent edge retention
- Integrated safety guards protect you from the blade
- Includes custom synthetic sheath and lanyard hole
- Saltwater corrosion resistance is not very good
Bubba Blade CCA Thin FLEX Blade Fillet Knife
The Bubba Blade CCA Thin Flex Blade Fillet Knife offers a little more prominence in design. It boasts a stainless steel blade with a non-stick coating that allows fillets to slide off the blade easily and prevents rust from forming. The full tang construction ensures optimal strength and stability when working. The white handle has red accents that give it an incredible look. Speaking of the handle, it is made from a grippy rubber to ensure maximum comfort and safety.
The blade has a nice curve that gives you great cuts. This knife is provided with a red sheath for safe storage when you aren’t using it. While a little costly than some models on this list, the Bubba Blade CCA is certainly designed with more attention to detail. It has overwhelmingly positive reviews and is a real champ when it comes to handling large amounts of fish.
- Non-stick coating on blade prevents rust formation
- Exceptional grip with finger and thumb pads
- White handle with red accents looks great
- The handle is a little too large
Bubba Blade 7 Inch Tapered Flex Fillet Fishing Knife BB1-7F
The Bubba Blade 7” Flex Knife is 13” long and is tapered for increased flexibility. It comes with a 6” handle and 7” blade. The full tang construction with a single piece of stainless steel promotes strength and stability. It is an excellent investment if you don’t want something that is susceptible to rust because the blade has a non-stick coating, which lets meat slide right off.
Also included is a trigger grip that allows you to put a little heat on it when need be. Like other Bubba Blade knives, it has thumb and finger pads that allow you to enjoy more control when filleting small panfish. It comes with a red textured handle made from thermoplastic polymer and wrapped with synthetic rubber to provide a firm grip, even when your hands are wet or slippery. The safety guards offer protection from the blades and spines of fish.
- Full tang construction with stainless steel
- Large textured handle offers total grip security
- Includes custom black synthetic sheath
- Thumb and finger pads offer complete control
Buck Knives 0225BLS Silver Creek Large Fishing Fillet Knife with Sheath
The Buck Knives 0225BLS Silver Creek Fillet Knife comes with a flexible 9-5/8 inch blade forged from 420HC stainless steel and bonded with titanium for the ultimate strength and durability. It is easy to sharpen, has great edge retention and highly resistant to corrosion. The knife has an overall length of 14-3/8 inches and only weighs 5.3 ounces, making it easy to handle. There are two blade length options i.e. 6-3/8” and 9-5/8” to satisfy different cutting needs. Whatever length you choose, you can be sure that both offer versatility for most sizes of fish.
The handle is ergonomically designed with rubber and features a stainless steel guard that’s equipped with anti-slip ridges. This guarantees optimal safety and control. The knife comes with an injected molded sheath that has an integrated belt clip as well as drainage holes. There is also a lanyard hole that offers additional carry options. This knife is backed by a lifetime warranty.
- Corrosion resistant blade forged from stainless steel
- Two blade length options with superior versatility
- Ergonomic rubberized handle with anti-slip ridges
- Stainless steel guard offers protection from blade
- Includes injected molded sheath with drainage holes and belt clip
- Can easily fall off your belt
Buck Knives 035 ABYSS Fishing Fillet Knife with Leather Sheath
The 035 Abyss Fillet Knife from Buck Knives offers a sense of style with a unique Kryptek Neptune camo handle. Usually, you get some kind of bright rubberized handle. It has an overall length of 1225 inches, with the blade being 6” long. It is built to be strong with 420HC stainless steel, which is known for its tensile strength and corrosion resistance. The blade features a distal taper and double ground tip, which makes puncturing and entry cuts easier.
The full tang construction helps boost overall strength and stability. This knife also offers a secure and safe grip with a reinforced nylon handle that features finger grips. You get a free genuine custom leather sheath for safe storage and portability. It has an integrated belt loop for securing the sheath to your belt.
- Unique Kryptek Neptune camo handle offers a sense of style
- 6” flexible blade is made of stainless steel
- Durable full tang construction
- Comes with a custom leather sheath for safe portability
- Inserting and drawing the knife from sheath is a clumsy affair
Buck 0220BLS Knives Silver Creek Folding Fillet Fishing Knife
The Buck Knives 0220 Silver Creek comes with an extra thin and flexible blade that cuts through meat easily. At 6.5” long, the stainless steel blade coated with titanium is neither long nor short. It has the perfect length for handling all fish sizes. The knife has a foldable design, making it a great companion for your tackle box and fishing trips. The handle is well made with rubber coating and grooves for a firm grip. It has an integrated stainless steel safety guard that ensures a safe grip regardless of the conditions. This knife is offered with a lifetime warranty.
- Extra tough stainless steel blade with a special coat of titanium
- Features a TPE rubberized handle for firm grip in wet conditions
- Foldable design allows for improved compactness and easy handling
- Lacks sheath and belt loop
DALSTRONG Filet Knife Shogun Series – AUS-10V Vacuum Heat Treated 6″
Dalstrong is known for their quality knives that combine outstanding craftsmanship, awe-inspiring design, best materials and cutting-edge technology. Their Shogun Series 6” Fillet Knife offers unrivaled performance with a ruthlessly sharp edge that’s hand finished, and nitrogen cooled for enhanced flexibility and corrosion resistance. The full tang construction maximizes robustness while the triple-riveting provides more resilience. The blade is narrow and curves upwards to work around bones, joints and between skin with negligible drag.
This knife is designed with AUS-10V Japanese steel cutting core that has Rockwell 62+ hardness rating. This, combined with the 66 layers of high-carbon stainless steel and precisely tapered blade, delivers extraordinary edge retention, stain resistance, and exceptional strength. Also included is a G-10 handle that is impervious to moisture, heat, and cold. You can expect superior control, comfort, and agility.
- Nitrogen cooled blade offered superior flexibility and edge retention
- Extremely strong blade made of stainless steel
- Equipped with a G-10 handle for superior comfort and ease of handling
- Backed by a lifetime warranty against defect
- Not very flexible
DALSTRONG Boning Filet Knife – Phantom Series – Japanese AUS8 Steel – 6.5″
The Phantom Series 6.5” Fillet Knife is just as impressively crafted as Dalstrong’s Shogun Series 6”, only with a less sharp cutting edge. It is more suited for carving meat than fish and has a semi-flexible blade. Dubbed the Powerhouse Filet and Boning Knife, it has a narrow blade with a sharply pointed tip that you can use to carve out smaller bits of meat. The engraving on the blade not only adds to its beauty, but it also allows you to remove small bits of meat stuck to the bone. The blade is forged from stainless steel for strength, nitrogen cooled to enhance flexibility and carefully tapered for minimal drag.
This knife features a velvety rich black Spanish pakkawood handle that is hand polished and laminated. It is designed to tuck perfectly into the palm of your hand and offer a firm grip with wet or slippery hands. The distinct mosaic pin of copper and brass lends subtle luxury and refinement. Like other Dalstrong knives, this one is backed by a lifetime warranty against defect.
- Semi-flexible blade maneuvers easily around bones, joints, and skin
- Mercilessly sharp blade offers peak performance
- Comes with pakkawood handle that fits well in the palm of your hand
- Exceptional edge retention, strength, and durability
- The sheath is of wanting quality
DALSTRONG Filet Knife 7″ Gladiator Series – German HC Steel
Concluding our list is the Gladiator Series 7” Fillet Knife, which is carefully designed to make de-boning, skinning, filleting etc. easier and more efficient. It has a 1.5mm spine thickness and is highly flexible. The blade is offered with two covers i.e. one for outdoor adventures and the other for the drawer. It has full-tang construction for optimal strength and is forged from high-carbon German steel with a hand polished edge.
The handle is made luxury imported pakkawood and triple riveted to ensure maneuverability and optimal comfort. It is also polished and laminated for a sanitary build, making it a perfect addition to any busy kitchen. The knife is engineered to perfection with a 55 Rockwell hardness rating and hand polished satin finish. It is carefully tapered to ensure flexibility, hardness and minimal sliding resistance.
- Flexible blade made from high carbon steel
- Carefully tapered for minimal sliding resistance
- Full tang construction offers optimal strength and stability
- Triple-riveted handle made from luxury pakkawood
- Offered with two blade covers
- Blade wears too fast compared to other models
Criteria for Choosing Fillet Knives
The first consideration you should make when shopping for a fillet knife is the material used in making a particular model. Make sure that the blade is made from a strong material, preferably stainless steel with an anti-corrosion coating. A blade made from a low-quality material will get damaged easily, get corroded or bent when trying to cut something. The type of steel used varies from one manufacturer to another, and an anti-corrosion coating is often applied. Some brands also include a non-stick coating to minimize sliding resistance.
There are different material options when it comes to the handle. Common ones include plastic, wood, and rubber. Wood is slippery when it gets wet and doesn’t provide a very good grip. It also has a tendency to absorb water, which could result in unpleasant smells. Rubber and plastic are good choices as they offer firm grip without adding too much weight.
This is pivotal to your decision as it defines the task. Go for a small blade if you intend to use the knife for limited domestic applications and small cutting needs. Larger blade size is more suitable for dealing with large fishes at the lake or in restaurants and fish shops.
A flexible blade is incredibly important, especially if you are filleting small fish. If going for a larger knife, ensure that the blade doesn’t offer too much flexibility because it will only make cutting through fillet more difficult. The flexibility of a blade usually depends on its thickness, with long and thinner blades being more flexible than thicker ones.
Many people tend to overlook safety and end up with knives that don’t offer much protection from the blade or fish spines. Most fillet knives incorporate a finger guard while others have a dimpled handle. There are those that are provided with a free cover for the blade, allowing for transportation without risk of injuries.
Making the best decision when it comes to fillet knives shouldn’t be hard work. as long you keep an eye out for things like blade length, handle material and safety, you will get something worth every penny you spend. The models reviewed in this post are some of the best money can buy. And while we strongly recommend all of them, your decision ultimately depends on the features you want most and what you’re willing to spend.