Best Fishing Fillet Knife – Top 10 in 2020

One addition to every fisherman's tackle bag is a fishing fillet knife. There are some great products available on the market that will keep you fed for years to come.

We have put together a review on the top 10 products available at the moment, including some kits and electric knives.

I have also written a buyer's guide at the end to give you an understanding of the key factors that should be taken into account, like blade material and length.

If you decide on one of he knives listed here then please let us know in the comments below - we strive to deliver enough information for you to make an informed decision.

Fishing Fillet Knife Buyer's Guide

There are a lot of different features available on each of these knives and it can be difficult to figure out what means what. I have put together a simple buyers guide to help you to understand the terminology and understand exactly what you will need for your own situation. This will allow you to pick the perfect fishing fillet knife that you serve you for years to come.

I have also added this video on instructions on how to fillet fish so that you can see exactly what it entails and how the knife behaves.

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Blade Length

The size of blade that you require really depends on what species of fish you are targeting and the expected size.

If you are going after big ocean fish like Tuna then you will need to get one of the longest blades available, which are generally in the 9 to 12 inch range.

If you are targeting smaller fresh water fish then you could consider a cheaper 5 to 7 inch blade.

Think about how versatile you want your blade to be. If you are just going to be using it to cut up baitfish then you don't need to waste your money on a large blade.

There are also kits of blades from 5 to 9 inch so that you can use the perfect blade for whatever fish you have caught.

Blade Material

Depending on where you will be fishing, your knife will often be contacting water, both fresh and salt, fish guts, etc. Making sure it is durable and will not rust is crucial to getting value for money and making sure it lasts a long time.

The most common blade material is stainless steel. This is highly rust resistant and will not corrode even when kept in humid conditions.

Protective Sheath

Keeping your knife is sharp is important to making sure it will be functional for a long time and the most common way to damage your blade is to have it bouncing around the bottom of your boat. Getting a high quality protect sheath is a great way to keep your blade sharp.

A lot of knives come with their own sheath, but they are of varying qualities from leather to plastic to fabric. Make sure you don't overlook the sheath or you may need to purchase a replacement as soon as you see it.

Sharpener

Finally, the last thing to consider is the sharpener - some knives come with dedicated sharpeners which might not be at the same quality as the knife. If you are going to be using your knife a lot then you should consider a dedicated sharpener.

If the knife you select doesn't come with its own sharpener then understand that this is a separate purchase you will need to make in the future and is an additional cost.

Rapala Fish 'N Fillet Knife with Sheath
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Features

Birch varnished, wooden handle

Stainless steel blade

Genuine leather sheath

Single stage sharpener included

Available in 4" of 6" blade lengths

Review

This is THE knife for filleting fish. There have been over 40 million sold over the years. I'm sure you have seen them before held by other fishermen. This is truly a five star product.

This knife comes in a few different sizes, like 4 inch or 6 inch, and also comes with a small knife sharpener. If you are going to be filleting a lot of fish then you might want to purchase a dedicated knife sharpener.

It also comes with a leather sheath to protect it when not in use or during transport.

Pros

  • Available in 4 inch or 6 inch
  • This is the most popular knife on the market
  • Includes an easy to use sharpening tool

Cons

  • You may want to get a dedicated knife sharpener
ON SALE $18.03 OFF
Bubba 7 Inch Tapered Flex Fillet Fishing Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle, Full Tang Stainless Steel...
  • DIMENSIONS: 13” overall length with 7” blade
  • EASE OF USE: Non-Slip Grip handle for outstanding grip security providing ultimate knife control with trigger grip for added security
  • RELIABLE: Features safety guards for protection from the blade and spines of fish

Features

7" blade with 13" overall length

Non-slip grip with trigger guard

Safety guards for protection from both the blade and fish spines

8Cr13MoV super thin + Ti-Nitride  coated, rust resistant blade

Sheath with a belt loop

Review

The main thing I like about the Bubba Blade is the handle. Not only does it look gorgoues, it also has safety guards which are pretty uncommon but are extremely useful - I'm sure anyone who has cut their fingers would agree.

The 7 inch blade is slightly shorter than ideal for filleting larger fish.

The blade is also rust resistant so that it will last for longer. There are only a few 5 star products available on the market for any category, and this is one of them. Certainly a recommendation from me.

Pros

  • Non-slip grip
  • Comes with a sheath with a belt loop
  • Safety guards to protect your fingers

Cons

  • More expensive than other alternatives
Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 6.1-Inch
  • Stainless steel fillet knife with patterned, high-friction handle; available in 3.5-inch or 6.1-inch blade lengths
  • 6.1-inch blade is versatile enough for most sizes of fish; slotted plastic sheath is easy to clean and includes two belt clips: belt-loop or clip-on
  • Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel is known for its razor sharpness, high hardness, exceptional toughness, and excellent corrosion resistance

Features

12C27 Stainless steel blade

Available in 3.5" or 6.1" blade length

High-friction handle that is non-slip

3.5 oz net weight

Slotted plastic sheath with two belt clips

Review

The Morakniv fishing knife has an apt name - comfort. Notice the shape of the blade's handle which fits comfortably into your hand.

The lack of safety guards can be an issue - if you unexpectedly hit a bone, then make sure you don't lose your grip and cut your fingers. The non-slip handle attempts to minimize this risk.

I personally prefer knives to be at 7" at least to fillet larger fish, so this model might be a little shorter than you will need.

The plastic sheath is of a lower quality than some of the leather alternatives. 

Pros

  • Stainless steel blade for less risk of rust
  • Comes with a plastic sheath
  • Non-slip handle

Cons

  • Only up to 6.1 inch blade might be too small for big fish
  • No safety guards
ON SALE $63.96 OFF
Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle, 4 Ti-Nitride S.S. Coated...
  • Dimensions: 8.5” handle length and weighs 1.11 pounds
  • Ease of use: Non-slip grip handle for outstanding grip security providing ultimate knife control with a trigger guard for added security
  • Durable: Dual-rivet blade design is coated in TiN stainless steel and features an ergonomic trigger

Features

Includes 7" flexible blade, 9" flexible blade, 9" stiff blade, 12" stiff blade

Durable dual-rivet blade design coated in TiN stainless steel

Removable blades for easy cleaning and storage

LED battery life indicator

Includes wall charge, 2 x lithium ion batteries and premium EVA storage case

Non-slip grip handle with trigger guard

Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle

Review

Another alternative to the classic filleting knife is an electric alternative - and the best one available is certainly the Bubba Li-ion electric knife.

If you have never used an electric filleting knife before, keep in mind the fillet may not be as neat as you are used it, but it will certainly be faster. If you have a lot of filleting to do (congratulations!), then this is a real option.

It comes with a spare battery and 4 blades, as well as a beautifully stylish design and non-slip handle. You can fillet a lot of fish with this model!

It comes with 4 blades from 7" to 12" with either flexible or stiff options depending on your style and the species of fish you are filleting.

Pros

  • Comes with 2 batteries and charger
  • Includes 7", 9", and 12" blades

Cons

  • Electric knives cut differently to a manual knife - this might not suit your needs
Outdoor Edge ReelFlex-Pak, 5-Piece Professional Grade Fishing Fillet Knife Combo Set with Three...
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE FISH FILLET KNIFE SET- Includes three fillet knives in 6", 7.5" and 9.5" blade lengths and carbide/ceramic sharpener.
  • KNIVES - razor sharp German 4116 stainless steel blades with ergonomic TPE non-slip handle.
  • BLADE SHARPENER - two-stage knife sharpener with carbide and ceramic sharpening bits.

Features

Includes three fillet knives in 6", 7.5" and 9.5" lengths

4116 stainless steel blades

Includes two stage carbide/ceramic sharpener

Non-slip TPE handle

Hard storage case for safe and secure storage

Review

If you are switching between species, you may need multiple knives. A 7.5" blade might be too long for the morning's fish but too short for the evening's species. In which case you will need more than one blade.

The Outdoor Edge kit comes with three blades that will suit all of your filleting needs. It also comes with a two stage sharpening system - this is not a throwaway gimmick. This will actually work to keep your blades with a razors edge.

The blade's handle has a small finger guard which along with the non-stick material should protect your fingers from any risk of a cut.

The hard storage case is also well design to protect your knives from nicks and bumps as well as water damage.

Pros

  • 9.5 inch blade can fillet large fish
  • 3 blades are suitable for any size fish
  • Comes with a sharpener

Cons

  • Takes up more room than a single knife
  • Case is not waterproof
ON SALE $4.46 OFF
Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife (1259X) Fixed 420J2 High-Performance Stainless Steel Blade with...
  • 9” fixed blade made of 420J2 stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and includes an ABS sheath with belt holster for safe storage
  • Soft textured, co-polymer rubber grip for a comfortable in-hand feel that won’t slip and neon-green accents for identifying in a marine environment
  • Excellent knife for filleting larger fresh and salt-water fish alike, including tilapia, salmon, snapper, tuna, snapper, carp, eel, bass, catfish and cod

Features

9" 420J2 stainless steel blade

ABS sheath with belt holster

Co-polymer rubber grip with safety guard

Softer blade steel can flex without breaking

Review

This 9 inch blade is suitable for even large ocean fish, like Tuna or Mackerel. It offers flex without breaking which is a requirement of all fish fillet knives to move around bones and give you better maneuverability. 

The stainless steel blade will give rust resistance and prevent corrosion for the long term. The key to value for money in knives is durability and to last a long time.

This blade does not come with a sharpening device, so you will have to look for a separate purchase to keep it at a razor sharp edge. A common review comment is that it does need to be sharpened frequently, which is a common problem for stainless steel blades.

Pros

  • Long 9 inch blade
  • Well suited for larger fish

Cons

  • Requires sharpening frequently
ON SALE $5.00 OFF
Outdoor Edge Fish & Bone - Folding Fillet Knife with 5.0" 440A Stainless Steel Blade for Fish and...
  • FISH FILLET and DEBONING FOLDING KNIFE - Slim, lightweight, easily fits in your pocket, backpack, tackle box, or fly fishing bag.
  • BLADE - 5" Razor sharp 440A stainless steel. Fully extend overall knife length 11.3"
  • GREEN / BLACK HANDLE - double-molded Zytel handle features rubberized, non-slip TPR inserts for a secure, non-slip grip

Features

Folding knife that can fit into your pocket, backpack or tackle box

5" 440A stainless steel blade

11.3" total length

Molded Zytel handle with rubberized, non-slip grip

Fabric sheath

Review

One alternate option for a fillet knife is a folding pocket knife. While this won't give the best performance, it can be a multi-purpose option. The Outdoor Edge knife has a 5" blade which can only be used for fillet smaller fish.

There is no safety guard on this knife so you will have to rely on the non-slip grip to protect your fingers.

The stainless steel blade will be rust resistant and will help to last longer.

We generally recommend a dedicated filleting knife, but if this doesn't suit your purposes then consider the folding knife option.

Pros

  • Folding knife doesn't take up much room
  • Comes with a fabric sheath

Cons

  • 5 inch blade not suitable for large fish
  • No safety guards
Angler's Choice PFTK-414 Porta-Fillet Kit,Multi
  • Tested for use, durability and design in the most harsh conditions
  • The right tool to get the job done
  • Made in the U. S. A

Features

Made in the USA

3 knives up to 8" blade length

Includes knife sharpener steel and cutting board

Contained within hard palstic case

Review

The Anglers' Choice portable filleting kit is a great kit containing three knives within a hard plastic case. 

The largest knife is 8 inches in blade length, which should suit most purposes, but is shorter than the 9 inches in the other kits.

The non-stick handle and small safety guard will help to protect your fingers.

It also comes with a knife steel to give your blade edge a top up in between uses. It also uniquely comes with a cutting board which often comes in handy to protect your boat from cuts and fish guts.

Pros

  • Contains everything you need to fillet fish
  • Made in USA

Cons

  • Takes up more room than a single knife
  • Largest knife is 8 inches which is smaller than other kits
Uncle Henry 168UH Small Fillet Knife Full Tang Fixed Blade
  • GUARANTEED: This product is covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty. For questions or warranty contact us at customerservice@btibrands.com
  • Staglon Handle Slabs with Nickel Silver Bolsters, Brass Pins and Lanyard Hole
  • Brown Leather Belt Sheath

Features

5.3" 7Cr17 Stainless steel blade

Staglon handle slabs with nickel silver bolsters, brass pins, and lanyard hole

Includes brown leather belt sheath

0.25 pounds in weight

Review

The Uncle Henry small fish filleting knife is perfect for gutting smaller species of fish. It is certainly too small for ocean going fish, but is perfect for inland, freshwater species. It is only 5.3" long, so keep that in mind when making your decision.

The blade is stainless steel which will be rust resistant and protect it from corrosion. The blade is stiffer than I would generally prefer which means that it doesn't adjust around the flesh as easily.

It also comes with a quality brown leather sheath that can be looped onto your belt for easy access.

There is also minimal safety guards, so be careful when filleting if you unexpectedly hit a bone.

Pros

  • Comes with a leather sheath
  • Corrosion resistant stainless steel blade

Cons

  • Knife blade is not long enough for larger fis
  • Stiff blade can be difficult to fillet with

Features

420J stainless steel 9.5" flexible blade

Satin finished applied for an attractive blade design

Durable nylon handle reinforced with glass threads

Plastic blade sheath to protect from bumps

Review

The final blade in our recommendation list is the Kershaw narrow filleting knife. At 9.5" long, this is one of the longest blades available and it also offers a lot of flex to help navigate around the fillet edges and spine.

The stainless steel is also very corrosion resistant and will last longer. The plastic sheath is probably lower quality than some of the leather options. 

This knife doesn't come with a sharpener and the stainless steel will require frequent sharpening.

Pros

  • Long 9.5 inch blade suitable for large fish
  • Stainless steel corrosion resistant blade

Cons

  • Doesn't come with a sharpener


Picking a filleting knife is a very personal decision for all anglers as it is only used when you are successful. There are some great guides available on the internet to help you to learn more before you make your decision.

I would love to hear which knife you decided on - just leave a comment below.

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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