Big saltwater game fish offer some of the finest eating any outdoorsman will come across. And while catching and dining on them is almost always enjoyable, the work that comes in between hauling them out of the water and putting them on the table can be time-consuming and even difficult without the proper equipment.
In this article, we are going to look at several of the best saltwater fillet knives that are currently on the market. These knives are going to bring all the qualities needed in a saltwater fillet knife to keep it in your outfit for years to come.
What is the best fillet knife for saltwater fishing?
Here is a quick look at the knives we will be looking at in this post. For more details, please continue reading below.
- Kershaw 9” Curved Fillet Knife
- Morakniv Fillet Knife
- American Angler Pro EFK Electric Fillet Knife
- Buck Knives Clearwater 6inch Fillet Knife
- Morakniv Fishing Scaler Knife
- Curved blade
- 9 inch blade
- Corrosion resistance
- Blade Protector
The first to make our list of the best saltwater fillet knife is the Kershaw 9” Curved Fillet Knife.
This 9-inch curved blade fillet knife is excellent for quick work of larger game fish. The blade is forged with 420J2 stainless steel. This type of steel has excellent corrosion resistance, and it holds an edge incredibly well. This knife comes with an incredibly sharp edge though it is a little tougher to sharpen than other steels, but you have to weigh that with its corrosion resistance.
With a 9 inch curved blade, you can get full motion in your cuts. This knife has glass-filled nylon handle with a K-textured surface that gives you excellent grip and allows the knife to be used confidently in wet environments, which is often the case when cleaning fish. The handle cleans easily and does not hold odor.
You also get a blade protector to keep the blade from getting knicked and chipped when in storage and to protect your own hands when digging through the tackle box.
Check out just why we think this is the best fillet knife for saltwater fishing as this guy cuts up an amberjack in the following video
- 6.1 inch blade
- Swedish Stainless Steel
- Flexible Blade
- Corrosion resistance
With a 6.1 inch blade, the Morakniv Fillet Knife is a good versatile length for a wide range of fish species. However, it is available in a smaller 3.5 inch blade great for removing bones and filleting smaller fish.
This blade does not come with a serrated edge so if there are particular species of fish you mainly go for, tough gills and bones or hard scales; this blade might not give you the performance that you want.
The blade is forged from Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel. It offers excellent toughness but has a good amount of flex to it to help reduce the chance of breaking the blade.
It is corrosion resistant, but it is always a good thing to clean the knife properly after use to reduce rusting from occurring after several uses.
What makes an ordinary fillet knife the best saltwater fillet knife? It has to be sharp and it has to stay sharp. This blade comes out of the package incredibly sharp, and it holds its edge pretty well. When it does dull, this blade is incredibly easy to sharpen.
The high friction handle offers you an excellent gripping surface when cleaning fish and it also cleans well and does not hold an odor. Along with the knife, you also get a plastic sheath that is easy to clean and comes with a belt loop and belt clip.
See this blade in action in the following video:
- Electric Saltwater Fillet Knife
- 2- 8 inch blades – one for freshwater and one for saltwater
- Serrated Blade
If you’re a serious angler who cleans a lot of fish through the year, an electric fillet knife might be more practical than a manual knife. The American Angler Pro EFK is an incredibly powerful 110V electric knife that provides the power and torque needed to go through a mess of fish.
The knife comes with two interchangeable blades. Both are serrated, and one is specifically designed for saltwater use and brings excellent corrosion resistance. The other blade is designed for freshwater fish.
These blades are wicked sharp and will be able to clean a huge amount of fish before needing replacing. This motor is vented so it will not overheat, but where it shines is the smoothness of its motion. It really helps to make clean and consistent cuts.
The handset is ergonomic and compact enough to easily be used one-handed while not too small to get in the way of positioning your hand for specific cuts. The handset does not have the best non-slip surface, but it does have a top rubber piece for your thumb that helps keep a proper grip.
- 6 inch blade
- Flexible Blade
- Corrosion resistant
The Clearwater 6inch Fillet Knife is an excellent choice for a versatile knife that can easily clean and fillet a wide variety of saltwater fish species. It is made from 12C27 steel which has excellent corrosion resistant qualities which you want with a saltwater fillet knife.
This knife is a full tang design, which we think helps add stability to the blade, which is nice and flexible while maintaining its hardness. This knife also sports an excellent anti-slip grip. It has a front finger guard and groove and ridges along the length of the grip to improve its anti-slip properties.
This fillet knife sets itself apart from other knives on this list with its three edge design; the tip edge, main edge, and back edge. This design maximizes the number of cuts you can complete without having to reposition the knife and makes it very versatile. It does not have any serrated edges which might be a negative for some users.
- 5.9 inch or 3.9 inch blade
- Swedish Stainless Steel
- Serrated Edge
To conclude our search for the best fillet knife for saltwater fishing we are going to look at another Morakniv knife the Morakniv Fishing Scaler Knife.
Like the previous Morakniv knife we covered earlier, this knife is forged with Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel. It is resistant to corrosion, though it will require some diligent cleaning to keep it clear of rust after extended use, it is incredibly sharp, hard, and is easy to sharpen when you need to bring an edge back.
At 3.9 inches, it might be a bit smaller for some saltwater game fish, but it is much better suited for smaller fish in the 20lb and less range. There is a larger option also available it is 5.9 inches long in case you are going after those larger fish.
This blade features a normal edge that is great for cutting through meat, and it also features a serrated edge that is useful for scaling and cutting through bone and gills.
The high-friction handle offers you an excellent grip surface for a secure grip in slippery conditions, and it is very easy to clean.
With these five saltwater fillet knives, you can reduce the frustration that comes from the period of catching the fish to eating them.
Which knife do you think is the best fillet knife for saltwater fishing? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.