Best Fishing Knife – Top Models for Filleting and Gutting

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

To fillet your catch during your fishing trip, you need a fishing knife!

Fishing or filleting knives have long, thin, narrow blades for making smooth slices in a single stroke. Good fishing knives require simple skills to use, and less time on the part of a typical user.

But the performance and versatility of a given model depends on the dimensions and design. You shouldn’t expect a 5-inch fishing knife to give you outstanding results when working on a large fish. But, of course, you can use a large blade on a small fish.

If you are trying to find the best fishing knife for filleting, you will have to do some research because there are quite many in the market. Lucky for you, I have done the research on your behalf and found six models that fit the description in every regard.

The Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Flexible Fishing Knife is the bestseller and the most-liked. It is an 8-inch blade that is great for skinning and boning small, medium, and large sized fish. Not to mention that it is corrosion resistant and excellent at holding an edge.

The Best Fishing Knives Are:

ProductDetails
1. Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Flexible Fillet Knife

  • 8-inch blade length
  • High carbon stainless steel blade
  • Triple-riveted handle shells
  • Synthetic black handles
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2. Bubba 9-Inch Tapered Flex Fishing Knife

  • 9-inch blade length
  • 8Cr13MoV blade steel
  • Full tang construction
  • Non-slip grip handle
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3. Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Fishing Knife

  • 8-inch blade length
  • High carbon stainless steel
  • Patented fibrox handle slabs
  • Stamped (bolster-less) blade design
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4. Dalstrong Gladiator Series 6-Inch Boning Knife

  • 6-inch blade length
  • High carbon German blade steel
  • Full tang construction
  • Black pakkawood handles
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5. Dexter P94813 8-Inch Fillet Knife

  • 8-inch blade length
  • 400 series high carbon steel blade
  • Stamped blade construction
  • Polypropylene handle slabs
  • Narrow semi-stiff blade
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6. Morakniv Comfort Fillet Knife

  • 6.1-inch blade length
  • Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade
  • High friction (TPE rubber) handles
  • Polymer edge protection
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1. Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Flexible Fillet Knife — Best Fishing Knife Overall

WÜSTHOF Classic 8 Inch Flexible Fillet Knife | 8" Narrow Fish Fillet Knife | Precision Forged High-Carbon Stainless Steel German Made Fish Knife – Model 4518-7/20

The Wusthof Classic 8-Inch is crafted from premium high carbon stainless steel that holds a razor-sharp edge. Not to mention that it has a fine cutting edge for ease of use.

Specs

  • 8-inch blade length
  • High carbon stainless steel blade
  • Triple-riveted handle shells
  • Synthetic black handles

This fishing blade is forged from high carbon stainless steel that is specially tempered for strength, hardness, and long-lasting durability.

The tang of the blade extends to the length of the handle, making the knife a full tang construction for heavy-duty use. The tail end of the blade is sandwiched between two synthetic handle slabs, which are shaped to fit comfortably in your hand for a strong and non-slip grip.

The high carbon stainless steel finger guard is complemented by a trio of matching compression rivets. All of which are combined to form a stout and durable handle.

But, the grip could be more ergonomic with grooves on the handle scales. Also, the knife lacks a lanyard hole for added versatility.

Pros

  • Has the right amount of flex for effortless filleting
  • Superior initial sharpness and great edge retention
  • High carbon stainless steel blade can resist rusting in salty conditions
  • Full tang construction is strong and highly durable
  • Large finger guard for added grip power

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a lanyard hole for added versatility
  • It is a little bit expensive for people with a tight budget

Conclusion

The Wusthof Classic 8-Inch is the best fishing knife you could have ever wished for. Its cutting performance and durability are worth the few extra dollars.

Overall Rating – 4.9

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2. Bubba 9-Inch Tapered Flex Fishing Knife — Best Saltwater Knife

Bubba 7 Inch Tapered Flex Fillet Fishing Knife with Non-Slip Grip Handle, Full Tang Stainless Steel Non-Stick Blade, Lanyard Hole and Synthetic Sheath for Fishing, Boating and Hunting

Coated with a nonstick surface and bonded with titanium, the Bubba 9-Inch Tapered Flex knife is both rust-resistant and smooth enough for filleting and gutting fish and slicing meat. This is the knife to take out when fishing in saltwater.

Specs

  • 9-inch blade length
  • 8Cr13MoV blade steel
  • Full tang construction
  • Non-slip grip handle

The blade is made from 8Cr13MoV high carbon stainless steel material with a Rockwell rating of 56-58, which is great because it delivers farfetched strength as well as durability.

The tapered flex blade is incredibly flexible, allowing you to fillet, skin, de-bone, de-scale, and slice through medium sized fish and meat easily.

I really appreciate its thick bolster with thumb and forefinger rests, considering how good they protect your fingers from possible injuries.

Another good feature is the inclusion of built-in safety guards, which do an amazing job of protecting your hand from the sharp blade as well as fish spines.

But the thing is, the tapered flex blade is way too thin for working on large fish with thick flesh.

Pros

  • Blade is incredibly strong, balance, and durable
  • Tapered flex blade cuts through medium-sized fish with ease
  • Hand sharpened out of the box for great initial performance
  • Heavy-duty finger and thumb pads for added comfort
  • Coated surfaces is rust and corrosion resistant

Cons

  • Very thin and flexible for working on larger fish
  • Questionable customer service

Conclusion

If you have been looking for the best fishing knife for filleting medium-sized trout, then look no further than the Bubba 9-Inch Tapered Flex Fishing Knife.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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3. Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Fishing Knife

Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Straight Fillet Fishing Knife, Flexible Black Fibrox Handle

The Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch brings to mind a long tradition of legendary quality, beauty, and performance with its unique stamped blade.

Specs

  • 8-inch blade length
  • High carbon stainless steel
  • Patented fibrox handle slabs
  • Stamped (bolster-less) blade design

This knife has what it takes to equip you with a high quality high carbon stainless steel blade that has the durability to endure heavy filleting and food cutting in the kitchen.

The most unique aspect of this knife is the lack of a bolster, which means that the blade is stamped out from a sheet of steel for flexibility and flexing.

The handle scales are crafted from fibrox, which is great because it is a durable synthetic material that has a simple yet unique texture for a superior grip.

I really appreciate how the handle is molded over the tang of the knife rather than riveted onto the side. What this means is that there are no seams to come loose or for moisture to get trapped in between.

The stamped blade construction; however, is extremely flexible and it’s very easy for it to lose sharpness. Also, the lack of a bolster puts your finger on harm’s way.

Pros

  • High carbon stainless steel blade doesn’t rust easy
  • Superior flexibility and flexing for ease of use
  • Fibrox handle slabs give a strong and non-slip grip
  • Molded over tang handle design is extremely durable
  • Conical grind makes the knife great at slicing

Cons

  • Lack of a bolster may put your fingers in danger
  • Extremely flexible blade can easily lose sharpness

Conclusion

The Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch has a stamped blade construction, but it is highly equipped for the job, including filleting fish and meat.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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4. Dalstrong Gladiator Series 6-Inch Boning Knife

DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Fillet & Boning Knife- 6"- German HC Steel - Curved Blade - With Sheath

The Dalstrong Gladiator is a 6-inch model with a thin agile blade that is designed perfectly for separating meat and fish from the bone with precise control.

Specs

  • 6-inch blade length
  • High carbon German blade steel
  • Full tang construction
  • Black pakkawood handles

The blade is crafted from high carbon German steel with a Rockwell rating of 56+, which is great because it doesn’t chip or snap easily and it is capable of holding the edge longer.

The edge of the blade is expertly hand sharpened to fourteen to sixteen degrees, maintaining the ideal balance between maximum resilience and blade sharpness.

The precision-forged blade with a full tang construction is precisely tapered for hardness, flexibility, and added durability, making the knife suitable for tough work.

Another good feature is the black pakkawood handle design, which is highly ergonomic for a strong, non-slip, comfortable grip and superior maneuverability.

The handle size; however, may be a little bit larger for some people, and the blade’s flexibility isn’t incredible.

Pros

  • Incredibly strong blade with great edge retention
  • Blade steel used is highly stain resistant
  • Full tang construction delivers superior filleting power
  • Ergonomic handle design with impressive maneuverability
  • Strong bolster and finger guard for added security

Cons

  • Handle size may be larger for some users
  • Blade isn’t extremely flexible

Conclusion

The Gladiator Series knife is designed for precision filleting, gutting, descaling, boning, and butterflying fish and poultry. It is also highly ambidextrous.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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5. Dexter P94813 8-Inch Fillet Knife

Dexter P94813 Narrow Fillet Knife, 8-Inch

Made from 400 series high carbon steel with a dependable full tang, the Dexter P94813 sets its own standard for precision as well as accuracy when filleting fish and cutting through meat.

Specs

  • 8-inch blade length
  • 400 series high carbon steel blade
  • Stamped blade construction
  • Polypropylene handle slabs
  • Narrow semi-stiff blade

This knife is tough and corrosion resistant, crafted from proprietary 400 series high carbon steel, it is designed to be razor sharp out of the box with long-lasting and easy to restore edge.

The full tang construction is strong where it matters and flexible to ensure you always have the perfect control when filleting, de-boning, descaling, or cutting.

Its bolster-less design maximizes your use of the entire blade for superior flexing and maneuverability, while also making sharpening super easy. Another amazing feature is the over tang molded polypropylene handle design, which makes the grip stronger and cleaning easier.

My only concern is the stamped blade, which might corrode or break more easily. Also, the narrow design may not be ideal for cutting tough meat.

Pros

  • Has a long-lasting edge that’s easy to re-sharpen
  • Extremely flexible for all fish cutting tasks
  • Bolster-free design is super easy to sharpen
  • Over molded handles are very durable and water resistant
  • Contoured handle offers a comfortable grip

Cons

  • Stamped blade may corrode or break
  • Narrow design may not be suitable for tough cuts

Conclusion

This is a very comfortable and easy to use blade for all your fishing and kitchen cutting chores, thanks to its extremely flexible design.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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6. Morakniv Comfort Fillet Knife

Morakniv Fishing Comfort Fillet Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade, 6.1-Inch

Are you looking for something versatile for your first fishing knife? The Morakniv Comfort Fillet Knife comes equipped with all the features you have been looking for.

Specs

  • 1-inch blade length
  • Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade
  • High friction (TPE rubber) handles
  • Polymer edge protection

The Morakniv Comfort comes equipped with a high friction TPE rubber grip that is designed to prevent hand slippage or injury while filleting or cutting.

The blade is manufactured from high quality stainless steel, which is a popular class of material that is well-known for its corrosion resistance and edge retention.

The knife is Scandi ground and hand sharpened to a razor sharp edge, which is great because the blade is remarkably easy to sharpen without the need of a special sharpening tool.

But, the extremely thin Scandi ground blade may not be reliable for filleting a large fish or slicing thick pieces of meat.

Pros

  • High friction handle offers a strong grip
  • Contoured hand grip adds finger protection
  • Superior edge holding ability and corrosion resistance
  • Scandi ground edge is super easy to sharpen

Cons

  • Too thin of a blade for working on larger fish
  • May come without a sheath

Conclusion

You need an edge tool that’s reliable for filleting all your medium sized fish, and the Morakniv Comfort fits the description. Not to mention that it is a budget friendly choice and it is available in two different blade lengths.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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Buying Guide: What To Look For When Buying A Fishing Knife

If you haven’t found what you have been looking for in our top six selections, you can continue with the search with the help of the following buying tips.

Blade Material

A good fishing knife should have a blade crafted from some springy, tough metal that has excellent rust and corrosion resistance. This is especially important when used around salty water.

Stainless steel is usually the most desired choice because of its unmatched rust resistance, outstanding edge retention, and ease of maintenance. But it may not be the easiest to sharpen. Also, make sure the stainless steel blade has high chromium levels for superior corrosion resistance.

High carbon stainless steel; on the other hand, offers a more durable blade steel choice. This material has excellent edge retention and unmatched mechanical properties. It can effectively resist rust, corrosion, and wear.

Handle Material

Fishing knives are constantly exposed to wet conditions. So, whatever handle material you choose must be water-resistant, non-slip, and extremely comfortable and easy to wheel.

Some popular recommendations are TPE rubber, pakkawood, polypropylene, and polymer handle scales.

Dimensions

Unlike tactical and everyday carry knives that have short blades that are barely 5 inches, fishing/filleting knives have pretty long blades. In fact, the longer the blade, the more versatile it is for filleting, gutting, boning, descaling, and general cutting.

The shortest blade length you should consider is a 6-inch for simple filleting of small sized fish. But, as you increase the size of the fish; so, should the blade length.

The longest possible blade length you can consider is a 12-inch, but I think an 8-inch or 9-inch is more than capable of tackling medium and large sized fish.

For the handle, the most ergonomic length should range from 5 to 12 inches. What you need is a handle length that does not only give good control, but also helps in filleting. The grip should be non-slip, strong, and very comfortable.

Final Thoughts

The winner of this roundup is the Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Flexible Fishing Knife. This knife was an immediate seller when it first appeared in the market.

Its high carbon stainless steel blade is the real deal because it can resist corrosion and wear, and holds the edge pretty well, even after heavy use. The handle material and ergonomics are impressive because they provide you with a strong, non-slip grip that is easy to wheel and control.

The 8-inch blade is just the perfect size for skinning and boning small, medium, and large-sized fish. Not to mention that it has the perfect amount of flex for easy filleting and slicing.

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