Best Knives for Fishing

Indispensable choices on the boat or back at the dock

February 1, 2021
An arrangement of fishing knives
Be sure to have the right knife for the job at hand. Jon Whittle

Indispensable on the boat or on the dock, we love our knives; no matter if you’re filleting a big dolphin, steaking a nice wahoo or slicing fresh sashimi, be sure to have the right tool for the job at hand.

1. Bubba Tapered Flex

Bubba Tapered Flex knife.
Bubba Tapered Flex Jon Whittle

Style: Folding Fillet

Based on Bubba’s ­bestselling 7-inch tapered flex fillet knife, this one is a folder that’s versatile enough to easily fit in a pocket or tackle drawer while still providing the signature Bubba nonslip grip. The flexible blade is made of a titanium-nitride-coated, high-carbon stainless steel.


2. Gerber Crossriver

Gerber Crossriver knife
Gerber Crossriver Jon Whittle

Style: Utility/Rescue

The Crossriver is a versatile fixed-blade utility knife that doubles as a rescue knife in emergencies—the blunt tip prevents accidental punctures.

3. Kysek WhetBlade

Kysek WhetBlade knife.
Kysek WhetBlade Jon Whittle

Style: Fillet


The latest from Kysek is an American-made 7-inch fillet knife that utilizes a revolutionary cutting-edge technology. Rather than the traditional practice of having a super-hard blade edge, the titanium WhetBlade features a hard and soft side: The soft edge wears faster and the harder side does not, which means the knife actually self-sharpens as you use it.

4. Gerber Sengyo

Gerber Sengyo knife.
Gerber Sengyo Jon Whittle

Style: Slicer

Perfect for slicing thin slivers for sashimi or carpaccio, the 9.5-inch Sengyo is a Japanese-inspired slicer that glides easily through meat or fish, thanks to the relief etching on the sides of the blade that prevent sticking.


5. AFTCO Fish Fillet

AFTCO Fish Fillet knife.
AFTCO Fish Fillet Jon Whittle

Style: Fillet

AFTCO’s new 8-, 10- and 12-inch (shown) fillet knives are built in collaboration with Böker Germany, with 4116 German stainless-steel blades, full tang construction and an upswept design.

6. Havalon Talon Fish

Havalon Talon Fish knife.
Havalon Talon Fish Jon Whittle

Style: Interchangeable


When you need to switch between knives, check out the Talon Fish. The Quik-Change II internal locking mechanism allows the user to easily swap blades with a press of a button. The package includes two 7-inch and one 5-inch fillet blades, a 3.5-inch semiserrated blade and a rugged nylon roll pack for easy storage.

7. Rapala Straight Fillet

Rapala Straight Fillet knife.
Rapala Straight Fillet Jon Whittle

Style: Stiff Fillet

Good quality at an affordable price is the hallmark of this 7-inch knife from Rapala. The stiff stainless-steel blade holds a sharp edge, making this one a great choice for steaking gamefish such as wahoo and king mackerel.

8. Rapala Fish ‘n Fillet

Rapala Fish ’n Fillet knife.
Rapala Fish ’n Fillet Jon Whittle

Style: Fillet

With its iconic Laplander leather sheath and birch-wood handle, the Rapala Fish ‘N Fillet is a design that’s been around for decades, and yet it remains just as popular today. Made by Marttiini, the European stainless-steel blade takes and holds an ­ultra-sharp edge. Four lengths are available.


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