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The Best Fishing Knife of 2022 Reviewed (Buyer’s Guide)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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One piece of fishing equipment every fisherman should have on a fishing trip is a good fishing knife.

Fishing knives are there to help you cut bait, fillet fish and prep dinner while you’re camping. 

They can also get you out of trouble when something goes wrong.

They once helped me.

When my anchor line got stuck and dragged my boat down.

I also had the line wrap around my finger when I had a sailfish attached to the other end.

Finding the best fishing knives and brands is not an easy task though and you’ll want to be sure the blade is up to the tasks you have set in mind – join me as I take a look at the best fishing knives on the market.

The Best From The Review

Here’s a quick look at the best fishing knives from the lineup, all sorted by category.

Top Pick

Cutco Gut Hook Hunting Knife

Made from the highest quality stainless steel and come with an exceptionally sharp serrated edge.

Cutco Gut Hook Hunting Knife

The top fishing knife overall is the Cutco Gut Hook Hunting Knife.

These knives are made from the highest quality stainless steel and come with an exceptionally sharp serrated edge. 

You’ll be able to cut through anything like butter, even bone, and the handy gut hook is ideal for cleaning the stomachs of fish quickly and easily.

Best Saltwater Fishing Knife

Spyderco Salt 2

If you work on an offshore boat or fish in saltwater a lot, this is the fishing knife to have a good look at.

Spyderco Salt 2

The best fishing knife for use in saltwater is the Spyderco Salt 2.

These fishing knives are made for the salt and are completely rustproof.

They are also light, super sharp, and fit in your pocket with ease so they are always on hand when you need them.

Best Fishing Fillet Knife

Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife

Top quality but an affordable knife that is exceptionally sharp, quick to sharpen, and corrosion-resistant.

Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife

The best fishing fillet knife is the Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife.

These fillet knives come with a tough blade that you can sharpen to a serious edge without a problem.

You’ll be able to take clean fillets off any fish with these fillet knives and the handle is super grippy so you can cut without a safety problem.

Best Fishing Pocket Knife

Smith and Wesson Extreme Ops

More of a pocket knife used for self-defense outdoors than a fishing knife but it serves the same purpose, being on standby to cut reliably when you need it.

Smith and Wesson Extreme Ops

The best fishing pocket knife is the Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops fish knife.

This pocket knife is light, grippy, durable, and has a mean edge.

It’s the perfect pocket knife for small fishing and camping tasks and you can easily open it with one hand.

Best Japanese Fishing Knife

Katsu Camping Japanese Knife

Built with quality materials making it exceptionally durable, corrosion-resistant, light, and super sharp.

Katsu Camping Japanese Knife

The best Japanese fishing knife is the Katsu pocket knife.

Made from Japanese steel with a clever style blade, this fish knife is ready for any hard or small task you can think of.

It’s exceptionally corrosion-resistant too, from the steel blade all the way down to the titanium handle and carbon fiber grips.

Best Fishing Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox Fisherman Swiss Army Knife

Features 18 tools and functions and includes a hook disgorger, descaler, ruler, scissors, and more, all of which are useful on any fishing trip.

Victorinox Fisherman Swiss Army Knife

The best fishing Swiss Army Knife is the Victorinox Fisherman.

Not only do these knives have a solid blade for cutting, they also come with knife accessories in the form of extra tools.

The Victorinox Fisherman has 18 tools and functions and includes a hook disgorger, descaler, ruler, scissors, and more, all of which are useful on any fishing trip.

You can clean fish, cut lines, use the screwdrivers to fix reels and engines, the list is endless.

Specs

  • Type: Folding Multi-tool
  • Overall Length: 7.4 inches
  • Blade Length: 3.6 inches
  • Blade Material: Swiss Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Polyethylene

Pros

  • Durable and well made
  • Comes with 18 tools
  • Quality, corrosion-resistant blade material
  • Has a descaler and hook disgorger
  • Light and portable
  • Easily fits into your pocket
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not the longest blade

Best Electric Fishing Knife

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

An electric fishing knife that has a fixed blade and helps you fillet fish quickly and easily with minimal effort.

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

The best electric fishing knife is the Rapala Cordless Fillet Knife.

These knives cut for 80 minutes off a full charge, have a grippy handle, and replaceable blades.

The blade on these knives is serrated, durable, super sharp, and makes light work of filleting.

Best Fly Fishing Knife

Gerber Suspension-NXT

A fishing knife that is also a multi-tool but has pliers which are very helpful for fishing.

Gerber Suspension-NXT

The best fly fishing knife is the Gerber Suspension NXT.

These knives come with two blades and an abundance of knife accessories like pliers, screwdrivers, scissors, and more.

You can use the scissors to trim your flies, cut your leader, and the pliers to remove hooks and more.

The knife is super durable too as everything from the handle to all of the tools is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel.

Our Best Fishing Knives

Best Fishing Pocket Knife

Smith and Wesson Extreme Ops

More of a pocket knife used for self-defense outdoors than a fishing knife but it serves the same purpose, being on standby to cut reliably when you need it.

Smith and Wesson Extreme Ops

Smith & Wesson aren’t really part of the fishing knife brands club, they are more about guns and knives for combat.

The Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops knife is more of a pocket knife used for self-defense outdoors than a fishing knife but it serves the same purpose, being on standby to cut reliably when you need it.

Size

The knife is small when closed at just 4inches or so and comes with a pocket clip so you can always have it sitting in your pocket or on your belt, ready for action.

Quite often in fishing, you need a knife quickly to cut the line when it’s wrapped around you or someone else, especially when there is a large fish like a tuna attached to it at the same time.

Blade

The folding blade on this knife is a high carbon stainless steel blade that is easy to deploy with one hand and super durable.

The blade will be resistant to corrosion and with a rinse after using it in saltwater each day, it’ll stay looking good as new.

Features

Once open the blade stays put thanks to the reliable locking mechanism.

It’s super sharp and holds its edge too, meaning you’ll have less sharpening to do, even though it sharpens quickly and easily.

The blade on this knife is 3.1 inches long and is perfect for gutting small fish like trout, cutting lines, prepping dinner, and whittling down sticks at your campsite.

Handle

The handle on the folding knife is made from aluminum making it both tough and durable, and corrosion-resistant.

The only downside is that the handle does get slippery when wet, so be sure to hold it tight when working in a moist environment.

Specs

  • Type: Folding Pocket
  • Overall Length: 7.1 inches
  • Blade Length: 3.1 inches
  • Blade Material: 7Cr17MoV Black Oxide High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Aluminum

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Made from excellent materials
  • Corrosion-resistant for durability
  • Easy to deploy

Cons

  • Not grippy when wet

Buck Knives 0220BLS Silver Creek Folding Fillet Knife

An ideal knife for filleting fish quickly at the end of the day.

Buck Knives 0220BLS Silver Creek Folding Fillet Knife

The Buck Knives 0220BLS Silver Creek Folding Fillet Knife is an ideal knife for filleting fish quickly at the end of the day.

Unlike most fillet knives that have a fixed blade, this is a folding knife making it much easier to store in your backpack without worry about any punctures.

Blade

The blade on the fillet knife is made from titanium coated stainless steel, making it excellent at handling corrosion.

The titanium coating prevents anything from getting to the steel blade and with a bit of daily TLC, you’ll keep it looking good as new.

The blade is 6.5 inches long, is super sharp, and cuts through fish like butter. You’ll be filleting your catch quickly and with ease once you have the hang of this knife.

Locking Mechanism

You might think that being a folding knife instead of a fixed blade, that the blade might tend to close while filleting quickly but that’s not the case.

This knife has an excellent locking mechanism that ensures the blade stays open and your hands stay safe while using it.

Handle

The handle on this knife is made from glass-reinforced polypropylene and is both durable and grippy thanks to the rubber overmold.

You can use it in all weather and the knife won’t slip out of your hand.

Lanyard

At the end of the handle, you’ll find a lanyard so you can hang the knife where you want it, or wrap the lanyard around your wrist so you don’t lose the knife overboard.

The only downside to this knife is that you’ll need to give it some care every day to keep it looking fresh.

Specs

  • Type: Fillet knife
  • Overall Length: 7.25 inches closed
  • Blade Length: 6.5 inches
  • Blade Material: Titanium Coated 420J2 Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Polypropylene GFN with TPE Rubber and Stainless Steel Guard

Pros

  • Razor-sharp for cutting through fish
  • Fillets fish fast
  • A high-quality blade that’s very corrosion resistant
  • Extra grippy handle for all weathers
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Reliably locks open for safety

Cons

  • Needs some love to keep it looking fresh

Best Electric Fishing Knife

Rapala

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

An electric fishing knife that has a fixed blade and helps you fillet fish quickly and easily with minimal effort.

Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife

The Rapala Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife is an electric fishing knife that has a fixed blade and helps you fillet fish quickly and easily with minimal effort.

Build

The knife comes in two parts, the handle and the fillet blade, which is replaceable.

This makes the fillet knife highly portable as you can break it down and put it in your backpack safely.

Blade

The blades are serrated, made from stainless steel, and are 7 inches long, perfect for pulling off a good fillet.

The fillet blade can be a little tricky to remove sometimes, and it might take you a while at first, but once you have the hang of it, it won’t take more than a few seconds.

Blade Design

Being serrated, the blade does give you a rougher cut of meat when compared to a non-serrated fillet blade.

The handle is grippy to ensure you can cut with ease and it contains the battery to power the fillet knife.

Battery

The battery lasts 80 minutes of cutting on a full charge.

Charge it is easy, just plug it into the wall with the included charger and it will be full in two hours.

The one major downside to this fillet knife is that you’ll run out of battery when using it outdoors, so it’s a stay at home knife or for use once a day for 80 minutes.

Specs

  • Type: Filleting Knife
  • Overall Length: 14 inches
  • Blade Length: 7 inches
  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: NA

Pros

  • A good battery life of 80 mins
  • Easy to charge, and quickly
  • Good at filleting fish
  • Blades are removable and replaceable
  • Grippy handle for safe cutting
  • Durable and well made

Cons

  • Hard to remove the blades
  • Cuts meat quite roughly being serrated
  • Has to be charged at home

Best Saltwater Fishing Knife

Spyderco Salt 2

If you work on an offshore boat or fish in saltwater a lot, this is the fishing knife to have a good look at.

Spyderco Salt 2

The Spyderco Salt 2 fishing knife is made for life at sea, as you can probably tell by the name.

If you work on an offshore boat or fish in saltwater a lot, this is the fishing knife to have a good look at.

Build

This folding knife is compact, small, fits in your pocket, and as a pocket clip so you can have it at the ready.

It’s also a manual folder and can be opened quickly and easily with one hand whether you’re left or right-handed.

Blade

The folding blade on this knife is made from H1 stainless steel, a material that laughs in the face of corrosion.

Rust is a thing of the past when it comes to this fishing folder knife as the steel is so pure that there is nothing to oxidize inside it.

Features

While being great against corrosion, the steel blade is also exceptionally sharp, holds its edge, and locks reliably when open. It’s also the perfect length at 3 inches to gut a fish with, cut bait, and prepare dinner while you’re camping.

Handle

The handle on this fish knife is made from fiberglass-reinforced nylon making it rust proof and exceptionally grippy even when covered in blood thanks to the added texture.

Fishing knives like this don’t come around often, in fact, I’ve never seen any fishing or rigging knives that are rust proof like this one, and I’ve already bought one to add to my tackle box.

Specs

  • Type: Folding Pocket
  • Overall Length: 7.25 inches
  • Blade Length: 3 inches
  • Blade Material: H1 steel
  • Handle Material: Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon

Pros

  • Amazingly well made for longevity
  • Rustproof blade for use in saltwater
  • Grippy handle for use in all weathers
  • A razor-sharp and durable blade that holds its edge
  • Small, light, and portable
  • The locking mechanism is reliable and safe
  • Opens quickly and easily

Cons

  • The blade is a little shorter than others

Top Pick

Cutco Gut Hook Hunting Knife

Made from the highest quality stainless steel and come with an exceptionally sharp serrated edge.

Cutco Gut Hook Hunting Knife

The Cutco Gut Hook Hunting Knives are still great as fishing knives as the gut hook and sharp serrated edge makes cutting fish open and removing guts as easy as it gets.

Build

These knives come with a 4.375-inch blade that is serrated with a large sharp hook on the top end of it.

The hook looks a bit like a can opener, except it’s there so it can get up into the fish’s throat, cut the tubes and clean it properly before freezing.

Blade

The fixed blade on these knives is made from 440A High-Carbon Stainless Steel that is tough as nails and exceptionally corrosion-resistant for durability.

It holds its edge exceptionally well too but being serrated it’s harder to sharpen and you might have to send it to a pro.

Handle

The handle on these fishing knives is made from Kraton, a thermoplastic that behaves like rubber.

It gives you an exceptionally good grip on the knives even when wet and it’s soft to hold so that your palms don’t get tired when doing a lot of cutting.

If you’re planning on catching and gutting a lot of fish on a fishing trip, this is the fishing knife to have with you.

Sheath

These knives also come with a leather sheath for safe storage and you can slide it on to your belt so you can access the knife quickly when you need it.

The only downside to these fishing knives is that they are expensive in price, but they are one of the best fishing knives around.

Specs

  • Type: Hunting
  • Overall Length: 10.25 inches
  • Blade Length: 4.375 inches
  • Blade Material: 440A High-Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Kraton

Pros

  • A sharp blade that holds its edge
  • Comes with a gut hook for removing guts from fish
  • Grippy and durable handle for safe use
  • Light and portable
  • Comes with a leather sheath for wearing it on your belt
  • Quality corrosion-resistant blade material

Cons

  • Very expensive

Best Fishing Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox Fisherman Swiss Army Knife

Features 18 tools and functions and includes a hook disgorger, descaler, ruler, scissors, and more, all of which are useful on any fishing trip.

Victorinox Fisherman Swiss Army Knife

We all know that Swiss Army Knives are actually utility multi-tools but at least this one is catered towards fishing rather than anything else.

The Victorinox Fisherman Swiss Army Knife comes with a 3.6-inch stainless steel blade and 17 other tools and functions to use on the river banks or in your boat.

Build

Being utility multi-tools, all the blades on a Swiss Army Fishing Knife are folding and are useful for small tasks like cutting trout or whittling.

The blade is sharp, easy to sharpen, and holds its edge too. But owning one of these fishing knives isn’t just about the blade is about all the tools it comes with.

Tools

You can use the screwdrivers to fix your reels, the scissors to cut your lines, plus the descaler to clean your fish and a hook disgorger to remove any deep-set hooks from fish too.

On top of these you also get another smaller blade, can opener, bottle opener, ruler, tweezers, and a toothpick.

Portability

Another great thing about a Swiss Army Knife is how portable it is.

You can slip it in your pocket and barely know it’s there but it’s always at the ready when you need it.

Blade

The only major drawback to this knife is that the blade is a little tiny and it doesn’t lock in place.

It is not made for heavy tasks like cutting through bones or filleting, it’s there when you need it for small tasks.

Specs

  • Type: Folding Multi-tool
  • Overall Length: 7.4 inches
  • Blade Length: 3.6 inches
  • Blade Material: Swiss Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Polyethylene

Pros

  • Durable and well made
  • Comes with 18 tools
  • Quality, corrosion-resistant blade material
  • Has a descaler and hook disgorger
  • Light and portable
  • Easily fits into your pocket
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Type: Folding Multi-tool
  • Overall Length: 7.4 inches
  • Blade Length: 3.6 inches
  • Blade Material: Swiss Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Polyethylene

Best Fly Fishing Knife

Gerber Suspension-NXT

A fishing knife that is also a multi-tool but has pliers which are very helpful for fishing.

Gerber Suspension-NXT

The Gerber Suspension-NXT is another fishing knife that is also a multi-tool but it’s a little more useful than the Swiss Army Knife mentioned above.

Features

The Gerber Suspension-NXT has more useful tools when it comes to fishing, the main one being the pliers.

Having a good pair of pliers while you’re fishing is a godsend.

You can use them as line cutters, for wire, open bolts, fix engines, and more when you have some pliers to hand.

Blade

The blade on the Gerber Suspension-NXT is made from stainless steel and is tough and corrosion-resistant

It’s also a sharp blade that is easy and quick to sharpen and the perfect size for intricate tasks like cutting lines or gutting small fish like crappie or trout.

Unlike other similar tools, the blade in the Gerber also locks to ensure you can use it safely without the worry of it collapsing on you mid-cut.

Portability

The Gerber is also small, light, portable and comes with a pocket clip so you can keep it safely in your pocket or have it clipped to your belt so it’s always ready for action.

There are some shortcomings to this Gerber though.

The steel blade is quite short at 2.25 inches and you do need two hands to open the blade, so you’ll have to stop whatever you’re doing and open it before you can continue.

Specs

  • Type: Folding Multi-tool
  • Overall Length: 6.8 inches
  • Blade Length: 2.25 inches
  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • 18 tools and functions for fishing
  • Pocket clip for keeping it secure in your pocket
  • Covered in tools for fixing reels, engines, and more
  • Durable and well made
  • Affordable
  • Reliable locking mechanism for safety
  • Blade material is sharp and holds its edge

Cons

  • Small blade length
  • Requires two hands to open the blade

Best Japanese Fishing Knife

Katsu Camping Japanese Knife

Built with quality materials making it exceptionally durable, corrosion-resistant, light, and super sharp.

Katsu Camping Japanese Knife

The Katsu Camping Japanese Knife consists of a Japanese cold steel blade with a carbon fiber and titanium handle.

This combination of materials makes this fishing knife exceptionally durable, corrosion-resistant, light, and super sharp.

Blade

The blade is 3.6 inches long and comes with a cleaver design that is made for heavier tasks and is perfect for cutting up fish, chopping bait, and even getting dinner ready at your campsite.

The blade is made from VG-10 stonewashed cold steel.

This is high-quality Japanese steel that is amazing at holding its edge and resistant to knicks and scratches to ensure you always have a clean edge to cut with.

Design

The blade folds out of the handle with ease.

You can open the knife up with just one hand on this manual folder, and once open, the locking mechanism holds it solidly in place so you can do some hard cutting without any safety concerns.

Handle

The handle is made from titanium and has carbon fiber panels along it for grip.

The handle is grippy in all weathers, even when wet, so you don’t have to worry about the fishing knife slipping out your hands when working next to the water.

Storage

The fishing knife doesn’t have a pocket clip but it does come with a leather sheath that you can strap to your belt or use the included carabiner to have it hanging from your person.

The only downside to this fishing knife is that it is quite expensive but when you consider the quality of the blade and handle you’re getting, it’s worth the investment.

Specs

  • Type: Folding knife
  • Overall Length: 9 inches
  • Blade Length: 3.9 inches
  • Blade Material: VG-10 Steel stonewashed
  • Handle Material: Titanium & Carbon fiber

Pros

  • One-hand opening and closing
  • Lightweight thanks to the carbon handle
  • A top-quality blade that stays sharp
  • Blade locks reliably for heavy use
  • Exceptionally durable and corrosion-resistant materials
  • Cleaver style blade for gutting fish
  • Comes with a leather sheath

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Ugly Stik Fishing Knife

A fillet knife with a stainless steel fixed blade able to cut through the toughest fish skin and bones.

Ugly Stik Fishing Knife

If you’re a spin fisherman, you have probably heard of the brand’s Ugly Stick rod.

Well, the Ugly Stik Fishing Knife is just as tough.

Build

The Ugly Stik Fishing Knife is made with a full tang meaning the blade extends through to the end of the handle. This provides you with superior cutting power and when combined with the blade, you’ll even be able to get through bone with ease.

The Ugly Stik Fishing Knife is a fillet knife with a stainless steel fixed blade.

Blade

The fixed blade is 4 inches long, serrated, and sharp. Any fisherman will be able to use this fillet knife to cut through the toughest fish skin and bones to take prime fillets with ease.

These fishing knives also feature a line cutter notch near the handle of the fillet knife.

It’s perfectly placed and remains exposed when in the included sheath, so you can slip your line into it and cut it without having to remove the knife.

Handle

The handle is made from Ugly Tuff material which is not only durable but super grippy. You can use these fishing knives in all situations, even when the handle is wet or covered in blood.

These fixed blade fishing knives are also affordable and perfect for any fishing trip but there is one downside.

Serrated

The blade on these fishing knives is serrated to help it to cut through bone and tough skin, but a serrated fillet knife does give you rougher meat than a smooth blade.

Specs

  • Type: Fillet knife
  • Overall Length: 7 inches
  • Blade Length: 4 inches
  • Blade Material: 8CR14 high carbon stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Ugly Tuff

Pros

  • Grippy in all conditions, even covered in fish slime
  • A high-quality blade that is corrosion resistant
  • Has a blood drip to keep the handle clean
  • Tough full-tang design
  • A sharp blade that cuts through fish with ease
  • Included sheath leaves the line cut tool on the knife open
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Serrated to give rough meat

Best Fishing Fillet Knife

Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife

Top quality but an affordable knife that is exceptionally sharp, quick to sharpen, and corrosion-resistant.

Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife

The Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife is a top quality knife that is also affordable.

The knife even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year free replacement warranty, showing you just how much confidence Huntsman Outdoors has in the knife.

Build

This fillet knife comes with a fixed blade that is made from top quality 3cr13 stainless steel. This not only makes the knife exceptionally sharp, quick to sharpen, and corrosion-resistant, but it also holds its edge for a long time.

The blade on the knife is also exceptionally durable and resistant to any knicks it could suffer from when doing hard tasks like pushing through the odd bone while filleting.

Handle

The handle on the knife is made from durable polyethylene plastic with textured rubber for grip.

The rubber gives you something soft to hold and ensures the knife doesn’t slip while you’re going about your cutting tasks.

Sheath

The knife comes with a sheath that is lockable for protection.

This ensures the knife blade stays covered, so you can put it in your fishing bag without worrying that the sheath has come off when you go to get your knife.

Needs Sharpening

The only downside to this knife, and there is only one, is that the knife arrives dull. 

It’s not that big a deal, and it’s quite fun to sharpen your new knife, as it’s a good way to get acquainted with it.

Specs

  • Type: Fillet knife
  • Overall Length: 11.38 inches
  • Blade Length: 4.8 inches
  • Blade Material: 3cr13 stainless steel
  • Handle Material: Rubber & Plastic

Pros

  • 30-day money-back with a 1-year free replacement warranty
  • Durable and well made
  • The blade is made from quality steel
  • Corrosion-resistant and stays sharp
  • Fillets fish quickly and easily
  • Sharpens quickly and easily
  • Comes with a lockable sheath for safety
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Needs sharpening on arrival
Knife on a Wood Block
Knife on a Wood Block

What is a fishing knife?

A fishing knife is like a regular knife but it’s made more robustly and with a different function in mind to your usual household kitchen knife.

They are designed to handle corrosion and harder tasks than simply chopping vegetables or carving beef.

NOTE

Fishing knife styles also vary with 3 main knife styles including pocket knives, fillet knives, and multi-tools with a blade. Each one is useful for different scenarios.

Who Should Own A Fishing Knife?

Fishing takes you into the wilderness and you often end up in places where help is more than a few hours away and you never know what nature is going to throw at you.

There might be a storm that requires you building a shelter or you might hook a shark and need to cut the line.

Better Ready Than Not

The possible situations where a knife makes all the difference are endless.

Therefore, every fisherman should have some sort of knife with them on every fishing trip, so why not make it a fishing knife that is fit for the jobs you need it to do?

How old do you have to be to own a knife in Ohio for fishing?

Fishing knife laws in Ohio have no age restrictions on owning any knife, so fishermen of any age are allowed to own a knife for self-defense gear, outdoor pursuits, and other hobbies.

The fishing knife laws also state that as long as the knife is being used as a tool, you can have it concealed in your backpack or even on your hip while you’re fishing.

What does the state consider a hunting or fishing knife?

Items like knives have strict rules especially in the US…

When carrying knives, knife, or anything that could be considered a weapon, any buyer will want to read up on your state laws on what rights reserved you carry fishing knives around. 

US Knife Law

In the US, fishing or hunting knives will be considered an illegal weapon when it’s thought that the knife is being used for any illegal offenses.

This means your fishing Swiss Army Knife will be considered a deadly weapon in the wrong scenario.

NOTE

But, any fishing or hunting knife that is in with your fishing tackle, or you’re carrying while fishing, will be considered a tool and not a deadly weapon.

What makes a good fishing knife?

Knife and Fish On Top of a Rock
Knife and Fish On Top of a Rock

Fishing knives are items that are likely to get abused.

Whether it’s fillet knives or fishing pocket knives, they are going to do heavy tasks and good fishing knives will be able to survive them.

Material

The best fishing knives will be made of quality steel that resists corrosion, are sharp, holds their edge, are a breeze to sharpen, and have a grippy handle that ensures you can use them safely.

If a knife hits all these points, you can be sure it’s up to the task of being a fishing knife.

What is the hole for in a fishing knife?

The hole in fishing knives is only found in blade manual folder knives.

Blade manual folder knives have a large hole in the blade that you use to open and unfold the blade using just one hand.

Here’s a video demonstrating its pros and cons…

Thumb Stud Vs. Thum Disc Vs. Spydie Hole

Easy Access

The hole allows you to hold the line in one hand, and take your knife out and open it with the other.

This means you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to get your knife out, as it takes just one hand to do it.

What size fillet knife is best for bass fishing?

Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass

Bass are quite small fish, around 2-5 lbs and the best size fillet knife for bass will come with a 7.5-inch blade.

A blade of this size will be able to take a fillet off a bass with ease, and won’t be too large to make the task cumbersome.

How do you clean rust off a fishing knife?

Cleaning rust off a fishing knife is quick and easy if you follow these simple steps.

You’ll need a few apparel accessories including a toothbrush, wire wool, washing liquid, baking soda, a cloth, and mineral oil.

You don’t need all of these apparel accessories, but all are recommended.

  1. First, wash the knife with water and washing liquid to remove any dirt. Then make a paste out of baking soda and water.
  2. Then liberally apply it across the knife evenly, and rub it gently with your toothbrush until the rust moves off. If the rust is too thick, use the wire wool but rub gently being careful not to scratch the blade.
  3. Once the knife is clean of rust, rinse it off and dry it with a cloth.
  4. Then rub it down with some mineral oil to give it a barrier against corrosion when you use it next.

How to clean saltwater from a folding knife?

Cleaning saltwater from a folding knife is simple and easy. Just grab an old toothbrush, and get a tub of warm soapy water.

Soak the knife in the water and while open scrub it with the toothbrush.

Then rinse it off and dry it.

TIP

Once dry, it’s a good idea to add some lube to the folding mechanism, like Blue Lube of Tuf Glide to keep the mechanism smooth and protected.

Things to consider when buying a fishing knife

Fish Cut Open with a Knife
Fish Cut Open with a Knife

Purpose & Type

Knowing what you plan on using your knife for will end up dictating the type of knife you need.

For example, if you plan on using your knife for cleaning fish, you’re going to need a fillet knife, not a folding pocket knife.

Emergency

The same goes for if you want a knife handy for emergencies, cutting lines, and gutting small fish – a folding pocket knife is a lot more convenient to carry around than a fillet knife.

But you might choose multi-tools over a folding knife if you want the extra tools that come with it.

Types Of Fishing Knife

Fixed Blade

Fixed blade knives are tougher than a folding blade or multi-tools.

The blade extends all the way through the handle, known as a full tang, and is perfect for heavy work like filleting fish all day long.

They are, however, not convenient to carry on your person and you’re not likely to have one on your belt as it’ll look a bit dangerous to passers by – and being a bit bulk, it won’t be very comfy.

Folding Blade

Folding blades are perfect for concealment and portability. They slot right into your pocket and are safe to carry as the blade is shielded when the knife is closed.

These are the most useful knives to have while you’re fishing in my opinion.

You can deploy them quickly in an emergency situation, they’re sharp enough and large enough to gut fish, make camp, and slice up dinner.

Multi-tools

Multi Tool Knife on Wooden Surface
Multi Tool Knife on Wooden Surface

Multi-tools are a great all-around tool to have when you’re in the outdoors. You don’t buy them for the blades, you buy them to have a whole set of tools in your pocket.

I have used a Gerber Suspension NXT to fix an engine on an atoll in Seychelles, and if I hadn’t had it with me, my fishing clients would have lost a day of fishing and someone from the base island would have had to come and rescue us.

RECOMMENDATION

I would highly advise owning multi-tools and a folding knife, together they make the perfect team, and if you plan on doing a lot of filleting, one of those too.

Material Vs Environment

The next thing to think about is to ensure the knife materials match the environment you intend to use them in.

Freshwater

If you only fish in freshwater, then you can relax a bit as most stainless is going to be fine and suffer minimal corrosion.

Saltwater

If you fish in saltwater however, you’re going to need a knife that is made for it.

RECOMMENDATION

Make sure to pick a blade that’s made from high-quality stainless, like H1 steel, and ensure the handle is made from Aluminum, or another corrosion resistant material like polypropylene.

Summing Up

I hope you have found my buying guide about fishing knives useful.

There is such a huge range to choose from, that finding the right knife for you is not an easy task.

Remember that finding the right knife comes down to knife type, size, use, materials, and then trusting the brands’ knife you end up choosing.

If you haven’t quite decided which of the knives above is the right one for you, here are my top two, and it’s probably worth owning both as they have different purposes.

Best Saltwater Fishing Knife

The best fish knife to have on standby at the ready for anything is the Spyderco Salt 2.

This fish knife is made to survive any conditions.

The blade, handle, and connecting parts are completely rustproof and are made for living life at sea without a problem.

The blade is also easy to open, the knife is light, portable and the handle is grippy in all conditions.

Best Fishing Fillet Knife

The top knife for filleting is the Huntsman Outdoors Fillet Knife.

These knives guarantee a great user experience as they come with a 1-year free replacement warranty.

The blade is long, sharpens down to a fine point, and makes light work of filleting fish.

Stay Sharp!

Thanks for reading my buying guide about fishing knives, I hope you enjoyed it.

Please feel free to share it around with your fishing friends and check out some of our other articles too.

We cover everything you need for fishing from braid to reels and ice augers, and in a lot of detail too. But if you want more fishing accessories related reads, check out this Best Fishing Scale article or this Best Fishing Gloves article.

Share your thoughts with me by commenting below or getting in touch with me over on social media!

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
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