Looking for the Best Fishing Knife

best fishing knife

Whether you are using it outdoors or on a dinner table, a good fishing knife can be the difference between a great looking fillet, and a messy pile of fish mush.

What to look for in the best fishing knife

Fishing knives needs to have a sharp yet flexible blade with a firm, non-slippery and easy to hold handle. These knives are geared towards finesse instead of brute force and this is why it they are the most flexible of all hunting knives.

A real outdoorsman must have at least one fishing knife in his kit because you cannot really de-bone a fish properly with a Ka-Bar, right?

These are the best five fishing knives that I would recommend. A short description of each knife appears below the table:

PictureKnifeBlade LengthPriceRatingExtras

Wusthof Gourmet with Leather Sheath
7"$$$$4.8Excellent leather sheath, great quality

Buck Knives 0023RDS Clearwater 6-Inch Fillet Knife
6"$$$4.5Lifetime Guarantee
Rapala 8-Inch Sportsman'S Classic Curved Fillet Knife
8"$$4.2Less flexible, good for large fish

Kershaw Folding Fillet
6"$$4Folding knife

Kershaw 1289 Pro Narrow Fillet Knife
9.5"$$$4.2Versatile - big and small fish


Wüsthof Gourmet 7” 

Wüsthof Grand Prix II 7”This seven inch blade has a very narrow and yet incredibly sharp edge that is designed for precision. It has a natural feel when you grip it and the 7 inch blade has a very good level of corrosion and stain resistance. The grooved handle provides a great grip which allows you to fillet even larger fish species. The handle is nicely weighted, with a balance point about three inches up the five inch bakelite handle.

The versatility of the Wusthof does not end with fishes alone. It is flexible and yet strong enough to be able to handle poultry and even gamier meat. The sheath looks basic but is capable of doing its job properly. Even as a fillet knife, it still has that manly feel. It is definitely on of the world’s best fishing knives.

The size of the Wusthof Gourmet allows you to keep it neatly in most fishing tackle boxes while is strong and dependable enough that you can rely on it whenever you need it. The relatively longer blade also allows you to handle fishes that are a bit larger than usual without much trouble.

Click here to find the lowest price for the Wüsthof Gourmet 7 inch

Kershaw 1256 Folding Fillet Knife


Kershaw-Folding-Fillet-Knife-1256-largeIn a class where most kives have a fixed blade, a folding fillet knife could very well have the edge for people who do not always want a bulky fishing knife that usually just end up in the fish cleaning station. The Kershaw 1256 has a 6 inch blade that folds neatly into its 7 inch handle.


The Kershaw 1256 is great evidence that a folding blade can serve as well as a fixed blade knife. The handle is made of polymer making it resistant to moisture and has finger contours that make it comfortable to grip and gives you great control.

The AUS6A stainless steel blade holds an edge pretty well and the fact that it costs less than $20 is simply a great bonus to potetial buyers.

Click here to see the lowest price for the Kershaw Folding Fillet knife

Buck Clearwater

Buck-Knives-Clearwater-Bait-KnifeBuck is well-known to produce high quality blades and the Clearwater is another good example of the quality of their work. It has a full tang construction which makes it very strong, a necessity for a great fishing knife whether it is used on the wild or a kitchen fishing board.

The 6 inch 420HC blade is a great addition to any fish cleaning station. The rubber handle with various ridges is virtually slip-proof and the sheath has an integral belt loop and a drain hole.

One of the reasons that makes the that makes the Clearwater an easy choice, apart from being one of the best fishing knives in the market, is that it is backed up with a “Forever Warranty” and if that does not set your mind at ease about the quality of this knife, I don’t know what would.

Click here to see the lowest price for the Buck Knives Clearwater 6-Inch Fillet Knife.

Rapala Classic Curved Fillet

Rapala-Classic-Curved-Fillet-Knife-P15586619Rapala is well-known for a different kind of fishing tool. Lures is what built the Rapala reputation but they are also slowly starting to make waves with their fishing knives. The price of this fishing knife makes it very popular with many fishing shops.

The Rapala Classic works best with larger salt water fishes due to its well-pronounced curve as well as the secure grip it provides the user. It has an 8 inch stainless steel blade, which is not very flexible, but then again, that is why many saltwater anglers like it since it is often used on larger fishes that will break most “flexies” in half.

The Rapala Classic has a clean look and a price tag that is really light on the pocket. The Rapala Classic is a great example of a fishing knife that is not the conventional, from its white look down to its hefty blade.

Click here to see the lowest prices for the Rapala 8-Inch Curved Fillet Knife.

Kershaw 1289 Pro-Grade


Kershaw-NarrowFillet-1289-2The Kershaw 1289 Pro-Grade has a 9 inch blade and the longest blade in this list. Although 9 inches might be a bit much if you are just catching trout, the size can come in handy for larger fish which basically gives you that peace of mind that you will be able to fillet whatever you catch.

The flexibility of the Kershaw 1289 Pro-Grade gives you enough control to get a great fillet and the design of the handle makes it very safe and easy to handle. With the capability that it gives you, it is considerably affordable with a price tag that is south of $25.

The 420J2 stainless steel blade is equally at home on a fishing board as well as a fishing shop and probably one of the best fishing knives out there. Most fishing knives simply do not have the range that the Kershaw 1289 Pro-Grade has.

Click here to see the lowest proces for the Kershaw 1289 Pro Grade.


What makes a great fishing knife?

One of the biggest advantages of a fishing knife as a fishing tool is that it is light and can easy to use.

The handle should also be secure and properly designed since it will most likely be used in a watery environment and make contact with blood and other slippery substance.  A well designed handle with various grooves and dents for your fingers makes sure that it does not slip regardless if it’s dry or wet.

The blade should be flexible while still being strong, with a full tang construction to ensure strength.

The Kershaw 1289 Pro-Grade and the Buck Clearwater are popular if conventional fishing knives, which makes them two of the best fishing knives in the world. The brands also gives you the peace of mind that you are getting a quality knife that is also affordable, and guaranteed.

For the fishing enthusiast who happens to like folding knives, the Kershaw 1256 Folding Fillet Knife is an obvious choice but make sure that you handle it with care since it can be slippery at times.

Final word

At the end of the day, you want the best fishing knife that you can have. There are a number of things that you need to consider like the target species and size of what you fish for, the general quality of the knife and the cost of the knife itself. With all three considered, the Buck Clearwater looks like the best candidate.

It has a 9 inch steel blade with a full tang construction, which makes it pretty durable yet flexible. It has a fairly good price tag and the fact that it has a “Forever Warranty” makes it uniquely capable of giving any owner peace of mind. There are cheaper knives out there of course but few can provide the same flexibility and peace of mind that the Clearwater can.

If you are looking for a fishing knife that is in a lower price range, the Kershaw 1289 which has a slightly longer blade with a nylon handle is my recommendation. The handle is well designed, an attribute that improves the safety to even the novice user.


Know of any better knives? Tell me about them.

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