A fish knife is a long flexible blade that you may use to cut out fillet from bone or remove the skin from fish. Fish knives typically come in thin blades with narrow ends that make it easy to remove the fillet from the bones. A superior blade ensures you do not waste any meat, spend too much time preparing the fish, or suffer injury due to slippage. With so many fish knives in the market, selecting the best particularly if you are new in the fish-filleting arena can be a daunting task.
However, it is not all doom and gloom, taking the following into consideration when buying a fish knife will ensure that you get the best knife for your needs:
Length of Knife
Fish knives can be either long, medium or short. Short blades of about 6 inches long are excellent when you are preparing pan fish such as perch, sunfish, and crappies. Larger fish such as trout, eating walleye, or bass would need a medium sized blade of about 7-7 inches long. Large knives of about 9-10 inches are appropriate for handling large fish such as lake trout, northern pike, and big walleye.
Since they are used to cut fish that is in most instances wet, a good fish blade should be made of stainless steel. However, while there are many knife brands claim that their blades are stainless steel, I have seen many knives rust and stain time and again, particularly if you frequently use them on a saltwater fishing trip. To be on the safe side, you need to go for the well-known brands even if they are more expensive, since just as in anything you buy – you get what you pay for. Another key consideration for a fish blade is the flexibility, particularly if you are using it on small fish that tend to require greater maneuverability.
After a good day out fishing, you need to clean and prepare them for the table. If you have ever had to fillet a lot of fish, you know the importance of having a comfortable handle. A good handle that offers utmost comfort is one with good control and grip. While traditional fish blades had wooden handles, newer knives come with either rubber or plastic handles. These handles offer more grip and control than wooden handles thus making the filleting exercise more comfortable.
Fish blades often come with additional accessories the most common of which are the sheath and the sharpening tool. A sheath and sharpening tool will come in handy for keeping your blades sharp and clean particularly if you doing lake or sea fishing. Other manufacturers will also throw in a cutting board as part of the set just to make your fish preparation much more easier.
If you do a lot of fishing thereby necessitating a lot of filleting, an electric fish knife comes with some distinct benefits. While most electric blades are better than any manual one, the key to greater efficiency is paying attention to how your blade is powered. If you are going for shore lunch or camping, your best bet is a knife with rechargeable batteries. A brand that you can charge on the cigarette lighter in the car or on the boat batter can also be very convenient for a trip to far-flung fishing spots.
You need to keep in mind that the best knife blade is dependent on the type of fish you want to fillet or the type of recreational fishing you seek. It is critical to ensure that you do not skimp on the quality of material used for the blade, as you will end up wasting meat, time, and money. While you can buy a knife at the local departmental store, the best place to purchase a fish knife is online, as you get to select from a wide range of knives available in a click.