Quality Fishing Knife

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I've been using Rapala knives for fishing trips, but I think it's time I got something better quality that will hold an edge better. Anyone have a recommendation that's not too crazy expensive? My go to knife maker is Idaho Knife Works, and Mike will do a fine job. HIs carbon spring steel is a wonderful knife material. I just wondered if there's something else you guys use that I should consider. Thanks.
 
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I like my Opinel no15 fillet knife. Stainless blend, but I’ve never had to sharpen it or keep it oiled.

Bob
 
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Go to Ragnar’s Ragweed Forge on the web and buy either a Helle or Mora filet blade. Add a handle that means something to you. Ask Mem how he likes his.
if you still want a pricier fish knife, I have a Randall Salt 7” that is all around handy.
 
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Go to Ragnar’s Ragweed Forge on the web and buy either a Helle or Mora filet blade. Add a handle that means something to you. Ask Mem how he likes his.
if you still want a pricier fish knife, I have a Randall Salt 7” that is all around handy.

How's the 3 layer steel on those Helle blades? Does it hold an edge?
 
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I have a Helle fishing knife with a cork handle that floats. I wear it as a neck knife for ease of access. It's very light, I like it. It's not a fillet knife though. If I was going to do any filleting on a regular basis I would have a dedicated fillet knife for that use only.
 
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I might be going off topic here, but I notice you said "fishing knife" and not "filet knife". I always figured that for me a fishing knife was likely to be a more general purpose knife more often than not that I was likely to carry when fishing and a filet knife was a special purpose subset of fishing knives that wasn't usually taken fishing (by me any way), but left in camp, or in the car, or at home for cleaning and preparing the catch after the trip. Since you mentioned Rapala I am guessing you are asking about filet knives specifically and not any of the more general purpose fishing knives.

I had been wondering about a general purpose knife to take fishing. I have had my usual folder that I carry every day, but what can I say... I like knives so an excuse to buy something to hang on my pfd might be hard to resist. I used to always have a Tekna knife strapped on the pfd and handy in my whitewater days. In theory it was a rescue knife. In practice it mostly spread peanut butter and sliced salami and hard cheese, but it looked bad ass :) These days something specific to fishing might be interesting. On the other hand maybe my general purpose daily carry folder is the most sensible choice and something called a "fishing knife" may not be even as functional let alone more functional.

I guess "fishing knife" can mean something different depending on who you ask. A deck hand on a tuna boat won't answer the same as a guy sport fishing for panfish out of a canoe. An image search for "fishing knife" turns up an interesting mix of knives.

Any way I didn't mean that so much to nit pick about terminology as to wonder what kind of general purpose or everyday carry like fishing knives folks used.

Oh, on the original topic... I have never graduated to anything nicer than Rapala for filet knives and have been happy with them. As far was Mora goes, some of their general purpose models seem to have good steel at a low price point.
 
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You are right, Pete. I should have said fillet knife. I don't usually take a fillet knife with me if I'm using a stringer. I have my utility knife on me while fishing, but rarely use it. Line snips are more useful for me.

I went ahead and bought a IKW 6" fillet knife. I'm familiar with the quality and steel. I'll carry it in my kitchen kit.
 
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Bark River Mini Kalahari Sportsman. Best I have used. Just ordered another in case I ever lose the one I have or they go out of production.
 
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I went ahead and bought a IKW 6" fillet knife. I'm familiar with the quality and steel. I'll carry it in my kitchen kit.

Enjoy the new IKW. My Rapala has always served me well enough, but a better knife is always nice. A knife upgrade is a joy to have and I am sure the IKW will be a prized possession. Simple edged tools of good quality like good knife are a special joy to own and use.
 
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When I saw fishing knife, i thought of these knives that I have used on some fishing trips. Handy to have and will do the trick in a pinch, but for filleting a dedicated filet knife is the way to go.
The top one is made by Camillus, it came from the original plant in Upstate New York. The bottom pic is made by Schrade, also made in NY.20210328_113214.jpg 20210328_112526.jpg
 
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I had been wondering about a general purpose knife to take fishing. I have had my usual folder that I carry every day, but what can I say... I like knives so an excuse to buy something to hang on my pfd might be hard to resist. I used to always have a Tekna knife strapped on the pfd and handy in my whitewater days. In theory it was a rescue knife. In practice it mostly spread peanut butter and sliced salami and hard cheese, but it looked bad ass :) These days something specific to fishing might be interesting.
My #1 knife for fishing is my old Swiss army "Mechanic" knife- decent blade for cutting rope or bait, nice needle nose pliers for hook removal or "in the field" reel repair and with a handy wire cutter at the base of the jaws that'll clip and crimp steel leaders, slot & Philips screwdriver for reel screws, and a handy wire hook that does well for picking out birds nests. in a pinch it's blade does a decent job of filleting panfish too
for filleting larger fish, for the last 30 or so years I've just used a non- serrated steak knife- plenty of blade length, enough flex to follow any bones, and generally stainless steel made for getting wet. The steak knife idea didn't come from me though, it's what a former fish plant worker (and his fellow employees) used for decades, none of their "professional" fish cleaners used an actual filleting knife, and laughed at those that did, saying the wicked curve was totally unnecessary, and the blades were too soft and thin.
 
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BLACKFLY - The Helle blade holds up great and stays sharp as long as you use it for filleting and food prep. Once again, it’s stiffer than the average, but so are most Norwegians LOL.?
Here’s a photo of a 7 inch blade that I put a cork rod handle on 10 years ago. It’s been part of my chuck box for the last 10 years, been used on countless fish, and still looks good. And it floats!

81570C53-5537-4F02-99A3-DA26D7827C98.jpeg
 
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My #1 knife for fishing is my old Swiss army "Mechanic" knife- decent blade for cutting rope or bait, nice needle nose pliers for hook removal or "in the field" reel repair and with a handy wire cutter at the base of the jaws that'll clip and crimp steel leaders, slot & Philips screwdriver for reel screws, and a handy wire hook that does well for picking out birds nests. in a pinch it's blade does a decent job of filleting panfish too
for filleting larger fish, for the last 30 or so years I've just used a non- serrated steak knife- plenty of blade length, enough flex to follow any bones, and generally stainless steel made for getting wet. The steak knife idea didn't come from me though, it's what a former fish plant worker (and his fellow employees) used for decades, none of their "professional" fish cleaners used an actual filleting knife, and laughed at those that did, saying the wicked curve was totally unnecessary, and the blades were too soft and thin.

I had a similar knife that I carried for work as a computer tech. My employer bought it for me. It saved a lot of trips back to the shop to get my tools. The model I had had a more bells and whistles though. I think it may be around somewhere.

These days I have been carrying a Gerber folder that was clearly designed as primarily just a knife with a couple tools added as an after thought. There is a little flat phillips blade that has file teeth on one side and a screwdriver/bottle/can opener. The tools have no lock and fold awkwardly when in use. It functions well as a knife. I often find myself wishing I had something similar that had the tools better thought out.
 
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Well, my IKW fillet knife arrived, and it's beautiful. Well-balanced and not too thin at the top like some knives. Handle is African Sapple. Didn't come with a good edge, for some reason, so I had to hit the stones.

Can't wait to get into some fish.
 

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I have a couple of friends with Helle Fillet knives with the cork handle. Both were died in the wool Rappala type fillet knife guy’s, until one went to Norway, while there some of his commercial fishermen, distant cousins schooled him in filleting fish with the cork handled Helle knives. His cousins fillet hundreds of fish each day so they have gotten really good at it, not some sport fisher person that maybe, big MAYBE, fillets a hundred fish a year. If there was a better knife available they would be using it. Practice makes perfect.
 
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