Most anglers fish for the thrill that comes with catching something. Will you catch a trophy fish? Would it be your new record? Or perhaps a new world record? And then, there’s still the probability that you won’t catch nothing at all. But still, the uncertainty that comes with this hobby or sport (call it however you want) is what keeps anglers going back to it again and again.
Whatever you catch that day, be it a large trout or a single skinny sardine, the pride of eating something you caught yourself is enormous. But before you get to savour your catch, you will need to prepare it first. And out there in nature you’d need to do all the scaling, gutting and filleting of the fish all by yourself. Although it can be a lot of work, this for some reason makes it taste even more delicious. This preparation of fish for cooking calls for an additional piece of equipment anglers sometimes forget – a knife for fishing. Even if you are against catching fish for food and only do it for fun, you will need a knife to set it free.
When searching for a knife for fishing, you will need to decide between a fix blade or a folding knife. Fixed blade knives have longer blades which are generally sharper, but the folding knives are more convenient and safe to store in your tackle box. However, fishing knives also differ in terms of size and their main purpose.
- Fish fillet knives (can be either folding or fixed) are the most popular choice among anglers. Because of their versatility they can be used for fish of all sizes. The models with blades ranging from 15-20 cm are used for smaller fish – everything above that is used for larger fish like salmon and halibut. Fish fillet knives have curved and flexible blades with a pointed tip and edge in the back for scaling and cutting bones.
- Trout and bird knives – Due to their small size, these knives are also called three-fingered. Even as a fixed blade, trout and bird knives can be safely carried around in your pocket. They usually feature a slender blade not longer than 15 cm.
- All purpose/utility knives – Like their name suggests, these knives can be used for everything from cutting of the hook from the fish, to gutting, scaling and even filleting.
Besides being aware of the different types of knives for fishing, you should also get informed about what features to look for. In terms of blade material, stainless steel is a must. Because these knives will be used with wet fish, being corrosion resistant is incredibly important. Moreover, stainless steel cannot be destroyed by salt water.
As for the handle, it should be resistant to moisture and made out of materials such as plastic, nylon, Micarta or G10. Another feature to look for in a fishing knife handle is a moulded, non-slip grip with finger guards that will protect your fingers when dealing with slippery fish. The addition of a protective sheath where you can store your knife will prolong the lifespan of the blade and protect you from cutting yourself when rummaging around your tackle box.