If you mostly fish Salmon, Tuna, Anchovies, Grouper, Snapper, and other saltwater fish species, then you’ll find the best fillet knife for saltwater fish an invaluable asset.
This specialized knife has a flexible blade that allows you to easily cut along the backbone and under the tough skin of your saltwater catches—ensuring you don’t waste any edible parts.
We did lots of research into the saltwater fish filleting knives. We gathered various products and analyzed their key features, users’ opinions, and sale statistics to find the most dependable filleting knives for you.
Below, we bring you the following ultimate list of filleting knives that are unbelievably efficient at working on saltwater fish species.
Best fillet knife for saltwater fish:
1. KastKing 9'' Fillet Knife
Our list starts with this incredibly popular and budget-friendly 9-inch filleting knife from KastKing. This knife is designed for both freshwater and saltwater applications and is highly efficient at cutting baits as well as filleting all sizes of fish, steaking large game fish, and even removing fish from the bone. It can easily be the best fillet knife for walleye.
The extra-long 9-inch knife comes with adequate flexibility to enable it to easily follow the natural contours of fish for the perfect fillets. The blade is high-quality German stainless steel with good sharpness out of the box for easy cutting. It also holds an edge for longer and doesn’t require frequent sharpening, unlike the cheaper fillet knives.
Rust and stains have nothing on this knife, thanks to its beautiful black blade finish and the stainless properties of the blade steel.
A firm and secure grip is guaranteed with this knife with the non-slip polymer handle. This translates to a safer filleting as your hands won't slip, even under wet working conditions. The polymer handle is also durable and cleans easily after every use.
Despite a pocket-friendly price point, this knife also comes armed with a durable and lightweight sheath to keep your blade protected and keep you safe in between filleting jobs. The sheath is well vented for excellent drainage and locks the handle in to keep your knife in place
2. TUO 7-inch Fillet Knife
This 7-inch filleting knife comes packed in a beautiful gift box, making it the best gift choice for your friend or family member on their special day, thanksgiving day, Christmas day, or father’s day. You can also add personal style to this gift box to make your gift look more unique.
Far from special packaging, this knife is made to perform. It is equipped with a high carbon stainless steel blade which delivers high strength and good stain and rust resistance.
It is a razor sharp knife out of the box and ready to fillet. It is sharper than a tomato cutting knife. It also seems to holds its edge pretty well. The blade surface is made with patterns that look like Damascus steel which improves the overall looks of this filleting knife.
Featuring a thickness of 0.01-inch, the blade is pretty thin and this increases its flexibility—enabling it to maneuver between the fish skin and meat for a super-efficient filleting job.
The knife is also comfortable, thanks to its firm grip handle. And unlike other fillet knives out there, this model feels easy to hold for both righties and lefties. It comes in the right size and weight to make it feel substantial in your hand. This results in more control over the blade, make filleting highly efficient.
Additional attributes that make this Tuo product the best saltwater fishing knife for you include a triple rivet design and a full-tang handle for perfect balance.
3. BUBBA Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife
If you’re on the market for a saltwater electric fillet knife, this is it! The Bubba knife comes in a cordless design to laminate the hassle of wires. The package features an assortment of blades of varying sizes (7”, 9”, and 12") to ensure you’re well equipped to handle all sizes of saltwater fish.
All these bubba blades are made using high-carbon stainless steel for excellent strength and edge retention. They also boast a titanium nitride coating to maximize corrosion and rust resistance. This coating also offers non-stick cutting performance and easy cleaning.
For your own safety, Bubba has included a safety lock and trigger guard on this knife to stop it from starting accidentally.
Bubba incorporates their iconic non-slip grip handle into these knives. The handle feels so comfortable in your hands that you’ll enjoy more control over the blade and you can easily fillet many catches without feeling fatigued.
Battery health is also good and will power through countless fishes before it runs out of juice. Keep in mind that the battery cokes with an easily visible indicator to help you easily monitor the battery life.
When you order these knives, you’ll also receive a premium EVA molded carrying case for easy storage and carry. You’ll also get a bonus replacement Li-Ion battery and a charging cord.
4. Rhinoreto 6.5” Fish fillet knife
This knife also presents itself as a good knife for saltwater fish for easy chef-like filleting and delivers sharp results. Ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fish, this knife is designed to be easy on your wallet while offering you pro filleting results.
We feature this product as the best fillet knife for saltwater fish due to its super-flexible sharp blade which easily bends upon different sizes of fish for more efficient filleting work. A curved blade profile plus a pointy tip further makes your filleting work easier!
Rhinoreto utilizes steel that perfectly balances sharp edge and corrosion resistance. The sharp knife keeps an edge for relatively long, and you can use it to fillet hundreds of tough saltwater fish and still feel as sharp as it was when it first came out of the box.
Remember, this knife is equipped with a non-slip rubber handle for a firmer and good grip, even in wet conditions. A vented, lightweight sheath is also included for safe storage and easy carry.
As a bonus, the manufacturer sends this knife to you with an easy-to-use, double-sided, ergonomic sharpener to ensure you keep your filleting knife sharp at all times. You’ll receive this knife in beautiful blister packaging which makes it a perfect gift for a chef or passionate fisherman.
5. Calamus Fishing 9" Fillet Knife
If you want good value for your money, this Calamus saltwater fishing knife is a viable choice. The knife performs well and stays sharp longer compared to most knives in its price category. It is also well made and feels like a durable knife that will stand by your side for countless fishing trips.
The Calamus is loved by fishing enthusiasts because it comes super-sharp out of the box and ready for its intended job. It also holds its sharpness decently, enabling you to use it for long with frequent sharpening.
As a true filleting knife, this Calamus has a good amount of flex to make your filleting working a pleasure. The Teflon coating on the blade helps the knife smoothly glide through the fish meat without steaking. It also makes the knife a breeze to clean.
The knife fits perfectly in your hands and feels good when using it for long hours. It has a good grip, thanks to its golf-style rubber handle which is slip-resistant and lightweight for a fatigue-free filleting experience.
For this fillet knife, you’ll also get a lightweight and durable nylon sheath that locks onto the knife to keep your blade protected during storage. This sheath is fully ventilated for good air circulation to prevent it from stinking. It also offers easy water drainage to offer your blade a corrosion-free environment.
6. Rapala Fish 'N Fillet Knife
Rapala is a budget filleting knife for you if you have a small budget. This knife is well made using good quality materials and even beats some of the fancier, higher-priced knives out there. For the quality and performance, the price tag for this fillet knife is, honestly, an underpay!
The little handy knife excels at filleting in the hands of young and adult fishermen alike. It arrives and super-sharp out of the box and will hold its edge for relatively longer than most knives in the same price range. And when the blade dulls, just a few passes with the included sharpener will bring back its ultra-sharp edge.
Rapala designed the blade with a thin profile. This enables it to offer the perfect amount of flex and strength to make it a highly reliable knife for taking the silver skin off the saltwater catches. Despite its thin design, the blade steel is from and has a durable feel.
A comfortable grip wood handle (Birchwood handle, to be precise) makes this knife easy to hold. This handle is a single piece of wood and is nicely shaped to fit in your hand for a comfortable and secure handle. Brass fastener and copper ferrule are used to hold the handle in place for ultimate strength and longevity.
When not filleting, you can use this little knife like a paring knife in your kitchen.
You’ll appreciate that Rapala goes an extra step to include a protective sheath made of leather for this knife for easy carry in your tackle box. The sheath even features a plastic insert to prevent the blade from damaging it with its sharp edge and tip.
7. Mossy Oak 4pc Fishing Tool Kit
This bundle makes the best saltwater fillet knife because it contains all the tools you need to skin, debone, and cut your fish into fillets—all of which come at attractive pricing. If you’re just starting your fishing hobby, you’ll find this nice set from Mossy Oak a good choice.
The set includes a 10.5-inch knife that is ultra-sharp out of the box and delivers amazing filleting or bait-making performance. It boasts a super-thin, extremely flexible blade, just like all the other fillet knives featured on this list, for super-efficient fileting. The knife has a serrated edge on its backside to ensure effortless meat removal without any losses.
Still, on the knife, it comes with an ergonomic handle grip with grooves for a slip-resistant grip that gives total knife control and keeps your fingers protected. A lanyard hole on the knife handle offers you an alternative carrying method.
Because the knife is also equipped with a plastic sheath (with a 2-inch knife sharpener) and a belt clip, protecting your blade when not in use and carrying your knife becomes easy for you.
The included fishing pliers come in the perfect length to make hook removals easy and quick for you. But you have to be specific with the plier. Other types of pliers like a plier for welding won't do the job.
Other items you’ll get in the bundle include folding fishing scissors, fish gripper, folding line snip, and fly fishing retractor. Whether you’re new to fishing or you’re a seasoned fisherman looking to replace your fishing tools, this pack will equip you with everything you need to start fishing.
8. Kershaw Clearwater 9-In Fillet Knife
Kershaw is a respected brand that makes quality US-made knives, so it is quite surprising that they offer you this knife for saltwater fish at a wallet-friendly price tag. This makes it one of the good value fillet knives available today.
The fillet knife has a more extensive blade (9 inches long) which makes it a better option for large saltwater fish filleting—you can fillet an entire salmon with this knife in a single pass! The extended blade is super-flexible and easily follows the natural curvature of your fish to make skinning and filleting effortless for you.
Sharpness score is high for this filleting knife. It is super-sharp out of the box to make deboning and filleting fish easy. It holds its edge quite well, so you can work it through numerous catches before you need to resharpens it. The sharpening part is a breeze for you.
You’ll like that this knife feels quite comfortable in your hands. This is made possible by the rubberized handle with a solid feel and non-slip grip for a more secure and easier-to-use knife.
Kershaw includes a well-made sheath for this knife to protect your blade and make your knife easy to carry. This sheath is so reliable that your knife will click into it and stay in place, even when carrying it in luggage. A belt loop on this sheath lets you hook your knife to your belt and keep it within reach.
9. WALLOP 6 inch Flexible Fillet Knife
If you thirst for extreme maneuverability in your saltwater filleting knife, this Wallop 6-inch fillet knife will match your expectations. The secret to its high degree of maneuverability lies in full-tang design which gives it a perfect balance for safe and high-efficiency handling and total blade control.
One of the reasons this 7-inch is highly popular is that it is powered by a high-quality high-carbon German stainless steel blade. The knife arrives ultra-sharp out of the box and cuts through the toughest saltwater fish species like a dream. It also holds its edge extremely well.
The blade is not only flexible but also has a slightly curved design for easy contouring to the natural shape of the fish, ensuring you don’t leave out a lot of meat when filleting.
Another thing that puts this knife on the map of the top fillet knives is the ergonomic pakkawood handle. This beautiful natural wood handle has slip-resistant scales and offers you a more comfortable handle, whether you’re left or right-handed and regardless of your hand size. The traditional triple-rivet design adds to the overall handle strength.
Whether you’re looking for a dependable chef knife for deboning, descaling, filleting, or trimming fish, this knife will work for you. Since this knife is gift boxed, it will make a nice present for your friend or family chef, or fisherman.
10. DALSTRONG 7" Fillet Knife
Closing our list of the top-rated saltwater fishing knives is the Dalstrong 7-inch fillet knife. This is another stunning knife for all your saltwater filleting needs. It has the looks and feel of a good quality filleting knife and will instantly become your favorite filleting knife. An excellent knife for filleting salmon.
Based on the manufacturer’s Gladiator series of fillet knives, this knife is a true gladiator when it comes to skinning and deboning your saltwater fish catches. It is ultra-sharp out of box and cuts through saltwater fish like butter. It also stays unbelievably sharp for long, even when you frequently use it for tough filleting work.
With only 1.5mm thickness, the blade is highly flexible and exceptionally maneuverable, so you’ll have an easy time breezing through meat and sinew and between the skin and bone with it.
Don’t forget that this knife is full-tang, which greatly improves the weight balance. This makes the knife feel good in your hands and makes it easier and safer to use.
It features a lovely premium G10 handle that’s triple-riveted for maximum strength. It also offers a good grip optimized for comfort and maneuverability.
When you order this high-value fillet knife from Dalstrong, you’ll receive two protective covers, one for outdoor use and the other for indoor use. The indoor case is BPA-free and lets you safely store the knife in your drawer. And the outdoor travel case is leather made for high durability.
What features does a fillet knife need for saltwater fish?
Pay close attention to the following features when shopping for the best fillet knife for saltwater fish to ensure you get the perfect knife that matches your unique needs and expectations.
You should look for a blade made using a material that attains a sharp working edge and holds its edge for a long time. Besides sharp blades, the right material should also be strong and durable. Easy sharpening is a plus for your filleting knife.
A true filleting knife should also feature plenty of flex in its blade to make your filleting work easier. Unlike firmer blades, flexible blades will easily follow the shape of the fish for more efficient filleting.
The ideal size of knife for filleting work should be around 6-7 inches, though most fillet knives are 6 inches long. If you usually fillet smaller catches, however, you should consider getting a smaller knife. Size is also important for small or large hands. If you have a small hand consider getting a small hand knife.
Many materials are used for filleting knife handles, including wood, rubber, plastic, etc. Regardless of which material your knife handle is made of, you should make sure it’s non-slip and offers you a comfortable grip. The perfect saltwater electric fillet knife handle should also be well-balanced for easy and safe use.
How to fillet a saltwater fish?
Once you have found the perfect fillet knife, getting the skin and bones off your saltwater fish catches becomes easier for you. The following instructions will show you how to fillet a saltwater fish.
Step 1: Lay your fish on its side on a flat surface and make the first cut behind its gills and pectoral fin to the ribcage (not more than that).
Step 2: If you don’t intend to remove the head, turn your fillet knife towards the tail and make the second cut along the top of the ribs. You should let the fish backbone guide you when making this cut. Now you have the first fillet cut.
Step 3: Flip over your fish and repeat Steps 1 and 2 on the other side to make your second fillet.
Step 4: Now put your knife close to the rib bones and slice away the entire rib section. Then, with the fish skin side down, insert your knife about ½-inch from tail. Firmly hold the tail in place and put your blade between the meat and the skin at an angle.
Apply some pressure plus sawing motion as you cut against the skin (not through it). This will separate the fillets from the skin.
1. Do you need a fillet knife for fish?
You need a fillet knife for fish because it’s specially made with a thin, long, and flexible blade to easily follow the curvature of fish and make filleting easy for you.
2. What size fish fillet knife is best?
The best size of a fish fillet knife is around 6-7 inches. However, the most common saltwater fishing knives are 6-inches and will handle most types of fish.
3. Are Bubba blades made in the USA?
Bubba electric fillet knives are made in the USA. However, most of the Bubbas you’ll find out there are replicas of the original Bubbas knives made in China. Make sure that you are getting original American made knives.
4. How thick should a fillet knife be?
A fillet knife should be pretty thin to enable the blade to enjoy more flex and bend during filleting. In most cases, the thickness ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 mm.
5. What angle should a fillet knife be?
The best sharpening angle for a fillet knife should be 18-21 degrees for easy and fast sharpening.
A good filleting knife is a must-have when filleting your saltwater fish catches. The best fillet knife for saltwater fish will make the whole process easy while ensuring you don’t end up wasting a lot of edible meat.
Now that we have already discussed the most popular and efficient fillet knives available on the market today, we’re confident that you’ll have a smooth time deciding on the right one to pick for your next fishing trip and make filleting of your future catches easier than ever before.