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Thread: Best fillet knife?

  1. #1
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    Default Best fillet knife?

    (Posted this in the outdoors gear forum ...no responses. Trying again here...)

    My two Kershaw filleting knifes are getting tired ...and I'd like something that is flexible, sharp enough to split a hair, and KEEPS it's edge while I fillet piles of salmon (cutting through rib bones, sometimes in/out of spine etc). Who makes the best fillet knife that meets these requirements? I'm more concerned about quality than I am price...

    Brian
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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    The "fisherman's solution" by Cutco. I filleted 92 reds myself a few years back during the dipnet season and only touched up the blade once or twice the entire time. It has a telescopic blade that I originally thought would be kind of a gimmick, but it works really well.

    I'm on my second one now.....by the way....they DON'T float! (there is a nice orange handled one on the bottom of the Deshka)
    AKmud
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  3. #3

    Default Best knife

    I have a cutco fisherman's solution and must say that it is not the knife for me. While it does indeed keep its edge, on the other hand it is difficult to re-sharpen. I find that the blade is way too flexible for my style of fileting.

    For the past couple of years I have been using a Rapala (I know, sounds like a discount brand) curved but stiff blade knife. This has a very fine point, and yet enough beef to cut not only ribs, but also de-head without any grief.

    I have learned a native filet method that does not cut through the ribs, leaves a translucent carcass (light penetrates because there is so little flesh left over), and preserves way more meat on the filet than the old method of cutting through the ribs. by not cutting through the ribs, the knife remains sharp for an exceedingly greater period of time.

    While I have seen fishNphysician's posts (and work of art) many times, this method is equally efficient, but different. I don't have pictures (maybe this year????), but I'll try to explain:

    First, take the big, beefy knife and remove the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins (all except for the tail) by cutting from the tail toward the head. Next, remove the head by following the gill plate, cutting from the dorsum (top) downward through the spine. Next make an incision down the belly to remove the guts.

    Now, take your fine point filet knife, starting at the exposed vertebra at the head, and cut along the lower ribs (gravity will pull the filet away from your work, you should be able to watch your blade through the ribs). Continue this to the anal fin. Turn the fish over, lift the filet and make a perpendicular cut along the vertebrae and allow the filet knife to follow the spinus processes toward the dorsum (those are the bones on the top of the spine). Continue this all the way to the tail. After removing the first filet, while the second filet is still on the bottom, repeat the process starting with the ribs.

    After a few runs with this, you are almost as fast as the old method of cutting through the ribs and way more effective (expecially when considering the time spent sharpening).

    Sorry if that didn't make sense, I'll try to get some good images this summer and post them.

    I used this method on kings, reds and silvers (even a small dolly!) and found it to work exceptionally well. Two of us filleted 50 reds in about 1.5-2 hours (maybe less).

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Member akfun's Avatar
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    in my opinion i like the gerber fillet knife. one its flexible but stays sharp. when you need to touch it up it has ceramics in the sheath, but i also in the begining of the season use a sportsman's edge to put a hollow ground on it.it makes the knife shap as hell but also helps it keep its edge.plus the sportsmans edge is rechargeable so i ussually have it on the boat. have used the knife for 6 years but i think the new ones are like $20. after cleaning rockfish and salmon its sharp enough to go through halibut with ease. after working on cleaning fish last year for 8 hours straight it was still sharp enough to fillet but i touched it up 2 times, to save strain on the wrist. just my thoughts.

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    this is what I use. I agree that the Cutco knife is too flexible...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6

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    I'd look at either the Dexter Russell or the Forschner knives. Makes and modes vary, so find a good selection of them and find the one that you like.

    That whacky hardware store in Soldotna was selling a packaged fold up fillet knife by Kershaw for $15. Be darned if that Kershaw doesn't hold an edge like no other fillet knife! Few whips on a piece of fine steel, and they are better than new. Bonus is the blade folds up and you can stow it without slicing yourself up. The Kershaw is now my go-to knife. I'll be bringing two of them on my journey North this summer. Reds beware!

  7. #7

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    Kershaw, gerber, are great. The rapala is one of my favorites, but nothing beats my wustof.

  8. #8
    Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Talking

    Rapala, electric (cordless) fillet knife....cuts like a hot knife through butter! : )

  9. #9

    Default Cutco

    I love the Cutco Fillet knife. I love the flexibility especially for halibut. I just bought a second one for the fish processing kit. My sharpening method touches it up in just moments.

    I would like to hear more about the electric knives. Been thinking about getting the repalla cordless for wipping the fillets off salmon. It should cut though the bones with out effort.

    Denny
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  10. #10
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    I like the filet knife from the Alaska Knife Company in Eagle River. I hope I got the name right. Flexible and holds an edge very well. I have not had to sharpen mine yet so I don't know how hard it is to sharpen.

  11. #11

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    I agree with Parker on the Forschner. I might get the name wrong but I think the one I have is a cimitar. It's a butcher's boning knife and the blade is long enough to tackle a Kenai King but forgiving enough to clean reds & silvers. I grew up using rapala knives and the Forschner holds and edge much, much longer.

  12. #12
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Anybody use an Ulu?

    Don't cut the rib bones, its a waste of knife edge...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13
    Member Jan from Humboldt's Avatar
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    Why limit yourself to just one knife?

    I have one that I use strictly for halibut, same same salmon and rockfish.

    For rockfish I use two knives, one is a Pampered Chef serrated edge bread knife which I use for taking off the entire side in one swipe, goes through those ribs like a saws-all and holds it's edge. Then a standard type fillet knife to finish taking off the hide and the rib cage.

    I just counted and I have 11 knives, everything from Cut co slicer to Wusthoff 7" fillet, and Dexter, Forchner...A man just can't have too many fillet knives.

  14. #14
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    I use a Dexter Russell that has turned me into a fish surgeon.
    Now what ?

  15. #15
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Love my buck knife
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  16. #16
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    I have been using a "Knives of Alaska" Coho when my light saber batteries go dead. Works good for me.

    http://www.knivesofalaska.com/fillet.aspx

    TSS
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  17. #17
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    Default Shun 9 inch slicer.

    I spend 10-12 hours a day with a Shun knife in my hand. VG10 steel, Damascus. Outstanding knives, but spendy.



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  18. #18
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Dexter Russel

    I have two Dexter Russels, 10". Great for halibut and silvers. For Rockfish and cod, a cheap 6" stainless works.

    The Dester Russels are easy to sharpen and maintain an edge.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    I have two Dexter Russels, 10". Great for halibut and silvers. For Rockfish and cod, a cheap 6" stainless works.

    The Dester Russels are easy to sharpen and maintain an edge.

    same as me - 10" woodhandled dexter-russells, aka "green river knife company".

  20. #20
    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JediMasterSalmonSlayer View Post
    I have been using a "Knives of Alaska" Coho when my light saber batteries go dead. Works good for me.

    http://www.knivesofalaska.com/fillet.aspx

    TSS
    I have this knife as well... I think my Cutco is more flexible... and the KOA aren't forgiving if you aren't sharpening with the right angle.
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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