Best Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish 2023

best fillet knife for saltwater fish

If you are more of a marine fish lover than freshwater, you might have rusted a lot of knives yet. Filleting saltwater fish is not as easy as cutting freshwater fish because salty water can easily rust the fillet knives that you thought were corrosion-free. And that’s why you should use the best fillet knife for saltwater fish to prevent your knives from rusting and getting damaged.

After a detailed research, we collected the ten best fillet knives for saltwater fish from all the best options available in the market. And from our experience us, Bubba tapered flex fillet knife is the overall best fillet knife for saltwater fish.

It has an excellent slip-proof handle and 9 inches stainless steel flexible blade for sliding in meat easily. Plus, long-standing blade sharpness retention and rust-resistant coating on the blade make it the best fillet knife for saltwater. So, if you are short on time to read all the reviews, we suggest buying it because there is no way you can go wrong with this one.

What makes a knife the best fishing fillet knife saltwater? It should have high-quality blade material for durable sharpness and a coating for resisting corrosion. And also, have flex blades and a comfortable and non-slip handle to keep your hand safe. And for the best electric fillet knife for saltwater fish, the knife should certainly have a powerful, durable motor and long power cord with all these qualities. If you find a knife containing all these features reasonably priced, nothing can be better than this.

filleting saltwater fish

Quick Overview: Best Fillet Knives for Saltwater Fish

PictureNameSpecificationsCurrent Price

BUBBA 9-inch Tapered Flex Fillet KnifeA very long-lasting blade edge and a sturdy handle make the knife durable. Check on Amazon
Stowaway Folding Fillet KnifeThe best portable folding fillet knife with a rust-free blade, a full grip handle, and a carabiner.Check on Amazon

BUBBA Li-ion Cordless Electric Fillet KnifeA Cordless electric knife with two long-life Li-ion batteries with versatile blades makes it an ideal knife for cleaning all saltwater fish. Check on Amazon
KastKing Fillet KnifeAn affordable and durable German stainless steel filleting blade which makes it the best fillet knife for saltwater fish   Check on Amazon
Dalstrong Fillet Knife – Gladiator SeriesA premium and long-lasting German stainless steel knife with a lifelong warrantyCheck on Amazon
BUBBA Pro Series Lithium-Ion Electric Fillet KnifeCordless electric saltwater fillet knife with powerful and fast running motor and four versatile blades setCheck on Amazon

Gerber Controller 10-inch Saltwater Fillet KnifeA knife specially manufactured for saltwater use with complete rust resistance and blade retention.Check on Amazon
Rapala 9” Fish n Fillet KnifeA very pocket-friendly and long-lasting knife offering the best features at a lesser priceCheck on Amazon
Rhinoreto Fish Fillet KnifeThe best saltwater knife + sharpener combo with amazing blade and handle featuresCheck on Amazon

Rapala Heavy-Duty Electric Fillet KnifeA very fast running electric knife with very sharp dishwasher safe removable bladesCheck on Amazon

10 Best Fillet Knife For Saltwater Fish – Reviews

Here, we have collected real reviews of the best saltwater fillet knife with their pros and cons.

1. BUBBA 9-inch Tapered Flex Fillet Knife : Overall Best Saltwater Knife

BUBBA 9-inch Tapered Flex Fillet Knife review


  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel 
  • Blade Length: 9 inches
  • Blade coating: Titanium Nitride
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present 
  • Handle Length: 6 inches
  • Weight: 0.72 lbs. 
  • Sheath/storage case: Sheath present
  • Warranty: Manufacturer’s warranty 


Please take out the gloves you have lying in the corner for a while because you surely need them now for some extra safety from this pointed blade. The Bubba tapered flex is extraordinarily sharp and holds the edge even after filleting more than 20 pounds of fish. And this pointed blade helps in cleaning all sea fish without getting a pinch of rust, making it the unmatchable overall best fillet knife for saltwater fish. 

Bubba tapered flex filleting knife has a nice, comfortable, and the most grip handle that we have ever found in a knife. And your hand can never slip from the handle while performing hard cutting tasks. The knife asks for a good price, but its thin, flexible blade saves more by wasting a cipher amount of meat during skinning and cleaning fish. 

Like all Bubba knives models, this one also comes with a synthetic sheath, which doesn’t fit the blade very well. And the sheath allows you to hang the knife in your belt hook when fishing. The 9 inches blade size of this dishwasher-safe knife is perfect for all saltwater fish, and if you want a knife for freshwater use, you can buy the 7 inches one anytime. 

  • Very high blade sharpness retention for filleting stress-free 
  • Ergonomic non-slip handle for saltwater use
  • Blade flex helps in skinning fish without wasting any meat.
  • Dishwasher safe knife
  • The sheath that comes with the knife doesn’t fit the blade. 

2. Stowaway Folding Fillet Knife: Best Portable

Stowaway Folding Fillet Knife review


  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel 
  • Blade Length: 8.5 inches 
  • Blade coating: Titanium 
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present
  • Handle Length: 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.08 lbs. 
  • Sheath/storage case: Absent


Stowaway folding fillet knife is a robust knife made with great perfection to fulfill every need a customer wants from saltwater knives. The stainless steel blade and the titanium coating make it salt-tough and the best match for saltwater use. And when you open the knife, the blade locks accurately to keep the blade in place when functioning. 

The knife offers a flexible folding blade with a durable, sharp edge to help you cut and fillet fish like a pro when you are still a beginner at it. The long, sharp, titanium coated and foldable blade make Stowaway the best folding fillet knife for saltwater fish. The blade size is ideal for large marine fish like steelhead and salmons. At the same time, the sturdy grip handle feels full in your hand and doesn’t slip in wet conditions making this knife a safe-to-use. 

Stowaway Folding Fillet Knife with fish

Most filleting knives come with a sheath, but on the other hand, this knife does not have a sheath. And it is because it does not need one. After all, the folding feature helps store it better than a sheath. Don’t worry; the blade will not hurt you because the edge and tip of the knife go into the carabiner, leaving a 0% chance of getting hurt. The carabiner also lets you hang the knife on your belt or bag hook. Now you know why we call it the best portable filleting knife for saltwater fish?

The stowaway filleting knife is a little pricey for a manual filleting knife but will pay you back with all means every time you use it.

  • Blade material and coating with great rust-resistant properties make the knife durable.
  • The flexible blade wastes zero meat while skinning fish.
  • The folding feature makes storage very straightforward.
  • The carabiner helps in carrying the knife when you go fishing and camping.
  • This flawless saltwater fillet knife doesn’t have any actual con

3. BUBBA Li-ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife: Best For Large Fish:

Best Fillet Knife for Large Fish: BUBBA Li-ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife



  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel 
  • Blade Length: 7 to 12 inches
  • Blade coating: Titanium Nitride
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present
  • Handle Length: 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs. 
  • Sheath/storage case: Present


Bubba cordless saltwater fillet knife is the best electric fillet knife option to take on fishing because of its long-running batteries. You can fillet 100+ fish with a single lithium-ion battery and watch the battery life from its easy-to-monitor LED read-out on the handle. And as a bonus, it comes with not one but two batteries. Charge them with the wall charger and keep both the batteries charged as a backup on your fishing trip.

We call it the best fillet knife for saltwater fish of all sizes because the two flexible blades help skin and clean small fish. In contrast, the larger ones help in filleting large saltwater fish like tuna and barracudas in a minute. You can say, all four blades collectively make it versatile for cleaning a variety of fish sizes. And the coating on the blades prevents them from rusting, ensuring a longer life span.

Bubba cordless electric fillet knife has a nice grip handle with a trigger safety button to avoid accidents. Initially, the handle might feel big in hand, but eventually, you will get used to it and feel more secure with the size. Although the blades are very sharp and have great retention to sharpness, you’ll eventually need to replace them after using them for a few years.

It is an expensive electric filleting knife, but it is worth every penny because, after all, you are getting a combo of both freshwater and saltwater fillet knife blades.

  • Two long-life lithium-ion batteries 
  • Ti-nitride coating prevents rust and meat from sticking to blades
  • Four (2 flexible, 2 stiff) blades perfect for skinning and filleting all freshwater and saltwater fish
  • Easy-to-carry storage bag with four separate blade spaces
  • You will need to sharpen the blades or replace them once they get dull

4. KastKing Fillet Knife: Best For Tuna

Best Saltwater Fillet Knife for Tuna: KastKing Fillet Knife 


  • Blade Material: German Stainless Steel 
  • Blade Length: 9 inches
  • Blade coating: Chromium added in Stainless Steel 
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present
  • Handle Length: 6 inches
  • Sheath/storage case: Present 


KastKing filleting knife is one of those best fillet knives for saltwater fish with German steel blades. And this knife has a G4116 German stainless steel blade which is also known as marine steel. Moreover, the sleek black coating on the blade is a cherry on the cake for making it more durable. So, we cannot doubt the blade’s resistance to corrosion with all these features.

The anti-slip super polymer handle provides a comfortable and strong grip to stay firm in saltwater and fish slime. It has the perfect flex for skinning and a sharp pointed tip for deboning tuna and any tough fish. KastKing fillet knives come in various sizes, but the 9 inches blade is long and ideal enough to cut through any large marine fish. 

The blade guard that comes with it fixes really well on the blade and strains every single drop of water to keep the knife dry. Certainly, the edge is very sharp, and you need to be very careful while unboxing it to avoid any minor injuries. Still, the knife will need some sharpening every now and then, and you can sharpen it with a fine-grit whetstone or a honing rod.

It is a lightweight knife, and its packaging makes it more of a gifting knife. So, that means you can gift this knife, which is amazing yet affordable at the same time.

  • German stainless steel and black coating prevent even a tiny bit of rust, making it the best fillet knife for saltwater fish.
  • Slip-resistant polymer handle with a finger hump for the safety
  • The flexible blade makes cleaning fish a very quick task.
  • A large blade perfect for filleting all sizes of saltwater fish
  • The lightweight of the knife helps in easy handling.
  • You will have to sharpen or hone the blade from time to time

5. Dalstrong Fillet Knife – Gladiator Series: Best For Salmon

Saltwater Fishing Knife for Salmon: Dalstrong Fillet Knife - Gladiator Series


  • Blade Material: German steel
  • Blade Length: 7 inches
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present
  • Handle Length: 5.6 inches
  • Sheath/storage case: Two present 
  • Warranty: Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty 


Dalstrong fillet knife is an extra sharp and flexible blade edge knife, and its excellent blade retention is beyond amazing. You can fillet and clean 50s of salmons, and the blade sharpness will still be as pointed as new. And that means you don’t need to sharpen the blade again and again. The premium quality and impeccable craftsmanship make this knife feels amazing in your hand.  

The full tang blade that goes straight to the end of the handle and the German steel blade automatically makes this knife the best for saltwater use. The full tang blade, triple-riveted handle, and excellent weight balance make it easy to handle when filleting. These features make this knife your front runner for filleting large saltwater fish because it will not break on you during tough jobs.

Dalstrong filleting knife comes with two blade sheaths, including one BPA-free polymer sheath for storing at home and a second leather case to carry when traveling. It is the best knife with hands down incredible features and amazing packaging that you can gift a fisher or chef on any occasion. It is a bit overpriced, but it’s the best fillet knife for salmon and can help you revive every penny you spend on it.

Highly recommended!

  • German steel corrosion and salt resistant blade ensures durability
  • The full-tang blade and triple-rivet handle provides a 100% comfortable grip.
  • Two separate sheaths for traveling and storage
  • A lifetime manufacturer’s warranty eliminates the chances of risking money.
  • It will need some honing but will not ask for much effort

6. BUBBA Pro Series Li-ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife: Best For Catfish

Fillet Knife for Catfish: BUBBA Pro Series Li-ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife 


  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel 
  • Blade Length: 7 to 12 inches
  • Blade coating: Titanium nitride
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present 
  • Handle Length: 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.11 lbs. 
  • Sheath/storage case: Present 
  • Warranty: 1-year manufacturer’s warranty


Bubba pro cordless electric fillet knife solves all filleting and boning issues with one knife. And all because of its four different sized blades, which are flexible and stiff for cutting and skinning fish without wasting meat. These blades are sharper and run faster than a bubba cordless knife and cut as smooth as a hot knife in butter. And the 9 and 12 inches large stiff blades make BUBBA Pro Fillet Knife the best fillet knife for saltwater fish like catfish, steelhead, and salmon. The blades are easily removable and titanium coated to keep them away from any rust.

You will never run out of the knife’s battery when on a boat because the two long-lasting lithium batteries will always keep that sorted for you. It lets you fillet 70+ catfish with one battery before needing to charge it again, and you can keep track of the battery life from the LED on the ergonomic handle. In addition, the motor is more powerful than the previous version and is also brushless for increased torque, faster running rate, and extended life. 

The knife will never slip from your hand, even with marine water, and it has a safety trigger for turning the blades on when you want. The knife set is very easy-to-carry because of its storage box. The separate spaces for blades never let them scratch into each other, and the charging point also makes the case exceptional. It is quite an expensive electric filleting knife, and if you want a pocket-friendly best electric fillet knife for saltwater fish, then we recommend buying the Rapala heavy-duty electric fillet knife.

  • Four different flexible and stiff blades help fillet and skin a variety of saltwater fish. 
  • Blades are stainless steel and also coated with salt-tough titanium nitride
  • Two batteries with excellent long life for uninterrupted filleting
  • Carry case with separate blade spaces and charging point
  • An expensive electric filleting knife for marine and freshwater fish

7. Gerber Controller 10 in. Saltwater Fillet Knife: Best For Steelhead

Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish Steelhead: Gerber Controller 10 in. Saltwater Fillet Knife


  • Blade Material: Alloy steel 
  • Blade Length: 10 inches
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs.
  • Sheath/storage case: Present


The Gerber controller knife is a very well-sharpened full tang blade knife to fillet and clean tough fish like steelhead and salmon in a breeze. And you don’t need to be scared of that pointed edge because the finger choil prevents your finger from bumping into the blade and getting cut. The full tang blade maintains an incredible weight balance, making handling and controlling the knife very smooth while performing.

We are amazed by the quality grip of the handle as the nice grip and finger safety hump never let the hand slip off, even in fish slime and salty conditions. Moreover, the ventilated plastic sheath air dries the blade and fixes perfectly on the blade. And this sheath is not only a blade cover but a knife carry and a blade sharpening tool as well. The sharpening steel lets you give the final touch-up to your knife before you start filleting steelheads. Looks like an ideal sheath for camping and fishing trips, right?

Deboning and skinning becomes a hectic task if you don’t have the right tool. But the Gerber controller saltwater fillet knife is a flexible yet stiff knife that helps in filleting and removing scales. It can effortlessly debone fish having countless scales like the red devils. It is not light on the pocket, but still the best gift for professional anglers.

  • Sharp stainless steel blade specially designed for preventing corrosion and saltwater damage. 
  • The flexible long blade is perfect for all saltwater fish
  • Ideal fit sheath with built-in honing steel to sharpen the blade anytime you need
  • Full tang blade and ergonomic handle with finger safety support full hand grip. 
  • The blade is very pointed out of the box but sometimes needs to be sharpened.

8. Rapala 9″ Fish n Fillet Knife: Best Affordable

Best Affordable Saltwater Fillet Knife: Rapala 9" Fish n Fillet Knife


  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel 
  • Blade Length: 9 inches 
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Very slight
  • Handle Length: 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.3 lbs.
  • Sheath/storage case: Present 
  • Warranty: One year


Rapala fish fillet knife is the best affordable saltwater fillet knife with a handle and blade that are meant to last long. The blade is made full tang with corrosion-free stainless steel to stand saltwater. In contrast, the handle is made of premium birch wood to provide a soft and comfortable grip while being stable in saltwater.

The knife’s ability to hold a pointed and sharp edge is beyond words; we can undoubtedly say that we have not found better blade retention than this in any knife. You can still sharpen the blade in a few strokes with the single-stage sharpener that comes with it. In addition, the thick and thin combination provides flexibility and stiffness to the blade, making it versatile and one of the best fillet knives for saltwater fish like catfish.  

Rapala saltwater fillet knife has a blade sheath with a hook to easily carry it when fishing around. Despite the plastic inside the sheath, the sharp blade can tear it if inserted with a little pressure. The knife comes in different blade sizes, but we recommend buying the 9 inches one for large marine fish. 

Considering the quality and features, we think the knife is underpaid, and we are getting more features in the amount we are paying for it.

  • The rust-free stainless steel blade
  • Anti-slip and comfortable grip handle
  • The sharp, flexible yet stiff blade makes the knife versatile for all meat-related jobs.
  • Comes with a portable single-stage sharpener 
  • A very pocket-friendly filleting knife
  • The sheath should be stronger and better quality

9. Rhinoreto Fish Fillet Knife: Best Combo

Best Fillet Knife and Sharpener Combo: Rhinoreto Fish Fillet Knife


  • Blade Material: Stainless Steel
  • Blade Length: 9 inches
  • Blade coating: Black coating
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present
  • Weight: 1.04 lbs.
  • Sheath/storage case: Present


Here we bring you a 2-in-1 combo of an excellent Rhinoreto fish fillet knife and its very own sharpener. Skinning fish can be very difficult when you have a dull edge knife. However, this knife is one of the best options available in the market, which is flexible enough for deboning and skinning fish like salmon, steelheads, and catfish. 

The blade’s stainless steel and black finish saves it from every pinch of rust to attain long life. Moreover, the blade’s retention to sharpness is unbelievable as it remains sharp even after cleaning 100+ fish. And if it becomes dull, you can hone or sharpen it by simply running it through the honing side of the two-stage sharpener that comes with it. 

Rhinoreto filleting knife comes with a vented sheath that fits the pointed blade flawlessly. And the handle is non-slip rubber that supplies a soft but strong grip in wet conditions. It is the best sharpener and knife combo that you can find at such an amazing price.

  • Rust-resistant blades are flexible and very sharp
  • Slip-proof rubber handle perfect for saltwater use
  • It is the best fillet knife for large fish skinning and filleting. 
  • Comes with a blade sheath and a two-stage knife sharpener
  • The knife needs honing every once in a while to keep the edge razor-sharp

10. Rapala Heavy-Duty Electric Fillet Knife: Best Lightweight Electric

Best Electric Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish: Rapala Heavy-Duty Electric Fillet Knife 


  • Blade Material: Alloy steel
  • Blade Length: 7.5 inches
  • Safety hump/trigger on handle: Present
  • Weight: 1 lb. 
  • Sheath/storage case: Absent


Rapala heavy-duty electric fillet knife is a silent fish cleaner that runs faster and fillets in a blink. The reciprocating blades are rust-free and run at twice the speed of an ordinary electric filleting knife. We doubt if you can find a better or even an electric fillet knife for saltwater fish with similar features at this great price rate. 

It has a very durable blade and a long-lasting, powerful motor so that you can make the most out of every single penny spent on it. The handle provides a complete and stronger grip to easefully pull out every filleting task, and the trigger button avoids accidentally turning on the knife. We assure you that your hand will never feel like slipping off with this ergonomic handle.

When using the Rapala heavy-duty electric fillet knife, you should be very careful because the blades are very sharp and can run straight to the backbone, and you can hurt yourself. Storing can be a problem because it doesn’t come with a protective sheath or cover. On the other hand, the quality of removable blades to be dishwasher safe is quite significant. Additionally, the power cord is 8 feet long, giving you ample space for filleting fish.

  • Very sharp and fast running blades work wonders with fish.
  • The ergonomic handle and safety trigger button ensure safety
  • 8-foot long power cord for hassle-free filleting fish 
  • Removable blades are dishwasher safe for easy maintenance.
  • It should come with a safety cover or sheath for blades
scaling and filleting fish

Manual VS Electric Filleting Knife for Saltwater Use

You might be thinking, which is better for saltwater use, electric or manual fillet knife? It actually depends on a few things,

  • The quantity of fish you fillet 
  • The time you have for cleaning fish
  • Which one do you prefer to use
  • And finally, your budget for it

Electric ones are very handy for filleting hundreds of fish in one go but are more expensive than manual filleting knives as they offer ease and better features. In comparison, manual fillet knives are better for cleaning fewer fish and are more affordable. You can also keep manual knives as a backup when you run out of battery or do not have a power switch near you.

What to Consider When Buying Fillet Knife for Saltwater?

There are a few things to look for when buying the best saltwater fishing knife. Without any further ado, let’s get into it,

1. Blade Material and Flex

For knives to be perfect for saltwater use, they must have blades made of premium-quality materials because the blade material helps the knife in keeping an edge for longer durations. At the same time, a corrosion-resistant material/coating on the blade can make an ordinary filleting blade the best fillet knife for saltwater fish. In addition, a flexible blade makes skinning large saltwater fish-like salmon a breeze.

Related Guide: Best Fillet Knife Sharpener

2. Blade Size

Filleting knives within a blade size range of 6 to 7 inches are highly recommended for small marine fish. In comparison, if a knife has a blade size from 8 to 9 inches, then it surely becomes the best fillet knife for large fish. So, look for the knife blade considering the sizes of fish you mostly love having.

Also Read: Best Japanese Fillet Knife

3. Handle

A non-slip ergonomic handle is a must when cutting any fish, especially saltwater fish. As saltwater is very slippery, your hand might keep slipping when filleting marine fish if the handle is not slip-proof, which is quite dangerous. Prioritize your safety and buy the knife with an absolute grip handle having a hump or safety trigger button (in an electric filleting knife).

4. A Powerful Motor 

When you buy the best electric fillet knife for saltwater fish, make sure it has a powerful motor to run blades at a faster rate. A durable and robust motor is what ensures the long life of the knife. 

5. Storage Sheath

You will need a sheath to easily carry the filleting knife to cut fish while waiting for another fish to get caught in the hook when you go fishing. The best saltwater knives always come with a storage sheath with a hanging hook for hands-free carrying.  

6. Affordable Cost

Saltwater filleting knives require extra care and usually cost more than other knives because of their premium quality blades. You can follow the list given below to ensure that the filleting knife you are buying offers you the best features in that amount, but please take extra care to keep them as fine as new.


Q1: Can I use any fillet knife for filleting saltwater fish?

Actually, no, the knife you use for marine fish should be corrosion-resistant so that the blade can stand saltwater. Moreover, it also has an ergonomic handle that provides the same strong grip in saltwater as in dry conditions. And that’s why an ordinary or freshwater fillet knife can never do very well in saltwater.

Q2: Is washing filleting knives in the dishwasher okay?

Although many knives claim to be dishwasher safe, we do not recommend washing filleting knives in the dishwasher. The water sprayed in the dishwasher acts like a sandblaster which can damage the edge and sharpness of the blades. So, if you want to keep the blade’s sharpness intact and as good as new, then you should carefully hand wash the knives. 

Q3: How to prevent my filleting knife from rusting? 

The knives we provided in the above list are all corrosion-resistant like the Stowaway folding fillet knife, but even rust-free knives need proper care. And to keep your knives safe from rust, 

  • You should clean the blades with a cloth
  • Air dry them
  • Then keep them in a dry place with their sheath on

In addition, honing knives regularly with a sharpening steel/rod before and after using it, also helps prevent any rust stains.

Q4: How to cut fish head bones with a saltwater fillet knife?

We do not recommend cutting bones with filleting knives because they are not made to cut through bones but debone fish. Although some of the best saltwater knives have very pointed and sharp blades that can cut bones, there are still higher chances of damaging the blade’s edge this way. So, please do not try cutting head bones with fillet knives and use meat cleavers instead.


If you have rusted many ordinary or freshwater knives while filleting marine fish. It is high time you get the best fillet knife for saltwater fish KastKing fillet knife or Bubba pro series cordless fillet knife. Make your money count and buy the one that fits your needs while still within your budget, enjoy filleting, and have your favorite saltwater fish.

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