The best fillet knives and fish processing gear should not only make your life easier after a day of fishing, but also keep your catch as fresh as possible during storage.
We’ve tested and gathered our staff & writers’ favorite fillet knives and fish processing gear over the last year below.
These are the best fillet knives and fish processing gear for 2019
|Knives of Alaska Coho Fillet Knife|
Our tester has used fillet knives for many years and has been searching for “The One”. She claims that she has found it in the Coho Fillet Knife by Knives of Alaska. “I seriously thought this knife would cost well over $200 when I first held it because it has the feel of a custom-made fillet knife. I was so surprised when I looked it up and it was only $80. It feels high end.” The knife has a great shape with an upswept tip, a razor-sharp, flat-ground edge, and at 13 total inches, with an 8-inch blade, it easily slices through medium-sized salmon like coho. Our tester is also a big fan of their Suregrip handle.
|Shun Classic 6-Inch Boning/Fillet Knife|
This is an extremely-sharp fillet knife, which makes it easy to cut through tough fish skin. Filleting halibut and then skinning the fillets was a breeze using this fillet knife, making it a solid choice for fish processing and standard kitchen tasks.
|FoodSaver GameSaver Heat-Seal Pre-Cut Bags|
We tested the quart and gallon-sized versions and the bags are sturdy, and have maintained a good seal. We’ve had items in the freezer for seven months so far in these bags and last summer’s smoked king salmon still looks perfect. It’s quite handy to have pre-sealed bags, especially when you are processing a lot of fish and may end up using 100 bags in a good haul. Additionally, we like how the bags help us portion sizes. The gallon-size bag is about right to accommodate two pounds, or fish for four.
|LEM MaxVac Pro+ Chamber Sealer|
Our tester has wanted an air-chambered machine for a while, but hasn’t wanted to spend multiple thousands of dollars to do it. We learned about the LEM MaxVac Pro+ and when tested, found it to be a sturdy, easy-to-use, and effective sealer. It seals bags up to 10 inches wide and 13 inches long. With all the fish and game that people process in Alaska, it is awesome to find a chamber sealer at under a thousand dollars. In fact it can be quite a bit less when they go on sale at Three Bears.
|Lindy Fish Handling Glove|
On a previous fishing trip, after handling multiple fish, our tester’s hands were cut up and barely usable for the next few days. After receiving these gloves, he handled a number of halibut and rockfish with no ill effects to his hands. He appreciates that they have XXL gloves that fit his hands comfortably while protecting them from halibut gills, rockfish spines, hooks, and fillet knife blades.
|Gerber Controller Fillet Knife System|
The Controller Fillet Knife System includes the knife, a hard sheath, and sharpening rod. It’s available in 6-, 8- and 10-inch lengths. Several things set the Controller apart from other fillet knives. A lot of thought has gone into the design of the system. The grip is primarily glass-filled nylon, but with grippy rubber pads in the right places. It’s a full-tang design, so it’s inherently strong, and the handle will not separate from the blade. The sheath is hard plastic, vented to drain water, has a belt loop, a pocket clip, and a retention strap. What’s more, it has a built-in, diamond sharpening rod, so you can touch up the blade while you work. We’ve seen other fillet knives with built-in sharpeners, but this is the best built-in sharpener we’ve seen. Other features include a lanyard hole, mirror-polished corrosion-resistant blade, and a prominent finger choil to prevent your hand from slipping off the handle towards the blade. The blade flexes nicely, and with sizes from 6- to 10 inches, there’s a Controller for everything from trout to halibut.