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Mr1911April 8th, 2013, 1:12 pm
Posts: 1My son started trout fishing a couple years ago, but he doesn't have a dedicated fishing knife. When I search the web for trout knives, I find the small rigid trout & bird knives. What about the long, flexible blade fillet knives? Would a trout fisherman use both? Would a fillet knife be a good overall choice for trout?
MartinlfApril 8th, 2013, 5:24 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Many of us here release our trout, so we may not be up on the most useful knives. A fillet knife is typically the knife of choice for those cleaning fish, though.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
AdirmanApril 8th, 2013, 5:24 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 504
Well, I dont keep my fish anymore so I only carry a knife primarily for cutting line and such. However,way back when I did, I found that a small jacknife did the job nicely for most small to medium sized trout. For the bigger ones, probably would wait till I got back home and break out the fillet knife!
FalsiflyApril 8th, 2013, 6:18 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
Never found it a necessity to carry a knife while trout fishing, although a handgun could have come in handy a couple of times. I would think just about any sharp knife of adequate length would do for evisceration, but if you want a boneless, skinless fillet, a flexible fillet knife and a flat smooth surface work best for me. Never really liked the taste of trout, but I do recall a breakfast of trout, scrambled eggs, a variety of sliced fresh fruit and a glass of fine wine that I would do again.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Kschaefer3April 9th, 2013, 12:39 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
There have been times when a trout does not appear it will live if released. In these instances I keep the fish (if legal). I like a buck knife for trout. Cut their throat, cut down the belly, peel out guts, rinse and cook.
The3PsApril 12th, 2013, 6:03 pm
Norway, Maine

Posts: 3
Small old timer or buck folding pocket knife would be best for trout. Always good to have a good fillet knife in the bottom of tackle box, but not so much for fly vest's!
Patience, persistence, presentation!
SayfuApril 12th, 2013, 7:11 pm
Posts: 560I like the Leatherman, and tools included in a belt sheath. Don't much like to eat trout so it is all release on them, and whenever I did keep trout it was just gutting them, not filleting them like I would do a perch. That knife is sharp. I feel like a Boy Scout with that knife, needle nose pliers, screwdriver, bottle opener etc. Never use it hardly, but like to have it with me, and play around with it during lunch,and down time.
Martin595July 6th, 2013, 3:17 am
Posts: 5A good quality and sharp filleting knife makes the job of filleting fish quicker, easier and safer. So it is recommended to all trout fisherman that they should have proper filleting knife
GusJanuary 7th, 2014, 7:23 pm

Posts: 59
I agree with Martin595, a good filleting knife will do the trick. I fishing for steelhead in the Pacific North West and every so often I'll land a hatcher fish. Those get taken home and put of the grill.
"How do you help that son of a bitch?"

"By taking him fishing"

-A River Runs Through It
PaulRobertsJanuary 7th, 2014, 10:10 pm

Posts: 1776
I use a fillet knife for warmwater fishes that have scales that are easiest handled by skinning. Filleting works great there.

Trout don't tend to need to be skinned though, esp smaller ones. A "trout knife" to me is any blade small enough to insert in the vent and slit the belly. Best is a long slim blade.

But no knife at all works too:
Break the gill isthmus, insert your finger in the esophagus holding the head and supporting the "neck" in the other hand, and rip down toward the vent and what tears off is the pectoral girdle and with it, all the entrails too. A knife can be used to slit the belly at this point which allows easier access to disconnect the intestine at the vent and to remove the dorsal aorta/bloodline (by sliding my thumbnail up it). But, you don't have to use a knife at all on most stream trout.
EntomanJanuary 8th, 2014, 10:37 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Unless one's trout are as big as salmon.:) Wished more fly anglers whould take home hatchery steelhead to protect the gene pool. What's left of it anyway... :(

Good advice, Paul. I agree any pocket knife will do as long as it's sharp. Smaller ones are easier to use. Used my Swiss Army to clean a big mess of wild brookies this Summer that took very little time. Slit, cut, jerk, run the thumb, rinse and throw on the pile. I use the exact method that you describe only I cut the isthmus as well. The slit allows the thumb to come in behind and under the gills for a better grip and less stress on the head. Man, were they tasty... Careful with planters, guys - you'll jerk their heads off! :):)

P.S. those trout came from a Western Mountain lake that is lightly fished. If not occasionally harvested they quickly overpopulate, stunt and eventually leave the lake lifeless from Winterkill.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
GldstrmSamJanuary 9th, 2014, 5:00 pm
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
I like fillet knives as an all-round knife. Since I already own one for salmon fishing (a must have knife for Alaska) I use it for most other fish.
Cutco has some amazing knives! I don't own a fishing knife from them, but I do own a hunting knife from them. They are the best! Most of my moose hunting friends use this brand. They guarantee that you can skin three big game animals before resharpening. I even used my drop point outdoor knife from Cutco to skin a squirrel. Overkill? Yes, but I can assure you it was actually the easiest knife to do it with. My friends use their hunting knives like mine to clean salmon that they catch during dip-netting. Ok, I forgot, the post said, "trout knives"...:) I would none the less use it for trout. Since I bought it after I was done fishing for the year, I have not tried it on them yet.

Cutco also has what looks like a good fisherman's knife. I am going to check it out when I need a new fillet knife. I would recommend this brand highly! All of their knives are American made. They also have GREAT warranties, that is if you ever need them.
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
StrmanglrJanuary 11th, 2014, 1:58 pm
Posts: 156
Martín is right.

The right tool for the job is the safest tool. Last thing you want is to get a nasty cut when you are out away from everything. Rapala makes a folding lockblade fillet knife, that's what I carry. Along with a small first aid kit. That knife doesn't have a high quality steel blade so I carry a small sharpener that most knives like that come with.
EntomanJanuary 15th, 2014, 9:19 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Wow.. I couldn't disagree more, guys. Paul gave the best advice, albeit with more diplomacy than I will employ. A long, slim, highly flexible blade pointed directly at your hand and the slippery fish it holds? To make a small slit with the tip? Gives me the heeby jeebies just thinking about it. Good thing you bring a first aid kit with you. Better make sure there's sutures in it. I'd advise keeping ice around as well. Nothing better for transporting severed digits to the hospital...:)

A shorter stiffer blade provides much more control. A filet knife is designed to slip between skin and meat with a sliding slice away from the offhand. If you insist on using one for gutting as well, a good idea is to wear a knit Kevlar glove on the off hand. The pros wear 'em for a reason (even when filleting). Besides providing a better grip for more control and accuracy, risk of cuts is almost nil.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
JawyellowbaFebruary 12th, 2019, 1:05 am
Posts: 6
You probably want to look for fish fillet knives. They are totally worth the price. I love the Victorinox Knife. It's cheap and comes with a full endorsement from America's Test Kitchen.
Gt2003February 26th, 2019, 5:21 am
Broken Arrow, Ok

Posts: 25
I found an inexpensive Rapala fillet knife with a 4 inch blade and a plastic sheath with a built in sharpener. I love the smaller size. Came in at less that $10 so no harm if something happens to it.

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