If fishing is one of your hobbies or if you are an avid pescatarian, then you know you need a fillet knife.
Filleting fish, such as walleye fish, is quite an easy process if you learn what to do and have all the necessary tools. The principal tool you will need, of course, is a fillet knife.
This is a thin and narrow knife that usually has a unique curve to it. A fillet knife can either be manual or electric.
This article will help you find the best fillet knife for walleye fish, and will also be giving you some tips about filleting walleye.
6 Best Fillet Knife for Walleye Reviews
Before going into some basic features and tips of fillet knives for walleye, let us first look at some of the more popular products on the market currently.
Calamus Walleye Fishing Fillet Knife
The first contender of this list is from the brand Calamus, and it is their 9-inch stainless steel, Teflon-coated fillet knife.
Because the blade is coated in Teflon, this means that the odor of the walleye will not linger or be absorbed into the knife. The coating also ensures that the knife cuts smoothly and without interruption.
Its handle is non-slip and resembles the rubber handle of a golf club, so you can grip it stably while filleting the delicate fish. The blue Teflon-coated blade also resists corrosion and maintains its edge for a long time.
This knife also has a good bolster between the blade and handle so that your hand does not come into contact with the sharp edge.
When you are done using the knife, you can slip it into the nylon sheath that it comes with for storage and protection. You don’t have to worry about it rusting inside the sheath because it allows airflow and water drainage.
You can also use this knife for hunting or around the kitchen for slicing and cutting other delicate foods. Because the blade does not retain odor, there is no danger of contamination.
Mercer Culinary Millennia Walleye Fillet Knife
One of the more minimal and straightforward options on this list is Mercer Culinary’s Millennia fillet knife. It has a black ergonomic handle made of Santoprene and polypropylene, which is comfortable to use and durable.
The 8.5-inch blade is a thin and very narrow one made of high carbon Japanese steel. It has a razor-sharp edge that is easy to maintain and sharpen. There is also a finger guard on the handle to protect the user from the blade.
A lot of people do not like it when their knife has a rubbery handle because that can be awkward to clean. With this knife’s non-porous handle, that won’t be an issue. Plus, it gives a good grip and protection to the user when filleting.
The curved tip helps when you are deboning the walleye of taking out the rib cage. More so, the blade is also quite sharp, which means it will slice through the fish cleanly without shredding it or making the fillet’s surface uneven.
Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife For Walleye
Our first electric fillet knife entry is by the brand Bubba. This is a cordless knife that looks quite like a power tool.
Because it is an electric knife, it is a bit heavier at 1.1 pounds. This knife runs on a lithium-ion battery. It has a wide, red-and-black handle that prevents slipping and has an ergonomic trigger.
What is the most remarkable feature of this knife is that it comes with four reciprocating blades. Each of them is increasingly narrow and short, and all of them are serrated with curved tips. Two of the blades are flexible, while the other two are stiff.
The knife’s handle is 8.5-inch, and it has a battery indicator LED light.
Bubba Tapered Flex Fillet Knife for Walleye
Another one from Bubba, but this one is a 15 inches long manual fillet knife. It has the signature red and white rubber handle with a full protective bolster.
Additionally, its blade is coated in Ti-Nitride, which protects it from rust and wear. The tip of the 9-inch razor-sharp blade is tapered and flexible. This blade is also non-stick, which will make your filleting cleaner and more accurate.
While the red of the handle can seem flashy, it is balanced out by the dark color of the blade. The knife comes with a synthetic sheath, which makes it secure enough to take with you on your fishing trips.
This fillet knife’s blade is made of high carbon steel and is built to cut through delicate walleye fish and tough scales smoothly and evenly.
The rubberized handle provides a good grip that will not slip while the full bolster between the blade and the handle protects you during your filleting process.
DPNAO Fillet Knife For Walleye
This fillet knife from DPNAO has a 9-inch long, razor-sharp blade. It also has a unique look to it, with the handle being a bright orange (with black details) and the edge being black stainless steel.
The knife also comes with a small and portable sharpener, along with a silicone sheath, which makes it appropriate for carrying around.
It fillets fish cleanly and speedily and is easy to use even for beginners. The grip of the handle is soft and non-slip, which makes the filleting process more stable and accurate.
This knife’s long and narrow blade is also flexible, which makes it perfect for filleting delicate fish such as a walleye.
Wusthof Gourmet Fillet Knife For Walleye
Our last entry is from the German cutlery brand, Wusthof, and it is their gourmet fillet knife. This one has a 7-inch long blade.
It has a simplistic look, with a black triple-riveted handle and a high carbon stainless steel blade. The grip is not rubberized, but it does resist heat, fading, impact, and discoloration. Its edge is also convenient to sharpen and maintain.
The fillet knife’s blade is not the longest, but it is flexible, and the tip is almost like a needle, which gives you more accuracy when filleting a walleye fish. Its narrowness and length also mean that it gives you neat fillets of fish.
How to Fillet a Walleye?
Here’s the process for you.
Things You Will Need
Before filleting your walleye fish, you need a couple of supplies handy. Make sure you have a non-slip cutting surface, such as a wooden cutting board. Fish can be slippery when cutting, and that can make for uneven filleting.
Of course, you also need a sharp fillet knife, such as any of the ones suggested above. Your knife should have a handle that has a good grip and a blade that is long, thin, narrow, and has a flexible tip.
Cutting a Fillet
Place the walleye onto the cutting surface so that its head is on the opposite side of your dominant hand. Then, grip the walleye underneath its gill plate and slip your blade underneath its fin. Cut down diagonally until you hit the fish’s spine.
Then drag the blade through the side of the fish, towards its belly until you reach the lower fin. Now, take the knife away and back to where you made the first cut. Slip the blade under and cut while its side is against the walleye’s spine.
Make sure you are slicing through entirely so that the tip of the knife is coming out of the other side of the fish, above the dorsal fin. Slice through in this manner while gently holding down the part that has already been sliced with your other hand.
Removing the Rib Cage and Skin
Once you have sliced down to the tail, remove the fillet from the rest of the walleye so that you can proceed to take the rib out. You can do this by using the tip of the fillet knife to get under the ribcage and then cut it out neatly off the fillet.
The next step is to remove the fillet from the skin. Place the blade’s side against the tail end of the fillet and start slicing through, back and forth, separating the skin and the fillet. Try to keep the fillet taut using your other hand while you do this so that the removal is more accurate.
Here is a helpful video explaining the process in-depth:
Finding the best electric fillet knife for walleye fish may seem like a difficult task, as the market is moderately saturated with the right options. You might also feel that it is redundant since you can just get an excellent non-electric fillet knife for a lower price.
However, an electric fillet knife does have some merits over a manual fillet knife. For one, it is an excellent tool if you fillet walleye (or any fish) regularly. Filleting can be a time-consuming process that also requires some level of skill and practice.
If you fail on your first try at filleting a walleye, don’t be disheartened. An electric fillet knife can do the job quickly and more smoothly for you. This kind of fillet knife is especially appreciated in professional kitchens and amongst fresh seafood sellers.
The blade of an electric fillet knife is usually sharper, and the knife itself is heavier than a regular fillet knife. But it is a handy tool if you have a pile of fish or meat to slice, fillet, or cut.
A non-electric fillet knife, or a manual fillet knife, is a simple enough concept. It does, however, have a design and look that will immediately tell you that the blade has a particular purpose.
Most manual fillet knives are both thin and narrow, but also quite lengthy. They also often have a curved and flexible tip, which aids in the filleting process. These features make it perfect for filleting delicate fish such as a walleye or even for slicing out individual cuts of meat.
Because fish are slippery when cutting, non-electric fillet knives usually have a rubbery handle, which prevents slipping. The thinness of the blade and the flexibility of its curved tip also make manual fillet knives perfect for filleting walleye fish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does a fillet knife have a flexible tip?
A: A typical fillet knife has a curved and flexible tip that comes in handy when removing the rib cage and other tiny bones from a fish fillet.
Q: What can I use a fillet knife for?
A: Besides cutting out fish fillets, a fillet knife can also be used for slicing steaks and even as a regular kitchen knife to cut different foods.
Q: Why do I need a fillet knife?
A: If you want to learn how to fillet fish, then you need a proper fillet knife. The knife’s non-slip handle, thin and narrow blade, and flexible tip are designed to make the perfect filleting tool.
Q: Should I get a manual or electric fillet knife?
A: This depends on your specific needs. If you fillet fish often or fillet a lot of fish at once, then the speed of an electric fillet knife will come in very handy. Otherwise, for occasional filleting, you can just use a regular non-electric fillet knife without issue.
Q: Why do fillet knives have non-slipping handles?
A: The process of filleting fish can be a tricky one. Fish are delicate, and you need precision when cutting out a fillet. A handle that will not slip increases your accuracy when cutting and results in a clean fillet.
Learning how to fillet something like a walleye fish is easy enough, given you have the best fillet knife for walleye in your collection. And with the above list of fillet knives, you are sure to have one that suits you perfectly.