The Rapala is the best fillet knife I've ever used. Whether filleting fish, boning a chicken breast or turning a tenderloin into steaks, it's great!

A Great Fillet Knife

We basically just stumbled onto the best fillet knife I’ve ever used.  Just as we were moving aboard Que Tal, Dave’s sister inherited a house and in cleaning it out, Nancy came across a brand new fillet knife and handed it to Dave, saying he could use it on the boat.  I already had a fillet knife, but Dave didn’t know that, so he took the new one.  Am I ever glad he did!

The knife was a Rapala 7″ Fish’n Fillet (link is to Amazon). Dave uses it for basic fish filleting, and I both to remove the skin from the fillets and also for boning other meat (you can see me using it in my video on how to bone a chicken breast).  It is infinitely better than the “fillet and boning knife” that came with my other knives — and better yet, it’s also cheaper!

The Rapala is the best fillet knife I've ever used. Whether filleting fish, boning a chicken breast or turning a tenderloin into steaks, it's great!

Why do Dave and I both like it so much?

  • The 7″ blade is the right length for anything we’ve wanted to use it for — not so long that you feel like you don’t have fine control over the tip, but large enough for any fish we’ve caught or other meat I’ve boned.
  • The blade is sharp and stays sharp.  Use it on a cutting board or fillet table.  If you’re worried about cutting yourself with it, well, yes, you have to be careful.  But I find that I cut myself far less with sharp knives as they cut where I intend them to, and don’t slip and cut me instead.
  • The blade is thin — both in the sense of being flexible to go around bone, and narrow enough that you can cut in small places.
  • The handle just feels right — and this is sort of funny because both Dave and I think it fits our hand perfectly and our hands are nowhere near the same size!
  • Comes with a sharpener and a sheath.  To be honest, I can’t say much about the sharpener — it wasn’t with the one Nancy gave us.  The sheath is great — unlike the sheaths that came with several other knives, it never fell off accidentally or disintegrated.  While I replaced the sheaths on all my other other knives with BladeSafes, I didn’t have to do it with the Rapala fillet knife.

Probably the best “endorsement” I can give is that whenever we caught a fish, we both wanted to be using the Rapala — Dave would do the basic filleting on deck and I’d trim things up and remove the skin in the galley.  He always got the Rapala as he began first, and I’d make do with my other fillet knife until he was finished.

When I saw another Rapala at a swap meet, I grabbed it for myself.  And while we left most of our gear on Que Tal for the new owners, I did take one of the Rapalas with me . . . and it’s now in use on Barefoot Gal (and I use it for many things besides fish — it’s really my favorite knife).

Rapala makes similar fillet knives in a shorter length (maybe 5″?), the 7″ one that I prefer and also a 9″ length that is probably more for large game fish.  It’s available at large outdoor stores (Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, etc.) but Amazon seems to offer slightly better prices:

The Rapala is my favorite knife/ Whether filleting fish, boning a chicken breast or turning a tenderloin into steaks, it's great!

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  • Victor Penfound on Facebook
    Posted at 14 September 2012 Reply

    i already own 2 of these .. awesome knives …

  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 14 September 2012 Reply

    They are great!! We love ours (plural!) When our knife got the tip broken off…(don’t ask) my husband ground it down then sharpened it up and I have a great little 4 1/2 inch blade. And you are so right about SHARP knives being safer. When I was in college i was using my roommate’s galley knife ( dull as a butter knife) and I had to put pressure on it to cut-it slipped and nearly cut my thumb off. 45 years later I still remember it AND bear the scar. After that I try and keep all of my (our) knives sharp as possible.

  • Jim
    Posted at 15 September 2012 Reply

    These are great knives. I would suggest a filleting glove as well. Safety First!

    Also remember to put knives point down in the dish drainer!

  • Susan Leaf
    Posted at 17 May 2013 Reply

    We have had two of these for years. one 7″ & one 5″. The smaller one was for pan fish, and we use the larger one for what we catch on the boat. They are fantastic!

  • Ben (s/v CHRISTEL)
    Posted at 14 June 2013 Reply

    RAPALA made in Finland!
    Original RAPALA LURE was crafted by a man who lived on an island at Paijanne lake in centre of Finland. I’ve met him briefly in early fifties by stopping at his island on my sailboat.

  • Laura
    Posted at 29 January 2014 Reply
    I hope this link worked! Anyway, when we started cruising my mother bought us a fillet knife from Cutco, and it certainly worked to my youngest daughter’s advantage that she did. This is because my daughter spent one summer selling Cutco knives door to door in order to help with her college tuition (that little girl is my hero, she has an incredible work ethic!). We haven’t caught as many fish as we’d like but I do love that knife. It’s scary sharp!!

  • Michelle Pirzenthal
    Posted at 10 December 2015 Reply

    Why do none of these items ship to South Africa

  • Ryan Easter
    Posted at 10 December 2015 Reply

    Awesome! Just bought one 🙂 thank you again!

  • Thomas Jensen
    Posted at 11 December 2015 Reply

    You’re going to need a bigger skillet.

  • JP Pedro
    Posted at 19 December 2016 Reply

    I agree. I use Rapala and Jap knives also .

  • Ritchard Findlay
    Posted at 19 December 2016 Reply

    I’ve got one on my boat for the same reasons.

  • George Attaway
    Posted at 19 December 2016 Reply


  • Rick Garvin
    Posted at 19 December 2016 Reply


  • Kirk Stretch
    Posted at 14 October 2017 Reply

    Once had a friend skin a 1000lb animal on our farm. He had a custom skinning knife and a Rapala fillet knife(that goes on sale here at a local store for ten dollars at least once a year). He concluded the fillet knife was the tool of choice, and with a little honing that knife effortlessly completed the task.

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