Kayak Fishing Knife Guide

While fishing and kayaking, you should always have a knife on you. In fact, you should have two knives on you. You can pick up your favorite gutting and fishing knife at your local bait and tackle supply store. The kind of knife you use here is more of a personal preference than anything else. Of course, you shouldn’t gut your fish while on the water (although, if you have proper storage on the boat for your fish, you can use the discarded pieces as excellent bait for more), but there will be times you’ll need your tackle knife for cutting certain areas of the fish. More importantly, is your kayaking knife. This is a vital tool and almost more important than any other tool you bring with you. You just need to know what sort of knife works best.

Stainless Steel

Above all else, you need to select a stainless steel knife. There are different grades to look over, but stainless steel is your best option as it is better designed for salt water and kayaking. There is a strong chance your blade will become wet, so while you should dry it off upon returning to dock, other kinds of blades will rust out.

Fixed vs. Folding

Fixed blades typically are stronger. The fewer moving pieces, the stronger the item is. This holds true for just about anything. With that being said, there are high quality folding knives out there. The compact size makes it nice for kayaking. However, the weakest area of the entire knife is the pivot pin. Should the pin snap, the blade will simply fall out. Due to this, it is better to go with a fixed knife whenever possible.

The Fixed Knife

Now that you know you should go with a stainless steel, fixed knife, it is important to select the best kind of blade. The best knives used on the water have a serrated edge. This jagged edge makes it easier to cut through lines. Perhaps you have a tangled line running from your kayak, or maybe you went under a tree branch and part of your vest is now caught, trapping you and making it difficult to breathe. The serrated edge cuts through lines easier.


The placement of your knife is important. Having it tucked away renders the knife useless during an emergency. The entire purpose of having a knife on hand with you is in case of an emergency. Should you decide to go with a fixed blade and have found a strong option, keep it on a chest pocket. The fixed blade should be attacked to your kayak and easy to grab at a moments notice.

Maintain Your Knife

Maintain your knife when not in use. Lightly coat it with oil from time to time to help prevent it from rusting. Clean your knife every single time you return from the water (whether you used it or not) and keep it sharp. You can sharpen your knife by using a flat whetstone and sliding your blade towards yourself across the stone at a slight angle. A dull knife may prove ineffective.

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