Anglers today recognize the significance of blending a rich heritage of sport and enjoyment with the preparation of a balanced meal. That’s my idea of a beach meal. The good news is that fishing may provide both enjoyment and sustenance. The key is to make good use of the available resources. In recent years, the traditional catch-and-release mentality has given way to selective harvesting. Where it’s absolutely acceptable to maintain a small number of abundant fish for cleaning and eating. Anglers are encouraged to release larger fish to maintain spawning populations while keeping a few smaller ones for the table under modern fisheries management. It’s a win-win situation. You can consume part of your fish as well. We couldn’t agree more at Rapala. Your stewardship will pay off in the long run if you invest in fish populations by returning large fish to the water. And that includes a sufficient supply of fresh, delectable food to complement your angling experience.
Hello, my name is Tom Neustrom, and I’m a Rapala Professional Fishing Guide. The act of catching fish is merely the beginning of the process. It’s just as crucial to clean and care for your catch. I’m going to teach you a couple of filleting techniques that have worked for me in the past and I’m confident will work for you as well. These are the three Rapala knives that I use for the most of my fish cleaning tasks. I prefer the seven-inch blade for larger fish. For northern pike and lake trout. I like to use these for fish like walleyes and bass. I prefer the four-inch blade for smaller fish like perch, crappies, and bluegills. I’ll tell you what, they’re as sharp as they come, just like all Rapala knives.
There are various methods for cleaning fish, and this is one of the most popular. The knife is inserted underneath the fin and angled forward and down. Then you remove the knife, re-insert it, and pull it back all the way. As you can see, I just utilize the upper portion of the knife, which is crucial. You’ll end up with a lovely, clean fillet. After that, flip the fish over. On the other side, do exactly the same thing. Bring the knife in under the fin, cut down, and then make a good clean cut all the way down to the back. Right there are two pretty excellent, clean fillets. And, as you can see, there isn’t much waste here. After you’ve removed the fillets from the main section of the fish, simply insert your knife along the rib cage and slowly work it back and forth. All you want to do now is take that rib bone out with the tip of the knife. There’s one excellent fillet there, free of ribcage bones. Do the same process with the opposite side of the fillet. Place it on the side and use the fillet knife to cut down the side. That is all there is to it. There are two rib bones there that you don’t actually need. Turn the fillet over and continue to work with the knife. And go carefully with it. You also have one very beautiful piece of beef to prepare. On the other side, take the second piece. Exactly the same thing. Take the second piece of the puzzle. So there you have it. Right there, you’ve got two fantastic fillets. Now that the ribcage has been removed from the fillet. If you feel down the middle, right down the lateral line, that’s what you’re looking for. You’ll notice a boney region here. The pin bones are what they’re called. We take the knife and make two incisions on both sides of that line, cut it out, and you’ve got a perfectly boneless filet.
The Superflex Fish n’ Fillet knife, which is four inches long, has the same bending action as the larger models. Crappies, perch, and bluegills love it. And, like all Rapala knives, they’re razor-sharp and will stay that way for the rest of your life. Place the crappie on its side and, like with other species, proceed straight into the anal opening. And you’re going to make the cut between the fins. Make an incision at a 45-degree angle like this. You can go beneath the fin or even on top of it. You’d like to slim down. Overturn the fish. Make the same cut on the opposite side as you did on the first. That’s right beneath that fin. You then take the knife and simply follow it. This is the ribcage’s backbone. At the very top of the ribcage. Bring it down approximately two-thirds of the way, right through the fish, and then slowly bring it all the way back to the tail. What you want to do now is examine the meat. And then you’ll want to peel it back a little bit. Work the tip of the knife along the ribcage once more. See how amazing this Superflex knife is? It almost follows the ribcage all the way down. You’ll sense it. You’ll be able to feel it in your bones. However, it does so in a really nice and tidy manner. All the way down the side. Take the fish and turn it over one more. Same as before, except this time insert the knife along the top. Turn it around to face you. Simply follow the backbone with the knife’s tip. When I’m doing this, you’ll note that I’m only using approximately half of the knife blade. Also, when you approach closer to the dorsal fin’s end. Simply insert it into the fish and follow it all the way down to the tail. Again, flap it up a little bit like this. You want to take the knife and get your hands on the ribcage. And you want to dismantle it. Pull it apart with your thumb and forefinger. Make cuts all the way up the top of the ribcage. It’s as if the knife just slips straight through it. We have two excellent crappie filets right there. As you can see, we followed the ribs all the way down and there is no wasted meat. Everything was taken care of by the knife. That’s the beauty of having a razor-sharp knife like the Rapala Superflex. It will take care of all of those issues for you. Then again, it’s the same with all other species. It’s as simple as taking a knife and cutting along the skinline right there. Because the skin on crappies is so thin, I like to use the fork. I like to cheat a little and sort of work the knife blade through there. We’ve completed one side and will now proceed to the other. Don’t cut straight down this time. We made a slight slant in our cuts. Make sure you slide it right down the skin with the fork, inching forward a little so it holds it nice and tight. And I like to make a smoother incision along the top section of the meat with the shorter blade knives so that I don’t lose any meat. Then simply return to the top and complete the task. We landed two excellent crappie filets. Just looking at them makes me hungry.
For larger species like trout and salmon, we prefer to clean the fish in a different way. We get them and gut them not only for transportation, but also to smoke, grill, or bake them later. That seven-inch blade is one of my favorites. It has the same flex qualities as all of Rapala’s other Superflex knives. It’s perfect for cleaning these bigger fish. With these bigger fish, the first cut is crucial. As in other animals, you place it in the anal entrance. Then it’s merely using the knife’s tip. You’re merely using the tip of the knife for maybe an inch or two. Insert it into the stomach wall and cut a nice line between the fins and up the stomach wall. Instead of stopping with other species, I keep going until I reach the bottom of the fish’s head. The knife’s flexibility is critical so you can get it inside and make a nice, smooth cut. Then I begin the process of gilling the fish. After you’ve removed the gills, one of the last things you’ll want to do is finish it off before preparing it for consumption. Is it your intention to remove the central blood line? You can use a little brush or even your finger to do it. You simply sweep your index finger forward in the manner shown. And it will clean that out with a couple of different strokes. Then you’re good to go, and it eliminates all of your blood lines. You can create the ah steaks whichever thickness you desire when you’re planning to steak a larger fish like salmon or trout. You may make them a half-inch or two-inch thinner. I prefer the two-inch lengths because they cook more evenly. And, once again, all you want to do is cut straight down and firm because you need to go through that bone. It’s sometimes necessary to turn it up a notch and then go back and cut it straight through. You’ve got a beautiful, nice lump of steak right there. After you’ve completed your initial cut, you repeat the process. Repeat the process for another two inches. Simply cut it down, turn it back up on top, cut it down again, turn it back over, and cut all the way through. That’s all there is to it. And once again, you’ve got a really good piece of meat on your hands. Grilling or baking is a great option. Rapala’s new Superflex series is merely the most recent in a long line of fillet knives and fish cleaning equipment. Whether or not you find electric knives to be convenient. The cordless variants that run on 12 volts. Alternatively, you can clean fish the old fashioned way with some wrist action and forearm persuasion. The end outcome is identical. With a knife, you can make perfect fish fillets for any species and budget. Fillet gloves that fit any hand and avoid knicks and cuts are also included. Cleaning boards are used to keep the fish in place. Sharpeners are also available to keep your blades sharp. With Rapala’s fish cleaning accessories, you’ll look sharp, feel sharp, and fillet sharp. Tempered to be long-lasting and precise. A long-standing Scandinavian tradition. Because the jobs will not be completed until the cleaning is completed.
Is it worthwhile to invest on an electric fillet knife?
If you plan to clean a lot of fish, they’re a good pick. Traditional fillet knives are more expensive than electric fillet knives. They’re also more complex, owing to the numerous moving parts and batteries. They’re trustworthy tools, but they’re not infallible, and they won’t work unless they’re charged or plugged in.
Is it possible to fillet fish using an ordinary electric knife?
It can be daunting if you’ve never used this technique previously.
Intuition might lead you to believe that utilizing a speedier tool with moving parts would be more difficult, yet intuition would be incorrect in this case.
For many fish, an electric knife is easier to use and produces a higher yield than a normal knife.
In addition, the electric knife is more faster.
The first step is to figure out which types of fish are suitable for this method.
The following are some signs that an electric knife is a suitable choice:
Rapala fillet knives are sharpened at what angle?
When cutting meat, it’s critical to keep your professional fillet knives sharp, and it’s even more critical to sharpen safely.
Sharpening fillet knives is one of the most challenging tasks. Because the professional fillet knife is small and incredibly flexible, it’s difficult to keep it stable and maintain a consistent edge. We recommend starting with an easy-to-sharpen knife to build your technique as you discover the best approach to sharpen a fillet knife. The easiest way to improve your technique is to use kitchen knives with a broad flat surface to rest on. It will save you time and frustration if you can get through the initial learning curve with a simple knife. When sharpening a fillet knife with a stone, here’s an example of an excellent knife to start practicing your sharpening skills:
Once you’ve mastered sharpening a simple knife, you’ll be ready to move on to something more difficult, such as a fillet knife. With our Professional Model knife sharpening devices, you can learn how to sharpen a fillet knife properly.
Remove the guiding clip and discard it. By providing a bigger surface to rest the back of the knife on, the sharpening angle guide clip will make sharpening most knives a little easier. However, when sharpening at low angles or with very narrow blades, the guiding clip can get in the way of the sharpening stone, preventing it from making contact with the edge. So keep an eye on the guide clip and make sure it’s removed if any interference occurs.
Set the sharpening angle on your fillet knife to 18 to 21 degrees. When you put a fillet knife across the blade table and place it on the blade’s face, it usually cancels off one or two degrees. The lower the angle you use to sharpen a knife, the longer it will take to sharpen. If your angle is set at 15 degrees, you’ll be sharpening at 13 or 14 degrees, which will take longer and leave you with a brittle edge.
Sharpen the piece of the blade that the blade table supports. If you’re sharpening a flexible blade, keep your stone directly above the blade table at all times. This will offer you a more uniform angle while sharpening and will also prevent the blade from bending.
Take it easy. Slowing down will make it easier for you to keep the knife steady on the fillet knife sharpener, as well as allow the stone to cut more effectively and cleanly. You should be able to sense the stone cutting into your skin. You’re probably traveling too quickly if you can’t feel the stone cutting.
The edge should be polished. This has been shown time and time again, and there is no doubt that a polished edge on a sharp fillet knife works best when filleting a fish.
It is said that practice makes perfect. Watch as we demonstrate these 5 Fillet Knife Sharpening Tips.
What’s the best way to sharpen a knife?
Most kitchen knives, pocket knives, and outdoor knives have a 17 to 20 degree angle. Some knives (mostly from Japanese manufacturers) are sharpened to a 17-degree angle. The majority of western knives have a 20-degree angle. In fact, for most knives, a 20-degree angle is frequently regarded the optimal sharing point.
Are the blades on electric knives interchangeable?
Fillet knives must be able to cut through fish bones and scales while being thin and flexible enough to maneuver around them.
It won’t tarnish, distort, or corrode, even when exposed to moist environments, which is something that happens a lot while working with fish.
If you’re going to be filleting a lot of fresh sea fish, go for a stainless steel blade with a little chromium in it.
Chromium will improve the corrosion resistance, durability, and ability to handle salt water in your knife.
The greatest electric fillet knives have a pair of sharp serrated reciprocating blades that lock into the grip and clip together for stability.
When the motor is turned on, it drives the blades back and forth, and the higher the RPM and the faster the blades travel, the more powerful the motor and the better the gearing.
Faster blades also offer more precision, control, and maneuverability. Remove the skin, entrails, fins, and bones from the fish.
They’re also more efficient than a manual knife because you don’t have to stop every few fish to run them over a steel.
The key is to not apply as much pressure as you would with a typical knife; instead, simply guide it along and let the blade do the heavy lifting.
It’s also critical that the blade has the proper amount of flex and bends slightly when pressure is applied.
Unfortunately, even the most advanced electronic knife is rarely as versatile as a regular manual knife.
The reason for this is due to their design, which requires two blades to be clipped together before they will work.
This usually results in a blade that is significantly thicker and less flexible.
The amount of wiggle room you require, on the other hand, is determined by how you approach the process and your filleting manner.
If you’re a rib bone cutter who makes an incision behind the head and removes the fillet by slicing down to the tail while keeping the knife near to the back bone, an electric knife is great because you don’t have to flex it at all.
However, if you want to cut down the fish’s back, go over the back bone, skirt around the rib cage, and remove the fillet while keeping the belly attached, you’ll need a little more flexibility.
Don’t get me wrong: using an electric knife to fillet fish is still possible; it just takes some practice.
A thinner, more flexible blade will also provide less resistance, make it simpler to move around those bones, and result in a cleaner cut fillet.
A knife with greater malleability is also superior at making some of the more delicate cuts. When you wish to trim the ribcage, remove the fins, or skin the fish, for example.
You must also consider the blade’s length, as well as the material it is constructed of and its flexibility.
And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, make sure you get a knife that’s long enough for the size and species of fish you’ll be catching.
The majority of knives have blades that are between 7 and 9 inches long. Which will suffice for the majority of the fish you’ll be filleting.
However, while filleting fish at either end of the size spectrum, you’ll run into issues.
Fortunately, the best electric fillet knives usually include at least two interchangeable blades, with some having as many as five. There are even blades that may be used to slice vegetables, fruits, bread, and different forms of meat, according to certain makers.
So, if you’re looking for a multipurpose knife that can fillet anything that comes on your hook (including the young kid below), seek for one with interchangeable blades.
The Knife Tip
The tip of the knife is another crucial but frequently ignored characteristic. The blades on all of the best electric fillet knives taper down from the handle to a pointed, flexible sharp edge.
This makes it easy to maneuver them close to the bone and around it without hurting the fish’s flesh.
Of course, you can fillet with a knife with a rounded or square tip; it’s just a little more uncomfortable. However, you’ll find that the blades with a more pointed end perform a far better job.
Can I chop meat with a fillet knife?
Filleting beef is a delicate process that necessitates the use of the proper blade. Chef knives are too thick to cut cleanly along the bone, and paring knives are too short to handle larger portions of meat. The length of a chef’s knife is combined with the accuracy of a paring knife in a fillet knife. Fillet knives, which have a razor-sharp, narrow blade, can slice through meat with ease and make accurate cuts along the bone to reduce wastage.
The best fillet knives are constructed with high-carbon Japanese or German steel and have full tangs that run the length of the knife. A decent fillet knife will feature a big bolster that provides stability while shielding the user’s hand from cuts, in addition to high-quality materials.
There are various variables to consider when looking for the best fillet knife to add to your cutlery collection. Continue reading to learn what to consider as you consider your options, as well as which models are the finest for filleting meat.
- DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Fillet & Boning Knife DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Fillet & Boning Knife DALSTRONG Gladiator Series Fillet & Boning Knife
- KastKing Fillet Knife 6 Inch, Professional Level: BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK
- WSTHOF Classic 7 Inch Fillet Knife is the best upgrade.
- Bubba Li-Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife: BEST ELECTRIC
- Rapala4 Soft Grip Fillet / Single Stage Sharpener: BEST 9-INCH
- Bubba 7 Inch Tapered Flex Fillet Knife is the most flexible.
- imarku Boning Knife, 6-Inch Fillet Knife, MOST VERSATILE