Posted by Gary Keen on 18th Jan 2017

A Guide to Hunting and Fishing Knives

Until you’ve been out hunting or fishing, you won’t know how useful a knife can be, unless maybe you’ve needed to cut a particularly tough piece of steak. If you’re a beginner when it comes to hunting or fishing, it might be a good idea to familiarise yourself with different makes and models of knives, which always come in handy for different activites when out in the field.

Below we have gone through a full introduction of what to look out for if you need a knife for hunting or fishing, and the features you should be looking for.

Uses for Knives

A knife will differ in use depending on whether you are hunting or fishing. They will also differ in size and shape, so it’s best to get a knife that’s most appropriate for your chosen discipline. Furthermore, depending on the type of game your are hunting, you may need a bigger or smaller knife to compensate. Generally you would use your knife for:

  • Fishing – filleting fish. The knife is thin and flexible meaning it can skirt easily around bones
  • Hunting – skinning game if necessary. Depending on the game you may have to buy a specialist hunting knife. Also can be used as a survival knife if camping


Knives come in varying sizes since they will be designed to perform different tasks. A standard survival knife might be built to fulfill various functions, but you are always best buying a specific knife that will assist you in fishing or hunting.

  • Fishing – A standard size for a fishing or fillet knife is 6 inches long, although it is more about the quality of the knife rather than the length of it.
  • Hunting – if used for skinning game, a 7 inch knife will suffice. If it’s more for survival, the user can choose a whole range of knives, from an 18 inch machete to a 3.5 inch hunter knife and will fulfill a whole range of tasks, from chopping wood to cutting food


At Keen’s Tackle and Guns we stock a range of different makes and models of knives, specifically designed to assist you when hunting or fishing. We would not recommend one make over another, but it’s always best to come and get a feel for each knife, as there might be a design that suits you.


With a high quality knife, it is important to keep it well maintained so it doesn’t dull and lose it’s sharpness. Whether it’s fishing or hunting, the same maintenance techniques apply, to ensure that you don’t end up with a rusted or damaged blade.

  • Clean – after every usage, try to clean the blade with soapy water by hand
  • Sharp – keeping your knife sharp is vital for it’s continued use. You can either get a specialised fillet knife sharpener or an all round sharpener that will fulfill your needs
  • Storage – try to keep your knife in a cool, dry place or best yet, in a sealable container away from any humidity or chemicals. When out in the field, keep your knife in a sheath for safety