My knife ergo dynamics involves human factor science for increasing the ease, comfort and control of the blade during the filleting process. Length, thickness, design, comfort, hand control and sharpness have all been equated to produce the qualities my knives provide. Almost any filet knife will get the job done, although it would be more beneficial to filet quicker, easier and more accurate to not waste valuable meat and time away from the stream.
Study and Testing
Fishing is a very enjoyable sport, but filleting your catch is an undesirable chore to most fishermen, including myself; therefore I have challenged to reduce the undesirables in my filet knives by consulting professional Alaskan Fishing Guides thoughts and opinions with my own experiences and testing for two years to produce the finest filet knives made today.
- The blade lengths vary from 7″ to 9.5″ with the p.5″ designed for fish in the 15 lb. & up weight range.
- The blade flexibility is fairly stiff for tip control. A blade should only flex when you need it to flex.
- The blade tapers from the tip approximately 1 & 1/8″ to the widest point or bolster for an accurate controlled surface ride against the meat or skin.
- The handle and length is designed to fit the average hand very comfortably with total control of the blade’s angle in any filleting position you may encounter.
- The most important qualities of a good filet knife is the type of steel and the cutting edge, period.
I use a superior high quality crucible stainless steel that, most importantly, will re-sharpen easily to a razor edge & retain this edge throughout many filleting processes more so than any store bought filet knife on the market. The final quality is the blade edge design. Edge friction is an area not addressed as far as I know to much extent, although crucial to a fine knife edge. There are several good edge bevels used by knife makers and the altered style I have tested and use exclusively has proven to help eliminate problems with skinning and filleting. Valuable meat left on the carcass and skin left on the meat, if you are skinning is wasteful, time consuming and frustrating. Less degrees of the edge bevel helps reduce friction allowing a better feel of the blade presence and cuts more efficiently. See blade illustration below.
This edge design requires a high quality steel with proven toughness, strength and hardness to retain the thin beveled edge and sharpness. CPM 154 CM & CPM S35VN has these proven qualities. Only a few other steels are superior to CPM S35VN, although very expensive and edge longevity over CPM S35VN is probably negligible or minute. Inferior steels will not pass the test and will dull extremely quick and chip easily rendering the knife useless. CPM 154 & CPM S35VN will hold their razor sharpness much longer than any conventional knife & longer than edge life expectancy ————- until you own one! “What is in your sheath?”
When re-sharpening is necessary, mark the edge with a magic marker and angle the edge on a good sharpening stone (for best results) until you are barely grinding the mark off of edge. Do not steepen the angle with thoughts of sharpening quicker – it will fail. Proper re-sharpening will bring back a razor edge quickly. If very dull, start with 220 to 400 grit, then increase grits to 600 and 1200. For a totally complete edge, use a leather strop last. This leather stropping is what takes your edge from a sharp edge to a razor sharp edge.
True art is from the mind, the eye and the hand