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Best Saltwater Fishing Knife – The Top 8 Brands

Saltwater fishing knives are ideal for tasks such as chopping bait, cutting the fishing line, cutting rope, etc. These knives have great utility but can also be perfect for cutting and processing fish. Many of them are versatile, compact and considered an all-purpose item.

One of the main advantages offered by these knives is that they are easy to carry around because they have flexible blades and handles. Some you can fold to a compact size and tuck them away safely.

Saltwater fishing knives are specially designed to withstand the rigors of salty air and water.

They are highly corrosion resistant and super strong to handle large fishes. With that in mind, purchasing a high-quality knife for saltwater fishing is crucial to ensuring optimal performance.

NOTE: This article reviews the best saltwater fishing knives on the market and focuses more on their utility when out angling.  If you are looking specifically for a filet style knife, we suggest checking out this article: The Best Fillet Knife for Saltwater Fish.

There are a few considerations every angler should consider before choosing a saltwater fishing knife. In this section, we take a closer look at each of these factors.

Fixed vs. Folding Knife

Generally, fixed knives are best suited to hard tasks while folding knives are ideal for light-duty applications. Fixed blades are more durable and don’t break easily. On the other hand, folding blades have more points of weakness and are more susceptible to corrosion.

Blade Size

The size of the blade is always a significant factor to consider, regardless of the intended purpose. And while bigger is always better, a blade that’s too long may compromise your ability to complete finer tasks efficiently. On the other hand, a short blade doesn’t perform well when it comes to rugged applications like chopping or batoning. We recommend choosing a knife that’s at least 3” long and at most 10” long.

Full Tang

Full Tang refers to knives whose blade and handle are made from a single piece of metal.

Full tang blades are more robust than push tang, half tang, and rat-tail tangs. This is because partial tang blades tend to loosen with continued exposure to demanding tasks.

Full tang knives are usually wrapped with cordage, wood, hardened plastic or other material to ensure a comfortable grip.

Blade Material

Stainless steel is the best material choice because it is leaps ahead of other materials regarding durability and corrosion resistance.

Titanium is also a good choice as it is super durable and resistant to rusting. While lightweight and strong, aluminum doesn't stand up well to prolonged moisture exposure.

Handle and Grip Design

A good, solid grip is an essential factor to consider when shopping for a saltwater fishing knife. The last thing you need is a knife that keeps sliding through your fingers every time you try to cut. This is not only inefficient but also increases the risk of accidental cuts.

Most companies have a reputation for patented handle designs that ensure comfort, efficiency, and optimal safety. Look for handles with grooves or rubber coating.

Our Top 8 Picks

Spyderco Atlantic Salt Rust Free Serrated Edge Knife
Morakniv Craftline Pro S Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade and Combi-Sheath, 3.6-Inch
Titanium Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Sheath – Water Rescue Dive Knife is Lightweight, Sharp, Strong & Will Never Rust in Salt Water – Used by US Coast Guard and US Navy
SOG Tactical Knife with Sheath - “SEAL Pup” M37N-CP Fixed Blade Knife with 4.75” Tactical Knife Blade and MOLLE Belt Knife Sheath + Survival Knife GRN Grip
Cost Factor
$$
$
$
$
Blade Material
H1 steel
Stainless steel
Heat treated titanium
AUS-8 stainless steel
Blade Design
Hollow-ground serrated SpyderEdge
Drop point blade
Serrated blade with line cutter and blunt tip
Straight edge, fixed blade with clip point shape
Blade Length
3.5-inches
3.1-inches
4.1-inches
4.85-inches
Overall Knife Length
8.0-inches
8.25-inches
7.8-inches
9.5-inches
Handle Material
Fiberglass reinforced nylon
TPE rubber
High strength nylon
Nylon sheath with belt loop attachment
Warranty
Lifetime
Limited lifetime
Lifetime
Lifetime
Spyderco Atlantic Salt Rust Free Serrated Edge Knife
Brand
Cost Factor
$$
Blade Material
H1 steel
Blade Design
Hollow-ground serrated SpyderEdge
Blade Length
3.5-inches
Overall Knife Length
8.0-inches
Handle Material
Fiberglass reinforced nylon
Warranty
Lifetime
Morakniv Craftline Pro S Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade and Combi-Sheath, 3.6-Inch
Brand
Cost Factor
$
Blade Material
Stainless steel
Blade Design
Drop point blade
Blade Length
3.1-inches
Overall Knife Length
8.25-inches
Handle Material
TPE rubber
Warranty
Limited lifetime
Titanium Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Sheath – Water Rescue Dive Knife is Lightweight, Sharp, Strong & Will Never Rust in Salt Water – Used by US Coast Guard and US Navy
Cost Factor
$
Blade Material
Heat treated titanium
Blade Design
Serrated blade with line cutter and blunt tip
Blade Length
4.1-inches
Overall Knife Length
7.8-inches
Handle Material
High strength nylon
Warranty
Lifetime
SOG Tactical Knife with Sheath - “SEAL Pup” M37N-CP Fixed Blade Knife with 4.75” Tactical Knife Blade and MOLLE Belt Knife Sheath + Survival Knife GRN Grip
Brand
Cost Factor
$
Blade Material
AUS-8 stainless steel
Blade Design
Straight edge, fixed blade with clip point shape
Blade Length
4.85-inches
Overall Knife Length
9.5-inches
Handle Material
Nylon sheath with belt loop attachment
Warranty
Lifetime
Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife, Black
Schrade SCHF9 12.1in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife with 6.4in Kukri Point Blade and TPE Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Carry
CELTIBEROCOCO - Outdoor / Survival / Hunting / Tactical Knife - Cocobolo Wood Handle, Stainless Steel MOVA-58 with Genuine Leather Multi-positioned Sheath + Sharpener Stone + Firesteel
ESEE 4P Black Knife w/ Coyote Tan Molded Polymer Sheath
Cost Factor
$$$
$
$$$
$$$
Blade Material
VG10 steel
1095 high carbon stainless steel
MOVA-58 stainless steel
1095 high carbon stainless steel
Blade Design
Full tang blade with straight edge curved towards the tip
Full tang design
Full tang blade with straight edge curved towards the tip
Drop point, full tang blade
Blade Length
6.3-inches
6.4-inches
5.7-inches
4.5-inches
Overall Knife Length
11.0-inches
12.1-inches
10.8-inches
9.0-inches
Handle Material
Kraton
TPE rubber
Cocobolo wood
Black linen micarta
Warranty
10-years
Limited lifetime
Limited lifetime
Unconditional lifetime
Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife, Black
Brand
Cost Factor
$$$
Blade Material
VG10 steel
Blade Design
Full tang blade with straight edge curved towards the tip
Blade Length
6.3-inches
Overall Knife Length
11.0-inches
Handle Material
Kraton
Warranty
10-years
Schrade SCHF9 12.1in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife with 6.4in Kukri Point Blade and TPE Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Carry
Cost Factor
$
Blade Material
1095 high carbon stainless steel
Blade Design
Full tang design
Blade Length
6.4-inches
Overall Knife Length
12.1-inches
Handle Material
TPE rubber
Warranty
Limited lifetime
CELTIBEROCOCO - Outdoor / Survival / Hunting / Tactical Knife - Cocobolo Wood Handle, Stainless Steel MOVA-58 with Genuine Leather Multi-positioned Sheath + Sharpener Stone + Firesteel
Cost Factor
$$$
Blade Material
MOVA-58 stainless steel
Blade Design
Full tang blade with straight edge curved towards the tip
Blade Length
5.7-inches
Overall Knife Length
10.8-inches
Handle Material
Cocobolo wood
Warranty
Limited lifetime
ESEE 4P Black Knife w/ Coyote Tan Molded Polymer Sheath
Cost Factor
$$$
Blade Material
1095 high carbon stainless steel
Blade Design
Drop point, full tang blade
Blade Length
4.5-inches
Overall Knife Length
9.0-inches
Handle Material
Black linen micarta
Warranty
Unconditional lifetime

Spyderco Atlantic Salt Rust Free Serrated Edge Knife

Spyderco Atlantic

Salt Rust Free Serrated Edge Knife


Spyderco knives are very sharp and known for their clothing clip on the back and an opening hole on the spine.

The Atlantic Salt series of knives are made from H1 steel, which has a high rust resistance. It is commercial steel with less than 1% carbon and high Chromium, hence impervious to corrosion. This particular model comes with a hollow ground sheep foot blade with SpyderEdge serrations and a 14mm opening hole. It offers excellent cutting performance for a long time in and out of salty ocean water. The rounded tip helps to prevent cuts in case the knife drops accidentally.

The Spyderco comes with a molded FRN handle designed to provide ultimate comfort. It includes a shackle key and a reversible titanium pocket clip. You can carry your knife either on the left or right side for easy access.

The lanyard hole allows for backup retention when used with a lanyard cord. As such, you don’t have to worry about the inability to retrieve your knife when it falls in the water. Also included is a high strength back lock mechanism that ensures secure blade lock up.

What We Like

  • The blade has good edge retention and is easy to sharpen
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    The serrated edge is good for dealing with thick fish skin
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    Offers great value at a reasonable price
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    H1 steel is virtually impervious to rust

What We Don't Like

  • Round thumb loop is too sharp

Morakniv Craftline Pro S Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife with Sandvik Stainless Steel Blade and Combi-Sheath, 3.6-Inch

Morakniv Craftline Pro S

Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife


This utility knife has a 3.6 inch fixed blade made from hardened steel. It is designed to withstand harsher uses and stay sharp for a long time. The Sandvik stainless steel blade is ideal for marine and outdoor applications where there is continued exposure to moisture and dirt.

It has an ergonomic handle forged from TPE rubber and manufactured using coil-formed rounding process. The result is a firmer grip and more cutting control. It has a forward finger guard to protect you from accidental cuts.

Also included is a hard plastic Combi Sheath that provides safe storage. It has a quick connect feature that can be utilized for attaching a second knife.

What We Like

  • Backed by limited lifetime warranty
  • Designed and manufactured by a reputable company
  • TPE rubber handle has firm grip even when wet
  • Ideal for fishing, marine and other outdoor applications
  • Strong blade forged from Sandvik stainless steel

What We Don't Like

  • Some customers would have preferred a leather sheath

Titanium Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Sheath – Water Rescue Dive Knife is Lightweight, Sharp, Strong & Will Never Rust in Salt Water – Used by US Coast Guard and US Navy

Titanium Fixed Blade Survival Knife with Sheath

Water Rescue Knife is Lightweight, Sharp, Strong & Will Never Rust in Salt Water – Used by US Coast Guard and Navy


This survival knife is trusted by the US military and is the standard issued for Search & Rescue Swimmers.

It boasts high-quality build with heat-treated Titanium that doesn’t rust after continued exposure to saltwater. It features a 4-inch blade that is partially serrated. The line cutter comes handy when you need to cut the fishing line while the blunt tip provides added safety. 

The knife also features a handle made from high strength design. It has grooves that allow for a firm grip in dry or wet conditions. The durable sheath has a belt/webbing attachment and offers safe storage for your knife.

What We Like

  • Has a reliable and functional design
  • Heat-treated titanium blade is virtually rust resistant
  • Strong and ergonomic knife trusted by the US military
  • High-strength nylon handle has a sure-grip design

What We Don't Like

  • Sub-par filleting performance

SOG Tactical Knife with Sheath - “SEAL Pup” M37N-CP Fixed Blade Knife with 4.75” Tactical Knife Blade and MOLLE Belt Knife Sheath + Survival Knife GRN Grip

SOG SEAL Pup

Elite Fixed Blade E37SN-CP


SOG is a famous brand recognized for its high-quality survival products. The Seal Pup Elite E37SN-CPis a versatile knife with an extremely sharp blade. The fixed blade is 4.85 inches long and 0.185 inches thick. It has thumb rises for increased control and a black tiny straight edge with a clip point.

The blade extends to the top of the handle, giving you more cutting control and improved longevity. It is made from AUS-8 stainless steel with a Rockwell rating of 57-58. The stain and corrosion resistant coating improve tolerance to harsh salty sea air. Another major selling point of this knife is the handle, which is made from fiberglass reinforced nylon. It is highly resistant to harsh acids, electricity and extreme temperatures.

The lower upper thumbs prevent the blade from twisting while deeper finger grooves offer a firmer grip. There is a lanyard hole at the base of the handle that makes portability more convenient.

SOG provides this knife with a few handy accessories like a belt loop extra as well as Kydex and MOLLE sheath. It has a Velcro shutter and can be worn right or left handed.

What We Like

  • Super quality blade with full tang design
  • Fiberglass nylon handle has a firm grip
  • Good for survival, tactical and marine environments
  • Backed by a conditional lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like

  • It's made in Japan rather than the US

Fallkniven A1 Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife, Black

Fallkniven A1

Fine Edge Fixed Blade Knife


Fallkniven is a popular brand established in the early 1980’s with a history of producing high-quality knives since 1987. The company makes survival and tactical knives for the Swedish Army. The Fallkniven A1 boasts a Scandinavian design that is charmingly simple with real weight to it. The knife is 11-inches long and has a 6.3-inch drop point blade. While we would prefer no swedge, the hefty swedge of this blade lends increased strength to the tip.

Its convex-ground edge is prized for its superior performance, good retention, and resilience to high impact tasks. You can work and work with the knife, and never have to worry about sharpening it every few days. As for the blade material, Fallkniven decided on VG-10 steel for the core and 420J cladding.

The handle has a simple design and fills your hand nicely without forcing it into one grip or another. It is made from Kraton, a semi-rubbery polymer with a high density. To ensure a firm and comfortable grip, Fallkniven incorporates beautiful diamond texturing on the handle. The lanyard tube insert at the end of the handle makes portability easier while a single forward guard offers added protection from accidental cuts.

This knife is provided with a Zytel sheath that extends safe storage without adding too much weight.

What We Like

  • VG10 steel blade with a hardness rating of 59
  • Full tang blade offers more control
  • Custom drop point design promotes tip strength and stabbing stability
  • Kraton handle with diamond texturing has a firm grip

What We Don't Like

  • Not an ideal knife for fish with thick skin

Schrade SCHF9 12.1in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife with 6.4in Kukri Point Blade and TPE Handle for Outdoor Survival Camping and Everyday Carry

Schrade SCHF9 12.1

Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife


If working with a low budget and need a quality knife, the Schrade SCHF9 12.1” is a good contender. It is a great piece of innovation designed to withstand the test of a knife. It is very durable thanks to 1095 high carbon steel construction. It is super strong and handles the toughest tasks without losing its edge. Schrade applied a Teflon coat to make the steel extra resistant to corrosion.

The medium-size knife has an overall length of 12" and a 6.4" blade. Its blunted tip is strong and less susceptible to breaking compared to pointed ones. The full flat grind is a beneficial blade characteristic that lends a tougher edge. All of the above combined with a 6mm blade thickness makes this knife perfect for almost any task.  

Schrade put a lot of attention into designing the handle. It is made from a hard rubber known as Kraton. It is lightly textured and offers an excellent grip even when wet. There are three finger coils on the handle and a large palm swell. These make it easier to hold the knife with and without gloves.

When it comes to accessories, the SCHF9 is shipped with a Cordura sheath that has an adjustable retention strap and heavy-duty plastic insert. The eyelets and Velcro provide more mounting options.

What We Like

  • Includes nylon sheath with a removable pouch
  • Full tang blade is strong and offers more cutting control
  • Drop point blade holds up well when used for plunge cuts
  • Comfortable handle widens to fit the palm nicely

What We Don't Like

  • Handle is a little large for users with small hands

CELTIBEROCOCO - Outdoor / Survival / Hunting / Tactical Knife - Cocobolo Wood Handle, Stainless Steel MOVA-58 with Genuine Leather Multi-positioned Sheath + Sharpener Stone + Firesteel

CDS-Survival MOVA-58

Stainless Steel Outdoor, Survival, Hunting Knife


The CDS-Survival MOVA-58 is another one of our favorite saltwater fishing knives. It comes with a stainless steel blade that’s ideal for cutting, filleting, cutting the fishing line, batoning, splitting and more.

Its full tang blade design makes it particularly a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts because it can withstand stronger applications and last longer than half-tang blades. The blade is 5.7” inches long and 1/8-inches thick, a perfect combination for ultimate strength. 

Another feature worth raving about is the Cocobolo wooden grip. It is attached with Allan head screws and facilitates a firm grip, allowing you to work more comfortably. Additionally, the handle gives the knife an aesthetic appeal while withstanding prolonged exposure to salty air. A 90-degree spine is incorporated for perfect gimping.

CDS-Survival takes a unique approach when it comes to accessorizing their knives. This particular model is shipped with a sharpener stone, allowing you to sharpen your knife anytime anywhere. It also comes with a genuine leather sheath for safe storage and transportation.

What We Like

  • Includes complimentary firesteel and portable stone sharpener
  • Wooden handle adds a visual appeal to overall design
  • Backed by limited lifetime warranty
  • Balanced knife with a non-corrosive blade

What We Don't Like

  • Knife lacks a lanyard hole

ESEE 4P Black Knife w/ Coyote Tan Molded Polymer Sheath

ESEE 4P Black Knife

With Coyote Tan Molded Polymer Sheath


The ESEE 4P is an American-made knife designed to withstand the test of time. It cuts through almost anything thanks to its 1075 high carbon steel blade with a Rockwell hardness rating of 57. It has an overall length of 9.0 inches, with the blade being 4.5 inches long and 1.25 inches thick.

The knife is an excellent tool and can also be used for processing small fish and other light-duty tasks on open waters. Being a drop point blade with a fixed and full tang design, you can rest assured that it is capable of withstanding repeated hard use.

 It comes with a grey handle made from two removable slabs of Micarta. It has a rounded pommel and a lanyard hole for better portability.

The included coyote tan sheath offers safe storage and features an optional MOLLE attachment. It is held together with screws, which allow for easier grip adjustability compared to rivets. 

The knife is reasonably priced and backed by a lifetime warranty.

What We Like

  • Backed by full lifetime warranty
  • Shipped with quality Kydex sheath
  • Ideal for filleting small to medium size fish
  • Carbon steel blade has high corrosion resistance
  • Removable handles can be replaced if need be

What We Don't Like

  • Cannot be used for trout and other large fish species

Cut to the Verdict

When searching for the best knife for saltwater fishing, you need one with great utility to perform many tasks like chopping bait, removing hooks or cutting through rope.  

Our top 8 recommendations offer the best bang for your buck, but considering the factors discussed will help identify a model that’s ideal for your needs. 

As with any other product, you should keep the cost and warranty in mind when looking for a new knife. Other important factors to consider are blade size, flexibility, type of cut, full tang and fixed versus foldable blade.

We leave you with this thought.  “A fisherman without a knife isn’t a fisherman”.

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