I went fishing ten times this past year. Not nearly enough. Mostly I went with a friend who was teaching me to fly fish, which I had never done before. I can honestly say, if you enjoy fishing, fly fishing is definitely a skill worth learning. One thing that we never did when fly fishing was keep the fish. It seems that among fly fisherman, the standard response to catching a fish is to snap a photo if it is a “trophy” and then release it. Catch and release.
But when I fish with my standard pole and gear, my intent is to catch and eat. There aren’t many dinners much better tasting than fresh caught trout. And along those lines,since Benchmade came out with the Lone Wolf Big Water Fillet knife this past year, I decided to review it. At first glance, it is an interesting concept. Built to fold into the handle, the knife uses an ingenious design to lock the blade open and then keep it secure when closed. When the knife is closed, the blade rests in a handle extension that keeps the blade from cutting. A wire clip keeps the blade locked tight into the handle extension. To open the knife, you move a wire clip to the open position and then pull the handle extension even farther out from the blade. Then you can open the blade. When the blade is in the fully open position, slide the handle extension back into the handle. When it is fully pressed into the handle, it locks the blade in the open position. This remarkably intuitive system is quite easy to use and has held up to some serious abuse in my gear bag.
The blade is a full 8 inches long. With a classic fillet blade shape, the 420J stainless steel is, according to Wikipedia, considered a cutlery grade martensitic* stainless steel. It is typically considered a good quality stainless steel with high durability. It also takes a very nice shine. What does this mean for you? It means with the Big Water Fillet you have a blade that isn’t likely to corrode and rust as well as a blade that is going to last. The blade has a nice bit of flexibility. Several years ago, I went to Alaska and fished the Kenai river with my father in law. While the trip was an absolute blast, I especially appreciated learning how to properly fillet a fish. I was trained in the old school where you gutted your fish, removed the head and then threw the entire trout right into your frying pan. Up in Alaska, I learned to use the fillet knife to actually fillet the fish. How I wish I would have had the Big Water Fillet up there on that trip. I was using a crappy fillet knife that I had picked up at some Big Box Store. It had nearly no flex in the blade and I struggled to properly fillet the fish. Now, with several years of practice and a really good fillet knife I am able to easily fillet every fish I decide to keep. I can’t recommend the Lone Wolf Big Water Fillet knife enough. It performs, it is durable, and it is very lightweight. Want to see the knife? Watch the video review our BladeOps videomaster shot a few months ago–you can see it below.
* Martensitic stainless steels contain a low amount of carbon and when tempered give good hardness and high durability.
Blade Length: 8.00″
Blade Material: 420J Stainless
Blade Style: Fillet
Pocket Clip: Sheath Included; No Clip
Lock Mechanism: Folder with Tail-Lock
Overall Length: 14.87″
Sheath Material: Nylon
Class: Lone Wolf