Merwin: On Favorite Fishing Knives

Let's talk fishing knives. Everybody has at least one; many will have several. And it's a sure bet these knives are as varied as fishermen themselves.

The idea for this topic came up last Wednesday, when I posted about the list of things I needed to bring on board my boat. One reader suggested a serious rescue-style knife to be carried on one's person at all times. A good idea. The Spyderco Atlantic Salt shown here is one such--the heavy duty serrated blade will cut through ropes and lines quickly anytime a tangle means imminent disaster. One-hand opening is a plus.

The pocket knife I most often carry is one of the smaller Swiss Army styles. The scissors are good for trimming leaders or cutting down flies. And they or the knife point work well for clearing the eyes of painted jigheads. The included screwdriver heads, meanwhile, let me sometimes tighten any errant screws on a reel. It's much too small for filleting even a bluegill, though.

If I have to fillet a mess of crappies, a good electric fillet knife saves lots of time. For only a larger fish or two, a regular fillet knife is just as easy, as long as it is really sharp. Dull fillet knives are abominations.

Everybody has a favorite fishing knife. Curious minds want to know: What's yours?