Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
When a friend of mine took on Smith’s Consumer Products as a client in her PR and marketing company, I made a quick revisit to Smith’s website. I’ve used a few Smith’s products, knives and sharpeners previously and all have been high quality.
What caught my eye was the Seahunter 9 Inch Curved Fillet Knife. To refresh your memory, all the products reviewed in this column are items I’ve personally used and evaluated. I sometimes solicit items I’m certain will continue being useful to me after I’m done with them for my Tackle and Toys work.
I’ve reviewed plenty of fillet knives over the years, so getting another fillet knife wasn’t something high on my list, but a look at Smith’s Seahunter Fillet Knives, caught my attention. It wasn’t the blade, however, it was the handle – specifically a finger hole, like a gun’s trigger guard, molded into the handle.
I clean a lot of fish and have had only a few accidents that involved the knife slipping in my hand or slipping out of my hand. However, the one accident which occurred by my hand slipping forward onto the blade was the worst I ever experienced. Others were when the knife, somehow slipped out of my slimy hand. That happens often enough I’ve learned to jump away and let the knife fall freely to the floor.
Would the trigger guard help? It certainly would have prevented my hand sliding forward onto the blade. Slipping and dropping? So far, after using it for a month or so, no drops.
So safety wise, the trigger guard seems to be a great improvement. But does it impede using the knife? Very little. I never noticed previously that I grip the handle one way when I’m cutting downward, and then rotate my grip a bit when I turn the knife to cut horizontally when slicing the actual fillet or when skinning a fillet. Even with the grip adjustment, my trigger finger fits nicely inside the trigger guard.
This knife is a brute, however. It’s not what I’d pick up for cleaning any walleye I’ve ever caught even though I have often cleaned walleyes with nine-inch fillet knives of other brands. If you regularly catch and clean big king salmon, lake trout or fish the salt and expect to process anything from ocean stripers to wicked tuna, this is a blade up to the chore.
All Smith knives are made from quality steel, come razor sharp and are easy to keep razor sharp. Check them out or purchase at http://www.smithsproducts.com.