Rapala’s Soft Grip Fillet series knives feature flexible blades of high carbon European stainless steel and come with a handy pocket sharpening system. If you want a really good edge, you’ll still need a whetstone.
These rat-tail tang knives come in several lengths, from this 4″ blade version to a full-sized 9″ model. The Rapala4’s blade is better suited to the smaller catch, but the knife’s 3-7/8″ handle is still large enough for easy handling. The ebony-black Softgrip material permanently molded around the tang bonds well to the stainless steel bolster and eliminates gaps which might harbor bacteria-laden residues. The grip’s textured surface remains slightly tacky even when wet and prevents slipping.
The Rapala4 comes with a form-fitting black leather belt sheath emblazoned with the Rapala emblem and brand name. Engraved on the blade, you’ll find the words “Rapala Hand Ground Stainless.” The knife’s high polish increases the stainless steel’s corrosion resistance by physically sealing the pores of the metal. Although the knife is cheap enough to throw in the tackle box, it will certainly stay in good condition longer if you treat it with more respect.
To aid in sharpening, this knife Rapala includes a small, plastic-body V-notch sharpening tool. Try it out before you decide to depend on it, since a sharpener this simple can be tough to handle. A pocket diamond hone or a small Arkansas whetstone would be more reliable, and if you keep the knife’s edge in good shape, you shouldn’t need anything more than a honing steel to set the blade right.
If you’d prefer an electric fillet knife, see the Rapala Proguide Deluxe.