Ron’s Favorite Fillet Knives and Sharpener

Today let’s start out with a fishing report from Lake El Salto. Our last large group for this season had great fishing as they weighed in 56 bass over 7 pounds. Drew Daniel of Arkansas & his boat partner Windy Brackney had a 13.2, 10lb, 10lb, 11lb, and a 9lb ALL IN ONE DAY which was the 9th of June.

Those fishermen who got through all the bad press, the travel advisory and everything else had some FANTASTIC fishing this season at Salto. It seems like crankbaits in the citrus color were the HOT bait.

I am very happy to announce that Ron Speed Jr. is back with the company as he takes the place of Charlie, who retired in March. Ron Jr. and I will be in the camps a lot next season, so come on down and join us for some great fishing.

I am going to change the content of this blog to include a wide variety of subjects that should make it more informative and entertaining. Today I am going to talk some about fish fillet knives and sharpeners. I have been interested in fillet knives most of my life and also just plain old pocket knives.

My uncle Jester Layfield–my mentor in bass fishing–always carried a very small yellow-handle case pocket knife with a small 2 in blade for skinning black bass. Two cuts on top and 2 cuts on the belly and with a pair of pliers, zip–off comes the hide.

I would bet that I have bought over 100 knives through the years looking for that special knife that sharpened easy and held its edge for a WHILE. Today, I carry a Case BROWN MULE, OR A Case SODBUSTER, in a holder on my belt. I buy almost all my pocket knives from Smokey Mountain Knife Works in Tennessee. Phone number is 1-800-251-9306.

Let’s talk about knife sharpeners. Until about 3 years ago I just couldn’t learn to use a stone to get my knives sharp enough to shave hair on my arm. About maybe 15 years ago I got so frustrated that I called my friend Ray Sasser, the outdoor editor of the Dallas Morning News and asked him if he could recommend a good sharpening system for knives. He recommended the Lansky system so I bought one and liked it so much I bought another. It was a good system but it took some time to set up all the rods and just took too much time.

I kept on looking for better and easier ways to sharpen my knives. About 3 weeks ago I found a sharpener called Meyerco on the net. I bought one and it was great. I sent Ray a note about it trying to pay him back for his help many years ago.

As things sometime go, about 3 or 4 days later I discovered a better knife sharpener made in Alaska by the Eagle River Knife Company. This small sharpener is great as all you do is pull the blade through it 10 times and you have a really sharp knife. Even a dummy like me can do it with no trouble at all, which means a 10 year old child can get a knife razor sharp in one minute without any problem.

This fantastic company also hand-makes one of the sharpest and truly beautiful fillet knives. It’s a bit pricey at $100, but it is a knife of a lifetime.

You can call toll free at 866-375-6433 or go on line at or

After 60 years looking for the best knife and best sharpener I feel like I have found it. In closing, let me recommend to you what I believe is the best electric fillet knife on the market. It is the American Angler yellow-handle knife they call the Elite or something like elite. Anyway, Walmart used to sell them, but now I guess they have stopped. You can find them on the Net and they sell for about $30. This knife is the favorite for Professional guides all over the country.

The Black & Decker fillet knife is ok for the price of $10 at Walmart, but is not in the class of the American Angler.

Hopefully these tips will be of benefit to you in your pursuit of knives and sharpeners.


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