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An Honest Review of Gerber’s Controller 6-Inch Folding Fillet Knife
For most anglers, choosing a fillet knife is a simple process: visit your local big-box retailer, marina, or bait shop and pick up something that fits within your price range.
I’ve been that guy, and there is absolutely no shame in choosing something quick and efficient. At the end of the day, I’ve filleted fish with $10 knives and $70 knives and both work.
Now, that’s not to say every fillet knife is made equal. The problem, however, is that knives can be pretty expensive sometimes and since fishing is already a fairly expensive past time, who has the time or money to try every product on the market?
Since joining Premier Angler’s staff last year, I have used a variety of fillet knives from some recognizable names in the industry: Rapala, Ozark Trail, Bubba, etc. Some were obviously of a much higher quality, but those thoughts are best reserved for another article.
Gerber’s Controller 6-Inch Fillet Knife: Features, Packaging, and Quality
Features: What Sets it Apart From the Pack?
- Stainless Steel Blade: Whether you are filleting fresh or saltwater fish, this blade ensures the longevity of the knife with the stainless steel and corrosion resistant SALTRx coating.
- Foldable: This collapsible knife is as sturdy and reliable as any other fixed blades on the market and being able to fold it after and before use without having to sheath it makes it a great compact design to keep in the house, boat, or vehicle.
- Guide Fins and Locking Back: These two features give the user superior control when making cuts.
- Hydrotread Grip: Allows for exceptional grip and comfort while using the knife.
Packaging: Simple and Deliberate with an Outdoorsy Appeal
When I received the package, I was immediately impressed with the packaging. It has a rugged, woodsy design that has become popular over the years. While a bit simple, this type of packaging has been used for everything from clothing to skin care and beard products and it’s obviously working.
For other knives I’ve picked up over the year, most of the packaging has featured bright, somewhat generic color schemes and a product enclosed in a hard plastic shell.
As a consumer who spends a decent amount of time in the fishing section of any store with a fishing section, Gerber’s product would immediately stand out to me. Before I even opened the package, it reminded me of the outdoors — that’s a good thing!
Moreso, Gerber also has a commitment to using recyclable materials for its packaging. The company’s newest line of fishing products includes packaging made from molded pulp product.
Quality: How it Holds Up to the Competition
At a retail price of $45, the Controller 6-Inch Fillet Knife is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive product in its category.
If you are actively filleting fish every day — charter captains, shop owners, etc. — then there are going to be products out there that carry a higher price tag that may be better equipped to suit your needs.
That said, of the products I’ve tested over the past year, Gerber’s may be my favorite.
After filleting a modest day’s haul of crappie and yellow perch (with most fish being between 9 and 11 inches), I was impressed with numerous aspects of the knife.
I really liked the Hydrotread Grip and guide fins on the knife, as well as the lanyard hole and relief etching on the blade. These all struck me as being incredibly useful and practical.
My biggest concern was on how well a folding knife would fillet fish. I’ve used several in the past and was never impressed with the quality.
Making The Cut: High Precision for a Folding Fillet Knife
While I will definitely be using Gerber’s knife on larger hauls, I definitely felt confident in the product’s ability to get the job done. From the first cut behind the gill plate of the crappie, gliding down the back bone with the knife’s tip, cutting through the belly area all the way down to the tail was a breeze.
This was the case for every fillet after that, on both species, with almost no meat left behind because of poor product performance.
At the end of the day, Gerber has a great reputation for creating a wide variety of knives. Their Controller 6-inch Fillet Knife maintains that same standard, holding up as a solid, attractive, and user-friendly product.