A fishing board gives you a stable platform to hold the fish in place and make filleting easy. They are handy if you need to clean fish but don’t have a table or flat surface nearby. As always, we want to make sure to get a clean-cut fillet, so stability is important.
Some fishing board sets come with a fillet knife, knife sharpener, and scaler. Another cool feature of most fillet boards is that you can use them to measure the length of your catch. Clamp it down and you get a more accurate measurement than trying to awkwardly use a measuring tape. In any case, you can measure your board if it doesn’t come pre-marked and mark your own measurements.
If you have limited dexterity in one or both of your hands then a fish fillet board can help you immensely. Combining a fillet board with an electric fillet knife takes away much of the physical effort needed to fillet fish. Cordless filleting knives are also an excellent option if you may be somewhere without a plug and need to fillet your fish. You can find a link to our electric filleting knives article in the Related Articles section below.
Plastic or Wood?
Most fillet boards are either wood or plastic. It’s true that hardwood boards are usually more rigid than plastic boards, but wood can be incredibly difficult to keep clean as blood and other fish parts can build up between the fibers of the wood. Plastic tends to be more sanitary when it comes to handling raw meat, but plastic boards are generally more flexible than wood.
We’ve found that for most users of the plastic boards we’ve listed here there isn’t any issue with the sturdiness of the boards, and usually enjoy that they are more lightweight.
|SILVERHERO Fishing Board Tools Set||Compact Fillet Board includes Fillet Knife, Knife Sharpener, and Scaler; all included tools can be stored on the underside of the board||Check Amazon
|FabFiveCo Fish Cleaning Kit||Includes Fillet Knife with sheath, Ceramic Knife Sharpener, Anti-Cut Glove, Fish Scaler||Check Amazon
|Berkley Fillet Board with BuiltIn Ruler||25" Board with corrosion-resistant clamp||Check Amazon
|Intruder Fish Fillet Board with Clamp||18" Hardwood board, includes fish scaler; Made in USA||Check Amazon
|Rapala Poly Fillet Board||24" Board with corrosion-resistant clamp; Grooves on bottom for securely resting on a 4, 5, or 6 gallon bucket||Check Amazon
Our Top Picks
Fillet boards solve the problem of being able to fillet fish when you don’t have a large table or flat surface to fillet your fish. Perhaps you’re camping or wanting to fillet your fish outdoors without the conveniences of a kitchen. Fillet boards have sturdy clamps that hold the fish steady and allow you to make precise cuts and get the best fillet you can.
Naturally, the of the most important features of a fillet board is sturdiness and rigidity. You don’t want a board that flexes too much or isn’t large enough for the fish you typically catch. With that said, there is an upper limit to the length you can expect from a typical fillet board, which tops at around 25 to 26 inches. That means these boards are going to be best for many freshwater fish.
We’ve selected some of the top-selling fish fillet boards from some popular manufacturers and examine the details of each model in the sections below.
Rapala Poly Fillet Board with Clamp
Rapala is a popular brand for fishing and outdoor supplies, and this simple board has a heavy-duty clamp along with grooves on the bottom of the board for resting on top of a 4, 5, or 6 gallon bucket. It’s practical and affordable, and is made from durable HDPE food-grade plastic.
- Traditional fillet board design with unique bottom grooves
- Dimensions: 24″ L x 6″ W
- Great for cleaning walleyes, perch, and other fish up to about 21″ in length
This board is relatively light and is designed to be set atop a bucket with the grooves on the backside holding it in place. If you’re going to set the board on a table you can expect it to slide around easy, which is true for any board, but plastic is going to move around much easier on a wet surface. Putting this board on a bucket makes skinning and scraping much easier and allows you to dispose of the fish carcasses easily.
The clamp on this board is heft and holds either the tail or head of the fish in place easily. Some people even put a piece of rubber or other soft material such as a glove or towel between the fish and the clamp to avoid tearing the fillet. It’s always a good idea to take a moment to make sure you’re clamping down the fish carefully and this varies for each fish.
SILVERHERO Fishing Board Tools Set
The Silverhero filleting board comes with a few of the essential accessories needed to fillet fish, and unless you already own a fillet knife or scaler this can be a great all-in-one kit to get started filleting your catch. Some reviewers say the the fillet knife is not very sharp, but honestly if you’re serious about filleting fish you likely want to purchase a high-quality knife anyways. You’re not going to get a full kit of the highest-quality tools at this price point.
- Includes Stainless Steel Filleting Knife, Knife Sharpener, Stainless Steel Scaler
- Included Accessories stored underneath the board
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Built-in Ruler for measuring your catch
- Dimensions: 24.21″ L x 6.18″ W x 1.92″ D
In order to make room for the accessory storage underneath, this board is a bit more bulky than a typical fillet board. Some people like it and some people don’t. If you’re planning on using a fillet board while camping, you may find that buying a thinner board and the accessories you need separately gives you more freedom to find something that can fit your storage needs. With this board, you can comfortably fillet fish up to 24″ in length.
FabFiveCo Fish Cleaning Kit
This kit is most similar to the Silverhero kit above in that it comes with several essential accessories for cleaning fish. However, it lacks the accessory storage space underneath. Whether or not that is a negative depends on you. The FabFiveCo board is made out of wood and is more compact than the Silverhero board. If you’re camping and trying to maximize storage space, then a more compact board may be what you need.
- 24″ Solid Wood Fillet Board with Clamp
- 6″ Stainless Steel Fillet Knife with Sheath
- Ceramic Knife Sharpener
- Steel Fish Scaler
- Anti-Cut Glove – Left or Right Hand
The glove is a nice extra accessory that isn’t included with the Silverhero board and is highly recommended to avoid injury if you’re filleting a fish on surface that might shift when force is applied. Setting a fillet board on a table usually means the board is going to move around when you try to fillet the fish. If you’re filleting the fish with the board on the ground, then it’s usually much more stable, but may be difficult for some people that aren’t so mobile.
In any case, the clamp on the board does hold the fish still and helps avoid a bad fillet cut that leaves meat behind on the bone.
Berkley Fillet Board with Built-in Ruler
The Berkley fillet board is another bare bones option that is portable, made of corrosion-resistant materials, and is 25″ long. This is a great compact board that can be easily stored away and isn’t lacking in size or strength of the clamp. At this price point, it doesn’t get better.
- Corrosion-resistant Clamp
- Easy-to-clean non-porous plastic board
- Portable, slim design
One thing this board lacks is the grooves on the bottom of the board like we saw on the Rapala board. If you like the idea of resting the board on top of a 5-gallon buck, then the Rapala is a better choice. It makes it easier to keep your board clean and dispose of all the leftovers when you’re done filleting.
Intruder Fish Fillet Board with Clamp
This board is a very rigid hardwood that is about 4 to 6 inches shorter than most of the other boards above, but you will find that hardwood boards don’t flex as much as some plastic boards. Hardwood is more difficult to keep clean as organic matter from the fish can build up in the wood fibers; this is more of an issue for older boards whose finish has worn off.
If you want a hardwood board that’s on the shorter side, then the Intruder board is a good option. Some people are surprised by just how long a 26″ board is so it’s good to have an idea of the type of fish you typically deal with and decide what is the most convenient option for you. This board is great for bluegill or large crappies.
Using a Fish Fillet Board
Sometimes you just need to hold a product in your hand to get a better idea of how well it can do its job, so the next best thing is this video below. The board being used in the video is the Rapala model that we recommended above.
As you can see, the clamp is very strong and perhaps can be too strong for very small fish. Many people begin a fillet cut just behind the pectoral fins, which works well, but when using a fillet board the clamp may cut through the tail of a small fish. For that reason, it may work better for you to clamp the head instead in this instance. You just have to try it out yourself and see what works! The good news is you won’t have an issue with the clamp being too loose.