November for me isn't about beards. It's about crappie. It's the month I like to catch crappie for the family. We eat quite a bit of baked fish, so I like to chase those coldwater crappies that are easy to catch with a jig if you know where to look. More about that here. But then comes the cleaning part. I'm pretty adept with an electric fillet knife. But I've been wanting a good cordless one for a while.
BUBBA sent me their newest Lithium ION Cordless Electric Fillet Knife a few months ago and it has been getting a workout since early October. I've cleaned a pile of crappie, yellow bass, white bass, bluegill and even a sauger. I think a lot of folks serious about cleaning a lot of fish over the course of the year will want to look at these BUBBA Lithium ION Cordless Knives.
The kit comes with a padded foam case that holds the BUBBA knife, 4 sets of blades, 2 lithium ion batteries, a charger and the instruction booklet.
In my research of the knife, the two common questions or comments I had seen the most was, how is the battery life and some folks had a hard time adjusting to their unique blades on smaller freshwater fish.
So for my first test, I charged both lithium ion batteries and went to cleaning fish. I cleaned 12 crappie. The next trip I cleaned 20. And 20 the following day after that. So 52 crappie and the battery was on about 3/4 charge still according to the handy LED indicator on each battery. The next trip wasn't until 4 days later. So now I was 9 days in on that charge. Another 18 crappie and then 20 the next day. So now I was 10 days in with 90 crappie cleaned. The charge was on two bars. I let it sit for another week before I got to go again. I cleaned 20 and then helped clean 40 on back to back days. The charge was still at two bars but figured it was about to go to one bar, so I called it and put it on the charger. But I'd say 3 weeks on a charge, cleaning multiple limits over that period with charge left says a lot about how durable and long lasting these batteries are. Best I have seen on a cordless knife.
This type of battery life shows vast improvement over the cordless electric knives of yesteryear. Being able to fillet fish for a long fishing trip without needing to charge is a much needed relief for anglers. With two batteries, a charger and lots of blades on hand, you've got hundreds of fish in your freezer in the near future.
The size of the Bubba Lithium Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife is good. Bubba molded the grip similar to their fixed blade knives, so the handle fits nicely in your hand. The trigger features a guard and a lock to keep you from engaging the blades when replacing or removing them. The blades are easily removed with a quick release switch on the backside of the handle.
The blades oscillate quietly at a lower speed that offers more torque as you cut through skin and rib bones while filleting your catch. The kit comes with 7-inch and 9-inch E-Flex blades as well as 9-inch and 12-inch E-Stiff blades for your various filleting needs. Personally I really like the 7-inch E-Flex blades for small panfish like bluegills and the 9-inch E-Flex blade for bigger crappie.
While I have read a couple of online reviews stating they did not like the way the knife cuts, I didn't find that to be the case. It oscillates at a speed that folks might not be used to on cheaper knives that oscillate at high speed but also burn up quickly. The Bubba Lithium Ion Cordless Electric Fillet Knife uses engineered ventilation to maximize motor transmission output, giving the blade an incredible amount of torque. The blades are moving a bit slower than some other knives that guys might be used to. So move the blade smoothly through the fish and you get a smooth cut.
Once I got used to those E-Flex blades, I could whip through a fish in under a minute. I cleaned 20 crappie the other day in 12 minutes, rib bones and all. So you can make quick work of your fish with this knife. It's efficient, quiet and long lasting with its longest run time of any cordless electric knife on the market. Their iconic no slip grip and comfortable ergonomics make this a great knife for avid anglers.
The blades have a special coating that makes them cut easily while minimizing any chances of rust. The replacement blades are $14 but it will take you quite a while to go through the 4 sets with this knife. With extra blades, extra batteries, quite performance, and long lasting charges, this knife is definitely a cut above those lower-end electric knives.
As an addendum to my review, I will share a goof I made that really impressed me about this knife. I cleaned fish a week or so ago late one evening, I clean outside on a portable table. I got done cleaning, cleaned up my mess and discarded the remains properly. Went in and showered and ate and forgot I left the knife case sitting out on the boat open. Sure enough it rained that night. I came outside the next morning to realize to my horror that the knife, batteries, blades were all submerged in water. The case was literally full of water. I was bummed because I knew this was it.
I unplugged the knife from the battery and let both sit out on my workbench. I took everything out of the case, took the knife sleeve out of the case and dried it all out and laid everything out for the day. To my surprise, I put it all back together the next morning and have filleted several dozen fish since and it's running perfectly. I can't believe it survived my goof up like that and never skipped a beat. You really do get what you pay for with this knife kit.
You can purchase the Bubba Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife online at the following sites:
See more photos of the this knife in action below: