In a world where the price point for performance plyers and knives can reach into the hundreds of dollars, Gerber’s saltwater items deliver value, dependability, and performance.
There is much to like about the saltwater line from Gerber Gear. And two items from Gerber’s Salt line are high performers when it comes to blending affordability and performance.
The brand’s saltwater equipment is treated with Gerber’s proprietary Salt Rx. This treatment is effective in preventing corrosion and keeping the pliers functioning and looking good through time.
After using Gerber’s salt-specific tools, just rinse with fresh water and allow to dry. You can then put them away and pack them in your bag without finding an orange, rusty ball of mess next time you want to use them.
I tested both the Magnipliers and Controller Fillet Knives extensively in my salt fishing around the U.S. Here are my thoughts.
The Gerber Magniplier Salt
The Gerber Magniplier Salt is solidly built of anodized aluminum. Its two-piece body is strong enough to apply leverage and force without bending out the pliers. This is perhaps the most common fault among pliers that are built to less stringent standards.
A nice fit in your hand, the finger grip is a well-appointed feature that helps keep the pliers in place. This is noticeably important when unhooking a creature with a mouth full of teeth.
Everything on this pair of pliers is metal. There are no foam or rubber handles. And that’s a nice omission, as they often get slippery or slide off altogether. And the aluminum handle is just the right size to get the job done. It’s slender enough not to be bulky but strong enough to apply torque to stubbornly implanted hooks.
The Magnipliers come with a sheath that can be worn on the left or right side of your belt and a tether. And they also come with a one-handed locking mechanism that allows you to lock them closed with one hand.
A well-designed and functional pair of carbide cutters cut braid, mono, and fluorocarbon easily. And they’re also reversible and interchangeable. You might expect these attributes from a company that manufactures multitools and knives for the U.S. military, as Gerber does, and it’s nice to see it in action.
Gerber’s Controller Fillet Knives
Gerber’s line of Controller Fillet knives is similarly well thought out. The Controller comes in 6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch straight blades as well as a 6-inch folding option. Each combines sharpness, backbone, and flexibility, the latter two points being important components of the fillet knife.
Getting the ratio right imparts the ability to cut through rib bones. It also allows the knife to bend enough to separate the skin from the meat once the fillet has been removed from the body of the fish.
Often, knives that have the strength to cut through ribs and scales aren’t capable when it comes to the finer touches of removing skin. The same can be true of knives that possess the flexibility to be good for skinning fish but aren’t strong enough to cut through bones.
The Gerber Controller line, rather, presents a well-rounded package that makes it a good all-around knife.
I used it to fillet a 40-inch cobia in Texas. Cobia are great to eat, and they’re the type of prize that makes you happy when heading to the fillet table. And this sharp, well-appointed knife made all the difference.
Not only does the blade come sharp enough to shave with, but the edge also holds up well through time. It also takes a sharpening nicely — something that can’t be said of certain other brands of knives.
The Controller’s handle is also aptly designed. Termed “Hydrotread,” the grip consists of raised sections and channels that drain moisture to prevent it from becoming slippery. This feature, the traction associated with the grip material, and the knife’s hand-friendly design keep it from slipping.
All things considered, the Controller fillet knife from Gerber is a great all-around fillet knife.
It has the sharpness and flexibility to handle smaller fish and the backbone needed to clean larger ones as well. The folding option makes it easy to toss in your console or tackle bag. I recommend it highly.