Gerber Fish Collection Review

Gerber Fish Collection

Gerber knives has a new product line, and it is pretty sweet. Along with knives, multitools, and cutting tools, Gerber has created a hunt and fish collection designed with the sportsman in mind. This new tool lineup consists of fillet knives, shears, retractors, hunting knives, and processing tools. Gerber products have been around for over 70 years. They started out with knives and have evolved into an array of products like tools, multitools, and now hunting and fishing products. Although their product line up has changed throughout the decades their lifetime guarantee on their products has not.   

I have been using Gerber products since I was a boy. In fact, my first multitool was a Gerber tool, which I still have. My inner fisherman was quite excited about the new Gerber fishing line up.  Naturally, I had to get my hands on the new fishing products and see for myself how they worked.  

About the Gerber Fish Collection

During the later half of the summer and early fall I have been testing out a few products from the Gerber fish collection. The products that I have been trying out are the Controller 8” fillet knife, the Defender compact tether, and the Magniplier. Like the original Gerber tools these new products definitely have not disappointed.  

The Controller 8” Fillet Knife

8″ Gerber Controller Knife

A good fillet knife should be a staple in a fishing bag. Although I primarily practice catch and release, I do love a trout dinner every now and then. 

The Controller 8” is a solid fillet knife with a great handle. The blade of the controller fillet knife is a great length for medium sized fish. I have used this knife for trout up to 20 inches and fish as small as bluegill.   

Gerber Controller Knife Blade

What sets different fillet knives apart is the blades flexibility. Flexibility makes it possible to get the most out of a cut of meat. This knife flexes well yet seems durable enough to last for many years of use.  

Trout Fillets

The handle of the Controller fillet knife has many awesome features. The primary feature is the non slip finish. This knife works well in slippery hands, which is often the case when working with fish! This finish also makes the knife comfortable to use for extended periods of time. Although most people associate a fillet knife with fish, a fillet knife is my main tool for processing big game. Hopefully later this fall I will have the chance to try this out on an elk.  

An additional feature of the handle is the thumb guide. This grove allows a place for the thumb to rest, which allows for extra control of the knife, making cuts easy.   

Gerber Controller Knife Handle and Thumb Guide

The Controller Knife comes with a hard sheath with a built in blade sharpener. The sheath is sturdy and does a nice job staying on and keeping the blade in a safe position.  

This is a great fillet knife and anyone who eats fish or cuts up their own meat should give the Gerber 8” Controller knife a try.  

Specs on the Controller Knife Taken Directly From Gerber

  • MSRP $40
  • Blade: 9Cr18MoV
  • Handle: Glass-reinforced nylon & TPE, flat sage + black
  • Fine edge, flexible blade
  • Mirror polish + corrosion resistant blade
  • HydroTread Grip™
  • Finger choil
  • Lanyard hole
  • Sheath system w/ built in sharpener, pocket clip, belt loop, & vents

The Gerber Defender Large Fishing Tether

Gerber Defender Tether Large

Everyone who plays in the outdoors should have a Gerber Defender Compact Tether. I know this is made for fishing, but there are unlimited uses for this piece of equipment!

The Gerber Defender Compact Tether is a clip on tether that has a 36” retractable cable. For its size the tether is quite heavy duty and constructed from lightweight aluminum.  

Gerber Defender Large

There are multiple ways to connect the tether. The main way that I have connected the tether is by using the large side clip. I found this to be the easiest way to connect the clip to either a belt or backpack. However, this is not the only connection option. The Gerber Defender Compact Tether can be connected to a lanyard or to a rope by use of the lanyard hole on the end of the unit.  

The tether cable is quite long. At 36 inches I have not had any issues where I could have used a longer cable. The tether uses a fair amount of tension and is strong enough to retract a pair of pliers, small binoculars, keys, or a rangefinder with ease. Much larger items like a fishing net overwhelm the spring and do not work well with the tether. The best part of the cable is its ability to lock. Once pulled out there is a button on the side that locks out the cable keeping it extended. This is so nice when using the binoculars or range finder as they stay in place and do not retract back.

Gerber Defender Large Lock

At the end of the cable is an aluminum carabiner with two D rings. The carabiner has a large opening that allows many different objects to be clipped in. The clip on the carabiner is reliable and has had no issues of opening up when it is not supposed to.  

Gerber Defender Large Caribiner

Although intended for fishing, the Gerber Defender Compact Tether can be used for nearly any outdoor activity. On my recent Colorado elk hunts I have been using the tether to keep track of a range finder. My rangefinder is a pretty expensive small unit and I have always been fearful of losing it in the field. The Defender Compact Tether has kept it perfectly in place.  

The Defender Tether gives some extra security for my keys when on a mountain bike ride or when hiking. The Gerber Defender Compact Tether is so compact that it never really gets in the way.  

Specs on the Gerber Defender Large Fishing Tether Taken Directly From Gerber

  • MSRP $30
  • Body: anodized aluminum, flat sage
  • Carabiner: anodised aluminum, orange
  • Secures tether w/ lanyard hole + retention clip
  • Tip control carabiner to release tension + secure gear
  • Patented side release lock w/ override
  • Patented line vises (left + right)
  • 48″ dyneema cable
  • Wide mouth entry
  • Split ring

The Gerber Magniplier

Gerber Magniplier

The Gerber Magniplier is an ergonomic take on the traditional fishing pliers. These definitely are not your old rusty hemostats that sit in the bottom of the fishing bag! The Magnipliers are sleek black aluminum pliers that fit nicely in hand. At 7.5 inches these can be used for any freshwater gamefish.  

Magniplier and Smallmouth Bass

Magniplier and Drum

These pliers have many great features that will make you want to carry a pair on your next fishing trip. The pliers have replaceable jaws. I have a collection of worn out fishing pliers at home and definitely do not need another pair in my future.

Gerber Magniplier Replaceable Jaws

Ergonomically these might be the best fishing pliers I have used. They fit perfectly in hand. Features like the finger choil allow for an extra anchor point while gripping the pliers. The good grip gives extra leverage which is nice on fish with hard mouths.

The Magniplier comes with a case and coiled tether. The carrying case that can be slid around a belt. The coil tether keeps the pliers safe so that they don’t get lost during the fishing trip.  

Magniplier Case and Tether

Other features that make these pliers great are the carbide cutters on the top. These cutters are awesome and I use them as much as the actual pliers themselves. These can cut through many different fishing related items like monofilament, braid, and even wire. 

Magniplier Carbibe Cutters

Specs on the Gerber Magniplier Taken Directly From Gerber

  • MSRP $80
  • Exchangeable jaw tips w/ outboard fasteners
  • Exchangeable + reversible carbide cutters
  • Tether point to secure [lanyard included]
  • Includes nylon sheath w/ d-ring + belt loop
  • Replaceable jaw tips and carbide cutters available late 2018
  • BearHand Control™ ergonomic control system:
  • Finger choil
  • Angled shape/off axis
  • Optimized space between handles for maximum control

Final Thoughts on the Gerber Fish Collection

Gerber has come out with some great fishing products that all outdoorsmen should take a look at. Products such as the Magniplier, Compact Tether, and Controller Fillet all have their place in a fisherman’s toolkit. Both ergonomics and function are part of the design that has set the Gerber Fishing Products apart. With such a long history of quality outdoor knives and tools this new selection of hunting and fishing tools are worth checking out.

For more information on these and other products in the Gerber Fish Collection, visit

Bennett Colvin: Bennett Colvin lives in Steamboat, Colorado and is an avid fisherman, hiker, skier, and outdoorsman. Bennett instructs fly fishing and runs youth fly fishing programs. He also is a professional fly tier and ties publicly at fly shops and expos.
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