On my recent trip to the Waterfall Resort Alaska, I was thinking about which knives I ought to take. I don’t think I’ve ever tested a bait cutting knife, and as I was checking out Smith’s Consumer Products selection of knives, I ran across their Lawaia 5.3 in. Serrated Ceramic Bait knife. I thought wow, this would be a great one to take along and test.
At Waterfall Resort Alaska, you meet your guide at the dock at 6:30 every morning to go out fishing. He will already be there about 5:30 or 6:00, cutting bait and getting ready for the day. For 90% of your fishing, you will use cut herring for bait. The guide will have multiple packages of frozen herring. I never have measured them, but I’d guess they’re about 7 inches long. The guide will slice the head off at an angle. I imagine the main body you’ll be using is about 5 inches long.
Cut at an angle as described above causes the herring to drop in a circular, flashing drop, which will attract a salmon. So, all guides in Alaska use a bait-cutting knife of some kind. Everyone seems to favor a serrated edge because it keeps its edge and stays sharp for longer.
The Smith’s Lawaia 5.3 in. Serrated Ceramic Bait knife caught my eye for a couple of reasons:
- It has a serrated edge and the proper blade design for cutting bait.
- Another big feature that caught my eye was that the blade is ceramic.
For the average Joe, you might have time to meticulously clean and oil all your knives before storing but an Alaska guide? He’s pretty much guiding from May to September every day. His knives may not get the best of care. Most of them need to attend a KNIFE ABUSE seminar. So, I think the ceramic blade will be the ticket for saltwater use. If you’ve ever done much saltwater fishing, then you know that saltwater is tough on knives, tackle, motors, and boats.
So, when I popped out the Smith’s Lawaia 5.3 in. Serrated Ceramic Bait knife, our guide John Otis Casey’s eyes sparkled. He was excited to test it out over the upcoming summer.
To begin, the knife was sharp. This, of course, is the first characteristic that you look for if you use a knife every day. The next thing, or probably the first thing you check, is blade design. As stated above, the design is a popular design that most fishermen favor. So however you rate them, the Impulse is good to go on the first two requirements.
The next requirement, especially on cutting wet, slippery fish, is the grip. I like the contour of the handle. It fits the contour of my hand and has a slight finger guard, and the non-slip TPE soft grip further enhances my grip. So with all of these features, you’ll have a good grip on the Smith’s Lawaia 5.3 in. Serrated Ceramic Bait knife.
I also love that it comes with a breathable protective sheath which will make it safe to throw in your tackle box or boat box so you don’t get cut or stabbed when rummaging through them. It also keeps the edge from getting dinged up while bouncing across rough water when it is jostling around in your tackle box. Plus, I like how the sheath has three slots on each side so it can air out. It slides into the sheath and snaps into place.
The MSRP on the Smith’s Lawaia 5.3 inch Impulse is $12.99, and as is usual, we will close with the specs.
- Blade – 5.3″ White Serrated Ceramic
- The ceramic knife will never rust or corrode
- Handle – Non-slip TPE textured
- Protective sheath
- Great for cutting bait or in the kitchen
- Lanyard Hole
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About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”