Bubba's new 110V Electric Corded Fillet Knife took home an ICAST Award, helping the brand reimagine what they can bring to the fishing world.
The more fish you fillet, the more you come to appreciate a good electric fillet knife. Who makes the best? It's no stretch to call the award-winning new option from Bubba Blade the king of the mountain.
While checking out ICAST this year, the collection of "Best in Category" winners took the obvious spotlight, but Bubba really made an impact when I visited their booth. They'd just won the New Product Showcase's Best in Category for Cutlery, Hand Pliers or Tools from the American Sportfishing Association, but it was the additional things going on that had me so intrigued.
For one, they were slicing up a gigantic tuna that had been caught hours before (with Bubba knives, of course), and serving up the resulting sashimi snacks with their own brewed beer. That's a pretty ingenious way to attract some attention on a busy convention center floor.
Their resident master chef Cosmo Goss captivated the crowd that had formed, and I started to realize I was witnessing an actual rebranding right before my eyes.
This gives you a great idea of what they were up to, and how their reemergence at ICAST made such an impact.
If you didn't know any better, it'd seem Bubba is taking on the lifestyle brand strategy full bore. They threw a party with live music, giveaways, and flowing drinks, for crying out loud.
It's clearly not just about the knives.
Their new apparel line looked great upon first glance. It was subdued, in a good way, compared to the flashy, bright, eye-catching stuff seen in nearly every other booth. The shirts and shorts looked fishing-functional, and fit in on a boat deck as well as they would at a seafood restaurant or backyard BBQ. They also showcased fishing nets, gaffs, pliers, and gloves, all of which would come in handy on any fishing boat.
But to get back to the tools that initially put them on the map, the Bubba 110V Electric Fillet Knife kept pulling my mind back to the idea that the brand can do all they want to evolve, but it's the knives that will keep their heritage going.
If you're familiar with Bubba at all, you'll recognize the non-slip grip handle style, and they chose to include it in this new fillet knife model. If it ain't broke, why fix it?
It's worth mentioning that they also have a new Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife, for when you can't reach an outlet.
The corded electric knife uses high-quality carbon stainless steel blades that are coated with titanium nitride, making them extremely corrosion resistant. It's the type of treatment you can almost see, with a visible toughness to the blades that look like they'll stand up to a lot of use, and maybe even a little abuse.
There are four different blade sizes, all dual-rivet designed, included with the knife -- 7- and 9-inch E-FLEX blades, and 9- and 12-inch E-STIFF blades. You get a wide range of blades to take on a wide range of fish types and sizes, from crappie up to mahi mahi. Virtually any American angler, no matter what kind of edible fish they're pulling up, can get some real use out of it.
The blades are all stored in the hard-sided (EVA molded, to be specific) carrying case. Of course there's a trigger guard and safety lock for ultimate security, plus the attached eight-foot cord.
And if you want to talk power, Bubba isn't kidding when they say the motor transmission output delivers an incredible amount of torque. The extra muscle is due in part to the specially engineered ventilation system, producing far more than your average fillet knife.
This, all for $124.99, is a pretty good deal. The better deal is being in on the emergence of Bubba as a real fishing and outdoor brand, emphasizing the "Water to Plate" lifestyle we all love about it. Filleting a ton of fish is just one part, albeit an important one.
It's clear to me now; there's a lot more going on at Bubba Blade than just knives.