The best ikejime kit has an ergonomic grip handle to help you precisely use the brain spike to poke a small hole in the fish’s skull to euthanize the fish. The fish spike can also be used as a venting tool if you have a fish with barotrauma and don’t have the proper descending device. Ikejime is the spiking process, but if you want the highest quality seafood, you’ll want to shinkeijime the fish as well. That’s using a wire or stream of water to destroy the nerves down the spine. This will preserve that fresh umami flavor everyone desires.
Our Top Choice Ikejime Tools:
- Extra Strength Ikejime Kit for Big Game Including Tuna, Amberjack, and Mahi
- All-Around Ikejime Kit for Saltwater and Freshwater Fish
- Rugged Ikejime Kit
- Pocket Ikejime – Portable and Perfect for Smaller Fish
- Svord Kiwi Iki Spike
5 Best Ike Jime Tools Reviewed for 2023
1. Extra Strength Ikejime Kit for Big Game – Including Tuna, Amberjack, and Mahi
This is the top-of-the-line from Xtrada. It comes with two wire diameters and lengths and an extra-large spike:
- Extra Long: Spike length (120mm), wire diameter (1.2 and 1.5mm), wire length (1000 and 1300mm)
The large handle allows for an ergonomic grip positioning that makes it easy to penetrate thick fish skulls and find the proper brain location. The skull penetration tube is sturdy for even the most challenging fish. It’s also hollow, allowing you to run the shinkeijime wire through the head instead of going through the tail if you prefer to cut the tail and run the wire that way.
2. All-Around Ikejime Kit for Saltwater and Freshwater Fish
This nerve-relaxing tool is great for professionals and recreational anglers alike. This helps keep your fish fresh and its umami flavor preserved for more delicious meat.
It comes in four sizes:
- Long: Spike length (90mm), wire diameter (1.2mm), wire length (800mm)
It is advised to take extra care when using this Ike Jime tool, as the tip is sharp and might puncture your skin when not used with care. This makes an excellent deflation device for helping puncture fish bladders during barotrauma.
3. Rugged Ikejime Kit
This ikejime kit is portable and perfect for smaller saltwater and freshwater fish. This carabiner allows you to clip it on your belt loop, so it’s always with you, yet doesn’t get in the way.
- Short: Spike length (50mm), wire diameter (1mm), wire length (220mm)
4. Pocket Ikejime – Portable and Perfect for Smaller Fish
The ice pick is a versatile addition to your Ike Jime gear as it kills and humanely prepares the fish and breaks through the ice.
The stainless-steel ice pick is sturdy and sharp, with a sheath to prevent dulling and injuring the user. The safety cover is made from aluminum alloy, making it corrosion-resistant.
5. Svord Kiwi Iki Spike
The New Zealand-made Svord knives produce a high-quality and functional design, which you can use to Ikejime a fish or standard fishing needs. The Kiwi Iki spike has a fixed-blade knife that can last for life if given excellent care.
How Does Ikejime Work?
We’ve put together a complete guide on how to ikejime, but I’ll provide you a high-level overview of what you can expect after you get your kit.
The purpose of ikejime is to reduce the stress on the fish by killing it quickly with a brain spike. That’s the ikejime part of the process. Some people confuse running the wire with severing the nerves as ikejime.
However, that’s shinkeijime. That process stops the nerves from firing after the fish is dead. This preserves the texture of the tissue by not having the muscles do micro-contractions.
If you want the highest quality fish, you will want to get the fish in an ice bath as soon as possible. You want to get the temperature down to reduce any degradation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Shinkei Jime, also known as “spinal cord compression,” kills fish by compressing the spinal cord. This is done by inserting a metal rod or sharp object into the fish’s brain cavity, just behind the eyes.
This method is considered the most humane way to kill fish, as it is instant and causes no pain.
While Ikejime is a humane way of killing fish, there are other ways to kill your catch instantly. For one, you can kill a trout by knocking its head on a hard surface like a rock or a ledge. Now you know how to shorten a trout’s suffering. You have to learn how to fillet a fish.
Listen to Why You Need to STOP Eating Fresh Fish on the Cast & Spear Podcast