The Best Ikejime Tools for Better Tasting Fish

Ikejime For Beginners: You’ll Unlock The Best Tasting Fish

Ikejime is a humane way of killing fish that is said to result in less lactic acid build-up, making for fresher-tasting fish. The process involves puncturing the fish’s brain with a sharp object, which then effectively stuns the fish and prevents it from thrashing around and damaging its flesh.

To correctly do it, it’s important to use the best Ikejime tools you can get your hands on.

Learning how to Ike Jime a fish gets easier when practiced over time. But the kit sure helps make preparing fish easier, especially if you’re not a pro. 

Here’s a guide on the best Ike Jime kits you can use to prepare your catch.

5 Best Ike Jime Tools Reviewed for 2022 

1. Extra Strength Ikejime Kit for Big Game Including Tuna, Amberjack, and Mahi

Xtrada IKEJIME EXTRA STRENGTH Ike Jime: Super Long Ikejime Big Fish Spike With Two Stainless Steel Wires (Tuna, Yellowtail, Wahoo) Black Textured Ikejime Handle
  • 🐟 PERFECT FOR LARGE FISH: This Ikejime Kit works for...
  • 🐟 MOST HUMANE METHOD: Not all methods for dispatching a...
  • 🐟 AUTHENTIC IKEJIME KIT: Designed in Fukuoka Japan by...

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 handle provides ample area to push your weight behind the spike and into the fish. You should have this on your boat if you plan to catch big game fish!

How to ikejime a fish in under 30 seconds

2. All-Around Ikejime Kit for Saltwater and Freshwater Fish

Xtrada IKEJIME KIT Authentic Ike Jime Tools: Ikijime Fish Spike With Wire Stainless Steel (Imported From Japan) Magenta Iki Jime Handle Long Ikejime Kit
  • ✅ AUTHENTIC IKEJIME KIT: Designed in Fukuoka Japan by...
  • ✅ WHAT’S IN THE KIT: The kit has been designed and...

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 a great deflation device for helping puncture fish bladders during barotrauma.

3. Rugged Ikejime Kit

IKEJIME RUGGED Ike Jime Kit: Ikijime Fish Spike With Shinkejime Stainless Steel Wire (Yellowtail, Sea Bass, Bream), Blue
  • AUTHENTIC IKEJIME KIT: Designed in Fukuoka Japan by Lumica...
  • HIGHEST QUALITY MEAT PRESERVATION: Ikejime is a technique...
  • WHAT’S IN THE KIT: The kit has been designed and tested...

This ikejime kit is portable and perfect for smaller saltwater and freshwater fish. This one has a carabiner that 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

Xtrada IKEJIME Pocket Ike Jime: Small Iki Jime Fish Spike With Carabiner and Stainless Steel Wire (Panfish, Trout, Mackerel), Blue
  • AUTHENTIC IKEJIME KIT: Designed in Fukuoka Japan by Lumica...
  • HIGHEST QUALITY MEAT PRESERVATION: Ikejime is a technique...
  • WHAT’S IN THE KIT: The kit has been designed and tested...

The ice pick is a versatile addition to your Ike Jime gear as it works both to kill and prepare the fish in a humane way and break 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 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.

DIY Ike Jime Tool Kit

Make an IKE JIME SPIKE from a TOOTHBRUSH and CUTICLE TOOL - Upcycle/Fishing Hack

If you don’t want to spend a good amount of dollars on a pre-fabricated tool kit, there’s a perfect DIY you can add to your fishing tackle.

If you have a drill, grinder, sharp saw, toothbrush, and cuticle tool, this DIY should work for you. A quick reminder to always do things with extra care to avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries. Keep the best fillet knife close to you because what comes next after Ike Jime is filleting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you perform Ike Jime?

Ike Jime is an art of humanely killing fish developed and practiced by the Japanese. You perform this by noting where the fish’s brain is and inserting your spike towards it, usually above the eye, and crush the brain.
When the jaw drops, you should cut the gills, the fish’s main artery, and its tail to drain its blood. Then, sever its spinal cord before putting the fish in an ice slurry to preserve its umami flavor and prevent it from rigor mortis.
how to ikejime fish

What is Shinkei Jime?

Shinkei Jime, also known as “spinal cord compression,” is a method of killing fish by compressing the spinal cord. This is done by inserting a metal rod or other 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.

How kill a fish instantly?

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

Insider Advice

Ikejime has been a long-time practice of the Japanese and has been adapted by many chefs and fishing enthusiasts worldwide.

It’s one technique that takes many reps to acquire and perfect fully, but once perfected, it immediately changes the whole game of your catch and cooks.

The key is to hit and destroy the brain correctly and do the entire process as quickly as to prevent rigor mortis and preserve the fish flesh.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing and spearfishing enthusiast. He's been fishing since he was 5 years old in the backcountry of Yosemite for trout and in the surf near his home in SoCal. Over the past 4 years, he's been spearfishing up and down the coast of California. He started Cast and Spear to help inspire others to get outside and chase their dream fish. Notable catches include spearing a 65-pound white sea bass, large grouper, and yellowtail down in Baja. When he's not in the water, he's usually fishing from his Gregor Baja aluminum boat or inflatable Takacat catamaran.
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