As for me Im just pedestrian, I dont carry a long knive any longer, broke too many, but do use them for fish, 2 Dexters a 9 and 5 long along with Buck-123 6. I do use a couple of clip knives a S&W 3 and a little Gerber 2 which is what I carry daily after retiring my Swiss Army Officer after being in and out my pocket for 35 years. I keep them all and more sharp with a 23 degree angle on 4 Smiths stones with oil.
I hadn't lost a knife in years. Except a couple weeks ago a friend and I took a trip to the Pit River. Had lots of fun but the weather was generally rainy and wet and the river was kind of blown out. We fished 1/2 on Friday, all day Sat and 1/2 day on Sunday. We were pretty wet on the way out so were looking for a covered place to get out of our waders before the drive home and found a winterized pizza restaurant with an overhang to change.
During tackle breakdown I set my old ACE hardware liner lock down and just forgot to pick it up along with an indicator and a few flies. This is the old knife that you take everywhere because its small, very functional and the one that you least mind losing, but perhaps will miss the most. Bummer.
The next Big 5 ad had the Kershaw Zing SS on sale for $21 and I downloaded a coupon for $5 off $25 or $10 off $50. So that meant I just had to get 2 Zings and a can of pellets all out the door for ~$43. Such a deal, and now I have a spare. I find the Zing perfect for my needs. What it gives up with a thin handle, it makes up by being easy to carry and the spring assist works very well.
Probably repeating myself here, but the best knife I ever had was a circa 1950's carbon steel 'Boy Scout' knife. Some extra 'tools' in the thing, but you could put a 'hair's edge' on the main blade.
Didn't buy it, actually found it in the river.
Yep, that old soft carbon steel was easy to hone and sharpened like a razor.
Best news is, those old BSA knives are cheap again. About 15 years ago they brought $50-70, but thanks to Ebay they've dropped in value to half that. Seems everybody had one in a drawer at home, so suddenly they weren't rare.
I see them at knife shows everywhere; Ebay too.
I've got lots of knives, and can't stop buying more. For fileting fish (the rare times I keep any to eat) I have a 6" Grohmann filet knife. I also have an Opinel folding filet knife that my wife got me for Christmas which is a nice knife but which I don't use as much as the Grohmann. I've got a Grohmann DH Russell #1 belt knife that I use for hunting, camping, and just general wearing around in the bush. Grohmann is a Canadian knife company in Nova Scotia that makes great knives, both for the outdoors and the kitchen.
I've also got a bunch of Swiss Army Knives--a German Army model (the lockblade, which is basically the same as the Swiss Army model except it has a green plastic handle with the German Army crest on it--got it cheap in an army surplus store), a Swiss Army Classic, a Swiss Army Explorer (first "real" knife I ever got, a gift from my aunt for my 13th birthday), and a Wenger model whose name I forget that I carry around in my manbag that I got on sale for $10 when a local drug store stopped carrying them. I also carry around in my pocket a little Buck lockblade that I picked up cheap when a local hardware store went out of business--it has a 2" blade and grey plastic handle and is a great little knife, very handy for everyday "knifey" tasks.
I guess one of the reasons I've got so many knives is that I've lost so many over the years, especially Swiss Army knives. If this thread is still going a year from now I'll guarantee you that some of these will be lying at the bottom of a river or under a bush somewhere and I'll be cursing my lousy luck.