If you carry a throw line with you whilst paddling you should also carry a knife that is at least capable of cutting the rope that the line is made from.
For a number of years I have been using the Spyderco range of the folding/locking variety as my main rescue knife. We have found them to be extremely reliable, extremely sharp and can hold their edge. This Spyderco Pacific Salt can cut through climbing rope at 11mm thick with absolute ease. Going through floating rope is simple.
I carried a standard steelSpyderco Delica knife (white one pictured) in my PFD for a number of seasons without worrying about it rusting or jamming. I did rinse it and dry it off properly once in a while. That said I never took the knife into the surf or sea kayaking so salt was never an issue.
What makes the Spyderco Pacific Salt special is the H-1 steel that the blade has been constructed from. Spyderco’s Pacific Salt is designed to offer reliable high performance with a never-rust H-1 steel blade. This makes it ideal for water sports. The blade is made in Japan with a Hollow grind and is 97mm in length. This gives a total open length of 221mm and a closed length of 124mm.
In addition all of the internal steel parts are treated making them impervious to rust and pitting. The blade’s hole is enlarged to 14mm for easier opening/closing with gloved, wet or cold hands. You could add a small loop of cord to this if required.
You may have noticed that this Spyderco Pacific Salt is totally black. Some might say that this is a bad idea for a knife that will be carried in a PFD. However I always add a lanyard of some sort and the one to be placed on this knife is super bright!
The knife is available with a range of different blade setups. This one is fully serrated (SpyderEdge), but there is also a non-serrated version available. This serrated blade can easily cut through a plastic boat if required. The textured grip handle is definitely non slip and the knife feels sturdy with a great lock that keeps the blade fixed in place when opened. There is no chance of the blade closing when its being used.
If you did want something brighter than the knife is also available with a “normal” steel colour blade with a black or bright yellow handle.