Great post, Joe! Peterson's Hunting just had an article this month of suitable side-arms for bear. Thing is you can't fish with a cannon because they are too cumbersome. People don't like using a pistol much larger than a .357. I shoot a .38 Special for protection and believe me, they kick like a mule. They hurt your hand. Of course, like with hunting, when in a dire situation, you don't feel anything. BTW, I know a lot of 12 Ga slug hunters, highly recommended for bears by the way, who never feel a thing when shooting a 12 ga slug at game. But on the rifle range checking out the zero on the scope, nobody wants to shoot. My wife refuses to shoot hers yet kills deer all the time in the field with it. She, like me, doesn't feel a thing.
A further digression from fishing knives is the 50 Cal muzzleloader. It booms, smokes, yet doesn't kick at all. What a freakin hole it makes in the deer!