I have a bunch of knives and some thoughts to go with them. Frank, since you pay by the word, I'll give a little at a time so you don't have to sign up for an "installment plan"
The first few are those 1-2" blade knives that we all have at least a few of from dollar-store, to nicely engraved models. My favorites are by Gerber, and by SOG. They have a decent blade and go for $15 give or take a $. The few Gerbers I have are from the "Bear Grylls" series. My favorite is a folding, 3.5" blade model of theirs. It's one of two knives I always have on me fishing, hiking, or kayaking. Goes for about $30...very, very good for the money. My other folding, 3.5" blade is by SOG...about $70 (a gift from Deb...my wife). Both knives have a serrated section where the blade meets the handle...nice for cutting rope. I've even used those little 2" blades to gut fish...a couple extra strokes, but they'll work in a pinch.