I grew up on the Ocean, and fishing will be a part of my life till the day I die. I, like you, had/have been using a western boning knife to filet fish with since childhood... mine was the 6" Forschner curved boning. I have been a professional cook then Chef, since I left the douchebag's (who calls himself a Father) house when I was 14. I have used that style knife for decades... literally, and it will always be an extension of me. I am faster cutting & more efficient regarding waste with a Forschner than I am with a Deba... any Deba, but it's close now & the gap will close even closer over the years. One of the things I enjoy about JK is they, to an extent, force you to relearn method. I had become enchanted with learning anew; and acclimating to a totally different mindset to cutlery. A Deba will not just make you faster by picking one up. I imagine it will slow you down considerably while you're acclimating; it's a dramatic difference. Thing is though it takes so much more acute an edge & retains it for so much longer than what you're used to. My favorite facet of the Deba is it's ability to penetrate scale; it is a powerful cutter. Along with it's heft & single bevel you will be receiving a whole new paradigm of feedback, and it is foreign... at least it was for me. It was very strange for me, but I chose to challenge myself with sticking with them & I now respect them for their positive attributes. I can still perfectly process through fish w/a $20 Forschner quicker... until it dulls.
The 165 is perfect for your bass & crappie; it is pushing it on the bluegills. It WILL work, but it will be pushing appropriateness as a 140 or 155 would fit a panfish better. As for your 165/180/210 conundrum, what can I say? I would never feel comfortable recommending someone buy a +/-$300 knife w/o even knowing if they resonate with said profile unless they're wealthy, they just don't care about money, they implicitly prefer buying premium product in the gamble they resonate because they're confident they can sell it to recoup their money if they dislike it, etc. Maybe it's none of my F-in business, but I usually recommend a tough as nails Tanaka Aogami (kurouchi<--links-->
), the Kaneshige W#3's<--link
were great, or even the Kitaoka B#2<--link
to get in the game at a lower price point... just to test the waters. Even a stainless Kiyotsuna<--link
is an option to see if you even like a Hon-Deba. If you like it, keep it. If you like it & wanna upgrade, sell or gift it. If you hate it, sell it... that's just how my brain works.
As for a 210, a 210/240 Miroshi Deba is a salmon killer... period.. steaks or fillets. A 210 for the Walleyes.
Thinking about this, a bit more, I'd say pickup the 165 B#2 Tanaka Kurouchi<--link
, and then down the road get yourself a really nice Miroshi Deba. Or like I said, sell the $80 Tanaka for $50-$60 & upgrade to a Deba of your choice. Another option is to put a nice handle on the Tanaka... if that's your thing - because the blades are tanks. Also, you can strip the Kurouchi & mirror polish it... if you like the bling.