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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, advice from forum members has helped me a great deal on other details ranging from polarized sunglasses and headlamps...so i look to ya'all again. Searched the forum for previous posts along this line, but to no avail. I am in the market for a quality fishing net that i can keep with me on the river, preferably strapped to my back?

What kind of things do you look for in them? Length? Width? Materials? Any brands i should look for or beware of. I see that they range in price form cheap to well over 110.

I am hoping that strapping it to the back of my vest won't be uncomfortable or problematic during brushy hikes. Any experience and/or input would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks again guys...cheers to a great season ahead.

Fly For Fun

"Trout Don't Live in Ugly Places" - Alex Higala
 

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Formerly tbc1415
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Take a look at the composite and the aluminum frames on this page. http://www.s2products.com/nets.html
If you are willing to break from the tradition of a wood frame they offer some good alternatives.
Wood frames are beautiful (if well made). Wood frames are a long-standing tradition. Wood frames are strong and can last a lifetime or two (if well made and well maintained).
Unfortunately, unless you choose carefully and pay TOP dollar you will not find a truly well made wooden frame net. The standard models from the major net makers are not very well done. Too few laminations, inappropriate wood choices (chosen to attract the fisherman) and poor finish quality. Their best models are usually much better.
Be sure to choose the net material for its ability to reduce damage to the fish. Really cheap nets do not consider this.
Consider building your own wood frame net as a great off-season project. There are a few good books available for this.
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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For smaller fish I do better without a net. If I do need a net I use a shallow bag type, maybe tear-drop shaped is my favorite, and always the catch-and-release mesh weave fabric rather than the old "fishing net" stuff. For bigger fish I would use the rubberized small mesh , shallow type net with the long handle.

Cabelas has some great buys in nets but I like hand made ones better, local craftsmen abound. There's a nice one, out of Oregon I think called:"Fiskenet", I believe, and many shops have them in washington.

I have gotten away from nets almost completely. Most of the fish I catch I just slip the barbless hook out of their jaw and let em' swim away unhandled.
 

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A large bag net, if made from the right materials with the right mesh, can be perfectly Ok for C&R fishing. When fishing for smaller to medium sized fish (trout), just tie the net bag in a simple granny knot, reducing the size and flattening the bottom. For bigger fish (salmon, steelhead, really big trout), you can take the knot out or adjust it to increase the size of the net bag.
 

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Have you looked at craddle style nets. Similar to the ones used for muskie and pike, but with a frame. The frame usually is fork shaped and the front and back of the net are open. The netting ends up looking like a U. One company that makes them calls it a Katch and Release net or something like that. So a search on the web and you should find something. I'm currently in the process of building my own since I can't find one for less than $60. I believe they're better for C&R fishing though, since the fish are supported evenly along their body, and can be released in a metter of a couple seconds. When fish are craddled like that they usually don't move, which means they can be brought in sooner without being exhausted and because of the open design of a craddle net they can be released as soon as the hook is out. The shape of the frame also makes them more portable than regular nets.

With whatever net you decide to get, make sure it has the soft style mesh, which is much easier on the fish. Not sure on the size, but anything that can handle up to a 20" fish should be good. I have yet to see a good C&R net for larger fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey little stone i too fish mostly without nets. Its easier on me and the fish, but i would like to have the option available to use one on some larger or more difficult fish. Especially those that fight extra long and need to be released as soon as possible.

Hey tbc and dlw, thanks for the heads up on the mesh material for the net. Forgot how much that could negatively effect scales and 'slime'. Also, a couple of you suggested making your own net. This sounds like a great idea, gonna have to get on that. What books are ya'all using or recommend?

I can just see some healthy brown resting in my home-made net...with a personalized engraving (will think of that later)

thnx again guys


Fly For Fun

"Trout Don't Live in Ugly Places" - Alex Higala
 

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I bought a net recently against my better judgement, from Cabelas I think. Looked like a beauty but was only $15.
Who needs a $60 net, I says to myself. But now the mesh has completely rotted out and I have to make it in to the Morning Hatch to get a decent bag. So I was the fool buying this cheapo. When will I learn? Probably never.
Bob:beathead
 

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Just an Old Man
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I used to know it all---but now I forgot it all.

Oh, I don't know to much about nets. I bought one from Cabala's about four years ago and it's still going strong. It is metal with a cork handle and a mesh net and the only problem with it is the net is too deep so I tie a knot in it and it works fine.

Jim
 
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