The best fishing nets are going to be the ones that work for the situations that you put them in. If you plan on fishing a small backcountry stream, then a long six-foot net might not be the best option for you.
The opposite applies if fishing from a boat. You may need that long handle to reach out and plush a fish from the water.
There are many different types of fishing net out there and each has its own pros and cons. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed about what to choose then check out the information below.
We’re going to cover what kind of nets are out there, their materials, hoop size, and which ones are going to work best for you.
If you’re a tournament angler then a net is a must-have. You do not want to be out on the water with the biggest fish of the day on the other end and not have a net to help you land it. Assuming the rules of the tournament allow for nets.
However, the same applies to the casual angler. Spending $40 on a good net could be the difference between losing the one that got away, or having a fishing story you can now tell forever.
So, while a net may not be an essential piece of equipment, it is something that you should really have with you at all times. Whether you’re fishing from a boat, shore, or pier.
What Is A Fishing Net
A fishing net is a device that is made from woven fibers or other materials. It is used to capture when caught and allows for the angler to easily retain the fish or set it free without having to touch it.
Net handles and the mesh can be made out of all different types of material. Each one is going to be vastly different and is best used in different circumstances. The biggest difference between net materials though is durability. Be careful with the hook on the mesh nets because snags can occur and then you’ll be working a hook point out of the mesh. Also, look for a teardrop hoop shape. This gives you a great angler when netting a fish.
Why Use A Fishing Net?
A fishing net is not considered an essential piece of fishing gear. The main reason you would have one is to help you land more fish. Bother quicker and easier. However, this can also be accomplished without a net.
That being said, a net is going to increase your chances of landing a fish. There have been many times a fish has gotten off of a hook just feet away from the angler. Spots where a net would have easily landed the fish.
Nets are also great if you want to practice the safest form of catch and release possible. If you don’t plan on retaining the fish then you should keep the fish in the water the whole time while removing the hook. A net allows you to hold the fish a couple of inches below the water and won’t allow it to escape so you can safely remove the hook from its mouth.
What’s The Best Size For A Fishing Net?
The size of your net is going to depend on what kind of fish you plan on catching as well as where you plan on fishing. Most of the time a net that is between 12-16” is going to be large enough to land most freshwater and smaller saltwater fish.
Larger sizes are available if you target larger saltwater species or if you plan on targeting trophy-sized freshwater fish.
The size of the handle is important as well. If fishing from a boat or kayak fishing, then a longer handle may be needed so that you can scoop down and grab fish without having to lean over the side. While fishing on foot may require a smaller handle since you only need to kneel to land the fish.
What To Look For When Purchasing A Fishing Net
Below, we’re going to cover some different features of fishing nets and what you should be looking for. Check them out and see which ones work the best for you.
Fishing Net Material
Nylon, nylon coated core, or clear rubber are the most popular net material. Nylon is going to be the most popular and most readily available net material because of how cheap it is, versatile, and also durable.
Coated nylon is easier on the gills of the fish and is a better bet if you plan to do catch and release. These are usually more expensive than just a nylon net.
A rubber or a rubberized net is the safest bet if you plan on practicing catch and release. It is easy on the fish and will allow them to be as safe as possible while they’re in the net and you are working the hook out.
The Fishing Net Handle
Most of the handles you’re going to find are going to be made out of cheap, brittle, aluminum handles. If this is the case then most of the time you’re going to find that this is what breaks first on your net. So, if you want something stronger you should be looking at either wood or graphite. This will ensure you don’t lose that big fish.
The Length Of The Fishing Net
Like we were speaking about earlier, the length of the net is dependent on where you plan on fishing. Longer nets are best for boats, where shorter nets are best for fishing either on the bank or wading in the water.
Different Types Of Fishing Nets
There are three different types of fishing nets. There is the fixed frame, the folding net, and the fly fishing net.
The fixed frames are going to be strong and very robust. Making them ideal for guides who plan on carrying nets all day instead of a rod. Or for anglers who are chasing larger fish from a boat. Using these on boats is better because you have spots to store the larger net.
Folding frames are great for someone who is wading and needs the net to shrink down so they can easily carry it. These also save you valuable storage space if you plan on using them in smaller boats.
The fly fishing net is something that will need to be extremely durable and can withstand being bounced up and down in the water all day. Many fly anglers are walking and wading the majority of the day so the mesh needs to be strong and the handle even stronger.
The Best Fishing Nets Reviewed
Now that we’ve gone over some of the different features we’re going to touch on some different products now. Below, we’re going to have five different nets. Each of these has its own pros and cons so think about what you need and then choose a net based on those features we have listed.
Plussino Folding Fishing Net
This collapsible net comes in four different sizes and models. Allowing you to pick out the net that you need and will perfectly fit the needs of your next fishing trip. The mesh is made of a durable nylon blend. So the price of the net is not going to be too expensive.
The pole is made from a fiberglass and carbon fiber blend. Getting it lightweight but also strong. The non-absorbing nylon mesh will prevent this need from being waterlogged. This way it stays lighter and will help the longevity of the net.
Because it is foldable it is lightweight and easy to carry. Making it great for someone who has limited space on a boat or for an angler that wants to wade.
This is a great net for the fly angler. This comes with a belt clip that you can hook onto a wading belt or pack. It also comes with a lanyard so it can be worn around the neck. Making it easier to grab and net a fish.
The rubber mesh net is strong and waterproof. So it won’t get water down and be heavy when out fishing all day. The rubber net will also help keep the fish safe and will allow the trout to retain its protective slime coating. Making this net ideal for catch and release.
The wooden handle on this net is also very strong. Allowing you to carry this all throughout the woods, mountains, and rivers of your home state without vaping to worry about it snapping or cracking on a rock, or while landing a fish.
This net is very similar to the SF Net above, but it has a much wider base so it is easier to land larger fish as well as smaller fish. The soft rubberized mesh on this net is virtually invisible underwater so you don’t have to worry about spooking a skittish trout.
It has a carabiner and a magnet attached to the end of it so you can quickly and easily detach your net to land a fish while keeping it out of your way while walking and casting. Making this ideal for the wading angler.
It has a solid wooden handle that is very durable and will allow you to land large fish without worry. It is made with a strong, wooden durable frame that is going to last you fishing season after the fishing season.
Here it is folks, the net you need if you plan on catching big fish. It comes in three different sizes so you get the exact one you need. On top of this, the handle is also 48 inches long. Allowing you to net fish from over 4 feet away. Perfect for guides chasing big fish while wading or for people boat fishing who need the extra length.
The bottom of the net is flat. Meaning that it will help prevent fish from rolling and escaping the net. The flat bottom will also give you a nicer view of the fish if you plan on releasing it without touching it.
These nets are flat out strong and will hold just about any size of fish you can fit in there. There is also a forearm support bar on this net. Allowing you full control of the net and also giving you extra power to lift the fish in the boat if need be.
This telescopic net comes in two different sizes and is made out of strong and durable carbon fiber. The non-slip handle allows you full control while moving the net around in the water to capture fish or to control the fish while it moves around in the net. The mesh is also knotless.
The net can be used in both salt and freshwater. Making it perfect for every angler. Ideal for someone who wants to keep this stowed on a boat when they need to extend out further than normal to get a fish. Or for someone who needs to carry a net but wants to have some extra length.
Of all the telescoping handle extendable nets on this list, this is the best one. The Bubba is strong and will not only be able to hold up to the element and provide you with years of use but will also hold up to large fish and abuse from the elements.
Fishing nets are a great tool and are something all anglers should be using. They can make the difference between landing the big one or letting it get away, and we know what all anglers would prefer to happen.
Also, you can check out the Ego S2 Slider, Plusinno net, as they have the appropriate handle length, and are heavy-duty enough for you as an angler.
So check out the list above and choose the one that works best for you. Check out Amazon for your net needs!