Sunday Classic / Nets, Go Big or Go Home

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Jeff Isn’t Messing Around Photo by Louis Cahill

I received an email from a reader the other day asking advice on steelhead nets. I thought it was a topic worth some discussion. We put a lot of thought into rods, reels, lines and flies but often the piece of equipment that seals the deal is an afterthought. I was guilty of this for years, carrying a net that wasn’t up to the job for purely sentimental reasons. I finally realized it made no sense and tooled up.

Here are a couple of things that I look for in a net.

Size Matters

Bigger is better and biggest is best! When your fighting the fish of a lifetime you don’t have time to run to Wal-Mart for a bigger net. Plan for success. My regular trout net is 20″ across. For steelhead you’ll want something bigger. It’s easier to net a tough fish and it gentler on them as well. Go big or go home.

The Bag

This is the most important thing to me. Traditional nets tear fins and remove slime from fish. The new rubber nets are the friendliest thing for the fish. Put them back the way you found them.

A Long Handel

I don’t care what they allow in competition, longer is better. If it means you net the fish faster it cuts down on the chance you will unbutton and it’s better for the fish.

Light Weight

nomad_eljefe_ej-oI love the look of a wooden net but the big ones are too heavy to carry wading. I use the aluminum tube type and I wear it on my back, attached with a carabiner.

You can get one from Wal-Mart and cost about $25. I am not a fan of Wal-Mart but Kent and I were on a trip and I lost the net. It was the best we could do on the road but it’s served me pretty well so I can’t complain. If you want a really nice one, you can not beat the Fishpond Nomad Nets! That what I carry. You can get one HERE.

So don’t be under gunned when it’s time to seal the deal. Get yourself a good net. You’ll be glad you did.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Nets, Go Big or Go Home

  1. Good post Louis.Totally agree about the rubber nets. I agree 100%.

    In addition to protecting the fish from abrasive surfaces, it is much easier to get that hook out of the net, which adds to your safety and getting the fish back in the water sooner.

  2. I fish alone most of the time, and I found that after switching to a longer, larger net (Fishpond Nomad) I don’t lose fish at my feet anymore.

  3. I’ve always had standard sized wooden frames trout nets, but recently got an inexpensive aluminum tube frame net and love it. Then last week I caught big fish for the first time. A 20″ net is my next purchase.

  4. Pingback: Tippets: Buying a Net, Colorado Guidebook Review, Lake Temperature Database | MidCurrent

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