Having a quality net with me on the water is something I take seriously because it assists me in several ways on the water. Most obviously, of course, I use it to land fish, but I also use my net as a third leg for safe wading, for pulling my clients fly line to me for re-rigging so neither of us have to move positions, for bug sampling with my DIY Bug Sampler, and last but not least, to help me pull limbs down when they’re out of arms reach to retrieve flies (doesn’t always work). One could argue that a quality net to fly fisherman serves very much like a multi-tool. When we find a good net it usually stays in action for the products life span. Unfortunately, not all nets are created equal and it’s usually hard to find a net that will do it all. Some of us prefer handcrafted wood nets for their beauty and lightweight construction, others just go with what they can find on the shelves at their local sporting goods store, and lastly, there’s a good portion of anglers out there that only settle for using nets that provide the highest levels of durability, strength and functionality.
Today, I’m very excited to shed light on the company NetStaff, who had a warm welcoming at this years IFTD show in Las Vegas with their one of a kind NetStaff. It not only turned heads, it got a bunch of chatter started. As you’d expect from the name, it’s a cross between a fishing net and wading staff, but it also has a couple other cool features in the bag.
4 Features I Love About the NetStaff
1. It’s doubles as a Wading Staff
As far as I know the NetStaff is the first fishing net that provides a true wading staff handle atop the net basket. I find myself all the time handing off my guide/boat net to my clients so they can wade safely across sketchy sections of water. Currently, I have a beautiful Brodin net that I love, and it nets fish with the best of them, but it’s not the sturdiest net out there. I’m always finding myself telling my clients, “be care with it, you can’t put all your weight on it”, and that never makes a client feel good hearing. The NetStaff is well built and is very sturdy and the nice handle atop the basket provides a firm place to grip for those tough wading situations. I’m sold solely on this feature but there’s more goodness. Now I could see this being a problem when netting fish in really shallow water, but I think overtime, the angler will be able to adjust their scooping angler to compensate for this.
2. It’s Size is Adjustable and it Collapses
I wear my net on my back or tuck it under my wading belt on the water when I’m fly fishing. It works pretty well, but the long nets I often use, which help cut down on fish battles and help me net big fish easier, tend to get in the way of my legs and also occasionally snag up on rocks, branches or logs when I’m trekking along the stream bank. The NetStaff has a few different locking length positions options you can choose to keep your net out of the way and secure on the water. If you’re catching small wild fish you can go with the short adjustment and if you’re tackling larger fish you can put it in the long position, where you’ll have fifty-four inches of reach. Another bonus about the NetStaff is that it collapses down very small. Small enough to fit into most large size pieces of travel luggage. If you travel frequently like Louis and I do, this feature will save you quite a bit of money overtime, because you won’t have to buy a landing net when you get to your fishing destination. I like providing my friends with back up fishing nets at the end of our trips, but it starts to drain the wallet after a while. The collapsibility of the NetStaff allows you to pack it with your other gear without any problems.
3. Built in grappling hook for fly retrieval.
As a guide, I deal with a lot of flies ending up in the trees and bushes. Call me cheap for taking the time to retrieve them, but I can’t stand leaving fly ornaments up and down the river. They’re flies, but they’re also trash. I’ve had success using my net to pull down branches to retrieve flies over the years, but it honestly doesn’t work all that great. The NetStaff, however, has a grappling hook at the end of the handle that you can pull out like a blade on a pocket knife to keep a firm grip on foliage when retrieving flies. I don’t know about you all, but I could see this feature coming in quite handy on the water.
The NetStaff also has a user friendly carry and store system which includes no zingers or heavy magnets. Check out the product video below that we shot at the IFTD show, which goes over all the features in detail.
For more information about the NetStaff please visit netstaffoutdoors.com
They have a trout model and a steelhead model with different basket sizes. Both retail for $199.00
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