When is it official that you’ve caught a fish? I’ll tell you.
When it’s in the net, and not one moment before!
Hooking the fish is only half the battle, the quicker and easier you can bag him in that net, the better. It’s easy when you know-how.
Today I’m going to show you the best fly fishing nets with some really clever designs to make it that much easier. I’ll even tell you what I look for when I’m choosing one for myself.
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So you want something basic that will do the job well?
This landing net is lightweight, both in the water and on your wallet. You could spend a small fortune on a net, or if you want to keep it cheap, go for something that is more than capable of doing the job.
Here’s why I like it.
This net is great value and really solid. The spreader arms are made of black anodized aluminum. If it is wet often (and you better hope it will be), then you want something that won’t corrode or rust with use.
And there’s more.
The netting itself is made from fish friendly black nylon. This won’t damage delicate scales, so if you are a fan of catch and release, you can return your catch in top condition.
The heavy-duty grip is easy to hold even with wet hands, and with a 12” depth, you’ll handle all but the biggest trout.
I also like the stretchy elastic cord. It gives me plenty of options as to where I mount it.
Really great value.
Simple and rugged design.
No magnetic connection.
Black netting may spook fish.
It might not be as ‘hi-tech’ as some of my other suggestions, but for a budget fly fishing landing net that will perform well, it would make a great choice.
It is so lightweight you’ll wonder whether you dropped it. This isn’t going to happen as it has a really durable non-slip handle.
What makes this net beautiful is that it is constructed from carbon fiber. Think ‘tennis racket’ with a deeper net, and you’ll be on the right path.
When you are fly fishing, you’ll be landing the fish one-handed. The net’s weight, the fish, and the water in the net all adds up and can be tiring.
Aventik gets around this problem by using rubber ‘ghost mesh’ for the main netting. This clear rubber doesn’t soak up water, and even better, you shouldn’t catch your hook on the net when you have landed the fish.
The net also comes with a magnetic leash giving you plenty of scope to stow it on your fishing vest or fishing pack.
The lightest landing net for fly fishing.
The clear rubber netting prevents tangles with hooks.
My only criticism is that if it breaks, carbon fiber can be really sharp… But that’s unlikely.
Ok, so you’ll pay a little bit extra, but when you look at the features, this is one of the lightest trout landing nets you’ll see.
There are similar around, but go and check them out and tell me this isn’t amazing value – definitely the best fishing net for trout.
I think we can agree that we all want to hook a monster. To land it, you will need a landing net of a decent size. When fish are pulled towards you, you’ll need to land them lengthways. This landing net can help you do that. It’s seriously long.
This won’t be for everyone, but if you are skilled and catch big fish often, it’s no fun (for you or the fish) to shoe-horn them into something small.
And this is meant for big fish…
The handle even has a gradient etched into it to easily measure the fish you catch.
As nets go, it includes a clear mesh designed to be kind to the fish and avoid last-minute runs that are all too frequent if they see the net.
The net body is seriously beautiful and has an air of the ‘traditional’ about it, with a marble wood finish.
A beautiful finish, this net is seriously good looking.
Will handle freshwater fish of any size.
The length might be a little bit of an issue for those who want to keep it compact.
Competitively priced with the scope to catch fish of all sizes. Remember you can catch small ones in a big net, but not the other way ‘round. I’m happy to trade a little convenience for something that lets me fish with confidence.
Imagine holding a rod in your right hand, and you are playing a fish. Hold your net in the other hand and ‘land’ it. Look at your left wrist. Is it bent?
I bet the answer is ‘yes’.
If you are catching a lot, this can lead to wrist strain. Well, Yoomoo has the solution. This net has a unique ‘gun handle’ sideways grip designed to alleviate the stress placed on your wrist when landing.
Seriously, you need to see this net. It’s beautiful.
I find the wood grain effect very good looking, almost as good looking as the price.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Invest in this little beauty, and you’ll also find that it comes with an aviation-grade aluminum magnetic clip. The beauty of this system is that it stays attached to you until the crucial moment, then you can pull it away to snap and release it.
You also get a karabiner of the same quality to attach it where you see fit.
Ergonomic and user-friendly design.
Fish friendly mesh.
The only downside to this net is that the mesh is black. This color can frighten fish on occasion.
This net is seriously beautiful, and I feel an overwhelming need to polish it every time I look at it. It really works when reducing fatigue and is one of the best fly fishing nets I have seen. Get it. You won’t regret it.
If you regularly read my site, you’ll know that I buy American whenever I can.
Take a look here.
There’s more to this all American landing net than meets the eye.
Would you believe me if I told you that this was a collapsible fly fishing net?
Well, guess what. It is. The net folds and is stowed in a sturdy leather pouch. I’d more than likely leave it set up for the day when I was fishing with it.
The best thing about this net is it gets better with age. Over time teak ages and gets a nice ‘patina’. This is a natural process, and the pattern will be completely unique to your net. Nice.
With regards to performance, it is really solid. The net is really deep (19”), meaning you’ll easily land most fish sizes, and at 12” long is neither too short nor too large.
Due to the solid teak handle, this net is super durable. Chances are that if you invested, you wouldn’t need another.
Beautiful teak handle.
Super durable construction.
Another of the ‘black net’ brigade. I hate spooking fish. Fortunately, this net is so beautiful that I might just forgive this.
Sometimes you just want a little craftsmanship. The fact that your net will be uniquely yours makes this a super attractive deal. The leather embossed pouch and foldability of this net make it a great package.
If you like beautiful American-made nets, then you are in the right place.
Even more so when they work as well as this offering. The K&E landing net is manufactured from beautiful two-toned wood.
It isn’t just about good looks…
The handle is sculpted to be ergonomic and smooth in hand. It is slightly asymmetric, so it shares some benefits with the Yoomoo net above.
Its standout feature is the included magnetic clasp. This release system is one of the strongest landing net magnets I’ve seen. It can also be mounted on the net in several ways, giving you ultimate flexibility in how you choose to carry it.
K&E has also had the foresight to include clear mesh with a double pattern. This is both supportive and fish safe and makes getting your hook out of the net much easier.
The mesh is some of the best I have seen.
This net might be just a little small for big old browns and rainbows.
As a good all-around fly fishing net, this represents an excellent choice. You’ve got the ease of use, good looks, and fish-friendly mesh. This one is a keeper.
If wood and aesthetics aren’t your thing, take a look at this.
This fly fishing net is like a sports car. The black and red injected mold handle is lightweight yet strong. The overall feeling I get when I hold this net is that it is compact and durable.
The mesh is a hybrid. Fine red mesh at the front and rear and wider gauged black mesh forms the net’s bulk.
The rubberized handle is really easy to grip, even with wet hands, and the ease of use is only increased by the supplied elasticated cord and karabiner.
The best bit about this net is that you can attach other accessories from the range. If you are fishing on a boat, you can attach a pole to make your reach ever sol slightly longer.
Modern and eye-catching design.
Solid construction and grippy rubber handle.
I am not sure about the two-tone mesh. It would be easy to snag your hook in the net.
For the money, this offers amazing value and is hard-wearing. It does have one or two downsides, but as long as you don’t ask too much of it, it should last a good while.
Fly Fishing Nets – Buyers Guide& What I look For
There’s nothing so heartbreaking as playing a nice fat trout all the way to your feet and then losing it because you struggled to net it.
Choosing a good landing net is nearly as important as the technique you use to land it…
If you don’t know how to land a fish on your own, I’ve left this for you to watch. It’s only 1 minute long and shows you everything you’ll need to know.
Here are some of the things that I consider when choosing the best fishing nets for fly fishing
Landing Net Size
I consider size for two reasons.
The first is that I need to know that if I hook a big fish (yes, it does happen) that I can get it in the net safely. I find the best way to avoid losing the fish is to choose a deep net. People often think a wide net is the way to go…
Well, let me tell you…
I’d rather a net that is slightly longer than wider.
The second reason is that I don’t want a net that is too cumbersome. I like to wear my net either on my back or clipped to the side of my fishing pack. And to do that, it mustn’t get in the way, so size is important.
I’m pretty traditional. I really like my landing net to be made out of wood. I don’t know why but it just feels more ‘natural’.
Wooden nets have been around for centuries, and provided you treat them right, they should last you a long time.
If you are anticipating many fishing trips (lucky you) or just want something really ‘low maintenance,’ then go for something synthetic.
You’ll see in my suggestions above various non-natural compounds, and they all do a really great job. My favorite has to be carbon fiber. It’s waterproof, light and strong. What could be better than that?
What is the Best Mesh in a Fishing Net
When it comes to mesh, you are looking for two things:
I like my mesh to have no color at all. The advent of using clear rubber in netting is a real plus. If the fish can’t see it, then there is no chance of that last-minute dash that can happen if they see the net.
If you don’t like the look of clear netting, pick a dark color like black or brown.
Ok, it’s like this.
You won’t get better than rubber mesh. It doesn’t soak up water (or odors), and it is generally longer lasting.
Is that all?
No, the reason why I prefer rubber netting is that it keeps the fish in great condition. I try and practice catch and release. Ensuring that the fish stay healthy is vital to our sport’s future.
Rubber netting also makes hooking your net (and potentially losing fish) a thing of the past.
I remember when I started fishing. You used to carry a full-sized net down to the water on your shoulder.
Nowadays, it is all so much easier.
The best nets are really portable. What makes them so.
Look for a means to connect them to a D ring on either your pack or your vest. You’ll see they all have at least a hole in the handle or a clip in my suggestions above.
This will allow you to thread a cord or connector into the net. Once this is done, you can hang it anywhere you like.
Another great feature to keep an eye out for is a folding fly fishing net. If you want to travel really light but want all the benefits of a larger net, this could be the way to go.
One place where this is vital is when kayak fishing, as you are limited for space. If you want to see some great kayak fishing nets, I’ve got a great guide that will talk you through some key features.
Landing Net Handles
If you are fishing, there’s a good chance your hands are going to get wet. The last thing you want is to lose your grip while battling your personal best rainbow trout.
I like to guard against this by ensuring that any net I use is easy to grip. Look for features like a textured pattern on the handle.
Another thing that makes a good handle is a bit of substance. As a general rule, the chunkier the handle, the better the grip.
There is one more area that can make life easy. You’ll have noticed above that a few of the flyfishing nets look a little ‘off-center’…
Don’t worry, it’s deliberate. When fishing, you don’t face straight ahead or hold your rod directly in the center of your body, nor do you do this with a landing net.
An offset handle can be a real plus when it comes to ease and comfort. It’s one of those things that you won’t know you’ve been missing until you’ve tried it. Offset handles are one of my favorite features.
Fly Fishing Net Connectors
Ok, if you want to go for a budget model, you might be limited to an elastic cord, but you can get something special for a few dollars extra.
What am I talking about?
Magnetic connectors and clips. These are great as they are strong enough to keep the net in place while fishing, but with a decent pull, you can ‘unclip’ the net ready for use. It’s also really easy to reattach once you want to carry on fishing.
If you haven’t used one before, check out this video, it shows how easy it is (and stops you from losing your new net)
How Much Should a Fly Fishing Net Cost?
Let me be honest.
A $15 net will catch fish. But if you are going to be fishing often, you will want both quality and ease of use.
If you lose one fish per session because of your net, but you only fish once a year, that isn’t such a big deal. But if you fish every week, that’s potentially 52 lost fish a year. That’s a month’s worth of wasted fishing.
I’d offer this advice. Go for what you can afford and get the best fishing net you can. It is sometimes worth spending a few extra dollars for something that will last a long time and doesn’t need to be replaced.
You may not think so, but a good net for fly fishing is nearly as important as the rod. If you can’t land the fish easily, then you technically aren’t catching.
The best fly fishing nets will be portable, easy to use, and help you catch plenty of fish.
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