Have you ever lost a fish before you’ve had a chance to land it?
It can be a pretty disappointing moment, right? Especially if you’ve been fighting hard to bring it in.
And it’s even more challenging to accomplish in a kayak.
You need all the help you can get when you’re out on the water in a more compact craft – and that’s where using a suitable fishing net can really make a difference.
When you’re kayak fishing, you’re going to struggle to land that beast without one.
So, to make sure dinner doesn’t get away next time, you should check out this review of the best fishing kayak nets of 2021.
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
Of all the fishing nets for kayaks out there, it’s hard to overlook this effort from Plusinno as being up there with the best.
Not least because of the price – offered at a fraction of the cost of some of the other options in this review.
The collapsible design ensures it’s super compact and portable – which is perfect for use on the go or in your kayak.
There’s a choice of four models, up to 20-inches in size, and the non-absorbent coating on the mesh prevents water clogging and bad odors.
Made with high-density carbon fiber and fiberglass, the pole is durable and strong, with an EVA foam grip for comfort and control.
Lightweight and portable.
Easy to extend and fasten.
Very highly rated.
It might not be long enough for some users.
Compact, lightweight, and extremely portable, this is the ideal net for kayak fishing – and the price point makes it that much sweeter. Pair it with one of these awesome travel fishing rods for the perfect on-the-go fishing combo.
If kayak fishing accessory experts YakAttack didn’t have an entry in this review – then something must be amiss.
Operating since 2009, they’re one of the leading brands in the industry, so they know a thing or two about kayak fishing gear.
This folding leverage landing net is a prime example, with an ingenious curved design that revolutionizes the way you land a fish from a kayak. The forearm grip is as comfortable as it is stable, while the hinged, rubber net can easily be stowed away when not in use.
Designed to make leverage that much easier, this is easily one of the best landing nets for kayak fishing on the market.
Name to trust.
Foam covered handle for comfort.
Durable, full rubber netting.
One of the premium kayak fishing nets, this model from YakAttack is a very clever design, enabling you to land a monster fish as if it were a minnow. Just make sure you’re wearing a pair of fishing shoes, so you don’t slip on deck when bringing in the beast.
Ego is another relatively new fishing company that was born out of the need to improve already existing products.
Their main focus was the humble fishing net. In the 14 something years they’ve been in the game, they’ve developed some great fishing gear, and this S2 Slider net is no exception.
Featuring a telescopic handle, it’s highly versatile and can be switched out to accommodate over 30 different accessories to make your life easy on the water.
The net extends with a push of a button – so you don’t even need two hands to operate it, meaning you can keep hold of your rod as you bring in your catch at the same time.
When it comes to the best net for kayak fishing – the S2 is a definite contender.
Choice of rubber or PVC coated mesh.
This fishing net just smacks of quality through and through. There’s so much to like here – from the push-button telescoping, to the multi-tool compatibility – this is top-drawer. And follow this link for more clever fishing multi-tools you shouldn’t set off without.
This non-snag fishing net is very versatile, and can be used for all types of angling – particularly when you’re short on space.
It’s super compact and lightweight, yet still with a large enough opening to land fish of all shapes and sizes.
Featuring a lanyard cord with a clip to keep it safely attached to your person – or anywhere else you want to store it, the best thing about this net is that it floats – which is a real plus point when it comes to kayak fishing.
The foam handle offers excellent comfort and control, and the rubber coated net allows for easy catch-and-release fishing.
Choice of colors.
The handle is a little on the short side.
Never watch your prized fishing net sink out of view again with this floating option that just lends itself to kayak fishing.
Designing and manufacturing some awesome, budget-friendly fishing gear and equipment, KastKing has risen to become one of the best fishing brands in the world – and you can follow that link for more.
With an emphasis on affordable quality, this extendable net joins these ranks, made with industrial strength graphite components for strength and durability.
Available in two sizes, it’s compact and lightweight, with an aluminum handle and net frame with a wide opening capable of catching even the largest fish.
And there’s even a clever measuring device incorporated on the handle – so you can take an accurate measurement as soon as you land the beast.
Name to trust.
Great price for what you get.
Storage case included.
Fish-friendly and snag proof.
Belt clip for easy carrying.
Reports of the holes being a little small for some.
Another great example of affordable, quality fishing gear from KastKing, this is a solid, all-purpose net that will meet all your angling needs – and not just in the kayak. They also happen to make some amazing fishing pliers – so follow that link to find out more.
Made with a natural rubber for protecting fish scales, this is a great catch-and-release fishing net that’s ideal if you’re short on space.
It comes with a magnetic handle and steel lanyard, so you can keep the net close and not risk losing it to the murky depths. The handle features a revolving switch for flexible length, with aluminum alloy support to ensure a stronger, load bearing force to capture heavier beasts.
And EVA foam handle offers good comfort and control, and it comes in a selection of colors and net shapes, so you can tailor your choice to your own fishing requirements.
Premium rubber net.
Compact and lightweight.
Magnet isn’t super-strong.
A great little fishing net that is perfectly suited to kayak fishing. While not using the strongest magnet, that’s still a nice touch to prevent you from losing it, and the size ensures it’s not going to take up too much space if you’re carrying it along with one of these durable saltwater tackle bags.
When you’re talking about premium-quality fishing nets, then Bubba surely needs to be part of that conversation. They certainly make some outstanding fishing knives – that’s for sure.
This beast of a fishing net is designed to easily go head-to-head with a beast from the deep, made with a super-strong and durable carbon fiber, with full corrosion resistance for use in fresh and saltwater conditions.
The netting is plastic free and rated to hold up to 50 lbs worth of fish, and the handle is designed to fit most rod holders, ensuring you can keep it close to hand on any good fishing kayak or even a fishing paddle board.
Name to trust.
Rugged, durable construction with premium materials.
Choice of sizes available.
Very expensive for a fishing net.
Might be a little large for some kayaks.
Well, you get what you pay for, and given that this net has been made from only the very best, high-end materials with plastic in sight – means you’re getting one of the best nets for kayak fishing on the market.
Designed for fly-fishing, this compact rubber-mesh landing net is also ideal for use in the kayak.
Made with an attractive wooden frame, it’s available with or without a magnetic hook, but comes with a lanyard and copper swivel anyway, so you don’t lose it on the river.
The high-grade wooden handle offers plenty of grip and gives the net a premium look and feel, while the tangle-free rubber mesh net is both kind to fish and designed to prevent hook snags.
As far as fishing nets go, this would make a great gift for a kayak angler or a fly-fisher alike.
Great price for the quality.
The handle might be too short to land larger fish.
There’s no reason why this fly-fishing net can’t be put to good use on a kayak, and the wooden handle gives it an old-school vibe. And if you are fly-fishing, you can easily attach it to one of these stylish angling vests to complete the look.
Frabill has been around since 1938, a quality fishing gear company that specializes in ice fishing, including some of the best ice fishing suits on the market.
This is their premium trophy hall net that features a clever sliding pole with a handled yoke for extra balance, strength, and control.
Probably the best kayak fishing net for big fish, it can quickly extend when you need it, and is specially designed to remove stress through the net and make landing your catch as effortless as possible.
The asymmetrical net has a flat-bottom and is made with a special conservation material with a snag-proof slide that’s harmless to the fish.
And get this – it even has a built-in light, so you can see what you’re doing in the dark.
Name to trust.
Premium quality construction.
Choice of hoop sizes.
Might be a bit large for some kayak set-ups.
A rugged, tough, and durable fishing net that looks as good as it performs, this is some seriously heavy-duty stuff from Frabill. And if you want to see more of their quality products, take a look at this review on the best ice fishing jackets, and they make some cozy ice fishing shelters, too.
How to Choose the Best Net for Fishing
Selecting the right fishing net for your needs might not be as straightforward as you’d think. You might get tangled up in choice.
With that in mind, check out the handy buyer’s guide below for all the things you need to consider before purchase.
Why You Need a Kayak Fishing Net
We’ve all struggled to land a fish. Fighting the monster is a huge part of the fun.
But that fun can swiftly turn to despair if an absolute beast slips from your grasp. They’ll never believe you in the bar afterwards.
That feeling of disappointment can be prevented – or at least reduced – if you’re using the right fishing net. And given how tricky it is to land a fish when you’re angling from a kayak – it’s arguably even more essential.
Even when you’re using the best ocean fishing kayaks designed for choppier conditions – super sturdy craft that can handle a bit of swell – you still need all your wits and balance about you if you’re trying to reel in a behemoth.
And a good kayak fishing net will make it that much easier.
With the latest and greatest technologies in folding, telescoping, and highly portable nets – there’s no reason you can’t have one on board even if you’re short on space.
Type of Nets
There are three main types of nets when it comes to kayak fishing.
Fixed frame nets don’t extend or retract, and they’re permanently in the ready position. This makes them the most durable of all nets, but they can be difficult to store and/or transport depending on their size.
Folding/collapsible nets can be telescopic, or they can simply fold on themselves or be dismantled when not in use. They’re a popular choice for kayak anglers because of their space-saving properties, but sometimes can be tricky to get up in a moment’s notice.
Fly/River Fishing nets are short and compact, which makes them a practical choice for kayak angling in smaller vessels. They’re not so suitable for handling larger critters, but are great for not taking up vital storage room. Room that you need for your next fishing cooler, for example.
When it comes to choosing the right size of fishing net, there are a few factors to consider.
You need to take into account the species of fish you’re going after – and the size of the fish you’re hoping to catch.
For more detailed information in helping you choose the right net size, check out the video below.
Portable and Practical
Aside from the actual size of the net opening and overall length of the tool, it’s important to consider how portable your fishing net is.
Now, this might not be that vital when you’re shore or bank fishing, or relaxing on one of these comfortable fishing chairs, as you have all the room in the world.
But on a kayak, space is at a premium, so you need something that’s going to be not just portable – but practical as well.
You’re not going to have much fun if you’re trying to fight a fish and open your landing net at the same time.
Look for kayak fishing nets that open and extend easily, with good-quality joints, hardware, fixings, and connections that won’t let you down in the heat of battle.
The type of mesh that the fishing net has been made from makes a big difference – and you need to be aware of this – particularly if you’re practicing catch and release.
When sport or trophy fishing, and we want to let the critters back into the water for conservation purposes (and to let other anglers have some fun) then you need to choose a net that isn’t going to harm the fish.
Nylon nets tend to snag easily, fish scales can be grated off, and hooks can get caught – ensuring a Mensa-level challenge to untangle them.
Look for all rubber or rubber-coated nets if you’re not going to be eating your catch. They minimize damage to the fish by not rubbing off their scales, and won’t be nearly as harsh as a nylon mesh.
They limit snags and tangles, too, and are generally favored as the best possible net fishing net material available.
Look for nets that have slightly larger mesh holes, too, as this will also reduce the amount of hook snags – especially if you’re using some of the best hooks for catfish – such as a treble hook – for example.
Handle and Grip
The handle of a fishing net is a vital component in its design, as it’s this that’s going to help you with the leverage needed to land your catch.
Generally speaking, the larger the fish, the longer and stronger the landing net handle will need to be.
You need to strike a balance here, as having a super-long handle isn’t always practical when fishing from a kayak.