If fishing is more like a pastime to you, then you might not necessarily need a net. But when you care about reeling in your catch after the long wait, fishing nets are critical to your hauls. So, which one should you get and what are the best fishing nets?
Maybe the answer is landing nets since they are quite a feature with anglers. But are they the right fit for your needs, environment, and fishing conditions?
Spoiler alert: there is no one-fit-for-all when it comes to fishing nets. Nonetheless, we agree that landing nets are one of the most diverse sets of fishing gear and are worth adding to your packs. Even at that, they might not be the perfect fit for you. And before we even conclude on what fishing net you should get, what are your options?
Exploring The Different Types Of Fishing Nets
Baitwell & Dip Nets
There isn’t much to pick apart between baitwell and dip nets. So, we’ll explain both as one. That said, the two are primarily for catching fish that you already hold in a tank or well.
And since there is little to no risk of losing your catch, baitwell and dip nets are not the best in terms of quality mesh. The worst part is that they both feature untreated micro-mesh. In other words, they might be unsafe for delicate and small fish.
Regardless, baitwell and dip nets remain the best aids for fishing in enclosed containers. Just ensure you use the appropriate mesh!
Cast nets by design are perfect for commercial fishing, especially when you plan to trap a school of fish. And due to the nature of their design, the edges of cast nets quickly lose shape. Another thing to consider with cast nets is how heavy they can be, especially the cotton types.
And even when you use the mono cast nets, they can tear easily. Luckily, you can avoid all that episode when you invest in a reinforced and well-constructed mesh.
Landing nets are the best fishing nets when you only need something to secure your catch. In this case, you don’t need heavy gear or trapping a school of fish, but to ensure your hooked catch gets in the boat/kayak. If that sounds like what you need, a landing net is what you seek. And the best part is that this type of net is also friendly to your catch. How?
The chances are that you might want to release your catch occasionally. If that’s you, then landing nets make the process easy. You will only need to turn the net slightly into the water for the fish to swim off. That way, you won’t wipe off the fish’s protective, slimy covering and expose it to bacteria.
Suggested reading: 5 Tips To Start Kayak Fishing Today
Seine nets function just as cast nets; they trap your fish and help you haul in a huge number. The difference here is that seine nets use poles. Also, you don’t have to operate these nets by yourself; it is even best that a group of anglers use seine nets. That way, it is easy to harvest the fish in your ponds and streams.
However, ensure you invest in seine nets with quality floats, mesh, and weights. About the mesh, use the dark-colored types if you want to trap your fish unawares.
So, what do you think now that we have explored the types of fishing nets? Do landing nets suit your needs? If yes, the following tips will help you choose the best kind for your angling trips:
5 Factors To Consider When Choosing Landing Nets
The Size Of Your Fish
To start fishing with landing nets, you must consider the size of your fish. And the reason for that is because different types of landing nets fit different kinds of fish. How so?
Small landing nets won’t hold a fish like a muskie. It isn’t even big enough to contain such a big game to start. In other words, use compact-size landing nets for small games such as fly fishers.
But if you’re keen on big games, then go for the super-size landing nets. They are sturdy and big enough to hold your catch.
The Netting Material
When fishing sustainably (you practice catch and release), we will advise you to steer clear of landing nets made with non-coated nylon. Non-coated nylon often scrapes the scales and protective slime on the body of fish. Afterward, such a fish, when released, won’t cope with the harsh conditions of its environment.
And even when you are fishing to eat, you don’t hurt your catch. Invest in knotless landing nets made with rubber. Besides, the rubber types hardly tangle and get damaged by your hooks. However, they are costlier than the non-coated nylon nets.
The Mesh Size
Just like the netting material of your landing net, the mesh size is also critical to fishing sustainably. Landing nets with micro-mesh are best for a delicate small catch. And while they might lead to enhanced water resistance and delayed movement in the water, they are best if you are a small game angler.
But if you fancy big games, stick to large-mesh landing nets. And depending on the fish, a 2inch mesh should suffice.
The Shape And Size Of The Hoop
The shape of your landing net hoop will likely be like a teardrop. While the teardrop shape can be excellent, they are inefficient when you need to land a fish at a considerable distance away from you. In that case, invest in landing nets that come with raised fronts.
About the size of your landing net hoop, know that your preferred catch is the ultimate deciding factor. For example, if you’re fishing in shallows streams for trout, then a 15-inch landing net will suffice. However, if you fancy deepwater games such as muskie, choose a 41-inch net.
The Length And Material Of The Handle
Like the size of the hoop on your landing net, the longer the handle, the better results on big water – and distanced games. But if you fish in shallow waters and prefer an aid that you can easily twist around, stick to short-handle landing nets.
About the material of your landing net handle, it also depends on your preferred catch. But in any case, go for the landing nets with a reinforced handle made from aluminum. You can also check the wooden handles if you love aesthetics.
Landing nets are not necessarily the best fishing nets but are the perfect fit when you need an aid for your hooked catch. To choose the right one for your needs, consider the factors we already listed in this piece. Perhaps that is too much work for you; then check this round-up!
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