As fishermen, we often find caught up in discussions about the latest gear on the market, and if you are anything like me you will regularly suffer from gear acquisition syndrome. However, I’ve noticed that very often we will become captivated by rods and reels and neglect other aspects of our inventory.
That’s how we’ve ended up here, taking a look at some of the best fishing nets available. Fishing nets are a little-discussed topic in the fishing community, but they can play a vital role in securing that massive rod bender you’ve spent the last 20 minutes fighting.
There is no worse feeling than expending all that effort only to have a personal record-breaking catch slip away at the last second. If you don’t currently use a fishing net to land your catches, keep reading.
Not only have I reviewed some of the best fishing nets currently available, but I have also compiled a short guide detailing what to look for in your ideal fishing net.
Oddspro Fly Fishing Landing Net
A great budget addition to any fly fisherman’s toolkit, this medium-sized fly-fishing net is a perfect starting place for beginners too. It is made from an impact-resistant composite carbon fiber material that is not only light but built to last.
With an overall length of 24.6’’ that efficiently breaks down to a manageable 17’’ for transport, the handle also features a wrist loop to ensure it is always to hand, although the addition of a belt clip would be appreciated. If you fish particularly energetic species, the non-slip coating provides an improved level of tactile dexterity in wet environments.
Catch and release fishermen will appreciate the knotless, coated, nylon netting, which not only protects the fish but is impervious to waterlogging and foul odors. Overall, I would recommend this for novices and fly fishers’ on a budget.
- Great for novices
- Corrosion resistant
- Experienced anglers may demand more from their gear
Fiblink Folding Telescopic Fishing Net
Boasting a fine mesh grid made from waterproof nylon material, Fiblink’s telescopic fishing net is available in several sizes. Ranging from 23’’ to 118’’ in length, all feature a 17’’ net depth with a 20’’ depth available on the medium-sized model.
Collapsing to roughly one-third of its overall length when not in use, easy to store and transport alongside the rest of your tackle. It is worth noting however, that during use you must double-check that the handle has been rotated and secured fully to avoid mishandling.
Made from a durable aluminum alloy that is both lightweight and strong, these nets are intended to last. Corrosion resistance is a boon, making this net perfect for both salt and freshwater fishing, with a coated handle to provide a greater range of control under slippy circumstances.
Catch and release fishermen will be happy to know that the hoop has been specifically designed to protect your catch from harm. In my opinion, this net is great for the versatile angler, performing equally well on the boat or off the shore.
- Minimal damage to fish
- Corrosion resistant
- Twist action handle
KastKing Folding Landing Net
KastKing is fast becoming one of the leading brands for anglers around the world, and their business model seems simple; offer quality products at affordable prices. Their folding landing net is no exception.
Available in several sizes (with fixed pole option available) with hoop diameter’s ranging from 16’’ on the smallest models to 24’’ on the largest, there is enough variety to suit most needs. The netting is a coated nylon material to protect your catch from harm and features a reasonably small mesh grid.
Telescopic models collapse to a comfortable 21’’ in length and features a belt clip for convenience in transit. Constructed from a composite E-glass material that is resistant to corrosion, the manufacturer also claims it will never bend or dent from use.
It is also worth noting that as an additional feature, KastKing has printed a measuring ruler on the side of some models. Handy for those days when you forget to pack your measuring board.
- Strong e-glass material
- Corrosion resistant
- Available in many sizes
- Some users prefer an EVA handle
Plusinno Collapsible Fishing Net
Available in several sizes, the Plussino Collapsible net can extend to a maximum of 59’’ and breakdown to 16.5’’ depending on the rod and hoop size you choose. This makes it an excellent option for people who regularly fish different locations and species.
Hoop size also varies from 12’’ to 20’’, so you will need to choose the correct model suited to the largest species that you fish.
Collapsing the net takes seconds, and a belt clip is conveniently provided to carry it back and forth from your favorite spots easily. An EVA coating is featured towards the end of the handle, ensuring not only comfort but a decreased risk of slippage in wet environments.
The net is knotless and constructed from coated nylon, so if you are a fan of catch and release, this net will be gentle on your catches and ensure they receive no unnecessary damage before being released.
- Easily collapses to a convenient size
- Knotless design for catch and release
- Various sizes available
- Won't suit fly fishers
Plusinno Fly Fishing Net
Plussino has created a high-quality fly-fishing net that not only easily folds down for storage, but like their collapsible fishing net, has a convenient belt clip for when your hands are busy with the rod. A carabiner has been included to attach the net to your bag when transporting equipment to your chosen location.
The hoop size measures 16’’ at its widest point and has a net depth of 10’’, there is a choice of either nylon or rubber mesh material. If you are a catch and release fisherman, we would suggest the rubber net to protect the fish before they are released.
Similar to their collapsible fishing net model, Plussino has coated the handle with an EVA material to provide comfort and prevent slippage during use.
For your peace of mind, the manufacturer has also included 12 months warranty with this model, something to consider if you expect to get heavy use out of your equipment.
- Large hoop size
- Good net depth
- Rubber mesh version for catch and release fishermen
- Not versatile, only suited for fly fishing
Having a fish escape at the last second can sour any fishing trip, that is why it is essential to acquire a quality fishing net. Having a net to hand will drastically improve your chances of landing.
Now that you have read our reviews of the best fishing nets available, it’s time to choose the one that best suits your needs. If you are an experienced angler, you will already be aware of your preferences; but for novice fishermen, we have compiled a short buyer’s guide below.
Over the next couple of minutes, you will learn what the different types of fishing nets are and how they are used. Realistically though, you will want to know which materials are best, as the differences in function between fishing nets are less than minimal.
Types of fishing net
Fishing nets typically fall into one of three categories:
Folding nets are designed to be compact, taking up minimal space in your tackle box or fishing bag. Most commonly, folding nets will have a simple hinge where the handle meets the hoop allowing the net to be folding over itself.
While fixed frame fishing nets are likely to take up more space than a folding net, they offer some distinct advantages. Fixed frame nets have no moving parts, making them less likely to break and more stable when in use.
Fly fishing nets tend to have a larger hoop and mesh and are made to withstand hours of use at a time. Fly fishing nets need to be extremely robust; and for anyone releasing their catches, the mesh needs to be suitable so as not to damage the fish.
How to choose the best fishing net
When you are about to buy a new fishing net, there are two questions that you will need to answer that will determine what is best for your needs.
Where do you fish?
If you have a penchant for boat fishing, a long-handled fishing net is your ally, allowing you to reach into the water without compromising your safety. Conversely, if you fish from the shore or freshwater streams, a short-handled net will suit your needs.
Short handled fishing nets are also ideal for anyone that enjoys kayak fishing. Short handles also transfer less kinetic energy down the shaft and are easier to handle, especially with large, energetic species.
What species of fish are common there?
When contemplating the attributes of your perfect fishing net, the species of fish that you typically encounter is an important consideration. Larger species will demand a larger hoop and net depth, along with being made from hard-wearing robust materials.
If you are practicing catch and release, then the mesh material is essential. Some species, such as trout, are quite sensitive and necessitate a smooth rubber netting to avoid unnecessary injury to the fish.
Properties of the best fishing net
All fishing nets work in the same way, and there is little difference in the operation of one from another. However, the physical properties of the ideal fishing net will vary between anglers.
Handle length is important to consider, and your ideal range will be dictated by where you fish and the type of species you encounter. Short handles are ideal for stream fishing and kayak fishing, while longer handles are suited to boat fishing.
It is worth noting however, that shorter handles will give you more control over the net and are less prone to breaking.
It is important to check that the handle on your net is made from high-quality materials, aluminum, graphite, wood, and composite handles are all available. Most commonly used materials are relatively comparable to each other, but some companies have been known to use low-grade aluminum that is prone to breaking.
As with most things fishing net, the shape and material of net you need will be dictated by the type of fishing you do. Net size can reach up to 42’’ wide, or larger if you primarily fish carp.
Net shapes also vary, circular, oval, flat bottomed, triangular, and teardrop shapes are all standard. Teardrop and circular nets of no more than a foot wide are fantastic for small fish in shallow waters.
Flat bottomed nets are commonplace for catch and release fishermen, as they allow you a good view of the fish after it has been landed.
Mesh and Hoop
The mesh found on fishing nets is most commonly constructed from one of three materials:
- Nylon or coated nylon
Nylon is the most common as it is cheap to manufacture and durable; however, at fishing pioneer we only recommend nylon if you are fishing for keeps, although coated nylon does protect the fish somewhat.
Rubber mesh nets are kinder to the fish and less likely to cause them harm. Anglers practicing catch and release should opt for rubber mesh nets to heighten the fish’s chance of survival after capture.
Knotless netting is lightweight and provides some protection to the fish, anglers fishing for trout or generally stream fishing tend to prefer knotless mesh.
Mesh grid size (size of the holes in the net) might also be of importance to you, with fragile fish needing a smaller mesh grid. For larger species, a big mesh grid is fine.
Hoops are pretty uniform in design and vary between a circular shape to an almost triangle shape. It is vital that the hoop width is accommodating to the species of fish you are searching for.
Some hoops also have a scooped section that will make it easier to coax the fish into the net.
I hope after reading this post that you are armed with the knowledge to choose the best fishing net for your needs. It is easy to become paralyzed by the choices available, which is why I have done the leg work for you.
When it comes to the crunch, I would choose the Fiblink Folding Telescopic Net to accompany me on my fishing escapades. Not only is it built to last, but the versatility to use it in most situations makes it a winner in my eyes.
Have you used any of the products featured on this list or have any helpful tips to add? Let us know in the comments below.
At Fishing Pioneer, we are always striving to deliver the most up to date relatable content for anglers around the world. So if there is any topic you would like us to cover, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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