Updated: December 2017

Fishing Net Reviews:

fishing net Since man set eyes on water, he's been fishing. While many of us can more easily go to the grocery store and buy salmon, trout, and other species, there is a thrill in catching it yourself. Fishing is moments of heart-racing excitement melded with long stretches requiring great patience. Along with skill, and luck, you need good tackle. A determined angler can fish with a stick and a bent paperclip, and hand-woven nets have been used for thousands of years. While fishing technology has come a long way, rods and nets are still integral components of a successful fishing trip. If you've been chasing the one that got away, maybe you can finally land it with help from a well-made net. Here is your guide to choosing the right fishing net for your angling needs.

What Kind of Fishing Net Do You Need? - This question depends on what type of fishing you're doing, but it also depends on your location and local regulations. Many states do not allow the use of nets to take fish. Vermont, for instance, doesn't allow you to catch the fish with the net, but you may use a net to bring the fish in once it is hooked. Depending on your state, you may also be able to use a cast net for shrimp and certain types of bait fish. Before you buy a net, consult your state hunting/fishing rules and regulations guide. These are available for free at sporting goods stores, tackle shops, and other such locations. Here, we will look at landing nets which are the most commonly used.

Landing Net - To the uninitiated, a net is a net. But those who love to fish know that choosing the right fishing net can be the difference between taking a great fish and going home empty-handed. When choosing your landing net, look for:

*Size. Make sure the net bag fits the type of fish you typically catch. If you routinely catch 15-inch rainbow trout, for instance, a 17-inch x 19-inch hoop should be fine, though you may want a 20-inch x 23-inch if you're feeling optimistic. There's no need for a huge, deep net bag if you are catching smaller fish.

*Knotted or unknotted. This refers to the mesh style: knotted mesh has, you guessed it, knots. This is the more common net and the typical choice of those who catch and keep their fish. If you catch and release, a knotless style is better because it doesn't scrape the scales or protective slime coat of the fish.

*Type of mesh. Micro-mesh is smaller and softer, great for trout and baitfish; tangle-free micro-mesh is great for catch and release, as well as bass and walleye fishers; tangle-free knotless mesh is often used for saltwater fish, musky, pike, and catfish; and tangle-free rubber mesh is a top choice of bass and walleye anglers.

*Hoop size and shape. The tear drop shape is the most common and is useful for a variety of species. Trollers may prefer a scoop net, which allows them to place it under the fish at greater distances. A D-shaped hoop is good for very shallow fishing or for catching fish in bait wells and tanks.

*Handle length. This depends on the type of fishing you are doing and whether you're on a boat. Handles range in size from as short as 30 inches to more than 96 inches. You can also find telescopic handles, which make for easier storage and transport.

*Budget. You can find fishing nets for under $5 and those that go for $200 or more. If you're a novice, there's no need to break the bank; get a style that will allow you to practice and which fits your fishing style. You can always upgrade later on.

You can browse the best selling fishing nets here.

Best Fishing Net:

When it comes to fishing nets manufacturers, Frabill is a name you will see again and again. These review well with Amazon, Epinions, and Buzzillion consumers, among others, and are affordable and effective. Frabill has an incredible variety of fishing nets, so you can get exactly what you need. Their Folding Landing Net with Telescopic Handle, for instance, features a 22-inch x 20-inch net bag and a handle that extends from 30 to 60 inches. This is great for compact storage and for when you need a little extra reach. Because the length can be adjusted, you can use it for different fishing applications. It's just under $30 at Amazon. Take a look at other Frabill models to see what suits your fishing needs and your budget (see all Frabill nets here). Another name you can't help but stumble upon is Stowmaster. Their Tournament Series Precision Landing Nets are particularly well-reviewed by consumers at Amazon, Buzzillions, BassPro, and others. TrophyTroutGuide reviewed Stowmaster and said that their Model TS84S "is one of the most versatile, sturdy and innovative nets" they've ever used. Stowmaster tailors different nets to different types of anglers. The Tournament Bass Series Precision Landing Net, for instance, will help bass anglers reel in good catches. The net features a 20-inch x 24-inch folding hoop, knotless Guardian netting, telescoping handle, flat bottom design, and hoop and handle manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum. This is a deluxe fishing net at about $100. Stowmaster tends to be more pricy than other brands, but they are a pro choice. Cabela's Fold-Away Landing Net is a popular choice, though another relatively pricy one. The Fold-Away Net features a 20-inch x 24-inch hoop, 39-inch sliding handle, 3/4-inch knotless, coated, tangle-free mesh, locking handle, folding hoop made of heavy wall extruded aluminum, anodized finish, and stainless steel hardware. It is a very durable net; if you want to spend $75 on a fishing net, this one is a good choice. It reviews well with consumers, one of whom attested to its durability: "Bought recently for a Canada fishing trip. Best net I ever had. My other nets usually got destroyed by the Northern [waters]. This net held up with flying colors." The Fold-Away Landing Net is available at Cabela's website and via Amazon. Can you get away with a cheaper fishing net? You can - and if you are a novice or infrequent angler, you should. For a less expensive landing net, try Ed Cummings. You will find a variety of affordable choices that will hold up to your use. And when you get ready to hit the tournament circuit, you can upgrade to a Stowmaster. With a great landing net in your fishing arsenal, you'll have far more stories of the ones that didn't get away.