Most anglers lose fish at some point during the endgame, but you can up your odds of landing fish with the help of a net. If you’re looking to buy your first net, or upgrade from your existing model, keep these considerations in mind.
Do No Harm
The nets of yesteryear used knotted nylon mesh for the bag. The rough edges on those knots quickly strips fish of their protective slime coating, which leaves the fish more prone to bacterial infections. To help ensure all the fish you release live long, healthy lives, choose a net with knotless mesh, or better yet, a rubber basket.
The shorter the fight, the less stressful it is on the fish. Longer nets have the advantage over shorter models, giving you the reach needed to end the fight faster. Upgrading to a longer model can also help keep hooked fish out of underwater obstructions that can break you off.
Lighter Weight, Greater Durability
The handcrafted wooden nets that your granddad took to the stream with him were functional works of art. But the steamed wooden hoops couldn’t survive a drop onto the rocks, and the resins used to waterproof the porous material made them heavy. Modern materials, such as synthetics and aluminum, shave ounces and can handle more mistreatment. Though no one would judge you if you opted for old-school cool either.