Every now and then you come across a product that's really good for fly fishing; good for you, good for the fish, good for the environment; just a great product.
For me one such product is the rubber landing net. When they first came out, I purchased one with the belief that it would be easier on the trout; not as abrasive, less apt to remove the slime coating from the scales, less apt to get gill tangles, etc. And I think it's turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be.
It's also turned out to be more than I expected.
One of the really nice "extras" with rubber nets is that most of the trout that I bring to the net self-release once they're in the net. I fish barbless or pinched-down-barb hooks all of the time, but I'm still not sure what's going on here. It really hit me last week when I was fishing everything from a #20 Griffith's Gnat to a #8 Chernobyl Ant. I was getting self-releases with whatever fly/fish combination I had in my net.
What I do know about the combination of barbless hooks and rubber nets is that a good 75% of my fish free themselves within 15 seconds of being landed. I keep my net and the fish in the water during the landing/freeing process, so I think that probably helps. But, I also think that most of the credit belongs to the net material itself.
I use a Brodin Pro Firehole and I could not be happier with this product.
What do the rest of you think about rubber landing nets? Anyone else with the same self-release experience?
Very interesting observation, Allan. Do think that this "self release" has happened more than enough times to not call this a coincidence? I just cannot figure out how the net material would cause the fish to spit a hook! But I will venture on guess.
The stiffer basket of the plastic net gives more support to the fish. Plus you have the Firehole, which is a true "C&R" style net, meaning a long shallow basket. This supports the fish better, keeping them lying on their side in a relatively prone fashion (if indeed a fish can be prone...I know, this is getting weird!) and not sagging deeply into the net and curling into a "fish fetal" position.
So how does this make the fish remove the hook? I can almost imagine that the supported body of the fish helps by easing the tension on a taut leader because the fish isn't sagging and struggling in the net, when the leader tension on the hook goes slack the barbless hook is "spit" or shaken loose. Does anyone buy that?
You should send Brodin an email and see what they think.
Allan,saw your net when we fished together...and I ordered a Brodin Gallantin which is a little bigger to land big chub...been using it for two months... completely satisfiedso satisfied that I was thinking about posting a review about it.I also noticed that many fish self released in the net...so hats off to Brodin
I have a Brodin Ghost Gallatin and like yourself fish barb less. It didn't take long to learn that leaving the fish alone in the net for maybe 10 seconds underwater, more than half will free themselves from the hook.
I purchased the net for 2 reasons.
1. To do away with death grips and put less stress on the fish.
2. I can take pictures of the fish without having to wait until they are too weak to flop.
I am sure that taking the tension off the hook plays a part, but I also suspect (dependent upon where they are hooked) the fish can spit some of them out.
Now for the hard part, catching my lovely wife in just the right mood to say yes to a waterproof camera.
I am with you in that I am a firm believer of the motto "Happy wife is happy life." But my wife begin to be suspicious of my recent purchase of things related with fly fishing when she finds out that I am using those things more often than she does. Perhaps I can tell her that I need a brodin net to help her to get back to fishing right away. (My net is old style one and it sometimes got my small hooks and it took me a while to remove them.) I will be using this one more often but it is for HER.
I don't know it will fly but it is worth trying.
Allen, or anybody up there,
I have seen Brodin Ghost series but did not have a chance to see the one you have. I assume that the firehole model's net is made of rubber. Did you compared firehole with other brodin nets before your purchase? If you did, I want to know what makes you to go for the firehole or ghost model?
I am leaning toward gellatin model after I find that this type of net is more conducive to C and R.
Hey Texastroutbum, your axiom is the truth! A couple things: go to the Brodin website and in the "news / info" section you can find out about the Ghost bags - those are the clear plastic "nets" -- you can purchase only the bag and tie it onto your current net frame (they offer instructions). It's a pretty sweet option if you have a solid frame, for $25 it's a big upgrade. Second thing, if you come to Montana to fish the Gallatin (GAL-a-tin) make sure you do not ask for directions to the Gellatin River! Pretty sure you'll be sent somewhere far away.
As for shape of the net hoop, I am also curious as to why people choose what they do. In the end I think the most important aspect is practical - which shape appeals to your sense of aesthetics most and what size is best for your purpose.
But I do notice that the long narrow frame is often referred to as a "C & R" and not the teardrop hoops. I think this is because they are designed for the fish to lay relatively flat in the long, shallow net bag as opposed to the deep nets that curl the fish.