For years I have been using a MeasureNet, the one that has the inches marked in the net bag, so there are no more naysayers regarding how big that fish really was .
Recently a friend came in to my office and showed me a few net frames he had recently made and I got excited about building a new wooden net. We collaborated on the wood and the size, and I was able to find a clear net bag (appears to be the same bag used by Brodin and some others) from Jann's NetCraft online. I had him add about 4 inches to the handle so I could use the net out of my pontoon boat.
My buddy also does scroll saw work so I had him cut a Parasol Emerger fly in the top of the handle. I did all the final shaping, sanding and finishing. I'm not sure I like the teardrop shape, so we are now discussing making a jig to make a more rounded bow on the final product.
Still, the finished product looks quite good and I was able to use the net several times last week to net some beautiful cutts we fooled while on vacation in the Island Park, ID area.
Here is what I used to use, which is a very good net for the money:
And, here's the new net:
Now, show us your nets and tell us why you prefer that particular net...
Good thread topic Kelly! I don't have any photos of nets when not in use but here are the 3 I use.
First, a no-name net with a cloth mesh bag and 13 X 10 hoop. It is deep and has a total length of 28". It makes a good trout net when using short rods.
Second; this is the smallest of the Brodin C&R nets. It is a late 80's I believe, this was made before they offered rubber nets and has the cloth bag.
A new Nomad Guide Net, 13 X 18" hoop and a 48" total length made of carbon fiber. It works good for netting fish for others or when using the long rods. I carry it tucked in the back of the waders under the belt, very light, almost unnoticeable when carried.
I'm adding one more, just ordered the Brodin Excalibur for steelhead and silvers.
These are the specs:
•53" overall length
•16" by 22" hoop
•Lightweight thermoplastic net bag
•Teak handle for durability and light weight
This is a terrible looking photograph...why post it on-line? Here is the story. Fishing a sulpher emergence near dark, my wife stuck a nice rainbow. I waded down toward her from above and our friend waded up to her from downstream. Converging, I netted the fish for her, detached it from my vest mounted Gear Keeper and handed it to Steve. Stepping back and preparing my Nikon for a flash photo, they posed with the rainbow as I fired a few frames then they released the fish. "May I have my net back, please?", I inquired. I don't have it they each replied. On the computer in Photoshop, I drastically overexposed the image of the two of them to open up what is blackness in the image correctly exposed to illustrate them and the trout. Look on the water between them...that is my untethered net floating downstream. After the fish was released and my displeasure at the loss of my net was expressed, my wife commenced to reel in her line dangling below when she felt some resistance. The fly on her tippet and the net had followed the same current and THE #18 DRY FLY HOOKED THE MESH OF THE NET which she reeled back upstream and retrieved!
Now I favor the most advanced technology and hippest design in my rods and reels but I am sentimental about landing net aesthetics. Mine is a beaver tail, laminated hoop with a cord wrapped handle and leather attachment loop. An old fashioned, hand crafted Catskill design. Most importantly, the net bag is hand knotted of soft, green cord in a tight, fish mandible and gill protecting traditional net design...nearly impossible to find today in an era of machine woven or now plastic net bags.
Next year there will be a better rod and reel introduced than any I fish today but not a better net.
Just for jollies, here is the net I plan to NEVER use again. It's nylon mesh, lightweight, and has worked well to dip a fine fish from the water.
BUT, I'm sick of fighting to unsnag hooks from the mesh. I'm in the market for a replacement; thus, I'm reading this thread with interest. BTW, I like the MeasureNets (pics above) with inches indicated right on the net!
There once was a net maker in Hawaii who by all rights should still be doing that. He used the finest local woods and fashioned some of the most handsome nets I've ever laid eyes on. He offered many wood combinations and styles of nets and crafted them beautifully. He has 7 layers of wood on the hoops and all of the nets underwent the W.E.S.T. epoxy technique.
Tropical Lightning nets are as strong, lightweight and beautiful as any wood net available and then some. I wish that builder would get back in the groove but last I heard he moved to California and vanished.