Obviously there's the phenomenon of fly gear being more expensive... I never really minded that because the flies are dirt cheap (when compared to spin fishing). Yesterday, I picked up some line on the fishwest site for a nymphing stick that I ordered and navigated around to look at some other gear.
I never would have thought that a fishing net could range up to $300.00??
Does anyone have a net that is more than $100? I'm curious to know why they're so expensive and what the difference is. Im sure there's a valid purpose and knowing that some nets are geared for trout that are delicate.
The Brodin nets typically run over $100 and many of our members have them including me. I also have made nets from scratch that cost me nothing except for the string used to weave the net itself. One has a hickory handle with a fiberglass hoop and the other is a one piece design made from a single hickory splint. The reason someone buys a $300 net is because they want too I reckon. I imagine it is a beautiful net, would like to see one.
Frankly, I don't use a net very often, particularly not when fly fishing.
I own 3 nets. One is a large net I'll use when Striper fishing, but not when fly fishing. It's more for trolling with heavy tackle, and more of a meat net than a C&R net. I think I paid about $45 for it. The second one is a small, cheap net that I've used for panfish. Less than $10 as I recall. Not a bad net, and has the wider rubber coated netting. Could be used for trout as well, as long as they're not big. Would probably handle fish up to about 12".
The third net is a long handled, cheap one used for dipping baitfish. Not the small bait bucket size, this net is about the size of nets folks use for dipping crabs. My brother bought it at Walmart a few years back while we were on vacation in SC. I don't know what he paid for it, but couldn't have been more than $10. We were fishing with bait, and catching our own, so it seemed like a good idea.
The only reason I could see for someone to pay that much for a trout size net that could be easily carried, would be they have more money than they know what to do with! I have seen some very nice wooden nets, those that have high quality craftsmanship involved in the production, and if that's something a person wants, then I guess the price is irrelevant. Not my thing, for gear such as nets, I'm more interested in function than aesthetics.
However, I won't buy just anything, and would be willing to pay a higher price for a better quality net. Nothing worse than having a net fail while trying to land a big fish.
Checking Fishwest the most expensive net I see in that section of their site is $225. Is the $300 net in a different part of their site? The one I saw was a Brodin and included mother of pearl measuring marks. They list it as a 'presentation'. I wouldn't buy it personally but who cares if others do.
IMHO, paying $300.00 for a dip net is no different than paying $700.00 to $1K for a reel or rod. In this world there are the "haves" and then there are the "have nots". Those that have spare change can buy those highly sought after and beautifully crafted tools of the trade while others are content to use a much lower priced one that in the end will accomplish the same thing. I love my Hardy gear, but they don't catch more fish than the less expensive gear. I love quality as much as the next guy/gal, but there is a limit to what I will pay for it. Fishing is more important to me than collecting. I do love my Brodin net. Only cost me $75.00 at L.L. Beans a number of years ago.
I'm guilty. I just shopped around for a boat net. Wanted something made locally so I went with a Blue Ribbon guide net. Was a little surprised I had to drop $160 for a net. However it's a beautiful light weight, long handled piece of equipment and should be awesome until my 100 lb lab gets excited and snaps it in the boat.
I have seen hand made nets that are absolutely works of art. Laminated from strips of exoctic wood, steamed and hand laid plies glued to perfection. Netting tied and attached with loving attention. I am a sucker for crastsmanship, especially in wood. I have "lusted in my heart" for some beautifuly made nets, but have never been able to justify the cost.
I understand how fishermen who can better afford to indulge their desires will do so. If I were more affluent, I might consider the price more reasonable and get someting like that just to do so.
For now, however, the 'ol reliable net still hangs where it always has, ready and willing to go to work.
Hopefully by next summer, I'll be building a limited number of handmade laminated wood nets. I'd be doing it sooner; but, I have too many little projects going. I really can't imagine selling one for less than $200. Most will go out to friends. There actually is a lot that goes into steaming and laminating a net with the time involved. Stay tuned if I decide to sell any.
I have a net that is worth well over $300. It is a custom laminated bamboo net made by Clint Byrnes, who made a presentation net for Jimmy Carter. Mine has never been used.
I had another bamboo net made in the 1990's for a friend as a "Lodge Warming Gift" when he built and opened The Henry's Fork Lodge, picked as one of the 1000 places in the world to see before you die.
It is a very special net for a very special place.
When my 11 yo son was fishing the Yellowstone at Buffalo Ford in the Park, a passing angler grabbed the Byrnes net that was hanging from my son's vest. I asked him what he was doing and he said he collected fly fishing nets, but had never seen one that looked like the Byrnes net. Clint uses many different types of wood to get unique stripes/layers of color on the handle and hoop. No two nets are quite the same. Now take that construction add strips of split bamboo and you get a Byrnes Bamboo Net.
I have a Stephens hand made net with the longer handle (not quite a boat net) since I'm not as 'bendable' as I was years ago. It's a super super nice net. Solid as a tank, gorgeous too,,for 80 dollars. Carries perfectly stuck in the waist belt in the back.
I got the 33R. You can get it with a Ghost Rubber net if you wish. The net id deeper than it looks in the photo by a wee bit. I also use this one from my kayak. Check them out,,veryyyy nice folks to deal with and have all kinda nets to fit the situation. Stephens Handmade Nets.