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Old 12-30-2015, 02:02 PM
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Default Fishpond Nets

All,

It is time for a new net. I have narrowed it down to either the Mid length or the El Jefe and would love to hear opinions on either.

All of my fishing to date has been wading but I want a longer net. I looked at the guide and the el jefe grand but I just think they are to long to have on my back while wading. To me the biggest difference in the two nets is the basket size. I'm not sure that the larger net in the El Jefe is really necessary or at least not enough to justify the extra cost.

For my "local" water the trout are in the 15-22 inch range. I have seen some of the guides post pics of fish in the 26-28 inch range so those are possibilities.

I appreciate anyone's opinion on either of these nets. Thanks

Matt
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

Matt: I have the Fishpond Mid Length and love it. Before making the purchase I too was looking at the El Jefe, but in the end decided against it, the net size on the Mid length is perfect for trout, having landed several fish in the 22-24 inch range without a problem. I like the fact that the net floats and the length is perfect to use as an occasional wading staff.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

I guess the first question that comes to mind is: Is there potential for you to use this net in any other situation other than the "local waters" you describe and if so, what size stream/fish might you run into? If that's the max, then maybe the smaller size is a stronger consideration. If you could potentially use it on larger waters, then the El Jefe might be a good bet.

I was out with a guide this past year who had the El Jefe, it's a great net. Not too large, not small by any means. Fish that river system were similar sized as what you describe as average, though large fish are not by any means uncommon. Fish fought much larger than their size, so the larger hoop of the El Jefe was probably ideal.

For context, I carry a Mid Length Boat Net for Great Lakes steelhead. It's a solid choice for where I fish. They are deceivingly light so don't let the larger hoop size deter you. These are a completely different animal than the traditional nets we're likely all used to.

Not that my logic is the best, after all it's your money--but if I were already going to spend $160 on a net, I'd not let $40 deter me from getting the larger one if it were the right choice. Pay once/cry once rational I suppose. Do you have a shop that you can get to that might carry these so you can get them in hand?

By the way, mid length is a great size for a wading angler, they are not unwieldy by any means.
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Old 12-30-2015, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

Larry/Jay

Thanks for the replies!

Jay, "your" logic is exactly the direction my mind was going... I started out at my local shop where they usually have a couple fishpond nets, normally they have a couple regular ones, a mid length and the guide net (I don't think they have ever had an El Jefe in stock). Of those 3 the mid length is exactly what I was looking for. One of the regular nets was in the tailwater finish which i really like. So I started with getting the mid-length tailwater net. Now as time has passed and I have looked at their website I have started to wonder if the larger hoop would be worth it because i would much rather spend the extra $40 now rather than be kicking myself in the butt a year from now and going out and spending another $200 to get the bigger hoop. I am definitely planning on taking some trips west hopefully in the near future and want the net to be something that will serve me well on those trips. I would like to go to any/all of the places that are on the usual short list of fly fishing destinations. CO, MT, WY, AK. I've never fished for steelhead but would love to give that a go. As I'm typing this I am realizing that I am convincing myself that the El Jefe is probably a better choice as I don't know exactly what I will need in the future and it is easier to net a small fish in a big net then a big fish in a small net.

thanks again for your perspectives.

Matt
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

Another long handle user here and unless you are at least 6 foot or better the mid length will be better for walking & wading. I have the 18 X 13" Guide size and the Boat Net also and can tell you that it's easier to scoop any fish up to 10 pound in the Boat Net size. I have netted a lot of silver salmon 7 - 10 pound with the Guide net but it is too small for them. Even a 18" trout demands that you be quick and accurate with the Guide or the netting can quickly turn into a carnival of activity. The bigger hoop is like a heavier rod, you can always handle small fish with them but a light rod & small hoop may not be so good when the fish of your life pops up
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

I'm 6'3", so I could probably get away with the mid length boat net on my back, but without being able to try it first I'm now leaning towards the el jefe as the sweet spot between overall length and hoop size.

Mid-length:
37 Length
Weight with rubber bag: 400g or .88lb
13W x 18L Head
Bag depth of 12"

El Jefe:
41.5 Length
Weight with rubber bag: 535g or 1.23lbs
13W x 21.75L Head
Bag depth of 14"

Mid-length boat:
44.75 Length
Weight with rubber bag: 560g or 1.23lbs
16W x 24.75L Head
Bag depth of 14"
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

Grif, thanks for the comparative data. I have been considering the same options as you, the mid-length and the El Jefe. I am a lumbar pack wearer, and a longer handled net would remain more secure tucked into the back of my waist. I also think it will make netting some of the bigger, feistier fish on the San Juan a little easier. My local fly shop says the mid-length net is very popular.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

Ard nailed it, the larger hoop will give you greater versatility. I'm convinced you can handle either the El Jefe or the Mid Boat Net, there is after all 3" difference in the hoop size between the two.

One thing to consider: If you are planning on flying to any of those destinations you've mentioned, you would likely want to ship to your destination. These nets are big enough that they're not going to fit in many piece of luggage and I don't believe you'd be able to carry one on.

By the way, some of the Fishpond packs have a slot that you can slide the handles in to make transport much easier. I know the new sling pack they've got out has one and many of the lumbar packs do as well.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybo41 View Post
By the way, some of the Fishpond packs have a slot that you can slide the handles in to make transport much easier. I know the new sling pack they've got out has one and many of the lumbar packs do as well.
I didn't know that Jason! That may be enough to get me to consider a pack Not that I'd load it heavy enough to be a wear on the day but sometimes the handle gets to be a problem in really swift current. I carry by sliding it down under the wader belt behind my back. I can get away with that because of height but it can be a challenge.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Fishpond Nets

My only concern about the boat net is its overall length. I think the 37" of the mid length is about perfect for carrying/wading around. The el jefe is another 4 inches longer which probably isn't that noticeable but the mid-length boat net is another 4 inches longer than the el jefe... Doesn't sound like much but that's 8 inches more than the mid length. Hopefully this weekend I can make it back to the local shop and see what is in stock. If not I may try and rig something up to try and evaluate how much of a pain it would be to have a 45" net.

Thanks again for your thoughts!
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