Saturday, December 27, 2008

Which is better rubber or mesh landing net?

Frabill rubber landing net
Frabill Sportsman landing net

We have some of each at camp and I think I speak for everyone when I say that the rubber landing net is way better UNTIL you need to net a northern pike of 40+ inches. Then you wish you had the standard string mesh net.

The advantages of the rubber net are numerous:
1. Fish don't get wound-up in it like they do the mesh nets so you can release them more quickly.
2. Hooks don't get skewered in the rubber net the way they do in the string of the mesh net.
3. It doesn't develop "holes" like the mesh net does after someone has cut out a lure with a knife or after a northern pike has chewed through the string.
The rubber net is a hit with walleye fishermen. It allows them to quickly boat walleyes without fear of losing them or their breaking the line as sometimes happens when you just lift them by the line.
Northern pike fishermen like the rubber nets too for landing any small or medium-sized northern.
The problem comes when you try to land a lunker pike. The idea that the rubber landing net will sag and create a bag for the big northerns usually isn't realistic. These big guys just bridge across the opening of the net instead of limply sagging into the rubber.
So for big northerns the large mesh net is far superior.
Should a person carry two nets then?
There just isn't room in the boat. Most anglers already have their boats filled with extra rods, tackle boxes, coolers, fish finders and totes for rainwear, etc., and a landing net is a pretty cumbersome piece of equipment. It fits the best tucked neatly behind the boats' mandatory paddles that are wedged into side braces. You must have two paddles so theoretically you have places for two nets but I just think it isn't worth the extra clutter.
Just choose one net and stick with it.
Even though we furnish nets with our boats it's a good idea to bring your own. Then you are assured of getting the net you like and trust.
One option with the rubber nets and exceptionally large pike is to tire the pike out a little more before netting them.
They do also make very large rubber nets but these are quite heavy due to the weight of the rubber.
It's something to mull over this winter.
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1 comment:

Andrew Baylon said...

Rubber nets are very difficult to use when trying to land a large salmon on a moving trolling boat. There's a lot of resistance especially with a long handle. Its like trying to land with a giant tennis racquet. I rather deal with some tangled hooks than loose a nice fish.