How to Pick the Best Fly Fishing Net
Fly fishing is a much gentler form of angling than traditional fishing. The lures are tiny, the cast is slow and methodical, and even the fish need to be handled with more care. If you’re fly fishing for delicate species like trout, you need a proper fly-fishing net to land and release your trophy fish without any harm done.
There are dozens of different fly-fishing nets to choose from, but not all will suit your needs and budget. Let’s learn how to pick the best fly-fishing net including different types of nets, what they’re used for, and ten of our top picks for fly fishing nets.
Fly Fishing Net Basics
Types of Fishing Net Handles
Wood – Traditional material for making fishing nets. Wood’s benefits are more aesthetic as it’s heavier than carbon fiber but won’t last any longer. Wood nets are good for casual fly fishers who like the beauty of traditional wood over other materials.
Carbon Fiber – The modern material for fly fishing nets. Carbon fiber is ultra-light, ultra-strong, and not as expensive as you might think. Carbon fiber is an excellent choice for fly fishing nets.
Aluminum / Plastic – Not recommended for fly fishing nets.
Types of Fishing Net Baskets
Rubber – The most popular material for fishing nets. Rubber is transparent and gentle on fish.
Coated Nylon – Nylon coated in rubber. Also gentle on fish but less transparent in the water.
Non-Coated Nylon – Abrasive and not recommended for fly fishing species like trout.
Fishing Net Handle and Basket Size
Fishing net size is critical for comfort and the ability to wrangle in your catch. You never want to haul in a large fish only to find it won’t fit it in your net but you don’t want to unnecessarily haul a big net everywhere when you’re targeting smaller species. Choose a net that matches the size of fish you’re targeting and aim for larger over smaller if you must choose.
Handle size is also important. You’ll need a handle long enough to reach over brush or the side of a boat, but you don’t want something too awkward to carry around. A telescoping net handle allows for different size handles but isn’t as robust as solid handles.
Like net size, determine your handle size with target species. Are you aiming for 10 to 12-inch trout or 2- foot salmon? You want your net to match the target species and where you’re fishing in terms of net depth, net opening, and handle length. Most fly fishers have multiple nets depending on what they’re fishing for and where.
Releases – Ideally your fishing net will come with a ‘quick release’ which allows you to connect and disconnect the net from your apparel with one hand easily and instantly.
Mesh – Mesh size needs to match what you’re fishing more. More delicate species like trout require fine mesh while sunfish like bass need a bigger mesh.
Warranty – Consider the warranty when purchasing a net. You might be willing to pay more for a high-end net if it comes with a superior warranty.
Best Fly Fishing Nets by Budget
Now that we know the basics on fly fishing nets, let’s look over 10 great nets. For your ease, we’ve split the nets into three budget brackets to match your wants and bottom line.
Best Fly Fishing Nets by Budget
Wakeman Outdoors Fishing Net ($25 – $30)
One of the most affordable options in our best of series, the Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net is a great all around affordable net for the periodic fly fisher. The finish on the wood handle makes it corrosion resistant against saltwater for all climate fishing. At a 14” depth net, don’t expect the Wakeman to be useful for large fish.
Oddspro Fly Fishing Landing Net ($25-$30)
Unsure if you’ll like fly fishing and not looking to sink big money into a net? Consider the Oddspro Fly Fishing Net. At around $25, this is one of the cheapest nets on our list but checks many of the boxes the causal angler needs.
Plusinno Fly Fishing Net ($28.99)
Beginner fly fishers might not know what they’ll catch or how they’ll be fishing which makes the telescoping ability of the Plusinno net a great option. The Plusinno Net is not the strongest or longest lasting on our list by any means but with its versatility and price point the Plusinno provides an excellent start in angling.
Fly Fishing Net Great Deals ($35 – $45)
Mounchain Fly Fishing Net (Out of Stock)
The Mounchain Fly Fishing Net is crafted of solid wood with gorgeous wood laminate and a safe rubber net that disappears when underwater. The Mounchain net is a solid overall net for shore and boat fishing and even looks good hung in your man cave. Mounchain warranties their nets for one year.
SF Fly Fishing Catch and Release Trout Net ($40-50)
The SF Fly Fishing Net is one of our best overall fly fishing nets for anglers on a budget. The transparent rubber net is easy on fish and won’t rot even after years of use. The SF Net is available in teardrop, round head, square head, and can be purchased with a magnetic clip and release for ease of use.
Freestone Outfitters Rubber Mesh Net ($43.99)
The Freestone Outfitters rubber mesh net is constructed from a solid wood design and comes with a magnet release for quick grabs while you have a fish on the line. Freestone will replace any of their nets that break within one year of purchase.
Trademark Innovations Burl Wood Net ($44.99)
The Burl Wood Net and its marble finish by Trademark Innovations is one of the most beautiful nets on our list but also serves its purpose with rubber netting and a large basket for many different types of fish. When you’re not using it for fishing you can hang this beautiful net in your man-cave or she-shed.
High-End Fly Fishing Nets ($65-$240)
Frabill Conservation Series ($65-$85)
The Frabill Conservation series comes with a cam-lock telescoping or reinforced sliding handle so you can keep things compact while travelling or extend the net to reach over problem areas. Micromesh keeps fish safe for a fun day on the water.
Nomad Hand Net ($125.99)
The Nomad series by Fishpond is arguably the most popular name in fishing nets. The Fishpond Nomad comes in many types and shapes and though the Hand Net isn’t the only Nomad you’ll see on our list, it’s one of the best all-around Nomads and nets out there. The Hand Net is intended for shore and wade fishing.
Nomad Boat Net ($239.95)
Nomad’s Mid-Length Net has a bit more reach than the hand Nomad which makes it ideal if you’re fly fishing from a boat. Like the Hand Net, the Boat Net is tough, lightweight, and should last for several years. The most expensive list on our net, the Nomad Boat Net is made for serious anglers.
Pick Your Net and Start Landing Fish
The ideal fly fishing net is lightweight, durable, matches your catch, and fits your budget. Check over the above options and use your best judgement to choose the best possible fly fishing net. With a solidly constructed, lightweight net you’ll be able to haul in the big fish while keeping them safe for the next angler.