Reviewed by: CAPTAIN MIKE SCHOONVELD
Fishing nets are one of the most underrated and overlooked pieces of gear in an angler’s arsenal. A net can make or break a day and be the difference between winning and losing a big tournament. Frabill’s new line of Trophy Haul nets, help anglers get the job done, get the fish in the net, get both fish and net into the boat and then get the fish and lure out of the net.
Frabill’s new advanced series of nets come in three variants, the Standard Trophy Haul, the Power Extend, and the Bear Claw. Constructed from anodized stainless steel each variation is built tough and made to withstand use in both fresh and saltwater. I had the chance to try out the Power Extend model with the large-enough-for-Great Lakes 24″ X 27″ hoop size.
More and more Great Lakers are heading out in smaller version, trailerable boats. Net size matters when your boat has limited space for people and gear. One way these guys cope is by having a net with an extendable handle. Shrink it down to a few feet in length when not in use, slide the handle out to full length when needed.
If you can do it. Most have a little round button to push which often requires a tool of some sort to push far enough to allow the telescoping action to work. The worst ones have a round handle and trying to line up the hole in which the little buttons have to nestle is nearly impossible.
Power Extend means just that. Push a button (a man-sized, no-tool-needed button) and the spring loaded handle extends to full length from three to six feet. That’s long enough to get the net way back there to scoop out the biggest laker, salmon or walleye.
If that’s the fish you just scooped, perhaps you need two hands to lift it up over the transom and inside the boat. If so, you’ll appreciate the yoke handle built into the rear of the hoop which gives a convenient grab-with-both-hands gripping spot to hoist the beast up and over rod holders, ‘riggers or across the outboard motor.
Conventional net baskets are simply a long round bag made of string or rubber. Millions of fish have been scooped with these so why change? Because thousands of fish have made last second escapes when the deep net, trailing behind the rim of the net grabbed a hook and pulled it free before the fish was over the rim. The Frabill net isn’t just a deep round bag.
It’s made of Frabill’s patented conservation netting, as much a rubberized fabric as netting material. It’s designed to minimize the amount of slime removal and scratching of the fish’s skin a knotted net can inflict – very important if the fish is destined to be released. More important for Great Lakers is the shape of the bag, while deep, is only deep at the rear of the basket so when the net-weilder is reaching out for the fish, the bag isn’t trailing out past the rear hoop. The rubberized fabric makes hook removal from the net an easy chore, as well.
The net is widely available at retail and online merchandisers or check out: http://www.frabill.com.