Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
The last seconds of the battle between angler and fish for any large enough to need to be hauled out of the water with a landing (boating?) net is often the trickiest. It’s tricky when it’s done as a team effort, one person maneuvering the fish, the other wielding the net. Trying to do it solo is usually a dozen times harder.
There are a dozen reasons why this is so and among them is the fact almost all nets come with a hoop and a single handle. Manipulating the hoop with the handle when using two hands is fairly easy, but doing it one handed (while the other hand is holding the rod and the fish stubbornly refusing to play nice) a totally different.
Want to complicate it even more, try it in a kayak, canoe or small, tippy boat. No net design is going to take all the drama and challenge of solo netting out of the activity, but Frabill’s new Bear Claw Net simplifies it to a large degree.
Start off with a double-shafted handle which locks only the netter’s forearm. Now, instead of the net having to be swished one way or the other and then lifted primarily using the muscles in the netter’s wrist, both shoulder muscles and elbow muscles are doing the work. All the wrist and hand has to do is hang-on.
Once the fish is scooped it drops into a basket made from Frabill’s unique conservation netting which has a tight weave and a special coating to reduce damage to a fish’s scales and slime while being somewhat resistant to tangling with treble hooks.
Especially on kayaks, canoes and even in small boats, stow-ability is almost as important as easy of use. The double wide handle is hinged to close so the total package isn’t much larger than the 18-inch diameter of the hoop. This rugged net is available online at http://www.frabill.com and other online sources as well as retail shops.