Reviewed by: CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
Over 90 percent of the fish that come aboard my boat are hauled aboard using rubber mesh landing nets, simply because they are about 10 times less prone to tangling with hooks than nets made of other materials. I’ve tried “string” nets, plastic coated nets – both “store-bought” and DIY versions covered with spray-on products like Flex Seal. The coated nets are slightly better than non-coated versions but can’t compete with rubber nets.
Some net manufacturers offer rubber mesh models, some don’t and some of those that do don’t offer them in versions large enough for good-sized Great Lakes salmon and trout or with handle lengths suitable for most trolling boats. That’s why both of the “rubber” nets I use on my boat are hybrids.
I retro-fitted replacement rubber nets from Frabill (model number 3070) onto net frames with suitably-sized handles and adequate hoop sizes made by other manufacturers. The 3070 is Frabill’s largest rubber replacement net, said to fit hoops 23 X 26 inches. One of my hoops is several inches larger, the other slightly smaller than this, but the basket is rubber. It stretches and will work just fine.
When I have fish approaching 20 pounds or larger, I drag out a bigger, string-basket net, but I regularly and easily scoop up fifteen pounders or larger with the 3070 hybrid. The largest fish ever boated with this net was a 26-pound king.
If you can’t find them anywhere else, they can be ordered direct from http://www.frabill.com.