If you plan on catching fish, you're wise to carry a net to make landing your quarry less stressful for all involved. However, traditional fixed-hoop fishing nets are awkward to pack and carry, especially when traveling by bike. Folding nets like this one provide the convenience of a traditional landing net but in a lightweight, compact package. Like most folding nets, this one is carried in a handy pouch that can be attached to your wading belt, waist pack, or any other pack strap. The fine, knotless, fish-friendly mesh is suspended from a loop of stainless spring steel that folds with a simple twist and deploys with a flick of the wrist.
This new offering from Daiwa stands apart in a few key ways. The most noticeable feature is the oval-shaped hoop. Most other folding nets use a circular hoop - in keeping with traditional Japanese net shapes. The teardrop-shaped hoop on this net matches the shape of your fish much better, makes landing easier and supports weight in the net better as it is fastened to opposing sides of the handle. The wooden handle has a comfortable shape with a wide, flattened area at the front that makes it easy to angle the net as needed. A screwed-in loop for a leash or lanyard is fixed to the butt end.
The folding technique takes a little practice and is subtly different with this net as opposed to the round offerings. It is basically a push and a twist. With this net, the push is the critical part. Hold the handle in one hand with your thumb on top. Grab the opposite end of the hoop with your thumb on bottom. Push down with your handle thumb and up with your hoop thump while bringing your hands together. When properly executed, the net will spring into its folded shape with three small loops with very little effort.
We have these in two sizes, Large and Small. The handle is the same 6" size, they differ in the size of the hoop and depth of the net. The small is plenty big enough for fish up to 14" or 16" where the large will easily accommodate the 20-plus-incher you've been chasing all season. Dimensions are as follows:
Large: 15" long, 10" wide, 16" deep
Small: 12" long, 8.5" wide, 8.5" deep