How to Choose the Best Fly Fishing Net (Plus: Top 8 Reviewed)

Published October 27, 2020

The right fly fishing net makes a big impact on the water, and can be the difference between landing a monster trout… or not. 

There are several benefits from using a landing net, which makes it an essential piece of your fly fishing equipment. This article will go over some of those key features, as well as, detail a list of the best landing nets on the market, and tips on how to choose the perfect net.

In this fishing net guide, we’ll cover

  • Best fly fishing net overall
  • Best fly fishing net for the money
  • Best long handle fishing net
  • Best boat net for fishing
  •  Fishing net accessories 
  • How to choose the right fishing net
  • Much more!

Because our site favors the fly angler all of the nets suggested below have rubber netting, which is easiest on the fish and essential  for catch and release.

Let’s jump in!

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Best Fly Fishing Net Overall (Top Pick)

All products suggested herein are of-course rubber fishing nets

1. Fishpond Nomad Fly Fishing Carbon Fiber 

The Nomad by Fishpond is the best fly fishing net on the market today. It’s made of carbon fiber and fiberglass composite. This net offers the perfect combination of durability with a lightweight design. 

See bullets on the right for a list of some of the features of this FishPond Nomad Fly Fishing Net

The Mid-Length Nomad fly fishing net offers the best overall net for your on the water adventures.

  • Waterproof/Weatherproof design
  • Buoyant
  • Made of Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass composite
  • Provides a RiverKoat finish for better grip when wet
  • Comes with a clear rubber net

Best Fly Fishing Net for the Money

If your budget is a bit tighter, but still looking for incredible value, these three nets are great options.

1. ForEverlast Fly Fishing Landing Net

One of the best choices for those seeking a floating fishing net. This floating net has abandoned the traditional style of oval shaped nets and replaced it with an orange metal frame with circular hood shape.

It’s designed to become your no worries fishing net. Because of its price, lightweight design and hoop share it is def one of the best fly fishing nets for the money.

The ForEverlast Non-Snag floating fishing net even won the 2013 ICAST Best of Show Fishing Accessories category award!

Note: This net comes with a lanyard style adapter on the handle. This modification, compliments of Devin Olsen, would be a perfect fit for helping you to set up this landing net for ease of access on the water.

  • Floating capabilities making it easy to keep track of
  • A larger opening for bigger fish
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to use and transport
  • Rubber netting to ensure fish are safe

2. SF Fly Fishing Landing Net 

The Sunshine offers a great price-point with some spectacular reviews. Made of laminated bamboo and hardwood, not only does the SF Fly Fishing landing net offer great functionality, but also looks amazing. The soft rubber design of the net helps to ensure any fish you catch won’t be injured during the struggle.

The multiple designs of the SF Fly Fishing Landing Net allow you the ability to find the right net to fit your needs. Later on we’ll discuss the differences between net designs

This net comes magnets and a coil retractor. If your fly fishing pack does not have a net sleeve, this is needed to properly set up your landing net on the water and will save you money on purchasing these essential net accessories separately.

  • 16″ x 9″ basket 
  • Comes in 4 different designs
  • Magnetic net release
  • Waterproof coating
  • A soft rubber mesh bag

3. Trademark Innovations Fly Fishing Net

This beautiful, wood net, comes from Burl Wood. It’s a great option for the price—but don’t let the low price fool you, this net is durable and built to last.

While the Trademark Innovations doesn’t have nearly as many reviews as the SF Fly Fishing Landing Net, it still has earned a high rating. 

We love the long handle and slick design of this net! Price combined with functionality make this one of our top picks for “best fly fishing net for the money.” This net is simple, but effective.

If you’re planning to land large trout, the Trademark Innovations Fly Fishing Fish-Safe Net is the perfect choice.

  • 20″ x 10″ basket with a 15″ handle
  • A measuring stick on the handle with marks for 5″ and 10″
  • Rubber net material to protect the fish 
  • Marble wooden finish
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Can handle larger fish over 20 inches

Best Long Handle Fly Fishing Net

Traditional fly fishing nets incorporate a shorter handle, for convenience of carrying, but longer nets have been becoming more popular over recent years. Sometimes it makes more sense to have a longer net, and here are two of the best long handle fly fishing nets on the market today.

1. Orvis Brodin Eco-Clear Guide Net

The Brodin Eco Clear guide net from Orvis offers a very long handle with a durable design. It’s a sturdy yet light net perfect for fly fishing in any type of water, but especially useful when you need some extra length to bring in a fish.

The net features:

  • 49” long
  • Basket 13” X 19”
  • Comes with a clear net bag
  • Made from Teak wood with a durable polyurethane coating
  • Ingrained pearl measuring marks on handle

2. Yamuduo Fly Fishing Landing Net 

The Yamuduo is a beautiful wood net with at an amazing price.  The net is made from hardwood and bamboo with a special waterproof coating to ensure your net doesn’t deteriorate. 

The features of the Yamuduo Fly Fishing Net are bulleted out on the right.

If you’re looking for a solid long handle net, the Yamuduo Fly Fishing Landing Net offers an excellent choice.

  • The complete length of 23.5 inches with an 11-inch width
  • Soft rubber net to minimize damage to fish
  • Made from laminated hardwood and bamboo for a comfortable grip
  • Special coating makes the frame waterproof and abrasion-resistant

Best Boat Net for Fishing

When fly fishing from a boat or raft it’s even more necessary to have a solid fishing net, preferably with a longer handle. Trying to corral a fish to your hand as you’re leaning over a boat is not can be super clunky. You’ll need a long handled net with a larger opening to ensure you can reach, and won’t miss the fish. 

Here are two of the best boat and raft nets for fishing.

1. Fishpond Nomad Fly Fishing Boat Net

We love Fishpond’s Nomad series of nets so much, we had to include their boat net in our list. 

This is the largest net in the Nomad line measuring in at 55″ including basket and handle. The Nomad boat net is made from carbon fiber and fiberglass. The net is designed to float and offers a waterproof coating with UV protection.

Some important features of the Fishpond Nomad Boat Net are listed on the right

  • 55″ total length 16″ x 25″ basket
  • Lightweight and durable carbon fiber and fiberglass material
  • Waterproof coating with UV protection
  •  Clear rubber net to minimize damage to fish

2. Kingfisher Premium Long Handle Fishing Net

The kingfisher long handle net is great for boats, rafts, and kayaks.

This net is made from laminated hardwood and features a clear rubber netting material. It’s also one of the most affordable long handled boat nets on the market today. 

Note: This net comes with a brass swivel on the handle. If you use this with a zinger or net leash often this modification, compliments of Devin Olsen, is suggested at some point if the swivel starts to weaken.

  • Basket measures 13” X 19” with a depth of 13”
  • Handle measures 40.5 inches for an extra long reach
  • Clear rubber mesh net that prevent harm to fish and won’t tangle flies
  • Brass swivel to connect a zinger or net leash

How to Set Up Your Landing Net

Carrying your net isn’t as easy as it might sound. You need it to be accessible to land fish, yet out of the way. 

There are several options for how you can set up your fly fishing landing net. The most common way is to use a coil or retractor and magnetic release. The net will stay secured to your pack through magnets allowing for quick and easy access. 

This style also uses a backup coil that attaches between the net and pack. This ensures you won’t lose your net if the magnets pull lose or you drop the net while landing a fish. 

Devin Olsen details how to set up your landing net with a retractor and magnets in the video below.

Another option is to use a net sleeve. Many sling packs, chest packs, and even vests utilize a net sleeve in their design. These are nice because you can slide the handle into the secure sleeve and avoid any swinging that might occur through a magnetic release or net leash. Although, one disadvantage to this method is, the net can be difficult to remove, especially if your battling a large fish. 

The last option is to use a net leash. This is a piece of cord or fabric that attaches to an eye hole in the handle of the net, which then connects to a zinger or strap on your pack. This option is simple, but can be difficult to remove, and the net may swing around as you’re walking. 

Fly Fishing Net Accessories

We’ve included a few different accessories that are incredibly useful as you’re setting up to hit the water. 

Top fly fishing net accessories include:

Orvis Gear Keeper Net Retractor

With this retractor you’ll have a safe and secure way to carry your net.

  • 42” retractor cord
  • 60 lb. breaking strength 
  • Spectra/Nylon cord
  • Split ring detachable connection

Magnetic Net Release

An affordable way to set up your landing net, this magnetic net release makes it easy to carry and use.

  • Lightweight aluminum material
  • Powerful magnets to keep net attached
  • Coil unravels to 96”

FishPond Confluence Net Release

Another magnetic release, this retractor offers a secure connection, ensuring you won’t lose your net.

  • 8 pound magnetic pull force
  • Rubber strip attaches to net
  • Coil unravels to 96”

FishPond West Bank Wading Belt

If you want a holster for your net, this wading belt is a great option. Besides being able to carry your net this belt features a few straps for attaching other accessories, and has a small compartment for carrying additional gear. 

  • Soft foam material creates a comfortable fit
  • Built-in net holster
  • Belt designed to hold other useful accessories

What To Look For When Choosing Net for Fishing

There are a few important features to look for when choosing your fly fishing net. 

Material (Frame)

Fishpond Nomad Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass Mid-length NetThe material used in nets varies depending on the quality and manufacture and each have pros and cons. The two main types of net frames are either wood or metal composite. Wood nets are great for their traditional and beautiful look.

If you’re in store for a wooden net make sure the wood is made from high quality hardwood and has been treated and sealed to prevent damage from water and sun. Metal nets are great for their durability and lightweight design. These nets usually cost more than wooden nets but won’t damage as easily. 

Material (Netting)

When choosing a net make sure the basket or net bag is made from rubber. Older fly fishing nets consist of black nylon mesh bags that can tangle flies and damage a fish’s exterior slime coat. A fish’s slime coat is designed to help prevent bacteria and infections from forming. Using a rubber net is the least disruptive to their valuable slime coat.

Resource:

Length 

As discussed earlier there are many different landing net sizes, that yield better results depending on the type of fishing you’re doing. Shorter nets are more conducive to smaller rivers and creeks and times when you may be traveling long distances up and down shore.

On the other hand, a longer net is more useful if you’re in a boat or raft. The extra length gives you an advantage when trying to land a fish from a few feet above the water. 

Hoop Shape

ForEverlast Fly Fishing NetThere are several different net shapes from oval, teardrop, elongated oval, and circular. The shape of the net is mostly based on personal preference, but it’s important to find a net shape that feels the most functional, based on the fish you’re targeting. 

Conclusion

Finding a fly fishing net can be a challenge with the multitude of different products. Whatever you choose–for catch and release, make sure you choose a rubber fishing net.

We hope this article has made that process a little easier and are happy to endorse anyone of these nets we recommended. 

Please feel free to leave a comment with what you thought we did well or could improve on. If you haven’t already please sign up for our free email newsletter in our footer below.

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