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Old 02-28-2017, 09:25 AM   #1
Headhunter
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Default Lets talk about salmon nets

There are lots of salmon nets on the market in all shapes, sizes and materials. Geek out with me on salmon nets and help me understand what is a decent net vs a good net?

I currently have a cheap net that must be harsh on the fish, and is a magnet for hooks and lead. I mainly fish springers in the Portland area, some URB, and B10 but see myself doing lots more salmon fishing in my future. I tend to fish solo lots or with a novice crew so if there is such a thing as a forgiving net, that would be nice.

Frabil, Beckman, Promar, are ones I see most often here on ifish. It seems some even mix and match the components of each.

What makes a good net. What features do you like? Net shape, coated or not, net webbing size, hoop size, hoop shape, handle length, collapsible or fixed handle? Do you do any mods to make it better? How do you store it in your sled to protect your investment?

School me on nets please.

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Old 02-28-2017, 09:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

One tip on the cheap nets- you can go to lowes and by spray rubberizer by the tool dip.

A few coats keeps you nets tangle free and easier on the fish.

As to your bigger question, for me it's all about feel. When I find a net that feels right in my hands I buy it.


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Old 02-28-2017, 10:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

6' handle for sleds. Reach is a good thing when you have 7' leaders

Extend handle when you buy it. Bolt or tape it into place.

I am very fond of Beckman product. They went broke, and now someone bought the name and is making them again. But they look different from what I have. Can't say how they are better or worse than the original. Time will tell.

The one we has the big hoop with deep mesh bag. It's great for getting fish into. If you have a fish you are gonna release, I try not to net them. The deep mesh bag is a pita to get fish out of......not best case for those to be released. There is a technique to netting fish with it that you are gonna let go.......don't let go of bag with your left hand (Assuming your right handed and dominant hand is on grip). Makes the bag much shallower, and much easier to get nates out of the bag.

Some folks will argue original mesh or fine mesh. Both have upsides and downsides.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Ff hit all the good talking points.

I learned something new from his modified technique for C&R netting fish with a deep bag when I'm fishing in another boat. Thx!

Regarding meash, regardless of what "folks" say, the fish prefer the soft fine mesh bags like the ProMar.




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Old 02-28-2017, 11:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headhunter View Post
There are lots of salmon nets on the market in all shapes, sizes and materials. Geek out with me on salmon nets and help me understand what is a decent net vs a good net?

I currently have a cheap net that must be harsh on the fish, and is a magnet for hooks and lead. I mainly fish springers in the Portland area, some URB, and B10 but see myself doing lots more salmon fishing in my future. I tend to fish solo lots or with a novice crew so if there is such a thing as a forgiving net, that would be nice.

Frabil, Beckman, Promar, are ones I see most often here on ifish. It seems some even mix and match the components of each.

What makes a good net. What features do you like? Net shape, coated or not, net webbing size, hoop size, hoop shape, handle length, collapsible or fixed handle? Do you do any mods to make it better? How do you store it in your sled to protect your investment?

School me on nets please.
If you like your net's shape and size, keep it and just replace the bag. There is a seller on that 'old auction site' that sells ProMar bags at a really fare price. The 28"-30" 'hook resist' (steelhead size) is $22.99 and the 37"-40" 'hook resist' (big Salmon/Halibut size) is $25.99. They also sell the 'Dura Soft' (uncoated) style bag, but they aren't as durable. The 'Hook Resist' is a coated, small mesh style with flat bottom that we find really nice and will probably last forever. So, if the mechanics of your net are fine and you like the shape and style...save yourself some money. It's an easy 10 minute job to do.
Just a thought. jc
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

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Originally Posted by jcarufo View Post
If you like your net's shape and size, keep it and just replace the bag. There is a seller on that 'old auction site' that sells ProMar bags at a really fare price. The 28"-30" 'hook resist' (steelhead size) is $22.99 and the 37"-40" 'hook resist' (big Salmon/Halibut size) is $25.99. They also sell the 'Dura Soft' (uncoated) style bag, but they aren't as durable. The 'Hook Resist' is a coated, small mesh style with flat bottom that we find really nice and will probably last forever. So, if the mechanics of your net are fine and you like the shape and style...save yourself some money. It's an easy 10 minute job to do.
Just a thought. jc



I have both styles of ProMar bag... HookResist and the DuraSoft. DuraSoft is considerably lighter in the hand.

Here's a pic of relative mesh size between the two...



The bags come in two salmon sizes... large (501) and magnum (500)



The large bag is 30 inches deep at the sides and comfortably accommodates fish up to 20 pounds. The magnum bag has 36 inch sides and can hold any salmon you are likely to catch. My boat has 30 inch sides so the smaller bag is ideal for releasing fish 20# or less. They lay perfectly flat on the surface submerged in a few inches of water while I'm dealing with them. The bigger bag obviously works better for bigger fish.
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

If you like your net, and all it needs is a bag, then go that route. At this time (IMO) there is not clear cut superior product on the market.

For clarity, if you are gonna use the hold the bag technique for releasing fish, it's a rodeo. The fish is about to fall out of the net about half the time. You need a catcher with needle nose/dehooker ready, watch out for hooks. Even then, you have a live king in a small area. Think about branding cattle in a boat. About the same amount of adventure.

It's still better than a to be released fish and dig it out of the bag in the bottom of the boat routine.

If I am fishing on little fish (Silvers in the ocean in particular) I zip tie the bottom of the bag shut. That way you scoop and flop.
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

For you lucky dudes with old school Beckman frames, the ProMar 500 bag fits the biggest magnum Beckman hoop (I think they were called the Columbian) and the 501 bag fits the next size down (what most guys are carrying for a salmon net)

Here's the 501 in action:







And the magnum 500 as well:



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Old 02-28-2017, 01:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

A canon ball lead won't go through the small mesh bags.

I've had my Beckman nets a few years, since before all the specialty bags came out. I was tired of hooks getting caught in the mesh so treated my own bags by soaking them in Polyurethane to bind the fibers which prevented hooks from going through the material. Has worked flawlessly. Nets don't get slimy and stinky either because the net is slick and doesn't take the slime off the fish. Fish teeth don't get stuck either.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

The Promar durasoft 500 is awesome. Not only is it fish friendly but hooks are easy to remove from it. I would highly recommend it for your next bag.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Talk to me about frames for a minute. What makes a good frame?




The one I have was pretty inexpensive so I worry about the components. It collapses for storage, the bag itself is big gage holes that I am sure is harsh on fish and catches plugs, weights and hooks. Notice the sexy zip ties to fix the holes and to keep it attached to the frame. I might just switch out the bag to one of the bags mentioned in a prior response but I am not sure if its worth it.

The hoop is 25" wide x 32" long and the handle is 4ft that when extended is 6.6ft including the hoop. It makes for hard netting when I need to high stick while doing the the thrust solo.

So when folks are talking handle length, is that just the handle or the total length of the net? The frame seems sturdy but the hoops seems narrow especially given I need would rather have a bigger target and longer reach to haul it in.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

I really like my Beckman nets. I like how light they are in the hand yet they are built really well, very strong. The new Beckmans made by P-line appear to be just as good if not better, but time will tell.

If you're fishing out of a larger 20-25' boat like most of us have, you'll want the 6 foot handle (Headhunter, that's handle length only). For hoop size, either the largest they make or the seconds size down. I like the big one, makes it easy to get the fish in the bag.

Speaking of bags, knotless is going to be best for the fish. The smaller the mesh size, also the better for the fish, and will keep lures and sinkers from going through and getting tangled. Coated is also better for the fish and will keep hooks from snagging. My Beckmans all have knotted bags, one coated and one not, so not necessarily ideal. I really like the looks of those ProMar Hook Resist bags above, I may have to get one and try it out.

I like that the original Beckman had a handle that was just standard aluminum tubing. Not sure if the new ones are the same. It makes it each to make a longer net handle for just a few bucks, or to replace it when you leave your net in the holder while driving through the Rainier boat launch parking lot. I wish they'd cut down those damn trees!
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headhunter View Post
Talk to me about frames for a minute. What makes a good frame?




The one I have was pretty inexpensive so I worry about the components. It collapses for storage, the bag itself is big gage holes that I am sure is harsh on fish and catches plugs, weights and hooks. Notice the sexy zip ties to fix the holes and to keep it attached to the frame. I might just switch out the bag to one of the bags mentioned in a prior response but I am not sure if its worth it.

The hoop is 25" wide x 32" long and the handle is 4ft that when extended is 6.6ft including the hoop. It makes for hard netting when I need to high stick while doing the the thrust solo.

So when folks are talking handle length, is that just the handle or the total length of the net? The frame seems sturdy but the hoops seems narrow especially given I need would rather have a bigger target and longer reach to haul it in.

Thoughts?
For less than $25.00, throw a Promar coated 501 on that frame and you'll have a very nice net that would be, at worst, a great second net if you decide at some time in the future you actually need something bigger. If the frame is sound, why throw it away? If you decide you need more length, you could always use a piece of wood dowel as a ferrule and slide another piece of aluminum pipe on in the additional length you want. Might be a less expensive way to determine what you really want/need. Just a thought. jc
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:38 AM   #14
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That old-school knotted large-mesh bag made from stiff coarse nylon is about as bad as nets can get. Really hard on fish.... from de-sliming to de-scaling to splitting fins.... it just flat tears 'em up.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Quote:
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Talk to me about frames for a minute. What makes a good frame?



The one I have was pretty inexpensive so I worry about the components. It collapses for storage, the bag itself is big gage holes that I am sure is harsh on fish and catches plugs, weights and hooks. Notice the sexy zip ties to fix the holes and to keep it attached to the frame. I might just switch out the bag to one of the bags mentioned in a prior response but I am not sure if its worth it.

The hoop is 25" wide x 32" long and the handle is 4ft that when extended is 6.6ft including the hoop. It makes for hard netting when I need to high stick while doing the the thrust solo.

So when folks are talking handle length, is that just the handle or the total length of the net? The frame seems sturdy but the hoops seems narrow especially given I need would rather have a bigger target and longer reach to haul it in.

Thoughts?
Ive found the 25'' wide hoop to be a problem 30'' or more with a knotless bag for me. I do net solo so hoop size might not cause others the trouble I had
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

This really helped fellas, thank you. Trying my best to get schooled up on being a better steward of our resources.

I will take that net off the frame, get a 501 and extend the handle ASAP. It will eventually be a back-up net as I do want a larger more sturdy hoop & longer handle for when I am netting solo.

How do you store your net in transit, while on troll or on the hook? Rocket launcher? Rod holder? I have Browndog in the boat at times and would like it off the deck

FWIW I am working with a 17.5 Alumaweld VS Sled that does double duty as a duckboat and fishing boat. Things tend to get cramped quickly so what is the best way to store your net and keep it out of the way?



PS: The ProMar Hook Resist 501 is ordered and on its way. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

I fish solo 90% of the time. The net I use is a vintage Beckman Tyee, purchased in 1990. Snapped off about a foot and a half coming up the ramp at Kelly's Brighton Marina,(way back when R&R had the place) and added a section of an aluminum handle, length of the handle is 7 feet. The Hoop which is steel, is 32" X 29". It may seem like a really long handle but I lay it from gunwale to gunwale on my 17' Whaler. Bracing it on the gunwale as I slide it out to net my fish. The extended handle is a treat to work with and I rarely loose a fish.
And this isn't a believe it or Knot story.
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

The ProMar net came and is installed. Really nice for sure and way more fish and fishing friendly. Need to extend the handle a foot for so with the dowel and tubing suggestion. Thanks for the help guys.

Eventually I want a net with a bigger hoop and this will be the backup. But will do the trick for the time being.



How are you storing them in your boat so they are out of the way?
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Old 03-06-2017, 12:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

I'm a Beckman net fan, that said I have a net to only use it if i'm going to kill the fish, which is identified before pulling it out of the holder.
If it is unclipped then I use a de-hooker not a friggin net, I don't need a pic of every fish I release.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:04 AM   #20
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Fishermens says on FB that there are being stocked. And, I must add, at a very good price.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:08 AM   #21
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

The 501 promar Hook resist is 30 inch depth and the durasoft is 24 inch depth
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:46 AM   #22
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Love my Frabil 9521.

There's one on my boat and one on the bottom of the Columbia in front of the airport. If you can find it you can have it.

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Old 03-09-2017, 01:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

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Love my Frabil 9521.

There's one on my boat and one on the bottom of the Columbia in front of the airport. If you can find it you can have it.
If you haven't done it already I would suggest popping the end off the handle and filling it full of some of that spray foam! This way if for some reason it ends up in the water atleast it will float!
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:48 PM   #24
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Done and done. Learned my $100 lesson and it only took one class
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:03 PM   #25
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

I'll never put foam in another net, what a mess!!
Next one(hope not) , I'll chop up a pool noodle pack it tight and silicone any end or openings
Ymmv
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:38 PM   #26
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I'll never put foam in another net, what a mess!!
Next one(hope not) , I'll chop up a pool noodle pack it tight and silicone any end or openings
Ymmv
Use packing peanuts, you can stuff a ton in the handle.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:32 PM   #27
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

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I'll never put foam in another net, what a mess!!
Next one(hope not) , I'll chop up a pool noodle pack it tight and silicone any end or openings
Ymmv
Yep! I tried the spray foam once and it was an utter disaster! I need to stuff some pieces of foam in my nets as well.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:47 PM   #28
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Just did this to my new Beckman after reading this post. Thank you for the great suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D4D View Post
I'll never put foam in another net, what a mess!!
Next one(hope not) , I'll chop up a pool noodle pack it tight and silicone any end or openings
Ymmv
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:10 PM   #29
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Just did this to my new Beckman after reading this post. Thank you for the great suggestion.


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Old 03-09-2017, 11:09 PM   #30
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

I have an Frabill net with a hoop size of 32" x 41" with the knotted poly bag that I would like to upgrade to a more fish-friendly bag. Would the promar 37" x 40" bag fit that hoop satisfactorily, or should I consider replacing the net?
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:12 PM   #31
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Headhunter View Post

Frabil, Beckman, Promar, are ones I see most often here on ifish. It seems some even mix and match the components of each.

What makes a good net. What features do you like? Net shape, coated or not, net webbing size, hoop size, hoop shape, handle length, collapsible or fixed handle? Do you do any mods to make it better? How do you store it in your sled to protect your investment?

School me on nets please.
I posted this a few years back

https://www.ifish.net/board/showpost....0&postcount=10
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:41 AM   #32
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Gonna share one of HH's pics to make a point.



Couple folks have noted the overall shallowness of the new Beckman bags. Part of a successful net shot is having enough bag beyond the hoop to "wrap" the fish for secure closure to keep it from jumping out as the net is drawn tight during the axial PULL maneuver. The pic above shows you how much bag is available to wrap the fish. There's just enough there to get the job done, but it requires more precise timing and a very brisk PULL stroke to ensure the fish ends up at the far end of the bag beyond the hoop for a secure "wrap".

As an advocate of the PUSH-PULL netting technique, I'll again emphasize the significance of the all-important DROP on the part of the rod-man to seal the deal! An ill-timed or non-existent drop will prevent the net man from easily closing this bag around the fish.
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:26 PM   #33
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The frabil I like.

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Old 03-11-2017, 02:00 PM   #34
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Nice bag!

Proprietary sleeve/groove to attach it I believe
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:28 PM   #35
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Yep. But you can still put a standard type bag on it if you had one you preferred.
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:57 PM   #36
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

It's best not to use a net if not needed, there is no need to horse a fish to the boat and net it while it going crazing. Use a softer drag and your thumb, coax the fish to the boat and take a peak for the fin before netting. I can count the fish I have lost doing this on one finger, now if furbags are around that is a whole different story.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:08 PM   #37
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

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The frabil I like.

Frabill has sure come a LONG ways in their Conservation Series...

From this HORRIBLE monstrosity....



To this SLEEK beauty...



That OLD design had a ridiculously thick, excessively coarse, HEAVY rubber-coated ropey mesh that was probably 1/4 inch thick! It was an absolute DOG right outta the gate!
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:21 PM   #38
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

You guys better catch some fish after all this hoopla about nets. LOL I'll make the switch next year since I just bought one of those nets with the nasty, abrasive bag/hoop. Once again, a day late and a dollar short.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:34 PM   #39
OCTrollin
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

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Originally Posted by eyeFISH View Post
Frabill has sure come a LONG ways in their Conservation Series...

From this HORRIBLE monstrosity....



To this SLEEK beauty...



That OLD design had a ridiculously thick, excessively coarse, HEAVY rubber-coated ropey mesh that was probably 1/4 inch thick! It was an absolute DOG right outta the gate!
Word. I looked at a bunch of nets. Like, A LOT. I don't think you can buy a better net off the shelf. You can maybe build a better one with the frame and bag you like but from the store the 9521 is it.
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:00 AM   #40
apelily
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeFISH View Post
Frabill has sure come a LONG ways in their Conservation Series...

From this HORRIBLE monstrosity....



To this SLEEK beauty...



That OLD design had a ridiculously thick, excessively coarse, HEAVY rubber-coated ropey mesh that was probably 1/4 inch thick! It was an absolute DOG right outta the gate!
How about not netting a fish if you are going to release it? If you are really concerned about a native fishes welfare don't put it in the net. It is a bit comical this constant holy art thou attitude about your awesome net, it's a bit of a hypocrisy.

And for the record, the new Beckman nets is nothing like the original. Clunky, heavy, unbalanced. The hoop is too shallow and one will have to change netting technique. Fish will also be able to jump out of the net since closing the bag will be difficult without a deep net.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:33 PM   #41
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

As the OP, this thread was not intended to be holy art thou but a newbie to the salmon game asking for help. I just wanted a good net to give us a better chance to land a keeper fish and doing my best to be responsible about it. Since I fish solo most of the time or with my wife and 16 year old daughter who are also newbies I thought I would ask for help.

2 1/2 weeks and 39 posts later we are blessed with your input. Did you pay for this condescending attitude or does it come naturally?

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Originally Posted by apelily View Post
It is a bit comical this constant holy art thou attitude about your awesome net, it's a bit of a hypocrisy.
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Last edited by Headhunter; 03-12-2017 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:31 PM   #42
apelily
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Default Re: Lets talk about salmon nets

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As the OP, this thread was not intended to be holy art thou but a newbie to the salmon game asking for help. I just wanted a good net to give us a better chance to land a keeper fish and doing my best to be responsible about it. Since I fish solo most of the time or with my wife and 16 year old daughter who are also newbies I thought I would ask for help.

2 1/2 weeks and 39 posts later we are blessed with your input. Did you pay for this condescending attitude or does it come naturally?
Sorry didn't mean for you to get so but hurt about my comments. I apologize to the eyeFISH guy also. Like I said, you don't need no fancy net and don't net the fish if it is a fish you aren't going to keep. Just cut the line or use long pliers and be quick about it. A fish thrashing in any net is not a good thing for the fish.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:06 PM   #43
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Apology accepted. Thank you. And thanks for the tip on not netting and getting back to fishing for that keeper.

Last edited by Headhunter; 03-12-2017 at 10:09 PM.
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