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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pack light and cover a lot of ground in thick brush while steelhead fishing alone on our coastal streams. I don’t pack a net, and lost a bruiser (pushing 20 lbs) on Tuesday. Can’t imagine I’m alone in my search for the right net. The nets that most of us have are great in boat applications, but are extremely cumbersome when breaking trail and when fighting a fish midstream and alone. I generally play the fish to the shallow, calm water and then hope I get it on the bank before it spits the hook or breaks the line breaks- we’ve all been there.

Curious if any of you have insight to a net that can be carried well when not in use and quickly made accessible when needed. A 36” hoop-net doesn’t fall into this category. What do you guys use? I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Tight lines!
 

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Get hold of Rage here on ifish. He bank fishes the coastal rivers as well and has a pretty sweet setup that I've seen in his videos........
 

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I've been wade-fishing steelhead since Medieval times and have never used a net.
Part of the fishfight is finding a good landing spot. This means backing out, getting to the bank , chasing the fish and then finding that landing spot.
I would use a wading staff long before dragging a steelhead net around with me overland.
And a net can be a liability in shallow water.

I have a fishin' buddy that will not back out and chase.
He fights 'em like he's in an anchored boat.
Weirdest thing to watch, but he does eventually bring them to hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very few places require the use of a net when landing. Not worth the effort of packing one around. There's one hole on the Wilson where a smelt net is handy.
Copy that. I had fast water with steep banks. Before my first cast, I looked around and forecasted future issues with landing a fish … but the stretch of river screamed that they were waiting me. Win some, lose some … on Tuesday I lost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep. You might lose one every now and again, but still not worth the hassle of battling a net if you cover any ground at all imo.
Agreed. So far, I haven’t found one that is worth the hassle, and honestly, I have my doubts that it exists. Figured if such a beast exists, someone here would know. Tight lines my man! 👍🏽
 

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Is a Promar net. Similar to this:
fixed handle length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is a Promar net. Similar to this:
fixed handle length.
I looked at this very net at Bi-Mart this morning. The folding ability looks about right. Nothing with a hinge will stack up with a standard, boat application hoop net … but we already know this. It would not set any records, but it would work. It probably wouldn’t last for more than a season or two, but at $30, that seems like a reasonable expectation.
 

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Been back and forth over the years on net vs. no net for bank fishing. Have one that is good for small to medium fish and hangs from my pack on a magnetic release. I like it because the fish can chill in it in the water while I snap a few pics. I’ve found over the years though that fish will chill just as much if you bring them in the shallows and tail them, and those pictures without the net are even nicer. I think it’s less handling without the net - hand on wrist of tail, take a pic, pop the hook, let them recover face into the current and off they go. No rubbing their slime coat off on the net mesh and in the water 100% of the time.
 
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