What Is The Best Landing Net?


Questions- What is the best landing net?


Mark G ask a question on Facebook:

"Mark G: what brand landing net are you guys using in the episode with the big school of reds in florida bay? "


Hey Mark!  Thanks for the question and for watching the show! 

I titled this response "What is the best landing net?" because I really feel so strongly about the net we were using in Florida Bay on that awesome school of reds. 

As a guides in the Florida Keys and as a professional redfish tournament team, Rich and I have long been on the hunt for things that give us even a 1% advantage in catching fish.  If we find anything that helps, we buy it. 

Some consistent problems that we have encountered over the years are lost fish close to the boat because the hook pulls and fish that don't survive to be released because they have been fought too long. 

I can not tell you how many fish have been lost at the boat, including potential tournament winners. One time we were trying to land a big fish in Louisiana with a cheap, small landing net and missed it over and over.  I decided right then that we needed a much bigger net with a longer handle.  I found plenty of bigger nets and tons with a longer handle, but the problem was where to store them.  Some of the handles would bend like spaghetti with a 20 pound permit in them.  At the time we had to settle for the biggest net we could fit into a hatch on our small skiffs. 


Finally, Frabill came out with the Power Stow nets and our problem was solved.  This net was amazing.  When I first got it, I put my son in it and lifted him up.  Weight was not a problem and the handle extended too.  This was a dream come true.

I am a big believer in landing nets especially for catch and release and tournament fishing when they are allowed.  A big, long handled net can cut the fight time of a large fish like a Permit by 20 minutes, resulting in a much healthier release.  In a Professional Redfish tournament or a Bass Tournament (where allowed), a landing net can be the difference between stressing a fish so much that they struggle for to live in the release well or be as fresh as they were when you hooked them.  Anglers in Redfish Tournaments were penalized 2 pounds if the fish was brought to the scale dead.  In a world where tournaments are routinely won or lost by mere ounces, a 2 pound penalty will drop you out of the top 50.  Once we started using the Frabill Power Stow on the Redfish Tournament trail we never had a dead fish penalty.  

On a daily fishing situations, I routinely use these nets for big Redfish, Cobia, Permit, Jack Crevalles, Snapper, Grouper, and Bonefish.

We have also landed many world records with the Frabill Power Stow nets including fish that are not traditionally landed in nets like barracuda and sharks.  A net is crucial to the success of World Record attempts when fishing with super light tippets like 2 lb.  Without the ability to carry a really big, long handled net, many of these fish would have been impossible to land.

The Power Stow folds and extends allowing anglers to carry a huge net in a small boat expanding the possibilities of light tackle fishing.   Check them out here: http://frabill.com/landing-nets/folding-nets/power-stow-nets/8523.html

-Tom Rowland

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