Kayak fishing is a great way to indulge in a solo fishing trip. You can go anywhere alone and still get a catch. However, to secure that catch, you would need a net. That's where things get a little tricky. Using a boat on a kayak requires balance and control. If you use a net while handling the rod and balancing the boat, the task seems impossible.
Thankfully, there are kayak fishing nets that you can use without compromising performance or stability. This guide brings you complete information you'd need to choose the right net for kayak fishing. Correlatively, it will comprise methods and guidelines to help you shuffle through multiple options. You won't have to worry about getting confused between the brands either.
Additionally, there are some common questions and tips that could help you enhance your kayak fishing experience, especially with the nets. So, let's begin!
Some anglers believe that they don't require nets, and it is easier for them to drop the fish on the kayak. However, that's not the case. It can get very demotivating to lose a hard-earned catch just because you decided not to carry a net. Any expert would tell you that it's better to be prepared, and a kayak fishing net plays a vital role in your catch.
A good kayak fishing net will allow you to quickly secure your rod on the holder and make a catch. You would be able to move the catch onto a kayak and in the storage unit conveniently. It wouldn't sacrifice your balance either. Thus, you ease up the daunting task and make it highly convenient.
Kayak fishing is a type of boat fishing, and almost every boat angler uses nets to reduce the requirement to hoist or pull the fish through the line. There are many instances when a fish would chug the bait and run away or get free from the hook. It happens if you take too long to capture the fish, and almost every angler has been through this failure.
However, if you have a fishing net, you can reduce the requirement to retrieve the fish or hoist it. By extending the net, you can capture it as you bring it to the surface or the correct reach. It would enable you to catch the fish and pull it out efficiently.
There is a high chance for you to hurt yourself while trying to retrieve the fish from the hook. Net reduces the chances of coming in contact with the fish or the hook while the fish is fishing. Many times, a fish would also bite or slit your fingers; while the injury isn't deep, it still means damage. Thus, for your optimum protection, the net could help in increasing safety.
So without wasting any time, let's get down to the essential factors you would need to consider. While this information primarily focuses on kayak fishing nets, you can use it to buy other kinds of nets as well. Before you begin, make sure to understand your fishing style and the purpose of the net. It will ease up your selection process. Let's begin:
The first thing you might want to consider is the type of net you'd like. There are primarily three different types of net. Each net requires specific expertise and different gear. Landing nets are perfect for kayak, but to give you freedom of choice, you will get information on all three types of nets. It would enable you to understand the distinction when you select a kayak fishing net.
Of course, if you practice enough, you can always learn to use different types of nets.
A landing net is the standard choice any angler would make, especially if they use a rod. It is what you should rely upon when you go kayak fishing. A landing net has a standard size, and it is often suitable for one person to use conveniently. Of course, it suits almost every fishing style, which requires rods.
There is a wide range of options available in landing kayak fishing nets. However, If you want to fish without rods, you can try other options.
You could say that these nets are an enlarged version of landing nets. Dip nets don't need you to use fishing rods. The length of the handle and your ability to perceive water will determine your catch. It is a great option if you want to lay the bait down and capture the fish by luring it closer.
You would often notice dip nets in tank or bucket fishing. It is the type of fishing where you have plenty of fish in the water or tank. All you need to do is use your net to capture them. Teardrop shape nets are common, but you will also find other options.
Dip nets could work on the kayak if you can balance yourself while moving the net. However, you have to use it without relying on a rod or other fishing gear. So if you don't want to carry the traditional fishing gear on your kayak, this could work.
These are what any commercial fisherman uses to capture the fishes. A cast net is generally wider and aims to capture more than a single fish. You can lay it down to any depth to make a catch. However, a group of fish is a better choice if you want to be successful in catching fishes by using this net.
These nets would require you to rely on the weights and the attached thread (or string) that you would use to pull and capture the fish. Of course, this wouldn't be the best choice for a kayak fishing net, but you can make it work if you learn to balance yourself on the kayak. In other words, it's the same as dip nets.
The material of your kayak fishing net will determine its durability, longevity, and value for money. Almost every aspect of the net is divided into two segments: The net and the handle. Therefore, you will have to consider the material for both of these options.
Here's a quick guideline on how to get the best kayak fishing net material:
There are different types of mesh options available for kayak fishing nets. You have nylon, rubber, and nylon coated.
A nylon mesh is also known as a nylon coated mesh. It is the lightest of all other options and brings you decent durability. Thus, it won't break easily by tangling in the hook, which is a common problem for most of the nets. More importantly, it is highly waterproof, thanks to the artificial material.
Thus, you won't have to worry about corrosion or a decline in integrity. However, UV rays may still manage to damage it over time, but it still has commendable protection against that. Of course, if you can get a knotless design in addition to nylon, you get a fairly compelling choice.
A knotless design prevents the hook or line from tangling into the net. Thus, it reduces the chance of breakage. Sometimes knotted nets have weak spots, and it breaks over time. A knotless net wouldn't have these problems. This being said, if knotless gets damaged, it will compromise the complete net.
Alternatively, if you're someone who catches fish for sports and releases them, then a rubberized net would be an ideal choice. It wouldn't scrape or damage fish, nor your equipment. Many anglers who fish to practice their skill often use a rubberized net. It doesn't injure the fish, and you can easily release it back into the water.
You already understand the importance of checking the mesh material. However, the overall frame (or handle) of the net makes a significant contribution to the weight. Relatively, weight impacts how efficient it would be for you to control or move the net. Thus, you have to consider the type of material you get for the net's solid frame or handle.
Aluminum is fairly lightweight, durable, and the cheapest option available. However, it can corrode away if it doesn't have a proper coating. Aluminum is one of the weaker options, as well. It is prone to bending more than breaking if you don't have a solid construct.
If you want a long-lasting and highly durable option, a carbon fiber handle would be a great choice. While they cost more, they are virtually immune to the elements and also bring you a more lightweight option.
The wooden handle is a common choice which enables you to catch large fishes. It is cost-effective and something you can buy if you're not a frequent angler. However, it is most exposed to elements like mold, rot, and sunlight. Thus, it won't last long unless you provide it with some form of a coating or covering. It is also weaker than other options, but that could also depend on the quality.
Size of your net impacts the type of fish you can catch and how much physical strength you'd need. It would also determine your portability, aka ease of carrying. There are two aspects in the size of the kayak fishing nets that you have to consider: The size of the net (including the hoop) and the size of the handle. Here's a quick overview:
This factor correlates to the build of your mesh. However, it has more to do with the size factor. If you're hunting for a smaller fish, you can get a hoop of smaller size. For larger fish, you would obviously need a larger hoop. However, for the ease of dropping and catching the fish in the net, it's always better to carry a wider or larger hoop, which makes it easier for you.
The next thing you would have to consider is the size of the hole in your net. Similar to the hoop's size, if you want to catch larger and stronger fishes, it's better to get a net with a larger hole. As a general rule, for anything like a catfish or trout, get holes as bit as one inch.
For smaller fishes, you can get micro-nets for delicate fishing; it would eliminate chances of damaging the fish while securing the catch.
A smaller handle would make it stable for you to use a single hand, while longer handles often require you to use both hands. While you compromise the reach by using a smaller handle, you get better durability. Considering that you are using a kayak for fishing, a smaller handle would be optimum for the task.
Alternatively, telescopic handles often come with a scale or adjustability to lock the net's handle in different sizes. It could be convenient when you want to get heavier fish. You get the versatility to fish however you deem fit.
Apart from the size, the depth of the net would matter, as well. Often, the tear-drop shape would determine the right depth. There's no reason for you to try and get shallow nets. You will end up losing fish more prominently.
A deeper net is always admirable. Something that could accompany the size of the fish you are attempting to catch would be the right choice. It's just a point to remember and depends on personal considerations.
The above-given aspects would enable you to get the right net for you. Given below are some other considerations you can make. Think of these as tips to get the best kayak fishing nets from the market. It adds to your convenience and could bring you better value for money and higher performance. Let's take a look at what these considerations are:
You can detach your rod from the joints and store it away. Similarly, there are nets available in the market that offer you an option to detach or fold them. Of course, a foldable option is better, but there are also telescopic nets. If you choose the right material, a telescopic net can last long for you, but it has a hollow handle, which could pose a problem for larger fish.
A foldable kayak fishing net would be a better choice for portability and durability. In the end, it comes down to your preference and what you have experience with. Sometimes, even rigid nets without folding options could be easy for you to carry if you have the right transportation.
You can use a thread or cord to connect with your fishing net. It will enable you to retrieve it if you drop it in the water. However, you have higher chances of tangling in them. Meanwhile, if you consider the buoyancy feature, it would enable the nets to swim on the surface if you drop them by mistake.
Correlatively, buoyancy would also have to do with the water resistance. If buoyancy is high, you won't be able to use the net underwater efficiently. Therefore, you need to find a balance between buoyancy and the control of the net.
Apart from the material of the net's handle, a grip could play a vital role. There are many non-slip and firm grips you can consider for your net. It's the same as getting the right grip for a rod and other tools. You get better control and higher stability.
Non-slip grip is pivotal, especially since you run the risk of getting your hands wet while capturing the fish. If you use a wooden handle, it's not as essential. However, a rubber grip is always an admirable choice for kayak fishing nets.
It goes without saying, but almost every fishing accessory or anything related to water should have proper waterproofing. A water-resistant material or coating won't do the job. It would only delay the inevitable. However, waterproof coating or material would boost the durability and longevity of your net. It often makes it easier for you to clean and maintain your kayak fishing net. Thus, you get double the benefits of using waterproof nets.
You can neglect this aspect if you're not a saltwater angler. However, if you think that you will get into saltwater sooner or later, you can consider this aspect. An anti-corrosion property would help the net withstand the wear and tear of the water.
The ph of the water, salt, and calcium concentration won't affect it too much. Often, hot water has a higher chance of corroding the net than colder water. If you think you are going to fish in a warmer climate or intense sunlight, it would be better to look for this feature even in freshwater fishing.
Sunlight is one of the worst adversities that could befall almost any material or tool. Many fishing gears, including boats, require anti-UV protection. You can consider the same for your fishing net. Nylon would certainly last longer in the sun. However, it's not a 100% secure protection. Over time, it will wear out. Rubber layers are better against the sun.
A: The process is similar to any other net and requires you to follow through according to the material. A little warm soapy water would do the job of a thorough cleaning. You can wipe the water off and wait for it to dry. There's no need to expose the net to the sun or air dry it, that could compromise the integrity.
If you think there's a chance of rust, mold, and other similar elements, you can use a vinegar and baking soda mix. Apply it to your net and wait for a couple of hours. You might have to use a brush to scrub it off. Alternatively, you can choose chemical or stronger cleaning agents available in the market.
A: Darker colors perform better than bright colors for landing nets. You will see many anglers use black colored nets as they provide a sense of security to the fishes. Thus, it will put up less fight to get in the net. Alternatively, you can look for transparent nets for a dip or cast nets as they need to work as a trap. Sometimes it works well for the landing net as well.
A: Don't keep the net in the water waiting for the fish to catch. That could make the hook or line tangle with the net while the fish is fighting back. It often helps fish get free from the hooks. You need to practice swooping the net in a single stroke to capture the fish.
A: A rubber net costs a little more than other netting options. However, they can last for years to come unless you somehow physically damage the net. It is also easier on the fishes and wouldn't injure it too much for you. If you're an eco-friendly angler who doesn't catch excessive fishes but seeks to practice, it could be a great choice. Rubber nets also have a higher resistance to elements of every type.
That's everything you need to know about kayak fishing nets. Indeed, these are a valuable addition to any angler. As long as you know your style and consider the type of water, you can use these for optimum results. Hopefully, the guide covers all essential aspects and helps you through consideration.
In the end, like any other fishing gear, the quality and longevity of the fishing nets come down to the price you pay. Increase your odds and get better at catching fishes by choosing the right fishing net today!
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