Don’t make the mistake of thinking a landing net is just a landing net.
Landing nets are an incredibly crucial aspect of any fly fisher’s kit, and there are many options to choose from. Believe it or not, each landing net is designed with a specific use in mind… which means that you need the right product for the particular landing you’ll be doing.
When it comes to landing nets, check the mesh size as well as overall size.
The number one item on ”landing net tips” list is to make sure you check the mesh size required by the species you are fishing, in addition to the overall size of the net. It’s a much overlooked aspect to landing net purchases and can lead to bitter disappointment on the water if you get it wrong.
Let’s take a look at the most common type of landing nets & see what suits you best:
Carp landing nets
Normally consist of a spreader block where you put one arm into the spreader, then place the other arm with tension into the other side. Ideal for larger specimens such as carp and pike, and they break down to a very small size.
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Versatile rubber landing nets
“Fish-friendly” rubber nets are a recent invention – essentially a mesh net coated in latex. The mesh does not absorb water which means you can give it one quick shake and it’ll be dry, without any smell at all in the car or the places you store it.
River specimen landing nets
If you’re fishing for barbel, carp or pike, these large spoon landing nets are superb. The main con is that they won’t fold down, which ensures they are tricky to move around. But the benefits they give you in landing the fish can make them worth the extra hassle.
Soft micromesh landing nets
Mainly used for silver fish, because as they tend to be a lot smaller and lighter, micromesh landing nets are particularly good for roach, bream and tench. The mesh is super fine, which is great for the fish but no good on fast flowing water due to the extra drag created.
Vests, packs & bumbags
From traditional to cutting edge tech… welcome to the world of vests, packs & bumbags.
Long before hi-tech waist, chest, and sling packs loaded with fly fishing specific features came along, the main choice fly fishers had for carrying their gear on the stream was a simple vest. Some anglers still prefer the simple vest, but for the more contemporary fisher today’s technology is a treat!
8 essential things to look for when shopping fly fishing vests, packs & bumbags:
Whether you’ve made the jump from traditional fly fishing vest to the tech-driven tailored made fly fishing packs, there are still some pretty basic things to look for which always apply, no matter what products you are shopping. And don’t forget, different fishing needs different equipment.
~ Waterproof materials & zippers or DWR treatment
~Tool docking stations
~ Lash points, D-rings, or accessory loops for extra gear
~ Straps for lashing down things like rain gear
~ Water bottle pockets or capacity to carry water, food & clothing
~ Dividers, pockets & storage for tippet spool holders, floatant patches & fly patches
~ The right mix of value & durability
Finally, make sure you’ve got enough space to store everything!
Different strokes for different folks: What type of vest, pack or bumbag is right for you?
Waist & Hip Packs For Fly Fishing
Waist packs been popular for a long time with fly fishers, having developed over time from the fanny packs of the good old days. These days, waist packs offer plenty of storage and loads of awesome features that make fly fishing a joy.
Chest Packs For Fly Fishing
The evolution of fly fishing chest packs has its roots in the conventional, compartmentalized metal chest boxes that old-school fly fishers used to wear. It’s a cute history, but they are big, heavy and get in the way of good fishing.
Sling Packs For Fly Fishing
Many contemporary fly fishers these days chose the sling packs for storage and transport. Weight is spread evenly and comfortably, and you won’t get sore after wearing them for long hours or days in a row.
Hybrid Fly Fishing Packs
Remember, fly fishing packs have developed enormously over the last ten years so it’s much easier to tailor your fishing system is easier than it used to be. Hybrid fly fishing vests bridge the gap between old school vests.
Your deep dive into organising the perfect Fly Fishing Vest.
A top-quality fly fishing vest is a massive benefit, whether you’re fishing for an hour or all day. But if you fail to invest the correct amount of time getting your vest set up in the most logical way for the method you fish, you’ll ultimately be spending more time searching for stuff than casting.
The only guide you’ll need to buying the best possible fly fishing vest.
Where to put fly boxes in a Fly Fishing Vest?
Of course different fishers have different preferences when it comes to fly box storage, however a great strategy across the board is to have one “operational” fly box to hold your most used flies – a large accessible pocket.
Use smaller pockets for smaller items.
This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how much time you’ll spend looking for small bits of kit in big pockets if you don’t implement a storage solution. So keep small items in smnall pockets to save huge amounts of time.
What tools go into your Fly Fishing vest?
Retractable leashes (i.e. “zingers”) are essential when it comes to organising your regularly used fly fishing tools in your vest. Your nippers and hemostats are the most zinger-worthy tools, attach them to the dedicated tool tabs!
What’s the best method to store tippets?
When storing spools of tippet to ensure they easily accessible, tippet caddies – also known as tippet tenders – are perfect. These beautifully user friendly tools slide effortlessly through the centre of several tippet spools.
Can your Fly Fishing vest help with lunch?
Many fly-fishing vests have big zipped pockets on the back that are ideal for putting a roll and bottle of water. But if you plan on fishing all day and need space for more food and drink, perhaps think about a hybrid vest.
Experiment until you find what works for you.
The way you organise your fly fishing vest is very personal and there aren’t any “correct” answers to storage solutions. So as a starting point just keep playing with different set-ups until you hit your mark of convenience. More details here.