The landing net is the best tool for landing fish in almost all situations. Landingnets are mandatory or at least desired in many waters. Meanwhile there is a multitude of different landing nets for different purposes, whether predatory fish landing net, carp landing net, wading net or very simple all-round landing net. Here you can read up on how to land fish properly, what alternatives there are to landing nets and there are also recommendations for the best landing nets.
Do I always have to have a landing net with me?
This question has a legal background and cannot be answered in the same way for every federal state. In principle, it is compulsory to carry a landing tool / landing aid almost everywhere. Sometimes it is also prescribed that this must be sufficiently large, which in turn brings difficulties with the definition. To avoid trouble with inspectors etc. and to comply with the legislation it is highly recommended to carry a landing net when fishing. After all, it helps a lot when landing big fish, provided it has the right dimensions.
Landing net hygiene
Who remembers all the fish diseases they learned during their fishing exam? Probably very few, but it is important to know that landing nets, rubber boots and waders can transport them from one body of water to another thanks to their large surface area. Therefore it is important to disinfect your landing net properly when changing waters. Especially if certain fish diseases occur in the previous water and unfortunately one must assume that this is the case.
Sometimes other anglers or passers-by smile at you with your landing net that seems to be much too big “There are no such big fish here”. But a large net is more gentle on the fish and also allows an easy and fair landing.
So the rule is to buy a landing net bigger than too small. If the pike just fits into the net, then you have to put it in this position first, which causes stress for the fish and maybe even more for the angler.
Fish landing net
Here is a short video of me on the subject The most important rule in landing is that the fish comes to the landing net and not the other way round. That means never chase the fish with the landing net. In the ideal case you lead the fish with the
rod over the landing net already in the water and then lift the landing net slightly. If you chase the fish with the landing net, the fish may escape unexpectedly, many fish are lost and the line may break if the fish suddenly escapes.
Of course the best thing is not to put the landing net on the fish alone, because with the help of your fishing buddy it makes things easier.
It’s important not to overload the landing net, otherwise it will quickly bend. If you have a heavy fish, the landing net should not be lifted horizontally, but vertically if possible. Then the landing net will also close and the fish cannot simply jump out. Often the hook of the landing net is already loosened.
It’s nice to have a landing net with you when fishing. But it is more important that it is ready when you start fishing. It is not necessarily easy to open and set up the landing net while a good fish is being fished. I can only recommend to have the landing net ready at the beginning of the fishing.
Criteria of a good landing net
The choice of a landing net is not easy here are the most important criteria in my opinion.
- Stability – A landing net should last for a few years;
- Material of the landing net bow – Plays a big role for stability and durability
- Folding mechanism – Is often the weak point of every landing net
- Spaciousness of the net – As already mentioned rather too big than too small
- Transport length – Should be adapted to the transport possibility.
- Length of landing net when extended – When fishing high above the water, the landing net must be extendable for a longer time.
Landingnets with rubber net
Rubberized nets have two big advantages over non-rubberized nets.
- They are easy to wash off and do not absorb odours
- They are gentle on the fish
- Fishing hooks can hardly get caught in the nets and get caught
Once you have caught bream and other slimy fish, you will appreciate point 1 above all. At the latest when the landing net is in the car and the whole car smells of bream, you ask yourself if this is really necessary. Even if the Hegene / Paternoster montage has once got caught in the landing net or the wobbler with the three triplets, the advantages of a rubber landing net are obvious.
At the time of their introduction, these landing nets were still quite expensive, whereas they have now become considerably cheaper. In the meantime they are almost the rule as the exception and, as already mentioned, for good reason.
Current top landing nets
Allround landing nets
Allround landing nets are supposed to be suitable for different fishing situations. For the angler who does not want to commit himself and wants to fish for everything that has fins.
Really strong ?
DAM has been showing innovation again for some years now, which makes me particularly happy about the hammerhead Bärenstark landing net. The name is already an announcement and I smiled at it until I saw the landing net in front of my eyes. The hammerhead folding mechanism is really robust and despite the filigree frame the landing net looks well made all around. The net is rubberized and really deep. The landing net is 80cm wide and 80cm deep at the head. Therefore it is very spacious and offers room for even the most capital carp. The landing net costs about 45€, not cheap, but still a good price-performance ratio. Also other recessions of trade magazines and customer reviews at Amazon are very positive.
Due to the construction the landing net can be folded up small. The landing net is for all those who are looking for a solid all-round landing net. There are four versions of the landing net: a 50×50, 60×60, 70×70 and the 80×80.
Ultra Strong landing net by Cormoran
Another great and stable landing net is available from Cormoran, which I have bought now, it has a similar head as the DAM landing net, but with a nice and stable telescopic rod. The rubber landing net has convinced me so far, it can be extended to 2.8 m and holds even big fish with its roomy net. So far it is one of the best all-round landing nets I have ever had and my test winner. View Cormoran Ultra Strong at Amazon >>
Cheap allround landing net
On the one hand Balzer has some cheap landing nets on offer of which I have a previous version which is actually quite ok. But unfortunately 20€ landing nets don’t last very long when handled carefully – 2-3 years with me as a permanent angler and then even less.
Actually I could spare myself to list more allround landing nets here but not everybody likes to spend 30€ + on one. For the occasional angler Decathlon offers some more cheap landing nets from 15€, which are quite good. Cheap private brands make it possible.
Wading nets not only cut a good figure when wading, but the
short style also makes handling on a belly boat very easy I will also soon post a Guide Do it yourself manual for a do-it-yourself landing net on the site. But to build a landing net yourself takes time. Wading nets are mainly designed for fly and spin fishermen and the trout angler, e.g. sea trout fishing is the best landing opportunity. Nevertheless I like to have one with me when I’m spinning, if I don’t have to carry a lot of luggage around the lake. Practical is that many of them also have a clip with a line to clip the landing net to the backpack. Usually landing nets are not telescopic, or foldable.
Overview of the landing nets
The beginner’s landing net
The never Hook, never Smell landing net from Balzer has a rubberized net and also comes with a practical clip. The shape is ideal for salmonids. With a total length of 65cm the landing net is still handy. Unfortunately, the size of landing nets is always a compromise, a 60+ trout can no longer be optimally landed with the landing net.
Personally I don’t like the workmanship of the net around the bow! Nevertheless, the landing net is not recommendable for 20€ thanks to the stable aluminium frame and solid workmanship. The reviews on Amazon are also very positive and a friend of mine has been using it for several years and is completely satisfied.
The Savage Gear landing net is really good. The Savage Gear Pro Finezze Rubbermesh comes with a rubber mesh and thoughtful design. I really like the reinforced mesh on the landing net frame. Unfortunately with a length of 50cm it is a bit smaller than the Balz landing net. But the deep net makes up for that and of course there is a string with clip included.
That the landing net floats is another bonus, so you can let it float in the water when waddling. This way you don’t really have to drag it around in the water anymore. Of course you have to clip the landing net somewhere before.
Spacious and well thought out
The Scierra landing net is two price categories above the already mentioned landing nets. The landing net is available in different versions, the one presented is the largest and most expensive. It is much roomier than the previous two models and comes with a high quality EVA handle, which looks and feels great. In addition, even the most capital trout can be caught with a 60cm long and 75cm deep net. It goes without saying that the landing net floats.
The only drawback is the 95cm total length. Since the landing net is not foldable or telescopic, this is also the transport length. So it is not so handy anymore. That is the price for the roominess. The landing net is also not rubberized but has a special net, which should be dry with “shake once”.
Raubfischkescher are mainly intended for pike and zander anglers. They are characterized by robustness and strong landing net frames and size. The nets are usually also somewhat more coarse meshed than the carp landing nets. Of course you can also use a proper predatory landing net as an all-round landing net.
Solid predatory fish landing net
The predatory fish specialist Fox Rage has produced an extremely solid landing net for predatory fishing. The Fox Rage Speedflow Compact Landing Net has a beautiful design and looks very stable, although it is pleasantly light in the hand. A rubberised net is also a matter of course. The frame size is 60x60cm, with the deep net this is already enough for a decent pike. It can be telescoped to a total length of over 2 meters and the landing net head can be easily removed at the push of a button. When folded up, the transport length is one metre when the net is taken off, acceptable for everyone with a car. But the next landing net can be extended a little further. It should also be mentioned that the landing net is also available as a large model for the big pike hunter.
The mobile landing net
For spin fishermen who need a bigger net or for all those who like streefishing the Spro Freestyle Net Stik landing net is worth a look. It can be extended to a length of over 3m, which makes sense even with high stone packs or if you have trouble getting to the water when streefishing. The big advantage is that you can simply hang the landing net over your shoulder as there is a pre-mounted harness, but it can also be removed. Another special feature is the spoon shape of the bow, which should make landing nets easier. Unfortunately Spro can afford all this and the landing net is not very cheap. This landing net also has a rubberized net.
A much cheaper landing net for predators is the Savage Gear Pro Folding Rubber. The name already includes the two most important features, it is foldable but with a new mechanism (see below) and it has a rubberized net. I especially like the extra thick seams in the net because they give the net extra stability. The landing net frame is also very brawny and has a lot to offer. This landing net is also available in different versions.
Big Fishing Net / Carp Net
As already mentioned, big landing nets are very popular. Soft and gentle nets are especially useful for carp, as the fish are usually released. A large landing net is also an advantage when the carp are sitting at night. Due to the enormous frame size it has become common practice that these landing nets can be plugged together. When you are fishing for carp you usually have all the time in the world to assemble your other tackle while waiting for the desired run. So it is more important that the landing net has acceptable transport dimensions. Because when you sit on the landing net for several days you have to carry a lot of luggage.
Mosella Pro Carp 2
The Mosella Pro Carp II is in the lower price segment of the big carp landing nets. With this landing net the specialist for fishes offers a good carp net for a fair price. For the transport the net can be disassembled into three parts and then comes to a packing size of about one meter. The rod can be extended to 1.8m, which is quite sufficient for the carp angler. The net is 1m deep! This makes the landing net very roomy and even a large carp will fit into it without any problems. The net is non-rubberized, but thanks to the narrow mesh size it is unlikely that the fins of a carp will get caught in it, but this also happens with rubberized ones.
Wehrmutstropfen is then unfortunately the somewhat choppy assembly and also the rod is not the most stable. But with correct handling this is no problem. For a little money the landing net is still very good for the price, because identical landing nets are also sold for 50€.
Yaris Sports Trend MKII Black – Price performance landing net
Somewhat smaller than the Pro Carp 2 is the landing net from Yaris Sports. An absolute price-cracker, which can be set up and taken down very easily. The landing net rod consists of two parts and the landing net poles can also be removed and simply inserted. It is not quite as spacious as the Mosella landing net but still big enough. The poles are made of carbon fibre and can be plugged together like a stick rod. It can also be used as an all-round landing net for the raised hide angler and is worth a recommendation. For the low price you will hardly find a better carp landing net.
Fox Torque landing net
The Fox Torque is a carp landing net with no complaints. The landing net is well thought out, is very easy to put on and take off and looks noble. The poles of this landing net are also made of carbon fibre, which makes it a bit easier to transport. The very fine meshes of the green net make it gentle to fish but here too I miss a rubber coating.
With a price around 100€ the landing net is of course more for professionals, even if you can spend much more for carp landing nets. It is definitely worth a recommendation. There is nothing negative about the landing net in the net, although it is almost 2 years on the market. The landing net is available in different sizes.
Special case of the sheet piling landing net
The sheet piling landing net is a landing net attached to a line to land fish on sheet piling or similar. Also for bridges or steeply sloping banks, such a landing net is usually the only landing possibility for larger fish. Therefore the landing net should be wide enough and you should not use a model that is too small.
A very practical, because small foldable model from the Freestyle series has Spro in the offer especially cheap, but unfortunately it is not, but the net is also rubberized. But the models are similar in general. Also Coromoran has a very good sheet piling net for much less money in the offer see link.
The landing net is not what it used to be and in a positive sense. The old bad folding mechanisms are less and less visible and the rubber nets have revolutionized the landing net market. Meanwhile you can recommend almost every landing net over 35€ even if you have to look what kind of landing net and what length and transport length you need.
The landing net alternatives to the landing net
You don’t necessarily need a landing net, because there are also some alternatives to it.
Landing the fish over the rod
This is only recommended to a limited extent and many rods have been broken. Of course I can lift any roach out of the water with my carp rod, but for larger fish I would refrain from doing so.
Manual landing is the cheapest alternative but certainly the most difficult to do. It is not easy to grab the slippery fish and the risk of losing the fish is great. This landing method is common for salmon and other larger salmonids. The tail root grip is mostly used.
Also catfish are usually landed by hand. A landing glove is then recommended. The teeth of the catfish are not very long and sharp, but rough, like sandpaper and if the fish shakes a little bit during the hand landing, the hand is still bloody.
Gill cover handle
A form of hand landing especially practiced with pike. The pike is grasped from above behind the gill cover. I would not recommend this landing to a beginner. If you miss the landing or the fish fidgets you can easily injure yourself or the fish. Pike have gullet teeth and also many professionals injure themselves regularly with this landing form.
Note: Do not reach into the gills of the fish, because that would seriously injure the fish.
Stranding fish is not necessarily considered to be fair (opinions can be divided). As the name suggests, this method works best on a sand or pebble beach. The fish is simply pulled to the shore. At the sea or big lakes waves can be helpful. The mucous membrane of the fish can be damaged. Fish that you want to release I personally would not land that way.
Bogagrips – Lipgrip
Lipgrips are small and handy – an alternative to the landing net? With them you can grab the lip of the fish and land them like this. They are especially popular with black bass and perch anglers, because these fish species are easy to handle. Not every kind of fish can be landed with them, almost every kind of carp is difficult and we don’t need to talk about eels ;).
I have had mixed experiences and find the handling not necessarily easy. If you try to grab the fish, the fish usually panic. Please do not take a cheap one either! I had a cheap model myself and it cost me really great fish.
The premium brand of a Lipgrip is the Boga-Grip but unfortunately they are quite expensive. There is the model from Spro, the Lip Gripper already more affordable.
A gaff is a sharp hook on a fixed or telescopic rod. The hook is “carved” into the fish’s body. Gaffs are particularly common when sea fishing from a boat for hailbutt or tuna. Releasing gaffed fish is alarming.
A heavy gun for heavy fish. It is mainly used for large marine predators such as halibut. The fish is of course seriously injured by the method and cannot be released.