Unhooking mat test 2020
The best unhooking mats for fishing in the test
A unhooking mat helps to unhook fish gently without harming the fish. Especially when fishing for carp, for example, it is easier to unhook the fish, measure it and then put it back into the water.
Even if you would like to take a photo of your catch, you can position the fish so gently without having to do this in the landing net or even another surface.
Tested unhooking mats at a glance
Zeck Fishing – Predator Mat
Popular unhooking mats
Important characteristics of a good unhooking mat
One of the most important criteria is certainly the weight. Certainly this is much more important for e.g. predatory fish anglers, as often less tackle is taken and the angler has to be a bit more mobile. In carp fishing, on the other hand, the repertoire of tackles is often much larger, so that the unhooking mat does not have to be constantly packed up and carried from one fishing spot to the next.
Nevertheless, the following applies of course: the easier, the better.
Compactness / size
Another relevant point: The size of the unhooking mat. Here it looks similar to the weight. Of course, the size of the unhooking mat also depends to a large extent on the target fish, as it requires a much larger mat for a capital carp than for a medium-sized zander.
A practical feature is a “built-in” measuring tape, with which the fish can be measured directly on the unhooking mat. The measuring tape is of course not built in directly, but is usually simply printed on the mat. This has the advantage that you do not have to take several pieces of equipment with you and the fish can be inspected much faster and easier on the mat and put back into the water.
Especially with capital fishes the weight is interesting besides the size. However, these cannot simply be placed on a cradle, so a good unhooking mat is essential if you want to know the weight of your catch.
For this purpose the unhooking mat is hung on two handles on a scale and the fish is weighed. If this is relevant for you, you should make sure that you buy a hook-off mat that also functions as a weighing bag.
Material / Processing
As the unhooking mat has a lot of contact with the ground and the fish during use and is constantly wet, the material and processing should be durable. This includes a tear-resistant material, a water-repellent coating and a clean finish, for example on the seams and risers.
Some unhooking mats are also padded, which makes unhooking even gentler. Especially on stony ground, such an unhooking mat is more suitable than a thin unhooking tape measure.
Using the unhooking mat correctly
In principle, a unhooking mat is very easy to use. You put the fish on the mat and that’s it. But wait, there is one important rule: the mat should always be wet. This applies without exception to all unhooking mats, no matter what material they are made of.
If the unhooking mat is used dry, it can very quickly damage the sensitive mucous membrane of the fish and cause a fungal infection, for example. This is also the reason why fish should only be handled wet and never with dry hands.