How to Carry a Fly Fishing Net Like a Pro

As a fly fishing enthusiast, a fly fishing net, also known as a landing net, is an essential item you should remember to carry on your fly fishing expeditions. The net helps you scoop the fish before it can set itself free from the hook at the very last minute. In addition, if you intend to catch and release fish, a landing net also helps you minimize hook-induced injuries on the fish, consequently giving them a higher chance of survival once you release them into the water. In this guide, we highlight a few tips on how to carry a fly fishing net to prevent damage and make the most out of it.

How to Carry a Fly Fishing Net Correctly

Carrying a landing net while you wade through a stream, river, or lake can be a cumbersome and stressful experience if you do not have the right gear. The net can also get stuck on branches as you trudge through thickets and brush to access your favorite fishing spot. Attempting to set the net free exacerbates the problem because it heightens the risk of tearing the net or damaging it. 

There are various ways to carry and manage your fly fishing net on your fishing expedition. The different methods of transporting your landing net give you varying comfort levels when walking around or wading through water. Notably, a suitable carrying option makes it easier for you to access your landing net when you want to retrieve a fish from the line. Besides, most available carrying options are compatible with slings, vests, and packs.

Man fly fishing with his daughter
Man fly fishing with his daughter

You should know that the carrying options for a fly fishing net fall into three distinct categories: holsters, magnets, and retractors. 

1. Using a Net Magnet 

Many contemporary anglers carry their fishing gear in conventional sling-style packs or fishing vests. While these methods are ideal for transporting fly boxes, split shots, leaders, and tippets, they do not accommodate landing nets. Net magnets solve this problem by allowing you to carry your landing net with ease. 

You can attach a net magnet on a ring located at the back of most fishing vests. Also, sling-style packs have various locations to secure a net magnet. A notable advantage of net magnets is that they do not get in your way when casting your net.

Crazy Shark Magnetic Net and SF Magnetic Net are examples of popular net magnet brands you can find in the market. Both models require you to attach your net’s rim to the magnetic clip so that the net’s handle is left dangling. The dangling handle allows to quickly grab the landing net once the fish gets close enough. 

Net magnets are typically suited to carry most landing net brands and come with a type of lanyard to prevent the landing net from drifting away. Nonetheless, net magnets are not without their fair share of drawbacks. The first disadvantage of net magnets is that they can make it challenging to place the landing net on your back after scooping a fish, particularly if you are wearing a fishing vest. Also, net magnets can mistakenly release landing nets quite easily. 

RELATED: Fly Fishing Stocking Stuffer Ideas

2. Net Retractors

You can attach a net retractor to a ring found on most fishing vests. Sling-style packs also have rings where you can easily place your net retractors. An outstanding benefit of net retractors is that they keep your fly fishing net at bay during your fishing expedition. Another advantage of the retractors is that they enable you to secure your landing net once you have retrieved the caught fish from the hook. Net retractors also have a spring-loaded mechanism that returns them to their original position once you draw your landing net. 

The Hammerhead Industries Gear Keeper is a quintessential net retractor that enjoys a favorable rating among consumers because of its wide-ranging features:

  1. The model has a quick connect feature that enables you to connect and disconnect your landing net with relative ease.
  2. The product has a versatile hook strap mount that you can easily attach to a strap, sling-style pack, D-ring, wader strap, bar, or belt.
  3. The gadget’s 12-ounce retraction force allows it to retract back gently every time. 

3. Net Holsters

Net holsters are a fantastic way of carrying your fishing net because, unlike net retractors, they do not require you to use lanyards to attach your landing net to your gear. It is worth noting that net holsters come with tailor-made net holders. Net holsters fall into two distinct categories: aftermarket holsters and packs. You can attach an aftermarket holster to a wading belt. Meanwhile, packs have integrated holsters. 

Net holsters made of tough nylon or thick leather are relatively durable. Moreover, the holster requires clips to attach to your wading belt. A notable advantage of net holsters is that they give you the option of strapping multiple landing nets. Net holsters are also beneficial because they hold your landing net tightly, preventing it from dropping in the water and drifting away. 

The Smith Creek net holster is a highly rated net holster you can find in the market. The product’s high popularity among fly anglers is attributable to multiple factors:

  1. The holster allows you to transport your fly fishing net in a manner that does not impede your fishing activities.
  2. The model enables you to draw your landing net quickly and easily.
  3. The gadget secures your landing net, preventing your landing net from getting entangled on branches.
  4. The model has an adjustable strap that accommodates all types of fly fishing nets, regardless of their size

Key Takeaways

Carrying your fly fishing net without proper gear can make for a cumbersome fly fishing experience. Critical equipment that allows you to transport your landing net falls into three categories: net holsters, net magnets, and net retractors. Net holsters are particularly advantageous because they ensure that your landing gear does not come off with ease. So next time you go fly fishing, remember to use the right equipment to carry your fly fishing net.

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Brian Hopkins

Brian is an outdoor writer and the youngest member of our team, but he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to fishing and different techniques for catching different species. He shares valuable information that the younger generation can relate to. When he is not fishing, you can find him hanging with his friends and gaming on his computer.

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