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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While waiting for the ice to melt I am looking at new/upgraded gear for this year.

I fish both from a pontoon boat and from shore at places like Henry Hudson Park that has a lot of obstacles to overcome in landing a fish. Not really like pier fishing but also no shore to land on. Can't exactly just walk back up the beach to land a fish!

I have been using my trusty "Pike" nets that I have used on the St. Lawrence for years, big hoops, regular mesh and about 36" handles. Way too short for HH.

I am akso trying to up the chances for the fish I release so I am going to circle hooks and looking at the newer nets with the knotless and or rubber mesh with the flattened bottom for support of the fish

I have been looking at the Frabill Conservation series telescoping handle nets with net openings in the 24 x 30" range. They have one with a 36 to 72" handle and one with a 72 to 144" handle. Fairly expensive but they seem to be highly rated.

Bass Pro has the much less expensive Gold series, Netcraft has several and there are others out there.

Anyone have recommendations for a type or brand they like and have had success with? What opening size are folks generally using?
 

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Those rubber nets are different than you are used to. There is a lot more drag in the water. You may not like it.
+1 Those rubberized nets are MUCH heavier than regular nets. My new net I ordered from Bass Pro will be here tomorrow. It's a Frabil Conservation Series with a 23"x30" hoop and a handle that extends to eight feet. I'll post pics of it so you can see it and judge for yourself if it's something that you would want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Had a chance to handle a few nets at Bass Pro over the weekend.

After handling some long extension nets I decided that I probably simply couldn't comfortably manage anything longer than 6-7', especially with a decent fish in it!

While there I picked up a Bass Pro Gold Series 34-67" handle, 22-26" hoop with knotless "conservation" netting and flat bottom for $36.00. That one will probably become my new general boat net. It is very light and the extension mechanism seems quick and positive. For the price I thought this was a good buy.

For the shore I decided to try a Frabill Hiber-Net collapsible with knotless net and 72" handle. I found this on clearance at Mills Fleet Farm (internet) for $50.00 + $16.00 shipping (long item). They usually go for $99-$130 + shipping.

I have had really good luck/service with all of my Frabill Ice fishing gear and it will be interesting to see how the Frabill net performs (read "holds up") should I be lucky enough to hook up with a decent fish or two. The front of the Y shaped net is a flexible material attached to the metal side arms with tiny Allen set screws. I assume that's for making the net replaceable.

What appear to be rivets and plastic or nylon washers at the hinge in the throat seem like they might be a weak point.

It will however make getting from truck to shore simpler in some of the less accessible areas along the Hudson since when collapsed they are just a long fat aluminum tube and it fits in the bag I use to haul my long rods around. No more snagging on brush and trees. But it is also fairly heavy, weighing in at about 4 pounds.

It will be interesting to hear how our different choices fair when they go into use. Soon, I hope.
 

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Well ,as promised here's my new net:



The handle is 53" but the handle also extends to make the net eight feet long. The hoop is nice and open and 30" deep. The net itself is rubberized with holes that are approximately 3/4" wide. I can see why they call this their "Conservation Series." The net is very smooth and slick- definitely will protect the fish from harm. As for the weight of the net, I'd say it's around 4 1/2 pounds- not too heavy at all. I think that although the net IS rubberized, since it's only coated and not solid rubber netting, it saved ALOT of weight. Here's a close-up of the net itself:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That netting is definitely different than what I think of as the rubber nets. It looks about half as thick. Less weight and less drag in the water.

The other big difference I see between this and the Gold Series extenders is that if I am correct the extension on the Frabill pulls out from the end of the handle, allowing stowage of the un-extended handle across the hoop as you show in your picture. The Gold Series nets are exactly opposite, extending via a twist collar from the area of the yoke making this impossible. You can pop the handle completely off but because of the locking ring it will not slide thru. Not very good engineering in my opinion.

Now if we can only get on the water! The only flowing water I've seen lately is the water main break at the end of my driveway. The are digging it up Monday!
 
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