Top 5 Best Fishing Nets: A Comprehensive Guide

Maya Brown

July 6, 2023


For every avid fisherman, having the best possible gear is essential for success on the water. Having the best fishing nets by your side when embarking on a trip can make all the difference when it comes to casting for a big catch. So, let’s deep dive into this fundamental piece of tackle, from reviewing the best options available on today’s market to tips and tricks you should know before investing in one of them.

The specific products I’ll be reviewing were manufactured by PLUSINNO, EGO, SF, Frabill, and Wakeman. While all of these fishnets can be a quality addition to your angling setup, each has its advantages and disadvantages, meaning they work better in certain scenarios – it’s all about finding the one that fits your needs and requirements.

What Are Fishing Nets?

Even beginner fishermen know just how much equipment comes into play for this beloved sport – from quality rods to a variety of fish hooks, there are quite a few pieces you need to bring with you, no matter your preferred angling technique or the species you most commonly catch. In that regard, landing nets are just one piece of the puzzle, but they’re just as essential of a tool as any other angling gear.

These fish traps have been used for centuries, providing an efficient means of harvesting fish and supporting the livelihoods of many communities worldwide. This handy piece of equipment consists of a mesh-like structure made of durable materials such as nylon or polyethylene, designed to entangle or entrap fish as they swim through the water. They come in various sizes and types:

  • Gillnets – consist of vertical panels of mesh that are set in the water to entangle fish by their gills,
  • Seine nets – long pieces that are deployed in the water and then pulled together to encircle a specific area,
  • Trawls – large, funnel-shaped nets that are dragged behind a boat at various depths,
  • Cast nets – thrown by hand, allowing them to spread out in the water and trap fish when pulled back,
  • Drift nets – long walls of netting that are left to drift in the water, capturing common saltwater fish that swim into them.

Obviously, the list above is far from exhaustive – there are plenty of other options out there, each suited for specific angling styles and target species. However, I’ll be reviewing the most popular fishnets out there, commonly called landing nets. These are those simple handheld nets with a circular or rectangular frame and netting attached to them – they might not get you entire schools of fish, but they’ll be a prized addition to your angling setup for several reasons.

Why Do You Need One?

Landing fishnets help prevent the loss of a hooked fish during the crucial moment of reeling it in. When your target is close to the boat or shore, using this handy gear ensures a secure method of lifting the fish out of the water, minimizing the risk of it shaking free and escaping. Just make sure you stay within your license requirements and don’t go overboard.

If you’re interested in sustained angling practices, these are the best catch-and-release fishing nets, as they will protect your catch from unnecessary harm or injury. Moreover, they are designed to target specific species or sizes, allowing fishermen to selectively catch their desired targets while minimizing the capture of non-target species or undersized fish, promoting sustainable practices.

Top 5 Best Fishing Nets
The use of this handy tool has become an integral part of the sport and industry

PLUSINNO Offers the Best Folding Fishing Net for a Pretty Affordable Price

If you’re looking for a reliable and versatile angling companion to enhance your experience, you should definitely consider the PLUSINNO Landing Net. Designed with convenience in mind, this handy piece is very easy to transport and store, as well as lightweight, meaning you won’t even notice there’s a new addition to your setup. But once you get out on the water, you’ll definitely notice the change.

Key Features

This fishnet features a strong pole combining carbon fiber and fiberglass, as well as durable nylon material mesh that ensures long-lasting performance and provides a gentle and secure environment for captured fish.

Here are the main specifications of this particular piece of gear:

Pole Construction Carbon fiber and fiberglass mixture
Netting Material Waterproof nylon mesh
Hoop Size 12”-20”
Length 17”-60”
Weight 19.6 oz
Price $35

Pros and Cons

Besides its affordable price, the best part about this fishnet is probably the fact that it’s super packable and convenient to transport, with its extendable handle and foldable hoop. You can also choose from four different options, varying in extended length, hoop size, and net depth. However, it’s important to note that the hoop is smaller in size when compared with other models. So, if you’re planning to target some beasts of the sea, it might not be your top choice.

Customer Reviews

Numerous customers have expressed their satisfaction with this fishnet, praising its quality and convenience at an affordable price point. Some of them have specifically highlighted its suitability for angling in lakes, saying how it’s one of the best kayak fishing nets they’ve ever had.

However, a few not-so-satisfied customers mention that it may struggle to handle extreme conditions or larger fish. But if you like to stick to average-sized catches and moderate environments, it might be your next favorite angling companion.

A man fishing on a shoreline
For your average angler, PLUSINNO can be a great affordable choice

The EGO S1 Slider Fishing Net Is the Best Rubber Fishing Net Overall

If versatility is what you’re looking for, your search can be over with the EGO S1 Slider Fishing Net. Once equipped with the right angling rod and suitable homemade lure, this fishnet will help you handle any possible environment you can imagine.

Key Features

The versatility of this impressive fishnet stems from the fact it comes with a remarkable selection of over 30 different attachments. With a wide array of rubber mesh and nylon nettings, as well as fishnets specifically designed for various species, this handy piece of gear really has you covered.

Here are the main features of the EGO S1 Slider Fishnet:

Pole Construction Aluminum
Netting Material Various rubber and nylon compounds
Hoop Size 14” x 16”
Length 29”-60”
Weight 16 oz
Price $67

Pros and Cons

The biggest advantage of this particular fishnet, when compared to its competitors, is definitely the 30+ attachments that come with the package. However, it’s important to note that most of the options are not ideal for catch and release practices, as the deep netting traps the fish and can potentially cause harm to its scales. But if you’re looking to catch some dinner, this impressive gear will most surely help you in that endeavor.

Customer Reviews

Satisfied customers are amazed at the versatility of this product, as well as the convenient features you get along with it. The option to unscrew the extended pole and use it as a compact net for close-range angling, particularly from kayaks or small boats, has also been well-received, as was the long foam grip that provides comfortable handling. While keeping in mind that it might not be ideal for catch and release, this fishnet quite literally has no negative customer reviews.

A lot of fish in the sea
No matter what you’re targeting, the EGO S1 can handle all

SF Landing Net Is One of the Best Fly Fishing Nets Available on the Market

When it comes to fly fishing, there is plenty of gear and knowledge involved in a successful catch. From the tippet line to the lightweight rod, the perfect setup also entails a high-quality fishnet, and you can’t go wrong with the SF Fly Fishing Landing Net.

Key Features

If you’re a dedicated nymph fisherman or in need of a high-quality catch-and-release fishnet for streams and lakes, this particular product should be one of your top picks. Crafted from bamboo and hardwood, this impressive piece of equipment exudes a classic look and exceptional durability, being able to serve you well for years to come.

Here’s an overview of the most important specifications:

Pole Construction Wood, aluminum, copper
Netting Material Soft rubber mesh
Hoop Size 16.1” x 11”
Length 13.7”-100”
Weight 12.7 ounces
Price $40

Pros and Cons

When it comes to this delicate style of angling, the biggest advantage of this fishnet is its lightweight and easy maneuvering. The magnetic wrist leash is a clever addition that conveniently detaches when reaching for a catch, and it has a great floating design that will help you if you accidentally drop it in water.

While the SF fishnet has a few minor drawbacks, such as limited versatility and a relatively shorter reach, it definitely excels at its intended purpose.

Customer Reviews

While there are a couple of negative comments regarding the limited use of this particular fishnet, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. All in all, if you’re interested in casting some artificial flies into rivers or lakes, this piece will undoubtedly be a reliable partner in landing some catches.

A fishing net against the sky
A good-quality fishnet should be a part of every fly fisherman’s setup

Frabill Folding Landing Net Is a Great Value-For-Money Choice That Has All the Versatility You Need

If you’re looking for the best bass fishing net that can also handle plenty of other angling scenarios and targets, a great value-for-money choice is the Frabill Folding Landing Net. With a rich history dating back to 1938, this brand has established a reputation for producing quality and versatile products.

Key Features

The fishnet is easily foldable and portable, making it convenient to carry, and its quick-extending handle provides added reach whenever needed. The net’s hoop is relatively large, allowing for successful scooping of whatever you’re targeting.

Here are the main features of this fishnet:

Pole Construction Aluminum
Netting Material Micromesh
Hoop Size 22” x 20”
Length 20”-40”
Weight 16 oz
Price $31

Pros and Cons

The portable design and the quick-extending handle are definitely the biggest advantages of this handy fishnet. However, the net material can be flimsy, and the aluminum handle can be prone to bending under the strain of a substantial catch. Despite this, the product remains a good option considering its versatility and price point.

Customer Reviews

The majority of buyers are quite satisfied with the product, regarding it as their essential go-to fishnet. On the other hand, there are some comments raising concerns about the durability and strengths of the fishnet, as well as the material’s tendency to get entangled with fish hooks. But if you carefully think through your intentions with this piece of gear, you’ll be able to figure out if it’s the right choice for you – for such a price, you might be able to overlook certain drawbacks.

A common carp caught in a net
Bass or trout, this fishnet will help you land most aquatic creatures

The Wakeman Fishnet Is Another Affordable Option to Add to Your Setup

The Wakeman 8-Inch Fishing Net is another affordable choice for angling from a boat in a lake or at sea, providing the necessary reach and size for capturing small to medium-sized fish, as well as fish bait.

Key Features

The aluminum handle of this landing fishnet pulls out of the hoop, allowing for convenient storage when not in use. The net’s thermal plastic rubber material reduces tangles and is gentle on fish, prioritizing their well-being.

Here are the main specifications of this product:

Pole Construction Aluminum
Netting Material Rubber mesh
Hoop Size 8” x 10”
Length 24”
Weight 14.4 oz
Price $12

Pros and Cons

The biggest advantage of this fishnet is definitely its affordable price – with the price of around $12, this is the cheapest product on the list. Obviously, that means it comes with some drawbacks, like compromised stability and sturdiness. But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or a good replacement fishnet, you’ll definitely be satisfied.

Customer Reviews

The customer reviews reflect more or less the same notions – while it’s not high quality, this fishnet works great for its intended use. The affordable price point is the most alluring aspect for most fishermen, but it’ll still serve you well while targeting smaller fish.

Man standing and fishing in a river with a net
For your average angling excursions, the Wakeman fishnet is all you need

How to Choose the Best Fishing Nets

Now that I’ve reviewed the top picks, I want to underline the most important aspects you should consider when doing your own research. So, while shopping through options, don’t skip the next crucial factors:

Net Size and Mesh

Size is obviously important, as a larger net allows for capturing a variety of species, while a smaller mesh size prevents fish from getting entangled or escaping. It’s best to strike a balance between the fishnet being large enough to handle your target and a mesh size that’s appropriate for the fish you intend to catch.

Handle Length and Material 

A longer handle provides increased reach, making it easier to land fish from a distance or in challenging environments. Additionally, consider the material of the handle, such as aluminum or fiberglass, to ensure it is durable and lightweight.

Net Material and Design

It’s best to opt for fishnets made from rubber, nylon, or knotless mesh, as they are gentle on fish and reduce the risk of injuring their scales or fins. Look for features like tangle-resistant designs, easy cleaning, and the ability to resist hooks getting caught in the net.

Additional Tips Before Buying the Product

Determining your needs and the specific environments you’ll be angling in will help you immensely in narrowing down your search. Reading customer reviews will also give you valuable insight into the net’s durability, functionality, and potential drawbacks.

Landing a Catch With One of These Fishnets Will Be a Piece of Cake

Fishing can be a rewarding experience once you have the right equipment, and that includes the fishnet as well. From durable and lightweight materials to reinforced frames and netted surfaces, each one offers its own unique advantages and capabilities. So, determine your plans and choose the fishnet that fits your needs best. Maybe you’ll be the one bringing home dinner tonight!