Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Is there an “easier to get at” way to carry and properly secure a small landing net at my side other than carabiner to carabiner?

A few years ago I was carrying one of those trout style landing nets for some of my bass fishing and it worked ok, indeed the main reason I started to carry a net was because I had lost a couple of good bass right at my hand when I was deep wading specifically. And then as you do and for no specific reason I stopped carrying a landing net and I’m not quite sure why when in fact they make perfect sense for a bunch of different situations……….


So I want to go back to carrying a small landing net sometimes and I am trying to work out the best way to carry it so that it doesn’t drive me mad - which come to think of it is perhaps why I ended up stopping carrying a net! If the net is to hand but also securely out of the way then I can fish away and not worry about it, but if the bloody thing keeps unclipping or whatever and almost trips me up then it drives me mad, as per yesterday when I gave my new landing net carrying system a go and it didn’t work at all. At least I wasn’t troubled by any bass yesterday morning which might have required netting, and I also know that the lads I was fishing with were pissing themselves as I nearly tripped over my sodding landing net about a hundred times!

The actual net is fine (Greys GS Scoop Net, medium size), but it’s how I secure it to myself that isn’t quite working. What I need is the net secured to my left hand side where my HPA lure bag sits - if I hook a bass then I need to be able to unclip (or whatever) the net with my left hand when the fish is ready to be netted. I want to be able to let go of the net if needs be and not have it disappear down the current (bungee cord or something like that), and almost most importantly I don’t want the sodding net to keep coming free when I might jump from rock to rock or wade out in waves or current. I need the net to be secured at my side but I also need to be able to get at it nice and easily. I cannot have a landing net clipped on my back by the way.

I bought that Greys net the other day only because I have used one before and I found the size to be pretty good (it’s had 10lb+ bass in it, you can kinda fold them in), but my old one needed replacing because the actual net material ended up tearing up over time. It’s not ideal having a net at my side, but for the few times I want one with me I can live with it. When I bought that Greys net recently it came with a free magnetic net holder thing that was rated to a 5kg pull, so I wanted to see if that worked - and by the way, if you were to buy this particular Greys net, you need to bear in mind that the actual net has already got a magnetic release system on it. Do yourself a favour and glue it together so that it gives you a place to secure a clip and bungee cord to - as a magnetic release thing it is utterly useless.

Anyway, where I was blanking and tripping over my net yesterday morning doesn’t actually call for a net, but I wanted to carry one to see how my new magnetic release system might work - and it doesn’t. The apparently 5kg magnet feels pretty powerful and I was quite hopeful when I was walking to the fishing spot, but the first gully I jumped and the bloody net came free. I can sort of put the net over my HPA bag but it doesn’t really sit there that well, and as much as I would secure magnet to magnet at my side, the simple fact is that the connection obviously isn’t enough for how I am moving around, and if any water surges past you then the net comes free as well. And yes, I was effing and blinding a little bit yesterday, and especially when I went to move from rock to rock and nearly fell over because my sodding net was around a rock and I hadn’t noticed. Hell, the more I think about it, the more I am realising why I stopped carrying a net with me - but there has to be a way, surely?

I've lost at least three really good bass trying to land them like this, and one in particular still haunts me..............

I've lost at least three really good bass trying to land them like this, and one in particular still haunts me..............

I reckon I’ve got two options here - either I secure the net via stainless steel carabiner to stainless steel carabiner, with a length of bungee cord between clip and clip so I can let it go if needs be (and accept that with one hand it’s going to be slightly trickier to release the net when I actually need it), or else I keep on looking and try to find some ingenious net system that might well exist for my needs. I have seen a few of those specialist Japanese nets out there that clip to the angler’s back, but they are no good for me because for various reasons I don’t want anything on my back, but are any of you here aware of any other landing net systems that I should think about?

I asked around on Facebook and kindly got a lot of information, but most of it was still based around the small trout style landing net and how to better secure it. Do I have to carry a net? Nope, but I sure would like a system that allows me to easily and efficiently carry one for a few specific situations. Any help and ideas would be gratefully received………….