Why Choose a Rubber Bag Landing Net for Fly Fishing?

Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve seen a lot of improvements in fly fishing gear. Most of these changes come from advancing technology. Anglers are shown images of scientists in lab coats and safety glasses testing fly rods and fluorocarbon with computer models and graphs. This is all great stuff, but nothing compares to innovation through common sense. For example, whoever invented the rubber landing net is a genius.

For years, the toughest part of landing a trout was netting and releasing it. Mesh bagged landing nets were the only option and although everyone had the same struggles of tangled fish and snagged flies. Rubber net bags overcome these problems and more.

Conservation–Rubber Nets Protect Fish

The very best reason to buy a rubber net is to protect the fish. Once you see a fish sit calmly in the water inside the rubber net, it is obvious how much more gentle that material is on the trout. We all know that the trout’s skin is lined with a defensive mucus, and once that “slime” is gone it takes a long time to come back, leaving the fish more exposed to parasites and bacteria. The old knotted nylon bags scratched up trout and removed a lot of that mucus. Meanwhile, rubber bagged landing nets give each fish caught a better chance of surviving.

Convenience and Durability–Rubber Nets Last Longer

Most anglers fish with tandem rigs and, once the fish is caught, the other hook is never far away. Even the barbless hooks that most anglers use would get impossibly tangled in the old nylon mesh nets. That problem is long gone with rubber nets. The newer rubber material is also much more durable. You should expect several years of use out of your rubber bag landing net.

What Kind of Rubber Bag Landing Net Should I Get?

*Please note some of these products may no longer be available*
We sell a variety of rubber landing nets at Vail Valley Anglers. My favorites are the Nomad, Brodin, and Fisknat nets. They all come in different sizes and shapes to accommodate the fisherman and the fish caught. From small trout in tiny creeks to steelhead on big wester rivers that require a long handled boat net, there is a landing net that suits every angling style.

Nomad Landing Net for Fly Fishing

If durability and weight is your primary concern, than look no further than Nomad. They are stronger and lighter than most other wooden handled nets and they even float. The Nomad Guide Net is quickly becoming the choice of guides who demand durability. Chances are, if you buy a Nomad, you will not be in the market for a new landing net for a very long time.

Brodin Landing Net

Brodin Landing Nets is a company set on taking care of our planet. They are currently working to phase out the use of exotic woods in their nets. Soon, they will exclusively use plantation grown teak from Costa Rica. These nets will be more durable and economical than many of the other exotic wood choices. They will also restring your current net with their rubber “Ghost” bag.

Fisknat Landing Nets for Fly Fishing

Bob Nelson has been making Fisknat nets by hand by himself in Tacoma, Washington since 2001. Each  Fisknat is unique because it is made to be a piece of art. The lightweight rubber bags come in black or clear. Not only are these nets are truly beautiful, they are extremely rugged and hold to years of abuse.

Need a New Landing Net for Fly Fishing?

As you can see there are clear advantages to owning a landing net with a rubber bag. They are both fish and fishermen friendly and will take a beating for years. Stop by Vail Valley Anglers’ Colorado fly fishing shop and check out our inventory of nets with rubber bags. The experts in the fly shop will help you choose a net based on the type of fly fishing you will be doing. Of course if you’re not in the Vail, CO area, you can always shop our online fly fishing store.

Andy “Otter” Smith, Guide and Content Writer