If I had a million dollars I would still approach fly fishing with a low budget mindset. I guess it comes from my fishing roots as a boy: cheap spinning tackle, rubber hip boots (big enough that I would “grow into ’em”), minnows and some Berkley Trilene. We used 6lb test, though — we weren’t savages!
However, I suppose my ownership of a Sage rod and Patagonia waders drives a wedge of hypocrisy right through my opening statement. Some things are worth investing in, I believe, and some deals (like the one I got on the Sage) are just too good to pass up.
I hate the look of brand new, creased waders. I like my old things, and I hold on to gear with rips and tears, cracks and stains and fraying, faded cloth. It reminds me that I fish a lot, and it somehow reminds me to go fish more.
So, I guess everyone draws their own lines in the sand. The same guy who will never drop $500 on a pair of high-end waders may have no problem spending two bills on a custom net.
My own lines are drawn inversely. I won’t spend big money on a net.
Remarkably, this net is into it’s third season — and I fish hard. Here’s how I’ve kept it going.
When the laminated frame pieces start to separate, I use Zap-a-Gap and some fly line backing to strengthen and hold it together. I put a little glue in the crack, wrap some of the backing and tie a simple overhand knot to keep it tight, then coat the backing with more Zap-a Gap. None of the fixes have failed yet, and I continue to add new fixes as the net tries to fall apart.
When the rubber mesh splits apart in places, I employ the same tools for the fix — just a few wraps of backing to hold the mesh together and a dab of glue. I use Zap-a-Gap because it’s waterproof.
Hopefully these simple fixes help some of you out there who draw your fly fishing budget lines parallel to mine.
If your lines differ, and if you love to spend money on beautiful nets, I’d like to suggest an option. For the same price as the high dollar name-brand nets, you can order a custom net from my friend, Chris Pongrac of Out of the Riffle Woodworks. They are stunning.
Find Chris on Instagram: @outoftherifflewoodworks
Find Chris on Etsy: OutOfTheRiffleWood
Gorgeous works of art. Kinda makes me feel silly and ashamed to keep fixing my Made in China fish scooper.
Enjoy the day.
T R O U T B I T T E N