Net Fix

by | Jul 1, 2016 | 0 comments

IMG_1005

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.

I carry a $28 dollar wooden net with a rubber mesh bag.  The bag is deep enough and the hoop is wide enough to land the next namer and maybe even the next thirty-incher. That’s important.

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.

IMG_1010

IMG_1017

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.

IMG_1021

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.

image1

TwoTone

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.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

What Moves a Trout to the Fly?

What Moves a Trout to the Fly?

I recently wrote a short piece about what trout eat, where I argued that a handful of flies will get the job done on a daily basis no matter where you fish. In essence, I think how you fish your handful of flies is usually more important than what those flies are.

But that handful needs some diversity. It needs some attention getters. It needs flies that will move trout to go and eat them . . .

Holding a Trout — Their Heart in Your Hands

Holding a Trout — Their Heart in Your Hands

Fish pictures are the grand compromise of catch and release. An Instagram feed with a full gallery of trout is replacing the stringer of dead fish for bragging rights. And that’s a good thing. They look better alive anyway.

Would a trout be better off if we didn’t take its picture? Sure it would. Moreover, wouldn’t a trout be better off if we didn’t set a hook in its mouth and drag it through the water? Yup. So I think we have to be a little careful how self-righteous we get. Point is, we all draw the line somewhere, and I firmly believe that a quick picture, taken responsibly (I’ll get to that), won’t hurt a trout.

Most of the fishermen I know who’ve spent a great deal of time with their boots in the water have caught on to catch and release. The bare facts stare you in the face pretty quickly if you start keeping your limit on every trip. You soon realize that a good fisherman can thin out a stretch of water in short order, and a group of good fishermen can probably take down an entire watershed.

So we take pictures instead . . .

Trail This — Don’t Trail That

Trail This — Don’t Trail That

Last week, my friend sent the picture of a plump, wild brown trout, including the caption, “He took the Green Weenie off the trailer, just like you said!” And I immediately cringed. I never run the Weenie off a trailer — unless it’s very small, beaded and tied with...

DIY Spool Tenders via Tightline Productions

DIY Spool Tenders via Tightline Productions

  A plastic tube, some elastic braid, and some heat shrink tubing. After a quick trip to the hardware store and a little time with a glue gun, I’ve now resolved a problem that has plagued me since I was ten years old. Thanks, Tim Flagler. Tim’s growing collection...

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Pin It on Pinterest