Best cast nets
Fishing may have started as a means of sustenance, but nowadays people do it more for sport. Of course, some people still make a living out of this activity, but I think that as a hobby, fishing is quite pleasant. Not to mention that you can get a delicious meal afterward. While there are plenty of ways to fish, depending on what you want to catch, you can use various techniques. One of them is net throwing, which is why people like to invest in the best cast nets.
A cast net is a simple circular net equipped with small weights around it. It is thrown into the water by hand so that it spreads and sinks. It is very easy to use, and after some practice, you will get the hang of it. Of course, you will have an easier time if you already know how to use one. The fish are caught when you pull the net back (also called haul,) and even if you can catch some medium fish with the net, it is mostly used for small bait or forage fish.
The advantages of using a cast net
Net fishing presents many benefits, from dealing with the scrapes of gutted fish to maximizing your efforts in the water. This technique has been around for thousands of years, with a few differences, of course, but the advancement of this fishing method has improved over the years. That is why some people actually prefer it.
- You can go bank fishing – one of the most preferred pros of cast nets is that you can do some bank fishing. That is where you can catch small fish (crappies and catfish usually.) And since net fishing requires a high degree of visibility, as you can imagine, bank fishing provides precisely that. Also, being so close to the shore will allow you to monitor the net closely. However, make sure that you lower the net easily into the water so that you do not scare the fish. Once the fish are close to the net, all you need to do is gently haul the net and bring it to shore. Simple, right?
- You do not need expensive bait – if you have been fishing for a while, then you must know how expensive bait can be. Well, that does not apply to net throwing. You can use scraps from gutted fish or whatever you have around the house. Small fish are not usually bright, and they will come to virtually anything.
- You will have a catch shortly – one of the greatest advantages of net fishing is the quantity. Yes, I know that it is not all about the amount, but when you are a commercial fisher, you do not have time to waste. You need to catch some fish, and you need it as fast as possible. But even some people who like to fish for their meals use cast nets. It is simple, it does not require much time, and you will have a considerable catch.
- Commercial uses – even though I mentioned this above, commercial fishers do not fish using fishing rods. Can you imagine how much it would take to fill the freezers with a rod? That is why they buy large cast nets that help them catch as much fish as possible at once. Some models can be used 300 feet below, which means that there is a lot of fish to fall for the bait.
How to choose the best cast net?
If you are an experienced fisher, then you should know the following information. But if you are a beginner, then you should know that not all cast nets are the same. Apart from the existence of several brands and models, you need to consider a few other things to ensure that you purchase the best cast net for you. Here is what you need to look for:
- The size of the mesh – it goes without saying that the smaller the mesh, the smaller the bait you will be able to catch. With that in mind, why just not buy a small mesh and use it for everything you want to catch, right? Not really. The difference between a ¼-inch mesh and a 1-inch mesh is the sinking speed. As you can imagine, the former will sink a lot slower than the latter. For example, let’s say that you want to catch mullet with a minnow net. The result? The mullets will be long gone until the net reaches them. If you want to know which one is good for which, take a look at the listing below.
3/16-inch sq. mesh – very small fish (glass minnow)
¼-inch sq. mesh – small bait fish (minnows, mud minnows, river shiners, pilchards, etc.)
3/8-inch sq. mesh – regular sized fish (the ½-inch and the 5/8-inch sq. mesh nets are for approximately the same size of fish)
1-inch sq. mesh – everything above one square inch is suitable for large bait fish.
- Weight – the next thing you need to concern yourself about is the weight of the cast net. Naturally, you want a net that sinks fast so that you can catch as much fish in a single throw. That is why every high-quality cast net will have somewhere around 1.5 pounds of lead per radius foot. As you may well know, lead is a heavy metal and will help the net go down pretty fast. However, if you plan on fishing in shallow waters, much weight is not necessary. Not only that the distance to the bottom is short, but it is easier to handle. If you are a beginner, a heavy cast net is not recommended. You need to develop a skill before upgrading to a heavier net. A lightweight cast net is easier on the body. Usually, the specification on the package will only tell the weight per foot. To learn the whole weight of the net, take that number times the radius of the net. The webbing will have about two or three pounds, so do not forget to add that.
At the end of the day, you need to purchase the cast net that will make you feel the most comfortable. Think about the size and the weight, but do not forget about the surface area as well. That, of course, depends on your ability to throw the net and what you are fishing for. Just make sure that you are comfortable with your purchase.
What are the best cast nets?
Choosing the best cast net comes easy for people who know what they are doing, but if you are a beginner, you may get lost in the vast sea of internet offers. That is why I looked and picked three model for you. They have an affordable price, they are of high quality, and you should have a relatively easy time getting the hang of them. With that being said, here are my suggestions.
Betts Old Salt Premium Cast Net for Bait Fish with Utility Box
The cast net from Betts is ideal for beginners. That is because it is not heavy and will give you the opportunity to learn how to cast the net. It weighs one pound per foot and measures 6 feet. As for the 3/8-inch square mesh, this model is recommended for regular sized bait fish like greenbacks, thread herring, pinfish, shad, threadfins, shinners, silversides, and much more. One of the advantages of this cast net is that it can be used on most occasions, so one net is enough for you. For the time being, of course.
The webbing is very well done, which is why it can take the abuse of a beginner. It also comes with a utility box that contains store hooks, lures, and other supplies. You will also receive a set of instructions that will teach you how to catch bait. It comes in handy if you are just learning to throw the net.
Overall, this is great for people who are just getting the hang of throwing the net in the water. It is not too heavy, but heavy enough to sink relatively fast. Handling is easy, although it may take some time to learn how to open it. The point is that the reviews are above average, and the price is not too high either. A 4-feet cast net is also available for this model. I am sure you will like the Betts cast net.
JSHANMEI Handmade American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net
The net from JSHANMEI is somewhat superior to the previous model. Just as the title suggests, this is handmade, which is why the price is a little bit higher as well. The cost also depends on the size you choose. The sizes vary from 5 feet to 10 feet, so you should go with the one that is the most convenient to use.
The mesh is made of high-quality copolymer monofilament. It measures 3/8 inches, which makes it ideal for most bait species. The mesh is 0.28 mm thick, and the 26-feet long nylon braided handline is secured with high strength copper swivel. That makes it resilient to any kind of abuse, and as a beginner, you will be happy with it. Of course, this model is suitable for more advanced users as well.
As for the weight, the border is taped with one pound of weight per square radius. The weights are made of lead. That means two things: the net will sink quickly, and the tight bottom will keep the bait inside and not allowing it to escape. You will have an easy time catching bait, and getting used to it will not take very long. The quality of the craftsmanship and the superior materials make the JSHANMEI cast net one of the best. The net comes with a plastic bucket for easy storage.
Goture American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net
Last but not least, the Goture model is yet another model that I think you will be interested in. You can choose from multiple sizes (from 4 feet to 12 feet), but the mesh has the same size for all, and that is 3/8 inches. That makes it ideal for most bait fish you may want to catch. As for thickness, the mesh is 0.3 mm. The hand line is made of floating braided poly and measures 32 feet (for the 6-feet model,) and is secured with a commercial grade 2-inch anodized swivel.
The Goture model can also be used in deep water or current. The border is taped with one pound of lead per radius foot, which will make the net go down relatively fast. The closure is reliable and secure, which means that the fish will not escape and the retrieval will be a piece of cake.
The package includes a throwing aid belt and illustrated instructions. If you are a beginner, this model is ideal for you. Just like with any other model, you may have a hard time getting used to, but once you do, fishing will be fun and easy.
All three models come with satisfactory features, and the prices are affordable. However, if I had to choose one, I would go with the JSHANMEI Handmade American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net. Reading cast net reviews online, this model comes up quite often, which in my opinion makes it one of the best cast nets you can find. It is my belief that people who have already bought a particular product are the most qualified to say if it is worth the investment or not.
Fishing can be very enjoyable. It is relaxing, you can spend some quality time with your family or friends, and you get to eat fresh fish at the end of the session. However, fishing can be more fun with the right tools. The best cast net will ensure that. Whichever model you choose from above, you will have an excellent time, and you will not regret your purchase. Click here to buy on Amazon
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