You never realize how useful a landing net is until you’re stuck without one. That’s why in this post, we share a few tips on the best way to carry a fly fishing net so you’ll have it within arm’s reach when it counts!
Use a Magnetic Net Holder
If you wear a fly fishing vest or sling pack to stow your gear, a magnetic net holder is often the most seamless solution.
Here’s how it works:
One side of the magnet is attached to your vest or sling bag that’s what the little D-ring on the back of a fly fishing vest is for. The other side of the magnet is attached to your net, either on the handle or hoop. A bungee lanyard connects the two magnets to keep your net from floating downstream if dropped accidentally.
This system allows you to give the net a quick tug to pull it free and land your fish. When you’re done, simply move the net to your back to let the magnets snap back together.
Several manufacturers produce magnetic net holders, but the two best are the Orvis Original Magnetic Net Holder and the Fishpond Confluence Net Release. (Links to AMAZON to check out prices and reviews)
Both products function almost exactly the same, but the Fishpond Confluence Net Release uses a rubber strap to attach the net which offers a slight advantage if you prefer hanging your net from the hoop.
Use a Holster-Style Net Holder
The most common complaint anglers have about magnetic net holders is that the net swings on your back and can get pulled off unexpectedly when moving through trees and brush. If you don’t want to deal with that hassle, a holster-style net holder might be a better fit.
The Smith Creek Net Holster is the first of its kind and has a well-thought-out design that would be hard to improve upon. It slides onto your wading belt with a high-quality anodized aluminum buckle, and an adjustable strap made of thick nylon holds your net securely by the handle just like a pistol holster or sword sheath.
The Rising Brookie Net Holster functions much the same but is made of Cordura fabric, which doesn’t feel as robust as the Smith Creek Net Holster.
Think Twice Before Jamming Your Net into Your Wading Belt
While the net-in-wader-belt trick works in a pinch, it’s far from a perfect solution. Not only will your net be difficult to access, your wading belt must be kept loose thereby compromising its safety function. What’s more, the net handle could wear a hole in your waders… Is an expensive wader repair or replacement worth it?
Our advice is to go with a dedicated fly fishing net holder to keep your net secure when you aren’t using it and within easy reach when it’s time to land those lunkers!