We recently returned from two fly fishing shows, one in Edison, NJ and the other in Pleasanton, CA. It was nice connecting with old and new customers and listening to their feedback on what they like and dislike in a landing net. First and foremost, it is clear that almost everyone wants a "rubber" net bag primarily because it does not get entangled with flies. And secondly, many are concerned about the weight of a landing net. This presents two conflicting goals because the weight of a net bag is substantial when compared to the frame. We also heard that many are going to carbon fiber instead of wood because it is much lighter. So we decided to do a weight comparison of two identical nets, one in wood and the other in carbon fiber.
So here is what we found:
Total weight of a wood net with net bag is 300 grams, while a similar carbon fiber net is 290 grams. For those of you who aren't familiar with metric, the difference amounts to .35 ounces or just about nothing. The weight of the net bag was 170 grams or more than 1/2 the total weight of each complete net.
Although we also manufacture carbon fiber nets our preference is for wood. Each wood net has individual characteristics, different grain pattern, different color. Carbon fiber nets, although extremely functional, are all from a cookie cutter. Your net will be identical exactly to your buddy's.
As to rubber net bags, hardly anyone at the show knew that there were two kinds of materials from which they are made. The imported bags that all other manufacturers use is made from polyvinyl chloride which is the same stuff as in your household plumbing. It is made softer by adding plasticisers to it. Eventually this leaches out and the net bag begins to harden and yellow. Some companies have started offering black "rubber" bags to obscure this process, but it still happens. A previous blog of ours explains more about PVC and why it is not environmentally responsible. We only make silicone bags in two sizes for the moment and because of the extreme cost of making an injection mold we have no current plans to offer other sizes.
We would like to hear about your preferences and why you like one better than the other.