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Rubber Net Bag Evolution

We bought our first mold to make rubber net bags in 2006, in fact we bought three different molds for different size net bags. These net bags had rectangular holes and worked ok except that fish jaws would get stuck in the holes and in many cases break their jaws. They were also manufactured with a material that contained polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is one of the most un-environmental plastics on the planet. Naturally hard it is made softer by adding plasticizers to the PVC. Eventually these leach out and the material becomes harder again turning yellow in the process- not a nice color yellow either. It's not easy to admit to a mistake especially after spending a lot of money on the molds, but we made the decision to abandon them and started buying net bags from China with hexagonal holes which worked better on the fish. These are still the net bags that every net maker, big or small, continues to use to this day. Unfortunately they still contain PVC. And like the other net bags they released dioxin in the manufacturing process. Nasty stuff. So we bit the bullet and created another injection mold to make our own net bags out of a silicon material and we called it eco-clear. Friendly to the environment and it worked well on fish. We also decided to keep the mold in Montana instead of China because we found that our previous molds were being used for other Chinese and American net makers. An injection mold doesn't care where it is located and there isn't a lot labor involved, so making a net bag in Montana isn't that much more in cost compared to one made in China.

Where we go from here is anyone's guess. We are investigating alternative materials but for now the eco-clear is the best on the market.

Eco-clear net bag

Our eco-clear net bags will not harden or turn yellow in color from ageing like the PVC bags.

PVC net bag

The slight blue cast to this net bag is a dead giveaway that it is made with PVC.




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