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Once you have set up your rods, baited, cast out and then got your carp on your hook you need to be ready to land the catch. Nets are undoubtedly one of the most important bits of gear in your tackle collection. After all, without a top-quality net, you’re never going to be able to lift a double-figure carp safely out of the water, so it’s well worth investing in quality. This is why we, here at Angling Direct, have collected together a huge range of nets – all of which have been designed with carp fishing in mind.
Our collection spans everything from huge triangular landing net heads, through to net poles, and even spare spreader blocks! No matter what you need, you can guarantee that we’ll have the perfect product in stock. However, we understand that all this choice can leave you wondering where to begin in your net hunt. This is why we’ve created this handy guide to go into a little more detail about the three main components of the net and what you need to look out for.
Carp fishing nets are defined by their long arms, wide gape, deep mesh, and long handle. A combination of these four things will usually lead you to a top-quality net, which will be more than capable of landing your next personal best carp and each element is absolutely integral to the landing of your catch.
The most common net you will see in this carp fishing section is the larger, triangular landing nets but you may come across some smaller circular nets too. We sell landing nets as complete outfits, as well as separate heads and handles. No matter which way you buy it, the landing net head has to be one of your most important considerations. After all, this is going to be the first thing that comes into contact with you capture – other than your terminal tackle rig – so you want to ensure that it is up to scratch. Not only do you need your landing net head to be strong and durable, but you also need it to meet generally accepted standards of carp care. We’re proud to say that all of the nets that we stock meet these standards, so you can be confident that whichever net you invest in you’re able to use it on the bank without worrying that your fish are at any risk of accidental harm.
Net Head - This refers to the length of the arms of the net, not the depth or the width of the net.
Net Arms - Carp fishing nets tend to offer arms of approximately 42 inches in length, which ensures that the net is long enough to be able to land the vast majority of the UK’s carp. Carp net arms vary between 36-50, comfortably holding most UK carp to the huge carp that European waters have to offer.
Width - The traditional carp net is triangular and, as such, whatever angle the arms spread, combined with their length, will determine how wide the net is. The gape is the element of the net you use to get around your fish and it is one of the reasons that carp anglers tend to favour longer arms on their nets.
Net Depth - When retaining fish, a deep net is best, however, a deeper mesh means there is more material to manoeuvre in the water and the greater risk you have of getting trapped on snags under the water. To counteract this, many companies have manufactured net retainers for their ultra-deep landing nets. These are either small hooks that attach the base of the net to a point on the handle or a small integrated magnet. Both systems have the same results and lift your net up from the base of your venue. If you’re someone who targets venues with lots of snags or a shallow lead up to the bank then you’ll definitely want to invest a net which offers this kind of retainer system
Spreader block - Usually manufactured from durable plastic, but sometimes manufactured from aluminium, this is the area of the net that holds the arms in place and attaches the head of the net onto the handle. If the spreader block fails, you’ll have a useless net on your hands, no matter how high quality the mesh or how sturdy the handle. Often manufactured from ABS plastic which is lighter or stainless steel material which is generally considered to be the stronger of the two options. We do also stock a range of spare spreader blocks that are ideal to have to hand, just in case you encounter a problem on the bank.
Net Mesh - There are lots of different mesh types that you’ll find in our carp net collection but a ‘fish-friendly’, soft and nonabrasive mesh is absolutely essential. The most popular is a hex-mesh, which is generally considered to be the strongest and least abrasive mesh type on the market. You want a low abrasion mesh when you’re looking to land fish, as you don’t want to remove too much of the carp’s protective slime or to damage the delicate fins of the carp.
Some nets employ two different mesh types in their construction, with a wider mesh for the main body of the net and a finer mesh for the base of the net. The wider top mesh allows for a better flow of water, should you be fishing with a current, preventing you capture from being bashed in the net, whereas the finer base mesh helps to better support the body of your carp as you lift it out of the water. These mesh types are great for retaining fish in a net for a short period of time, whether this is to give the carp a chance to recover or to give yourself a chance to set up your unhooking and weighing equipment.
Net Handle - Other than suiting up with a length that suits your rod length, i.e 6ft handle for a 12ft rod, your net handle needs to be rigid. The stiffer the handle is under pressure, the easier you’re going to be able to lift your carp from the water, because the handle supports the weight of the fish. Most landing net handles are manufactured from the same kind of carbon as your carp rod or pole, to ensure that they can offer strength as well as adding as little unnecessary extra weight into the equation. Some manufacturers prefer metal construction, believing it confidently offers the strength and durability to land large carp but the best landing net handle comes down to personal preference.
Grip - The grip on your handle is every bit as important as the grip on your carp rod, as nothing is worse than feeling you landing net slip or rotate in your grasp – losing you the fish you had worked so hard for. As with rods, EVA is a popular grip material, as is shrink wrap rubber. On handles that offer two or three different pole lengths, they will also offer two or three different gripping points. This is to ensure that no matter what length you’re landing your fish from, you can always be confident in your grip.
When it comes to choosing a size, you must consider the size of the net arms first. 36 inch is great for smaller UK carps, around 42 inch is the common size used by many carp anglers looking for double figures and 50-inch net arms is the size you will need for those large European carp on the other side of the pond!
Size of your net also considers the net handle. Most carp nets come with 6ft (or approximately 185cm) handles. This is a good average length, as it allows you to keep your rod tip high whilst you’re landing your capture. Some nets will also come with a 3ft handle extension. A longer handle is ideal for the angler who uses 13ft rods, as when you’re solo landing a fish it can sometimes be difficult to keep the tip in the air when you’re trying to reach with a 6ft handle. It is also perfect for the angler who uses zig rigs in their fishing, as well as the angler who routinely tries to target high waters.
Net floats are useful little additions to your landing net setup as they help to support the weight of your net head in the water. This is especially useful if you’re someone who regularly dons waders in order to land your catches, as the mesh of your net can be incredibly heavy once it is soaked through with water and nothing is worse than temporarily letting go of your landing net handle in order to control a kiting carp only to find that your net has sunk to the depths of your venue. Your net float usually slots over the landing net handle, right near the head end of the net, and is attached around the spreader block to ensure that it doesn’t shuffle towards you whilst in use.
Here, at Angling Direct, you can buy complete landing net packages. In these instances, all the big hitters manufacture top landing nets for carp fishing, such as Trakker, JRC, Korum and Fox, who will have paired a landing net head and handle together in order to give you the ultimate high-performance product. Prices can vary from nets valued at almost £200 right down to net around £20. So long as you’re looking at a landing net with a handle that has high rigidity and tensile strength and a high-quality mesh, then chances are you’re looking at a high-quality landing net. Most anglers will spend between £50 and £100 on their landing net.
However, we also understand that you might want to mix and match your setup, in order to make the most of your gear. This is why we also supply individual landing net handles and net heads. Please do check before purchase that your net head is compatible with your handle and, if you have any queries, do give our customer services team a call. They are equipped to assist with all aspects of your orders, from the initial enquiry right through to aftercare, and as all conversations are strictly no obligation you can call up to pick their brains before taking the time to mull over your decision. Alternatively, you can check out the product reviews on our carp landing nets on the AD Blog.