When it comes to fishing, landing nets are all the same right? Obviously this is absolutely false as evidenced by our recent opportunity to test and review the EGO Rubber Landing Net. Anyone familiar with how our crew fishes knows that our equipment receives a lot of abuse and misuse. If a landing net can survive a few outings with us is doing pretty good.
The first thing that is apparent with the EGO Rubber Landing Net line is that the net is a wide rubber mesh. Traditionally this has meant two things. First that the net would be heavy and second, that it wouldn’t move through the water well. This is definitely the case of our last rubber mesh net. You had to get it under the fish and lift because there was no sweeping under. The EGO Rubber Landing net defies this and is light, weighing in at just over a pound. The netting also moves in the water better than older style rubber nets.
If you haven’t used a rubber net before, you might be looking at the relatively small net size and be thinking that it won’t hold your fish. In reality the mesh on the EGO Rubber Landing Net will stretch to 1.5 times its original size. Additionally the rubber material is gentle on the fish, which is important for catch and release situations. We caught many Pink and Coho Salmon ranging in weight up into the teens without any problems getting them in the net and in the boat.
One other really nice thing about the rubber netting on the EGO Landing Nets is that they don’t tangle up hooks. In the two weeks of hot and heavy fishing for Pink Salmon that we tested out our net on, hooks would routinely drop out of the fish as soon as tension was off the line. With a traditional nylon mesh or even a coated nylon net, those hooks usually got tangled up and had to be carefully removed. With fish biting twos, threes and fours, speed was critical, and not once did we have to untangle a hook from our EGO Rubber Net. Even if they came out of the fish and got hooked in the net, they came out easily!
Have you ever dropped your net overboard? Our crew fishes Puget Sound from our 19′ Alumaweld, and generally are at a loss for where to put the net when we are actively fishing. Where it usually winds up is on top of the canvas, which is fine, except for when we power up to go try a new spot with the net on top. We have nearly lost several nets this way. This is less of a problem with the EGO Landing Net because it floats! Having to go in because your net in the middle of the bite is not fun at all.
In addition to floating the EGO Rubber Landing Nets feels solid. The yoke where the hoop meets the handle is covered and there are no exposed rivets or metal pieces to snag or cut your line. The handle is comfortable feeling and the octagonal shape makes it easier to control, especially if you are fishing solo and have to land your own fish. The handle on the medium sized net that we tested is 30″ which is adequate for most smaller boats and comparable with other nets on the market.
Overall the entire crew felt that the EGO Rubber Landing Net performed fantastically with no flaws. For fishing from a boat like ours or for fish larger than the Pink and Coho Salmon we usually chase, I would probably step up to the Large size to gain a few inches on the handle and a slightly larger hoop size. The price is very fair, especially for a rubber net, at under $50. All in all our crew give the EGO Rubber Landing Nets a big thumbs up. It is a keeper