Best Kayak Fishing Nets in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Kayak fishing is a two-in-one activity that you can enjoy while being productive. However, it can be challenging with a rod because you’re trying to maintain your balance and catch a fish simultaneously.

This is where nets come in; they help you catch a larger number of fish at once and not lose them as easily as you can with a rod. Put merely; nets make fishing easier.

So, we had to do some investigation to help you find the best kayak fishing nets.

Top Picks:

Fishing Net

Total LengthNet Depth
SF Fly Fishing Net24.5″

10”

PLUSINNO Fishing Net

27″/38″ (extended) and 17″ (collapsed)/43.5″ (extended) and 17″(collapsed)/60″ (extended) and 22″ (collapsed)7.5″/12″/13.5″/18″

Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net

64”(extended) and 36” (collapsed)18”

PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Net

28″ (extended) and 17″ (collapsed)10″

KastKing MadBite Folding Net

45” (extended) and 20” (collapsed)/ 76” (extended) and 24” (collapsed)20”/24”

The 5 Best Kayak Fishing Nets in 2020

1. SF Fly Fishing Net – Best Overall

SF Fly Fishing Net

We have the SF FLY Fishing Net in our top spot because it has as many features or positive aspects as a fishing net can have. It is affordable, fish-friendly, sturdy, transparent, and versatile in shapes.

The net is made of soft, rubberized net that is gentle on the fish for your catch and release needs. Moreover, it resists rot and mildew, so you’re guaranteed it will last long.

We love the handle because it’s made of laminated bamboo and hardwood for a comfortable grip. The wood is coated to be waterproof and abrasion-resistant.

In addition, there is a carbon fiber frame option for those who prefer it over wooden ones.

It comes in three shapes: square head, teardrop, and round head. The square head is the most popular because of how easy it is to scoop up fish quickly. However, the versatility in options is appreciated by fans of teardrop and round shapes as well.

The SF Fly Fishing Net’s clear mesh is invisible underwater, so that it won’t spook away any fish, even in clear freshwater.

At the end of the handle, there is a 360-degree copper swivel that is compatible with SF’s lanyard and quick-release magnetic clips, which you can purchase with the net as a kit to help you mount the net while you’re fishing. You can use the release with other tools as well.

Now, let’s talk about the net’s dimensions. 

The hoop size is 9.5 x 16″ with 10” depth, so it’s perfect for medium-sized fish, nothing too big or too small. Its overall net length is 24.5″, which is considered limiting by some, mainly because there are no telescopic or foldable options.

However, it is perfect for others who have limited space to store their nets and only care about catching fish close to their kayaks.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Different shape and material options
  • Clear net for underwater invisibility
  • Fish-friendly
  • Lanyard and quick-release magnetic clip

Cons:

  • No telescopic options

Bottom Line

Thanks to its affordability, compactness, durability, and versatility, the SF Fly Fishing Net deserves a spot on top of the best kayak fishing nets.

2. PLUSINNO Fishing Net – Best with Fixed and Telescopic Options

PLUSINNO Fishing Net

If you’re using a small net, you won’t have trouble carrying or storing it. Yet, sometimes you want bigger sizes of your favorite nets that are still easy to carry, and that’s where the PLUSINNO Fishing Net comes in.

Its pole has an impressive construction that combines high-density carbon fiber with fiberglass, making the net lightweight yet durable.

In addition, the hook-proof mesh is made of durable, knotless nylon with a waterproof and non-absorbent coating, which prevents it from becoming heavy underwater. The nylon mesh is even gentle on fish and made for catch and release fishing. 

Furthermore, the skid-resistant EVA handhold makes the net durable, secure, and comfortable for long-day use.

The hexagonal structure of the net is similar to the square structure, as it helps scoop fish out easily. Yet, it also adds to the net’s strength.

Our second pick comes in 4 models. The first model has a fixed pole with an overall length of 27″, hoop size of 12″, net depth 7.5″, and weight of 11 ounces. This model has tiny dimensions that are perfect for catching small fish, and it’s a bliss to carry.

The second model has a telescopic pole because its dimensions go up, which makes it more convenient. It has an extended length of 38″, collapsed length of 17″, hoop size of 16″, net depth 12″, and weight of 14.5 ounces.

Dimensions get even bigger with the third model, which is, of course, telescopic as well. It has an extended length of 43.5″, collapsed length of 17″, hoop size of 16.2″, net depth 13.5″, and weight of 16 ounces.

Now, we have arrived at the big boss of the PLUSINNO Fishing Net, which has an extended length of 60″, collapsed length of 22″, hoop size of 20″, net depth 18″, and weight of 20 ounces. You can use this model to cast much further and catch much bigger fish.

The only shortfall in this model is that it doesn’t come with a carrying bag, as you would expect from a telescopic net. However, it comes with a specially designed belt clip that makes carrying and storing much more convenient.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Fixed and telescopic options
  • 4 models with different sizes
  • Knotless nylon mesh
  • Fish-friendly

Cons:

  • No carrying bag

Bottom Line

The PLUSINNO Fishing Net provides needed versatility with fixed and telescopic models. Its unique construction makes it durable yet lightweight, and its fish-friendliness qualifies it for catch and release fishing.

3. Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net – Budget Pick

Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net

Nobody wants to settle for a low-quality net, but splurging on every purchase can be a pain. The affordable Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net provides a long reach and great depth with a collapsible design to help you store it on your kayak.

Our budget pick is made of tangle-free, rubber-coated nylon mesh that is gentle on our aquatic friends, and it won’t hurt their scales. In addition, the net has a corrosion-resistant aluminum handle with EVA grip, which means you can use it for freshwater or saltwater.

The EVA grips add necessary comfort since this is a large-sized net for a kayak.

You’ll appreciate the wide, flat-bottomed design because it lets you catch much bigger fish and see your catch. The collapsing feature makes it more convenient and helps you store a high-quality net on your large kayak, boat, or garage at a collapsed length of 36”.

At an extended length of 64”, the Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net gives you unparalleled reach. It’s incredibly deep at 18”, which makes sense, as it targets much larger fish. The depth helps not to spook them immediately.

Its downside is that at a collapsed length of 36”, this net is meant for large kayaks and boats only.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Collapsible with a long extended length at 64”
  • 18” Depth
  • Corrosion-resistant aluminum handle with EVA grip
  • Fish-friendly

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fit on smaller kayaks

Bottom Line

The Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net is one of the best kayak fishing nets because of its unbeatable price, fish-friendly mesh, collapsible design, and large depth.

4. PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Net – Best for Freshwater

PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Net

The PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Net is perfect for freshwater kayak fishing because of its clear color, small dimensions, lightweightness, and foldable design.

This net is made of natural rubber mesh, which is resistant to tangles, rot, and mildew. So, you don’t have to worry about losing the net to hooks, and it will last long. In addition, it’s fish-friendly so that you can use it in catch and release fishing. 

Also, the EVA handhold is skid-resistant, stable, and comfortable, exactly what you need in kayak fishing. The special belt clip and sturdy carabiner help you carry the net easily.

The clear color of the mesh helps you fish in the clearest freshwater without being detected by the fish, while its teardrop shape keeps your fish secure inside so that you can take pictures.

If you have a small kayak, you’ll love this net because it has an extended length of 28″ and a collapsed length of 17″. It only weighs 0.95 pounds, and it will feel lightweight in your hand.

Furthermore, it has a hoop size of 16″ x 13″ and a net depth of 10″, so you can use it for trout and bass fishing.

So, what’s the downside? Its magnetic release is unreliable because the magnet is weak, and you will probably lose the net if you depend on it.

Pros:

  • Hook-proof
  • Foldable
  • Perfect size for small kayaks
  • Skid-Resistant EVA handhold

Cons:

  • Magnet is weak

Bottom Line

The PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Net is foldable, compact, lightweight, and clear-colored, making it our favorite among the best kayak fishing nets for freshwater.

5. KastKing MadBite Folding Net – Perfect for Small Kayaks

KastKing MadBite Folding Net

We’re here to talk about kayak fishing, but not all kayaks are the same size. Some kayaks are pretty short, and can only handle the lightest of tackle and accessories. The KastKing MadBite Folding Net allows you to cast far and catch big fish while taking the least amount of space.

It has a patent-pending folding design. The folding center yoke is made of industrial-grade graphite to avoid any flex or weak points, while the front folding point is made of aluminum and has stainless steel screws. The high-quality materials make you forget it’s affordable.

Furthermore, the rubber-coated net is snag-proof and soft on the fish’s scales, so feel free to use it for catch and release.

The aluminum handle has a printed rule to help you along with the flat bottom of the net to measure your catch, which is a feature both beginners and pros will appreciate alike.

We love the rectangular shape of the net because it gives it needed strength against some tough fish.

The Kastking MadBite Folding Net comes in 2 sizes. The smaller one has an extended length of 45” and a collapsed length of 20”. The larger one has an extended length of 76” and a collapsed length of 24”. Both sizes help you cast far without overcrowding your small kayak.

Moreover, the first size has a net depth of 20”, while the second one has 24”, which is more than enough for most fish.

What is the disadvantage? It comes with a bag, which is cool. However, it feels very cheap, and its zipper breaks easily.

Pros:

  • 2 different sizes
  • Perfect size for small kayaks
  • Ruler on handle

Cons:

  • Bag’s zipper breaks easily

Bottom Line

Since it provides the smallest collapsed dimensions while enabling you to cast far and catch some big guys, the Kastking MadBite Folding Net is our pick for small kayaks.

How to Pick a Kayak Fishing Net

1. Handle

When it comes to handles, consider the material and length.

If your priority is a lightweight handle, and you’re going after small fish, consider carbon fiber or aluminum handles. Wooden handles offer the needed durability and toughness when you’re out for the big guys. They also look very attractive. 

Short handles are perfect for single-hand use and catching smaller species like bass and trout. Long handles are more suitable when you need extra reach out of your kayak. However, they can be an issue for kayakers who pedal, as they can interfere with your pedal drive.

2. Net Material

Fishing nets are either made of nylon or rubber.

Nylon nets are affordable, lightweight, and resistant to UV rays, salt, and hooks, especially if you get a knotless design. However, they can be very abrasive and harmful to fish, especially the small and fragile species.

Rubber nets are more expensive. Yet, they are more fish-friendly, which is perfect for catch and release fishing. Rubber also doesn’t snag or fray easily, which makes it more durable.

3. Size

Size here refers to two things: the overall size of the net and the hoop size.

The net size affects its portability and ease of storage. Pick a net that you can carry on your kayak, or maybe look for higher-quality foldable or extendable nets that save space but aren’t flimsy. Many nets offer different sizes of the same model, which is helpful.

On the other hand, the size of the holes depends on your target fish. Smaller freshwater fish require nets with smaller holes, while larger saltwater fish need nets with bigger holes. 

However, remember that getting nets that are too wide can be as problematic as getting ones that are too small. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Safe is it to Kayak Fish with a Net?

Fishing with a net reduces the risk of capsizing and lets you find your balance. However, you should always wear a PFD, or personal floatation device, to keep you on the surface in case of capsizing.

What are the advantages of Net Kayak Fishing?

Kayak fishing with a net saves you the hassle of struggling to keep yourself balanced while trying to secure a fish. If a fish that you’ve been looking for shows up right beside your kayak, a net makes it quick and easy to catch it on the spot.

Nets also help you catch fish in the absence of fishing tackle. Finally, they’re great for catch and release fishing because you won’t need to pull the fish out of the water.

How to Clean Kayak Fishing Nets?

The process depends on the material of the net. If it’s a rubber net, it’s the simplest to clean because you can just wipe it down after every use.

However, nylon nets need more extensive cleaning to kill the bacteria. So, soak them in hot water, then clean them with fine brushes to get rid of any excess dirt.

Final Thoughts

Fishing nets can make a lot of difference in your fishing trips, especially on a kayak, which is why we had to make this list of the best kayak fishing nets. Now, let’s go through the highlights one more time.

The SF Fly Fishing Net is the superior pick because it has it all; it’s affordable, versatile, and sturdy.

Do you know what else is affordable? The PLUSINNO Fishing Net and Wakeman Collapsible and Foldable Net; they get the job done and more at low prices.

If you’re going to kayak in freshwater, a clear net like the PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Net could definitely come in handy.