Carp Fishing Landing Net

Beginner’s Guide to Carp Fishing Landing Nets

Sonik VaderX Net Mesh
Carp Fishing Landing Net

Carp anglers are very lucky to have access to some of the most advanced fishing gear on the market. Before I targeted carp as a sportfish I had no idea such specialized equipment even existed. The learning curve was steep and some items were hard to come by here in Canada but I believe the gear is well worth the price. The large carp-specific landing nets are perfect for catch and release fishing for many species here in Canada.

What to look for in a Carp Fishing Landing Net?

When looking for a carp fishing landing net, one should take into consideration the size of the fish and the ease of landing big fish. A few certain aspects of the net listed below are a must.
⦁ Size – 36″ to 50″ but 42″ is Ideal.
⦁ Handle or Pole – 2 Piece or Single-Piece Handle 6′ in Length.
⦁ Mesh – Will be Made of a Tangle-Free Fish Friendly Mesh with Holes of a Small Diameter.
⦁ Weight – Most Carp Landing Nets are Very Light and Buoyant.

Growing up and fishing in Northern Canada with my father we didn’t think much when choosing a landing net. We ate mostly everything that we caught so fish care was low on our radar, we simply needed something to get the fish from the water to the boat or shore efficiently.

Now I am a catch and release angler, I intend to pass along catch and release methods to my children so I researched the topic of carp landing nets in great detail before choosing one that best suited my needs. There wasn’t any one article that covered it all so I created this resource to help you.

Carp Fishing Net Topics that will be Covered Further in this Article:

If you wish to learn more about good brands of carp landing nets check out my recommendations of the Best Carp Fishing Nets.

Anatomy of a Proper Carp Fishing Landing Net

Landing Net Mesh

VaderX Net 1
Carp Landing Net Mesh
  • Soft fish-friendly material made of a subtle green colour so as not to spook the fish. Dark colours keep them calm while netting and holding the fish.
  • The mesh of a carp landing net has smaller holes than nets for other species of fish. The smaller holes prevent damage to the fish such as dislodging scales or damaging fins. 8mm I believe is the norm, much like that of a minnow net.

Landing Net Handle

Carp Landing Net Handle.
Carp Landing Net Handle.
  • Most carp fishing net handles are made with Japanese shrink wrap matte grips. The anti-slip material keeps the pole from slipping out of your hands when they are wet and slimy or when held between legs, solo netting.

Landing Net Spreader Block

Landing Net Spreader Block
Landing Net Spreader Block
  • Higher-end nets have spreaders made out of stainless steel or strong carbon composite material while cheaper models use strong engineered plastic.
  • Thread Size 3/8” BSF which stands for British Standard Fine. The same standard thread as you will find on other carp gear such as bank sticks, rod pods, bite alarms and baiting spoons.
  • Different manufacturers have different ways of keeping the arms from sliding out of the spreader. Some have locking mechanisms or magnets while others have a rubberized coating but most rely on the pressure of the mesh over the arms to hold them firmly in place.

Landing Net Pole

zIMG 3112
Landing Net Pole
  • The thread on the pole is the female end of the matching male 3/8” BSF thread located on the spreader block.
  • Landing net poles can also double as baiting spoon handles to aid in baiting at farther distances.
  • Very smart-looking laser-etched decals.
  • Carp landing net poles are made out of a carbon composite material that is very light and extremely stiff.
  • Some manufacturers offer nets that come with different pole lengths. The standard length is 6 feet. There are also poles that come in 3-foot lengths and can screw together to make 6-foot or 9-foot poles. I currently use a 6-foot pole but will be upgrading to a 2-piece pole for easier use and storage in my boat.
  • One time while fishing with a friend I asked him to be careful with my net as I didn’t have a float on it. After our first catch, he calmly stated: “Hey you don’t have to worry about buying a float for your net, it seems to be neutrally buoyant!”  I turned to see my net floating slowly away from shore. Luckily the materials are so lightweight that it didn’t sink.

Landing Net Arms

Carp Landing Net Arms
Carp Landing Net Arms
  • Look for landing nets with stiffer carbon composite arms. They are best as they resist bending when netting fish.
  • Net arms come in lengths from 32” to 50”. 42” Net arms are most common. This is also how carp nets are measured as covered in further detail below.
  • The arms on carp landing nets detach from the handle to fold down for easier transportation and storage.
  • The ends of the arms are curved to prevent them from breaking through the mesh at the tip of the net. A detail that was overlooked in the earlier days of carp fishing nets.

Additional Carp Landing Net Accessories

Stink Sleeves

  • Are best used while transporting your slimy and stinky carp landing net after a successful session.
  • Sold by most carp fishing gear manufacturers they are rubberized or nylon bags sealed by a clip or Velcro to prevent that carpy smell from embedding itself in your car’s interior or other locations you may store your net.

Carp Landing Net Floats

  • As stated above some brands of carp landing nets are neutrally buoyant. Why then would you need to purchase an additional net float to attach to the pole?
  • The net float aids in situations where you are required to net a carp solo. If you hold the net handle between your legs the net float will rest on the top of the water acting as a second hand. This will keep your net in the perfect position with minimal effort for easily slipping the carp in once it is tired.
  • I have noticed some anglers purchase two floats and attach them to either of the arms on their nets. This can provide extra support and keep the net from turning in waters with heavy current.

Replacement Parts

  • One of my favourite details about carp landing nets is that they come apart into sections. This makes it easy to purchase replacement parts once they wear out. All the nets I’ve used for angling in the past have come in one solid section, if one piece was to fail I would have to purchase a whole new net.
  • If you’re ever in the position where you need to replace the mesh on your net be sure to order the proper size as many manufacturers create different-sized nets of the same brand.

Carry Bag

  • The majority of carp nets come standard with their own carry bag. Once done angling just take your net apart, fold it up and store it in the original bag it came in for easy transport.
  • Although it’s nice for beginners, more advanced anglers have rod sleeves and carry-alls that fit all their gear. My Sonik SK-Tek Rod Sleeve houses 3 rods, 3 reels, sling, scale, weigh tripod, mat and two nets. Everything in one nice and neat compact package. This makes things much easier and increases fishing time on the bank.

What Size of Net is Required for Carp Fishing?

When choosing a carp fishing landing net there are a couple of factors to consider. What type of body of water are you fishing? and What is the size of the fish in the water you’re targeting?

If you’re fishing a small body of water with smaller fish it is safe to go with a smaller net that allows you to be mobile.

I tend to use a 42” net or greater. This is due to the fact that I always catch big fish! Ahhh…if only. The 42” nets are better for the health of the fish which in my opinion is the top priority. Here in Canada, you can never be sure just how big the wild carp will be that you pull out of the water on any given day.

Another important detail to take into consideration is net pole size. Bigger poles are better right? Not always, I have found some situations require different length poles.

  • If fishing from a regular spot on the bank a 6′ pole will do fine.
  • I mainly target carp from a boat and find the 6′ handle to be a bit cumbersome, this situation is where a 2-piece handle is ideal. The 3′ section works great in tight spaces but if you do end up needing the extra reach you can quickly add another 3′.
  • On really windy and wavy days I forgo the boat and fish from a pier at the local harbour. In this situation a 9′ pole comes in handy, the drop from the break wall to the water can make things quite challenging with only a 6′ reach.

How Do You Measure a Carp Fishing Net?

When I first looked at carp fishing landing nets I noticed they were all divided into categories by a measurement. 36”, 42”, 50” etc. What exactly does this mean? It refers to the length of the arms on the net.

A 42” landing net will be a triangle with 3 sides of  42”. Two 42” arms and a 42” wide mouth at the top.

Why Do You Need a Special Landing Net for Carp Fishing?

There are four main reasons why carp fishing landing nets are more advanced than other fishing nets. They have been designed in European locations where fish care is of the utmost importance.

Catch and Release Fishing

  • Whenever there are large carp caught and planned on being released the care of the fish should be of top priority.
  • Large tangle-free carp landing nets ensure that the fish are not hurt when landed. They also aid in keeping the fish healthy as it is transported from the water to an unhooking mat.

European Venue Club Rules

  • Lakes in Europe are stocked with fish and managed very closely. It takes years for large fish to grow, some are even named and caught many times over and over. Strict rules are in place about proper carp care in order to protect the fish.

Carp Tournament Carp Care

  • Competitive carp anglers must have the proper gear to participate in most carp fishing tournaments proper nets, slings and mats are a must.
  • If carp are injured or die due to angler negligence or improper carp care stiff penalties and even disqualification could result.

Carp are Larger than other Species

  • With the added size and weight of carp compared to other species of fish, it is important to use the proper gear to handle them safely. Big carp are strong and can easily injure themselves thrashing in an unsafe net.

Tips and Tricks while Using Carp Fishing Nets

If you’re new to the sport a well-built landing net can serve multiple functions until you can purchase other specialized carp care equipment. It’s just a net right? There are a few added bonuses of using a proper carp landing net as outlined below.

Avoid Tangles

On carp landing nets with a hole in the spreader be sure to tuck the loose end of your net through the spreader hole to prevent it from drooping and becoming entangled in brush or other obstacles.

Never Forget the Net at Home Again

Net handles come in various forms and sizes. The majority of the nets I personally use come with 6′ to 9′ handles. These can be cumbersome and difficult to transport. An easy trick I use now is to tuck and store my nets into rod-carrying cases. Not only does this make them easier to carry, but it also prevents me from forgetting the net at home! Very frustrating setting up and realizing you’ve forgotten one of your most important pieces of kit. Often times I’ve forgotten the net but never the rods and reels.

Use the Mesh and Arms as a Sling

The mesh on a carp landing net can double as a sling in a pinch, simply detach the arms and mesh from the pole and roll the arms in the mesh until it cradles the fish. Nets with deep mesh allow you to easily leave the mesh section submerged in the water if you need to prepare your mat, scale or camera before taking the fish out of the water.

It Can Double as a Keep Net

If you have a carp net with deep mesh the fish can be unhooked quickly and the butt end of the net can be stuck into the bank so the carp can wait safely in the net while you reset your rod.

How to Properly Lift a Carp in a Landing Net

For proper carp care, you should first put the net in a sling to support the weight of the fish for transportation. When netting a fish be sure to guide the fish into the net, try not to push the net towards the fish as this puts undue strain on the arms of the net.

How to Fold and Store a Carp Fishing Landing Net?

  1. Detach the arms from the spreader block and hold horizontal.
  2. Pull the loose net fabric out straight and fold it back onto the arms.
  3. Roll the net arms tightly in the fabric by holding the end of the mesh on the ground with your toe as you roll the arms downward.
  4. If you’re using a 2 piece handle, dismantle it and roll both sections into the net.
  5. Insert the net into its case and/or stink net sleeve for transportation.
    ⦁ Net folds down and fits in your rod carry bag for easy transport. This way it won’t be forgotten, there’s nothing worse than getting to your spot and realizing you’ve forgotten your net or a piece of it.
    ⦁ Net handles can double as baiting spoon handles for greater baiting range. Threads for carp fishing gear are all the same. Rod pods, bank sticks, bite alarms, butt rests, landing net handles, etc.

How to Clean Your Carp Fishing Net?

There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a fishing trip and realizing you’ve forgotten to take your net out of its stink sleeve and properly clean it. Whew, that smell can takes years off your life!

A quick way to ensure your net smells like new and is in great working order is to take it out once you return home from a successful session and simply hang it in the sun to dry.

Be sure to read this other article on How to keep all your carp gear from smelling like…carp.

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