Carp Fishing Landing Nets Explained

Beginner’s Guide to Carp Fishing Landing Nets

Carp anglers are fortunate 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 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 fishing 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 consider the size of the fish and the ease of landing big fish. A few specific aspects are necessary when looking for a net specifically for carp.

Sonik VaderX Net Mesh
Carp Fishing Landing Net
  • Net Size – 36” to 50”, but 42” is ideal for big carp.
  • Handle or Pole – 2-piece or telescoping handle 6 feet in length.
  • Material – Tangle-free fish-friendly olive micro mesh for fish safety.
  • Weight – Most carp landing nets are very light and buoyant.

Below we will outline the specific components of carp landing nets. Different nets are made from different materials, cheaper plastic materials will result in a net that’s easier on the pocketbook, but these nets will bend and break over time. Some budget nets out there will stand the test of time, and we will cover that list specifically on our Recommended Carp Landing Nets Page.

A quick overview of carp fishing landing nets.

Anatomy of a Proper Carp Fishing Landing Net

Upon first inspection, Carp Fishing Landing Nets seem similar to other fishing nets. Their main objective is to secure the fish. Carp Fishing Nets differ in many aspects, as they prioritize the safety of the fish for catch-and-release anglers. Below we will highlight how they do this in each section below.

Carp Landing Net Mesh

Cygnet Landing Net Hex Mesh
Carp Landing Net Mesh

Carp Landing Net Mesh is made of a subtle green colour so as not to spook the fish. Dark colours aid in keeping the fish calm during netting and retaining. The mesh on Carp Landing Nets specifically is made out of a soft micro-mesh material, this is to ensure the health and safety of the fish are the top priority.

Carp are big powerful fish and can be a handful during landing. Carp Fishing Landing Nets help prevent damage to the large scales and soft fins of the fish while anglers secure and retain their capture.

Carp Landing Net Poles

Cygnet Landing Net 2 piece Handle
Landing Net Pole

Although Carp Landing Net Poles are similar different brands have different construction and features that perform differently. Some features to look for are:

  • Carp Fishing Nets come with different length handles. Six-foot handles are the most common, but some nets are tailored to different situations where three, nine or even twelve-foot handles are used.
  • Threads on Carp Fishing Nets are all the same where the spreader block attaches. They are all common female 3/8 BSF Threads.
  • As most carp fishing gear is threaded with 3/8 BSF threads, baiting spoons can conveniently thread onto carp landing net handles to bait up at longer distances.
  • Carp Fishing Net Handles are made from Carbon Composite Material which is very light yet durable.

I recommend purchasing a carp landing net with a two-piece or telescoping pole for easier transport.

Carp Landing Net Handles

Nash Dwarf Landing Net Handle Butt Cap
Carp Landing Net Handle.

Most Carp Fishing Net Handles are made with Japanese Shrink Wrap Grips. The anti-slip material keeps the pole from slipping out of your hands when wet and slimy or when held between the legs, solo netting.

Carp Landing Net Spreader Blocks

Nash Dwarf Landing Net Spreader Block
Landing Net Spreader Block

Higher-end carp landing nets come with spreader blocks made of stainless steel or strong carbon composite material, while cheaper models use strong engineered plastic. Most carp fishing landing net spreader blocks come with male thread sizes of 3/8 BSF.

Different Brands of carp fishing nets have different designs and ways of keeping the net arms firmly in place in the spreader block. Some have locking mechanisms or magnets, while others have a rubberized coating, but most rely on the pressure of the mesh over the net arms to hold them firmly in place. The spreader block is normally the first part of a net to break or fail. Investing more money in a net with a higher-quality spreader block will extend its lifespan.

Carp Landing Net Arms

Best Carp Fishing Landing Nets
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 the most common, this is how carp landing nets are measured, as covered in further detail below.

Modern carp landing net arms come with soft plastic caps on the ends. This is to prevent the micro-mesh fabric from fraying after much use. The Landing Net arms detach from the spreader block and handle very easily to fold down for compact and easy transport between sessions.

Additional Carp Landing Net Accessories

Stink Sleeves and Carry Bags

Carp Landing Net Carry Bag

Not all carry bags are equal regarding carp fishing landing nets. Some brands will sell their nets with a waterproof carry bag that doubles as a stink sleeve, while others will sell their nets in a cheap cloth bag, which will only be helpful on the way to the lake.

If your net comes with a cloth-style bag, you will want to invest in a proper net sleeve. These bags are made of waterproof material that will keep that slimy fishy smell within the bag until you’re home when you can properly dry out your gear.

Carp Landing Net Floats

Best Carp Fishing Landing Nets

While net floats aren’t 100 percent necessary, I recommend picking one up. They aid greatly in fighting and netting fish when alone on the bank. They act as a hinge point, and that all helpful third hand at the crucial moment when a fish slips over the cord.

Most landing nets aren’t sold with floats, but each brand makes a float that can be purchased separately for a few extra dollars.

Replacement Parts

Luckily most carp shops stock replacement parts for carp fishing landing nets. It’s nice that these specialty nets are designed to be broken down at each section. This means anglers will save a lot of money and wasted materials by only having to replace the specific part that has failed instead of an entirely new net.

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. 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 critical 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 excellently in tight spaces, but if you need 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 divided into categories by length. 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 three 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 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 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 fish species, it is essential 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 bonuses to 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. Most of the nets I 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 essential pieces of kit. Often 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, 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 quickly 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, and 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 horizontally.
  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 using a two-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.

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 adequately clean it. Whew, that smell can takes years off your life!

A quick way to ensure your net smells like new and is in excellent working order is to take it out once you return home from a successful session and 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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