Landing nets are indispensable for avid anglers. It’s also a very important tool for expert fly fishers who want to catch as many fishes as they can. For fishing reservoirs, landing nets are required to retrieve the fish so it won’t get damaged prior to releasing it back to the water. With this, a folding landing net with collapsible handle suits anglers who want portability and convenience.
For this post, I reviewed 10 of the best landing nets that you can use out of the 50+ options I’ve scouted in the market. Check which one suits your fishing needs.
How do you use a landing net?
For beginners, landing nets play an important role when retrieving fish from the water. The key here is to use the net properly to prevent damage to the fish and secure your catch.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to utilize a landing net on your first fishing trip:
Step 1. Hold the net in the water.
For starters, you should hold the net and dip it into the water, making sure that the hoop is submerged. Meanwhile, the hoop’s back should be slightly raised on the surface since it’s where the handle is connected.
Step 2. Get the fish head first
Smoothly glide the net into the fish, ensuring that you net it headfirst. You can make it easier by bringing the line closer to your net. Take note that if you’re fishing alone, your hands will be full because you’re the one holding the line and the net at the same time.
Step 3. Control the line
Once half of the fish’s body is already in your net, start relaxing the line. By doing this, the fish will have the tendency to swim deeper, thus entering your landing net even more. Once the fish swims into your net, lift it into your boat or into the banks.
Are you still looking for a reliable landing net? If so, feel free to check these 10 picks I reviewed below:
Folding Landing Net With Collapsible Handle – Top 10 Picks!
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: EGO S2 Slider Fishing Landing Net
Product Name: EGO S2 Slider Fishing Landing Net
Product Description: If you're looking for a folding landing net with collapsible handle, you shouldn't hesitate to get the EGO S2 Slider Fishing Landing Net. This is suitable for both fresh and saltwater use, thanks to its versatile design. Moreover, the EGO S2 has a modular construction so that you can remove the net and interchange the attachment. There are over 30 attachments available for this specific landing net alone. Aside from that, it has a convenient technology that utilizes a simple push and pull slider control. You can easily change the length of the handle as you wish. There's no need for you to put down your rod just to adjust this landing net.
Offer price: 113.55
Value for Money
Overall, the EGO S2 landing net extends from 18″ to 36,” and its net can handle up to 30 lbs. of fish. This is perfect for carp, catfish, and other fishes that you wish to catch.
The best thing about the EGO S2 is it floats in water. If you accidentally dropped this net, you can easily retrieve it to secure your catch. And for those who are kayak fishing, this is one of the best nets you can get since it extends and folds without the hassle.
30 attachments available
Floats on water
A bit cumbersome, but I got used to it over time
KUFA SPORTS Retractable Fishing Landing Net
If you want a lightweight landing net that can put up with regular use, you should consider the KUFA SPORTS Landing Net. It’s made with a retractable aluminum handle that remains lightweight without compromising its performance on the water.
Aside from that, this has a rubberized mesh that stretches to accommodate heavy and large catches. This is also catch-friendly so that it will pass strict standards of fisheries and reservoirs.
Overall, this extends for up to 7’8″, the longest landing net I’ve ever tried. It also has a large hoop size of 20″ x 27″ with a maximum depth of 22″. This is big enough to net lingcod and salmons without worrying that it will escape.
Moreover, the net hoop can be removed from the telescoping pole entirely. This makes the landing net very convenient for anglers that are packing small or traveling long distances.
I’ve tried landing a 30 lbs. catfish with this net, and it worked like a champ. However, my only gripe here is that this landing net isn’t the easiest to assemble. Other than that, I really like this landing net, especially for my fishing holidays.
SAN LIKE Fishing Landing Net
The SAN LIKE Fishing Landing Net has a long telescopic handle that extends from 36 inches to 98 inches. This is pretty long, so you can easily land a catch without wading into the banks.
Moreover, its net has a rubber coating that prevents harm to the fishes. The net doesn’t bunch, and it will not cause tears to the fish’s body. I also like its camouflage color that increases the chances of landing a catch fast and easy. Also, this coating reduces the likelihood of getting your line tangled.
Aside from that, this landing net has a 17″ loop and a net depth of 12″. It’s suitable for small to medium-sized fishes.
This landing net folds and retracts so you can easily carry it around at a very compact size. It has control buttons that allow you to retract the handle as you wish.
SAN LIKE also offers a 12-month warranty on all their products in case of quality issues. You’re also entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee if there’s an issue with your landing net. But based on my experience, this specific net is well worth the price.
Frabill Power Stow Landing Net
If you want a retractable landing net that’s always ready to catch, you should get the Frabill Power Stow Landing Net. It’s 20″ x 24″ with a 1″ black poly netting that can stand the test of time. This is paired with an aluminum handle that remains lightweight while staying durable on heavy catches.
Aside from that, this has a 36″ slide handle that closes and stows, so there’ no need to disassemble anything. This is made for panfish and crappie, but this works like magic for kayak fishing as well.
I also like its knotless mesh netting that prevents potential injuries to fishes. It also reduces tangling with your hook and line in case your catch is giving a fight.
Overall, this is well-built, and every beginner angler will surely like its performance. I’ve taken this on two fishing trips, and I can say that I’m satisfied with the quality. Some parts feel a little flimsy, but it didn’t break, which is everything that matters.
The only thing I noticed is that the locking mechanism of the handle isn’t the most durable. If you’re going on regular fishing trips, this lock may break easily.
Wakeman Fishing Retractable Landing Net
The Wakeman Fishing Retractable Landing Net sports a high-quality thermal plastic rubber net connected to an aluminum handle. You can retract the handle from 35″ to 56″ to reach your catch.
Aside from that, this landing net eliminates tangles with your line, thanks to its wide opening and topnotch net coating. This net also makes it easy to release a catch back to the water.
Moreover, the Wakeman landing net can carry up to 40 lbs. of fish, which is a big deal for me. If you’re always trying to beat your own record, you might as well be ready with this net. This is very durable and definitely well worth the price.
I also like how soft the net is without being too flimsy. It folds easily and can be packed small if you’re going for a short fishing trip outside of town.
So far, this landing net performs well, with my fellow anglers borrowing it from time to time to land their catch. Although it’s not made for this, I realized that this landing net also works well in catching frogs and even bats that got inside the house.
PLUSINNO Fishing Landing Net
For anglers who hate bringing bulky landing nets, this one from PLUSINNO is an excellent choice. This has a 20″ hoop with a telescoping handle for your convenience.
This is made of high-density carbon fiber material that can endure large catches. It’s also mixed with fiberglass for the toughest landing net you can ever find. On the hoop, this net has waterproof nylon mesh that prevents it from getting waterlogged. It also prevents fishhooks from getting tangled.
Aside from that, this has an anti-skid EVA hand grip to prevent slippage. It’s also foldable with a specially designed belt clip so you can carry it hands-free.
The PLUSINNO Landing Net is also available in different lengths to suit your fishing needs. It’s also very easy to operate, thanks to its easy fastening design as well as reliable telescoping handle.
I’ve used this to land 6 to 10-lbs. Largemouth bass, and it performs pretty well. The handle doesn’t look like it’s going to break.
If you’re packing for a fishing trip, this landing net will not consume a lot of space in your tackle bag. It’s cheaper than other options, but it’s not short of durability.
ODDSPRO Foldable Fishing Landing Net
The ODDSPRO Foldable Fishing Landing Net is an excellent choice for safe landing and release of fishes. You can get this in three different extended handle length options: 39″, 59″, and 31.5″. This lets you choose the tackle suitable for your method of fishing. The biggest one has a 14″ depth.
Moreover, ODDSPRO has a waterproof nylon mesh, so it doesn’t get waterlogged and heavy. It doesn’t absorb odor either, which is a big plus, especially if you’re fishing on a murky lake.
The best thing about the ODDSPRO landing net is it collapses and folds into a small package. For example, the largest option at 59″ collapses at 23″. It will not consume too much space on your bag while remaining durable.
For added convenience, this landing net has an anti-skid PE handle and a push-button length adjuster. And to prevent the landing net from falling into the water, it has a safety lanyard as well. This is made of carbon fiber, so it’s rust-free and will last for years.
Aside from catching large fishes, this landing net can also catch minnows for baiting. In my opinion, this is hard to beat for the money.
Frabill Folding Landing Net
If you’re looking for a V-shaped hoop, you should consider the Frabill Folding Landing Net. This has an 18″ x 16″ hoop with a 14″ depth. If you need a larger one, you can get this Frabill net in hoop size 22″ x 20″.
Its handle is extendable from 20 to 40 inches, so you reach your catch with ease. It’s made of hard plastic with a collapsible design. Overall, this is suitable for small fishes but not bigger catches like pike, trout, or walleye that’s over 10 to 15 lbs. Nevertheless, I’d recommend this for panfish that are up to 20″ long.
Moreover, this has a black mesh net with a tangle-free design. It will not snag your hook either, so it’s guaranteed to be indispensable on your next fishing trip. This folds up nicely, too, which is an essential feature because I prefer packing light during fishing trips.
Overall, this is a great net, but it has some limitations. It’s a bit flimsy when extended to its maximum length, so I suggest leaving a few centimeters to prevent breakage. Other than that, this is a great starter net on a budget.
PLUSINNO Nylon Landing Net
This one is another PLUSSINO landing net that I recommend. It has a 15.8″ x 11.8″ hoop with a 9.85″ depth that suits small to medium-sized catches. Its classic shape makes it a favorite among anglers who are not into the big game.
Moreover, this nylon landing net floats on water, so you won’t worry even if you dropped it while trying to retrieve a catch. You can also utilize the safety strap to prevent the landing net from falling into the water and being blown away by the waves.
As for the net, you will get a rubber-coated mesh with a non-snag design. It also has a light but durable aluminum handle that can put up with heavy catches. Despite that, this landing net only weighs 12.5 ounces, which is pretty light and easy to carry around.
Like other PLUSINNO landing nets, this one doesn’t have a bad odor and is guaranteed to be waterproof. The mesh doesn’t get tangled, which is very important if you’re aiming for as many catch as possible. I also like that it has a belt clip for convenient carrying while you’re fishing.
Fiblink Aluminum Foldable Fishing Net
My last recommendation for this roundup is the Fiblink Aluminum Foldable Fishing Net. This is an excellent option for anglers on a budget. Despite its low cost, this landing net is reliable and can endure regular use.
It has a handle length of 44 to 60 inches, but you can also get it in shorter versions, depending on what you need. Aside from that, this has a net depth of 20″ and a hoop size of 65″. When collapsed, the hoop will only be 25″.
Moreover, this fishing net has waterproof nylon mesh with skid-resistant PE for the best grip. It remains grippy even if you’re fully soaked. Aside from that, Fiblink uses waterproof nylon mesh that doesn’t absorb water. With that, it remains lightweight throughout your fishing outing.
Fiblink also has a telescoping handle design so you can carry this net around without too much hassle. Depending on how long the handle is, it can have either two or three sections.
The only thing I noticed is that this isn’t made for very heavy catches. It works well for 10-lb. catches but no more than that. Anyway, this works well as a fishing net for minnows.
Important things to know about fishing landing nets
Landing nets are not optional fishing tools. If you want to get your catch safely and quickly, you should get one of these nets. The following are some of the reasons why every angler must have a landing net on their tackle bag:
- Fisheries require it. Fisheries have strict rules when it comes to hooking and releasing fishes. They will always require a dedicated landing net so you can safely lift your catch and put it back in the water. Unless you have a landing net, you will not be allowed entry.
- It makes fishing easier. Once a catch gets hooked, the next step is to reel it. While it’s easy to do this on a small fish, it’s a different story if you’re dealing with a 30-lb carp or pike. A landing net with a long handle will save you from the hassle of wading into the banks.
- It secures your catch. For those who are boat fishing, a landing net secures the catch to prevent escape. It allows you to scoop and lift the fish aboard without the risk of getting pulled into the water. The larger the fish, the wider your landing net should be.
- It prevents damage to the fish. Regardless if you need to release the fish or not, a landing net will prevent damages to the body of your catch. This is much better than using a gaff, which pierces the fish’s body.
- It’s for your protection. Most anglers avoid hoisting a large catch straight from the line. This is especially true if the fish has a pointed mouth and very sharp fins. Using a landing net, you can avoid immediate contact with the fish as it struggles.
How to choose a landing net
Buying a folding landing net with collapsible handle can be tricky if you’re a newbie. There are a ton of options in the market, with each one promising a special design or material. To make it simple, you should consider the following aspects:
While it may appear as a simple fishing tool, landing nets actually come in different types. Each one serves a special purpose, depending on your angling techniques. The following are the three most common options in the market:
- Dip landing net
A dip landing net is actually a mesh landing net but with an extremely long handle. It allows you to retrieve your catch far from the waters or if your line is cast too far. Most of the time, dip landing nets have fixed handles and can be difficult to transport around.
- Mesh landing net
For those looking for a folding landing net with collapsible handle, a mesh landing net is an excellent option. It’s used to retrieve a catch once you hooked it. This landing net looks like a basketball hoop with a soft net underneath. Although its net is thin and pliable, it bears a special coating that makes it durable. Most of the time, mesh landing nets are collapsible for your convenience.
- Rubber landing net
Lastly, there are rubber landing nets. It’s like a mesh landing net, but it uses rubber instead of nylon mesh on the hoop. Such a rubber material is hydrophobic, which means the net won’t get waterlogged even if soaked on water repeatedly.
Your choice among these landing nets depends on your needs. All of them are useful and worth the purchase.
✔️Netting material and shape
One of the most important considerations when purchasing landing nets is the netting material. This can be rubber or nylon, with or without a special coat. To be fair, both of these materials are topnotch, but some anglers prefer rubber nets since it stretches and accommodates larger catches. But if you’re on a budget, you’ll never go wrong with the classic nylon net.
Aside from the material, you should also consider the netting size. You’d like a mesh size around 1.5 to 2-inch to fully land your catch. This will also prevent damage to the fish, in case you have to release it later on.
A large mesh size reduces water resistance, so the landing net will be easier to glide on water. However, if you’re catching delicate fishes like trout, you must get a landing net with finer netting. This one will also be handy when catching minnows.
✔️Hoop size and shape
Next, check the hoop size of the landing net. The hoop is the opening of the landing net, which also acts as a frame to hold the netting.
The hoop size will dictate the size of the fish you can land with it. The bigger the fish you want to catch, the wider the hoop will be. The good thing is that landing nets in the market are available in wide hoop sizes, ranging from 20 to 41 inches.
Aside from that, you should also consider the shape of the landing net’s hoop. A teardrop shape is the most common option among anglers since it allows fish to enter freely. You can also find triangular landing nets with a wider front for efficient scooping.
✔️Handle length and material
Once you’ve decided about the net material, you should consider the handle next. This is a very important part of a landing net because it will hold the weight of your catch.
Landing nets come in different handle lengths from 30 to 60 inches. Despite its length, many of these handles are telescoping or collapsible for your convenience. If you’re fishing in deep waters, it a no-brainer that you need a landing net with a long handle.
As for material, the most reliable is carbon fiber. It’s tough, but it comes at a higher price as well. If you want the best bargain between price and performance, aluminum handles are excellent options, too.
Those on a budget can make use of hard plastic. However, this has very limited capacity and may feel flimsy if extended to very long lengths and subjected to heavy catches.
✔️Waterproofing and buoyancy
The landing net you’ll get should be waterproof. This way, the net will not become heavy due to being waterlogged. It will also save you from the hassle of drying your net after your fishing session.
While it’s not a requirement, I always recommend looking for buoyant landing nets. This way, the net will not sink underwater if you accidentally drop it. If your choice isn’t floating, look for a safety strap, at least.
Lastly, try to look for a landing net with a belt clip. This will let you hang the net on your tackle belt so you can free both your hands for reeling. It’s a helpful feature if you’re fishing alone, and there’s no one to hand you your net.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you really need a net for fishing?
A: Using a landing net is one of the surest ways of securing your catch. For recreational anglers, the landing net prevents damage to the fish so you can release it back to the water safely. Instead of soaking on the banks, a landing net with long and telescoping handles are better options. Above, I reviewed 10 of the best options if you’re looking for a folding landing net that has a retractable handle at the same time.
Q: How do you make a landing net float on water?
A: It’s such a bummer to lose a landing net if you accidentally dropped it into the water. To prevent this, you can attach a floater to the shaft of the landing net. This will keep the landing net afloat without adding too much weight and bulkiness to the tackle.
Q: How do you land a big fish without a net?
A: Catching a big fish without a net takes a lot of power and skill. It’s also difficult to prevent damaging the fish if you’re not going to use a landing net. Nevertheless, you can explore alternatives like tailing the fish. This method uses bare hands to land the fish safely. Take note that this method is not accepted on fish reservoirs where you have to release the fish back into the water.
Q: Can you hold a fish by the gills?
A: If you’re fishing for food, it’s totally fine to hold the fish by the gills since you’re going to kill it anyway. However, if you’re on a fishing holiday on a fishery, you should never touch the gills. This will cause damage to the fish, which can lead to its death. When that happens, the reservoir or fishery may ban or penalize you.
Q: Are fishing nets made of plastic?
A: Fishing nets are often made of nylon, which is a type of plastic. Still, it lasts longer and is deemed safe to marine life as long as it’s not left on the water. Make sure that the landing net you’re going to buy is safe for marine life at all times.
A folding landing net with collapsible handle is a must-have for all anglers. It allows you to retrieve your catch safely. Besides, this is a requirement in almost all fisheries, in case you’re planning a fishing trip.
What do you think of these landing nets? Let us know below!