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Fishpond Boat Net Review – My Favorite Net

Fishpond Nomad nets have really become the gold standard for fly fishing nets. They are the nicest, lightest, and most functional nets on the market. Being a Colorado company, I am partial to Fishpond – but fly anglers all over the world enjoy using their nets.

For a long time, I used their El Jefe net – which is a great mid range size. It is perfect for fishing out of a boat, but you can also use it for wade fishing.

I recently upgraded to their mid-length boat net, and it has quickly become my new favorite.

The boat net has a very large hoop – which can net just about any size of trout. However, the mid length handle allows you to take it wade fishing. It is the perfect combo of large and compact at the same time.

This article will cover the benefits of the mid-length boat net, and will hopefully guide you in selecting your next fly fishing net.

One thing to know about all Fishpond nets – is that they float! You don’t have to worry about these nets sinking to the bottom of the river. They will always stay on the surface, and you can easily retrieve them. This isn’t true for Rising and other aluminum net brands that sink like a rock.

The Size Of Fishponds Boat Net

The total length of the mid-length boat net is 44.75″. The hoop of the net is 16″ wide by 24.75″ long. This hoop can net most freshwater fish – any trout, carp, bass, or even pike can fit into the bag. This makes it a great bag for fly anglers that like to go for multiple species. I can bring this net to a warm water lake or a trout river – it will always get the job done.

With the boat net, you can net a fish without having to bend over. Simply dip the net in the water, as it is plenty long. No more straining your back every time you net a fish!

I like the shorter handle on the mid-length net. It makes it an easy net to go wade fishing with – I just slide it into the back of my waist pack. The full length boat net is 55″ long – this makes it very difficult to wade with. The full length boat net is basically just reserved for float fishing. It is simply too long to be versatile.

Although the mid-length boat net can be used for wade fishing, it is best used when slipped into the back of a waist pack. The long handle keeps it from falling out when you’re walking. For anglers using magnet or leash systems, this net would probably be too big – I would opt for a smaller model.

Finishes/Quality Of The Boat Net

I really love the camo prints that Fishpond offers on their nets. The mid-length boat net comes in an “original” color which is a dark green. This was the original color of all the Fishpond Nomad nets. They also make this net in a “salty camo” which I opted for. It is a blueish turquoise camouflage which is quite beautiful. The salty camo is the same price as the original color, so I thought it was a no brainer.

The full length boat net also comes in an original green, as well as a “riverbed camo”. This is a brownish camouflage which looks pretty good. However, the salty camo is not an option with the full length boat net.

Other Fishpond Nomad nets have different finishes depending on the net model. Overall, all of the finishes are high quality and don’t wear off easily – they will get scratched as you fish more, but this isn’t a big deal.

Fishpond nets are extremely strong in design. I have cracked one, but it took about 6 years of hard fishing. Other than that, I have not heard of them cracking. You can definitely bang these nets around without having to baby them. They can withstand abuse from guides and hardcore fisherman without a problem.

The Boat Net Bag

Rubber net bags have become standard in fly fishing. Old school mesh bags are much harder on trout, and they can harm their slime layer – which is actually a huge part of a fishes immune system.

Rubber bags are very easy on fish, and they don’t harm them at all. There is no excuse for not having a rubber net bag anymore.

Clear net bags can get sun faded pretty easily, and they will turn yellow after a season or two. I prefer the black net bags, as they last much longer. The salty camo version comes standard with a black bag – which I would highly recommend.

These Nomad bags are easily replaceable, they are simply strung in with fly line backing. It does take some effort, but it isn’t hard. Most fly shops will have spare Nomad bags for sale.

The Weight

The mid-length boat net weighs 1.23 lbs with the rubber bag. Considering the size of this net, this is a pretty impressive weight that any angler can carry. Competitor brands made of aluminum are much heavier – carbon fiber is obviously the best and lightest option, and Fishpond knows this.

This lightweight construction is really great for wade fisherman. Not having to carry a heavy net is a huge plus – especially when you’re covering some river miles. This is why Fishpond Nomad nets are much more appealing than an aluminum net. Sorry, Rising fanboys.

Pricing

As of June 2022, the mid-length boat net is priced at $239.95, which seems quite expensive for most folks. The price of Nomad nets is often what deters fly anglers from getting one. It is simply out of the budget for a lot of folks. I totally understand this – committing to a Fishpond Nomad net is a bigger decision.

However, considering the quality of these nets, I think the price is justified. They last forever, and there isn’t a lighter, more durable net on the market.

Fishpond Nomad nets definitely target anglers who prefer premium products. For the frugal angler that doesn’t care about nets, Fishpond isn’t the best choice. They are really made for guides and anglers who are super into the sport. For those of us that fish a lot, we know how convenient a quality net is.

With this being said, the boat nets are the priciest of the Nomad net line. Their smaller nets start at around $125, which is more affordable.

Conclusion

For seasoned fly anglers who target big fish, the Fishpond mid-length boat net is a great choice. It is a superb quality net that will last a long time, and I highly recommend it. This net is also an awesome net for float fishing, as it can be easily stored in a raft or a drift boat. It can net some huge fish, but can also be used for smaller fish as well.

For fly anglers targeting smaller fish on smaller streams, I would probably opt for a smaller net like the Nomad Native or Nomad Emerger. These nets are easier to transport and can be used with magnet/leash systems.

Although they are expensive, there is a reason that Fishpond Nomad nets are the #1 choice of guides and seasoned fly anglers. They are strong, lightweight, and built to last. There isn’t a better net on the market.