If you look at my Instagram profile, you’ll notice I follow an awful lot of fly fishing and woodworking accounts. I love both pastimes. So what better project than to build a hardwood landing net for chasing trout with a long stick? What follows is a string of photos that tells, step by step, my process for building a trout landing net. This process was completely learned from Instagram and YouTube channels, as well as a couple of blogs. It is a hybrid of many people’s methods, with a few tweaks of my own. This is my first net, and it is made of Black Walnut and Poplar. Details are in photo captions.
Let’s start with the finished product, then go from the beginning.
A form was needed to bend hardwood laminate strips to the desired shape.
A handle was cut from Black Walnut, and matched to the hoop form. After the laminate strips soaked in water a few hours, they were bent and clamped around the form and handle, then left to dry.
These are the dried laminate strips ready for glue-up.
This is how the glued up net looked after removing it from the form.
After hand planing and initial sanding, the net began to take shape.
A groove needed to be cut around the perimeter of the net hoop. A narrow fence was used to allow routing of concave and convex curves.
A close-up of the slot cutting bit just under the narrow fence.
A couple of net frames after routing the 3/32″ groove around the hoop.
3/32″ holes were drilled in the hoop.
After purchasing a net bag, it was stitched here using old fly line; a tough, weather resistant material adding a nice touch by up-cycling the old line.
The net was finished with Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, which is a mixture of boiled linseed and other oils and specially formulated for gunstocks. Three very thinned coats were used as a sealer, then 3 or 4 undiluted coats, buffing between coats. Final treatment was a paste wax.
Looking forward to getting this wet.
The rubber net bag doesn’t scrape the protective slime off fish (as bad as nylon or cotton does) and is easier to remove hooks from.
Walnut and Poplar lamination.