BUYER'S GUIDE: Carp landing nets [VIDEO]

We’ve rounded up six very different carp landing nets for this group review to find out which is best for your angling needs.

What to look for

Spreader block

This is the join into which the net’s two removable arms slot. It’s also the connection to the handle, so it must be strong and it must be able to hold the arms firmly in place without making it impossible to remove them when you need to collapse the net. Weight also plays a key part in the net’s overall balance.

Size

Still universally stated in inches, the measurement of a triangular net is taken at its widest point, which is always at the ‘draw cord’ connecting the two arms at the furthest point from the spreader block. As carp have grown, so have nets, with a 42ins net generally standard these days.

Handle length 

 A 6ft handle remains standard, but there are plenty of other options available. Two-piece, three-piece and retractable handles can give you more flexibility. If you fish zigs rigs, a longer handle can help. If you fish from a boat, a short handle (or ability to pull apart a longer one) can be advantageous.

Total Fishing Gear DL Black Edition landing net

RRP: £59.99

www.totalfishinggear.co.uk

The DL here stands for Dave Lane, who has had a hand in the development of plenty of TFG products. This net echoes Dave’s no-nonsense approach to angling – it’s sturdy, lightweight and very, very easy to use. It might not be the best looker, but it also isn’t compromised by trying to do anything clever. The mesh extends slightly deeper at the rear (towards the handle) but that means it can be easily tucked up into the spreader block out of harm’s way when not in use.

Sonik DominatorX landing net

RPP: £99.99

www.soniksports.com

Blending looks with performance, this sub-£100 offering from Sonik is a real show off. The minimalistic stainless-steel spreader block is sturdy and easy to use, while the two-piece 8ft handle offers plenty of versatility.

Both the handle and the net arms are made from a stiff carbon composite and the mesh itself is slightly on the shallow side for easy maneuverability.   

Avid Captive landing net

RRP: £59.99

www.avidcarp.com

The Captive landing nets are available with one or two-piece handles and offer a great package for the price. They certainly look more expensive than the TFG of the same RRP, and the anti-glare black finish to the handle and spreader block is in keeping with modern trends. The mesh is super fine around the rim and has a lovely green colour to it, while the spreader block is small and well built, though getting the reinforced carbon arms out takes a little bit of effort.

JRC Cocoon landing net

RRP: £89.99

www.jrc-fishing.co.uk

Packed to the rafters with features for under £90, this net nearly has it all. The magnetic net-retention system is effortless, the subtle floatation foam around the arms is a brilliant idea and the 6ft 6ins handle, with detachable top section offers great reach. The only hitch is the quick-release stainless-steel spreader block, which looks amazing but can be fiddly to get to grips with. If it had a standard spreader block we’d choose this one every time.

Kodex Serenity landing net

RRP: Net only £38.89 (CX-i handle £45)

www.kodextackle.com

The Serenity net doesn’t come with a handle so we’ve paired it with Kodex’s two-piece CXi pole. Far and away the slimmest handle on test, it looks and feels like a high-end rod yet retains enough strength for use. It balances very well with the Serenity net, which is one of the easiest to dismantle thanks to the slightly pliable plugs on the end of the arms. The green mesh stands out from the crowd and is very soft.  

Rod Hutchinson Dream Maker landing net

RRP: £149.99

www.rodhutchinson.co.uk

Comfortably the most expensive on test, but probably also the best.

It has sumptuous carbon detailing, a carbon spreader block and a very neat extending handle that goes from 5ft 6ins to 8ft 9ins with a twist-lock butt section.

There’s also a net float as standard and a very simple sprung mesh clip which keeps the net out of the way until a fish fills it.

A Velcro strap keeps the net from gaping at the spreader block and the addition of carry handles in the base of the mesh helps you safely bring a fish out of the water.

A magnetic net-retention system, rather than the ring-and-clip system which can snag, would make the Dream Maker perfect.