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The Fishpond Nomad Net series offers a wide range of fishing net shapes and sizes. You can choose long-handled nets that are great for boats, do-it-all mid-length nets, or traditional short-handled fly fishing nets.
For last summer, I choose the Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net as my new do-it-all fly fishing net. After getting some quality time in on the water, this is what I learned:
Fishpond Nomad Nets
The key to choosing your own Fishpond Nomad net is knowing where and how you’ll like to carry it most often. If you’re primarily wade fishing with a vest, sling pack, or fishing backpack, a short-handled landing net like the Nomad Native Net is the way to go. They’re lightweight and nimble and you can easily clip it to a magnetic net holder for fast and easy access.
I personally spend most of my time on the water fishing with a fly fishing waist pack. I wanted a longer-handled net that I could slip between the my go-to waist pack and my body. This lets me keep the net behind me and out of the way while fishing . . . but also easily accessible.
In addition, I wanted a slightly longer handle to make it a bit easier to use the landing net while fishing from a raft.
I seriously considered the Nomad Emerger Net but ultimately decided a couple more inches in handle length and a slightly wider bag would serve me better. I also considered the 41″ Nomad El Jefe Net but determined that a slightly smaller and more nimble net is what I wanted. Even though the Nomad Mid-Length Net could be longer for fishing from a boat, it would still be long enough to safely get the job done.
The Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net has a relatively wide and deep net, a.k.a. bag — the bag is 13″ wide by 18″ long. The handle is 18″ long and the entire net measures 37″ end-to-end.
Fishpond Nomad nets are known for being both lightweight and tough. They’re made from a carbon fiber/fiberglass composite material. They’re waterproof, UV protected, and they float.
Depending on the color/paint job you choose, the Fishpond Nomad nets either come with clear rubber bags or black rubber bags. I choose the Riverbed Camo version, which comes with a black rubber bag.
Some fly fishers believe that a clear rubber is harder for fish to see, which makes netting a fish easier. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter. If a big trout can see a net, it can surely see me. I’m guessing that a few million years of evolution has generated an instinct to avoid large mammals at waters edge. So black or clear? Get whatever you want.
Fit and Finish
Overall, the fit and finish in the Nomad Mid-Length Net is fantastic. The net is soft and pliable, and it’s tied/sewn into the frame at locations designed for a perfect fit. I like the Riverbed Camo pattern, and I’ve picked up a few scratches so far — but it’s been banging around on rocky river banks, too.
If you’re extremely hard on your gear, you can choose the Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net in ‘River Armor’ for about $20 more. The River Armor version has the same overall design but it’s made with an outer layer of woven DuPont Kevlar fiber and carbon fiber to give even greater durability.
In addition, the River Armor version has a scale on the handle, so if you’re catching big fish, you can note the length right before you release the fish.
The Orvis Version
When third-party accessories are truly outstanding, Orvis occasionally works with manufacturers to create Orvis-branded versions. You can see where this is going: Orvis offers three key fishing net size options in the Orvis-exclusive brown camo pattern. I like the Orvis camo and very nearly nabbed an Orvis version. In addition, if you’re a clear rubber fan, the Orvis Nomad Camo Net Series comes with clear rubber bags.
All-in-all, I’m a big fan of the Fishpond Nomad series of nets, which come in a range of key sizes and shapes. Fishpond Nomad nets blend modern materials with great lines, balance and fish-friendly rubber bags. As for the Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net, it’s perfect for fly fishers who like to use waist or lumbar packs. For occasional drift boat and raft use, it’s not quite as good as a true boat-length net, but it’ll get the job done on most rafts and drift boats. Very highly recommended.
Buying alert:If you find one in stock, get it now because COVID-19 has caused massive supply chain and distribution problems for all the best outdoor gear — and we don’t expect that to change until well into 2021.