Irish Anglers Digest review the Fastnet Trout Gye Landing Net
There are some things in fishing that we pay close attention to and there are some that we never ever think about until something goes wrong. My reels are always carefully examined, washed and greased and my fly-lines are ritually stretched, washed and polished. I somehow imagine that without these actions being religiously carried out, there will be a catastrophic failure just at the point of success. On the other hand, I trust my waders to remain waterproof no matter how remiss I am about their care and I expect my waistcoat to just simply carry on doing its job year in, year out.
Nets are another area where I have never invested much thought. I simply sling mine on my back and expect it to perform as required. This somewhat unsophisticated idea has, however, recently been challenged by an innovative series of nets designed and manufactured by Fastnet, a relatively new name in the tackle market. This product is the result of some serious application of engineering design and techniques and it ably shows how a little thought can revolutionise a product which, previously, had never seemed to be flawed.
The prototype net was manufactured for a gentleman who, due to injury, had a difficulty operating a normal net. Mr Cairns, a close friend of the aforementioned gentleman, an engineer and a man who liked a challenge, set out to design a net which had the maximum strength to weight ratio possible. As a result, the Fastnet was born and a ripple of excitement, based on word of mouth, spread around the game waters of Scotland.
The net I have been using for the past couple of months is the Trout Gye Landing Net and it has proven to be superb. It is a testament to the products design that once I slip it on my back, I actually forget that it's there. I use the additional Peel Sling and I have found that the net just finds its own place on the back of an already heavily loaded waistcoat. When I need to use it, it is just a matter of reaching round and releasing it.
The mechanism to prime the net is, without a doubt, the best I have ever used. I have always used a leading brand of net and have lost fish as, to allow one handed operation, I have had to stand on the net's rim and tug hard on the handle to extend it. This situation simply does not arise with this net. The head is light yet solid and the hexagonal shaft allows minimal torsional rigidity, making the product stiff yet manageable and allowing the whole thing to slide together in one easy movement.
I don't have the technical expertise (or the word allowance!) to fully explain the engineering behind the Fastnet net. I fully suggest that you check out their website for an impressively detailed synopsis of the nets qualities. From my point of view, I can only tell you that it's light, easy to manipulate and made from the highest quality materials, even down to the cork handle. The lifetime guarantee and the fact that the net is manufactured in the UK rather than mass produced in the Far East only adds to its appeal.
It's not often that I find myself in the position of being excited by the engineering and design qualities of a landing net. I'd always thought that a net was a net and, as long as it opened and my fish didn't fall through the bottom, I thought I was happy. The Fastnet has changed my perspective.
Irish Anglers Digest - June 2009