Frabill Hiber-Net

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Frabill Hiber-Net – Product Review

For years I flat out refused to have a landing net on the boat, unless I was tournament fishing. They are just too clunky and get in the way. Clients would get their hooks hung in the netting, it was always hard to find a place to keep them, and they just generally got in the way.

Last year I visited a local tackle shop to get some supplies and I saw a bright orange pipe hanging on the wall. I asked what it was and they said it was a landing net. There was no net that was visible to me, just an orange pipe. But then, I grabbed it off the wall and saw how it worked.

The Frabill Hiber-Net completely retracts into an aluminum tube. Absolutely amazing. You just slide the black handle away from you and the net pops out of it’s hiding place. I had to buy one.

I’m embarrassed to say this but I had lost more than a few fish at the side of the boat with clients on board in the past because I didn’t have a landing net on board. But, to me, the fish that were lost were worth it to avoid all the tangles and messes that having a net on the boat caused. Well, I don’t have to worry about that anymore and my clients can rest easy knowing I’ll get every fish they bring boat side into the boat for a picture now.

I’ve used the net for about a year now and here are my thoughts on the pros and cons of the net.

Pros:

  • You can store this thing just about anywhere.
  • When retracted, there’s no netting to get tangled up in anything, including hooks.
  • It fits in most rod holders.
  • It is built to last. Some times I lay it in the floor in the back of the boat where saltwater tends to pool at times. It’s been drenched in saltwater and there isn’t one speck of rust anywhere on it.
  • It operates as designed flawlessly. It retracts and extends easily and without fail.
  • It has a deep net and a wide “loop”. It has handled fish up to 39.5″ (22lb redfish)  for me with no problem

Cons:

  • Though I like the flexibility of the netting, it is some sort of braided and un-coated material. It will get your hooks tangled in it at times when landing a fish.
  • I had one spanish mackerel that had no trouble cutting through part of the mesh. The mesh doesn’t seem real resistant to sharp objects.
  • Price. With a retail price of $79.99 it isn’t for the budget minded angler. However, if you value quality and convenience like I do, the cost is no issue.

Hit up your local tackle shop and check one of these out. If you have been frustrated by the “necessary” inconvenience of having a landing net on the boat, you owe it to yourself to get one of these nets by Frabill.

***Note: Frabill makes a 52″ and a 72″ version of this landing net. I personally own the 52″ version.