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Advice re: sewing dipnet/seine knotless mesh, converting landing net to dipnet


16 replies to this topic

#1 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 26 January 2016 - 02:49 PM

I have a Frabill folding landing net with a telescoping handle. Looks like this: (how can I shrink images in a post?)
 
81XtqccjR7L._SL1500_.jpg

The handle extends to 48", and the net opening is 20" x 24", so the fully open and extended net is 72" long. Closed up, it's about 30" x 12" (and it has a carrying bag with a shoulder strap).

In addition to being way too open, the mesh is heavy, inflexible, knotted and rough. Not good for fish health or collecting small creatures. (Not that it matters for my questions here, but the circumference of the net opening is 72".)

 

I want to replace the bag with some 1/8" knotless mesh (like what you get on a Perfect Dipnet) and convert it to a dip net.

This will involve some sewing to make a sleeve to slide over the net's rim and to turn bulk mesh into a bag. Anyone have experience with sewing seine/dipnet mesh? Tips? Pitfalls to avoid?

 

I'm also thinking about sewing a layer of heavy fabric (cordura or some kind of canvas or something) over the sleeve, at least at what will be the bottom edge, to protect the mesh from rocks, gravel, etc. Anyone ever try anything like this?

 

The other thing I haven't decided is how deep to make the bag. With an opening this big, I could see getting some pretty large fish in the net, so I'm thinking it should be at least a few feet deep.

 

Thanks.


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#2 zooxanthellae

zooxanthellae
  • NANFA Member
  • North Carolina

Posted 26 January 2016 - 03:51 PM

Although I can't offer sewing help, I would caution you about that handle. I had the same (or a very similar) net and after a few pulls through weeds, the handle bent in such a way that it was no longer telescoping. I had to break it to get it back in my car!

 

One other thought would be to protect the mesh around the frame. Another nanfa guy showed me a trick where he cut flexible plastic tubing and surrounded the frame in order to protect from abrasions. 

 

It is an interesting idea, and I'd like to see a follow up if you get it working. 



#3 Irate Mormon

Irate Mormon
  • NANFA Member
  • Crooked Creek, Mississippi

Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:05 PM

Have a look at this for starters:

 

 

Ditto what zoo said.  If the netting is exposed around the edges it is gonna last maybe 1 or 2 trips, and the frame will break at the yoke. 

 

In other words, your new dipnet is gonna die!  I tried a lot of stuff before I settled on (this was before Jonah started marketing these things) the monorail net from Aquatic Eco.  I had to make some modifications in order to make everything work, but the result has stood the test of time.  And now we have the Perfect Dipnet, so all the work has been done for you. 


-Martin
 
Neither Mormon, nor particularly Irate. 
 
Turning money into noise!


#4 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:29 PM

I understand about the abrasion issues. I was thinking about using that tubing trick to protect it, or a layer of something tough over the mess in abrasion-heavy areas. I did use this net for some dipping last summer (with a layer of fine mesh fabric inside it--stuff I grabbed from the site of an outdoor wedding where it had been used as decoration, so not meant for toughness) and was surprised at how well the handle handled the pressure, despite being used in deep fast-flowing flood water with rocky bottom and lots of snags. I had another net with a handle that kinked and never telescoped again, so was on the lookout for signs that it was going to happen.
I don't dip net much, so I don't know that I can justify the expense of a Perfect. I have used one once, and it was great, but I probably wouldn't want to use it as a landing net occasionally, and I could do that with my modified net.
That video you linked showed how to make a net. I want to know if there are special requirements for sewing the soft, knotless mesh used on dipnets.

Anyone have any ruined old seines they'd sell me super cheap so I could cut them up and experiment?
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#5 gzeiger

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  • NANFA Guest

Posted 26 January 2016 - 09:44 PM

They call it the Perfect Dipnet because that's what it is. I've had mine for seven years now and it's as good as new. I'm considering buying a couple more because they're awesome, to have variation in color and bag depth. Man I'm spoiled. I used to buy a $25 net every other month. The time you'll have to put in to customizing that one has to be worth less than about forty cents an hour for this venture to make sense, even neglecting materials.

 

If it's fun, though, by all means carry on. I have done something like this before, and it was a blast to make. It totally fell apart though and I never caught a single fish with it, so I bought another $25 net which caught a bunch of cool fish and then fell apart and then I bought a Perfect Dipnet and all was sunshine and rainbows ever since.



#6 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 26 January 2016 - 10:48 PM

As much as I know you're right and I've had enough similar experiences to prove it, it's hard to let go of the idea. Maybe I'll put a Perfect on my birthday list and see what happens, and make my own at some point anyway.
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#7 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:58 AM

On Jonah's website it looks like he sells the net head only for $33... and that is where most of the magic is really... if you want to try to go with less expense and customize a handle, you could try that?


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#8 gzeiger

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:55 PM

I hadn't seen that. Maybe I will go buy the whole collection....



#9 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:49 PM

I was thinking of doing that.
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#10 fundulus

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  • Global Moderator

Posted 28 January 2016 - 09:29 AM

I've taken a Perfect net to Panama five times to catch various livebearers, killifish, gobies and characins in habitats ranging from slow muddy creeks to whitewater coming down from a volcano. It's like new.....
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#11 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 28 January 2016 - 09:47 AM

Making your own net, especially from scratch.

:(

 

Owning a Perfect Dipnet, many seasons of success.

:)


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#12 gzeiger

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  • NANFA Guest

Posted 06 February 2016 - 01:44 PM

You really have to just love doing it. It's quite a distinct hobby from fishing in any form.



#13 olaf

olaf
  • NANFA Member

Posted 09 March 2016 - 02:46 PM

Well, I got a Perfect Dipnet as a gift the other day. Can't wait to use it, but immediately got sick and haven't been out yet. I still might try making my own giant dipnet for fun, though now I don't really have a reason. Wish the Perfect's head would fold in half so I could tuck the whole thing in a backpack and take it everywhere I fish. I think I'll make a bag for it (heavy nylon/cordura) that will attach to my pack but protect the net from catching on branches and rocks while hiking.
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#14 gzeiger

gzeiger
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 09 March 2016 - 07:14 PM

With a good frame backpack you should be able to just strap it on the back. That depends to some extent on how hardcore your hiking is, but the net is durable enough that incidental branches encountered in normal hiking on a trail won't be a problem. I use my net on rocks and sticks with some frequency, and like I said it's over seven years as good as new.



#15 don212

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  • NANFA Member

Posted 09 March 2016 - 09:41 PM

On Jonah's website it looks like he sells the net head only for $33... and that is where most of the magic is really... if you want to try to go with less expense and customize a handle, you could try that?

that's what i did ,he also has a minidipper head



#16 Doug_Dame

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  • NANFA Member

Posted 10 March 2016 - 03:39 PM

As much as I know you're right and I've had enough similar experiences to prove it, it's hard to let go of the idea. Maybe I'll put a Perfect on my birthday list and see what happens, and make my own at some point anyway.

 

Now that your dipnet situation is well resolved, and you still have some DIY-juice left ... time to be thinking about your 4-foot one-person seine. Some people are wizards catching fish with them, and AFAIK they're not an item you can buy, Keep the brails as light as is practical. 


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#17 olaf

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  • NANFA Member

Posted 10 March 2016 - 04:39 PM

Been thinking about that...
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