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Thread: Copper River net vs Kenai River net

  1. #1

    Default Copper River net vs Kenai River net

    Me and a group of buddies are heading up to the Copper next weekend for our first copper dippin' adventure. I'm seeing a lot of people using the smaller landing style nets with green or white netting material. I don't have a net yet and want to konw what kind I should pick up to use on this river? I don't see anyone using the big 5 foot Kenai nets, that's for sure! I found a 36" diameter net at B and J's that I almost bought, but I figured I would ask before I go spending $100 on a net. What is the recommendation for the Copper?

  2. #2

    Default Copper Nets

    Personally use a 4' hoop. I like a round one, but the octagon works fine, too. Gill net webbing (Donalson's) catches them real well, but it takes longer to get the fish out. I always bring extra setups for backup.

    I use a DipNet Protector

    to transport my hoops and protect them from snagging and UV. I can get 4-5 hoops in one bag easily.

    Big Kenai hoop is a liability on the Copper; too much drag from surface area.

    Your pole is as important as the net. Personally have sworn off the black fiberglass kind, as they tend to split around the button hole. Length of pole depends on whether you're on a boat or sweeping or on a hole with a reachable depth or up with your back against a cliff face.

    I bring extra poles of different lengths. Also, I make my poles from antenna steel for rigidity. Use a D handle with 3/4" EMT inserted for leverage.

    Here's the connector for the hoop:
    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    Here's what this looks like: It's made by Thomas and Betts and is part of their Superstrut product line. Got them at Home Depot.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the info...I might swing by Donalsons and pick something up. Would something like the one linked below work? I'm assuming you could buy (2) 6 foot handles to give you the length you would need, and wondering what you would do about an actual handle on the end?

  4. #4


    B&J has "T" handles that should work. You could insert EMT into the T to give you more leverage.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by bravodelta View Post
    Would something like the one linked below work? I'm assuming you could buy (2) 6 foot handles to give you the length you would need...
    These poles and nets are real good. The poles are rigid and light and extendable. Your 12' length should be good at the Copper. One hole I used to fish I'd jam a 16' pole all the way to the bottom where the kings were. Your shorter length will work real good on the finners right next to the shoreline as well as on a boat at the Kenai or Kasilof later. I would replace the button with the aforementioned connector.

    PS Donalson's has DipNet Protectors, too.

  6. #6


    Well, those that I linked above are discontinued according to Donalson's. They said the hoops were breaking. They recommended one of their 3 foot hoops they have for the Copper. thanks for the advice gr8fl. I"ll swing by Donalson's after work and check 'em out.

  7. #7


    What size mesh is the gill net webbing from Donaldson's? Thanks.

  8. #8


    Not sure, but they work for me. Check them out at

  9. #9


    Thanks, they're 4 1/2 inch mesh, I can see it printed on the bag in their photo in the upper right hand corner. I appreciate the link.

  10. #10


    The setup you linked is the one you want. I think two 6' lengths like you mentioned will be perfect. I got three last year and it was a bit to much as I actively sweep the Copper the whole time. Donalson's is definitely the place to go. They will have everything you need.

  11. #11


    Well, I went to Donalson's and bought (2) 36" hoop-style nets, (2) 6ft handles, and (2) Super-T handles. We'll find out how they work a week from today! Thanks for all the recommendations gr8fl. So, when you talk about replacing the push-buttons with the spring-nuts, are you saying remove the button, slide the spring-nut in the handle, and then use a bolt (possibly with some loktite) to attach? Have you had the push-buttons fail and lose a net?
    Attachment 60346

  12. #12


    I've never lost a net from the button failing, and you may be fine with it like it is. I like the extra security of the bolt, especially in the strong water surges at the Copper. I haven't used loktite, just a nice beefy lockwasher. Of course, you want to add a crescent wrench and maybe an extra bolt into your toolbag for the trip. (Come to think of it, you may want to throw in some extra parts for the next guy's setup, too. We've seen people get all the way out to their favorite fishing hole and forget key components to their net/pole connection.)

    You end up having to drill out the buttonhole a tad if you're going to use the bolt.

    When I used to use the fiberglass poles, the torque on the net would cause the buttonhole to enlarge over time, get sloppy, and eventually I'd lose track of where the vertical position of the hoop was. Once the buttonhole got out-of-round, cracks would start showing up and the pole would soon split. I'd have to hack off the split section, drill a new buttonhole, and really keep an eye on things. Copper currents can really tweak around your net and pole.

  13. #13
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Eagle River


    I only have one of the 5' Kenai dipnets. I know it will be more difficult, but is it still doable?

    Also where is the best place in Anchorage to buy a Dipnet that would be better suited for the Copper River?

    I am going tomorrow for the first time and am slightly concerned after reading this thread.


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