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Thread: Best dipnet design ?

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    Default Best dipnet design ?

    I was wondering if anyone would like to comment some of the best things to look for in a new dipnet. Primarily for Kenai and Kasilof bank fishery.
    I have noticed a lot of different dipnet designs in the last few years. I was just wanting some input as to what has worked and not. For example shape, length, extensions, handles, floats, portability, etc.

    Please, Please do not think I am trying to start a fight between manufacturers and builders. I am just curious as to what has been working well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n8atak View Post
    I was wondering if anyone would like to comment some of the best things to look for in a new dipnet. Primarily for Kenai and Kasilof bank fishery.
    I have noticed a lot of different dipnet designs in the last few years. I was just wanting some input as to what has worked and not. For example shape, length, extensions, handles, floats, portability, etc.

    Please, Please do not think I am trying to start a fight between manufacturers and builders. I am just curious as to what has been working well.
    Depends what you want & how you use it.

    For example I think a square/rectangle net is best for a floating net; they slay'm with those.

    But for more normal dipping I firmly believe that a 5' hoop is the very best from shore.

    Do some math on figuring the square footage of:
    - 5' hoop
    - 4' hoop
    - 5' square
    - etc.

    OK now that you'd done that, figure the "dead zone" which is the part of your net that usually doesn't catch fish because they see the hoop and swim around it. If that dead zone is something like 10" from your hoop, all of a sudden that 5' hoop has about TWICE the square footage as a 4' hoop or any square/rectangle net.

    In nets, bigger is better.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Wow, FM, now that's breaking it down to a science. Is that 'dead zone' figure something you surmise or is that based on some sort of study? I'm asking seriously...

    I'm assuming that would also change depending on the water clarity...

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    Default deduction and study

    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Wow, FM, now that's breaking it down to a science. Is that 'dead zone' figure something you surmise or is that based on some sort of study? I'm asking seriously...

    I'm assuming that would also change depending on the water clarity...
    Yes on the clarity; that's the only time it matters.

    Surmise? Study?

    I'd like to think both, but prefer to use the word deduction, and the study is mine alone.

    How many times do they hit your hoop and swim away? About as many times as they hit the dead zone inside your hoop, I deduct, by the odds.

    I'd prefer that someone else do the math I mention and post it here, but if no one else does, I will.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Out of the probably 40 fish I personally dipped this year, I likely felt 3-4 hits that I thought were hoop bonkers. This was fish creek and obviously VERY dirty water...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    bigger is better.
    Like I've been sayin, dippers are all about size
    Last edited by fullbush; 08-07-2010 at 23:09. Reason: B.O.F. exhibit 47

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    The math...

    A 4' hoop is 12.6 sq ft

    A 5' hoop is 19.6 sq ft

    A 3' x 4' rectangle is 12 sq ft

    I prefer polygon shapes as they are much, much easier to build (not to mention the cool factor). Mine is a hexagon with roughly 18 sq ft. So I don't lose much area vs the round net, but beat the heck out of a rectangle.

    I don't buy into this "dead zone" concept at all. You might be able to sell that if your net was flat across the opening of the hoop and the fish were able to see the entire frame so they knew which way to go to avoid it, however, the net has a pouch that is at least half the diameter of the frame. Thus you have at least 2-2.5 feet of bag hanging out down current. If you are fishing the flood, then yes your frame will be in front and maybe a fish passing within a short distance of the frame would be "spooked" and alter course. But think about that for a second. If they are on the outside of the frame, they will turn away from it, but you weren't going to catch them anyway. If they are on the inside of the frame, they are going to turn deeper into your net and you caught him. Further, the fact that fish actually bump into the frame, not to mention the handle, is evidence that they don't see the dang frame and run right into it anyway.

    If you're fishing the ebb, the frame is way behind the net and the fish will encounter the net first. The frame becomes a totally moot point.

    Here's something to think about... fish don't see all that well anyway, so they use pressure sensors along the side of the body to detect motion coupled with pretty good noses to scent out where they are going. If you are moving your frame, the fish will sense that motion long before they can see it. And if your net is stationary but the water is moving by, that's creating pressure waves just like the frame moving through still water. So my theory (untested) is that a net that is drifting at the same speed as the current without any skewing motion would be the most "invisible" to an approaching fish.

    To answer the OP's questions...

    I think the best net/frames are polygons (hexagon, octagon, etc.) that have a short handle in the 8-10' range. I want the frame to remove from the handle fairly easy, but be rigid enough to just leave it connected all the time if you want. Frame and handle should be aluminum with a single side handle off the top about a foot from the end. Except for the handle to frame joint that is retained by a single SS bolt, everything else is solidly welded together. Flotation installed on the handle so that when I drop the net to deal with stringing fish, it stays floating (the net end should sink, the fisherman end of the handle stays out of the water). Cook Inlet green gillnet lashed on with a 3' bag.

    If I put the frame of my net, fully assembled, in the short-bed of my truck, the handle comfortably sticks over the cab and everything is held in place by a single strap at the front of the bed. It is very portable.
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    Good post, Scott. No 'T' handle love? Dippin from the boat seems to favor the use of a 'T' from what I've seen...but I could be wrong...

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    It's a "T"... just sideways.
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    With one end much longer than the other...

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    Default OK here is the math that shows the effective size of opening per different hoop size

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    The math...

    A 4' hoop is 12.6 sq ft

    A 5' hoop is 19.6 sq ft

    A 3' x 4' rectangle is 12 sq ft
    I'd like to recompute those. With each, let me assume that there is an area within the hoop 12 inches large that is not effective for catching, because if they're swimming that close to your hoop in clear water they'll swim around it. They swim around things all day long for a living, so I don't consider this to be a stretch:

    4' HOOP: Eliminate the one foot dead zone and you have an effective 2' diameter circle left, whose area is: 3.14 square feet size

    5' HOOP: Eliminate the one foot dead zone and you have an effective 3' diameter circle left, whose area is: 7.06 square feet size - MORE THAN DOUBLE THE SIZE

    3'X4' SQUARE HOOP: Eliminate the one foot dead zone and you have an effective 2' X 1' square left, whose area is: 2 square feet size

    So the 5' hoop is effectively double the size of the 4' hoop, and well over 3 times the size of the 3x4 square hoop. Only if or course you buy into my theory that there is a dead zone within 1 foot of your hoop.

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    A really, really rough "paint" drawing attached. I like this handle placement as you put the end of the main shaft under your armpit and the single side handle is sticking up right in front of you. You control the net with one hand on that. You'll spend many hours just standing there, waiting for fish. This handle design lets you lean forward against the net frame like a crutch and take a load off. If the "T" is on the end or you have a grain-scoop handle, you are having to hold the whole handle up in front of you all the time. Very tiring IMHO.

    The red lines show where I have a foam flotation sleeve attached to the handle. I can let go of the net completley and the handle stays floating up and out of the water so I don't lose the net.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    I'd like to recompute those. With each, let me assume that there is an area within the hoop 12 inches large that is not effective for catching, because if they're swimming that close to your hoop in clear water they'll swim around it. They swim around things all day long for a living, so I don't consider this to be a stretch.
    First you said 10 inches, now it's 12 inches. Does that mean tomorrow it will be 14 inches?

    Schooling fish swim side-by-side, often less than an inch from each other. More often than not, as they start into the river they are swimming with their bellies nearly in direct contact with the riverbottom. Why would they have any need to give a silver stick 10 or 12 inches of clearance when they are used to swimming in nearly direct contact with other stuff all the time?

    If the average thickness of a sockeye is in the order of about 4 inches, then why would they have to clear an obstruction by 3 times their body size?

    The water isn't clear. Not even close. Visibility in the Cook Inlet is probably closer to 4 inches. And I still contend that if you are holding the net still, it's not going to spook them anyway. If you are moving the net (up, down, side to side, etc.) then your chances of creating a 'dead zone' would be higher. If the water wasn't so murky, I'd say let's put a camera on a net frame and see if any fish are steering out of the way as they approach your net. Of course we can't do that because you can't see in this water at all.

    These fish swim into stuff all the time. Hence the reason why they run into your net's frame and handle. If fish never bounced off the frame, I might be able to see your theory as plausible. Since fish constantly and easily hit your net frame, I'd say the evidence is stacked against you on this one.
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    Very nice. Consider adding a 2 to 3 inch pipe down at the very bottom, to stck into the riverbottom
    and hold your net against current. I've seen nets with this sticker peg and it looked like a good idea.

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    Hey JOAT, you don't draw or paint for a living, do you? Cause if you do,somebody is hurting in the finance department, I betcha!!! Ha-ha
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Very nice. Consider adding a 2 to 3 inch pipe down at the very bottom, to stck into the riverbottom
    and hold your net against current. I've seen nets with this sticker peg and it looked like a good idea.
    When we first started building net frames many years back at the beginning of the PU fishery, that peg first appeared on nets from our shop. The idea came from Silvertip where the nets were sold. That idea lasted exactly 2 seasons before it was dumped. First, the peg was prone to causing the net to get tangled up. Second, a frame without it stayed put just as well as a net with it. So through practical use, it was determined to be a bad idea on one front with zero benefits. It just added a bunch of unneeded labor onto the construction, and thus was dropped from the design.

    No, I don't draw or paint for a living. I'm very poor at freehand artistic stuff. Now, give me drafting table or AutoCAD and I'll whip up a perfect picture of whatever mechanical thing you need.
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    I would have to agree with the peg assessment. I'm thinking the net would get hung up on it as a net will hang up on just about anything. A cut off slip tie, a bolt head or anything else it can find. In fact, I think it is worse than an electrical cord and we all know electrical cords will hang up on anything.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Fish get caught on the outside of the net as often as inside in my experience. Sometimes just by a tooth. 3 dimensional consideration. Think cube feet over square feet. When there is current to inflate the bag a longer net is better.

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    And what's the limit on the size of the net bag length? Is it twice the distance across the hoop?

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    Depth must at least be half the longest dimension. No upper limit on the net depth.

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