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Square Vs. Round Nets, finally answered

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  • Square Vs. Round Nets, finally answered

    I've had discussions with folks over the years about the contrast between the two different styles of nets. Finally, here's some science to clear the air a bit:

    This is a comparison of the square footage of each net style given the maximum span of 5 feet is being used for each.

    For a 5' hoop, the rough circumference of the hoop needs to be about 15 feet; this give you a surface area in your net of just over 19 square feet.

    For a square net (3'x4') this give you a "carpenters square" of a 5' diagonal span and you only end up with 12 square feet.

    Clearly you get an additional 4 square feet of net exposure area giving you a bit of an advantage over the square net.

    Personally, I use a "fly-swatter" ultra light net that my father in law built (i contributed very little to the construction, lol) and works famously. We both usually haul em in pretty good but our main advantage is staying in the water.


    So there ya have it. Round's vs. Square's = Rounds win.

    Good luck to all this upcoming season, I'm getting antsy already and dreaming of the upcoming bouncing nets and wobbling handles.
    Attached Files
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  • #2
    Thanks for the math lesson.

    I always liked the way the round dipnet looks and that is why I bought one years ago. It's good to know that I'm fishing better with it than with a square dipnet.

    Comment


    • #3
      I bent mine up from 1/2" conduit and made it an octagon. Unless you have a tubing bender it's pretty tough to make a nice circle, and the octagon's area is pretty close to that of a circle.

      Of course one could contend if the fish are running at a certain depth the rectangular net will provide more area at a given depth.

      All that said I really don't think the size of the hoop matters that much. If the fish are running, you'll have little problem limiting out. If they aren't, no matter how big your net, you'll have little to show for the effort.

      On the Copper I use a landing net, the current is simply too strong for a larger frame, and you can get 30 fish in a few hours when they are running strong.
      Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

      If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll challenge your "logic" with practice. (p.s. I've built several hundred dipnet frames, nearly all of them 3x4 rectangles).

        A 5' diameter circle requires ~17' of bar stock to make the frame. A 3x4 rec takes ~15' of bar stock. Bar stock comes in 12' lengths (unless custom ordered at considerable cost) so a weld or joint is needed. The extra ~3' needed divides into 12, therefore you have zero waste and get 4 complete frames out of 5 bars of material. The round version takes an extra 5' per unit, meaning you get 2 frames out of 3 bars with 2' of waste. Welding together several smaller pieces is not an option as the weld creates a weak spot.

        On a rectangle, the joint is on a flat and allows for a low stress area for the weld. The round hoop must have the weld bent during the rolling process, which can further weaken the weld. So the way around that is to special order your longer length stock and spend more money to make a circle. Even a pentagon or octagon shape allows you to put the joint on a flat section. And the weld can actually be done after bending. Rolling a circle is difficult. Bending out a rectangle on a jig takes seconds and is nearly fool proof.

        So, after all that, yes your rectangle has a 12 square foot opening and your hoop has a 19.6 square foot opening. However, when you go down to the beach (Kenai or Kasilof) and look at the perfomance between the 2 styles, you'll note that the rectangle puts the entire net under water. Nearly everyone I see fishing a 5' hoop has about 2/3 of the net under water with a big chunk of hoop sticking up in the air not catching anything. You can submerge the rect in 3' of water, but who wants to wade out to 5' of water to get the whole hoop under? Those I see who try this have all the fish jumping behind them in shallower water. So try doing the math to see what the surface area of your 5' hoop is when you're in 3' of water. Also, the rectangle puts the wide part of the opening along the bottom where it seems the fish like to run. The hoops put a narrow edge of the circle down there with the widest part of the net closer to the surface.

        I've repeatedly outfished 5' hoops all around me with a 3x4 rectangle. However, for my personal net I've switched to a pentagon shape that basically adds another triangle of opening to each end of the 3x4 (cut just right to keep the straight-line opening under 5'). All the bennies of the rectangle with a bit more opening area. Takes more effort to build than a rectangle, which is why we never went commercial with those (and the fact that the dipnet market pretty much dried up a couple years ago).
        Winter is Coming...

        Go GeocacheAlaska!

        Comment


        • #5
          ah, i sense much knowledge

          so i will hijack this thread

          since i am not a welder and have no access to a welder of any kind anyway, i am considering building my first dipnet out of 1/2" diameter copper pipe. i can sweat copper pipe with the best of 'em

          do you think 1/2" copper is stiff enough to withstand current AND struggling fish or will it bend and cause me nothing but frustration?

          thanks in advance for your input!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm assuming we are talking about the Kenai, as the copper is a different animal, much harder on gear due to the current.

            This frame was bent from 1/2" conduit, I welded two sticks together then bent them with a conduit bender. It's held up fine for the past 5 years, and has had as many as 6 reds in at a time. 1/2" copper should work at least as well. I used a closet rod for the handle and through bolted with two 1/4" bolts.

            Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

            If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a round net and on the kenai a short guy like me has to get up to his arm pit to get a 15 foot net out far enough to be submerged. And if you are as stuborn as me and insist on not waisting net space then you find that you have to jump when a wave comes in to avoid getting soaked. Good work out not a lot of fun though.

              Comment


              • #8
                Okay, I should have clarified this from the beginning. I have a round net and only use it from a boat on the Kenai. I haven't tried anything else so I can't compare it directly to a rectangular/octagonal net. I'm happy with it and so is my wife who does all the canning.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wear a wetsuit, and float out a bit past where the folks with the long poles have their nets. I have no problem fully submerging the net.
                  Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                  If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a 5' diameter round net that is 15' long from tip of handle to far end of hoop. I have only dipped the south side of the Kasilof so far. Maybe once tide swing there was 6-8" of my hoop out of the water, but otherwise it was fully submerged without wading out much past my waist. I think the above statement about when the fish are running, it doesn't much matter is right. We were catching them as fast as we could empty our net and get them back in the water on our last trip. On our first trip (July 3rd) it was slow for us and everyone else (net shape didn't seem to matter). I did notice that most of those fish were coming in up high during that last trip, I can see where a rectangular net suspended just below the surface may have given you a bit of an advantage. But the ultimate factor for me: I paid $140 for my round net last year, I'm not about to go get a rectangular one

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bingo

                      You use what you've got and they'll all do the job. The net mesh/color and fisherman's strategy play much more important roles than the shape/size of the frame.

                      I like the Kasilof myself. I prefer to use a shorter handle of about 10 feet and wade out to about belly deep, which puts all of the frame well underwater. Using a wire cable fish stringer, I won't leave the water and quite often catch fish while I'm pulling fish out of the net. Just pull the net back to me, work the fish out of the mesh, slit the gills and stick 'em on the stringer. Then work out the next one. When you finally get an empty net, just push it back out in front of you.

                      I find it humorous to watch guys with 15-20' poles drag the whole operation 25-30 yards back to the beach with every fish. That's a lot of time not fishing.

                      1/2" copper tubing will work just fine. I've seen many frames made from it and they do well. I would suggest that you leave means for the tubing to easily drain to keep water from being trapped in it.

                      An easy way to strengthen tubing is to fill it with 2-part expanding foam. You mix 2 liquids together (like epoxy) and pour it into the tubing of the completed frame such that the open ends are up and the liquid will run to the opposite side of the frame. It will soon begin expanding and fill the tubing completely with foam. The result is a very strong piece of tubing, however I think this is way overkill for a dipnet frame. So I guess I'm just rambling now...
                      Winter is Coming...

                      Go GeocacheAlaska!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        it's not the size of the net hoop that matters it's how you use

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JOAT View Post
                          You use what you've got and they'll all do the job.

                          I like the Kasilof myself.

                          I find it humorous to watch guys with 15-20' poles drag the whole operation 25-30 yards back to the beach with every fish. That's a lot of time not fishing.

                          ...
                          I like the Kasilof too,for several reasons.I like south peninsula better,and I like the more layed back atmosphere and view.But I find the fish quality less than kenai or chitina(not talking size,just tastebuds).

                          The less round frame idea makes sense,but Im not going to put much effort into changing from a round frame.Although I would like to have a custom frame made for the chitina,a small oval /round frame that looks like a seine boat brailer.
                          As far as backin up the beach goes,Im always looking for an excuse to get out of the water and move around.I lose very little "fishing time" and I like my fish a bit fresher than most.

                          ak4195

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not to steal the thread, but perhaps this question will help some of us new folks to dipnetting out...

                            "I like the Kasilof myself. I prefer to use a shorter handle of about 10 feet and wade out to about belly deep, which puts all of the frame well underwater. Using a wire cable fish stringer, I won't leave the water and quite often catch fish while I'm pulling fish out of the net. Just pull the net back to me, work the fish out of the mesh, slit the gills and stick 'em on the stringer. Then work out the next one. When you finally get an empty net, just push it back out in front of you."

                            How do you empty your net without leaving the water? Perhaps I'm just too uncoordinated, but last year I tried and there was no way I could man-handle my net while still in the water to remove a fish without fear of losing the fish. I even bought a Kenai Keeper thinking I could stay in the water fulltime, but I just couldn't handle a flopping fish, moving current, and 15' of net and hoop all at once. When the fish were really running, I mostly stayed on the shore removing fish from the net while my wife dipped. She'd come in with a fish, I'd hand her the empty net and she'd go back out (she didn't have to walk far). Any tricks of the trade to un-net a fish while up to your waist in moving water? Thanks.

                            Jeff

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I too found this extreamly difficult and eventually gave up because I lost almost all the fish that hit my net. I found I could only get about 1 in 10 trying to do this. When I drug the net in to shore I got around 60% of the fish that hit my net.

                              Comment

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