Best Cast Net Reviews [Key Features & Ratings 2019]

Fishing with a net is an ancient technique that remains popular today. The activity was common among Native American tribes who usually used nets woven from pine boughs and grasses. They used these nets for seine-style fishing.

Net fishing was popular primarily because it allowed one person or a small group working as a team to catch a large volume of fish and often with minimal effort. One of the earliest fishing nets is known as the Antrea Net, and it dates back to about 8300 BCE. This net was composed of woven willow.

It used back floats and stone weights, not the kinds of weights attached to modern cast nets. Fishing nets have evolved over the years in terms of construction techniques and materials used, to deliver improved performance and reliability. Let’s look at some of the top-rated cast nets available in an aim to catch the best.

 

 

Our Top Pick

For our money, we would choose the Betts Old Salt cast net. This product ticks all the boxes that define the best cast net. It is easy to cast, opens fully, and sinks exceptionally fast. You are sure to catch plenty of fish or bait within a short time with this net.

 

 

Top-rated Cast Net Reviews

Betts Old Salt Bait Fish Cast Net – Best Cast Net Overall

Betts is one of the most reputable manufacturers of fishing equipment. Their Old Salt Premium Bait Fish Cast Net is our top choice. The net is white and has small black weights attached to it.

 

Key Features

  • 3/8-inch premium mono mesh
  • Opens fully
  • Sinks fast
  • Designed for 2 to 5-inch baits in shallow water
  • 1-pound weight per foot
  • Braided leadlines
  • Double selvage on the leadline for enhanced strength
  • Double-tied knots
  • Triple knots hold the leadline in place

 

This cast net is super easy to use. It spreads incredibly fast and sinks quickly when cast. This ensures you can wrap unsuspecting fish with virtually no time to escape. It is made of nylon, which leaves no leeway for fish to trickle out too.

The package includes usage instructions—making it an excellent choice for beginners—and a utility box, allowing you to conveniently store the net when not in use. The utility box is so spacious that you can also store other tools like hooks and lures. This net is perfect for catching bait.

It is not without some setbacks, however. The most significant disadvantage is that it can get a tear quite easily. You have to be really careful with it as even the slightest rip can cause a big problem.

 

 

Pros

  • Mesh nylon construction
  • Utility box included
  • Instructions included
  • Wraps fish quickly

 

Cons

  • Tends to tear easily

 

Despite its minor flaw of tearing easily, the Betts Old Salt net is a top-notch product. It is designed to cast easily and can catch plenty of bait once it is fully spread. It might also be a good choice if you’re just getting started with net fishing as it comes with instructions on how to use it.

 

Overall Rating 4.8/5.0

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Fitec Super Spreader Nylon Fishing Cast Net – Best Cast Net for Beginners

Here’s another cast net that is perfect for beginners and novices. The Fitec Super Spreader nylon fishing cast net is made of tough monofilament nylon material, which makes it lightweight and easy to throw. The net sinks quickly and can capture live bait and small fish in both salt and fresh water.

 

Key Features

  • White nylon
  • Bullseye design
  • 38-inch square mesh
  • 20-foot long braided polyethylene handle
  • One 0.75-pound weight per foot
  • Belt clip throwing aid

 

This net is available in a variety of sizes, from 7-foot to 24-foot diameter. It is white with grey weights attached to the ends. The Super Spreader is easy to use, and you can throw it quite far.

It also comes with a utility box that’s small enough to stash in a small boat or kayak. It’s worth noting that this box has limited space and may not fit some of your other fishing tools. The biggest issue with this net is that it does not wrap in fish fast enough. It gives fish lots of time to escape.

 

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Utility box included
  • Available in a range of sizes

 

Cons

  • Quite slow in catching fish
  • Utility box has limited space

 

Despite being slow, the Fitec Super Spreader is an excellent option for beginners and novices. It is easy to throw and comes with how-to-use instructions. It is also equipped with a belt clip throwing aid and can fulfill most of your net throwing needs.

 

Overall Rating 4.7/5.0

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Bait Buster Pro Grade Fishing Cast Net – Best Cast Net for Shad

The Bait Buster fishing cast net is one of the most heavy-duty cast nets you can find. It boasts superb build quality and can bear rigorous activities with ease. The net is available in seven different sizes, ranging from 5-foot to 12-foot radius.

 

Key Features

  • 28mm Monofilament Net Material
  • Panel design construction
  • 25-foot hand line
  • 5 pounds of real lead per foot
  • 75-inch stretched mesh
  • Superior craftsmanship

 

The Bait Buster is made from 0.28mm fine monofilament fiber, making it sturdy and durable. It doesn’t damage easily. It has 3/8 inch mesh, which is ideal for catching small fish like shads.

This cast net is easy to throw. It also sinks remarkably quickly, thanks to weight attached to its ends. This aspect also minimizes the number of baitfish that escape, maximizing your catch ratio. Another remarkable feature of this cast net is that each lead piece is attached to the lead line with nylon twine and strengthened through crimping. That averts sliding, ensuring the net spreads properly.

The net is not prone to knotting and frustrating problems associated with ordinary nets. However, you’ll need some time to get used to throwing this net as it is quite heavy.

 

Pros

  • 100-pound test line capability
  • Sinks faster compared to competitors
  • Long-lasting performance
  • Highly rugged net material
  • Great build quality

 

Cons

  • Needs lots of practice to get used to, thanks to heavy construction

 

All in all, the Bait Buster is a fantastic buy if you’re looking for an affordable cast net that that will deliver superior performance. This net comes in a variety of sizes to suit the needs of anglers with different skill levels. With proper care, it can serve you for a good number of years, thanks to its rugged build quality.

 

Overall Rating 4.7/5.0

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Betts 8PM-DH Old Salt Deep Hole Mono Fishing Cast Net – Best Cast Net for Shrimp

If you’re looking for a perfect cast net for catching shrimp, you might want to look at what the Betts 8PM-DH Old Salt Deep Hole net has to offer.

 

Key Features

  • 8-foot net
  • 3/8-inch mesh
  • Tough webbing is sewn into the net for durability
  • 50-foot long hand line
  • 1 pound of lead per foot
  • Designed to be soft but super strong
  • The treated, bonded thread won’t slip or rot
  • Packed in a vinyl box
  • Comes with easy to follow instructions

 

The Old Salt’s durable webbing ensures it stays fully open longer for deeper targets. This webbing is sewn into the net to ensure it lasts for the entire lifespan of the net. It offers a pound of lead per foot. You should expect it to sink immediately after you throw it in the water. You don’t have to worry about downtime when using this net.

It doesn’t really have any evident downsides, though it is a large net. Larger nets tend to be a bit tricky for beginners, making this option better for experienced users.

 

Pros

  • Designed to catch fish in the deep waters
  • User-friendly, even for novices
  • Sinks fast in the water
  • One of the most durable nets you can find

 

Cons

  • Might be cumbersome for beginners

 

The Betts 8PM-DH would be a sound investment for anyone looking for a durable and reliable cast net for catching shrimp. As it is engineered to catch fish in the deep waters, this net is super easy to use even if you’re just getting started in the world of net fishing.

 

Overall Rating 4.6/5.0

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SouthBend Monofilament CNMO3 Cast Net– Best Handmade Cast Net

Handcrafted by expert net makers, the SouthBend Monofilament CNMO3 cast net comes in three different sizes, so you can choose one that suits your needs.

 

Key Features

  • 3/8-inch square mesh
  • Heavily weighted, with approx. 0.25 pound of steel per foot
  • Designed to open fully
  • Handcrafted with quality components
  • Tied with eco-friendly steel weights
  • Comes with throwing instructions
  • Utility box included

 

The South Bend Mono Fil cast net is versatile. It can be used in any water body to capture bait. Whether you use it in freshwater or saltwater, you don’t have to worry about any chemical reactions.

This net is crafted to trap fish incredibly quickly. It can sink under the water exceptionally fast, thanks to the heavy weighting with environmental friendly steel weights. You can easily catch a school of unsuspecting fish, and their chance of escaping is minimal.

Another great thing about this net is that it comes with a utility box, which offers lots of room to store your net and other tools like hooks and lures.

It is not without some setbacks, however. The biggest issue with this option is that it tends to develop holes over time. With holes, small fish like minnows can easily escape from your net.

 

Pros

  • Ideal for both salt and fresh water
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Comes down on fish fast
  • Available in different sizes
  • Utility box included

 

Cons

  • May develop holes over time

 

The South Bend net is an excellent choice for anyone looking for something that is built to last. It is handcrafted by experienced net makers using high-quality materials to guarantee durability. Moreover, it can be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a net that is easy to use, thanks to its ability to open effortlessly and sink fast.

 

Overall Rating 4.5/5.0

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Goture American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net – Best Cast Net for Shallow Waters

Here’s another cast net that comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 8 to 24 feet in diameter, so there’s one for every need. The Goture American saltwater fishing cast net features an anodized swivel for enhanced maneuverability. You don’t have to worry about the net getting caught or tangled when you hit a current.

 

Key Features

  • Handcrafted
  • 3/8-inch mesh
  • 3mm mesh thickness
  • Copolymer monofilament mesh
  • 32-inch long floating braided poly hand line
  • 1-pound weight per foot
  • 2-inch swivel
  • Throwing aid belt
  • Illustrated instructions

 

As it is handmade with monofilament mesh, this cast net can trap bait fish of different sizes. You can use it in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It is designed to sink underwater fast and wrap in fish quickly.

The weights have a seal at the bottom, minimizing the chances of fish escaping. The Goture American is a lightweight cast net that is easy to throw and lies flatter.

It comes with a throwing aid belt, which you should strap to your waist. This tether ensures that when you cast the net, there’s minimal chance of losing it to the lake, ocean, or sea. Moreover, the net comes with a utility box for conveniently storing your net and other fishing equipment.

Also worthy of note is that the cast net comes with detailed instructions, making it easy to use even if you’re a novice. However, Goture American only works effectively in shallow waters. It tends to be very slow in deep waters.

 

Pros

  • Great for both fresh and saltwater fishing
  • Lightweight
  • User-friendly
  • Available in different sizes
  • Has a throwing aid

 

Cons

  • Not appropriate for deep water

 

The Goture American saltwater fishing cast net is an excellent option for anyone in need of a net that is lightweight and easy to throw. Despite being celebrated for shallow water fishing, this is a great net to own whether you are a novice or an experienced net thrower.

 

Overall Rating 4.4/5.0

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Hurricane Cast Net – Best Budget Cast Net

If you’re just starting, the Hurricane Cast Net is one of the best options, thanks to its compact size and affordability. At five feet, just about any teenager or adult can pick the net up and start fishing. It features a versatile 3/8-inch mesh that can catch a wide range of bait types.

 

Key Features

  • 3/8-inch mesh
  • Circular construction
  • Monofilament Braille Lines
  • Illustrated “How To Use” Instructions
  • Utility box included

 

This cast net is made from high-quality monofilament braille line, giving it the ability to catch both bait and larger fish. It can work well in both saltwater and freshwater environments. The net won’t react with the saltwater in any detrimental way.

Featuring a 5-foot radius and 3/8-inch mesh, the Hurricane is designed to sink in quickly and catch fish easily, delivering exceptional value for your money. This net also comes with easy-to-follow “how to use” instructions, making it easy for you to get started even if you’re a beginner.

If you would prefer something smaller, you may consider choosing the 4-foot option, which is made of nylon instead of monofilament. The most notable downside of this net is that it sinks quite slowly. It comes equipped with plastic weights, making it drift down rather slowly. This aspect can mean quick fish escape before you can catch them.

 

Pros

  • Ideal for both fresh and saltwater
  • Illustrated “how to use” instructions
  • Comes with a utility box
  • Affordable

 

Cons

  • Quite slow in catching fish

 

Overall, the Hurricane cast net is an excellent option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly cast net that is ideal for a newbie. It is an excellent choice if you want to catch plenty of fish, but you don’t have the budget for the bigger, higher-end cast nets.

 

Overall Rating 4.3/5.0

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Lee Fisher Mako Bait Cast Net – Best Cast Net for The Money

Since 1982, Lee Fisher Fishing Supply has consistently manufactured some of the highest quality and competitively priced cast nets. They have a wide selection of cast nets to suit different skill levels. For a beginner looking for something easy to use, the Lee Fisher Mako bait cast net would be an ideal option.

 

Key Features

  • 3/8-inch square mesh
  • 23 mm diameter monofilament
  • White in color
  • Opens fully
  • 1-pound lead weights per radius foot
  • About 50-foot long hand line
  • Heavy 80-pound test brail line for closing the net tightly
  • Instructions included
  • Packaged in small PVC bucket

 

This net is designed to capture bait fish of lengths between 3 and 6 inches. That means you can catch a vast range of fish. In fact, you can tailor the cast net to you ideal catch.

The net comes with about 50-foot long handline, which ensures you are prepared regardless of your throwing distance. It also has one 1-pound weight per foot to enable quick sinking while it remains lightweight enough for you to cast it easily. The only notable disadvantage of this net is that the plastic horn tends to break easily.

 

Pros

  • Exceptionally long hand line
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Affordably priced

 

Cons

  • Plastic horn is prone to breaking

 

Overall, the Lee Fisher Mako Bait Cast Net is an outstanding product if you want an economic tool for catching your own bait. It is affordable, easy to use, and can be a reliable option for catching shrimp, mullet, and even larger fish.

 

Overall Rating 4.3/5.0

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Buying Guide Selecting the Best Cast Net for Your Needs

There are several things to consider when shopping for a cast net to ensure you find a product that best suits your needs. You want a net that you can throw and get a full spread without using too much effort. You don’t want to buy one that is too heavy or too large for you to throw more than a couple of times.

That said, let’s explore some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for the best cast net.

 

Construction of The Net

When it comes to the construction technique, there are two main types of cast nets – Bulls-eye cast nets and Pie panel cast nets. Each technique has its own advantages, which you should consider when choosing a cast net.

Bulls-eye cast net – This type of net is made by sewing netting strips in concentric loops around the horn of the net. Each loop is gathered at the seam, resulting in an ovoid net. Bulls-eye cast nets are cheaper to construct, which usually makes them more affordable than their pie panel counterparts.

Pie panel cast net – Pie panel nets are constructed by stitching triangular panels together, resulting in the net lying flatter on the bottom. This makes it more effective at trapping the bait in. Pie panel construction is usually more cost and labor intensive, making the nets more expensive to buy.

 

 

Mesh Size and Bait Size

When selecting a cast net, it’s imperative that you consider the mesh size of your preferred net. The mesh size to choose depends on the size of fish or bait you are targeting. If the mesh size is too small, you’ll end up catching unwanted bait.

If it’s too large, your bait will escape easily. You should choose a mesh size that will help you catch the maximum amount of fish or bait while minimizing the number of unwanted sizes. Below are some of the most common mesh sizes.

  • 1/4-inch mesh – If you want to catch tiny baits like ghosts and smaller shrimp, this would be your ideal mesh size. However, they usually sink slowly and hence not ideal for deep waters.
  • 1/2-inch mesh – If you want a cast net that sinks faster or you need large bait size, this would be the best mesh size for you.
  • 3/8-inch mesh – Most cast nets come with this mesh size. You’ll have minimal gill problems with fish. It’s great for catching small shad and shrimp. However, it may also catch very small bait.
  • 5/8-inch mesh – If you want to catch larger specimens in deep waters, you should choose at least 5/8-inch mesh size as it sinks very fast.

 

Cast Net Size/Radius

It can be great to have a large net as it maximizes the amount of bait you can catch. However, be sure you can throw the net effectively to achieve a full spread. Large cast nets are heavy and bulky.

You’ll generally have a hard time throwing them, especially if you’re a beginner. Besides the ease of throwing the net, it’s also essential to consider the environment in which you are casting. For example, recreational cast nets are ordinarily available in sizes between 4 feet and 12 feet in radius.

For young adults, 6 feet would be an ideal cast net size. It is easy to learn with such a net. You can go for a bigger net as you gain experience.

 

 

Weight Per Foot

The weight of a cast net is measured in pounds per radius foot. Nets typically come in 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, and the 3/4 pound per radius foot. You would want to choose a heavier cast net as it sinks faster.

Nonetheless, you should realize that a heavier cast net usually requires much more energy to cast. It is advisable to invest in the heaviest net you can throw comfortably.

 

Net Material

Cast nets are made from two primary materials – monofilament and nylon. Each material has its own merits and demerits, which you should consider before you make a choice.

  • Monofilament – Monofilament refers to any synthetic fiber that is melted and extruded through a tiny nozzle. These fibers may include Dacron, Dyneema, and Spectra. The most significant advantage of monofilament nets is that they are cheaper to manufacture. They also have better abrasion resistance, UV degradation resistance, and optical density that makes them less visible underwater.
  • Nylon – Nylon is also synthetic fiber. However, it is typically thought to be of lower quality compared to other fibers like Dacron. Moreover, nylon is not very dense and so more buoyant. This buoyancy makes it sink slower in water. It also has inferior abrasion resistance and can be easily degraded by the sun’s UV rays. The advantage of nylon is that it is generally made in large diameter lines, which minimizes its risk of breaking on rocks and reefs.

 

So now you know what you need to know about cast nets. Make sure the rest of your essential gear are up to par. Check out our recommended rods and the best fishing lines to go with them

 

Final Thoughts

A high-quality cast net is a vital asset for fishers who are always in need of live baits. They also come in handy if you want to catch a large amount of fish at a time. There is a wide selection of cast nets, and not all of them are suitable for your needs.

The nets we have reviewed here are some of the best options you can find for various needs. Almost all of them are designed to sink faster in the water and wrap in fish or bait quickly. They are also tough, minimizing their risk of getting ripped when handling large amounts of fish.

We hope this cast net review and buying guide helps you find a net that best suits your fishing needs. Want to see more fishing gadgets? Here are our views on fish scales, fishing hats, and backpacks.

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