WindPaddle Release Right Landing Net Review

Product Review

One of the great things about kayak fishing is that it is a real challenge on many fronts, and most of us that partake in the sport have challenges presented to us every day that we hit the water, and let’s be honest, that’s one of the drivers behind the sport.

Recently one of the guys I was heading out with left his net behind, and on another occasion, another guys net was accidentally dropped to the depths never to be seen again. How many times have you reached for the net, only to find it not there, or in a different spot, and in the heatof battle, it can be a frustration. But Nets are something we quickly work out are a necessity on a fishing yak, especially for bigger of more prickly fish, or fishing really light i.e. trout. However as important to us as they are, equally they can also be a pain in the backside. I personally have 3 nets with handles. The nets themselves are different sizes, i.e. bream/trout require a different size to Cod. And then there is the handle, I am forever playing with handle lengths, short, medium or long?

Go to a shop, or look online and you will see that most nets sold as Kayak nets have very short handles, this necessitates bringing the fish very close to the side of the yak, which means you either need a veryshort rod, or you need to walk your hand up the rod blank to make it short enough to get the fish close enough to use your net. The Problem here is the that the fish will likely spook easier closer to the yak, and the higher up the blank your hand is, the less rod length you have to cope with a fish that suddenly doesn’t want to play ball, which opens up a lot of scenarios, less shock absorption means pulled hooks, snapped line or worse can result.

Easy fixed, get a net with a longer handle, or attach a longer handle, even more important if you stand and fish from your yak as I often do.

The problem then becomes storage of the net when not in use. Where do you keep it so it’s not a pain and in the way. So, Bream are one thing, but a net for Cod or Barramundi, with a long handle is even more difficult to store. The most common way we attack the problem of storing a medium to large net is to put the handle shaft into a rod holder – usually behind us, or lay the net on the deck in front of us – let’s face it, on a yak you don’t have many other options. Standing the net up in a holder or recess works, except on a windy day when the net acts as a sale and works against you, or when you’re casting and a treble hooks the net. Laying it down is fine, until it gets in your way and that is always guaranteed when a fish is on.

Then there are the nets which fold, but when you have a fish on the line, fiddling around with a folding net can be frustrating. You really need to have them deployed before you hook the fish, and then you are right back to square one. Having said that, there is one net that is a clever design with a folding handle, marketed by Yakattack in the USA, but you still have to store it when not landing a fish.

I am not the only one who has noticed this over the years, the folks at WindPaddle in the USA have come up with a simple solution, and as is often the case, simple solutions can often seem ͚too simple, but the more you use this net, the more you realise that someone really sat down and thought this through. It is called the Release Right Landing net.

Simply, this net floats. The design is a large round net with fine hook resistant mesh that is deep and is also light weight. It very quickly folds up to a small diameter (size of a dinner plate) and stows away easily, it attaches simply and quickly to your yak, and deploys in seconds it is really a no brainer once you start using it. But as I discovered, this net is more than a just a net for landing fish, it has other uses as well. Some of those uses are.

Use it as a drift shoot or drogue or use it to put spooky fish like Bream, Bass and Perch into and hold them until you move onto the next snag, so as not to spook others in the snag oruseit to keep fish in during competitions, waiting for measuring or photographing In its basic format, as a landing net, it stows easily pretty much anywhere on your yak, it can be deployed quickly – with one hand if needed, and it does not catch the wind like normal nets – that can make paddling or pedalling a bit of a chore. At the end of the day, I give it a quick rinse in fresh water, push it back into its mesh storage bag and store it inside my front hatch. This is one net that you won͛t forget to take with you.

Use it as a drift shoot or drogue or use it to put spooky fish like Bream, Bass and Perch into and hold them until you move onto the next snag, so as not to spook others in the snag oruseit to keep fish in during competitions, waiting for measuring or photographing In its basic format, as a landing net, it stows easily pretty much anywhere on your yak, it can be deployed quickly – with one hand if needed, and it does not catch the wind like normal nets – that can make paddling or pedalling a bit of a chore. At the end of the day, I give it a quick rinse in fresh water, push it back into its mesh storage bag and store it inside my front hatch. This is one net that you won͛t forget to take with you. Dimensionally the net is large, capable of taking large Cod or Barra. It measures 73 Cm in diameter, and has a depth when deployed of 34 cm. When stored away it takes up just 30 cm and weighs in at 340 grams. Another interesting part of the design is the black plastic band around the top of the net. This encourages the fish swim to the bottom of the net – and keeps fish like Barramundi and Bass from wanting to jump out. I had read about this feature, but wasn͛t really sure about it, but it does just that, when you are looking at the attached video, pay attention to how the Golden Perch reacts when in the net. Every fish I have had in the net always swims to the bottom.

The net has a strap and plastic clip that allows it to be attached to an anchor trolley, or handle on the side of the yak. The same strap is used to help retain it in the folded up position. The mesh itself is fine and light weight, and doesn͛t really need to be any heavier as you are not normally lifting the net out of the water with fish in it. I have had no problem with the plastic clip – but this would be my only concern on the product. However should it break, it can easily be replaced with another, or upgraded to aluminium or stainless steel.

Having an anchor trolley on your kayak really allows the net to comeinto its own giving you the ability to move the net along the length of your yak – making it even easier to land the fish no matter the length of your rod or where you’re seated or standing. It also allows it to be used effectively as a drogue.

This net is a quality tool for every kayak or paddle board fisho. Is it the answer to all our prayers, probably not – but I have given this net a fair workout over the past 3 months and it has definitely become my go to net, I would not leave home without it.

The net should be available to purchase in Australia after March 2017.

Bill Dunn

About Bill Dunn

Me....well my first fishing memories are at lakes Entrance and Bright, both in Victoria with my family when I was about 10-12 years of age. Since I have always taken a rod and reel when away,and whilst never been good at it, i find it very relaxing. Yak fishing started for me when i was in my early 20's on the rivers and coastal areas around the ACT, I would take my fibreglass slalom kayak and a rod, tent etc.

About 6 years ago I got a bit more serious and started looking into yak fishing again and it didnt take me long to realise it was a fast growing version of the sport.

These days, I still live in Canberra, and a few kayaks on, I still find it theraputic and at the same time challanging. More recently I have been helping new comers into the sport with advice and tips on kayaks and set up, the fishing I leave to them.

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Me....well my first fishing memories are at lakes Entrance and Bright, both in Victoria with my family when I was about 10-12 years of age. Since I have always taken a rod and reel when away,and whilst never been good at it, i find it very relaxing. Yak fishing started for me when i was in my early 20's on the rivers and coastal areas around the ACT, I would take my fibreglass slalom kayak and a rod, tent etc.

About 6 years ago I got a bit more serious and started looking into yak fishing again and it didnt take me long to realise it was a fast growing version of the sport.

These days, I still live in Canberra, and a few kayaks on, I still find it theraputic and at the same time challanging. More recently I have been helping new comers into the sport with advice and tips on kayaks and set up, the fishing I leave to them.

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Me....well my first fishing memories are at lakes Entrance and Bright, both in Victoria with my family when I was about 10-12 years of age. Since I have always taken a rod and reel when away,and whilst never been good at it, i find it very relaxing. Yak fishing started for me when i was in my early 20's on the rivers and coastal areas around the ACT, I would take my fibreglass slalom kayak and a rod, tent etc.

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