Cast Net Improvements

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Whistler, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Whistler

    Whistler Well-Known Member

    Original post made by William Sipes(Riverrat) on May 5, 2003


    Once you learn how to throw a cast net, the next thing you learn is how to tear it up. This part is really easy to learn, all it takes is a few throws, and there you have it. It's snagged and then it's torn. Or, when you are pulling on it, one of the braille lines will slip through the crimp, causing the net to hang cockeyed, and making it virtually impossible to get a good throw out of it. The braille lines are tied to the bottom of the net (the lead line) and go up one side, through the crimp, through a swivel, and back down to the other side of the net to the lead line. When one slips through the crimp, you now have more line on one side of the net than the other, which cause the lopsided hanging of the net. From past experience, this is a royal pain to fix at home and just about impossible to fix on the water in the dark. If your net is prone to this, or if one of the braille lines breaks, you can fix it and solve the problem of slippage. Get some heavy duty cord, and replace the mono braille lines with this, and use one piece for each side of the net, instead of running it through the crimp. This can be a bit of a job because the braille lines run through a spacer, and each line has a certain hole to go through. And you do not want to get them mixed up. What I did was mark each line with a small piece of duct tape, and found which two were the same line on different sides of the net then gave them corresponding numbers. They DO NOT go in the same position on the opposite side of the net. One end of the line might be at 6 O'clock on one side, and the other end might be at 10 O'clock on the opposite side. And the next might be at 12 and 2 O'clock. So make sure you know where the line attaches to the net at each end BEFORE you remove it. Cut the braille at the crimp, and replace them one at a time, to make sure the lines go through the spacer in the correct position. The braille will then be tied to the bottom of the swivel, instead of running through it, and tied to the lead line. What started out as 6 lines will now be 12, and when pulled on, they will not slip through the crimp since A) you no longer have a crimp, and B) each line is now tied off instead of looped through the swivel. It's gonna look a little funky with 12 knots on the bottom of the swivel, but believe me, it will function just as before. I tied mine using the improved clinch knot at each end, and have not had a problem with them in a full season of use. For cord, I used some 175 test trotline, and melted the ends of the cuts.


    Most cast nets are recommended to have at least 1 pound of weights on the lead line for every radial foot of net. So a 5 foot radius net should have a minnimum of 5 pounds of weights. If your net does not have the 1 pound per radial foot, you can add more to it by getting yourself some rubber core sinkers, removing the rubber core, and prying open the weights far enough to allow the lead line to be placed inside, then hammer the weight closed. The most important thing is to get the weights placed evenly on the lead line, so they do not affect the opening of the net. You will have to count the number of weights currently on the lead line, and then determine how many weights you want to add. If there are 28 weights, and you want to add 7, you would count 4 weights, then add one centered between the two existing weights. 4 more and add a weight and so on. As long as they are evenly spaced, it'll open just as before. The extra weights are to make the net sink faster, therefore allowing less baitfish to scamble out of the way before the net sinks to the depth where they are at.


    As far as tears in a cast net, I won't even attempt to try and explain how to repair them. If you go to a search engine such as Google and type in Cast Net repairs, you'll get all the information you will need. I will suggest this though.

    If you wear out a net and it is beyond use, do not throw it away. Save it, and if you get a major tear in your replacement net, cut it out in a square, and cut a square patch out of the old net just a little bigger than the hole. Attach it to the newer net with a series of knots using mono line, and it is a heck of a lot easier than mending a tear using line by itself. Now, you can also avoid going through this if you buy an expensive net which will have the proper amount of weights per radial foot, it'll have a heavier duty braille lines, and be less likely to slip at the crimp. But this is a good project for one of those cold winter nights when you don't have anything to do, and if you should lose or demolish the net beyond repair, you've only lost about $8-$10 over the purchase price of a $20 net instead of a $75-$150 net. I paid $15.99 for my net, and it lasted me less than a month before it was pretty much useless. I did the things listed above, and have used it all year with no further problems, and expect to make it through this year with it barring any brain cramps on my part.

    On a parting note, after I spent several hours last year replacing the brailles on my net, and feeling just as proud as a peacock for fixing it myself, I mentioned to Looper what I had done and how I had done it. To make a long story short, he told me of a much easier method of replacing the brailles, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Maybe he could add a chapter here explaining his method, and save some people some time.