Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nothing but Net

For about the last quarter century Wachter has been cranking out hand-made fly fishing nets down in St. Paul, Texas.  About 2 years ago I was poking around online looking for a combination of features that I hadn't found locally.
  • I wanted a mid-length handle.  It needed to be longer than all the typical trout nets made to hang neatly from the back of a fishing vest, but not as long as the usual boat style.
  • My goal was to find a slightly over sized hoop without infringing on portability.
  • The bag needed to be tangle-free, hook resistant, and difficult for a fish to twist while netted.
  • An individual look rather than a sterile, manufactured appearance - but without being too expensive.
  • Made in the USA.
I happened upon Wachter and found a model called the Magnum Pontoon that was exactly what the doctor ordered.  On top of the fundamentals I was nosing around for, they had one in stock with a beautiful curly maple handle...

Wachter Nets - Magnum Pontoon Net

This has turned out to be my all-time favorite net.  The proportions were ideal - perfect for extra reach on the pontoon, but short enough that it easily holsters in a wading belt without getting in the way.  The PVC net bag is sufficiently rigid to avoid twisting, and it's easy on the fish.  Wachter also has a new MRB (Molded Rubber Bag) option in addition to their injection-molded PVC that's lighter and more flexible.

Actually I don't even get to fish with my Magnum Pontoon about half the time, because anglers are an unscrupulous lot who think nothing of snatching up a companion's net and darting off at speeds that risk a groin pull.

Since my initial purchase, I've since added a couple more of these beautiful nets to the gear bag.  Plenty of custom woods and options are available.


Wachter Nets - Custom Engraving


Wachter Nets - Custom Scrimshaw

Measuring dots every 2-inches on the longer handles:

Wachter Nets - Measure Dots

A variety of woods like this maple burl:

Wachter Nets - Brace - Myrtle Burl

UV-protected, 6-step marine-grade finish:

Wachter Nets - Handle - Myrtle Burl

Net prices start at $60 for the Outfitter series, and both Guide and Master grades are offered.  You can order a completely custom net, or take a look at models which are available for purchase immediately here:

In Stock Wachter Nets

If you get one, choose your fishing buddies carefully.


  1. Mike - those huge rainbows you have been catching would fit nicely.

  2. Now that's a fine net. Well worth $60 to start. It's obvious that they care about their product's quality. A lot of nets at Cabela's or SW cost that much and are nowhere near anything like that.

    "Net Envy"...That's a new one for me. ;0)

  3. Thanks for the comment LOAH, good to hear from you. Glad I could inspire a little N.E. - slabs have been known to swim a considerable distance just for the opportunity to be scooped up in one of these babies.