Landing nets have evolved to deal with challenging swims with little room, along with rubber-coated netting, which is much better for coping with predators.
The problem with predators is that once they are in a landing net, they often stay active, thrashing around inside. Predator fishing nets help to contain these movements, giving the angler better chances of handling unpredictable fish more humanely.
Predators require much care when on the bank because species like pike, in particular, can be quite fragile if not treated carefully.
Predator nets are made with rubber mesh to stop toothy fish from biting through them. Most are circular, which makes them stronger as well. Fixed handles are also more robust than adjustable designs. However, due to limited space, anglers fishing from boats require short-handled nets anyway. The key brands for rubber predator landing nets are Catfish Pro and Fox Rage, which incorporate all the critical features we've mentioned.
The stiffer the handle is on a predator landing net, the better. This gives you better leverage when lifting fish. Also, if the handle can take the fish's weight, especially with pike over 10lb, it helps you gain better control of the catch more quickly.
In most cases, predator fishing tackle manufacturers make metal or carbon landing net handles. Both materials are strong, but carbon is more expensive.
An ideal and versatile length for a landing net handle is 6ft. Although predator anglers are now using shorter rods, so net handle lengths can be as minimal as 3ft. Shorter handles are often an advantage when fishing from boats, in combination with short rods. The grips on most handles will be EVA rubber to stop your supporting hand from slipping.
Some spreader blocks are made with ABS plastic, while stainless steel is a popular alternative material. Anglers love the look of stainless, plus its added benefits due to its greater mechanical strength. On the other hand, ABS plastic is lighter. The spreader block holds all the load and needs to be fit for its purpose. No matter how strong a landing net is, due to the great punishment it receives, it's always a good idea to carry a spare with you. This simple measure avoids a trip turning into a disaster if a net gets trashed by a big fish.
Predator Net Accessories
The most useful item most anglers like to buy for their predator landing net is a net float. This keeps the net buoyant in the water, taking all the strain from handling it, especially useful if fishing from a boat or in a tight swim. Extra wise anglers invest in a spare net, as toothy fish often bite or rip holes in the mesh.