Crappies are a popular gamefish in North America, and fishing for this panfish species means plenty of fun.
If you’re only catching smaller fish, you generally don’t need a fishing net, but if you’re after those trophy slabs, having a net with you on the water is essential.
A good crappie net has a minimum net size of 15 times 18 inches and can hold fish up to about 5 pounds. Big crappie can put up a hard fight and have very soft mouths, so bringing a landing net with you is very important when fishing for slabs.
But what makes a good crappie net? And what are the best brands on the market today?
Keep reading this helpful article on the best crappie fishing nets if you want to find out!
What Is the Best Net for Crappie Fishing?
I decided to include two fishing nets in this article.
One is high-end and perfect for seasoned crappie anglers fishing from boat. It’s a great-quality landing net that doesn’t break the bank!
The other is a very decently-priced and qualitative budget pick that’s an excellent choice for the occasional shore angler, beginner, kayak fishermen, and anglers with a limited budget.
It’s always good to have several choices, as it makes it easier to choose the gear that best fits your needs and wallet!
Let’s get right to it and check out the best crappie nets out there!
Top Pick: Ego Reach Landing Net
Ego is a brand that stands for great fishing nets, and they offer a whole range of nets for various types of target fish.
The Ego Reach is the perfect pick for crappie anglers; it’s made of high-quality material, has the ideal hoop size, is lightweight, and has a practical design!
My online research in various forums and Facebook group revealed that this net is among the top 3 choices for crappie anglers.
However, when it comes to price, the Ego is definitely cheaper than the two other top picks, which pretty much makes it the number one crappie net on the market if you ask me!
I mean, it’s a relatively small species we’re talking about here! A net is essential for safely landing those big slabs, but you certainly don’t have to spend a fortune on gear like this!
Undoubtedly, the Ego is one of the best crappie landing nets on the market.
Here are some of its most important features:
- Hoop size: 14×18”
- Handle length: 37-80” (total reach: 8’6”)
- Easily extendable and very durable handle
- Extremely lightweight (total weight: 1lb)
- Rubberized mesh (easy hook removal)
- Holds fish up to 6lb
- The biggest pro is definitely the price of this piece of gear. You get a lot of quality net for your buck!
- The Ego’s long reach is another great pro! You won’t have any problem reaching out to land your crappie fishing with 10 or even 12 foot rods.
- A third pro is the compact hoop design. It’s got the perfect size for landing those big slabs. Not too big and not too small!
- The description says that this net floats, but it doesn’t.
- Its compact and small size also makes it unfit for larger species. But then again, this is a net for crappie fishing and nothing else!
All in all, a fantastic landing net that is made specifically for crappie. It sells at an impressively low price, has great quality, and will last you a long time.
Budget Pick: Restcloud Landing Net
The Restcloud landing net is a very decent budget alternative for crappie fishing! It’s a solid choice for beginners, youngsters, and anglers with a limited budget.
It’s a good choice for shore fishing, but you can actually use it for kayak fishing as well, as it has a fairly short handle when not extended.
In other words, this fishing net, while being pretty basic, is a good all-round piece of gear.
Not everyone can afford high-end stuff, and to be honest, not all anglers need to buy equipment like that either!
If you just started out, or if you’re an occasional crappie angler catching a few fish from the shore, though and then, this net is most certainly good enough.
As always, it all depends on your needs, budget, and type of fish you’re targeting. If you’re aware of those three factors, you can almost always make an informed choice.
Here are some of the Cloudrest Net’s most important features:
- Hoop size: 16×18”
- Handle length: 24-63” (Handle: 47”, Full extend with hoop: 63”)
- Net depth: 12”
- Easily extendable
- Lightweight (weight: around 1lb)
- Easy to store and transport
- This net’s biggest pro is undoubtedly its price! For the quality, probably one of the cheapest nets I’ve seen!
- Its versatility is another great pro. It’s easily carried, and you can use it both from shore, kayak, and boat.
- Its somewhat larger and deeper net is another pro, as it allows you to safely land all types of panfish, as well as bigger species such as bass and smaller walleye.
- The larger net can also be a disadvantage, as it is a little bulky for crappie fishing. However, most importantly, you can land your catch with this net!
- Given its unbeatable price, the quality of the material isn’t the best, which can affect the net’s durability over time.
A solid choice for beginners and occasional anglers! This net will fulfill all your needs and will cost you little.
How Big Should a Crappie Fishing Net Be?
Most caught crappie measure between 5 and 15 inches and 1/4 and 2lb, which, more or less, indicates how big a crappie net should be.
An approximate hoop size of 15 times 18 or 20 inches will pretty much land you any old slab, even if it turns out to be bigger than 2 pounds.
Similarly, your crappie ent should allow you to safely land and lift fish between 2 and 5 pounds.
Anything lighter than 2 pounds might break the handle, and anything heavier than 5 or 6 pounds is usually overkill for panfish like crappie.
Stick to those average measures, and you’ll probably be just fine!
Do You Really Need a Net for Crappie Fishing?
Plenty of anglers always ask me this question: do you really need a landing net for a small species like crappie? I always give them the same answer: yes!
Look! Is it necessary to land a 5-inch baby crappie? No, of course not!
But what do you do when you hook up to an actual slab of 2 pounds or more, and that fish goes wild just in front of your feet?
Of course, you can try to drag it on land or hand-land it, but there’s always the risk of losing that fish. Trust me; I’ve done it too many times myself when I was younger!
And the risk is considerable when it comes to crappie, as they have very soft and fleshy mouths.
The feeling you get when a giant (or possibly a personal best) fish breaks you off is not a good one.
You’ll remember the moment the hook came off for the rest of your life, and you’ll say to yourself: you should have brought a net with you that day!
Essential Gear Tips
If you’re looking for solid and reliable crappie fishing gear, these tips might be useful for you.
This gear and tackle is of top quality and sells at a very decent price on Amazon:
A solid and popular all-around spinning rod! This Fenwick rod is lightweight, has great sensitivity, and phenomenal action. Fits both beginners and seasoned anglers. A 6’6” or 7′ Light rod is your best pick for crappies.
An affordable high-performance spinning reel that’s perfect for crappie. Pflueger spells high quality and awesome durability! Makes for a great combo together with the Fenwick spinning rod. A size 20 is a solid choice for crappie!
One of the best braids available today! Zero stretch, great feel, and immense strength make this line the perfect pick for crappie! Use a 10lb test in open water and a 15lb test when fishing near or in heavy cover.
- How to Catch More Crappie in Muddy Water?
- What Is the Best Landing Net for Walleye?
- Best Baits and Colors for Clear Water Crappie?
Featured image courtesy of Brian Harford