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Best Nets for Steelhead Fishing (For All Budgets)

Best Nets for Steelhead Fishing (For All Budgets)

Steelhead fishing is fun and exciting. These fish are regular acrobats that fight like crazy on the rod. They are big, fast, strong, and make excellent table fare. 

Because steelhead are so strong and wild, landing them can sometimes be a real challenge. That’s why you should always have a net with you when fishing for steelies. It’s the best way to ensure you land your prized catch. And no one wants to lose a trophy fish.

So, if you are looking for the best types of landing nets for steelhead, this article is perfect for you!

QUICK SUMMARY: In this article, I’m reviewing three high-quality, reliable, and affordable steelhead landing nets that you can find on Amazon. These are the Frabill Power Catch Teardrop, the Ego S2 Slider Fishing Net, and the Ranger Flat Bottom Net.

What Is the Best Fishing Net for Steelhead?

a happy trout angler holding a very big river steelhead
Courtesy of Justin Kroening

Most steelhead are caught in fast-flowing river systems, and given their immense fighting strength and acrobatic moves, landing these fish in such waters can prove extremely difficult at times.

Sure, you can beach or hand land them, but if you’ve hooked a really big steelie, there is always a risk of losing that fish. Many trophy-sized monsters have been lost right in front of the angler’s feet. One frantic run, and it’s game over! That hook can pull at any time.

An easy way to prevent such terrible scenarios is to use a landing net, as it allows the angler to safely and effortlessly land even really big and powerful fish.

I have to be honest with you; I really don’t understand why anyone would take the risk!

My landing nets are the most essential pieces of gear in my arsenal, and I would never head out without them!

They don’t cost a lot, they can last you for many years, and they will land you all of your fish. So, really, why wouldn’t you bring one with you to the water?

What makes a great steelhead net, then? Factors like durability, hoop material, handle strength and length are all important, but one feature is even more vital: hoop size!

Steelhead move around a lot and often fight like crazy, and some fish can grow to massive sizes.

That’s why having an appropriately sized net with you is so vital.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the market’s best steelhead landing nets, then!

Top Pick: Frabill Power Catch Teardrop Landing Net

If you’re looking for a great all-round net that can handle medium to large steelhead, look no further. Because Frabill’s Power Catch Teardrop Net is all you need!

This is an excellent landing net that’s durable and made of high-quality material. 

The Power Catch is a highly durable and reliable net that will last you many years and help land any old trophy steelhead, no matter the size!

It’s a very popular choice among anglers and a net that won’t break the bank despite being of the finest quality.

Here are the Frabill Teardrop’s most essential features:

  • Hoop size: 26×30” 
  • net depth: 38”
  • handle length: 72”
  • knotless 1 1/2” mesh (100% tangle-free)
  • dual I-beam extrusion (super strong)
  • super durable Brute Hoop design
  • ergonomically designed comfort-fit handle

A 26×30-inch hoop might sound a little on the large side for steelhead, but if you’ve ever caught a 20-pounder, you know it’s just the right size for fish like that!

Additionally, a net of such dimensions can handle bigger king and chum salmon, which are common catches in many steelhead rivers. That’s a huge plus.

All in all, the perfect trout and salmon net if you want my opinion. With the Power Catch by your side, you can fish confidently, and no monster steelie will ever get away!

You can check out the Frabill Power Catch Teardrop Landing Net on Amazon right here

Runner-Up: Ego S2 Slider Fishing Net

Up next is the Ego S2 Slider, a classic landing net that thousands of anglers use and love. Especially walleye and steelhead anglers appreciate the S2 Slider for its practicality and design. 

It’s got amazing functionality, is lightweight, and has the perfect hoop dimension for most steelhead sizes. 

Given, it’s not as roomy as the Frabill Power Catch, but it has a more practical and modern design, and it’ll still land you all of your steelhead.

I especially like the extra depth of this net. Even if the hoop size can be a little problematic for those monster steelhead, you’ll still get the entire fish into that deep net, ensuring a safe landing of that trophy steelie! 

Here are some of the S2 Slider Fishing Net’s most important features:

  • Hoop size: 24×27”
  • handle length: 29-60”
  • bag depth: 38” 
  • load capacity: 30 lbs (retracted)
  • rubber coated mesh
  • easy pull and push handle grip (most advanced handle technology on the market)
  • easy storage
  • weighs only 2 lbs

If you’re looking for a modern, medium-sized landing net for steelhead (also fits other fish like walleye, bass, and northern pike), then the Ego S2 Slider is definitely worth looking up!

You can take a closer look at the S2 Slider Fishing Net on Amazon here

Budget Pick: Ranger Knotless Flat Bottom Net

The Ranger net is a solid pick for both beginners, youngers, and anglers with a limited budget.

It’s not the largest of landing nets, but it’s a reliable piece of gear that will assist you in landing smaller to medium-sized fish.

The Ranger Knotless Flat Bottom Net is a practical, affordable, and well-designed budget choice many have used during their first years as anglers.

Furthermore, if you’re only fishing occasionally and mostly catch smaller steelhead, the Rasnger net is more than enough for you. 

Many beginners like it for its knotless netting. No fish get tangled up in the net, and no hooks will get snagged in it, making for a very smooth and quick landing and handling of the fish. 

Here are a few more features of the Ranger Knotless Flat Bottom Net:

  • Hoop size: 25×25”
  • handle length: 54-84”
  • telescopic handle for quick extension
  • heavy-duty hoop and handle
  • easy storage
  • knotless coated rubber net
  • Made in USA

All in all, a very reasonably priced fishing net that will allow you to smoothly land steelhead up to around 15 lbs.

You can find out more about the Ranger Knotless Flat Bottom Net on Amazon here

What Size Net Do You Need for Steelhead Fishing?

a trout angler from new York holding a gigantic winter steelhead
Courtesy of Michael Deloia

Many anglers out there wonder how big a steelhead landing net actually needs to be. As always, the answer depends on the size of the fish you’re catching.

For small to medium-sized steelhead, fish up to about 10 lbs, a net size of around 20 x 25 inches is usually enough.

For fish of more than 10 lbs, however, I’d say a net size of about 25 x 30 inches is not too large!

Steelhead of 15, 20, or 25 lbs are huge fish! Especially if they’re female and full of eggs.

These “hens” are long, fat, and usually very strong fish, and they can and often will give you hell on the rod!

So, if you want to have a chance of safely and quickly landing those monsters, make sure to bring a large enough net.

Again, you do not want to lose that fish of a lifetime. Better safe than sorry, right?

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Featured image courtesy of Kole Guilford