The walleye is one of the most popular game fish in the US and Canada, and fishing for this species is a lot of fun.
As walleye can grow pretty big, taking a fishing net with you to the water is essential if you want to be able to land your catch.
A good net will help you land every walleye you hook smoothly and safely, and there’s never the risk of losing a fish right in front of your feet, no matter the size. It’s really one of the most important pieces of fishing gear I can think of!
But what makes a good walleye fishing net? And what brands are the best on the market today?
If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, all you have to do is keep reading!
QUICK SUMMARY: In this article, I’m reviewing three reliable and qualitative walleye fishing nets that you can find on Amazon. These are the Frabill Conservation Net, the Ego S2 Slider Net, and the Plusinno Floating Net.
What Is the Best Fishing Net for Walleye?
Top Pick: Frabill Conservation Series Landing Net
Frabill stands for the highest quality and produces really good fishing nets for many species.
Their Conservation Series Landing Net is perfect for walleye fishing. No matter the size of the fish, you’ll be sure to land your catch with this net!
Thousands and thousands of walleye anglers use and recommend the Fabrill, and when you hold and use it for the first time on the water, you’ll know why!
It has a brilliant design and excellent functionality, which I find very important, especially when trying to land big fish.
Everything just has to fit when you’re about to land that trophy eye, you know!
The Frabill will give you that sense of security with every fish, allowing you to land your catch with the highest confidence.
Here are some of the Frabill Conservation’s most important specs
- Hoop size: 20×23” (perfect size, even for really big walleye)
- Handle length: 24-48”
- Net depth: 16”
- Corrosion-proof stainless steel hardware
- MeshGuard Hoop
- 100% knotless mesh, rubberized netting
- tangle-free coating
- Internal net support (for extended lifespan)
- Matte black finish (for those net-shy fish)
This net has so much to offer
- The high-quality material ensures a very long lifespan, making this a solid long-term investment.
- The knotless, coated, and rubberized mesh prevents the hooks from getting snagged, allowing smooth and stress-free handling and releasing of your catch.
- Its size makes it a truly versatile net that’s perfect even for other species like bass, trout, or pike.
There is really only one con I could think of when it comes to the Frabill:
- Due to its long handle length and wide hoop, it’s not meant for shore or kayak fishing
All in all, you couldn’t ask for a better walleye net! It’s got everything you need for a successful fishing trip, and if you’re serious about your walleye fishing and want to target big trophy fish, this is definitely the right net for you!
Runner-Up: Ego S2 Slider Fishing Net
Next up is the Ego S2 Slider, which is a very popular choice among walleye anglers.
This fishing net is convenient and versatile, making it a solid choice for walleye fishing (and other species up to about 10-12 lb).
It’s got a very smart design, is made of high-quality material, and incorporates modern technology that makes landing fish really simple.
Here are a few of the Ego S2 Slider Net’s most important features:
- Hoop size: 19×21”
- Handle length: 29-60”
- Net depth: 24” (flat bottom)
- knotless rubber mesh
- pull and push handle grip (giving you real-time control over the extension)
- Allows for compact storage
The deep rubber mesh and the innovative pull-and-push handle system are undoubtedly the greatest strengths of this walleye net!
The quick extension allows for swift adjustments when trying to land a big fish, potentially saving you from losing the catch of a lifetime.
And once you’ve netted that trophy walleye, you can handle it smoothly and effortlessly without the fear of losing the fish, thanks to the deep and rubberized net. There’s just no escaping it!
However, the net is also one of the Ego S2’s main cons:
- A net depth of 24 inches is great for big fish, but it is a little too big and deep for smaller fish.
- Another con is its price. It’s justified, given all the technology it comes with, but it’s probably a little too expensive for some anglers.
A great walleye fishing net if you value and need modern and convenient gear! Also definitely a great pick for trophy-sized walleye.
Budget Pick: PLUSINNO Floating Fishing Net
Last up is the Plusinno Floating Fishing Net, an excellent choice for beginners and anglers with a limited budget.
Look, not everyone has a boat and can afford high-end fishing gear. And you know what; You don’t have to!
If you’re a beginner or an occasional walleye angler fishing from the shore, why would you need a big, expensive landing net that’s meant for boat fishing? There’s really no need for that!
The Plusinno isn’t the biggest of fishing nets, but it can land fish up to 6, possibly 8 pounds, without a problem, and that’s probably enough for most river and shore walleye anglers out there.
Here are some of the Plusinno Net’s best specs and features:
- Hoop size: 19.7×15.2”
- Handle length: 53.2” (extended)
- Net depth: 19.7”
- Collapsible length: 23”
- Rubber-coated nylon mesh
- Extremely lightweight and compact design
- Easy transportation and storage
For its price and super compact design, this net is actually quite big if extended, making it a suitable choice for fishing from the shore.
It’s also a good fit for kayak fishing, as its retractable length is a mere 40 inches.
And with a collapsible length of just under 20 inches, it’s, once again, perfect for shore fishing at a lake or pond! It weighs close to nothing and is hence very easily transported.
Some of the cons that come with the Plusinno Net include:
- Its lightweight aluminum design isn’t all that sturdy and relatively unsuitable for bigger, heavier fish weighing 10 or more pounds.
- Due to its shorter maximum length, you’ll have to stand pretty close to the water to land your fish.
For most hobby anglers, beginners, and youngsters, this is a really good fishing net that will be of great assistance when landing your walleye. And the price is pretty much unbeatable!¨. You’ll get a lot of net for your money!
How Big Should a Walleye Fishing Net Be?
The size of your target fish species tells you how big your net should be. For walleye, a hoop size of 20×22 or 23 inches is generally enough, even for larger fish.
Of course, you could go with a bigger net if you expect to catch only 30+ inchers, but that’s probably not very realistic. Most of your caught fish will be smaller than that.
And besides, if you’re a skilled angler, you’ll manage to land even the biggest of walleye with a net of that size! It’s not always that simple when it happens, but most of the time, it’s doable.
But as mentioned above, not everyone can effort big, expensive landing nets for their fishing adventures.
For those with limited time, experience, and money, a somewhat smaller net size of around 15×20 inches will often do! Chances are that most of your fish will fit in a net of that size.
Big fish catches can, however, occur regardless of your previous experience or location. If and when that happens, try your best to fit that monster into your net!
Trust me; you can land really big fish using comparably small nets. I’ve done it myself. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?
Do You Really Need a Net for Walleye Fishing?
I target many fish species and use a landing net for practically all of them, big or small. So when it comes to walleye, which can grow pretty big, you should definitely always use a fishing net.
Some people don’t use nets and instead hand-land their fish, and that’s fine. But remember this; there’s always the risk of losing that fish right in front of your feet!
If it starts freaking out (and most fish tend to do just that when they get close to the shore or boat), you have no way of controlling or catching it. And more often than not, it’ll manage to shake off that hook.
Gone is a potential personal best, and you’ll regret not using a net. Trust me; I’ve been there myself! It’s been many years, but I still remember those lost fish. Avoid making the same mistake!
Essential Gear Tips
If you’re looking for solid and reliable walleye 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-round spinning rod! The Ulgy Stick is lightweight, has great sensitivity, and phenomenal action. Fits both beginners and seasoned anglers. A 6’6” or 7′ Medium rod is your best pick for walleyes.
An affordable high-performance spinning reel that’s perfect for walleye. Pflueger spells high quality and awesome durability! Makes for a great combo together with Ugly Stick. A Size 30 or 35 is a solid choice for walleye!
One of the best braids available today! Zero stretch, great feel, and immense strength make this line the perfect pick for walleye in both open and snaggy waters. Put on a 10 to 20 lb test, and you’re good to go!
- What Is the Best Fishing Line for Walleye?
- Walleye Fishing in Clear Water? (Helpful Tips)
- What Leader Is Best for Walleye Fishing?
Featured image courtesy of Daryl Danielson