A great cast net will keep your bait cooler filled with your preferred baitfish without having to spend an arm and a leg on bait before setting out on the water. For this reason, packing a high-quality cast net for your next fishing trip is every bit as important as bringing your tackle box and baitcaster reel. If you’re in the market for a sustainable method to catch your favorite bait, then you’ve come to the right place.
Buying Guide for Cast Nets
Why buy a cast net?
Cast nets have been used for over a thousand years in order to quickly and efficiently catch fish. For the modern fisherman, using a cast net is an incredibly effective way to catch bait while fishing so that you can go after bigger fish. As nearly any angler will tell you, buying your own bait at the bait shop can get expensive fast. For this reason, anglers all over the world choose to use cast nets in order to keep costs down while staying stocked up with their favorite bait.
What should you look for in a cast net?
- Net Size: A cast net’s size is measured using the net’s radius when it’s laid out flat, so keep this in mind when picking the product that is right for you. Larger cast nets can capture more bait for you in less time but are more difficult to cast than a smaller, easier-to-manage cast net. Thus, choosing a smaller cast net is advisable for beginners.
- Mesh Size: Before selecting a cast net, it’s important to determine what type of bait you wish to catch. A cast net’s mesh size should be small enough so that your bait can’t escape the net, so selecting a proper mesh size is imperative. To allow smaller bait to pass through, go with a larger mesh size. However, choose your mesh size wisely since a mesh size that is too small will end up capturing smaller bait that you have no use for.
- Net Weight: Cast nets are typically weighed down by lead weights to allow them to sink quickly in the water and capture bait when thrown. While heavier nets are adept at quickly catching bait since they sink with more speed, lighter nets are often ideal when hunting for bait in shallow waters. If you’re capturing bait in extremely deep waters, investing in a deep-hole cast net might be your best option.
What materials should my cast net be made from?
Most cast nets are made using monofilament nylon netting, which is nearly invisible to fish and durable enough to be used again and again without any signs of wear and tear. However, what sets premium cast nets apart from budget-friendly models is usually the cast nets’ sinkers. Pure lead sinkers are unlikely to rust, whereas zinc sinkers will need to be dried after use as saltwater will cause them to corrode. Unsurprisingly, cast nets with zinc sinkers are usually far more affordable than those with lead sinkers but are unlikely to last as long as premium cast nets.
Our Picks for the Best Cast Nets
Goture American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net
This cast net lies flatter than other models and sinks reliably without losing its form.
Pros: The Goture American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net features a wide variety of sizes and high-quality, handmade mesh that accommodates most bait species. This cast net is less difficult to throw than many of its competitors and lies flatter, making it harder for fish to escape. It also provides a reliable, stable sink and a tight bottom seal, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a premium cast net.
Cons: This cast net is better suited for shallow waters since it sinks a little slower than some comparable products. However, it’s still a great option for those seeking something durable and lightweight.
Bottom Line: In terms of craftsmanship and reliability, it will be hard for you to find a better cast net at this product’s price point, especially if you plan on using it at fairly shallow depths. That being said, those seeking a cast net that’s tailor-made for catching larger baitfish in deep waters will likely want to look elsewhere.
OTOEZ Saltwater Fishing Cast Net
This cast net features two material options and quick-sinking zinc weights to ensure you can catch as many fish as possible.
Pros: The OTOEZ Saltwater Fishing Cast Net comes in several different line materials and sizes and features a small mesh size to keep even smaller baitfish from escaping. The tire line and nylon models are quite easy to successfully throw and sink quickly to maximize your baitfish haul and prevent rethrows. For those seeking a high-quality cast net that won’t break the bank, the OTOEZ Saltwater Fishing Cast Net is hard to pass up.
Cons: Although this cast net is considerably less expensive than most similar products on the market, its propensity to rust makes it fairly high-maintenance. As such, if you opt for this product, be sure to properly dry it out after each use. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself replacing it before long.
Bottom Line: While this isn’t the most durable cast net on the market, it offers a fairly good value for anglers seeking something that’s quick to sink and suitable for smaller bait. However, those seeking a premium cast net will likely want to invest a little more for a sturdier product with superior corrosion resistance.
Drasry Saltwater Fishing Cast Net
This cast net is designed to be simple for beginners and features mesh sizes that work well for small to medium bait species.
Pros: The highly rated Drasry Saltwater Fishing Cast Net is a solid cast net for beginners since it’s incredibly easy to throw while achieving a nice, wide circle. While this isn’t the most affordable cast net on the market, it’s more durable than any bargain bin cast net you can put it up against, so you can use it more often without having to replace it. To sweeten the deal, it’s available in a wide range of sizes between 4 to 10 feet, making it a versatile option for those trying to catch small to medium-sized baitfish.
Cons: While this cast net’s mesh size offerings are pretty versatile overall, it’s not exactly suitable for larger baitfish. As such, if you’re angling for the big boys and need bait that’s 5 inches or longer, this might not be an ideal product for you.
Bottom Line: If you don’t mind spending a little extra for a high-quality product, the Drasry Saltwater Fishing Cast Net is well worth considering. Don’t let this product’s user-friendly design fool you; its durable build quality and rust-resistant lead sinkers are well worth a spot in any seasoned angler’s war chest.
Yeahmart Handmade American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net
This affordable cast net is easy to throw, making it a wise choice for beginners trying to save a little money.
Pros: Featuring an affordable price point for its large size offerings, the Yeahmart Handmade American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net is a great choice for those seeking their first cast net. This product runs slightly lighter than comparable cast nets, so it’s easier to throw for beginners but still sinks quickly enough to catch plenty of bait. Also, the netting itself is fairly rugged and is likely to last for quite a few trips to the ocean.
Cons: Like other cast nets with zinc weights, this one is likely to rust if you’re not extremely careful to dry it out after using it. As such, it likely won’t last quite as long as most premium cast nets on the market, even if it’s bound to impress when compared to other options in its price range.
Bottom Line: While this cast net requires a little more love and care than other products on the market, its easy-to-throw design and affordable price point make it well worth the investment for those looking to keep costs down. In fact, this product may pay for itself after a couple of uses in terms of the price of bait, so what’s not to like about that?
BASSDASH American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net
This cast net is extra durable and features a comfortable cuff on the handline for improved usability.
Pros: The Bassdash Fishing Cast Net features durable six-panel construction of copolymer monofilament mesh and comes with a handy bucket that can double as storage for your bait. This easy-to-throw cast net comes in a number of different sizes that are surprisingly light for such a durable product. This product’s mesh is ideal for small and medium-sized fish alike and is weighed down with environmentally safe, plastic-coated weights that won’t rust in saltwater applications.
Cons: While this cast net’s lightweight design makes it fairly easy to cast for beginners and experts alike, it might be difficult for some to find success in deeper water. That being said, it shouldn’t be hard for most to add a little extra weight to help it sink quicker.
Bottom Line: As one of the higher-rated cast nets you’ll find, it’s easy to see why so many people have bought into what BASSDASH is selling. It’s easy to use, fairly durable, and reasonably priced compared to comparable products. While this might not be the best cast net on the market, it’s a top contender.
Most anglers find catching their own bait both more fulfilling and more budget-friendly than reaching for their wallet at the bait shop. However, be sure to do your research in order to select an amazing cast net that suits your needs.