Published Jul 18. 2021 - 1 year ago
Updated or edited Jan 6. 2023

DIY wooden landing net

Wooden landing nets might not seem like the easiest or least expensive DIY-project, but this article shows how to easily make one almost for free

If by any chance you read my previous post (IKEA Fly Tying Board: How to make a 10-dollar tying station based on a cheap IKEA cutting board. Published Nov 24. 2019), you know I have this "why buy one when I can make my own" mentality. I am not necessarily cheap; I just like to get my creative juices flowing every now and then…

A couple years ago my wife bought me a wooden landing net. Looking at it I thought I could make one, so I went to the local woodworking shop and shared my idea: create a simple mold, bend the wood to shape, sand and seal, make a basket and... voila!
Their input was less than constructive. The first thing they said was "you can't do that". Then, they proceeded to list all the items I needed to buy (from them of course): a wood steaming box, this and that tool, etc. at the tune of over one thousand dollars. I left the shop both upset and with my brain racing with ideas... I hate when people with limited creativity tells me I can't do something!
So, I got to work.

I gathered some wood that was sitting around the basement and my very rudimentary and limited selection of tools (a hand saw, a wood rasp, several clamps… and yes, my wife's tea kettle) and started creating my home-made landing net.

The profile and the steamed frame
The profile and the steamed frame
Noé Tirado-Muñiz

I created a mold by drawing the desired form with pencil on a piece of plywood and placing nails along it to create the required contour. To bend the thin net frame made from pine wood trim into shape, I used a tea kettle to create steam, exposing the trim to it and gently coaxing it into shape. I tied the ends together and left it untouched for several days to help it retain the shape.

Clamping the handle
Clamping the handle
Noé Tirado-Muñiz

I then created the middle section of the handle by cutting the desired shape out of a piece of poplar and glued it to the pine frame. I used the remaining pieces of poplar as part of the clamping system to help retain the desired shape.

The frame with a groove
The frame with a groove
Noé Tirado-Muñiz

Once the glue dried, I cut the handle to shape, created a lengthwise groove on the net frame and drilled the necessary holes. I then sanded – and sanded, and sanded some more – and finally sealed it with polyurethane.

The finished net
The finished net
Noé Tirado-Muñiz

I made a custom basket and attached it with fishing line so the weaving would not show.

The net at work
The net at work
Noé Tirado-Muñiz

This is now my to-go landing net. I spent zero dollars on this project.


Thanks for a great article!...

Thanks for a great article! How did you create the lengthwise groove on the frame?

I first scored the wood with...

I first scored the wood with a chisel and then used a wood file of the appropriate size. I finished it (for cosmetic reasons) with sanding paper wrapped around a small piece of wood.

DIY wooden landing net...

Great looking net! Thanks for the 'How To'.

Grooving wooden net frames...

Much the easiest way to achieve a consistent groove, is to rout it out before steaming/bending.


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