How big is the Savage Gear Folding Rubber Mesh Landing Net?
The Savage Gear Folding Rubber Mesh Landing Net comes in two sizes. They're specifically designed for pike anglers so both are very capacious. The large one is 65cm x 60cm wide and the extra large one is 70cm x 85cm wide.
I've had no problems fitting double-figure pike into the large model, so unless you fish in waters where there are truly massive pike you should be OK with this one. The extra large one is probably best suited to boat anglers who fish for huge fish, as it would probably be a bit inconvenient for the bank angler to carry.
How does the folding mechanism work?
The Savage Gear Folding Rubber Mesh Landing Net folds in half via a metal hinge at the front of the net and a nylon reinforced carbon hinge built into the spreader block.
How small is it when folded?
When folded the large one becomes about 30cm or so wide, which is plenty small enough to tuck under your arm when you're moving between spots. I wrap my unhooking mat around the outside of mine and it makes carrying them both a lot easier.
It also fits in the boot of a small hatchback - unlike a lot of similar sized nets, which means you don't have to put a potentially smelly, slimy and wet net on your back seat.
Why is the mesh rubber?
With a conventional mesh net it's pretty common for hooks, especially trebles, to get stuck in the mesh. While you can sometimes free them, if they're also attached to a fish you need to be quick to prevent harm to your catch. So often the most humane thing to do is to cut the mesh so you can unhook your fish more quickly - sacrificing your net to help the fish.
The mesh on the Savage Gear Folding Rubber Mesh Landing Net has been coated in a rubber-like compound to seal it - but underneath it's just normal net material. The rubber mesh on this landing net is far more resistant to hooks getting snagged.
This means you can safely land pike with lures bearing treble hooks hanging from the mouths with far less risk that the hooks are going to get caught in the net. As a result, you can unhook pike faster, which is better for them and less stressful for you; it also means your net lasts longer.
Is the handle telescopic?
The Savage Gear Folding Rubber Mesh Landing Net has a non-telescopic handle. On the large one it's about 60-80cm long at a guess. There's a rubber grip on one end. It's always done the job fine for me. When not in use, the handle slides inside the net leaving only the handle protruding.
To assemble the net you simply slide the handle back out and push down two small metal buttons which lock into recesses in the spreader block. For me, this is the net's only real drawback. These metal buttons can be a bit fiddly to push down, especially when your hands are frozen, so for convenience I sometimes leave it made up when moving from spot to spot.
How strong is it?
The frame of the Savage Gear Folding Rubber Mesh Landing Net is made from aluminium and is very sturdy, as well as very light. Mine has felt comfortable when handling moderately large pike and is showing no signs of wear and tear. I can't see it failing on me any time soon and it gets used at least weekly.
Would you buy one again?
I've been happy with my Savage Gear Folding Rubber Mesh Landing Net. It's strong, light and fairly easy to carry for a net of its size. Price wise, it's also very inexpensive at under £30 from most retailers which is great value for something so sturdy.