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Bryon Anderson

Landing Net, Finally! (A long-ish story)

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A few years ago, at a Trout Unlimited fly fishing school where I volunteer as an instructor, I met a really wonderful gentleman named Jim Newland. Jim was in his mid-80s then, and was (among other things) renowned as a maker of really nice landing nets. He and I got to talking and discovered that we had a lot in common, and in the course of that conversation I mentioned that I'd recently taken up woodworking and was interested in learning to make nets.

 

A few weeks after the school ended, I got an email from Jim, saying he was giving up his net-making hobby/side business for personal reasons, and inviting me up to his place in Traverse City, MI to take possession of any of his tools, net-bending forms, and stocks of hardwood net components that I wanted. "If you don't want them, I'm just throwing it all away," he said. So--needless to say, probably--I went up to see him and came home with my car absolutely loaded to capacity with hardwood strips, handle blanks, forms, tools - you name it.

 

I set to work immediately -- I'd watched every net building video YouTube had, and I'd talked to Jim for hours about his process, and I was raring to go, as they say. I quickly realized, though, that my skills were just not quite where I needed them to be yet. (Also, I desperately needed a bandsaw.)

 

Fast-forward two-years-and-change -- numerous failed attempts, two fishing seasons away from the shop, and two major shop re-organizations later, and it's finally starting to come together. This is the first one I've made that I feel is worthy to take outside and use. It needs several coats of finish, but I'm feeling good about it. The TU school gets going this May, and I plan on showing up with enough nets to convince my friend Jim that he didn't misplace his trust in me.

 

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I see you bought the entire stock of Quick grip clamps from Lowes lol. That does look good Bryon nice work.

Thanks Steve -- you know, the sad thing is, that's only about half of the quick-grip clamps that I actually have. Before I learned to make clamping cauls to spread out the pressure, I would have upwards of 20 clamps on a single net. :-D Menard's runs those Irwin clamps on sale periodically, and I usually get a set or two when they do. :)

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Nice story and net. Your off to a great start. A woodworker never has enough clamps.

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Thanks for the kind words everyone -- I'll hopefully be posting pics of more and fancier nets soon. (I need to find a source for some nice burl wood for the handles :) ) I've got a larger boat net that I'll be bending the strips for tonight; we'll see how that turns out.

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Nice nets. Need beta testors? :

 

Rick

 

Thanks Rick -- once I get a few more made, I thought I might put a few up for sale here, at "fishing buddy" prices, just to get some out there in use and see what kind of feedback I get.

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Bryon these popped up on my Facebook, thought you might like the inspiration.

https://bitterrootnets.com/t/stream-net-w/built-in-magnet

Thanks Vicente -- those are beautiful nets! I've seen a couple of their nets on YouTube videos but I hadn't really explored their website. I'm hoping to eventually do some colored epoxy resin inlays similar to what they do on my nets.

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I have a guy that does stabilized wood and resin hybrids for my knife handles he does great work stabilizing before casting is important on objects that will be seeing a lot of temperature and moisture changes, he has a Facebook group I can give you the link too if you want.

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