After struggling to net catfish off of the side of fishing piers and bulkheads at low tide with a pole net, I decided to take a stab at a pier net.
I also wanted something that was lightweight and portable, as I often go fishing with just a rod and everything else in a backpack.
It also needed to be inexpensive.
Step 1: Parts/Materials
So the parts list from Home Depot is as follows:
(1) 10 foot length of 1/2" PEX tubing (flexible tubing for hot water radiant floor heating systems) - $3.27
(1) PEX coupler fitting - $1.39
(2) stainless steel clamps - $1.88
I had some kind of 3/4" x 3/4" plastic mesh deer or bird fence netting in the garage. It was thin, light, very flexible and strong. The openings in the netting need to be large enough to feed the PEX tubing through.
4" zip ties
3/8" diamond braided poly rope
(3) Nite Ize "S" type plastic carabiners
(1) spring link
Step 2: Fabrication
Figure out the diameter you want for the hoop by bending the tubing in a circle. Cut to needed length.
Feed the PEX tubing through the netting, a few openings down from one edge of the netting. Make sure to leave a little slack in the netting as the tube is bent into a circle. Cut the netting to the appropriate size to complete the circle. Fill the PEX tubing with water or sand to weigh it down when dropped into the water. Join the two ends of PEX tubing with the coupler and clamps.
Use the small zip ties to tie the meeting ends of netting together, slightly away from the edges of the netting. I did this abut every other netting opening, or about 1 1/2" O.C.
Bunch up the netting to achieve the desired depth of landing net and cinch the bottom opening closed with a zip tie. Feed several more zip ties through the bunched up netting in different directions to seal the bottom of the net.
Cut three equal lengths of cord and tie them to a metal ring. Tie a loop in the end of each line and tighten around a carabiner.
Cut a separate length of cord to the desired length. Make a wrist loop at one end and tie the other end to the spring link.
Clip the carabiner around the hoop and you're ready to go.