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Tested by Steve Ansell

 

30PLUS IQ 26 IN. MEGA HARD HEAD

£19.99

A bit disappointing. The polished spreader block and frame is mentioned on the packaging as a selling point but I feel it will put some anglers off. The bottom of the net is made of finer mesh than the rest of the net, although I’m not sure why, as this will catch the flow. Competitive nets seem to have much more thought put into their design. Disappointing for a company producing loads of quality value tackle at the moment. Apart from that, it’s light with very good build quality. I would certainly use it tenching on stillwaters.

SCORE: 21/30


DRAGON CARP 30 IN. BIG FISH

£7

A very standard triangular no nonsense net that will do the job for the occasional barbel angler or one who just prefers a fold-up design. The mesh may be a little small for strong flows. It’s nice and deep and features metal caps on the spreader end, and hard plastic ends on the corners, a great touch as the tubing traditionally used with this type of net has a tendency to split. The spreader block is moulded with a brass thread, matt black glass arms ensure it’s less obtrusive. It’s also one of the lighter nets tested. Not an out and out specimen barbel net, but stunning value.

SCORE: 22/30


FOX 32 IN. BARBEL SPECIALIST

£49.99

Very flash looking net complete with a superbly finished 6 ft pole and
32 in. arms complete with a Kevlar weave. The mesh is super soft and fish-friendly. Small straps are supplied to keep everything tidy. I can’t help feeling this is more of a stillwater specimen net as the mesh would be a bit hard to manoeuvre in a strong current. The net seems to be a bit wide too, with not enough distance from drawstring to spreader. If this was a specimen net and not a barbel net review it would score much, much higher marks as it’s a quality product for the money.

SCORE: 23/30


WYCHWOOD 30 IN. ROVER

£15

Certainly eye catching, halfway between a traditional triangular net and a pan net. The nice big mesh allows for easy manoeuvrability in flowing water. Being very big it may not be the best choice for the roving angler having to climb through brambles. The frame is flattened on the inside edge making it very strong, but I feel a matt finish may have been a better choice. The plastic spreader cover is neat and should be snag free when fishing in weedy swims. A lot of net for the money and it can double up as a carp net.

SCORE: 25/30


KORUM 30 IN. SPECIMEN/BARBEL

£19.99

A spoon design complete with latex coated mesh, one-piece aluminium spreader small beta light slot and anodised finish. The fine mesh around the frame is a nice touch too. This net is specially designed for the serious barbel angler and well built. The latex coated mesh is quick drying and helps the net slide through the water being very good in a heavy flow. One of the most expensive tested, but a lot of net for the money. I would have preferred a matt finish, as it can be a bit shiny in bright conditions.

SCORE: 28/30


BEST BUY

GARDNER 30 IN. SPECIALIST/BARBEL

£17.99

A spoon net, designed by big fish ace Neil Wayte for the serious barbel angler. The non-tear outer material that covers the frame is a great idea helping to prevent snagging. It also cuts out any reflective glare from the metal frame. The one-piece moulded high grade aluminium spreader has been powder coated, also the large mesh is nice and soft for added fish care and low drag in heavy flow. A very small point – the two silver screws on the spreader block make it look a tad cheap, it would be good if they were powder coated too. A very good value specialist product that’s set to be a classic.

SCORE: 29/30

NOTE: All products tested September 2009. All prices correct at the time of going to Press. Angler’s Mail do not take responsibility for price or product changes or current availability.