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How to Make a Fishing Net in 8 Detailed Steps

How to Make a Fishing Net in 8 Detailed Steps
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How to make a fishing net
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

No doubt, a lover of fishing will want to get very familiar with his tools. In as much as these tools can be gotten from a local fishing store, the knowledge and experience of making them by yourself is enjoyable and productive. In many parts of the world, fishing lovers make their fishing nets.

Learning how to make a fishing net is not so difficult. It simply involves building a series of meshes to create an overall pattern. You will need the knowledge on how to get it done, a supply of string and some handmade equipment.

In all, net making is pretty much a fun activity. Thinking about the number of fishes you can get in that net either for sale or food consumption can make the processes involved in making a fishing net look like nothing. The materials needed include fishing string, fishing twine, gauge block or stick, netting needle or shuttle, and the frame of an old net.

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Making a Fishing Net — It starts with a string

To make a fishing net, you will have to knit it from a string and since we are primarily looking at a fishing net, dacron or polypropylene twine are the best options. They are high-quality, strong, lightweight, kink and can resist rot.

Also, you will have to decide the exact size of the twine you pick. In this case, do not go for the really thin ones. In as much as they cost less, they are not very strong neither do they last long.

Click here to get this 10500-Foot Polypropylene Twine on Amazon

Step 1

The first thing to do is to create a webbing tube that you can change into a dip net. The dip net will need a frame, maybe an old fishing net that needs a new netting or a loop made from wire, steamed wood, etc. If you want a dip net that can get you a pan-sized trout, you will need a gauge block with a circumference of 2 1/8 inches, a shuttle with a length of about 8 inches a and width of 3/4 inches.

To prevent a fish from slipping out of your net, the best thing to do is to space the loops so they are very close that the meshes will not be hanging in squares. For instance, hanging your loops 1 inch apart around a frame that is 18 inches in diameter and 56 ½ inches in circumference, will leave 56 meshes at 1 mesh to the inch around the webbing tube.

Step 2

Set two nails into a wall. They should be about 3 feet apart and chest high. Tie your fishing string to both nails on the wall. After you have done that, tie the end of your fishing twine to the beginning of your fishing string at a point near the left end. If you are a southpaw, tie them at a point near the right end. All other steps should be done in reverse directions as well.

Using your hand, gauge the first row of meshes with slipknots. To enable you to tie them, pass the shuttle through the back of the starting string from underneath, then go up, over, and down in front of the starting string.

How to make a fishing net
Image by Henri Apell from Pixabay

Step 3

Hold the loop you made. Hold it with your left thumb and forefinger and place the mesh with your second finger, an inch from the starting string. Let your right hand fall to your side. As it falls to your side, it will pull in the mesh. Incline your right wrist so the twine will go through the back of your hand.

Leave it at the back of your hand and pass your shuttle up, through the open mesh. It will also go around the loop. Take it back through the hole your wrist is holding open and drop your hand holding the shuttle. Make sure your first knot is tight; it can also be called a slipknot.

Another way to make the slipknot:

After making the first loop, while you are still holding it in your left hand, turn the twine clockwise over that same hand. Turn it up, around and over so it will form a loop. Pass the needle from below, around the loop, and through that hole, before you drop your right hand and tighten the knot.

Check out this video to lean how to make a slipknot:

Step 4

Continue forming more loops and tying more knots until you have gotten about 56 half-meshes. They will look like triangles so do not be worried. Carefully work your way through the first row of knots because they might try to slip. If they slip, all you have to do is to slide them back. It looks like so much work but it is very vital.

After you have finished the 56 half-meshes, remove the starting string from both nails on the wall and tie their ends together. Then, hook it over one nail.

Step 5

Since the webbing tube is made without seams, it will be knitted into a spiral. So, join all 56 half-meshes so that they form a circle.

Holding the gauge block in your left hand, position the narrow rim against your last knot. The twine will pass in front of it and over to the shuttle. Make sure the knot is astride the narrow rim of your gauge block. Going further, pass the needle around, under the gauge block, up through the very first half-mesh and then, over the top of the gauge block.

Take the strand of the mesh and pull it down against the rim of the gauge block. It should be halfway between the loop knots. Use your left thumb and your forefinger to hold it in place.

Step 6

Pass the shuttle again. This will take the string around the two sides of the upper loop with the twine still above your thumb, then back down through the hole your right wrist will be holding open. Don’t forget that twine will be laid across the back of your hand during the second pass of the shuttle. Make sure you do not wrap the second pass around the gauge block.

Both ends of the first row are now tied together so you can continue to knit around. The knot you will be making at this point is a becket bend that is if you keep the second pass above your thumb but if it falls between the upper loop and your gauge block, it will give you a slipknot.

For each new mesh you make, there will be a wrap around the gauge block with all the knots in a straight line and the other sides astride the narrow rim. Use your fingertips to build the meshes, sliding each new one toward your palm. This will keep the gauge block about two-thirds full.

Towards the end of the row, you might realize that a few meshes are crooked. All you need to do is empty the gauge block and work on the knot one by one for about two to three meshes.

Image by socialneuron from Pixabay

Step 7

Continue knitting your net until you have 12 stretched meshes, count every other knot as one. Before you cut your twine, make sure your last knot is a double becket knot to enable it to hold better. For a double becket bend, wrap two times around the loop on the second pass, then pull the string through the hole your wrist is holding open.

Untie the starting string and remove it from the top row of the meshes. Untie the slipknots by stretching the mesh with your fingers. This will make the first row of your meshes to be a little larger than the remaining rows. Do not panic; it is expected, for a dip net.

Step 8

Now, it’s time to hang your net on its frame. Space the webbing tube evenly around the hoop and tie it in four places. Tie one end of your hanging twine to the frame, somewhere near the handle and secure each mesh to the frame from left to right.

Hold the frame and the first mesh together with your thumb and the first two fingers of your left hand. Pass the shuttle under the frame from outside and up through this loop, twice. Make sure this two-wrap hitch is tight and then proceed to doing the entire operation one more time. This will give you a triple wrap of twine around the frame and mesh.

Move on to the next tie without cutting the twine and tighten each knot an inch away from the previous one as you complete them. Lastly, interweave a drawstring at the bottom row of the mesh; make it tight and tie it.

You can also check out this video for a visual guide on how to make your first DIY fishing net:

Tips on How to Make the Fishing Net with Ease

  • Practice giving enough twine from the needle to enable your right-hand move naturally, up and down, and to draw the loop or knot tight without too much backswing.
  • Turning-the-loop method on the knots’ second pass can also work on the becket bend even though it is not as fast as the inclining-the-wrist method.


Net making can be a very enjoyable activity, once you get the hang of it. However, there are a lot of rules and regulations as regards making use of nets in fishing. So, ensure you make inquiries from the local fish department in your area before going fishing with your fishing net.

Above all, going fishing with a tool you made by yourself gives off this satisfactory feeling because you have put in your own time and skill into it. Moreover, what better mood to go fishing with than a satisfied feeling?

Would you like another DIY challenge? Then take advantage of our detailed article on how to make a fishing rod to learn how to make one.

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