The GBF Custom Landing Net Clinic

Have you noticed one of your GBF fishing buddies carrying a beautiful laminated wooden landing net and asked him or her where they bought it, only to have them respond: “I made it”? Well, you too can make a net you can take pride in. Once again Art Hawkins and Michael Kaul will be conducting a series of five Net Building Workshops over the winter months. They started the Net Clinics in 2002 and members have built well over 500 nets to date. You do not need to be a woodworker to build a net.
Signups are done online starting in November or December with preference given to first time net builders and those participating in the Golden Trout Program. The cost to build a net starts at $30.00 going up to $50.00, depending on the options** chosen. You only pay for the materials. Similar nets in a fly shop cost from $100 to over $200. Now that Brodin has discontinued operations wooden nets may not be available in the future.
Michael and Art conduct the five workshops in Art’s shop in Orangevale between January and April. There are three net styles and several varieties of hardwoods from which to choose. So each person’s net can be unique. All components including the hardwoods, net bag, molds, finish oil and tools are provided. Each workshop series consists of five members participating in three sessions lasting approximately two hours each. Sessions usually occur late afternoons and early evenings on weekdays and occasionally on a Saturday morning.

First session: select the style of net, select the varieties of wood for the laminated strips and the handle. Then bend and clamp the pre-soaked wood-strips for around a mold.

Second session: glue up and clamp the wood strips to the handle.

Third session: scrape off the excess glue and sand the constructed net. Art will power sand your net and groove a slot for the thread. You will drill holes around its edges for threading the net bag.

At the conclusion of the clinic participants leave with an attractive wooden net frame and a net bag. The net frame needs to be finish sanded and sealed with spar varnish or the recommended Tru Oil (provided) before attaching the net bag.

** Options are: longer handle, ghost bag instead of a nylon bag, swivel.


The photos below show attendees and Art Hawkins (who owns the workshop) doing just that. Instructor Mike Kaul provided the knowledge and techniques, Art supplied the power tool expertise, and everyone had a great time.  The resulting nets are first-class fishing instruments and beautiful works of art!
Net Building 1 Net Building 2 Net Building 3
Net Building 4 Net Building 5       Net Building 7