McLean Bronze Series
I am now the proud owner of a McLean landing net.
This review is a little unusual in that I bought the net with my own money and tested it once I had parted with my money. Unconventional, I know, but then that's Sexyloops for you. It also had a lot to do with forgetting my existing net and visiting a fishery where nets were compulsory.
So, I walked into the net shop and viewed the range. After going through about half a dozen 'Made in China' models and not seeing anything very impressive, the salesman furtively reached under the counter and stated “Well, we do also sell these” and produced a McLean landing net in the same way you used to buy Oxtail at the height of the Mad Cow crisis (without having to guarantee that it was *definitely* for your dog).
It was like some really magic piece of kit that was being peddled in the “are you SURE you are ready for one of these” way.
So there it was, lying in all of its glory on the counter. Now that I was trusted with the forbidden fruit I was allowed to handle and even fondle the treasure that lay before me.
On picking up this beauty, the first thing that I noticed was the weight, or lack of it. This net is definitely fighting in the featherweight category. Secondly it was a fixed frame net version. Now I have never owned a fixed frame net (as in the net frame itself doesn't fold down, only the handle) and usually pass them by as a fashion item; to be hung on the back of a waistcoat and seldom used.
Giving it a quick swish (while trying to look like I know how to handle a 'real' landing net) I noticed another striking feature, or lack of it; the method of locking the net once unfolded. Gravity has been given this task whether it likes it or not. This immediately raised the question “does the net float”? Since if it did, then plunging it beneath a fish would result in the net quickly and neatly folding itself up and when just the opposite effect is required.
The net is well constructed, has very good quality netting and is aluminium throughout with a comfortable rubber textured grip in light grey complimenting the alloy very well. It is robust and has a feel of quality about it that left the 'made in China' models blushing with embarrassment.
The clip that is mounted at the hinge point is extremely strong and you'd have to be doing some serious gymnastics to lose this net off your vest D ring.
In use the net proved to be very suitable and able (if you're wading!). For reservoir use I would recommend either the long handled model or the James Bond spring loaded version, that extends violently at the push of a button for those *oh so urgent* landings.
My fears with regards to the net folding up and floating once in the water were semi-realised. However as one is supposed to slide the fish over the lip of the net, I found that the net submerged by more than enough to land even a five pound fish. The depth of the netting is perfect; not too deep, not too shallow. By fully submerging the net, I discovered that it will float for long enough to retrieve it if dropped, however it does fill up through the holes where it hinges and will disappear again if given long enough.
I'm very pleased that the net has proved itself, since it's nice to be able to endorse a product made by a lesser-known name and not least because it was my money that paid for it!
Carl Hutchinson (email@example.com) engineer and entrepreneur, has flyfished more countries than anyone else alive, owns three passports and lives out of Berlin ("because of the women"). He has a completely unique understanding as to the limitations of the motorcar or even what one is. He owns Corporate Flyrods and has worked out how to get 40 hours out of the normal 24 and still go fishing.
You can buy the McLean Landing nets from the Sexyloops Tackleshop.