Fishpond Nomad Guide Net / Review and Rugged Test

Fishpond Nomad Guide Net / Review and Rugged Test

Fishpond nomad guide net

Why Review a Net?

The net is one piece of equipment that is often overlooked by anglers.  Nets can be cumbersome, difficult to manage and even forgotten on the side of the river or on a rented boat.  They can be easily damaged when dropped, stepped on or even sat on.  Often, anglers will have two nets, one for wading and one for the boat.  Fishpond has created a great net for all users that can stand up to the abuse some anglers dish out:  The Nomad Guide Net.

Why A Net Is Necessary

When I first started fly fishing, I figured that I could just play the fish to shore and pick him up, which was often the case, as my early days of trout fishing were more about studying and learning to cast, tying and retying knots and rigs, and the occasional trout.  The problem with not using a net is that the fish are stressed longer, beat themselves up fighting and have a higher risk of lactic acid build up–this causes them to cramp and go belly up instead of swimming away.  Fish simply have a better survival rate if they are caught quickly and then released quickly. If you have a net, and a good one, your catch and release practice will prove much quicker and more efficient.  This is very important in places where the fish are heavily pressured by anglers, as they are here in the Vail Valley.

Why the Nomad Guide Net?

If you are like most people who spend any amount of time on the river, you slip and fall sometimes.  And, if you’re human, angling can make you just “lose it” sometimes and want to break something over your knee.  Now, what does this have to to with a net, you ask?  We have all had moments when we just lost our footing while playing a fish, crossing slippery rocks or a section with a little more current. At 48-inches in total length, the Nomad Guide net actually makes a nice walking stick.  I typically wear a waist pack (Fishpond), and I used the waist belt to hold the no-slip handle of the Nomad Guide Net. I found that if you slide the net up to rest higher on your back, it stays in place–this kept it from interfering with walking.  I also found it could easily be carried on the side of the pack by dropping it, handle down, into the loop created by the cinch straps.  Even with a handle as long as the Nomad Guide Net, and a basket measuring 18″ x 13″, it never really got in the way.

fishpond nomad guide net

The Nomad Guide Net is constructed of a Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass composite, making it ridiculously strong and light. Go ahead, just try and break it over your knee.  I’ve dropped it, stepped on it, sat on it, bashed it against rocks in our Rocky Mountain streams.  I even took a tumble with it down a steep embankment:  not a scratch, on the Nomad.  It weighs a mere 16.8 ounces from tip to tip, including the clear, rubber net bag. It is waterproof, weatherproof and floats like a cork. It is finished with RiverKoat, a rubberized paint which provides excellent grip, especially when wet! The final nicety is the 27-inch scale along the handle for measuring your fish on the spot.

Bottom Line

The Nomad will have you covered for more than just catching fish.  It will stand up to whatever abuse you want to throw at it.  It’s great for short days, long days, wading and the boat.  At $189.95, the Nomad Guide Net is worth the investment.


It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

About the Author

Justin Nolan

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