We are asked frequently, what separates a Barracuda Cast Net from the rest of the pack? To answer the question we have to go into what is in a cast net. Cast nets consist of a number of different parts:
- Braille Lines
- 6 Panel Mesh
- Lead Line
- Lead Weights
The handline is just a basic piece of rope. Most cast nets use a 25’ length of rope that can range from crab trap line to premium braided polypropylene rope. Polypropylene is preferred as it floats. The Barracuda handline is made of 30’, heavy duty, loose braided, polypropylene rope. It is a heavyweight rope and the loose braid makes it comfortable to throw for extended periods of time.
The swivel is very important. It needs to be functional in that it allows the braille lines and the handline freedom of movement. A stiff swivel will cause more braille line tangles. It also needs to be strong. Imagine throwing the perfect cast on a large school of bait. When you go to retrieve your net, the swivel breaks causing not just the loss of the bait and your time, but also the loss of your net. Our swivels are premium quality, 12/0, and tested to 1000lb to ensure your bait and your net never escape.
Braille lines are a subject that gets debated frequently with cast nets. Some swear that the more braille lines the better and some argue that too many is a bad thing. Braille lines are the lines that attach to the handline, go through the horn and cause the cast net to form a pocket upon retrieval so your bait does not escape. After much testing and feedback from captains around the state we have found that for once, the industry standard is perfect. Most of the premium nets have gone to a higher number of lines as a marketing ploy. But in testing, this caused many tangles, slower sink rates and partial openings not to mention slower cast net loading due to braille line issues. In contrast, no average gains in bait were recorded from a net with more braille lines vs. the industry standard. Our cast nets are built with the following braille line count:
- 12’, 32 Lines
- 10’, 28 Lines
- 8’, 24 Lines
The horn is the round circle where the braille lines pass through into the mesh. For years this piece was discounted and consisted of any plastic circle. However, the horn actually plays a big role in how your cast net performs. We use a large 3.25”, 4 section, custom built horn. The size of the horn allows the braille lines to travel through it unimpeded and the sections keep the braille lines from getting tangled in the net. A sectional horn is a big improvement to cast nets and some manufacturers have added it, but produced it in a smaller horn. This helps keep the lines straight inside the horn, but causes tangles above the horn. If you want a quality sectional horn it has to be 3” or larger in diameter.
The mesh is perhaps the most important piece of the net. The mesh needs to be strong to keep the fish in, but light enough to sink fast in the water. It also needs to be soft enough and constructed properly to allow the net to open freely when thrown. Our mesh is constructed exclusively for us. It is made out of a monofilament that we have approved for its exceptional strength, durability and fast sink rate. You will find that our Pro nets weighing in at 1.4 lb per foot sink faster than other nets with 1.5 lb per foot. This was not an accident but years of research, development, and trial and error.
When you see our nets you will notice they have a lot of mesh. The more mesh the better to a certain extent. The right amount of mesh is needed to easily open a net to its fullest extent. If you lay most nets out on the ground you will notice the mesh at the top near the horn will bunch up and there may be 1-3 feet of unusable mesh. This is because there is not enough mesh and widening rows in the mesh to allow a full, flat opening. Not only is the amount of mesh important but the stiffness and knots in the line play a big part in fully expanding your net. When you feel a Barracuda net you will notice how soft and limp our mesh is. This is a prime reason why our nets open so well.
The strength of the mesh is important to the longevity of the net. We use only premium monofilament in ALL of our nets to ensure the nets will last longer than any net on the market. We also use double selvage (two strands of mono in the mesh) at the critical points, the horn and the lead line. This double selvage keeps your net from wearing and breaking on the bottom when being retrieved. As well, it keeps the mesh at the top from breaking on the plastic of the horn. Most manufacturers only do this on the top of the line nets, we do this on all of our nets to ensure you enjoy our premium as much as our inshore.
Our nets are constructed of a 6-panel mesh also helping to ensure that maximum spread or “pancake” as we call it. Traditionally, nets were sewn using a consistent single sewn mesh. This would cause a “pocket” at the top of the net and would keep it from expanding fully as well as prematurely closing in the water column. With a 6-panel net made with a soft abundant mesh, it will open fully and flat, allowing you to catch more bait and maintain better uniformity as it falls through the water column.
The lead line is the anchor line of the net. When thrown, it provides the force that opens the net as well as pulls it to the bottom. We use a stronger, more pliable, longer lead line than most other nets. This contributes to an easier opening, longer lasting net overall.
The lead weights while small and simple are a complex part of the net. There are a few different types available, but on a Barracuda you will only found round, marble style, lead weights. After testing all of them we have come to the conclusion that more bait is caught with this style lead. We are also the only company using this lead in the weights you will find on our nets. Using less weight per lead than any other manufacturer allows for a better throw, a faster sink and a better seal against the bottom, catching more bait than our competition.
Each one of our cast nets are made to the same high-quality standards with the only main difference being the weight. The Custom has 1.6 lb/ft, the Pro has 1.4 lb/ft, and the Inshore has 1.25 lb/ft. All of these weights have a different application from offshore bigger baits to inshore minnows and shrimp. We have a calculator in production that will help you pick the right net for you. Until then please call us at (727) 537-0359 or email us at email@example.com for answers to all of your questions.
The Barracuda Team