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Monday, August 10, 2009

Cast net

A cast net, also called a throw net, is a net used for fishing. It is a circular net with small weights distributed around its edge.

The net is caste or thrown by hand in such a manner that it spreads out on the water and sinks. This technique is called net casting or net throwing. Fish are caught as the net is hauled back in. This simple device has been in use, with various modifications, for thousands of years.


Construction and technique

Contemporary cast nets have a radius which ranges from 4 to 12 feet (1.2 to 3.6 metres). Only strong people can manually lift the larger nets once they are filled with fish. The standard size for recreational fishing is four feet. Weights are usually distributed around the edge at about one pound per foot (1.5 kilograms per metre). Attached to the net is a landline, which is a line held by hand when the net is thrown. A retrieval clamp, sometimes called a thimble, closes the net when it is full. The net is retrieved by pulling on the landline. The retrieval clamp works like a wringer on a mop, and closes the net. The net is lifted into a bucket and the clamp is released, dumping the caught fish into the bucket.

Cast nets work best in water no deeper than their radius. Casting is best done in waters free of obstructions. Reeds cause tangles and branches can rip nets. The caster stands holding the net over one arm, with the weights dangling, and with the other hand holding the landline. The line is then thrown out over the water, using both hands, in a circular motion rather as in hammer throwing. The net can be cast from the shore, or by wading, or from a boat. [1]

There are also optional net throwers that can make casting easier. These look like a trash can lid with a handle on top. They have a deep groove around the outside edge. The thrower is loaded with the net around the edges and weights inside the gulley. The net is then tossed into the water using the thrower.


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