Welcome to Mike's Welding & Fabrication
in Sterling, Alaska. Believe it or not there are a number of factors to consider when purchasing the ideal fish-catching dip net. We pride ourselves in manufacturing gear that meets the stringent requirements of all those factors - no generic hoop/bag/handle configurations, flimsy construction, or overly heavy components to wrestle with.
Because there are two types of dip net fisheries, one using boats to motor up or down stream to catch your fish, and the other standing on shore or wading out into the water and holding your net stationary to catch incoming fish, each method requires a net designed for those specific conditions.
With nearly a dozen years of experimenting and re-engineering our nets, we feel you won't find a finer fish-catching net that is also user friendly. The variety of sizes, configurations and mesh sizes we offer provides a net to fit any user in either fishery....or opt for a combo net if you might be fishing both types of fisheries.
Water resistance is a key factor in angler fatigue. Traditionally made dip nets use standard round aluminum tubing for their hoops. Water flow around the hoop creates excessive drag and therefore requires more effort to hold in the current. When fishing from a boat the drag slows the boat and makes direction changes excessive when one net is lifted from the water.
Mike's Dip Nets utilize a dynamic design in hoop construction which reduces water drag on the hoop whether you fish from shore or from a boat. The hoop is made from an extruded concave shaped aluminum tube providing a smoother flow of water past the hoop. The cross-sectional shape of the tubing provides superior strength with its internal aluminum center wall being a key element in resistance to bending.
Choosing the right size net for the individual who is going to use it is essential for catching the most fish. Oversized hoops are very difficult for women and younger kids to use. Mike's Dip Nets provide a wide variety of hoop sizes designed to make their usage fitted to the individual. Dad may opt for a 60" diameter beach net whereas the kids and mom will be more comfortable with a 42" or 44" hoop. Boat nets need not be the maximum size because handling and removing fish from large hoops is difficult, especially in smaller boats.
Mesh size of the netting must be matched to the fishery you participate in. For Boat Fishing you will want a 3.5" mesh so that fish will dump out of the net and into the boat quickly without tangling. For Beach Fishing you want to use the 4.5" mesh size so that the fish will get gilled or tangled in the net and not escape while the angler is hauling the net to shore. If you will be purchasing a Combo Net, its recommended to go with the 4.5" mesh to insure your shore fishing will catch and hold fish since the 3.5" mesh allows fish to escape too easily. Mesh Color is also critical to catching lots of fish. Mike's Dip Nets are provided with a glacial-colored nylon/mono webbing that is "invisible" in the Kasilof, Kenai, and Copper rivers dip net fisheries and is resistant to deterioration from sun and water.
The length of handle is also an important factor to consider. For Boat Fishing the six foot handles are all that are needed since the hoop diameter also adds another four feet of depth under the boat. For Beach Fishing we provide 10 foot, 12 foot, 16 foot, and 20 foot handle lengths. The 10 is a one piece with T handle, the 16 consists of a six foot with T handle and a ten foot extension so you can use this as a combo Boat or Beach net with good reach. The 20 consists of two ten foot sections with one having the T handle. All components assemble and break down in seconds for easy transportation. The handles disconnect from each other and from the hoop making these nets very convenient for folks driving SUVs or standard cars with a roof rack.
Our Location is right in Sterling, 3/10th of a mile past the Moose River Bridge and right on the Sterling Highway. Look for our shop and big Dip Net sign along the road. Scroll down for photos of our nets and shop.
STORE/SHOP HOURS: JUNE - Monday thru Friday 8am - 5pm
STORE/SHOP HOURS: JULY - Monday thru Friday 8am - 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm
NOTE: Pricing is based on Handle Length no matter which hoop size & mesh you choose. We can only accept Cash or Check at this time.