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Does anyone tie nets? — The Grow Network Community
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Does anyone tie nets?

judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,195 admin
edited June 2020 in DIY Tutorials

I have mended my nets, using (the great) George L. Herter's instruction, but I have never tied a net from scratch. Does anyone here do this? When I do, would anyone be interested in me documenting it on my blog so folks can learn from my trials and errors? Similar techniques can be used to make hammocks, btw.

And, for no apparent reason other than that he is my hero, here is one of the very few photos Herter ever allowed to be taken... in his words, "I do not want to be known."


  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,686 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 About 8 years ago I tied a net based on a pattern I saw and it was a simple tie with about 4 to 6 inch openings I really don't remember but it worked well enough for the season climbers, and yes put it on your blog and I will watch..

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,195 admin
    edited June 2020

    How to Make a Handmade Fishing Net

    Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | References

    Updated: March 29, 2019

    Mass-produced fishing nets can be expensive to replace and a pain to store or travel with. Fortunately net-making is a well-honed craft that gets easier with practice. All you’ll need is some space, some string and few tools to get started.



    Setting Up

    1. 1
    2. Choose your string. In theory your fishing net can be made of any string or twine. Think about what species you're trying to catch, and how it's size might affect the strength of the string used.
    • It’s recommended that you use a bonded nylon string for strength. Of all contemporary twine it is the most durable and reliable.
    • If you don’t have any nylon on hand or are unable to get any, consider practicing with whatever string you might have around.[1]
    1. 2
    2. Have your shuttle and gauge. The two essential tools for the net making process will be your shuttle (or netting needle) and gauge (or sizing card). Both shuttle and gauge can be found at your local craft or sporting goods store.
    • The width of your gauge will determine the size of your finished net’s mesh. The diagonal of each mesh square will be equal to the width of your gauge.
    • The shuttle is the needle with which you will weave the net, and needs to be smaller in width than your gauge so as to pass through the holes made for the mesh.
    1. 3
    2. Set up your net-making area. Ideally this will be a table large enough to fit your completed net, laying flat. Though it’s not necessary, it’ll come in handy when trying to rest the net in between steps.
    • What you do need is a nail (or a clamp with the center screw facing upwards) in the edge of table on the far side away from you. This rod will serve as the starting point for your net.[2]



    Beginning the Net

    1. 1
    2. Load your shuttle. To begin, you'll need to wrap your twine around the shuttle you'll use for your net. If you run out of twine before the shuttle is full, tie the end to another spool of twine. Cut the tags that remain on the knot and continue loading.
    • Lay your shuttle flat in your hand and lay the end of the twine flat along the top, facing you.
    • Take the twine and loop it around the center peg of the shuttle so it comes back towards you.
    • Lay the string down on the same side parallel to the end strand, and run it down the shuttle and flip it over and run it up the other side.
    • Loop this piece around the center peg and back down facing you, and repeat the process until you’re out of twine or the shuttle becomes too full to handle.[3]
    1. 2
    2. Make a loop with an overhand knot. The loop you make in this step needs to be close to the width of your gauge so that your shuttle may pass through it. Don't worry too much about the precision in size; so long as the shuttle can pass through, it's fine. This loop will hang extraneous at the edge of your net when completed.
    • The overhand knot is the one most everybody is familiar with: you make a loop and pass the end of the line through the loop, pulling both ends to tighten.
    • Take the loop that has formed from the knot and put it around the peg you’re using.
    1. 3
    2. Place your gauge. As mentioned above, your gauge will determine the eventual size of the net holes in the finished net. Every net you make will begin with one square, the sizing of which starts here.
    • Slide your gauge up underneath the string attached to the loop just created. The loop should be situated on the peg so that it’s knot is closest you; have the gauge pushed up to the knot so that the knot touches the gauge's top edge.
    • Hold the string with your thumb atop the gauge, using the hand opposite the one which will use the shuttle.
    1. 4
    2. Pull the shuttle up through the loop. At this point you're looking to tighten the string around your gauge, which is accomplished in this step. You'll look to recreate the tightness with which the string grips the gauge in this step as you continue; uniform tightness will mean evenly-sized net squares once complete.
    • Your shuttle should be to the right of your peg, loop, and gauge; from the right, pull the shuttle up through the loop (through the V made by the peg, twine, and gauge).
    • Then, pull it down towards you, cinching tight around your gauge. Place your thumb on top on the knot and string to hold it.
    1. 5
    2. Make another knot with your shuttle. Repeating the knot is important for the eventual strength of your finished net. The more knots, the sturdier the net will be.
    • Take your shuttle, which should be on the right of your peg and loop, and pass it under the loop and back over. There should now be a slackened loop hanging under the taut loop.
    • Pass the shuttle under this loop and up to the right of the taut loop; continue pulling the shuttle and twine up until the knot formed is tight around the gauge. Then repeat this step one more time.[4]
    1. 6
    2. Remove your gauge. You should be left with two loops emerging from the original loop hung on the peg, along with the rest of your string attached to your shuttle.
    • You’ll need to choose one of these two loops to continue with the process, and it doesn’t matter which one. Both will be dealt with by the time your net is made.



    Finishing Your Net

    1. 1
    2. Replace your gauge. Continuing your net will simply be a matter of repeating (with some alteration) the steps just completed. Here, for example, you'll be placing your gauge much in the same way you placed it originally.
    • Slide your gauge back under the single string coming from the two loops. Going under your gauge, slide your shuttle through one of the two loops just formed.
    • You should be able to pull the knot tight and the gauge closer to the knot by bringing the shuttle upwards through the loop.
    1. 2
    2. Bring your shuttle under and over the loops. Again, you're looking to tighten the string around the gauge by creating another knot. Be sure with each knot made that it's as tight as it can be.
    • Once your bring the shuttle under and over, there should form another slackened loop as in step 1.5.
    • With your shuttle back to the right, pull it through this loop from underneath and back towards you to create another knot. This knot should be tight against the edge of gauge farthest from you (closest to the peg).
    1. 3
    2. Loop your shuttle through the second loop. After making a knot from the first one, repeat the process with the second loop formed earlier (whichever you chose not to start with).
    • Pull the shuttle through the loop from under and back towards you to make a knot at the edge of the gauge. There should now be a “V” shape formed by the two loops pulled tight against your gauge (the point of the “V” should face the peg).
    1. 4
    2. Pull your shuttle up through the “V”. Here you continue to add knots to the far edge of the gauge to strengthen the net. The knots form in this step here will be those which close the square that begins the net.
    • Coming from the right, pull your shuttle up through the gap in the “V” to make another slackened loop as in previous steps. The loop should hang to the right of the "V."
    • Pull your shuttle up and through this loop and down towards you to tighten into a knot. Then repeat this step exactly.
    1. 5
    2. Remove the gauge and start again. Once you’ve removed the gauge, you should have the first square of your net, with a loop coming out of either side (to the left and right). Take either of these loops and repeat as though the chosen loop is the one begun with in step 1.3.
    • Repeating these steps should increasingly widen the net as you continue to make loops and knots; every new square will have two attached loops with which to continue.
    • Once your net has reach desired length, you will ignore one of these two loops to narrow the net back down.[5]
    1. 6
    2. Complete your net with frame or weights. Depending on how you plan to use this net, you may want to attach it to a wooden frame you have, or make a casting net by attaching a long rope and weights. No matter which you choose, be sure to store your net in such a way that it doesn't get tangled.
    • In either case, it’s acceptable to use extra bits of string to fasten whatever you need to the net, or to fasten the net to a frame. For more durability (if you’re less picky on the condition of the wood), use heavy duty staples to attach the net.


  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,195 admin

    Net Making for Beginners

    by Knotter

    Net Making Equipment

    What I really love about net making is that the initial set-up cost is relatively cheap and it is easy to get hold of. For making a net you will need the following equipment:

    Netting Needle

    Netting Needles come in many different sizes. So now comes the difficult bit, what size do you need? The size of the netting needle is really determined by what size mesh (hole) you want in your fishing net. The netting needle needs to be small enough to pass through the mesh of the net that you are making. So for the sake of just learning to make a fishing net, in my lessons I used a xxxxx sized needle. To be honest, netting needles are so cheap you may want to buy a range of them? Also their design is so simple, you may also want to make your own netting needles.

    In the videos I use the netting needle with the blue twine attached; 20cm long x 2.3 cm wide

    Netting Needles

    Net Card or Net Gauge

    Now this is something that you will need to source yourself, well put it this way, I have not seen them for sale. The Net Card or Net Gauge determines the size of the mesh (hole) that you want in your fishing net. A credit card would do well or you could even make some up from old bits of wood or aluminium like mine. The bottom one is 13cm x 5.5cm. On the top one you notice that there is a curved edge. Some people like this as it allows the net to be slipped off easier. Personally, I found no benefit from this.

    Net Gauge or Net Card

    Net Making Twine

    There are a wide range of colours and materials out there that you can use for net making. When I first started out I used some natural twine, as it was less prone to slipping. I have made nets from very thin twine to tarred line to Paracord. Yes, it you can also net with Paracord, but I would say that you would need to make your net with the Single Knot Method. The problem with paracord or any material that thick, is that the actual knots become more pronounced.




    Net Making BookShop USA

    Shop UK

    Netting Needles - Sometimes when you purchase these, they do need a little rub down with sand paper. Sometimes there is some rough casting residue to remove.Shop USA

    Shop UK

    Netting TwineShop USA

    Shop UK

    Seamless Rings for Net Making

    If you want to make a round net or a purse net, then you may want to purchase some seamless stainless steel rings. However, this is not essential as you can make your own rings by using some thing cordage to create your own rings. However, if you are making a purse net, then a SS ring would be better. The reason being is that these rings are part of the tripping mechanism for trapping a rabbit.

    Net Making Knots

    In the videos I use two similar knots. I know them as the single knot and the double knot method. When I first started out, when I used the single knot method (Sheet Bend) I noticed that on occasion, rather than tying a sheet bend I tied a slip knot. The video below will highlight this problem, so that you quickly understand what is going wrong! As I started to learn net making, I noticed that when I used the double knot method, I was less prone to making a mistake. Now when I make a net, I still use both methods, just depending on how I feel.

    Single Knot Method

    Double Knot Method

    How to Make a Purse Net

    In this short video you will learn how to make a Purse Net. In essence a Purse Net is a net that is shaped like a hammock. So not only for hunting, but a Purse Net also makes a great way for keeping stuffed toys etc stowed away in their own hammock!

    Purse Net Hammock

    Here is an example of a purse net used as a toy hammock (for my dog).

    Purse Nets also Make Good Toy Hammocks

    How to Make a Fishing Net

    If you just want a nice rectangular fishing net, then this is probably the easiest of all the types of net that you can make.

    How to Make a Round Net

    I would say that this is the most difficult of all the net making processes, well it was for me. The reason being is that your are following more of a set pattern in order to increase the size of your round net.

    Round Net Making Pattern


  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,458 ✭✭✭✭

    Okay, I am uneducated on this subject -- wouldn't macrame work as well?

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,195 admin

    Yes. I did a lot of macrame when I was younger... before Jerry Garcia died and handcrafts sold well. So, that informs my net making a great deal. There are unique patterns though, like for cast nets or long nets for rabbits... it is a very old tradition with a lot of history.... our ancestors were making chord and tying nets before recorded history. It fascinates me. It is also extremely practical, even if you just wanted to keep birds or deer out of your garden.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,195 admin

    Oh, and of course, macramé was the handicraft art of sailors using their net tying skills!

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,686 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 I love this and thank you for posting.. For a long time I made many macrame items, mainly plant holders. Back then when I started it interested me greatly that this art 'macrame' was done by bored sailors. So now I not only remember the sailors of old but appreciate all things they were interested in and accomplished for many times it wasn't boredom, but their very survival, esp knot tying..and I'm sure there are many other remarkable things but those were the days I was young and worked all the time without time for much else...

    Seems they also had a particular knot for tying to buckets that had a specific purpose. I should go look for almost all the knot tying books I have are by sailors.

    Speaking of time, when or if you have time to mess with this...again could you give me a time frame for the post you did not so long ago on your blog info changing so I can sign up..Thanks for a great post/info...fun and useful!!!

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 348 admin

    WOW! I too used to macrame...but, never got into anything this cool!

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,195 admin
    edited June 2020

    Well, now I need to learn to whittle netting needles as well - all I can find for sale are cheap, Chinese made plastic. I went ahead an ordered a set on ebay (even though I said I wouldn't be doing such as that anymore), but it was on $3.21 for a set of 8 different sizes. I'll use these until I get the hang of them and use them as models for carving real ones out of wood or bamboo.

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