A (very short) history of Landing Nets

i hope you’re not too excited as the (very short) part of this post’s title should give you a clue that unfortunately and after several hours of research, there isn’t a whole lot available on the subject.

there’s of course the more than obvious dictionary definition with a tentative origin date:

landing net def.

and a few more tidbits such as these-

Izaak Walton and his scholar - 16hundredsomething (those outfits !)
Sir Izaak Walton and his scholar – 16hundredsomething
(those outfits !)
Claes Jansz Visscher - 1630
Claes Jansz Visscher – 1630
Brookes Frontpiece – 1790

but it was only through The History of Silk, Cotton, Linen, Wool, and Other Fibrous Substances which interestingly enough isn’t credited to any authors… that i was able to back a bit further in scoop-net time to find this sorta-quote from Oppian of Anazarbus, a Greco-Roman poet-dude who lived in the 2nd century. alas !!! (remember, i spent  few hours on and off the landing net topic and this is as exciting as the subject gets)Oppian

apart from a variety of different materials used throughout history to create the basic hoop, bag and handle, very-very little has changed and i guess that even the creative mind will have a hard time improving whats basically perfect as it is. with so many objects/tools/things of all types that could do with a little redo, i really like the idea that this one is something we don’t have to think about.

to finalize today’s mostly useless yet hopefully pleasant history blurb, the image below is an offshoot of a series of images i took of a very traditional and exquisitely hand-made landing net review i’ll publish in the following days.

the historical curiosity, i guess, a direct tactile connotation of having handled, twisted, turned and scrutinized this lovely object/tool. history aside, this one’s easy to pick up but hard to put down…

netmesh m.fauvet-TLC 20-3-16

The Vice (or, The Vise, if you live anywhere to the west of Ireland)

by Dr. Andrew N. Herd via A FlyFishing History

“Amazing though it may seem, the first mention of the vice was by Taylor in 1800. Prior to that it is simply not mentioned. This may seem strange, but there are good reasons why it should be so – very early tyers whipped their hooks directly onto the end of their line, which would have made it difficult for them to use a vice even if it had been invented in those days.”


“Adopting the vice meant learning an entirely different way of tying flies, and while patterns were relatively simple, there wasn’t much reason to go to all the trouble of learning new tricks. Besides, a hand tyer could sit down and make flies anywhere, provided there is a patch of sun and a glass of beer to hand, while the vice shackled him to the bench. The ability to tie a new pattern by the waterside is one of the great advantages that we have sacrificed in the name of progress.”

quite interesting  how the tying vise came to be as the direct result of the invention and common use of eyed hooks. amusing as well is how little the basic design of what has become the most basic fly tying tool has changed over time.
as for the Vice vs Vise part i’ve done some sterile research but i’ve passed on the question to some historically-linguistically-minded friends and will update later if they ever make up their minds. my guess is it’s yet another savage North American deviation of the English language… 😛

click the pic for lots more Vice-Vise history. enjoy !