David Mitchell gives his opinion on an impressive and well-designed piece of kit from Daiwa for anglers fishing on the move

The term ‘game changer’ gets bandied about all too casually in the tackle world. But my fishing buddy Mike meant it when he realised the way the Daiwa telescopic mobile net handle would change his approach to squid fishing from Brighton Marina. Playing these crafty cephalopods into a traditional drop net frequently results in lost fish as you manoeuvre the squid towards the net. The ability to move the net to the fish, while still playing it on the rod, with an incredible reach of nearly six metres, promises to make a real improvement on the number of squid landed in a game where up to 50 per cent of these inky predators pull free from the jig just at the point of reaching the net.

Quite apart from squid fishing the 5.9 metre light weight handle packs down to an amazing 72cm, and with a shoulder strap it means it can be carried with ease when you are fishing light and mobile, covering ground and searching out fish over a wide area. The nearly six metre handle gives you plenty of reach when fishing from elevated rock ledges, marinas and even piers where a drop net is a must-have for landing any reasonable fish.

The handle is sold separately to the nets which come in a range of options. I was using the 55cm Daiwa Tournament Rubber Fast Flow net with soft mesh which screws into the end of the handle.

Fully extended the handle (loaded with net and fish) can flex alarmingly to the point where you think it may be over-extending itself. However, don’t be alarmed; it is surprisingly strong and the net can be retrieved vertically by shortening the handle in its telescopic sections.

The Daiwa telescopic rod handle in use

My advice would be to extend the handle to the length needed ready for use before you start fishing – particularly if you are fishing alone; although more practice using the handle would no doubt help perfect the skill of doing it one-handed while simultaneously playing a fish.

Reaching over the side of a drop to net a fish I was conscious of not letting go of the handle accidentally, and so some kind of leash to secure it to you, or something else, would be a helpful addition – not least because of the cost of losing the handle which retails at around £100, excluding the price of the net option you’ve chosen.

Price aside, this is a really impressive and useful piece of kit for lure angers and those fishing from height where a drop net is impractical to carry with you and a traditional landing net too short to reach the water.

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