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Tool Review

A Premium net? SPRO introduces a new design in nets...the "Stowaway!"

Date: 6/13/02
Tackle type: Tools
Manufacturer: SPRO
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 9.0 + Innovation Award

Introduction: When was the last time you bragged how nice your net was? That may all change, as SPRO introduces a new design in nets, the premium "Stowaway" net!

SPRO Stowaway Net Specifications

Pole material Carbon graphite blend
Collapsed Size 2ft
Extended Size 5 1/2ft
Net material Weaved Rope
MSRP $79.00

Impressions: I usually get real excited when I get the opportunity to field test new rods and reels, but I never thought I'd be just as enthusiastic about putting a net to the test! Sure enough, when I had the opportunity to take a look at the new "Stowaway" net from SPRO I was intrigued from the get-go. The Stowaway doesn't look like any other net I have ever seen, and is extremely detailed in design. Clearly branded as a SPRO product this net includes some innovative new materials and design that set it apart.   

Collapsed the SPRO Stowaway is compact and easily fits on a bag or in a storage locker


The field tests: Unlike other products we test there was no real set criteria for testing a net...other then just going out and using it. Because SPRO emphasized the Stowaway's compact collapsible design we tested the net as both shore anglers and boat anglers would use it. What we found about the flexibility of this net surprised us. 

With a quick flip the net automatically locks in place, and with a pull on the retainer the net collapses itself

The design philosophy: The Stowaway net is designed to be easy to transport and stay out of your way. Shore anglers will appreciate how compact the net is when collapsed, and how great a reach and volume it has when extended. Boat anglers that pack tons of gear on boats can relate to huge cumbersome nets that often tangle with lures and other gear, not a problem with the Stowaway, which is able to provide the same function of a large net but stays out of the way. When closed the net will wrap around the collapsed pole and can be held tightly with an attached piece of Velcro built onto the net itself. The Stowaway will easily strap on a tackle bag, or fit neatly in any rod locker.


Just pull forward on the carbon/graphite to extend the pole


Opening and closing: The design of the telescoping net is outstanding. It allows you in one quick motion to extend the three carbon graphite shafts that make up the pole, and flip up the metal fork that holds the net. This is done with a automatically locking hinge. Taking down the net is as easy as pulling the hinge retainer clip towards you, gravity will collapse the net, and you pull the pole down.


Surprisingly easy to use, the net can be expanded in a matter of seconds as long as the net is not tangled around the tip of the Y-fork. In most cases we recommend that you use the portability of the net to get to your destination, open it up for the days use, and then close it up when you leave. This will insure that you won't waste a second netting that trophy fish.


The molded grip prevents the net from rotating or slipping in your hand,
even when wet


The feel: Bottom line...this net is light. The use of carbon and graphite in the pole not only makes the rod look very attractive but very light and portable. To prevent the net from slipping in your hands, even when wet, SPRO has cleverly made a comfortable integrated grip section at the base of the net. You can grip the net with confidence, even with one hand.

The "Y" mouth allows for a larger target area, and safer landing spot then
rigid net openings

The Volume: The Stowaway can hold a lot for a collapsible net, and best of all fish go in real easy. The net itself features a non-rigid mouth. Why is this beneficial? First of all it allows the collapsible net to have a larger triangular mouth, which is easier to position. Second, with larger fish sometimes it is a real struggle to get them into the net, and when they bump up against a rigid net they can sometimes drop off as the line presses against the net dislodging the hook or lure...not the case with the soft and flexible front of the Stowaway. Finally, shore anglers, especially Fly fisherman will appreciate the flat soft front of the Stowaway which allows you to press the net right against the river bed providing a bigger target in which to guide hard fighting steelhead in.


A polished aluminum butt cap holds the 3 carbon/graphite pole sections in place


The Strength: Originally my biggest concern was how a collapsible net made out of carbon and graphite would hold up to big fish. To my surprise the material and construction of the SPRO net is one that inspires confidence to use this net for the large freshwater lunkers, and even some mid-sized saltwater game. There is some flex in the pole but you never feel like the net is going to break on you. The net itself is made out of weaved cloth instead of much cheaper plastic resin nets which often weaken as they are exposed to the elements. The key to the strength of the rod is the use of top notch materials. The carbon/graphite pole is light and strong, and the components are all made of aluminum and steel. 


Now landing lunkers by yourself is a lot easier


The Flexibility: This is a net that solo anglers can use to help land their own lunkers from boats or on shore. The net can be used as a shorter hand landing net by simply opening the net without extending the pole. The "Y" mouth design of the net makes it easy to position in front of fish, and wide enough to handle a wide range of species. Best of all is the fact that finally anglers will be able to have a large capacity net when and where they need it. I can't tell you how many times I have lost big fish because I failed to land them as I tried lipping or lifting them from less then 2 feet away....now with the SPRO Stowaway this isn't a problem.



SPRO Stowaway Net Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Great quality materials and components, most attention to detail we have ever seen for a net 9
Performance Works well for both shore and offshore anglers. Handles large fish with confidence. Only gripe is it sometimes gets tangled if net is wrapped around "Y" fork 9
Price Not cheap for a net, but reasonable for a premium product that has a unique design and portability advantage 8
Features A feature packed net...never thought I'd see that. 9
Design (Ergonomics) Lightweight and easy use, the Stowaway net requires no learning curve 9.5
Application Flexible for so many applications, the Stowaway net is great for bass anglers, fly fisherman, and light saltwater duty 9.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Innovative Design L Somewhat pricey
J Portability L Sometimes snags up on "Y"
J Quick and easy to use  
J Outstanding materials  
J Great attention to detail  

Conclusion: The Stowaway net demonstrates  forward thinking on the part of SPRO. This product provides anglers with a high capacity, easy to use net, that is portable and quick to employ. SPRO seems to be an expert at taking the ordinary and making it exciting and new. The fact that I could field test and write an entire review on a net amazed me. Simply put, the SPRO Stowaway net combines a great design philosophy with the right blend of high quality materials and components to make it a winning product. This net is flexible enough to appeal to both shore and boat anglers, and it is definitely a tool worth taking a look at. For outstanding design and functionality the SPRO Stowaway net it is a deserving winner of TackleTour's "Innovation Award!"

Until next time....Tight Lines!









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