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A cast net, also called a throw net, is a net used for fishing. It is a circular net with small weights distributed around its edge.
The net is cast or thrown by hand in such a manner that it spreads out on the water and sinks. This technique is called net casting or net throwing. Fish are caught as the net is hauled back in. This simple device is particularly effective for catching small bait or forage fish, and has been in use, with various modifications, for thousands of years. On the US Gulf Coast, it is used especially to catch mullet, which will not bite a baited hook.
Contemporary cast nets have a radius which ranges from 4 to 12 feet (1.2 to 3.6 metres). Only strong people can lift the larger nets once they are filled with fish. Standard nets for recreational fishing have a four foot hoop. Weights are usually distributed around the edge at about one pound per foot (1.5 kilograms per metre). Attached to the net is a landline, one end of which is held in the hand as the net is thrown. When the net is full, a retrieval clamp, which works like a wringer on a mop, closes the net around the fish. The net is then retrieved by pulling on the landline. The net is lifted into a bucket and the clamp is released, dumping the caught fish into the bucket.
Cast nets work best in water no deeper than their radius. Casting is best done in waters free of obstructions. Reeds cause tangles and branches can rip nets. The net caster stands with one hand holding the landline, and with the net draped over the other arm, so the weights dangle. The line is then thrown out to the water, using both hands, in a circular motion rather as in hammer throwing. The net can be cast from a boat, or from the shore, or by wading
The less you load on, the sooner you will need to reload, and the more knots you will need to make and will have in your finished piece. If you put on too much, the loaded shuttle will become hard or impossible to pass through the mesh. As always, look for a happy medium.
When I was a small boy, my grandfather taught me to whittle and carve. One of the things he taught me was how to make a net shuttle and gauge, and how to make nets. This is one I made to teach Boy Scouts the same thing. The string is actually a part of a Scout belt that has been unravelled. · Date: Tue March 15, 2011
The making of netting is an ancient craft. Many prehistoric cultures used netting for a verity of uses, storage bags, fencing, hammock, just to name some and of course the obvious use as a fish net. No matter what the netting was used for, the knitting of the mesh was done by tying a series of loops in some type of twine.
In one method, the basic knot used was the sheet bend. To form and tie the loops a knitting shuttle and a spacer (gauge) were used.