The perfect catch
Reimagining fishing nets for the modern angler
Anglers are passionate about their sport and demand maximum performance from their equipment, but the nets they use to land their fish haven’t kept up with the times.
Frabill, the market leader in this category, engaged Smart Design to bring their landing nets (used to lift the fish out of the water) into the 21st century. The Trophy Haul series is designed to be the toolset that modern anglers need to “finish the fight” and land the fish.
Finalist, Fast Company Innovation Award
Frabill Trophy Haul nets were honored as a finalist in the Product Design category at the 2019 Fast.Co Innovation Awards
Trophy Haul is a series of collapsable nets that includes multiple grip options to enhance performance.
Developed for kayak fishing, Bearclaw utilizes the forearm to stabilize and support the net.
Featuring a patented handle that doubles in length with the press of a button.
All nets are available with an integrated light and reflective hoop ideal for night fishing.
In order to be fully immersed in the sport, Smart went out on the water to observe anglers in action.
Getting our feet wet
Our research team witnessed the ergonomic challenges they faced while multitasking between a rod and net, and the difficulties of lifting a heavy fish into the boat. We knew our solution needed to accommodate the full range of movement involved in landing a fish, including single-handed use.
Casting a wide net
In the following weeks, we dove deeper into our study of how landing nets were used, sold, and stored. We distilled these insights into a series of opportunity areas that prioritized ergonomics, collapsibility, and the ever-expanding culture of fishing.
Quick sketches helped us hone ideas, and we created dozens of physical mockups to demonstrate our thinking and test ergonomics.
Co-creation sessions with a range of experienced anglers helped us narrow in on some key design ingredients that we prototyped full-scale for field testing.
Standing out in a competitive market is always a challenge. Partnering with Smart offered an outsider perspective that helped us understand what our customers were missing so we could improve our products with them in mind.
Making a splash
A net for the modern angler
Smart Design’s reimagining of the fishing net addressed unmet needs in a sport that has seen tremendous change in other equipment over the past few decades. The Trophy Haul Series of landing nets gives anglers modern tools that reflect their dedication and skill, ensuring that the fish stays in the net.
Hitting the shelves
The valuable innovations we created resulted in iconic design details that are shared across the line, making the product stand out on the shelf and keeping the Frabill logo front and center of every photo opp with a great catch. After a successful launch at the ICAST trade show in 2018, the nets are now on sale in Bass Pro and Cabela’s stores and are being used by pros around the country.