I'd say a landing net is very useful although not neccessarily mandatory for your PAC. I fish from a PAC 800 and use a Ketchum Release for most fish (less than 16") and never touch the fish. For larger fish I have a C & R net that I found at a local supermarket (Northern Nevada Raley's Supermarket) that works perfectly. It's just long enough that it lays across between the footbars of the PAC, so the fish never leaves the water and both hands are free to unhook and release the fish. It has a metal frame with a shallow net bag of soft nylon (fish friendly) which makes it very easy to get to and unhook the fish (Not pretty but very functional). I use a short piece of soft nylon cord and a plastic clip to connect the net to one of the frame retaining rings near the foot bars. That way when releasing a large fish I can get a proper hold on the fish while still in the net/water and then bump the net to one side and it drops (metal net) into the water and out from under the fish. Revive and release and pull the net back up out of the water. Works beautifully.
I dislike the traditional deep net bags that are on many landing nets. When you scoop the fish it goes in head first to the bottom of the bag and you have to turn it around to get to the fly. It's disturbing for me to watch someone play a fish, get it in a net and then lift it onto their stripping apron so they can get it out of the net and unhooked. They should try running a hundred yard dash and then put a plastic bag over their head for a minute or two. Enough ranting! I stow my net with the handle slid under one of the side gear bags and the "bow of the net laying on the front section of the pontoon. You may be able to find a similar net in your area. If your interested in the measurements of my net let me know.
May your tippet not go "tink"!
Last edited by Midgeman; 10-17-2003 at 12:01 PM.