As we all should be aware of by now: Hanging big fish by the lower jaw to land and/or weigh them is detrimental to their health. So, I constructed a sling to land big reds, juvenile tarpon and big trout. The fish remain docile, and they can be weighed horizontally. This net stores easily and takes up less space than a standard round net. Total cost is less than $20.
Purchase some soft, knotless release-net material - I buy mine from www.jannsnetcraft.com - and two pieces of 4-foot-long schedule 40 PVC pipe. Cut a piece of the netting 5 feet wide and 4 feet long; wrap the 4-foot ends around the two pieces of pipe and sew them. Drill four small holes - one for each end of the two pipes - about an inch from the pipe ends. Cut two 5-foot lengths of parachute cord, one for each pipe. Feed the ends through the holes, and knot off the cord to prevent it from pulling back out of the holes. Place end caps on the pipes.
To hoist a fish, place the open net in the water and leader the fish over it. Bring the pipes together and lift the fish from the water. Hang the net on a scale using the cords.
Capt. Chris Myers