The Art of Handcrafted Wooden Fly Fishing Nets by Pennsylvania Artisan Tina Lewis

Fly fishing isn't just about catching fish; it's also about the gear and equipment that enhance the experience. For Pennsylvania artisan Tina Lewis, creating handcrafted wooden fly fishing nets is more than just a trade – it's a passion that celebrates creativity and craftsmanship.

fly fishing nets

Tina's love for the outdoors and fishing was instilled in her by her father, who was an avid outdoorsman and member of the Delaware County Field and Stream Association. He included her in all kinds of fishing and shooting activities, and her grandfather even worked for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

As a child, Tina turned to drawing as her creative outlet. Her love for comic books, especially Wonder Woman, fueled her artistic inspiration, and she continued to hone her skills by drawing those comic book characters.

Life moved forward and when the pandemic hit, Tina sought a way out of the corporate world after many years. A friend asked her to create a fly fishing net, and with the help of her husband, they began experimenting with bending wood, crafting net shapes, and coming up with innovative ideas. "It was an epiphany that this was fun and that people appreciated my art," said Tina. She was eager to jump in and make this her full-time profession.

wayward trading post

One of the things Tina particularly enjoys is when customers request a special order that allows her to use all the wood pieces lying around the shop to create unique accents and additions that make each net even more exceptional. She also loves being able to transfer illustrations onto the wooden handles and enhance the nets with customized engravings.

However, marketing the business has been the most significant challenge for this young entrepreneur so far. With so much noise on the internet, it takes a lot of work to reach out to people. Fortunately, her husband, Justin, has stepped in and led the way in this regard.

The foundation of a net is the type of wood used to create its size, style, and overall appearance. "The wood is 99% sourced from Lancaster, Pennsylvania," Tina proudly shared. She meets with wood purveyors to select the right materials, including mostly walnut, hickory, and cherry. Tina likes using accent pieces that add flair and extra style to a net. For example, she might use hickory for the hoop with a walnut pinstripe to create a unique and creative design.


During my visit to Tina's shop, I had the privilege of watching her craft one of these stunning nets. She glued together strips of hickory and walnut to create the hoop and added a previously crafted handle to the glued-up hoop, setting the pieces into a mold. Once the glue set, which takes about a day, the net was then planed, sanded, and engraved before being treated and having a rubber net attached.


fly fishing net mold

Tina offers four different sizes and molds to craft the nets, starting from the smallest to the largest, including the 10" Little Dipper, 18" Fat Jake, 18" XL, and 36" Big Dipper. Each net is individually handcrafted and can be optionally customized for the angler.

handcrafted fly fishing nets

People have requested various fun personalization engravings, including etchings of their pets, portraits, favorite sayings, and even the Grateful Dead logo. "It's a lot of fun crafting these nets with everyone's ideas and personalizations," shared Tina.

fly fishing net

I was initially concerned about how to maintain such a unique piece of fly fishing gear. Tina shared a straightforward and obvious solution of adding a fresh coat of mineral oil at the end of every season, something that even I could make time for once a year.

With her passion for the outdoors and artistic talent, this Wonder Woman of Woodcrafting has created a line of handcrafted wooden nets that are both functional and stunning.
Tina has created a unique line of fishing gear that any angler would be proud to own. Her commitment to using locally sourced materials and her passion for customization make each net a truly one-of-a-kind creation. As a fellow angler, I was inspired by Tina's story and the value of handmade fishing gear in the sport of fly fishing.

Tina and Wayward Trading Post are extending an 10% discount to members of Paflyfish with the code PAFLYFISH. So head on over and take advantage of this special offer so you can get one of the truly one-of-kind handcrafted nets.

Wayward Trading Post
Tina Lewis, Owner and Illustrator
(610) 639-2991
The nets look great. I appreciate hand crafted items like this. I’ll definitely look into picking one up.
Those nets are great, made very well, and worth the cost.
I got one of the small clip on fly boxes at the Lancaster show.
These are awesome handcrafted nets that are worth the money, though for me Fishpond will do...
Though I prob won't pony up for a net anytime soon, I would buy a Steal Your Fish shirt in a second.
Great post Dave. I normally make Maurice net all of my fish but I might need to check out one of these Wayward offerings. They look outstanding.
I saw her booth at the Lancaster Fly Fishing Show. I made a point to let her know that i saw her work on the PAflyfish forum and to compliment her on her work. I was impressed with what she shared previously on the this site and it's great to see a local craftsman with such talent. Her nets on display were all top quality. Having the ability to get custom made equipment while supporting a local business is a great option and i hope others will be able to take advantage of her offerings and her support of this forum. Thanks for highlighting her work.