What type of bait fish will you be catching? Cast nets with small meshes are used for small baits and large mesh for large baits. So why not just buy a small mesh net and use it for everything? Well you could, but consider that a ¼" mesh net will be sinking slower that a 1" mesh net, you wouldn't want to catch mullet with a minnow net; those mullets will have plenty of time to escape.
Use cast nets with a good amount of weight! Generally, you want a fast sinking net for maximum catch. This is why most cast nets sold here have a heavy 1.5 pound of lead per radius foot, standard for professional guides, commercial fishermen and skilled throwers.
In shallow waters heavy weights are not necessary since the net only have a short distance to travel before hitting bottom. Lighter cast nets are also great for beginners learning the ins and outs of cast netting or if you just need something lighter that'll be easy on the body. We offer light and heavy cast nets to suit almost every cast net thrower.
When buying a cast net, consider what the total weight is so you can throw comfortably every time you are catching bait. To get an idea of the total weight of a net, take the weight per foot (say 1.5 lb.) times the size/radius of net (say 10 ft.) then add about 2-3 lbs of webbing. In this instance its 1.5 lb./ft. x 10 ft. + 3 lb. or 18 lb. total, now that’s a heavy net!
Check out this video by the late Jose Wejebe.
This video offers an underwater view of how a cast net catches bait.