One of the most popular ways of catching crabs is by using a two ring crab net. Most commonly used on piers or from boats, these traps are designed to settle flat on the ocean floor allowing crabs to snack on the bait placed in the middle. Then all you need to do is wait for the crabs to begin congregating around your trap before pulling it in as fast as you can. The trap then ensnares the crabs between the hoops of the netting allowing you to easily collect them at the surface.
While it may seem simple, there are alot of critical aspects that go into making these traps effective. For simplicity’s sake we decided to review the best selling ring crab traps on the market and narrow down the options to four simple choices that you can buy online today.
- Vinyl Coated Crab Ring is the best value for your money.
- Best for All-in-One Crab Ring Kit – Palmyth Wire Crab Ring
- Best for Extra Large Rings – Promar Deluxe Hoop Nets
- Best for Extreme Durability – Protoco Standard Crab Ring
Our Top Overall Pick
- Protoco Standard Crab Ring is our top, all-around pick based on value, utility and durability.
|Protoco Standard Crab Ring||Check Price|
|Palmyth Wire Crab Ring||Check Price|
|Promar Deluxe Hoop Nets||Check Price|
|Vinyl Coated Crab Ring||Check Price|
Top 4 Best Ring Net Crab Traps for Dungeness & Blue Crabs
1. Protoco Standard Crab Ring – Best for Extreme Durability
- Top Ring Diameter: 28 inches.
- Bottom Ring Diameter: 20 inches.
- Net Depth: 17 inches.
- Comes with an attachable bait cage.
- Crabbing line not included.
- Price: Check Price
Unlike the other ring traps on this list, the Protoco Standard comes with a bait cage but doesn’t include the crab line or floats necessary so you’ll have to order them separately. The difference in size between the two rings is also very small as the top ring diameter is only 8 inches larger than the bottom ring. This increases the incline angle of the trap which should help prevent escapes.
The bait cage is held to the trap with some simple zip lines so if you need to move or remove it you shouldn’t have any trouble. The rings themselves are are made of steel and coated in a blue polyethylene which help prevent corrosion and dramatically increases the durability of the trap. Even the netting is tarred so you don’t have to worry about any longevity issues – this trap will last.
As far as downsides are concerned, the only real problem is that it’s a bit more expensive than the others on the market and it doesn’t come with a crabbing line or float. But you know what they say, you get what you pay for – this is the highest quality crab ring on the market and the fact it comes with a bait cage should help offset the cost.
- Includes a bait cage that is attached with zip ties.
- The tarred netting is very durable and won’t rip easily.
- Polyethylene coating to prevent corrosion.
- Stainless steel rings for maximum durability.
- Will need to purchase a crab line and float separately.
2. Palmyth Wire Crab Ring – Best for All-in-One Crab Ring Kit
- Top Ring Diameter: 24 inches.
- Bottom Ring Diameter: 20 inches.
- Net Depth: 12 inches.
- Mesh Netting Size: 1.1 inches.
- Comes with 50 feet of rope and a crab float buoy.
- Price: Check Price
Palmyth’s wire crab ring comes with everything you need to start crabbing without making any additional purchases: a galvanized coated ring trap, 50 feet of rope, a crab float and a removable bait clip. If you’re not interested in making separate purchases and want to get everything you need in one simple purchase then this is the choice for you.
It’s also very competitively priced. Several of the other rings on this list cost much more and don’t even include the extra accessories that this one comes with. Most ring traps tend to use bait cages but the clip seems to work well enough – it’ll hold chicken or fish parts quite well without any problems.
That being said, the ring and netting isn’t exactly the highest quality. The bottom netting isn’t made of the strongest material and even the rings themselves may bend under heavy stress. Still, for the price and the accessories it comes with it makes it a very competitive option if you’re looking for a light recreational ring trap.
- Includes 50 foot crab line and float.
- The bait clip is strong and a great alternative to the normal cages.
- Much cheaper than the others on this list considering the extra accessories it comes with.
- A perfect all-in-one choice for those not interested in making extra purchases.
- Not the highest quality construction.
- The bottom netting may tear and require repair under heavy stress.
3. Promar Deluxe Hoop Nets – Best for Extra Large Rings
- Top Ring Diameter: 36 inches.
- Bottom Ring Diameter: 14 inches.
- Comes with two crab floats.
- Includes a 100 foot crab line.
- Zinc galvanized steel construction.
- Price: Check Price
If you’re looking for an extra large crab ring then look no further. The Promar Deluxe is made from galvanized zinc steel and comes with 100 feet of crabbing line and two connectable crab floats so you’ll have everything you need to start crabbing right away. The top ring is a whopping 36 inches in diameter while the bottom is 14 inches making it one of the largest recreational ring net crab traps on the market today.
Generally speaking, the larger the hoops are the less likely it will be that the crabs can get away while you pull the trap up to the surface. That being said, it really is massive compared to other recreational ring traps so you’ll need to take that into account when transporting and storing. Since it’s made of steel it’s also quite a bit heavier than the others so I wouldn’t recommend this for people looking for an easily portable trap.
While it comes with both the rope and float, they aren’t exactly the highest quality. Still, they do the job well enough and the rings and netting is of the highest quality.
- The large rings prevent the crabs from easily escaping and significantly increase the surface area of the trap.
- Comes with 100 feet of crabbing line and two easily attachable buoys.
- The rings are made of a galvanized zinc steel to prevent corrosion.
- Extremely high quality.
- Not easily portable – heavy and large.
- More expensive.
4. Vinyl Coated Crab Ring – Best for Budget Shoppers
- Top Ring Diameter: 30 inches.
- Bottom Ring Diameter: 16 inches.
- Net Depth: 17 inches.
- Both nylon and wire weave netting.
- Comes with crab line.
- Price: Check Price
This vinyl coated crab ring is a simple but inexpensive choice that even comes with a crab line. It isn’t the largest ring on the market – the top ring is 30″ and the bottom is 16″ with a 17″ depth – but it’s just big enough to effectively catch blue and dungeness crabs. The netting between the top and bottom ring is a simple nylon hoop while the bottom of the trap is a wire weave which helps ensnare the crabs while they poke at the bait.
The ring itself is fine, the only real downside is the netting – it isn’t the highest quality. The hoops are a big too big which means some crabs may be able to slip through during the retrieval process. They also aren’t really the highest quality construction which is really to be expected given the low price of this trap. Still, they’re coated in vinyl so it shouldn’t corrode or tear easily.
- Includes a crab line & small line float.
- Decent size rings, vinyl coated rings.
- Cheapest two ring trap on the market.
- The netting holes are a bit too large for some smaller crabs.
- The quality of the netting isn’t the best.
Of the 4 ring net crab traps on this list, we would suggest the Protoco Standard Crab Ring as it’s the best all-around ring net crab trap for the money.
That isn’t to say it’s the best for specific purposes, though. For instance we recommend the Palmyth Wire Crab Ring for all-in-one crab ring kit and the Promar Deluxe Hoop Nets for extra large rings, just to name a few.
There is a great deal of variety among ring net crab traps and it’s worth comparing the requisite features before making a purchase. That’s why we wrote this buyer’s guide so you can determine which elements are most important before you buy a ring net crab trap.
When it comes to two ring traps the diameter of the hoops is very important. The larger the top ring the greater the surface area which means the more crabs can congregate around the bait. This helps to ensure that the crab isn’t knocked out of the trap area during the retrieval process. The bottom ring size will always be smaller than the top and largely determines the incline angle of the trap which makes it harder for the crab to crawl out.
Most rings are made of steel but it’s still important to make sure they’re either galvanized or coated in polyethylene to prevent corrosion. But the most common damage to ring traps is the netting – they tend to tear or rot over time which is why most try to prevent this by either tarring them, making them out of a wire mesh or even coat them in vinyl.
When pulled it’s important that the depth of the net is large enough to prevent the crabs from escaping. For blue crabs this isn’t usually a problem as they easily become ensnared, but for larger Dungeness crabs you’ll want a higher net depth to make sure they don’t get out.
In addition to the rings you’ll also need a crabbing line (at least 50 feet), a crab float to mark your area and a cage to attach your bait. Not many manufacturers include all of these accessories so you’ll need to check carefully to see what each product comes with or you’ll have to order them separately.
Bait Cage vs Clip
The most common way to attach your bait to your trap is by using a bait cage, but there are other options. You can use a simple steel clip that attaches to the mesh itself to hold the bait in place. The downside to the clip is that the crab may be able to remove it from the clip after some time whereas they’ll only be able to get bits and pieces from a cage.
Be sure to check whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty on the item you intend to purchase. While Amazon should cover broken or defective items upon delivery, it’s up to the manufacturer as to whether they will provide a replacement after it’s been used. Compare different ring net crab trap sellers to see if any of them will offer replacements in the event it breaks from normal use.
Even if everything works properly, you may discover you’ve ordered the wrong ring net crab trap for your needs which may require a return. Be sure to check with the vendor before purchasing to see if they will allow a return and if so, under what circumstances.
Shipping is easily one of the most annoying costs associated with making online purchases. Be sure to compare the shipping costs to your location prior to making a purchase so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which ring net crab trap is the cheapest?
If you’re shopping for the lowest priced ring net crab trap you can find then we recommend the Vinyl Coated Crab Ring. Of all the ring net crab traps we’ve reviewed, none of the others can beat it’s price.
How do you use ring crab traps?
Ring traps are very simple, you just attach the bait into the cage and zip tie it onto the netting of the bottom ring. Then lower the trap into the water using a crab line until it rests flat on the bottom of the ocean floor. Then you just wait for the crabs to approach your bait and then pull the line up as fast as possible, trapping the crab in the netting between the two rings. Then just remove the crab and repeat this process until you get as many crabs as you want!
How do you bait a 2 ring crab net?
We recommend you use a cage as it ensures the crab won’t be able to run away with your bait though some people prefer to use a clip. Simply install the bait into the cage or clip and then zip tie it into the center of the netting on the bottom ring.
Where do you use ring net crab traps?
Most people tend to use them from piers but you can also use them from a boat. The only real requirement is that you can see the trap itself once it’s placed. That way you can watch for crabs to begin congregating and you’ll know when to pull it up.