Wolf Moon Nets are hand crafted in the US by Bill Kallner. Bill and his wife, Donna, spent more than 20 years as outdoor retailers and educators, operating a kayak and canoe school and paddling goods store called Whitewater Specialty on the Wolf River in northeastern Wisconsin. Bill still boats for pleasure, but spends more time fishing, thinking about fishing, and designing and manufacturing products for other retailers to sell to people who also fish.
Bill, whose late father and grandfather were equally passionate about fishing, carries on the net tradition started by his late friend and fishing buddy, Neil Sanvidge. Neil designed several of our traditional teardrop shape nets and inspired Bill to start designing his own models. Bill has never been picky about what he eats or where he hangs his wet waders, but he’s very picky about the wood he chooses for bending nets. Wood that doesn’t make the cut for nets is used in other projects, for example, as seats and tabletops in the “refined rustic” furniture he also makes. But the wood that promises long lengths of straight grain is milled into strips, soaked and steam bent. Once a bent bow is dry, Bill custom fits the handle. Then he shapes and sands each net and applies multiple coats of marine spar varnish, with more sanding between coats. Finally, he sews on the net sacks.
Bill’s wife, Donna, is a fiber artist, teacher and writer who sometimes also acts as order-taker, webmaster and print shop manager for the net business. You can see more of Donna’s work at www.donnakallner.com.
When the phone rings at Wolf Moon, chances are that one of us is cutting fabric while the other is cutting wood. We’re both proud to make things that are beautiful as well as useful. And we’re both very grateful to the network of dealers who sell Wolf Moon Nets, and to the fishermen who use them.