i think they do tear after a while. exposure to the elements and hook damage being the biggest contributors. my current net is rubber, it was new last year. it's got 3 holes in it now. i'm looking at the frabil conservation series nets along with the ego conservation nets as well. i believe they're rubber or pvc coated knotless netting. should be just as kind to the fish as a rubber net, but should also have a longer life span.