the introduction of gel spun polyethylene braids for use as fishing line I have
used quite few brands. Although most braids are made from the same fibre (Spectra)
all have their own practical properties. Some braids are made from Dyneema (the
same basic material under a different brand name), and some incorporate other
fibres such as polyester either to add colour (Spectra will not take dye on a
permanent basis) or alter the density of the line (adding polyester will make
the line sink). All pure Spectra braids float, so that is one consideration -
especially with the thicker lines. Thicker lines, even nylon monofilament, make
lures run shallower than thin lines will. If the line also floats the effect is
heightened. In most lure fishing situations this is not a major consideration.
With surface lure a floating braid is a bonus, as it is when float fishing natural
At all times when choosing
line I think it is better to consider its diameter rather than its breaking strain.
This is particularly the case when it comes to braids. There are two reasons for
this. One is that many braids are rated on their linear (un-knotted) strength.
This gives a false impression of their strength. Some Spectra braids can lose
as much as 50% of their linear strength when knotted. If you are already using
mono for your fishing, bait or lure, I suggest that you pick a braid that has
a similar diameter to the line you are currently using. So if you are fishing
15lb mono pick Power Pro in 50lb or 65lb. This might seem excessively strong -
but why worry about this? Allowing for a loss of 50% gives a line of 25lb or 32.5lb
and will therefore reduce tackle losses. Same goes when fishing with lures. When
I started fishing jerkbaits I was using 25-30lb mono to prevent crack-offs. These
days I use Power Pro in 80lb or 100lb. The diameter is similar, but the strength
much increased - even if halved. I can't remember cracking off a lure since making
this change - and many lures have been pulled from snags that would otherwise
have been lost!
Power Pro has a number
of advantages over other braids. First of all it is almost round in cross section.
All braids will flatten somewhat, but being tightly braided Power Pro is less
affected. The tight braiding and round profile make the line handle well. Knot
security is good with Power Pro. I have not found any need to use anything other
than a simple Uni Knot in the tests over 65lb, and in the lighter tests a Palomar
has proved reliable. I never bother with glue on the knots either. When you first
take Power Pro off the spool and load it on your reel it will feel stiffer than
a lot of other braids. After a few hours fishing this stiffness will wear off
and the braid become limp. The colour will also fade from the line after a trip
or two. Don't worry about either of these changes, the strength of the line has
not been affected.
With all lines it
is wise to bear in mind that the thinner a line is the less safety margin you
have when it comes to poorly tied knots and abrasion resistance. Always take care
with your knots and retie any that look less than perfect. Braids are not inherently
abrasion resistant as has sometimes been stated. If you are fishing in or near
weed step up your line strength accordingly. For bait fishing for pike I would
recommend the 50lb for bank fishing or the 65lb for boat fishing or if there are
snags around. For light lure fishing, say with lures up to an ounce 30lb Power
Pro would be fine, for lures up to an ounce and a half 50lb would be okay. For
lures up to two and a half ounces I would opt for the 65lb which is what I use
for all my lighter lure fishing (down to an ounce or so) including jig fishing.
For the rest of my lure fishing it has to be the 80lb or 100lb. Mostly I use the
80lb, selecting the 100lb for the heaviest lures or if I wish to work lures shallower,
it's a good choice for topwater fishing. Power Pro is without a doubt the best
choice for lure fishing. Other braids might be just as reliable, but lack the
handling performance of Power Pro.
Up to 0.5oz
Up to 0.75oz
Up to 1oz
Up to 1.5oz
Up to 2.5oz
Up to 3.5oz
Up to 5oz
These casting weights are not set in stone and
can be exceeded by a degree.
are the kg ratings stated on Power Pro packaging, and do NOT represent an accurate
conversion of the lbs test - which I believe is a more realistic guide to knotted
breaking strain. See here for more details.
Power Pro handles well on
fixed spool reels and I like it in 30lb for barbel fishing
where its fine diameter offers less water resistance than
fifteen pound mono. Apart from that, and superb bite registration,
you can pull out of quite a few snags that mono would
be defeated by - I am also casting 6oz on this stuff at
times! Another (perhaps strange) reason I like braid for
river fishing is that when you do snag the inevitable
immovable object you
don't have to walk half a mile up the bank to take the
stretch out of the line to pull for a break. Even with
a simple once through the eye Uni Knot to a size eight
Power Swivel 30lb Power Pro takes some snapping. The only
time I could foresee a need to switch back to mono is
if the Power Pro starts getting cut on snags.
article first appeared on this website - June 26th 2001, updated 25/08/04)