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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend from Australia sent me a copy of Modern Fishing Magazine that had an article on braids they use "down there". The article measured the actual breaking strength and denier (mass in grams per 9,000 meters) of almost 100 lines, although many of the popular brands in the US (e.g. Power Pro) were not rated. Still, the information illustrates some points.

I've attached charts of the 80# data for anyone who's interested. Given the big variation in line Denier (line mass) and Actual Strength, I'm not sure what it means to buy 80# test. ;)

After reading the article, I wished that all manufacturers included the following information:

Average Actual Breaking Strength (ABS): It is very hard to measure actual breaking strength at home (note below). We could then compare apples to apples and not buy more or less strength than we needed.

Denier: Heavier line has some good properties (e.g. stronger, better knots, sinks faster, better abrasion resistance) but also some bad ones (shorter casts, more water resistance, less line on the spool).

Number of Strands: 3-strand braid is thinner and cheaper to make but 8-strand line is smoother and more robust.

Drag & Knots
An important reason to know the ABS of a line is when you set your drag (one of the drag setting factors). Although many may disagree with this statement, most knots reduce ABS by roughly 50%. (An exception is the friction knots: e.g. Mid, Page Ranking, SIG, Slim Beauty, etc.) An 80# line with an ABS of 79# (e.g. Sunline PE IGFA) should be expected to produce knots that break at 40#, whereas a line with an ABS of 140# (e.g. Coral X-Braid) should deliver 70# knots--a big implication for drag setting.

Measuring ABS at home is tricky because you can't tie a knot without reducing a line's strength and the diameter of the pulling tools needs to be large because small radiuses also reduce line strength.

One way is to loop line around a barbel (1" diameter or more) and pull the doubled line with a duct-tape-wrapped piece of PVC pipe (1 1/2"). Although pretty accurate, you've got to lift twice the ABS since the line is doubled.

Another way is to tie well-made 100-turn Bimini twists at each end of the line or with hollow core, two end splices. This requires less weight but introduces the uncertainty of the Bimini or end-splice--in my experience the splice is reliably 100%. (Any other ideas?)


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