Hollow Spectra for Spinning Reels--Mid Year Update

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by pametfisher, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    This morning I got a PM related to hollow-weave Spectra. Since I wrote so much about it during the winter and spring, I thought I would post the question and answer along with my observations after several months of use.

    Have you used Cortland's C16 hollow-braid yet? I have a [12 strand] and really like it, just wish it was a little thinner.

    Also, have you had any problems casting or jigging with the hollow core lines?

    In the Tackle section I've made pretty extensive comments on my experience with hollow-weave Spectra but here are some mid-year observations of JB and Cortland hollow Spectra used on spinning reels.

    I've used the C16 braid. Like JB, it is very strong for its rating. Late last year I got a sample of JB 60# that broke between 67.5 and 70 lbs., as expected. This year I got samples of JB 60# and Cortland 80#. Both samples broke above 105 lbs. I decided to load four spinning reels with with JB 60# hollow and use Cortland C16 80# for making my new Wind-On leader design.

    You pay a little more for hollow-woven Spectra (which in truth is not hollow when you're using it, the inside fully closes) but after that, it is a "free lunch". Since you can splice it, I've found it MUCH stronger than other lines in actual use since there are no knots to fail. Other than that, I can't tell the difference. And just to be specific, because there are no knots it casts great. I've had no casting, wind-knot or other issues that have happened with the hollow-weave design--it just cost a little more to buy.

    One of the reasons that I chose the 60# JB is that it is 12 carrier. I didn't want the silky smoothness of 16 carrier and 12 carrier hollow-weave is a little less costly. (A note: all Spectra--hollow or solid weave--should be wound onto spinning reels under a lot of pressure, it casts much better when packed tightly. I used 12 lbs to start and tuna have now packed it to 18-30 lbs.)

    The size of Spectra lines are directly proportional to their strength. Most hollow-weave lines use more Spectra (for lines in the 60 to 130# range) to make them easier to splice. As a result, I have found them to be stronger and thicker than the package label. I got about 400-450 yards of 60# JB onto my Stella 20Ks and Penn 950 SSMs. That is consistent with PE8 or so. It breaks above 105 lbs. that too is consistent with PE8+ line.

    After using hollow-woven Spectra my thoughts are if you want strength for big fish, go with hollow-weave and eliminate the line-weakening, bad casting knots. If you want thin line, find a line of the thickness you want and test its strength. But make sure you can tie a strong enough knot for the drag you're using and for where the drag will get to during the fight, as line is pulled off.

    I hope this helps. After testing hollow for most of the last year and fishing it for the first half of the season, I found a lot of benefits, the only cost being the added purchase price.
     

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  2. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    thanks for the details. i didnt realize the 60 JB hollow was that strong. good to know! i think i will try it to see if i can get the same sucess. ive been looking for the perfect braid in the 65 and 80 lb classes, and izor has pleased me well to this point and is on top of my list(value, size, strength, castability)

    [a tackle store] detered me from hollow line stating that the line has too much drag in the water. supposedly the hollowness of the line catches current.

    i guess i just stayed away from the hollow core spectras from [the tackle shop's] word a couple of years ago. i think i will give it a shot based off your research. hell, youve put alot of time doing your own testing.

    The 60# JB I bought was that strong. I would test a sample of any line before I used it.

    I guess it's reasonable to think that hollow-weave line is hollow. Because of the way the machines lay the line, you can get a splicing needle inside hollow Spectra. However, once you put it under tension, that hollow center is gone. I've even found that if I hang a piece of hollow-weave Spectra line from a hook in my garage for a few days, it is much harder to find the center at first, that's how easily the center closes.
     

  3. John_Madison CT

    John_Madison CT Senior Member

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    Pamet: Great thread. I have to find a way to load the braid at 12lbs on my spinning reel.
     
  4. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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    The solid core JB is spliceable if you are adept with a wire or needle...

    Destructive testing will inform you if you made it right...

    Thanks for some great informative posts pametfisher.
     
  5. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Pamet: Great thread. I have to find a way to load the braid at 12lbs on my spinning reel.


    I put two augers out in the lawn, 25 yards apart. Then walk the line off the reel with the bail open. I have preset the drag to 12 lbs. and then slowly reel the line back on until the spool almost slips, walking from auger to auger. It takes awhile but it packs very well.

    Basil has advised against wet packing with salt water since that traps corrosion producing salt inside the spool.
     
  6. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    The solid core JB is spliceable if you are adept with a wire or needle...

    Destructive testing will inform you if you made it right...

    Thanks for some great informative posts pametfisher.

    That's a good point. I know some others have line-to-line spliced hollow onto solid. The time I tried it the solid line was just too tight--or I was impatient.

    If you can get into 3-4" on the solid, that would be the preferred method, then splicing the solid into the hollow, which is easy.
     
  7. kidflex

    kidflex Senior Member

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    amazing that the JB 60 hollow had a 105 break! will give it a try. thanks again
     
  8. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    amazing that the JB 60 hollow had a 105 break! will give it a try. thanks again

    A sample from a spool in November 2008 broke between 67.5 and 70 lbs. A sample from another spool in March 2009 broke above 105 lbs. It seems to me that JB has changed its weaving process or specification.

    If you're serious about using it, I would buy a 10 yard sample and make sure that I could get x00 yards from that spool after testing it. Then I would cut off 4 feet and put a 3" (inside/out) +3" (buried tag) end loop on each end of it. With a loop in each end, you can now lift a test weight by putting one loop over the weight and one loop over a section of broom handle. The end-loops are strong so the line will break in the middle.

    This may seem like a lot of work. However, testing line strength is the only way to know what you're putting on your reel. My testing and other's testing shows that a Spectra line can be 10% weaker or 50% stronger than the box rating.