Test Your Braided Line, Don't Assume Its Strength

Discussion in 'Tackle and Rigging' started by pametfisher, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Lately I've been helping people set up their Spinning reels for wind-on leaders, and I got a spool in the mail the other day that was loaded with 70# Daiwa Boat Braid. Daiwa makes a good line and the line on this spool was in very good condition. It's a nice, smooth, thin, 8-carrier line. The line is metered and it is a pleasure to fish with. I would not hesitate to recommend Daiwa Boat Braid.

    However, what Daiwa calls 70# test (PE5 line), PowerPro and many others would call 50# test line. I know this because last year, I tested hundreds of knots in 50# Powerpro. Every regular knot I tied in the 50# PP broke in the 30 to 35 lb. range. So that brings me to the spool I got in the mail.

    The 70# PE5 Daiwa Boat Braid was in like new condition. I tied some knots and started breaking them. They all broke between 32.5 and 37.5 lbs. I have to admit, I was mildly surprised. In fact I was so sure that the line would hold 45 lb. knots that I tried that weight with the first knot and ... POP! It took 3 or 4 knots for me to believe that I wasn't doing something wrong.

    Next, I tested the unknotted strength of the 70# line. I could lift 62.5 lbs. but the line broke with 65 lbs. I'd say that the Actual Breaking Strength is 64 lbs. (With many 50# lines, I have been able to lift 60 to 65 lbs. In fact, with a sample of Daiwa 55# PE4 line, I have lifted 57.5 lbs.) This particular sample of line on this particular spool, is probably undertesting a little bit.

    So my advice is, consider the number on the box of line that you're buying as an ADVISORY number. It is not a number that you can take to the bank--in my case Stellwagen Bank. If you can't test the strength of the line (it can be hard to rig unknotted line for testing), tie a Uni or Surgeon's Loop knot to a swivel, wrap 10-15 turns of line around a 1" dowel, put on leather gloves and safety glasses and pull the swivel against a scale and see where the line/knot breaks--be cautious as you do this, it can be dangerous.

    When you find out where your knot breaks, multiply by 1.4. That will roughly be the breaking strength of the line without knots.

    Just to close the loop--for big Spinning reels I suggest that you take the initial drag you set, say 20 lbs., and multiply by 3. That is the peak drag your line will ever see as you get to the bottom of the spool (unless you wrap the line around your hand and yank). So if you start at 20 lbs. then your knots and line should be able to hold 60 lbs. or you run the risk of a break off.

    BTW, I spliced 10 yards of JB 60# hollow on top of the 70# Boat Braid. The strength of the 60# JB I'm using is over 90lbs. so spliced End Loops are better than 90 lbs. and knots in it are 65 lbs. So this spool is now set for the peak drag it might see, without replacing the line.
     
  2. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

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    206
    Lately I've been helping people set up their Spinning reels for wind-on leaders, and I got a spool in the mail the other day that was loaded with 70# Daiwa Boat Braid. Daiwa makes a good line and the line on this spool was in very good condition. It's a nice, smooth, thin, 8-carrier line. The line is metered and it is a pleasure to fish with. I would not hesitate to recommend Daiwa Boat Braid.

    However, what Daiwa calls 70# test (PE5 line), PowerPro and many others would call 50# test line. I know this because last year, I tested hundreds of knots in 50# Powerpro. Every regular knot I tied in the 50# PP broke in the 30 to 35 lb. range. So that brings me to the spool I got in the mail.

    The 70# PE5 Daiwa Boat Braid was in like new condition. I tied some knots and started breaking them. They all broke between 32.5 and 37.5 lbs. I have to admit, I was mildly surprised. In fact I was so sure that the line would hold 45 lb. knots that I tried that weight with the first knot and ... POP! It took 3 or 4 knots for me to believe that I wasn't doing something wrong.

    Next, I tested the unknotted strength of the 70# line. I could lift 62.5 lbs. but the line broke with 65 lbs. I'd say that the Actual Breaking Strength is 64 lbs. (With many 50# lines, I have been able to lift 60 to 65 lbs. In fact, with a sample of Daiwa 55# PE4 line, I have lifted 57.5 lbs.) This particular sample of line on this particular spool, is probably undertesting a little bit.

    So my advice is, consider the number on the box of line that you're buying as an ADVISORY number. It is not a number that you can take to the bank--in my case Stellwagen Bank. If you can't test the strength of the line (it can be hard to rig unknotted line for testing), tie a Uni or Surgeon's Loop knot to a swivel, wrap 10-15 turns of line around a 1" dowel, put on leather gloves and safety glasses and pull the swivel against a scale and see where the line/knot breaks--be cautious as you do this, it can be dangerous.

    When you find out where your knot breaks, multiply by 1.4. That will roughly be the breaking strength of the line without knots.

    Just to close the loop--for big Spinning reels I suggest that you take the initial drag you set, say 20 lbs., and multiply by 3. That is the peak drag your line will ever see as you get to the bottom of the spool (unless you wrap the line around your hand and yank). So if you start at 20 lbs. then your knots and line should be able to hold 60 lbs. or you run the risk of a break off.

    BTW, I spliced 10 yards of JB 60# hollow on top of the 70# Boat Braid. The strength of the 60# JB I'm using is over 90lbs. so spliced End Loops are better than 90 lbs. and knots in it are 65 lbs. So this spool is now set for the peak drag it might see, without replacing the line.

    Pamet

    You should alway assume pe-3 is 30lb,pe-4 is 40lb, pe-5 is 50lb and pe-6 is 60lb and so on. Once you forget about the manufature's ratings and stick to the general rule for PE lines you wont be in as much shock when pe-5 breaks at 64lbs.

    d-a
     

  3. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Pamet

    You should alway assume pe-3 is 30lb,pe-4 is 40lb, pe-5 is 50lb and pe-6 is 60lb and so on. Once you forget about the manufature's ratings and stick to the general rule for PE lines you wont be in as much shock when pe-5 breaks at 64lbs.

    d-a

    I understand your point of view on this. However, I would rather have the manufacturer put the Actual Breaking Strength on the box, like Daiwa is doing, so that I wouldn't have to assume that the line that says 70# is really 90#. We are so used to line overtesting by 10-30% that it's a "surprise" when the label on the box matches its real strength.

    Until then, I'll be checking them so I know what's on the reel.
     
  4. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

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    I understand your point of view on this. However, I would rather have the manufacturer put the Actual Breaking Strength on the box, like Daiwa is doing, so that I wouldn't have to assume that the line that says 70# is really 90#. We are so used to line overtesting by 10-30% that it's a "surprise" when the label on the box matches its real strength.

    Until then, I'll be checking them so I know what's on the reel.

    Pamet

    The problem is in the way the Japanese classify there lines versus the way the US does. There's is based off of a diameter of line and we are accustomed to having a breaking strength. This is why a reel will take 300 yards of 50lb power pro and 350 yards of 50lb tuffline xp all the while it will hold 400 yards of pe-5.

    I personally like the classification by line diameter. It's a constanant that I can base all my lines off of. Yes a higher quality pe-5 will have a higher breaking strength than a lesser one, but if you stick to the general rule of PE lines you will not have any problems.

    d-a
     
  5. Bellyups

    Bellyups Senior Member

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    Ahh, finally some evidence to support my claims on Daiwa Boat Braid (DBB). IME, is is very overrated in its strength and the marketing is very deceptive. They sell PE 6 as 80 pound and PE 8 as 100 pound. DBB is at most compatable with typical PE 6 and 8 lines in that they break closer to 60 and 80 pounds, if that. Otherwise it is great line, but it definitely is not strong, IMO, for its size. I have a problem with this as it is marketed as being stronger than its size.
     
  6. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    powerpro is the lowest on my list. spiderwire is the highest.
     
  7. kidflex

    kidflex Senior Member

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    i agree pe5 is 50lbs, pe8 is 80lbs and so on. the advertised breaking strength is appealing to anglers but after being disappointed its not hard to overlook what the rating is and just fish it conservatively

    ive always heard boat braid broke close to its rating. consistency is good though.
     
  8. Anuvat

    Anuvat Senior Member

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    From The past 3 years experience, daiwa boat braids has been the most dependable line I've used and I would not hesiatate to recommend it to anyone. Their pe6(which is just about he only thing I've used for just about everything including big AJ's to big BFT's(up to 260+#) and it has never givin me any grief. I will continue to use it until it proves me otherwise.
     
  9. Anuvat

    Anuvat Senior Member

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    But I have to say I cut back on the line and re tie before every trip. That should be a habit.
     
  10. John_Madison CT

    John_Madison CT Senior Member

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    Roger: Did you try a 40 turn bimini twist in that 70lb Daiwa Braid? I tied a few and they tested over 40lbs.. I stopped pulling against my drag scale at that point but now you have me curious how much farther I can go.

    John
     
  11. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    i agree pe5 is 50lbs, pe8 is 80lbs and so on. the advertised breaking strength is appealing to anglers but after being disappointed its not hard to overlook what the rating is and just fish it conservatively

    ive always heard boat braid broke close to its rating. consistency is good though.
    You are 100 percent right. I had some failures by believing their claim in the past.
     
  12. spineyman

    spineyman Senior Member

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    Pamet, Have you tried doubling the braid and then tying the know. If that will help the strength of the know break.
     
  13. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    I have used them all, to be honest I have used PE8 Diawa Boat Braid for a year and have really abused it on huge amberjacks down in NC. Kidlfex was on my boat when I caught the big fish and the high pitched ping sound as teh line went through my guides with heavy drag was enough to scare the shit out of you. That huge shark I jigged was also caught on that line with even heavier drag. But it never failed. Not once. I would bet money my PE8 tests over 80 but who would use that much anyway

    I have Varivas Big One on my reels now but I still feel Diawa line is better quality IMHO. It has never failed me ... not even once

    *** THE ONLY LINE I believe is really bullet proof other than that is Varivas GT Max SMP, its really expensive but is an amazing line
     
  14. kidflex

    kidflex Senior Member

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    glenn- alot of monsters where caught in NC and i never saw you break off with the boat braid. i had a few break off and was using 100lb tuff line xp with less drag than you were using. i like the pe8 DBB and will continue to fill up my spools with it replacing all others for jigging
     
  15. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Roger: Did you try a 40 turn bimini twist in that 70lb Daiwa Braid? I tied a few and they tested over 40lbs.. I stopped pulling against my drag scale at that point but now you have me curious how much farther I can go.

    John


    John,

    I didn't but you can be sure that you will get close to 64 lbs. if you tie 50 turns or more.

    PF
     
  16. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    Look, we're all buying into the marketing hype. If a manufacturer wants their line to be thinner and smoother, guess what, they put a bigger number on the package. If they want it to be stronger and have better knot strength, they put a smaller number on the package.

    What I want to know is the following: what is the usual Actual Breaking Strength of the line in question? That is the one number that no one puts on the box.

    Personally, I don't think of PE 5 lines as 50#. They're not. When I pick up a box of 80# Powerpro, I don't think of it as 80# line. When I buy JB 60# hollow, it's not 60# test. The one thing I know for sure is lines are NEVER what they put on the box--unless by accident.

    In a sense, I have fallen into that trap by expecting knots in a 70# line to test greater than 40 lbs. The results I'm getting in the Daiwa are EXACTLY what a true 70# line should do. I'm just so used to the exaggeration (packaging true 65# test as 50# test), that I'm surprised by an approximately accurate rating--Daiwa Boat Braid. Daiwa is a very good line.

    Since the beginning of the year, I always test the Knotted Breaking Strength and Actual Breaking Strength of the lines I'm going to use. Otherwise, you're shooting in the dark.
     
  17. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    I had a few more reels come in this week to have Streamline leaders added and had the time to break some more lines. One reel had 80# PowerPro and I added 80# JB hollow on top using a Solid/Hollow splice. The other reel was a Stella 20000 SW with 60# Jerry Brown hollow. (The Cortland rep called me last week so I'll be testing 12-carrier Cortland Masterbraid hollow-weave soon.)

    The 80# PowerPro broke between 95 and 100 lbs; and a Surgeon's Loop broke between 60 and 62.5 lbs. The 60# Jerry Brown hollow-weave broke between 105 and 110 lbs.

    I'm only making a few tests per line so these should be considered "ballpark" results--that said, I have seen fairly good consistency from sample to sample and test to test. Here is the current table of results (ABS is Actual Breaking Strength; SL is Surgeon's Loop which will be similar to other knots):

    50# PowerPro: ABS 61 lbs.; SL 34 lbs.
    65# PowerPro: ABS 78 lbs.; SL 44 lbs.
    80# PowerPro: ABS 98 lbs.; SL 61 lbs.

    55# Daiwa Boat Braid: ABS 58 lbs.; 32lbs.
    70# Daiwa Boat Braid: ABS 64 lbs.; 35 lbs.

    60# Jerry Brown (hollow): ABS 107 lbs. (3 samples this year)
    80# Jerry Brown (hollow): ABS >110 lbs. (110 lbs. is my current maximum)

    80# Cortland C16 (hollow): ABS >110 lbs.

    My reason for testing a Surgeon's Loop is that it is one of the choices for adding a loop to solid-weave mainline for Wind-On leaders. The other choice would be a Bimini Twist which would break up near the ABS. A third choice is the Solid/Hollow splice method I've described before which would break at the ABS of the line.

    I plan to update this table as other lines and samples come in.
     
  18. Jrzrider83

    Jrzrider83 Senior Member

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    i'd be very curious of the break strength of the 40# Jerry Brown Hollow.
    if it is proportionally stronger it might be any where from 55-71 ABS ?
     
  19. pametfisher

    pametfisher Senior Member

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    i'd be very curious of the break strength of the 40# Jerry Brown Hollow.
    if it is proportionally stronger it might be any where from 55-71 ABS ?

    That's a good question but my experience says that you really need to get a sample and check it. Splice an end loop in both ends of a sample and lift increasing weights slowly, until it breaks.

    Even among brands, I have seen variation from year to year. Not surprisingly, PowerPro, which has been around for a long time, seems to run consistently from strength to strength (this is not a PP recommendation, just an observation).
     
  20. hamptonsurf

    hamptonsurf Senior Member

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    Pamet, are you selling these streamline leaders?