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ARTICLE - “Braid’s ain’t Braid’s” the truth about braid and mono.


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I was in at my local tackle store (Penrith Bass angler - always believe in supporting the local bloke and Peter - owner, Cameron, Zac and Tony are all fisho’s, with a wealth of knowledge and advice, and will match any other “best price”) and talking braid with a new fisho who asked me to help him buy some gear. These comments / thoughts are NOT about whether braid (also commonly referred to as “Super line”,) is “ better than” mono/ Fluor’, but specifically about polyethylene (PE or “braid”). True braided lines are made by taking high performance polyethylene fibres and weaving or braiding them together to create a single multi-strand fishing line. The term “carrier” refers to how many single fibres are woven, e.g. 4 carrier, has 4 strands, 6, has 6 strands and so on.

Peter loaned me a trade journal with a very comprehensive review on braids with some surprising results. I have summarised below. The tests were performed using “Platypus abrasion testing machine” and the article made the point that each manufacturer has a different way to test their braid “in house” for breaking strain and abrasion resistance and as there is no “industry standard”, comparison results are somewhat subjective. However, what was very interesting was that every braid had a breaking strain well above the rated 20lb, some ( “Daiwa J Braid” - one of my favourites for breaking strain, but goes “fuzzy” quickly, at 43lb, so double the rated strength on the packet. Overall my favourite is “Power Pro”, but t this stage I haven’t found it in multi colour, which handy when casting and deeper fishing)

“The first thing that stood out to me was that there was no one line that was the best at everything. If there was a braid that was cheapest, thinnest, most abrasion resistant, most supple and had amazing knot strength, then we’d all just buy that. But guess what? It doesn’t exist yet”.

The summary below was based on 24 of the most commonly available braids currently on the market. ALL BRAID TESTED WAS 20lb.

Abrasion resistance was tested with a weight on the line, running over sandpaper (replaced for each line tested) and consistent, machine tested tension, identical for each braid tested.

* “Although braid has some pretty amazing properties, it’s all pretty poor when it comes to abrasion resistance”

* Mono’  (and more so, flurocarbon) will outperform braid in abrasion resistance every time - that’s why leader is used (or should be used).

* Braid has poor visibility (high visibility & easy for fish to see, but also good to anglers who are not sure where their line is) another reason leaders are used as less visible to fish.

* Anglers have different priorities in their choice of braid - some want thinness for casting, others abrasion resistance, others just want to spend as little cash as possible.

* More carriers or strands do not necessarily make braid “stronger”, but means it is rounder and smoother and less noise when wound onto a spinning reel, in fact quite the reverse.

* Because of the above, the greater the carriers (individual strands), the further it will cast. So 12 carrier is smoother, rounder and easier to cast than 4 carrier.

* 4 carrier braid has some advantages over 8 or 12 carrier in that being coarser, it is more abrasion resistant and being “oval” as opposed to round it will sit flatter on a spool.

* In terms of brands, “there is no one line that is best at everything”

* Packaging varies greatly -  some is sold by the meter others in yards, most with grandiose claims.

* Converted to “Price per m” the variations were great from 13c (Strike Pro Armour) to .57c for (Torah Sea Bass PE) Pics show a list with these prices.

* As all had breaking strains well above the advertised, it is fair to assume, a smaller breaking strain will not let you down (in terms of breaking strain). By comparison, most nylon and mono Fluor carbon lines, break pretty close to the advertised poundage, but usually above.

* Generally the greater the carriers, the less the abrasion resistance. This is because each strand is thinner on the higher carriers to get the same overall diameter thickness. This means a 4 carrier braid is more abrasion resistant than an 8 or 12 (but of course won’t cast as far, but will lay flatter on the spool, so more can be fitted on - confusing isn’t it?).

* Braid thickness was tricky, as braid flattens with use, so a “rounder” 12 carrier braid after 20 or 30 casts will be flatter than when first spooled. This is why older line takes up less space on the spool and you may think you have shortened your line and have less braid than when first spooled up.

* Comparing braids by  price is “not a fair fight” HOWEVER, to quote the article “ generally the Japanese lines are pretty honest, the American are understated and European rated for diameter rather than abrasion resistance or breaking strain. Does this make it ridiculously difficult consumer market - Yep.”

In Conclusion. When you’re  fishing, make sure you have enough leader to cover all of the contact with fish and structure. I personally have at least 2 rod lengths or about 2-3 m of leader to a swivel and then at least 600mm to the hook. I join the leader to braid with an FG knot or PR (but a bobbin is needed for the PR knot and this is tricky if it has to be tied on the boat, so my “go to” is the FG.

Hope this helps and generates some comment.

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I think advice like the above is invaluable especially when starting out with braids. In my personal experience using baitcasting gear especially, it’s really a case of trial and error. You’ll usually find what works best for you and stick with it. Nobody ever seems to agree on what is “the best braid” because we all fish differently.

Great post though, gotta love Aussie bass angler, I got my Hobie from them. I just wish they weren’t such a long drive from me.

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Thanks for taking the time to post this up Pickles.

Your breaking strain chart proves the point of when i refer to the "size" of a braid I prefer to mention PE over breaking strain.

For the record. I have been a big fan of Yozuri, Duel Hardcore for many years and on the pack they detail the highest, lowest and average breaking strain from regular tests.

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  • mrsswordfisherman changed the title to ARTICLE - “Braid’s ain’t Braid’s” the truth about braid and mono.

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