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Is The Info on Your Line Box Completely True?

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April 18, 2011

Is The Info on Your Line Box Completely True?

By John Merwin

Regular readers may recall my occasional rants about the mislabeling of fishing line. The latest--and perhaps most egregious--comes from Pure Fishing in the form of “new, extra-strong formula Brute Strength Stren.” I was given a review sample of 12-pound-test so I could see for myself how great it is. It is very strong. It is not, however, 12-pound-test despite what the label says.

It’s not even the same diameter as common 12-pound monos. It is, for example, 23 percent thicker than 12-pound original Stren. Brute Strength Stren measures .016” diameter. Original 12-pound Stren is .013” diameter. How can this be? Hmmmm.

Let’s make some more comparisons. Trilene XL mono, which is also made by Pure Fishing, in the same diameter as 12-pound Brute Strength Stren is labeled by Pure Fishing as 20-pound-test. And even original Stren in that same diameter (.016”) is labeled as 17-pound.

I put some “12-pound” Brute Strength Stren on my line-testing machine. It typically broke at 24 to 25 pounds of tension (tested dry). Like I said, it is strong, just as the company claims.

So why label this new line as 12-pound and then brag, as the company does, about how strong it is? Part of the answer is competition within the fishing-line industry. P-Line and Maxima, both popular monofilament brands, have long grossly misstated line strength and/or diameters on their spool labels.

As Clay Norris, Pure Fishing’s fishing-line product manager, explained to me the other day, “Anglers who fish those lines think all other monos are ‘too weak’. Brute Strength Stren was targeted for anglers who want the ‘strongest mono’ they can get, and these particular anglers are not diameter-sensitive.

“Brute Strength Stren is a very strong line on a PSI basis (diameter-for-diameter) to begin with. We matched the large P-Line/Maxima-type diameters with a very strong line, and now Stren has a line that breaks at almost double it's 'rating.' Our formula is more flexible and manageable than the other extra-strength/large-diameter lines so it is easier to manage,” Norris added.

All well and good. But as a consumer, I still wish that the specs on line-spool labels stated precisely what was on the spool. No more. No less.

Comments (16)

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from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 6 days ago

I do too. Lure choice while fishing also dictates what pound test is most appropriate. Line diameter has an effect on how deep a bait will run and how a specific lure will function. I'm sure Mr. Merwin could even expand on that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shadillac wrote 3 years 6 days ago

I can't agree more! I love using 10lb Maxima for tippet while salmon fishing because it is strong and durable but your leader needs to be at least 17lb test or it will break before the tippet everytime.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gfrichie wrote 3 years 6 days ago

That's a great point, especially when 5 different types of lines with the same line rating will have much different results. Shouldn't the pound-test rating be just that, not a study of fine print or guessing game?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 6 days ago

If it's printed on the package, it's probably BS. I'm not sure if my fingers can type the words ... more ... government ... regulation .... That was hard, but this is one place that I wouldn't mind seeing a little less freedom--advertisers and product manufacturers can lie to consumers all they want with very little incentive to tell the truth. The bigger the lie, the more they profit, and we lose.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 6 days ago

I think this is why the IGFA has a list of approved lines.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 3 years 6 days ago

To Koldkut's point about the IGFA, if an angler using this line catches a possible 12 pound line class record and the line overtests as in this case the catck may not beat the record at what ever poundage the line breaks so no record.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 6 days ago

for some reason, I reminded of Spinal Tap and the volume knob that goes, not to 10, but to 11.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 6 days ago

So am I missing something or did they just take 20# test and mark "Super Duper 12# test" on the box? Seems silly. Maybe if F&S and "other" outdoor media continued to call BS, these companies might start being more truthful with their advertising. Doubt it though.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mexhunter wrote 3 years 6 days ago

completely agree, the manufacturers care more for strenth than for quality, should be both

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Hey, at least you're not dealing with muzzle velocities on ammo boxes. In that case, you're usually getting less performance than you're being told.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 5 days ago

I gave up the whole line talk deal with my fishing buds......not a day goes by fishing where I don't hear about how strong line x is......and no matter how many times I try to correct them, they don't get it and look at me like I'm smokin' something.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Koldkut: Me, too. Fortunately, I have a blog on which I can rant...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Mr. Merwin, I have a question you might know or could test. What if you stretch a piece of line to the breaking point, take the pre-stretched line and tie off a terminal piece and re-test? What is the drop in strength, if any?

I had this question fishing a river last weekend when I had to break my line, leaving about 40 yards that was extremely stretched, didn't want to waste it, but I didn't know if it was seriously damaged. It was 10lb mono if that makes a difference. I don't think I would be as concerned about braided.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ice-Crazy wrote 3 years 5 days ago

The lines in North America are always ridiculously over rated. When friends of mine order line in the US Basspro,Cabelas and so one they get usually almost twice the diameter when choosing the line by strength. Especially on the Pure fishing products such as fire line you will find the label for the US in pound and the strength following the European strength rating in kilo. you will found out that the regular conversion between Kilo and Pound will not make sense.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JGooding1 wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Never even thought about this being a problem. Now that I think about it a 12lb line shouldn't break at 25lbs it should break closer to 12lbs.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rdorman wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

yeah not a big fan of that...i mostly only use mono for crankbaits...and i care more about line diameter than breakage strength...however i don't like to go to low on breaking strength...it makes picking line very difficult...and merwin i first heard about this some time ago from you...my life was easier before...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 6 days ago

for some reason, I reminded of Spinal Tap and the volume knob that goes, not to 10, but to 11.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mexhunter wrote 3 years 6 days ago

completely agree, the manufacturers care more for strenth than for quality, should be both

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JGooding1 wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Never even thought about this being a problem. Now that I think about it a 12lb line shouldn't break at 25lbs it should break closer to 12lbs.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rdorman wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

yeah not a big fan of that...i mostly only use mono for crankbaits...and i care more about line diameter than breakage strength...however i don't like to go to low on breaking strength...it makes picking line very difficult...and merwin i first heard about this some time ago from you...my life was easier before...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 6 days ago

I do too. Lure choice while fishing also dictates what pound test is most appropriate. Line diameter has an effect on how deep a bait will run and how a specific lure will function. I'm sure Mr. Merwin could even expand on that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shadillac wrote 3 years 6 days ago

I can't agree more! I love using 10lb Maxima for tippet while salmon fishing because it is strong and durable but your leader needs to be at least 17lb test or it will break before the tippet everytime.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gfrichie wrote 3 years 6 days ago

That's a great point, especially when 5 different types of lines with the same line rating will have much different results. Shouldn't the pound-test rating be just that, not a study of fine print or guessing game?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 3 years 6 days ago

If it's printed on the package, it's probably BS. I'm not sure if my fingers can type the words ... more ... government ... regulation .... That was hard, but this is one place that I wouldn't mind seeing a little less freedom--advertisers and product manufacturers can lie to consumers all they want with very little incentive to tell the truth. The bigger the lie, the more they profit, and we lose.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 6 days ago

I think this is why the IGFA has a list of approved lines.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 3 years 6 days ago

To Koldkut's point about the IGFA, if an angler using this line catches a possible 12 pound line class record and the line overtests as in this case the catck may not beat the record at what ever poundage the line breaks so no record.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 3 years 6 days ago

So am I missing something or did they just take 20# test and mark "Super Duper 12# test" on the box? Seems silly. Maybe if F&S and "other" outdoor media continued to call BS, these companies might start being more truthful with their advertising. Doubt it though.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 6 days ago

Hey, at least you're not dealing with muzzle velocities on ammo boxes. In that case, you're usually getting less performance than you're being told.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 5 days ago

I gave up the whole line talk deal with my fishing buds......not a day goes by fishing where I don't hear about how strong line x is......and no matter how many times I try to correct them, they don't get it and look at me like I'm smokin' something.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Koldkut: Me, too. Fortunately, I have a blog on which I can rant...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Mr. Merwin, I have a question you might know or could test. What if you stretch a piece of line to the breaking point, take the pre-stretched line and tie off a terminal piece and re-test? What is the drop in strength, if any?

I had this question fishing a river last weekend when I had to break my line, leaving about 40 yards that was extremely stretched, didn't want to waste it, but I didn't know if it was seriously damaged. It was 10lb mono if that makes a difference. I don't think I would be as concerned about braided.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ice-Crazy wrote 3 years 5 days ago

The lines in North America are always ridiculously over rated. When friends of mine order line in the US Basspro,Cabelas and so one they get usually almost twice the diameter when choosing the line by strength. Especially on the Pure fishing products such as fire line you will find the label for the US in pound and the strength following the European strength rating in kilo. you will found out that the regular conversion between Kilo and Pound will not make sense.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment