Is The Info on Your Line Box Completely True?

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.