I wanted to get a few spools of PowerPro braid for my fishing and I've ended up with a case of hurting brain - and I am asking for your help because I am sure that somebody out there can provide me with the answers I am looking for. I love using high-end Japanese 8-strand braids for much of my lure fishing, but I haven't been feeling that comfortable using them for wrasse fishing especially and I feel it's about time I loaded up with some "regular" braid for the really rough stuff. I also think I should be going back to some of the cheaper braids for bass fishing when so many of these awesome 8-strands are now around or over £40 for a roughly 150 yard spool. Some anglers are prepared to pay what it takes to get line like this, but there is no getting away from the fact that many can't or simply won't spend that kind of dosh on a single spool of line - but then you can't get away from how good some of these lines are. I did just fine with PowerPro and other such "regular" braids for long enough, and having fished with 8-strands almost exclusively for a few years now, I will be interested to load up with something like PowerPro again and see how it compares. Why PowerPro ? Because I used to use it and it's always been a very good "regular" braid.
OK, so let's say I want to load up with 15lb or maybe even 20lb PowerPro for my wrasse fishing and say some of my bass fishing and then see how it goes. And yes, I remember very well when I advocated the use of 30lb braid for wrenching lures out of snags - there is no harm in fishing like this and I believe passionately in personal choice and not trying to dictate how you should fish, but I would hope that I am "developing" all the time as an angler and thus coming round to what can be achieved with more balanced tackle. I don't catch 15lb or 20lb fish all the time on my lure gear here in the UK and Ireland (if only !!), but I do want a certain amount of overkill to give me that bit more abrasion resistance, plus at least a chance of pulling lures from snags and also enough "shock-strength" to cope with blasting the heavier lures.
So I am looking in the Shimano UK 2013 catalogue and to my surprise I can't actually see 15lb PowerPro listed in there - and note that I am talking about regular PowerPro here and not the Super 8 Slick or Depth-Hunter stuff. I can see 6.5lb (0.06mm), 9lb (0.08mm), 11lb (0.10mm), 18lb (0.13mm) and 20lb (0.15mm) listed in there in the 135m/150 yard spools that I am most interested in. No hassle though, for I can try say 11lb, 18lb or 20lb. I can't comment on whether these breaking strains or indeed diameters are accurate because I can't measure them myself and I always wonder what a line's breaking strain actually means - a straight pull on a proper line machine with no knots in there, or after a knot (and then which knot ?) has been say tied to a leader ? Does anybody actually know, because when I look further into this whole PowerPro thing I then come up with different info for the braid that is sold directly into the US. This might be rubbish, but I read somewhere that when it comes to PowerPro, the breaking strains for the US stuff is for a knotted line, whereas for the European stuff it's for an unknotted line, but again, does anybody actually know what the facts are ?
So let's look at the PowerPro breaking strains and diameters when it's sold in the US - and I have to presume we are getting the same line as they are but with different numbers on the spools. If you go to the US and buy your PowerPro there, then these are the figures you can expect to see on your spools compared to the UK -
So what strength or diameter or PowerPro should I now use if I get hold of it here in the UK as I am inclined to do ? I don't know how much I can trust this website here, but I have heard plenty of anglers refer to the line testing they do as being very accurate indeed - check down the long list here and you will find 8lb green PowerPro with a stated diameter of 0.127mm (presumably this has been converted from the 0.005 inches on the US packaging) actually breaking at 17.85lb in the line tests (but note the line tester stating that the true diameter is 0.205mm) - which funnily enough equates rather nicely to the table above where the 0.13mm PowerPro in the UK is sold as 18lb breaking strain yet in the US as 8lb.
If you have read this far then I am sure you can understand my case of brain pain !! There are a couple of 8-strands that I have used and trusted for a while now, and with so much of my "feel" for lure fishing (no laughing please) now based around fishing with them specifically, I really want to get out and see how a more regular braid might work once again for me. I have no worries at all when it comes to the wrasse fishing, indeed I think it's a good way to go amongst all the rough stuff, but I will be interested to see how the PowerPro stacks up when I'm blasting hard lures, working surface lures and twitching soft plastics. I reckon I should try out some spools of the UK 11lb (US 5lb), 18lb (US 8lb) and 20lb (US 10lb) and see how I get on with the different breaking strains and diameters and just see what happens.............