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The Evolution of Fishing Line

Posted by admin on November 14, 2010

Figuring out the right fishing line for the right situation is something anglers of all skill levels spend significant time pondering. As technology in the industry advanced over the years, the multitude of line types, all with different performance characteristics have made those decisions even more difficult. While much has changed in the fishing line industry over the years, one element has persevered. Discerning anglers demand performance in an ever widening range of applications and those demands require innovation and diversity of product lines.

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In the late 1930s, a synthetic fiber called nylon was introduced and the braided lines became a favorite with anglers for the next decade. Nylon was also used to produce the first monofilament lines during this era, but these early versions were stiff and difficult to cast. By the late 1940s, technology improved and polyester fibers were first used to produce fishing lines. Again in the late 1950s, technological advances led to the introduction of nylon monofilaments that were easier to use than their predecessors and the Stren and Trilene monofilament brands of the day are still popular today. Until the 1990s, nylon monofilament was the king of fishing lines.

However, in the 1990s, as the popularity of tournament angling, the demand for better line performance for diverse applications, and the overall knowledge base of anglers grew the super line era began. Braided lines were first, and made a strong comeback with the development of high performance fibers such as Spectra and Dyneema. The properties of these fibers were ideal as they were stronger than earlier versions, offered little or no stretch; the added improvements in casting, better color retention, and their ability to hold knots were also instrumental in their resurgence. But the technological advances that led to the development of fluorocarbon lines were the real revolution of this new era.

Invented in Japan in the mid 1970s, fluorocarbon is made from a polymer of fluorine and carbon and was first introduced as fishing line in the 1990's. Fluorocarbon line is stronger and more durable than monofilament, nearly invisible in water, impervious to ultra violet rays allowing it to have up to four times the life span of monofilament. Fluorocarbon lines are about twice as dense as monofilament which allows for a much faster sink rate and much smaller diameters at equivalent monofilament breaking points. The lines density gives it an amazing sensitivity, little to no stretch, and keeps the angler in positive contact with his lure. Early fluorocarbons were stiff, hard to manage, and expensive at nearly a $1 per yard. However, new production processes has made the line more flexible, easier to manage, and affordable.

Today, nearly every fishing line manufacturer produces fluorocarbon lines and no two brands are the same. Some fluorocarbons handle better while others are stronger, more durable, and more invisible than others. Until now, the challenge has been finding a fluorocarbon line that offers the best of all these factors. Anglers in search of a premium fluorocarbon fishing line maybe familiar with one brand from Japan that has been available in North America for a few years called Sunline. But as with most tackle manufacturers in Japan, the battle over the number one spot, at least in the eyes of the Japanese consumer, is never cut and dry. There is yet another battle for the best, poised to take place right here in the USA in the coming years. Japan's Toray brand premium fishing line brought to us by Blackwater International, Inc.

After trying various fluorocarbon brands like Sunline shooter, Seaguar inviz-x, Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon, and P-line Fluorocarbon in the past four years, I am convinced that the Toray brand fluorocarbon lines combine the most important factors of a premium line and are the absolute best line on the market. Toray is not for everyone; it is designed for the discerning angler that demands the best performance characteristics in a fishing line. The Toray brand lines are for serious anglers who are searching for a competitive advantage.

Toray is very manageable and casts like no other fluorocarbon line. Under tournament conditions that require you to cover water, if you could get an extra 5 to 8 feet on every cast and you can make 500 casts in a tournament day; you cover 2500 to 4000 more feet of water with Toray. That is a competitive advantage. Toray’s abrasion resistance is the absolute best on the market. Less time retying equals more time with your lure in the strike zone. That is a competitive advantage. Toray’s durability is unmatched. Toray simply lasts longer; even at a premium price point a line that requires changing half as often as other premium lines saves you money in the long run. But you don’t have to take my word, checkout how Toray performed in lab and field tests on Tackletour.com. The biggest challenge you will have with Toray is finding it on the selves’ of tackle stores here in the USA. I recommend MikesProBassGear.com or check out the Blackwater International website for a dealer near you.

We have come a long way from the horsehair, linen, silk, and cotton fishing lines of the early 1900’s. Can you imagine having to un-spool, wash, and spread out your line to dry between uses to prevent it from dry rotting. So even with all the choices and decisions we have today, we really don’t have it all that bad. My hope is I have help enhance your knowledge and understanding when it comes to making a fishing line decision. I encourage you to try a spool and see firsthand the competitive advantage Toray brand lines can provide.