For anglers, both professional and amateur, “fishing” is a way of life. The link between the angler and the catch, which makes fishing an exhilarating experience, is the fishing line. The importance of a fishing line can be translated from the representations seen in the Egyptian carvings of 2000 B.C. The Chinese used silk for fishing lines in the fourth century.
As angling gained popularity among the Europeans, starting in England in the 15th century, horsehair was braided and used as lines. Silk line, being longer and stronger, replaced the horsehair in 1908. The disadvantage of using a silk line was that it had to be rinsed and dried on open spools and could be damaged by direct sun rays. Thus, appeared linen lines, but they too were unsuitable for strenuous and rugged use.
The first synthetic fishing line was made of polyester (known as Dacron) in the 1950s. It is still known for its strength and durability. Du Pont in 1954 invented braided nylon lines, which were later improved into a monofilament, still in use today.
As you walk through the aisle of a tackle store with selected rod and reel (already discussed in our previous blog) in your cart, you will encounter different choices of fishing lines.
There are 3 key things to know about in any fishing line:
Popularly called ‘ Test ’ (after the process of tensile testing) – this is measured in pounds and can be seen as 1lb Test to 200lb+ Test on the cover of the line spool. This basically means that this line has been tested for its tensile strength breaking point i.e. the amount of force at which the line will break.
So, a 20lb Test line will break if the force applied to it exceeds 20lb. Lower test strength means weaker line and heavier test strength means stronger line. Rule of thumb is line Test should be roughly equal to the weight of the fish in pounds. So small fish require thinner and more sensitive line and therefore should be low Test and vice versa.
To read more about the fishing line properties, click here.