Last winter I came across some ads in sports fishing magazines relative to Spider Wire, a new technology in fishing line. I was intrigued by this technology and wanted to try it. I also wanted to compare it with other monofilament fishing lines that I use. So I decided to spend a few dollars and bought some (about $1,500 worth).
Over the winter, I proceeded to put 350 yards of 100 lb test on one of my 50W, 300 yards of 125 lbs test on one of my 80W, and 300 yards of 200 lb test on one of my Penn 130. I had the equivalent monofilament test line on each of the twin reels for comparison purposes. I also bought some 25 lb test for my spinning rods which I use for bonito, blue fish and bottom fishing early in the spring before the offshore fishing starts.
I fish the North East waters of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Primarily, I fish for Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna. I have a 30 foot Black Watch which is very adequate for these waters, provided I pay attention to the weather forecast, which sometime does not help at all. But that’s beside the point.
The fishing season is short around here, June to September at best, so one has to make the most of it right from the beginning. I look for every possible improvement I can make with my tackle to maximize my chances of catching tuna. So when the fishing season started, I was eager to try my new lines. I had read all the literature regarding the sensitivity of the line, the no stretch, and the no memory characteristics. It all sounded really good. When you buy this line, the company sends you a very nice tape with endorsements from knowledgeable and reputable fishermen. I found all the claims that the manufacture makes to be true, especially the warnings.
First some negatives I found about this new technology. Before I write anything, however, I want to emphasize that these are personal observations and may not be what someone else would like or dislike.
The line is somewhat dangerous. One must be very careful when handling it, especially when tuna fishing. A common technique in tuna fishing is to let out the line slowly so that the hooked bait sinks with the rest of the chum. Many times the tuna strikes when the line is in your hands. If you get caught with the line in your hand when the tuna strikes, you could severely damage your hand or lose a few fingers. Admittedly this could happen with mono as well, but certainly not to the same degree.
The second negative I found is its small diameter. Interestingly enough, this is one of the big advantages. The problem is that you cannot fill a 50W with this line for less than $1,000 (probably more), so you are forced to top your spool with it, with mono or some other line under it. The problem is that the Spider Wire will go through the mono like knife through butter. This was a really hard lesson for me to learn as you read below.
I was lucky enough to hook into a Giant Tuna, in August, fishing at the Suffux, an underwater wreck about 30 miles south of Newport, Rhode Island. Before we had a chance to get off the ball, the tuna took all the Spider Wire on the spool. When the 100 lb mono went in the water, the Spider Wire cut through the mono in zero time. This happened in spite of the fact that I had used the knot that the manufacturer recommended to splice the two lines. It didn’t work.
Now for the positives. The line is, in fact, extremely sensitive. When I hooked the first yellowfin, the excitement of the first fish of the year made me forget I had Spider Wire. I was really taken by the action I was feeling on the line. The no stretch property of the line made me feel every shake of the head. The fish was fighting so differently that I kept asking what was going on. Finally my fishing friend reminded me that I had the Spider Wire. That was the difference!
The second positive is the “low visibility”. I definitely got more hook ups with the Spider Wire than I had with the mono. Tunas have excellent eye sight and are very often line shy. The smaller diameter line made a difference. On one occasion, we had five fishermen in the boat, each with different line brands and diameters. The only fisherman that had as many hook ups as I had was using a 40 lb test monofilament line, compared to my 100 lb test.
The third positive I found was the “no memory” quality of the Spider Wire. This is really nice. As hard as we tuna fishermen try, many time when chunking, the bait spins. And boy does that do a job on the monofilament. The only way out is to cut portions of the line. The twists didn’t bother the Spider Wire at all. Plus, when retrieving the line and laying it in the boat to then let it go out again, it does not spiral on you and form a big mess. I found this to be a real advantage.
After having fished with Spider Wire for an entire season, my conclusion is that I like it and will keep fishing with it. After all, I had not hooked a Giant Tuna for years and this year I did. It has its drawbacks, but its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
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