Stan Fagerstrom is a member of both the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame as well as the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Stan is also known internationally for his casting skills. Stan welcomes your e-mail comments at email@example.com.
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November 05, 2012
The Best of the Braids
by Stan FagerstromPart 1
It has indeed been interesting to watch what has transpired since those new small but super strong braided lines first came onto the American angling scene.
I tried a number of these new lines when they first came to the market. Like lots of other fishermen, I did so with varying results.
It's not hard to understand why some of those early braids are no longer being sold. Why? Because they created more fishing problems than they solved. Those that are still around have stood up to the test time eventually puts on everything---including the lines we use to put fish in the boat.
One of the small diameter braids I like best was a little slow getting started but today it's one of the most popular. That doesn't come as a surprise because as far as I'm concerned it's the best of the new braids I've had on my reels.
The braid I'm talking about is Power Pro. This line was originally introduced by a company called Innovative Textiles, Inc., of Grand Junction, Colorado. Today it is owned and marketed by the Shimano Company.
Power Pro wasn't among the new small diameter braids that first made it to the tackle stores. Innovative Textiles wasn't a big outfit and didn't have the bucks to make a big advertising splash when it first hit the market in 1996.
Once it did get out there and more fishermen started using it, sales took off big time. I remember how company officials told me early on that their sales had been just about doubling each year.
That the company was eventually purchased by Shimano provides additional evidence of the line's quality. Shimano took it on for the same reasons they now own G.Loomis Rods---it's one of the best you can get your hands on.
There is really no mystery as to what is responsible for the Power Pro line's success. The company making it learned from the mistakes made by the manufacturers of some of the braided lines first introduced---the ones that are no longer being marketed.
These Power Pro braided lines work really well on your level wind reels. The line's small diameter permits an angler to use a line of greater strength without running into casting problems
I've been using Power Pro for much of my own fishing since I got hold of my first spool in early 1997. I was doing exhibition casting at an outdoor show in the San Francisco area at the time. One of the Power Pro salesmen gave me a sample spool. He wanted me to let him know how I liked it.
It was 30-pound Power Pro I had on my casting reel when I tangled with this dandy bass one morning at Mexico's Lake El Salto.
I was pleasantly surprised with the new line the first time I tried it. Here was a braided line that was different than the others I'd used before. It was more round in shape and didn't have the tendency to dig down into the spool that often caused misery among some of the first of the new braids.
Besides that, it also wasn't so limp it often wrapped around my rod guides or tips on the cast as some of the other new braids had. It had good casting qualities and I just liked the "feel" of it on my level wind reels from day one.
Something else I especially liked was that I could also use it on my open-faced spinning reel as well as my level winders. It didn't give me quite the same distance I got with an open-faced reel loaded with light monofilament, but the distance I did get was entirely adequate for one of the asks I often required of it.
What that task amounts to for the most part is throwing a light lure into heavy cover. Try doing that with a monofilament line of 6-pound test and all you're looking for is big trouble. Ain't no way you're going to bring a good fish out the heavy stuff with a line that light.
Don't hesitate to also use Power Pro braid on your open faced spinning reels. It performs equally well on both spinning and level wind reels.
It's hard to believe a line of such small diameter can have so much strength, but Power Pro does.
A braid like Power Pro will solve that problem for you. I've some additional thoughts to share in this regard. You'll find them right here in my next month's column.
-To Be Continued-