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Old 07-23-2009, 06:29 AM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
Spinning Reel Fisher
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Hollow Spectra for Spinning Reels--Mid Year Update

The other morning I got a PM related to hollow-weave Spectra. Since I wrote so much about it during the winter and spring, I thought I would post the question and answer along with my observations after several months of use on my four spinning reels.

Have you used Cortland's C16 hollow-braid yet? I have a [12 strand] and really like it, just wish it was a little thinner.

Also, have you had any problems casting or jigging with the hollow core lines?
I've made a lot of comments on my experience with hollow-weave Spectra but here are some mid-year observations of JB and Cortland hollow Spectra used on spinning reels.

First, I've used the C16 braid. Like JB, it is very strong for its rating. Late last year I got a sample of JB 60# that broke between 67.5 and 70 lbs., as expected. This year I got samples of JB 60# and Cortland 80#. Both samples broke above 105 lbs. I decided to load four spinning reels with with JB 60# hollow and use Cortland C16 80# for making my new Wind-On leader design.

You pay a little more for hollow-woven Spectra (which in truth is not hollow when you're using it, the inside fully closes) but after that, it is a "free lunch". Since you can splice it, I've found it MUCH stronger than other lines in actual use since there are no knots to fail. Other than that, I can't tell the difference.

And just to be specific, I add four yards of doubled 80# hollow on top of my 60# hollow, then I add a 10' windon leader, trimmed to keep the windon Splice a little above the reel. Because there are no knots and no mono to come whipping off the reel, it casts great. I've had no casting, wind-knot or other issues that have happened with the hollow-weave design--it just cost a little more to buy.

One of the reasons that I chose the 60# JB is that it is 12 carrier (12 threads in the weave). I didn't want the silky smoothness of 16 carrier and 12 carrier hollow-weave is a little less costly. (A note: all Spectra--hollow or solid weave--should be wound onto spinning reels under a lot of pressure, it casts much better when packed tightly. I used 12 lbs to start and tuna have now packed it to 18-30 lbs.)

The size of all Spectra lines are directly proportional to their strength. Most hollow-weave lines use more Spectra (for lines in the 60 to 130# range) to make them easier to splice. As a result, I have found them to be stronger and thicker than the package label. I got about 400-450 yards of 60# JB onto my Stella 20Ks and Penn 950 SSMs. That is consistent with PE8 or so. It breaks above 105 lbs. that too is consistent with PE8+ line.

After last season, I started splicing hollow-weave Spectra for the first time. At first, it took a while to get the hang of. Now, in spite of having 50 years + of experience tying knots and fairly large hands, I can produce a better quality connection in less time by splicing--with knots you wonder about did you make it right or will it slip, with splices, when you're done, they work.

After using hollow-woven Spectra my thoughts are if you want strength, go with hollow-weave and eliminate the line-weakening, bad casting, guide-damaging knots. If you want thin line, find a line of the thickness you want and test its strength. Then make sure you can tie a strong enough knot for the drag you're using and for where the drag will get to during the fight, as line is pulled off.

I hope this helps. After testing hollow for most of the last year and fishing it for the first half of the season, I found a lot of benefits, the only cost/downside being the added purchase price.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:33 AM
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pametfisher pametfisher is offline
Spinning Reel Fisher
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 224
Reply to PM

thanks for the details. i didnt realize the 60 JB hollow was that strong. good to know! i think i will try it to see if i can get the same sucess. ive been looking for the perfect braid in the 65 and 80 lb classes, and izor has pleased me well to this point and is on top of my list(value, size, strength, castability)

[a tackle store] detered me from hollow line stating that the line has too much drag in the water. supposedly the hollowness of the line catches current.

i guess i just stayed away from the hollow core spectras from [the tackle shop's] word a couple of years ago. i think i will give it a shot based off your research. hell, youve put alot of time doing your own testing.
The 60# JB I bought was that strong but I would test a sample of any line before I used it.

I guess it's reasonable to think that hollow-weave line is hollow. Because of the way the machines lay the line, you can get a splicing needle inside hollow Spectra. However, once you put it under tension, that hollow center is gone. I've even found that if I hang a piece of hollow-weave Spectra line from a hook in my garage for a few days, it is much harder to find the center at first, that's how easily the center closes. So other than what I mentioned about hollow-weave often being stronger and larger than the box label, there is no reason for extra drag.
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