Downrigger Line, Dacron/Braided??

On one of Greg's and my recent trips we had a chance to go into a tackle store, imagine that!  Is was actually the Army and Navy store in Langley and they had a excellent selection of stuff!   I remember the old store they used to have in downtown Vancouver that I loved going to and, as a matter of fact, I still have a couple sockeye flashers that I bought from there!

Anyways, we saw a product from Scotty that caught our eye more from a price perspective than the item itself, so we're cheap, so what!  It was braided downrigger line, their line called Power Braid.  I have always wondered what the product was like and how it performed when compared to the regular stainless steel that comes with the riggers.  One thing that really interested me was the fact that that power "leak" I have from my boat would not be transmitted through the rigger lines with this stuff.  And no, to this day I have still not been able to track down where that "leak" is in my boat.  I am working on some new battery mounts to isolate them further from the hull, a work in progress.

So, these packages were on for half price, or at least that's what the sticker said.  The clerk double checked it out for us and even he didn't know if it applied to this stuff in particular but, gave us both a spool of it for half price, below what their cost was!  Always looking for a good deal!

The Road test:  Firstly, there are two ways you can put this stuff onto your rigger.  Greg took off the stainless line and spooled half a spool on each one.  250' is more than enough line considering we don't usually go below 140' when fishing and, it leaves enough for trimming up once in a while.  For mine, I left the stainless on and just put the Power Braid overtop the stainless.  For joining the Braid to stainless I just used some of the crimp clips, running the lines through each way and then tying off a knot that wouldn't slip through the crimp.  One word of caution if your going to do it my way, it does throw off the line counter!  I didn't find this out until I spooled off what I thought was 250' onto the rigger, cut the line, and then found out I only spooled off 150'!  Oh well, the braided is easy to tie together.  It also throws off your counter with respect to how much you have out, even though I reset the counter.  So, at 72' its actually 82', 110' is 121', etc..  Its a good thing to keep an eye on the sounder and find your ball on it once in a while to make sure just what depth the ball is at.  I guess if you always fish deep as I do, set the counter so it reflects your deepest depth and then the shallower depths don't matter.

How well does the line work??  Well, I guess its OK?  The line hum is definitely gone, but then I didn't mind that.  There were times when you could actually "hear" when a fish was on the line from the intermittent hum of the line.  It says on the package low drag but, I don't think it makes that big of a difference in how much sway you have in the line.  At 2-3 mph the ball swing seems to be the same and in fact, it seems to swing a bit more on the real sharp turns.  As far as reliability, its impossible to say how long the line is going to last or what problems it may encounter.  It is easy to tie in the clips and stuff, I haven't nicked one yet and don't see any fraying on them.  It will be interesting over a period of time what kind of wear the rigger clip clamp will have on the line.  On the steel line that clamp would actually "bend" the line overtime from clipping it in the same spot.

So, is it a worthwhile investment?  For me, if getting rid of the power leak from the boat to the steel lines improves my fishing success then it is definitely worthwhile.  Less hum, less drag and supposed ease of tying stuff on doesn't really matter to me.  Reliability will take time, measured in years and not just months.  That stainless line will last a lifetime, I don't think the braided line can have the same bragging rights.  Hey, for $30.00, its worth a try!