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Line - at what strain will it actually break?

Almost every line commonly used for carp fishing has an under-rated breaking strain indicated on the spool or box. With a good knot, most lines will always break at a higher strain.

With no international guidelines for indicating breaking strain or diameter, manufacturers under-rate lines to different degrees. A line labelled 12lb by one company may consistently break around 20lb; a line labelled 12lb by a different company may regularly break at just 14lb.

To give a better idea of the specifications of lines we sell, we have tested breaking strains and diameters ourselves.

How we measure the breaking strain?

We take line from different points on the spool and measure breaking strains five times using a Salter tension and compression tester, and diameters using a high quality digital caliper. Breakage tests are conducted with five turn grinner knots and a knotless knot to mimic what the average angler uses. The grinner knot is tied to a swivel and the knotless knot to a hook eye.

Braid diameters shown below are as accurate as possible, but unlike nylon lines some braids do not have round profiles. Each spool of line was tested brand new, but we accept that performance of all lines varies with age and different batches of lines supplied to shops may show slight differences in performance. However we hope the chart will provide useful general guidance.

Please note that the online chart includes some lines that are no longer manufactured. We have included them as the information may be useful.

Click here for the latest chart (downloads a pdf)

Chart last updated 20/06/2016.