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Shooting/reel lines

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 19, 2004
Taken aback by the cost of dyneema and kevlar, and disturbed by its abrasion characteristics, I started looking around. So far, I've located only one product, likely superior to dyneema but lower in price than the others (like Picasso's product), at least in the US market. This is "Spectraspeed", a polyester with Spectra (tm) core. The desirable 2mm size comes in several colors and has a break strength of about 600 pounds. This stuff is used for sheet lines or similar. The only sources I've found are in Australia and New Zealand.
The other outfit, the Aussie company, is 'Bias Boating'. I've made an inquiry and will report on total cost if any interest around for this. The basic price is 43USD for 100m.
Bias Boating is out on price. They charge about 60USD for 100 meters of Spectraspeed. The other company, New Zealand's Discount Marine, charges a $10 handling fee for orders under $100. However, their price for 100 meters of Spectraspeed is competitive, $43. If one orders 3 spools of Spectraspeed the minimum is met and shipping is $20 to the US east coast. The 'all heart', discount price in the US for 100 meters of plain old dyneema is $83. Every source that I have checked says that Spectra core is superior to this Euro version of polyethylene cordage. This includes comments from hang gliders and kiters. There are several grades of pure Spectra but all have very good specs. Anyway, Picasso must have recognized the benefits of a sheathed line since plain polyethylene is subject to being cut, abraded or degraded by UV, prompting them to offer a sheathed line. The Spectraspeed is sheathed with polyester for use in running rigging and general sailboat use. Similar stuff is available in the US but I haven't found any in 2mm size. A lot of that 2mm line can be packed on a reel and I'm liking the specs more and more. It is strange that it is so easy to buy a US made product in New Zealand but musical chairs and Google have not revealed a US outlet for the same product. Maybe I'm not looking under the right rock.
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Peskydor, I am purchasing a reel, and I am having it spooled with kevlar core line. Are you familiar with this stuff? I also have the option of 1.5mm or 2, any recommendations? Finally, how does this type of line compare to dynema? Thanks...
Marlow Ropes have a lot of similar options with the same price and lower. i use it in some of my reels and it works very well
Lutz, kevlar is good stuff, soft, easy to manage and very strong. It is difficult to cut. Normally, it is waxed to reduce abrasion. Kevlar will not melt readily so the ends must be glued. Waxed kevlar is slippery and when the line is subject to extreme tension it can bury itself in the reel causing jams.

If you're getting an order together, I might be interested. Let me know.

Along the lines of what Boqueirao said, also check out Yale Cordage. Same thing as Marlow but made here in the USA. They sell it at West Marine but it's in pre-cut lengths that aren't long enough for my taste. I'm pretty sure they're on the internet. Awhile ago I had gotten their number and was going to call and see what lengths I could get their 2mm stuff strait from the factory in but then forgot about it. I'm a big fan of the Picasso stuff so something similar but cheaper would be perfect. Let me know what you find out.


I looked at the Marlow site and did searches for 'dyneema', 'spectra' and 'kevlar', nothing. Basically, the website is so complicated, with so many nooks and crannies, that it is difficult to find anything. It is also very general and pedantic. However, I did find an excellent tutorial on rope construction and fibers. It mentioned that kevlar has poor knot strength. This is probably only academic for a spearo but it is something to be aware of. If you get a chance I would appreciate a link as my computer skills are limited.
I bookmarked the Yale site. They've got some interesting cordage and it will take a little time for study.
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Picasso's reel line, "MEMOspec", is nylon with SPECTRA (TM) core. By contrast, the SPECTRAspeed available from Discount Marine is polyester with SPECTRA core. The plot thickens. If Picasso is using nylon sheath for their reel line they must have good reasons. With respect to the sailing market, low stretch would be a priority and hence, the DACRON polyester sheath used in that market. I'm not sure what difference this will make to spearos but I guess I will find out soon.
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hi peskydor
you're right about the Marlow website. but the material is realy good stuff. they have a lot of Vectran, Spectra Dynema (!), Kevlar and Polyester ropes and lines. The Marlow catalog is very well made, with a lot of very useful information. if you want, i can send you a copy of the most important pages by email.
boqueirao, thanks. I ordered some line from New Zealand. The key for me was the fact that they act in an open way, we have 2mm line; this is what it is made of, this is the price and these are the terms. I hesitate to try to put together an order for others, regardless of source, or to try other sources at this time. However, I have submitted an inquiry to Yale. This is logical since I am located in the USA, they are also here, and their technical expertise seems unimpeachable. Yet, dealing with US companies can be complicated. They deal in large quantities, the material sizes are big, or else very tiny, and they cater to certain special markets like sailors, kiters or tree climbers and the hell with everybody else. They make it difficult to figure out exactly what is offered without plowing through a 500 page catalogue. Then, you find out that what you want is 'special order' and expensive. The New Zealand thing is kind of wild but it's a small world that we live in. They claim 5 days delivery time. Whatever, it will be interesting to see what Yale says. I explained the purpose and the requirements specifically and asked for a reference or source in the US.

If the Yale thing falls through and my Spectra from New Zealand turns into vaporware, I'll certainly take up your kind offer. Also, we may want to visit the idea of a group order if those are the terms. That is premature thinking , however.
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For Yale, check out the Pulse. I'm pretty sure it's the same you just got (polyester sleeve/spectra core) but I'm not too happy with the thicknesses they offer. It's either 1.58 mm (1/16 inch) or 2.38 mm (3/32 inch). Did you get the 3 spools from NZ or did you just get 1? I've seen the Yale stuff in a store and if what you got coming is the same but true 2 mm, you did good. If you got 3 spools and can spare one, I'll buy it from you. If not, then please give some more details about your order so I can follow suit. BTW, what color/colors did you get? I like the looks of the yellow. It’s a nice bright color to see if you have to follow your line back down to a hung-up fish.

Almost forgot, don't worry about buying stuff from so far away. I get my wetsuits direct from Italy, fins from Estonia, and most of my other gear from Spain. It's great to be living in the 21st Century!


Thanks, sturgeon, I ordered one each of yellow, red and blue. I agree with the yellow visibilty. Also, I saw the "pulse" right away but couldn't find the available sizes. Thanks for the info and it points out the problem re sizing. A simple 1.5 mm kevlar might be OK for certain aps but I'm not interested. However, I'm even less interested in a 1.5 mm cored line. I want something with brute strength (GRRR). I think this 2mm spectraspeed is the boss but let's wait and see. If it looks good to me then I have to ask why it didn't look good to Picasso. I suspect that they want the stretch and slickeryness of nylon sheath. Dacron polyester is tough stuff and should be slick enough to ride over reefs. I don't care about the low stretch. I don't want my line stretching and sinking into the reel under tension if that's what it comes to. If the spectraspeed looks and everything else works out then I see no reason why I couldn't order a bushel of yellow line, if they have it and if there is interest. No tacky tack ons, of course but postage will be a consideration. I figure about $60/spool (total) to get it from NZ to here to individual spearos.
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I agree, 1.5 mm is too small/thin for good control and 2.4 is too thick for most reels to handle enough of. I think 2.0 is the best or maybe up to 2.2 max. I'm also with you about stretch (who needs it) and I also like a line with a little grip to it (don't like waxed stuff for this reason). The stuff you found sounds perfect so please let us know what you think once it arrives and you get a chance to check it out.

Thanks for sharing all this great info!

Shoot, Sturgeon, I'm just gettin' started. Out of idle curiosity I checked some stats on line strength. Nothing scientific but it should be fairly accurate:

1.9mm mono---300 lbs
1.5mm kevlar---500
2.0mm kevlar---900
2.0mm spectraspeed-----600
2.4mm tuna line----300
2.1mm tuna line----200
1.5mm spectra (dyneema)---600
2.5mm spectra------1125
2.5mm plasma-------1400

Abrasion resistance is key and I think that is why tuna line has been so popular in the past. Also, mono is very slick. Both of these are fairly stiff with good memory and that says a lot. Picasso touts their 'Memo' (memory) line for that reason but I tend to believe that memory is a better characteristic for shooting line as opposed to reel line. I like a reel line which packs well and does not float above my head. I think that spectraspeed is approx neutral buoyant so that may be something to consider. It is definitely not advertised as a floating line, however.

Some numbers do not seem to jibe. I tried to confirm various claims with a few simple calcs and I can't seem to resolve the relatively low number for 2.5mm spectra, among other things. This is a work in progress. As you see, I located a new type of line, plasma. I'll make some inquiries.

This is my ref for plasma:
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i agree with the characteristics of the line, including the yellow colour and i'm very interested (and thankful) for further information about your order, peskydor
decided on one

All, I decided on dynema. It's more expensive, but since I'm not as knowledgable on the many types of lines yet, I decided to go for what I knew was very strong...I'm sure I won't experience any serious problems with it

Pesky, you said dynema was the european verion of spectra? How is it made, and with what material? Why have 2 versions of the same thing...just a marketing angle? Just curious.

Anyway, thanks for posting all this good info, it has been helpful for me, having never used a reel before...hell, I might spend all this money on it and not like it very much! Oh well, it will be interesting to experiment with it.

I used Dyneema before and on top of being very expensive it's pretty slick. The stuff I had comes from S. Africa and is white in a very tight braid. It's almost like it's waxed or something and it's pretty hard to control a big fish with. But the up-side is like you said, strong as hell with crazy abrasion resistance. I actually use it as wishbone line on my spearguns and I don't remember ever having one break yet. For now, depending on what Peskydor finds with the NZ stuff, I consider it one of the better options for reel lines. I doubt you'll have any problems with it. Although, my personal favorite is the Picasso stuff because it's got a nylon outer shell (proving good grip) with a spectra core. It's only downfall is a predetermined length (40 M, 132 feet). Unfortuneatly for me, I like a little more line than that and there's still a little room left on my OMER Pelagic reel for a little more line too.

sturgen, have you tried backing the reel like a fly fishing reel? On my fly reel (don't have one on the speargun) I have the fly line then 30lb dacron line to fill the cartridge. You could first spool your omer with something cheap like thick nylon and then tie it off to your picasso main line. This will give you extra line if you need it (probably won't), the abrasion resistance on the terminal end, A cheaper fill, and a lager 'inert' arbor-which means less cranks of that wee little handle to get all the line back in.

Someone out there must have multiple lines spooled on a reel. How's it work?
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