Dacron or Spectra ??? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 12-05-2008, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Dacron or Spectra ???

Does anyone have any advice on what to use for backing on 50 class reels for tuna and trolling?
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

I only use spectra. Its thinner and doesn't rot or mildue like dacron. Its also a lot stronger per rating. Most dacron lines are IGFA rated lines meaning they are not going to overtest for those pursuing line class records. If it says 50lb. it will break at around 48lbs. or so. With spectra, as long as you're using knots or splices that are generally regarded as 100% connections, these lines will break at least 20% or higher above the rated strength. My top recommendations for backing would be:<UL><LI>Berkley big game hollow core or jerry brown line one. Both are hollow cored lines which enables easier and stronger splices. They do however carry a heavier price per yard</LI><LI>Power pro or Tuff line XP. These are IMHO the best all around spectra lines on the market and are carried my most tackle shops and online services.</LI>[/list]
Whichever you go with, your connection will be the most critical part. Most shops that deal hollow core braid have at least 1 or more rigging specialists who can splice them for you. If you order it online, you'll either have to splice it yourself or take it to a shop that will do it for a nominal fee (usually around 5-10 bucks or so). With the regular spectra braids there are several different connections to use but only a few thatI would use and trust me I've used them all. My favorite and what I feel is the strongest is to start out with an australian plaitt or bimini twist in the backing. You then take your mono and go through the double line of the above knot. Wrap it 7-10 times around both strands of the double line and then run back through where you enter. With a slow pull draw the knot down and your finished. I don't know if you needed all this info but what the hell
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

I've used both and prefer Dacron. Dacron must be cleaned periodically if you get it in the water, but I usually use 200 yds of mono as topshot so it takes a real fish to get the dacron wet. I've used the Jerry Brown HC and have it on a couple reels now. It's great, but its too freaking expensive. I don't recall exactly, but a couple years back I sent 2 Accurate 50 wides to get spooled with JB 1 or whatever it was without paying attn to the price and it was somewhere near $1000 for the line. Other spectra lines have had problems breaking and they're not abrasion resistant at all.



Dacron is cheaper and tests at rated strength which is important for those of us fishing tournaments or for club points.

Dacron is friendlier on the hands and will not cut your arm off if you manage to get looped in it like spectra.

Dacron lasts for years if properly maintained.

Compared to traditional spectra lines, Dacron is easier to pack on a reel and doesn't dig or clump like spectra

Dacron doesn't get fuzzy looking and lose its wax after use which bothers me about spectra.



Also, this is one of the biggest things that confuse me about people wanting more line on a 50. Why? A Penn VSW50 holds around 1000 yds of 50# mono. 50# mono will break when pulled behind a boat with no lure or weight when you let out over 350 or so yards. It is not reasonably possible to fight a fish much further from the boat than that so why? With Spectra, you could put 2000 yds on a reel, but I just don't see the point and would beat my driver and crew to death with a bent butt if we let a fish get that far away. I know we're clearing 6 lines, 4 teasers and clipping in well before any fish is more than 500yds away and if she's a big girl and running away, we're chasing her backwards or forwards and boats go faster than fish. Frankly, I think putting that much line on a reel is only good for the line sellers.



Anyway, Dacron and Spectra don't break under the drag of their own weight like mono, and since they don't stretch which includes shrinking and then expanding when under and releasing pressure, you don't have the worry of blowing the sides off a reel after you've packed on 400 yds of mono at max drag.



jmho.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:42 AM   #4
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

Thats a great breakdown xanadu showing why some like it and some don't. Its always going to come down to a matter of opinion. I do like dacron for some purposes but for most I like spectra.

One of your questionsI will answer regarding why you would want more "capacity" with the braid backing. Its not so you can put more 50lb. on a 50W, its so you can put the same amount of 80-130on a 50W. A question I get alot from my customers who understand the principles of drag pressure andthe pressure limits reels have is theres no sense in putting 100# braid on a reel that can only dish out 15#'s of drag. Because of the great strength of spectra and the added advantages but extreme harshness it has on reels, many manufacturers now have all of these "braid capable" reels. One of the most popular examples is the Shimano Tiagra <U>LRS</U>. The LRS stands for Long Range Special. It was originally designed for the west coast long range crowd using lighter gear but needed to use heavier line on big yellowfin from anchored or drift boats. The 50W already had a drag capable of producing the right pressure for the heavier braid but the drag curve was not optimal for giving a wide enough selection of drag pressure. By making the drag curve steeper, the angler could now have a wider drag range and enough drag to efficiently use up to 130# line. A shit-ton of reels now have this form of drag system to accomodate all the braid nuts like me. I fish 60-80 on my 30W's and get around 900 yards on them beacuse of the spectra backing. I fish 80-130 on my 50's w/ the same range of capacity.

Xanadu, I'm sureyou already know everything I just said I was more trying to explain to the original post so he can choose whats right for him. If you're gonna fish heavy line for big fish and want to use lighter tackle go with spectra but for all around trolling you might be better off using dacron or just all mono.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

You are absolutely correct and it does come down to preference. I guess it must have been about 10 years ago that I had all 30s and bought a couple 50s. Wanting to fish bigger line on the small reels, I tried putting 50# mono on 30s and 80 on 50s. At some point when the AVETs came out, I bought a set of exw4/0 reels thinking I'd be able to load them with braid and fish them stand-up like 80s - which you can. They just don't work as well trolling and, quite frankly, I had some trouble with them and dislike several of their former features like the auto-clicker disengage and the steepness of the drag curve. The WLRS has a wider range that makes it a sort of convertible in that its suitable for dead-boat chunking or trolling. That said, I HATE the idea that Shimano puts that stupid ass hydrothermal drag thingamajig in there, but that's another story.



I will say that the Shimano WLRS 50s and 80s are great reels. I would also say that the new A series is better, but we have killed a couple of them over the past couple of years. Fishing the 50s as 80s resulted in a couple of them coming apart with fish on and drag plate screws backing out and other issues. I think trolling the 50s as 80s puts more stress on them than they can handle over extended periods which is not an issue when chunk fishing. The only pressure on the reel is during battle and not when clearing lines at 8 knots or under constant pressure.



Anyway, they say there are different horses for different courses. For my application and at this time, I prefer dacron. If I were made of money, I would go to JB hollow, but I can't afford 10k to load all our reels with it in appropriate line classes.



One warning about Dacron that I do want to share is that if you get it wet and salty, it will hold salty moisture right up against the somewhat delicate anodizing on the spool and it will eat the crap out of it if you don't clean and dry and regularly clean the reels. I haven't noticed the same problem with spectra.



And. popper, I hope this discussion helps the guys reading it make up their minds what they're doing. I surely wasn't trying to discredit your opinion only to contribute to the knowledge you shared. Good stuff.
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

I didn't thinkyou wereat all. He asked what to use and he got what he probably expected, apples and oranges.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:05 PM   #7
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

Thanks guys. That information is very helpful.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:13 PM   #8
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

I know this is an old topic, but I just noticed it and would like to add my two cents. To answer the original question, I would ask whether the intention is "fun" fishing, or tournament fishing. In other words, are you wanting to stay within a certain line class for purposes of points, etc.? If you are wanting to stay within a line class for points, then I agree with Xanadu...why use any backing at all, since any 50W holds plenty of monofilament for fighting a fish?

However, since it has become popular to troll OR chunk/live bait/kite fish with the same reel, Spectra has become popular since you can boost your line size and capacity. Braid backing became popular on the long range boats on the west coast, mainly because there exists a shot at a 300 pound yellowfin at any given time, and they are fishing from a still boat. Lots of guys use 100 and 130 pound mono on 50's out there, so line capacity is an issue. The braid resolved the problem of fishing heavy line without being able to chase a fish.

Braid backing is ideal for 30's and 50's for this reason, but, as I think Xanadu referenced, I see absolutely no reason touse it on an 80W or larger reel. 80 lb. and 100 lb. are plenty big enough to catch a big fish in the Gulf, and even with 100 lb., you still get a little over 700 yards going with straight mono. Furthermore, if you're playing within the rules ofa tournament, then you are having to use 130 lb. braid or less as backing, and you will have a couple thousand yards of line on the reel, for no reason.

Dacron is good for backing on trolling reels 80-class and up, for many of the reasons already stated. This system is preferred especially by travelling crews who fish a lot of days. When crews go to remote locations where line machines are scarce, and they are roughing up their mono on a daily basis, it is a ton easier to just change out the top 200 yards or so every few days during a hot bite. And Dacron is similar in size to mono pound-test to pound-test, and rated accurately so you won't get into trouble with tournaments or world-record considerations.

All that said, my favorite system to sell a local customer who tells me he wants to go tuna-fishing is a 30W loaded with about 550 yards of 100 lb. Jerry Brown braid, and top shotted with about 150 yards of 60 or 80 lb. monofilament. This gives them plenty of line, some good strong mono on top to fight a big tuna, and the option to troll if they want to. The Shimano Tiagra 30WLRS has plenty of drag to accommodate this system, and it is a light reel to boot.

I know, too much information, but as Chris said, what the hell...
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:49 AM   #9
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Default RE: Dacron or Spectra ???

Thanks Bryan!
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