Wire line

It’s a pity so many sea anglers were deterred from using wire by early rumours of rust and breakage. Wire line has long since evolved into a faultlessly efficient aid to deepwater fishing.

The relatively recent introduction of wire line for boat fishing has been the most important sea angling innovation of the century. It was first introduced to this country from America a little over 10 years ago, and Leslie Moncrieff, the great sea angler, was one of the first fishermen over here to use and popularize it. It was first developed in the United States to allow big-game anglers to troll baits without the encumbrance of a heavy lead, and while it is still used over there for that purpose, it is now also used extensively in conjunction with lead or a down-rigger for slow trolling at depths of up to 100ft for salmon and lake trout.

It was quickly realized by sea anglers in this country that here was the answer to bottom fishing in strong tides or deep water. In fact it exceeded all expectations once the correct techniques for using it had been perfected, and some incredible bags of fish were taken by boat fishermen where other anglers using more conventional lines had very indifferent results.

Acceptance only a matter of time

So far, fishing with wire line has still to be accepted by the average sea angler, although it is surely only a matter of time before this happens. Fishing with wire requires completely different techniques and equipment, but it is not difficult to learn. With a little practice, the average angler can become proficient in its use in a comparatively short time. Unfortunately, in the early days it received a bad reputation as many anglers, using it as just another fishing line, had poor results.

The original wire also was a single strand construction from Monel metal and considerable developments and improvements have been made since that was first marketed. While the single-strand wire was very hard wearing and less prone to kinking, it was much thicker than more recent lines and rather unpleasant to use. It was followed by a single strand, stainless line which was beautiful to use but very prone to kinking, which once formed, was all but impossible to remove.

In efforts to overcome this pro-blem, a very flexible seven-strand wire was evolved, and while this format succeeded to some extent, the multiple stranding produced a further problem. With constant use some of the strands were liable to fracture, and where this happened badly lacerated fingers were often the result. Apart from this, it was found in practice that salt water badly affected stainless wire over a period of time and its strength rapidly deteriorated.

The latest wire to appear on the market has a chrome base; it is very soft, pleasant to use, resistant to kinking and completely unaffected by salt water, so it overcomes most of the problems which gave wire lines a poor reputation. The name of this new line is ‘Tidebeater’ (sup-plied by Efgeeco), and it is the only wire line now being made and cur-


Used correctly, wire line can open up a new world to the sea angler. To hold bottom, you require a fraction of the lead compared with conventional monofilament or braided lines of Dacron or Terylene. In very strong tides, for example, and fairly deep water where you would require at least 2lb of lead on a monofilament line to hold bottom, you can achieve the same result using wire with less than Vfelb. This means you are in closer touch with the fish at all times, and it is far more sporting, as, after all, the average-size sea fish of 6-7lb can hardly give of its best when it is towing a large, heavy lead.