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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Line Review

A Stark Contrast in Fishing Line : Berkley's Iron Silk (continued)

Design & Ergonomics: This is where IronSilk will mess with your old school fishing mind. First, product is very good in terms of not having long term memory issues. Thanks to its soft and supple handling characters tics, memory issues even after weeks of non-use are minimal.

Given the line's milky green appearance, it's difficult to tell when it's newly spooled or been sitting on your reel for some time.

What is more difficult to wrap my mind around is, thanks to its milky green coloring, the line looks old and used out of the package. You know how with some lines, you can tell their old and should be replaced just by looking at them? IronSilk kind of looks that way from the moment you have it on your reel. Yet it seems to hold up just fine even if left on the spool for a month or two between uses.

Still trying to wrap my head around this opaque fishing line.

Naturally, because it is an opaque line, it will not fare well in our clarity rating, and while this may not be an issue with some applications, in clear water situations where the fish are finicky, I'd recommend using this line with a clear leader in the same manner you would with a braided line - again, not something you'd expect to do with a monofilament.

Of course, spotted bass don't care too much about line visibility.

Ironsilk fared relatively well with it's rating in our lab. The average breaking strength we measured was 12lbs for the 10lb test rated line. Given the line's measured diameter of 0.291mm in our lab, the strength of this line rates our very good for the given diameter.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Berkley Iron Silk

Memory (1-5)
Longevity (1-5)
Dia per Rated Strength (1-3)
Clarity (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Applications: Given Iron Silk's handling characteristics, my first thought for this line is finesse applications. Trouble is, in finesse situations, the line's visibility is an issue. Why not just tie a leader on the 6lb test in these situations? Well, because if I'm going to go through the trouble of using a leader, then I might as well just use braid and get better handling characters tics together with better sensitivity.


A bit closer look at Iron Silk in the lab.


In heavy cover situations, the line's performance in our lab with resistance to abrasion makes me question its viability in this application as well. Sure, it held up just fine pulling my S-Crank over a rocky bottom, but the crankbait offers a degree of protection you won't get when Texas rigging or jig fishing in the same situation or even in more dense cover. Not to say IronSilk can't be used here, I'd just be a little more wary of it's longevity here despite manufacturer's claims it's 3x more abrasion resistant than the competition.


My preferred application for this line is with moving baits.


Really, where I see this line doing very well is in moving bait situations - cranks, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, etc.. It has some stretch to it which really helps in these applications, and sometimes, line clarity is not an issue when used in this way.


Application Ratings for Berkley Iron Silk

Moving Baits (1-3)
Jig Style Baits (1-3)
Heavy Cover (1-3)
Topwater (1-3)
Finesse Fishing (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)



Berkley Iron Silk Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Pretty smooth and consistent off the spool 8.13
Performance Surprisingly well given the line's milky complexion 7.6
Price $9.99 for 300yds spool = $0.03/ which is less than the average of $0.04/yd of similarly categorized lines 8
Features Other than it's reinforced polymer construction, it's packaged in a no frills container 4.61
Design (Ergonomics) It'll mess with your old-school fishing mind, but it handles and holds up well 7.5
Application I think it's best application is with moving baits 6.67

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ Nice handling line - Tough to get past the fact the line is opaque
+ Cost is less than the average  
+ Actual strength to diameter is very good  


Conclusion: Admittedly, I had a tough time with this line initially. It's opaque, milky green character is just difficult to overcome. These concerns were only heightened by its performance in our lab and through our MCPI. It just did not perform well in the lab.


This healthy Clear Lake beast was pulled in safely over a rocky bottom thanks to Iron Silk.


Once I spooled it on a couple of different reels and actually fished the line, most of my concerns were alleviated. I'm still not convinced its as abrasion resistant as Berkley claims, but the easy handling character of this line is not to be denied. It's a fun line to cast. It's also surprisingly affordable for a line that has as much technology in its design as Berkley claims. Looking to change things up and challenge the way you've come to know your fishing lines? Give IronSilk a try and you just might be surprised.


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