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Line Review

A Tri-Colored Web of Line : Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer

Date: 2/10/08
Tackle type: Fishing Lines
Manufacturer: Hi-Seas
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.1 - GOOD


Introduction: When news of our Fluorocarbon Showdown articles broke, we were flooded with inquiries from fishing line manufacturers wanting in on the frey. One of these companies, Hi-Seas, not only sent us samples of their Fluorocarbon lines, but several spools of other products as well. Today, we look at their tri-colored product, the Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer.

Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer Specifications

Line Type Copolymer
Colors Available Tri-Color (Black, Red, Gray)
Colors Tested Tri-Color
Line Weights 3lb - 60lb Test
Line Weights Tested 16lb & 20lb
Origin Portugal
MSRP $12.09 (16lb/300yds) : $15.09 (20lb/300yds)

Introducing Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer


Impressions: Hi-Seas has been producing quality fishing line for a little over 25 years. Interestingly enough, though they've been around for quite some time, they've yet to gain the national recognition from which some of the giants of the industry benefit. That might be about to change. It's no mistake that we bypassed the other products Hi-Seas sent us and immediately spooled up the Black Widow line. Out of the package, this stuff is as supple and smooth as they come. In addition, this line is thin with the 16 pound test rated by the manufacturer and tested by us at only 0.33mm, only 0.01mm thicker than Berkley Trilene's 12lb test line. A point of clarification though with the "I.G.F.A. True-Test Rated" label on their packaging. This line is not I.G.F.A certified, but the label is Hi-Seas's way of telling us the line was developed to match I.G.F.A. line classes and that the product will not exceed published breaking strengths.


A close-up of the line on a 300 yard filler spool


Lab Tests: Of course, what better way to test these claims than to subject our spool of Hi-Seas Black Widow to the TT lab? We pulled out the 16 pound test product rated at a diameter of 0.33mm and put it through the paces with our tests on tensile strength, resistance to abrasion, stretch/deformity and knot strength. We continue to use data gathered on Berkley Trilene's 12 pound test line (0.32mm diameter) as our baseline for comparison.


Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer Lab Tests (16lb - 0.33mm)

Tensile (lbs)


Material Strength (psi)
Abrasion Resistance vs. Berkley Trilene (0.32mm)
Stretch / Deformity (+2hr soak)
16.2 / 14.3
21% Lower
16.3% / 2.2%

What we found was that the Hi-Seas Black Widow line does consistently test very close to it's rated breaking strength when dry averaging out at 16.2 pounds - 0.2 pounds over its rated strength on our scale which is not I.G.F.A. certified. The line does lose some strength when wet. Abrasion resistance for this line was worse than Berkley Trilene when dry, but actually, evened out when both lines were soaked for over 3 hours in room temperature water. As supple as this line is, it does demonstrate a good amount of stretch as well.

Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer Knot Tests (16lb - 0.33mm)

San Diego Jam
Improved Clinch
Avg Knot Strength
Knot would not hold
Values expressed as percentage of TESTED WET tensile strength

An area of true disappointment with this line was in knot strength. We tested the line wet, not dry, and could only get four of our five knots to hold with this line. The product is so slick, we simply could not get it to hold with an improved clinch knot. It would literally slide free no matter how many turns we made in the line. Of the four knots that did hold, the best performance came with the Polamar holding at 78.2% of the line's tested tensile strength when wet (i.e. the knot broke, on average, at 11.2 pounds of pressure).

Hi-Seas Black Widow line is available in 300 yard filler spools and bulk spools in 1/4lb, 1lb, & 2lb sizes. The 60kg test line is available in a 5# spool!


Field Tests: Despite less than stellar results in the lab, I spooled this line up on a couple of reels. The 20lb test went on a Daiwa Zillion 100SHL matching perfectly with the reel's red highlights, and the 16lb, I spooled onto a Zillion Crazy Cranker 100PL, and a Daiwa TD Sol specifically to match up with rod we had in for review.


100 yards of 20lb Hi-Seas Black Widow Copolymer on a Daiwa Zillion 100SHL

The primary question in my mind, with any soft, supple, stretchy line is how this characteristic is going to play out on the water on a long cast meaning will I be able to set hook should a fish strike at the terminus of my cast. I found that out on about my fourth trip out with this line when I made one of those casts where the first thought in my mind was, "what am I doing?"


Strung through the guides of an Okuma Guide Select Swimbait Rod


My setup was the Zillion Crazy Cranker 100PL spooled with about 110 yards of 16 pound Black Widow mounted on a custom built, medium heavy, 6'-10", Shikari SHX rod. In other words, a relatively short, precision casting setup rather than one built for distant casts and hooksets. I was fishing one of the new, Kevkel Spinnerbaits and really just wanted to see how it felt coming through the water on a good cast. Well, my cast went further than I expected and the bait landed in the water, just over a big patch of weeds. I completed one, maybe two cranks on the reel when I felt a very faint thump, pretty much at the "what if" point in that continuing conversation with myself.


Working the 16lb test with a jerkbait on a mystery stick

Next Section: the test continues









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