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Line Review

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

Field Tests cont'd: I figured there was no way I was going to get this fish, but I reeled down and swept back anyway just in case. My rod arched, the line stopped, but I thought I had gotten caught up in the weeds. I kept the pressure on, again, just in case. Then I felt the pumping at the end of the line and I knew I had a hookup. Even though this line tested out as rather stretchy in the lab, I was still able to hook this fish at the end of a cast I thought was too far to obtain any kind of hooksetting leverage. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.


It's as if the Black Widow Co-Polymer was designed specifically to match this reel

The fish made its way through the weeds and into open water as I directed the boat in its direction with my trolling motor. When I got the fish alongside the boat and lipped her, I found my reward was a five pound largemouth bass, solidly hooked thanks to the Hi-Seas Co-Polymer line. That's what I really needed to sell me on this stuff and it worked.


Another look at that mystery stick used to test the 16lb test Black Widow Co-Polymer line

For sensitivity tests, I mounted the Zillion 100SHL onto an Okuma GS-C-7111MH and tied a one and a half ounce spoon to the end of the line to fish vertically for striped bass. The one thing wrong with this picture? Striped bass aren't exactly subtle in their pick up of baits. A couple of quick tugs and then WHAM! Not exactly a situation to critically assess the sensitivity of this line, but the Black Widow was certainly sufficient in this task. In general, I'd say this line is on par with monofilament.


Look, the tri-colored Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer matches up quite well with this "mystery" rod.


There are more points on the positive side for the Black Widow Co-Polymer in terms of memory. The line comes off the supply spool nice and easy with no jumps or hiccups and is equally manageable once it is spooled onto the smaller spool of your fishing reel. It does stay coiled to a certain degree when spooled on your reel and kept inactive for a time, but what line, other than braid, does not? One soft tug of the line to straighten it out and all is well. In this respect, again, it handles just like a good monofilament line. Though I did not try it, I'd have no reservations about using this line on spinning gear.


One last look at the Black Widow Co-Polymer spooled onto a Zillion 100SHL

Speaking of uses, because of its tri-colored nature, Hi-Seas's Black Widow line is probably best in stained water where the break up in color can act like a nice camouflage to disguise the line and make it more difficult for fish to see. Of course, if you, like I, feel fish rely on their lateral line more than their eyes to detect fishing line, it's kind of a moot point, but the tri-color scheme is an interesting feature. Otherwise, similar to a monofilament, the Black Widow line floats so it can be used for topwater baits as well as a variety of other applications. My preference for this line is with moving bait applications.


Ratings (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Hi-Seas Black Widow Co-Polymer Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Smooth and supple line 7
Performance On the water 8 : in the lab 5 7.5
Price Very good pricing 8
Features a properly rated, thin diameter line and available in bulk 7
Design (Ergonomics) Tri-color effect is interesting 7
Application Good general purpose line 6

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!

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Nice handling line L Not so good for clear water
J Bulk Spools Available L Poor knot strength
J Good for stained or off-colored water L Might be difficult to find until distribution picks up
J Properly rated  
J Thin Diameter


Here's the 5lb largemouth I spoke of in the body of the review. Not bad for a "you weren't supposed to be there" accidental catch!


Conclusion: Final thoughts on this product are a bit mixed. On the one hand I appreciate the thin diameter and enjoy how it handles and fishes with moving baits. On the other hand its knot strength is an area of concern and I find Hi-Seas's use of the term "I.G.F.A. True-Test Rated" a bit misleading. The end result is the same given the breaking strength of the line is properly represented, and that's what matters, but just the same, an explanation in their use of this term would be helpful. Otherwise, don't let our new, tougher rating scheme throw you off. With an average overall score of 7.1, this product rates as "good!", so if you're looking for a smooth casting, good handling, low memory line, the Hi-Seas Black Widow product is very worthy of a try. I know it's going to be staying on my Daiwa Zillion 100SHL for quite some time!









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