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Line Review

P-Line's Spectrex IV capitalizes on the qualities of Spectra to offer a durable, sensitive, and easy casting braid

Date: 8/12/04
Tackle type: Line
Manufacturer: P-Line
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.40

Introduction: Braided lines often polarize anglers, you either love them or you hate them. Most anglers that spurn braided lines have had bad experiences with casting, or damage caused to their rod components. The newest braided lines sport new weave processes and state of the art coatings which increase the rewards that come with utilizing braids, while drastically reducing the drawbacks. PLine Spectrex IV is an advanced Spectra Braid that is designed to be easier  to cast, exhibits virtually no stretch, is extra sensitive, and more durable.


PLine Spectrex IV Specifications

Line Type Spectra Braid
Color Moss Green
Line wt's available 10-200lb
Weight Tested 20lb
Comparable Diameter 6lb mono (.011in/.280mm)
Kg. Test 9Kg
Price $11.99 (150yds/50lb)


Impressions: Like many other braided lines Spectrex comes in Moss Green, a nice neutral color for most fresh and saltwater applications. The line looks like a tightly weaved rope, rather than a fused surface. Spectrex IV is a four carrier Spectra braid, meaning each of the 4 carriers of 60 strands is tightly braided into a single line boasting a total of 240 strands. Because Spectra is white, a color matrix is cross linked ensuring even coloration throughout the entire line. Finally P-Line applies a reinforcing resin to further increase tensile strength and give the line its water resistant capabilities. Spectrex is among the limpest braided lines I have ever handled, and isn't nearly as stiff as braids of the past.


Spectrex looked right at home on our test Calcutta 250, and 150yds of 20lb test fit easily on the spool thanks to its tiny .011 in diameter


Real World Tests: We have employed various types and brands of braided lines for bass fishing and deep sea bottom fishing, so for this test we decided to do something a little different. To test the durability and sensitivity of Spectrex we decided to do some Sturgeon Fishing in the San Pablo Bay, just east of the Golden Gate. Sturgeon is a waiting  game, and often entails leaving your sturgeon rig on the bottom for extended periods. In the past I have snagged up, or missed strikes completely as precautious sturgeon cautiously peel the ghost shrimp right off my rig. I hoped that the added sensitivity and hydrophobic properties of Spectrex would help give me an extra edge.


When fishing for bigger fish it is good to join mono to the braided main line with a extensive Albright knot with locks at each end


Casting & Retrieving: Some anglers claim greater casting distances with braided lines that possess slick new coatings, but in our tests the mono and copolymers out-casted Spectrex in every test. The reason being that no matter how we retrieved the line it still built up some occasional kinks that led to "pauses" in long distance casts. To P-Line's credit Spectrex is among the roundest braids we have tested. By using 4 "carriers" the line is very even and rotund.


In terms of retrieve the line was easy to reel in, but definitely a lot louder than mono. Spectrex is coated and did absolutely no harm to our GLoomis GL2 783C's guides, even when we deliberately weighed down the line to maximize friction. For our Sturgeon test I would cast the entire sturgeon rig with heavy weight to ensure that the rig would rest right on the bottom of the bay, even through heavy current and tide changes. Casting distance was respectable, and I was able to place the rig where I intended to on the vast majority of all casts.


While the newest Fuji guides are designed to handle superlines and braids your boat is not. Be very careful when reeling in any braided line, including Spectrex, because the line is hard and relatively sharp. So sharp that it is possible to scratch aluminum rails, saw through plastic bumpers, or cause mean cuts to unprotected skin. While Spectrex is weaved well, and is safer than competing braids, it is still a good idea to wear protective clothing and use gloves if you ever need to tug on the line to free snags.


With Spectrex I was able to detect lighter strikes, and muscle Sturgeon in when it came time to crank down


Sensitivity: While I had no doubt that this braided line would be able to detect strikes while vertically jigging the deep, it was certainly a worthy challenge to see if we could better distinguish Sturgeon nibbles, even in heavy current. Spectrex not only accepted that challenge, but proved that it excels in situations just like this. I was able to perceive even the slightest strikes, and because there is essentially no stretch in the main line I was able to make instant hooksets.

One weakness of using any braid is that you often don't want to tie on directly to your lure or bait, as you would with traditional mono. Because braids are so durable they are a pain to un-snag when they hang up on the bottom. For safety, and to reduce line visibility, I like to tie on some mono or fluorocarbon leader just in case. You can use a swivel but it's best to tie directly to the main line with an Albright knot and locks. Though this does reduce sensitivity a tad, you will barely notice it in most applications. What we did notice was that the slick coating did rub off at the knot point, and while it didn't effect the overall performance there are other braids that have a more resilient coating.


Spectrex braid can be used on a variety of species, and the benefits include more sensitivity, no stretch, and increased durability

Strength & Durability: When it comes time to muscle fish Spectrex has what it takes to get the job done. This braid may be small in diameter, but its packed with permanence. While many mono lines can become water logged if left underwater for extended periods Spectrex is so tightly wound and surface treated that it resists water exceptionally well. Even when we deliberately nicked the line with a blade, only some of the spectra fiber would sever and the line remained fishable.


Applications: While some of the novelty of braided lines has come and gone, advanced lines like Spectrex remain superb for specific applications. The reduced diameter of the line allows you to spool up just about any reel with enough line to fish multiple species. Bass anglers have found braided line to be excellent for flipping and pitching frogs due to the ability to instantly react and muscle fish out of the weeds. Spectrex is a brilliant line for rockfishing, and after feeling everything a hundred feet down with virtually no stretch in the line, traditional mono feels sloppy and elastic in comparison. In our tests fishing for Sturgeon at the bottom of the bay we enjoyed the extra sensitivity Spectrex offered, as well as the ability to easily free snagged rigs. We caught a number of green sturgeon during our field test, and hooked into a higher quantity of fish simply by distinguishing more strikes than we would have identified had we been running straight mono.


PLine Spectrex IV Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Constructed out of premium Spectra Fibers, Spectrex is well constructed and proved to be both durable and extremely sensitive 9
Performance Spectrex performed well in all tests. Casting was not as good as mono but just as good as other braids. No damage was done to our guides but the line can cut into other surfaces, like boat rails. The coating rubs off a bit during the knot tying process, and while knots were easy enough to tie we found Power Pro was still easier to secure when tying big knots like the Albright 8
Price A pretty decent price for a Spectra fiber braided line, and is exactly in line with the competition. Braided will cost more than mono, but lasts a lot longer too 8
Features Not Applicable N/A
Design (Ergonomics) Great design that is easy to use and long lasting. Just watch out for those fingers when reeling in fast and when there is tension on the line 8
Application A good choice when you need a lot of line (since you can fit more on smaller spools), more sensitivity, low stretch for deepwater applications, and want a durable long lasting line 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Strong L Coating can rub off
J Durable L Can cut hands or rails
J Multiple applications L A lot more expensive than mono
J Very sensitive  
J Fine diameter  
J Will not damage guides  

Conclusion: Anglers that haven't tried fishing braided lines for specific applications should definitely give it a try, and Spectrex is a good brand to check out. While older braids are stiff and difficult to cast, Spectrex is limp and offers straightforward casting much like mono. Virtually no stretch and high durability make it a great choice for deep vertical jigging. Extreme sensitivity make it a good selection for situations like sturgeon fishing when you need the ability to feel the lightest strikes, and the raw power to pull in big fish. The evolution of braided lines has come a long way and P-Line's latest advancement, Spectrex IV, proves to be a quality contender.










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