gel spun vs. braid

So, i'm slowly assembling a multi purpose 11 wt. set up, 2 rods, 1 reel, 3 spools.

while i have the mainlines selected, i'm looking hard for heavier gel spun backing. like in the 80 lb range, and coming up pretty much empty. my next choice would be a 'super braid" in the same weight class, which i can get pretty much anywheres and for about 1/3rd the price per foot.

pro and con input welcome as well as posible links to retailers i may have missed for the gel spun.

thankx in advance


Fishin' to the end, Oc.P
Why 80? For the diameter? Why not 50 or 65? Are you talking super braid as in dacron or spectra/dyneema/gel spun?
Dacron is out. ok for fresh water but maybe not so much for salt. plus, can't find it in big enough line strengths.

I'm talking Dyneema/Spectra aka Gel Spun, vs something like Power Pro [brand is only an example]. Breaking strengths are similar but i think there is a diameter difference between what we know as common braided line and the "Gel Spun", with the common braid being slightly larger, giving Dyneema/ Spectra a slight distance edge on the spool.

this line combination is going to be the high end /hvyweight of the trio. I'll be using to go after fish that tend to be considered bigger game but smaller than Billfish though Tarpon wont be out of this set ups range. I just do not see 50lb being able to handle the torque loads .

so, after searching online and the threads here, and not finding much at all regarding the differences, i'm asking for help from mebership who may have been there done that.

Your post don't make much sence....If you going after "big game" then use a big game rod, Not an 11 wt., Fisherman have been using 30 dacron for Tarpon before either one of us was born. Why in the hell somebody needs 80 pound backing is way beyond me in less its just a filler on a large spool. Most fly lines break at 30 pounds, and most "big game" fisherman use 20 pound breakers in there leader system....again Why 80 pound backing? you have a rod made from some special material? Maybe a 100 pound leader? all this for something smaller then a Sailfish? Perhaps you need to in fact go catch these species, then come back and rethink what your asking for? Good luck on your endeavor.

PS... I have caught just about all the so called trophy fish that swim in the sea, I only recently went to 50 Power pro, and never yard on my fish till my fly line is back on the rod, I guess I am strange.

Carl Blackledge
Screw it. last time i ask for help in open forum..... came here to learn not get my ass jumped on every friggin time i post a comment or question.

you can have the site, all tucked up in your smug self made worlds, i'm outta here.


Fishin' to the end, Oc.P
Wr....Hope you did not think I was jumping your ass. Here is my input, the powerpro will work just fine. On my marlin rod (13wt) I use 50# cortland spectra or 65 lb powerpro, depending on what reel I grab. The powerpro is a smaller diameter, so i used a larger diameter to help fill the spool faster, hence 65#. Normally 50# on all other reels. When reefing on a fish, I can't break either. If you are trying to drag pargo out of the rocks with the panga, maybe heavier. I doubt an 11 wt rod would hold up to that.

This link might help you.

Also search the archives on this link has other tests etc on superbraids



Active Member
i pulled 300 yards of 30# dacron off of one of my tarpon reels and replaced that with 500 yards of 50# tufline XP. you gain a bunch of backing for the same spool size thats for certain, but be careful if you hook up with a trophy. you need to remember to backoff the drag as all of that backing zings through the guides. the difference in 'direct feel' with the fish is impressive and i have replaced all of the dacron backing with tufline XP.


Banned or Parked
[WR];634512 said:
I'll be using to go after fish that tend to be considered bigger game but smaller than Billfish though Tarpon wont be out of this set ups range. I just do not see 50lb being able to handle the torque loads .
What exactly does that mean? I fish big game regularly and I've never felt the need for backing stronger than 50# even on my 16 weight when I'm going after billfish or several hundred pound sharks. If you've ever tried to intentionally break something off on a 30# leader, you'll know what I'm talking about. Besides, the advantage of gel-spun is that you get more backing capacity, not extra strength. Backing is there to keep you connected to the fish until the fly line is back on the reel, then you start putting heat on it.
I'm loading Tuf-Line XP on my big reels. It's 65 lb. though I know I won't need that and round which should keep it from digging into the line below. I had 30 lb. Dacron on my reel two years ago when I boated an 80 lb. Sailfish. I never worried about the backing. I was more worried about the 25 lb. leader section I put in to break on an extremely large fish.
Anyone know what the breaking strength is of the flyliine itself in these sizes? I just took a look at a 12 wt clouser line, and it isn't stated. I'd be surprised if it's 85 pounds though.
How about abrasion? Is there a different wear factor using gel spun or stuff like Tuff Line? Seems like the wrong material could generate a heck of a grove in the guides.
As far as I've read and heard, Gel Spun can possibly put a groove in the guides, or the guides inside ring (whatever that material is made from...). I've never had an issue with it, but then again, I've never caught anything too big. I used Gel Spun because I found it to be more abrasion resistant compared to dacron, and also noticed it can be a bit sharp on the fingers, so if you do hook up big, just let it run free and don't try to use your fingers or else you can end up with a nice cut like I did, which is no fun getting salt water in.
My two cents.

I use 30 or 50lb gel spun on my reels, but you guys are right in using the similar line ratings to the breaking strength of the fly line which in most cases is around 30 with a few exceptions.
The breaking strength is tensel strength not stretching strength. The stretch strength should be considerably higher, I would imagine and depend on the conditions of weight and temperature as well as age, abrasions, etc. It's all theoretical.

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