Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nanofil Product Review: Update to the Update

Now that I've had adequate time to test this line, I've got some positive and negative experiences when using it.  But, for the most part, I think it's still the best superline out there for what it's designed for as long as you understand it's limitations.  It's not for power fishing, rather, it's designed for spinning applications, and Berkley states just that on the package. 

Here's a bass landed on Nanofil.  The eight pound test worked just fine even around thick cover to land bass like this one.  The line has everything that I like about superlines, yet has better castability than any line that I've ever used, making this my top choice for fishing finesse plastic worms on light line using light weight.
First, I'll get the negative out of the way, because it's things like this that will make or break your decision to buy the line or not.  Then, after that, I'll point out the positives.  And in my opinion, the positives outweight the negatives, making this my top choice to fish with for now for the purpose that I bought it for, spinning tackle light line finesse plastics fishing for bass.

The Negatives:
From what I've observed, the marked breaking strength of Nanofil is marked accurately, so don't think that by purchasing the really thin diameter stuff that it's going to be as strong braid for the same diameter.  That isn't the fault of Berkley by any means, rather, this negative was due to my preconceived opinion about how this line would perform.  I purchased the six pound test, two pound diameter version of this line, thinking mostly about maximizing casting distance and still having the strength of the braided line that I had been using.  Well, that wasn't the case, because on the second trip using it, I had a few break offs on the hook set.  As I've said before, this does happen with other super lines, but it seemed to happen more often than with other superlines.  I also mentioned earlier that I planned to upgrade my line situation.

As long as you check your line and re-tie often, you can pull bass like these out of the slop with Nanofil.
Next, the line will fray with use.  As long as you realize that, and clip a foot or two off every now and then, and make sure that if you're fishing heavy cover, rocks, etc. that you re-tie often, you should be OK.  Even knowing this, it's stronger than mono or fluorocarbon lines of the same diameter, and given the same issues with those lines, most anglers that I know re-tie, so what's the difference?

While fishing gin clear water on this particular day, the fish didn't seem to mind the visibility of Nanofil.
And the only other thing that I can think of is that it is very visible, although I have yet to notice it as a problem when using it simply because I'm still catching fish.  In other words, the fish don't care, so maybe the actual problem isn't a fishing issue, but rather a personal confidence issue.  I'm sure that there will be times when fishing gin clear water, that someone fishing fluorocarbon leader or line will get more bites than someone using Nanofil, but I'd guess that those times won't be frequent, and I have yet to experience that.

Another drawback is cost, but really it's not that much more expensive than other superlines.  And, since it's more durable than fluorocarbon or mono, you could argue that the longevity makes use of this line more cost effective than the others.  That said, Nanofil isn't as durable as other braids, so you have to trim a foot or two off your spool every now and then.

Chain pickerel like this one can cut through Nanofil with their sharp teeth, but they also cut through every other line as well.  As with any light line, to avoid this use larger lures or steel leader to prevent this from happening.  To give you an idea, I had a chain pickerel on this same day swallow a chatterbait whole, and cut through 17 pound Gamma line like it was butter too.  So, no matter what line you use, it's something to think about when targeting toothy critters.
Finally, as with any of the other superlines, toothy critters cut through it like butter.  But what lines can withstand that anyway?  Not many.  If that's an issue, keep using steel leaders.

The Positives: 
First, I seem to have solved the problem with breakoffs on the hook set in two ways.  I went to the next heaviest diameter/strength recently, using the eight pound test, and have yet to have a break off on the hookset.  Part of that may be due to self training to remember not to set the hook too hard, but mostly I think that the thicker diameter line is making the difference so far.

As stated in my other reviews, the line has no stretch, taking less effort to drive the hook home when setting the hook.  And, the line is much more sensitive or at the least the same as other braids and superlines.  As I said earlier in this post, it's still stronger than monofilament or fluorocarbon as long as it hasn't shown much wear (fraying), but not quite as strong as braid or fused lines like Fireline. 

And, even using the thicker diameter, the eight pound test casts further and with less friction than any other line that I've used to date.  I also noticed something weird, but can't say it's a negative, but when you cast a long distance with this line, it seems to float in the air after the lure hits the waters surface.  Now, it doesn't seem to be a problem even when the fish hit instantly (as the lure hits the water) because the line doesn't stretch and is very sensitve.  In other words, this hasn't caused me to lose any fish that I know of.  It's just an observation, kind of a weird feeling.

Another nice thing about Nanofil is that the line has no memory at all.  It doesn't kink up, and conforms to any spool without jumping off of the spool.  The first time that I used it, I actually overfilled the spool and worried about the consequences of that, but to my pleasant surprise, I fished all day without one line twist or tangle.  In fact, it may have contributed to even longer casts.  Since then, I've reduced the amount of backing to get the spool level to where I feel more comfortable.  Another good thing about this is, that if you ever feel that the "end" of the line that you're using is worn out, reel it off the spool onto another reel empty spool so that the end that was buried is now out front, the business end so to speak, on your reel.  This is a trick that many anglers use on all their superlines, and with Nanofil, this tip works equally well.

In summary, I think that the positives outweight the negatives, and even some of the negatives may happen using other lines anyway.  And, using it for what it was designed to do, I've found that this line meets my needs nicely, so I'm going to stick to using it.  I hope that my reviews will help you decide what's best for you.  I tried to be as objective as possible, and lay it all out there, so that you can make an informed decision.  If I had to advise you on anything regarding your decision, don't go too light thinking that this line is as strong as the braid that you've been using.  I'm using the same pound test as I do when using fluorocarbon.  You can use that as a guide, but since this stuff is so thin, you might even want to go a bit higher than you would with other lines.

To get the complete chronological story of my Nanofil product reviews that led up to this one, you can read my previous posts linked below.  I was reviewing as I learned about the line, so it starts out all positive (like it's the greatest thing since slice bread) to a more realistic opinion of the line.



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