This is a warning for all of us whom may have fallen for the "Super Strong" leader material hype.

I had occasion to test some knots and decided to use the “Super Strong” material. What a surprise! I couldn't believe what happened, but after testing sixteen spools of the stuff (0X to 7X twice) there could be no doubt.

Tested dry, the break strength was 17% below Label rating. When soaked (wet) it broke 30% below rating. Add one of the common knots used to attach a fly and it broke at 50% to 60% of the rating, when wet . Think of it!, relative to the rating, this is like fishing with a wind knot on the leader all of the time - need I explain what happens if there is a wind knot?

I won't bore you with all of the frustrating experiences I have had with this material, and all of the "good fish" that were lost. because I believed the label and used tippets to small for the size of the fish (I thought it was my heavy handedness that was responsible).

Regardless of the brand, tippet spool labels tend to over state the strength of the material. Based upon a statement I received from a representative of one of the manufacturers of leader material I learned that, since the manufacturing tolerance for tippet material was 0.0005”, they used the break strength of the material when it was 0.0005” greater than the specified size for the Label spec. - because that was within the allowed tolerance (yeah! think what this means when the material is under size).

I tested material based upon this criteria and found that the break strength was, in most cases, still over stated.

The only way to make valid comparisons is to obtain the tensile strength and elongation factor of the materials.

The greater the % of elongation required to reach the break strength of the material, the higher the energy required to break the leader. So, a soft stretchy tippet will absorb more shock than stiff tippet even if the break strengths are the same [(break strength) = (tensile strength) X (cross sectional area)].

The bottom line: DON’T BELIEVE THE LABELS!

For test procedures and results of testing eight brands:  LEADER TESTING

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