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1000 ft. of 30 lb test 7 strand Accustrand, Malin or Mason is good for starters for each reel if you are talking fresh water for salmon and trout. There is also new 19 strand wire that you may wish to consider as well. For rods - either roller tips or twilli tips are wise choices and length is basically a personal preference issue but it should have some backbone to it . For reels it will largely depend on what you can afford but you need to make sure they have a good drag system or upgrade them with the carbon fiber drags and they need to have enough capacity to hold the 1,000 ft of wire. Line counters are very desirable too and the level wind guide mechanism should be made of a "hardened" material or have a hardened insert to avoid excessive wear on it or the wire line over time. A loud clicker is also helpful in being able to hear them above engine noise etc. You might even want to start with just one rig and see if that particular setup works the way you desire before buying a second one and go from there. You will find a lot of die hard Okuma, Shimano and Daiwa folks (myself among them) here but I would suggest that you go to a tackle shop (some of them advertise on here) that stocks a few different models and brands and try to get a "feel" for them and listen to the clickers, check the weight of them against your preference and intended rod etc. A lot of folks sell rods and reels here and on Ebay, Craigs List etc. that just ordered on line or went out and bought stuff they ended up disliking for a variety of reasons. Some places have combos already set up with wire so that you can try them for drag smoothness, clicker noise and general operation. Sometimes there may be trade-offs for example such as the Saltist issue of direct drive line counter which is accurate and functional but some folks object to it's placement at the side of the reel as being uncomfortable....you wouldn't know that from ordering it online or getting an opinion from someone who is in love with the reel and doesn't see it as a significant problem.

Edited by Sk8man
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I tried 7 strand wire for the first time last week and what a mess. I'm definitely doing something wrong because three 1000' spools went in the trash bucket this past week. The wire kept forming loops in it that would get caught under the wraps on the spool and kink up on me. I spooled the wire with my wife's help and thought I put it on right, but I did something wrong I guess to cause the wire to kink up like that. Everyone I talked to told me to have the reels spooled at the bait shops by a machine and I'm going that route now...ain't giving up! Here's what I think i did wrong. I threaded the wire through the guide closest to the reel and then on to the reel. I think because the wire is braided, the rod guide caused it to twist as I was winding it on to the reel causing the kinks or loops to form, but that's just a guess. This wouldn't happen with a machine. In any case, the first time we put the dipsy out, it wasn't out 10 mins when it fired. My son brought a smaller 15 lb king (guessing) to the boat where I caught the spin doctor in the net and costing my son his first salmon. Boy, was he mad at me!

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You have to spool the wire on real tight,  and keep it tight ,  You don't want any slack in it even when its setting in the boat.  Thats when the loops form and the kinks appear.

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Wire has a lot of "spool memory" and it helps to put on some mono (not braid) backing (even if just a hundred ft or so on the spool before putting on the wire so that it nests itself more evenly. My hunch is that a possible factor in your situation may have been the location of your level wind when you started to put the wire on. If it was off to the side rather than straight on it may have caused the wire to be on a diagonal as it was wound on the spool and that often leads to the messes you described. Just an attempt at "arm chair analysis" but possible. As Dave mentioned tension is constantly required when using wire (which also leads to spool memory but there is no escaping it). I usually loosen the drags on my reels when not in use but with the wire rigs I don't for that reason.

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I tried 7 strand wire for the first time last week and what a mess. I'm definitely doing something wrong because three 1000' spools went in the trash bucket this past week. The wire kept forming loops in it that would get caught under the wraps on the spool and kink up on me. I spooled the wire with my wife's help and thought I put it on right, but I did something wrong I guess to cause the wire to kink up like that. Everyone I talked to told me to have the reels spooled at the bait shops by a machine and I'm going that route now...ain't giving up!

When I read your post two things came to mind. First, when you fill a trolling reel with any line, place something round through the center of the spool to act as an axle and make sure line comes off the top of the spool as it rotates. If you are filling the reel indoors, mount it in the back half of a rod, if outdoors you can put it on either the back half or a whole rod. Run the wire through your guides and levelwind and spool it on.

Now, for the part I think you missed. The problem you are experiencing happens because you let out, for example, 200 ft of wire then you catch a fish and the 200 ft of wire gets reeled back on under a lot more tension than you originally put it on. The tight wire slips between the looser spooled wire beneath it and you end up with the mess you described.

With wire, it's important to let out all the wire out on the water and reel it all back in under heavy tension. This will prevent the loops of wire from forming on your reel. Get yourself a 1lb drop weight sinker and the next time you go to the lake, head out to deep water (200 ft plus is good). Set your boat speed to about 4-5 mph. Zero your linecounter, attach the weight to the wire, and let all the wire out. As you begin to reel the wire back on, make sure to increase your boat speed to apply at least as much tension as a large salmon. You should have to tighten down the drag and really winch the weight back in. When ou get the weight back in, check your line counter. I usually find 30-50 ft discrepancy. The reading on your line counter will be how much slack line was on your reel from spooling it.

Do this with any non-stretch wire or braided line. It doesn't matter if the line was machine-filled and hand-filled. Once reloaded under the proper tension, any looseness from handling in the back of the boat or loosened drags in storage won't be a factor because the looseness wont extend down into the tightly wound wire any appreciable distance.

Edited by John E Powell
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Thank you for your input guys. I'll certainly heed your advice and am planning another trip to Mexico Bay the first week in August. I'll give it another shot and let you know how I make out.

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Forgot to mention, don't start with wire directly on the spool as it will slip if you get down real low. Make sure you get at least 1 complete layer of monofilament down first. Use an Arbor knot to tie the mono onto the spool. http://www.animatedknots.com/arbor/index.php?Categ=fishing&LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com

Wind on enough mono to completely cover the bottom of the spool. Then splice the wire to the mono using an Albright knot http://www.animatedknots.com/albright/index.php?Categ=fishing&LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com In the animation the wire should be the white rope and your monofilament should be the blue rope. Also when working with wire, at step #3 in the animation, bend the wire around a small diameter nail or similar round item to put a small tight radius loop in the wire to help prevent kinking the wire when you cinch down the mono onto the wire as you tighten the knot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just returned to Maryland from a trip to Lake Ontario and am considering rigging a couple of rods with wire line. Should I? If I will be using mostly with a dipsy, what is the advantage of using wire over braid?

If I do go to wire, I have a couple of Penn GTI 320 reels to put it on -- will they work?

Thanks in advance,

Dane

Edited by dane
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Just returned to Maryland from a trip to Lake Ontario and am considering rigging a couple of rods with wire line. Should I? If I will be using mostly with a dipsy, what is the advantage of using wire over braid?

If I do go to wire, I have a couple of Penn GTI 320 reels to put it on -- will they work?

Thanks in advance,

Dane

Returning to Maryland... can you tell us how you want to use these? Freshwater or saltwater?

I would probably not use a level wind reel in saltwater. Are your 320s line counter reels or the regular reels? The 320 size frame would be fine in freshwater. A line counter is not an absolute necessity, but it helps you to both target and return to productive fishing depths. Without a line counter, you would have to mark the line at regular intervals or measure out line and count level wind passes across the reel ( or some other method).

If it were me, I would only use line counter reels for wire diver fishing, like the GT320LC (if you prefer Penn reels)

Edited by John E Powell
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John is right on target (as usual) and there have been a lot of previous posts regarding many aspects of using braid and wire....I'd check them out first then if there are further questions.... they'd go here.

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I tried 7 strand wire for the first time last week and what a mess. I'm definitely doing something wrong because three 1000' spools went in the trash bucket this past week. The wire kept forming loops in it that would get caught under the wraps on the spool and kink up on me. ...

I had the same issue with bright Malin 2 weeks ago. I cut the line at the kink and returned it to the tackle store. The owner said I was the second guy in 1 week to return Malin for this issue. He has never had complaints until 2 weeks ago. He refunded my money. Apparently Malin put out a bad batch. Switched to camo Malin and it wound right up as sweet as expected.

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