Winter Forest Overview

Winter Forest OverviewWith the onset of the first autumn frosts on the shelves of shops there are many lines with the marking Ice or Winter, intended, according to the labels, especially for winter fishing. I think that many anglers are worried about the question of whether such fishing lines are needed at all and what is their advantage over ordinary, non-winter models. Anyway – is it there, is it an advantage, or is it just another advertising move of manufacturers, due to the "specialization" of their products seeking to increase sales? Indeed, what should be of such a “special winter season” in a fishing line intended for fishing from under the ice, which is not the case in other fishing lines? Probably some kind of special resistance to negative temperatures, which ensures their superiority over non-winter fishing lines.

Accordingly, the opposite should also follow from this: non-specialized fishing lines are unsuitable for fishing in the winter and their performance in frost is deteriorating. Otherwise, the difference between a particular type of fishing line becomes completely unobvious. In order to understand these issues, we will take some models of “winter” woods that are found on store shelves, check their characteristics and, for example, compare them with the “summer” fishing line Nikko Vexter, which worked well for me as when fishing with a fishing rod in the summer , and during winter fishing for spinners and mormyshka. If all the statements of the fishing line manufacturers turn out to be true, Vexter must miserably lose to the “winter” brands.


This, of course, is an important characteristic of any monofilament, especially when fishing for careful and inactive fish. Fans of ice fishing and, perhaps, floaters are the most careful in choosing the diameter of the line, since it is precisely in these types of fishing that the thickness of the line used is sometimes crucial when the difference in a few hundredths of a millimeter has the most dramatic effect on bite. To measure the diameter of the fishing line, I used a technical micrometer. I will say right away: the results obtained during testing pleasantly surprised me. Initially, I expected a larger discrepancy between the nominal and actual diameters. Apparently, anglers began to be more attentive to this parameter, and manufacturers have to take this into account. Although it cannot be ruled out that my review simply did not include fishing lines of manufacturers sinning by understating their diameters.

Breaking load

But here it is not so simple. It would seem that this characteristic, as well as the diameter, is indicated on the package, and if desired, it can be measured and compared with the declared one. But the problem is that the obtained value by and large will not tell the angler absolutely nothing. Firstly, the test conditions – both at the factory and during home inspection – are very different from fishing conditions. It is unlikely that a fishing line in a pond will be subjected to a uniformly increasing load on a flat area, as is the case in laboratories. Secondly, in fishing conditions, there is at least one knot on the fishing line that affects the strength of the fishing line. Therefore, when conducting the tests, I did not evaluate the abstract breaking load of the fishing line, but its strength on the nodes popular with anglers — clinch, uni, palomar and the “proprietary” loop proposed by Rapala for tying baits. Well, in order to check the “frost resistance” of the fishing line, the tests were carried out twice: under normal conditions and after 24-hour freezing of the fishing line at a temperature of -18 degrees.


This is also an important parameter for any type of fishing. And if in some species (spinning) it is desirable that this indicator is lower, since inextensible fishing line gives the angler additional advantages, then in ice fishing this is not so unambiguous. Fishing in most cases occurs without the participation of a fishing rod and reel, and jerking fish are amortized due to the elasticity of the fishing line. Therefore, the use of monofilament allows you to minimize the number of gatherings, although it slightly reduces the sensitivity of gear. True, the latter is usually compensated by a sensitive nod, and there are no problems with bite registration. Elongation was estimated as an increase in the length of a meter-long piece of fishing line under the action of a force equal to half the breaking load of this fishing line.

Of course, there are other characteristics that distinguish a good fishing line from a bad one. This is rigidity, and abrasion resistance, and noticeability in water and on snow, but you never know what else. But on the other hand, the rigidity of the fishing line is a rather arbitrary concept, since there are no standards of softness / rigidity of monofilament and it is not possible to measure them. Abrasive stability is, of course, an important parameter, but more from the point of view of theory. If the clearly worn fishing line does not meet any requirements, then this is not a fishing line, but a fisherman who did not bother to replace the damaged area in time. Damage to the line, invisible to the eye, is unlikely to have a noticeable effect on its quality, and this is characteristic of all woods, not only “winter” ones. Well, the visibility of the fishing line for the angler is rather a matter of convenience, not quality, and it is unlikely that it will be paramount when choosing a fishing line.

Test results

Dragon millenium winter
The fishing line of the Polish company Dragon, produced, judging by the information on the packaging, according to the technology of the company Sufix Fishing (USA). If you believe the same packaging, this fishing line is made directly in Poland, which seems strange, since the vast majority of forests are made in Germany or Japan, and fishing companies only order the necessary labels for them. The label also promises us a "long-lived, abrasion-resistant, non-reflective and non-absorbing water" fishing line. Inside the colorful cardboard packaging is a rather plain-looking spool, on which the main characteristics of the fishing line are indicated. I have to admit: I definitely did not like the fishing line.

Firstly, its diameter is not only underestimated (albeit a little), but also varies along the length of the fishing line, which indicates a poor calibration of monofilament in production. The diameter measured at several sites ranged from 0.10 to 0.11 millimeters. From this follows the second, in fact, more important drawback of this fishing line. This is the only sample that has NEVER been torn on the assembly during testing. For the sake of interest, I even tried to tie this fishing line with an ordinary double knot, which you definitely shouldn’t tie hooks or fasteners, and still the test site broke somewhere in the middle. This fishing line was torn with an average load of 850 grams, and after freezing, this figure did not change. Of course, one could enjoy this relatively good performance for a given diameter. But do you need a fishing line, which at the most crucial moment will tear in the middle of nowhere, leaving you completely without gear and the opportunity to continue fishing?

Momoi Pro Max Prestige
But this fishing line is the opposite of the previous one. Made in Japan under a Japanese brand that has proven itself among Russian fishermen. The actual diameter turned out to be even slightly less than the declared one, and the fishing line is well calibrated, its thickness is constant. The breaking load at the nodes is close to the nominal, given the inevitable loss of strength on the node. Moreover, the measurements showed that the fishing line is suitable for any nodes except the Rapalovka loop, on which loss of strength is still noticeable. At low temperatures, the parameters of the line do not deteriorate. Moreover, judging by the tests, they become even a little better, although, probably, this can be attributed to the measurement error. But the fact that frost does not adversely affect the fishing line is for sure. In addition, this fishing line is torn in the vast majority of cases precisely at the nodes, so that in the event of a hook or break on a fish, the fisherman will lose only the bait. I can recommend this fishing line to all lovers of winter fishing without hesitation.

Balsax ice king
Balsax has a whole line of winter woods, which, judging by the labels, differ in some respects. True, practice shows that in fact on the spools with different pictures the same thing is wound and one of the models can be used to judge all the others. When I purchased Ice King test samples, I came across first, but in its place could be any other fishing line – Husky, Nordix, Ice Power or something else. The country of origin of the fishing line on the spool is not indicated, there is only an inscription: “Manufacturer – Balsax”. The actual diameter is close to the declared one, however, the fishing line is calibrated not very well: the diameter ranges from 0.100 to 0.105 mm. Nevertheless, the fishing line is almost always torn at the knots and for its price demonstrates good strength. Freezing on the properties of the fishing line is minimal. If there is a deterioration in strength, then it is almost imperceptible. In general, a very good "budget" option.

Sufix ice magic
Unfortunately, it was not possible to select Sufix Ice Magic with a diameter of about 0.100 mm, and the tests were carried out on a 0.135 mm fishing line. But even this diameter allows you to get some idea about the quality of this fishing line, especially since, apparently, Sufix products on the shelves of our stores will become more and more. The diameter of the fishing line is very underestimated: the actual thickness of the fishing line is 0.140-0.145 mm. Accordingly, the line is not very calibrated. But the breaking load is too high: on all types of knots, the strength of the fishing line does not exceed 80% of the nominal. Particularly noticeable are the loss of strength on the Rapala loop. Given the relatively high cost of fishing line, the indicators are far from outstanding, and this fishing line is unlikely to be popular with anglers.

Salmo grand ice magic
The name of this fishing line is similar to the name of the previous one, there is something in common in the characteristics. But unlike some other samples on the packaging you can find the country of production – Japan, and even the address of the supplier in Russia and other countries. The fishing line is well calibrated, its thickness along the entire length is constant and corresponds to the declared one. The breaking load is quite high, from the freezing characteristics of the fishing line almost did not change. True, on the Rapalov loop, she also showed herself not in the best way. But in general, the fishing line deserves a positive assessment and is fully consistent with the popularity that Salmo brand enjoys in Russia.

Nikko Vexter
And finally, the “opponent” of all the above forests is a sample without the Winter mark from the Japanese company Nikko. It is impossible to call the performance of this fishing line outstanding, but still, against the background of many other samples, they are quite acceptable. It was interesting to find out how this “summer” fishing line will endure freezing. Perhaps some changes in the structure of the fishing line happened, but all its characteristics remained at the same level, quite comparable with the best examples of specialized “winter” woods. The Nikko Vexter example makes you wonder: is it really necessary to look for some special “winter” fishing lines before the winter season? It seems that it is quite possible to use the usual “summer” stamps of suitable diameter, especially if they are already familiar to you and their quality suits you.

author Alexey VETROV

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Amanda K. Benson

Author: Amanda K. Benson

Hi, my name is Amanda K. Benson. Since you, dear reader, have appeared on the page of my blog, it means that you are interested in something. Then you need to know who is writing these articles for you. We will meet and I will tell you a little about myself.

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