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Few outside of the world of disabled angling are aware just how much of a Godsend modern braid is to the disabled angler or, to be more specific, to the angler whose disability lies with his or her hands.

The reason for this is a problem with the only alternatives, monofilament and flourocarbon. Both are naturally springy when wound onto a reel and if not kept under tension rise up to form loose coils on the spool. This can be easily dealt with by an able-bodied angler, but not so by disabled anglers with hand disabilities or amputations. Anglers so affected can’t wind line onto a reel and tension it  at the same time. The result is that loose coils keep building up and eventually cause at best a tangle or at worst a ‘crack off’ on casting, with the line parting at the trapped coils on the reel.

Braid, is not springy and can be wound onto a spool under just light tension from the terminal tackle and, when any tension is removed, still lies in perfect coils on the reel and doesn’t rise or spring up to form loose coils. The picture above shows on the left hand reel the loose coils of mono line rising up when not under tension, while the right hand reel shows un-tensioned braid remaining in perfect coils. Although these are multipliers in the picture, the same applies to fixed spool and centre pin reels.

Regrettably for the disabled, braided lines are being banned at some fisheries and club waters because of their misuse by some anglers. From our research into this misuse, it seems that because of the thinner diameter of braid some anglers are using upwards of 60 lb bs line in an attempt to drag fish out of weed and snags with no concern for the mouth of the fish if they are successful or to the deadly consequence if they aren’t. In other words fishing in swims and areas which shouldn’t be fished in at all.

While the WVDAA can understand fishery owners and committees taking drastic action by banning these lines, may we please ask you all to consider not a ban, but a limit on the maximum breaking strain of all lines used on your waters. This would give the disabled angler (some of whom can’t use mono or flourocarbon lines at all) a chance to fish. If however you are adamant about a total ban on braid, please, please consider a concession for the anglers with hand disabilities.

N.B. Should you ever have to pull for a break or suffer a crack off with braid, examine the remaining line very carefully. Braid being made up of many strands of material, each strand may not have broken in the same place! When over 60 yds of line is out when the break occurs, it is possible for the broken strands to be more than 40 yds apart.

The second best line to braid and at present the only other choice for the disabled angler is ‘Berkley Fireline Fusion’. This line is made from Dyneema fibres, similar to some braids, but is manufacture in a fusion process and is therefore a single strand line like monofilament and flourocarbon. It is not as supple as uncoated braided line by any means, but is infinitely better than any other single strand line on the market at the present time.

It is made in America and is extremely expensive if bought in the UK, plus very difficult to find. Try www.basspro.com for the chain of Basspro shops in the States, who do a good deal on bulk spools. For more information on Berkley Fireline Fusion visit:


Berkley Fireline Fusion
Braided Lines and the
Hand Disabled Angler