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September 22, 2011

Braided Lines Defined

Any discussion of braided fishing lines can be a complicated matter. Here is a quick cheat sheet to common terms.


Standard Braid — Any of the typical, woven products. Standard braids are best used on conventional reels.

Fused Braid — A braid with a core that has been molecularly altered and fused, primarily through heat. Fused braids, more supple than standard braids, are best used on spinning reels.

Hollow-Core Braid — A woven braid with a hollow core. Anglers insert monofilament or fluorocarbon line into the core to create leader connections.

Polyethylene — A synthetic thermoplastic that serves as the foundation of braid. The tiny strands of polyethylene that form a strand of Dyneema or Spectra are called “microfilaments.”

Gel-Spinning — The process by which polyethylene is spun into strands of Dyneema or Spectra.

Dyneema — A gel-spun product produced and sold to line manufacturers by DSM, a Dutch chemical and pharmaceutical company.

Spectra — A gel-spun product produced and sold to line manufacturers by New Jersey-based Honeywell International Inc.

Carrier — The common name used to describe a strand of Dyneema or Spectra. A braid is often categorized as an “8-carrier braid,” or equivalent.

Pic — An intersecting point where one carrier crosses over another.

Pics per Inch (PPI) — The number of pics per inch of braid. The higher the PPI, the smoother the braid; but too high a pic count will generally reduce strength and abrasion resistance.

A Look Inside
A braid’s anatomy is really quite simple. Polyethylene microfilaments are gel-spun to create either Dyneema or Spectra carriers. These carriers are then woven together, forming what’s known as a pic at points where they intersect.

Illustration by David Shepherd