This review covers PRT, WindTamer, and XS lines from FINS. First and foremost I would like to say that FINS Line is “Braid In The USA” and I believe that is something fishermen and the company can be proud of. After years of suffering with mono, I started set out to find a braided fishing line that would hold up to daily use by our charter clients. The line had to meet a demanding set of criteria:
First – The line needed to be available in a highly visible color and be colorfast so that clients could see it easily. Until I tried FINS all of the other braids I tested faded to white, the base color of spectra fibers in a few days.
Second – It needed the line to be supple enough to cast easily and smooth enough to be quiet coming through the guides, and that was one of the toughest criteria. If you’ve used a braided line at all you will know that most of it is horribly noisy when you’re fighting a fish.
Third – It had to be tough enough to stand up to the every day rigors of casting by our charter clients. Tough enough to take on barnacles, oysters, and rocks without cutting. The biggest problem with the majority of the braids on the market is that they cut almost instantly when rubbed up against sharp objects.
Fourth – It had to be twist resistant and round to lay flat on the spool and to pack evenly when retrieved. Any line that can’t do this will cause what are commonly referred to as the wind knots. They have nothing to do with the wind, and everything to do with the braid not packing tightly or evenly on the spool. When you make a cast the mainline line picks up a loop from the spool and wraps it around the mainline creating the infamous knot. To some extent all braid suffers from this but some brands are unbelievably bad.
I started with a 300 yard spool of 30 pound test from commonly known brands. Unfortunately the results for all of the lines I tested were pretty much the same they all failed the colorfast test in a very short period of time. For the most part they all failed the abrasion resistance test, some worse than others of course but none were stellar. On the wind knot test and line guide noise none of them performed very well.
Our FINS Test
One of the last brands I tried in my comparison test was FINS. I spoke to Karla at the plant explained to her what I needed and she suggested I start with XS first which made sense to me.
So I put the XS in 30lb test on two spinning reels and let clients cast it for a week using popping corks. Interestingly enough popping corks are one of the best way to get wind knots. The client snaps the line to pop the cork and creates some loose line as they are reeling in which just invites a loose pack on the spool and a guaranteed wind knot on the horizon. To my amazement after a week I had only had to deal with a half a dozen knots in 40+ hours of client casting, which to me was remarkable. The XS was orange and it was incredibly colorfast weeks later it was still orange something no other braid even came close to matching. No line is perfect and if you fish XS with light lures that don’t put much tension on the line will have problems with knots. It’s not a function of the line it’s a function of the tension that your lure is putting on that line so keep that in mind. It’s abrasion resistance is stellar and it easily outperformed any other brand I had tested to date. I would suggest using one of the other lines if you use a bait cast real most of the time. All braided line but particularly the softer ones can be nicked easily when you get a backlash (ie…professional overrun). Overall it’s very manageable super soft and wonderfully colorfast, just remember to use it with the right lures.
I decided after talking to Karla that perhaps wind tamer would be the best all-around choice. So once again I spooled up to reels and let the clients have at it. The first thing I noticed was that the clients weren’t getting very many knots compared to all of the other lines I tried. The number was low enough that it got my attention immediately, I didn’t have to stop and pick out a knot five times a day. I called the plant to find out why exactly this was happening, and I learned that wind tamer is a four carrier line that is round so it packs extremely tight on the spool and that’s how it eliminates knots. I will tell you this, pound test diameter is extremely small. I found this out with the very first cast I made with WindTamer, it ended up in the mangrove trees. It went way farther than any of the other lines I had been using and long distance casts wasn’t something I was testing for. The line was quiet and overall very well behaved and colorfast, although it did fade about 50% from its original color.
FINS Original PRT
This brings me to the original braided line from FINS, PRT. I needed a line that was small-diameter and super tough for use on bait casting reels. It needed to be able to stand up to repeated backlashes without damage and PRT did that job remarkably well. In addition it was super tough against oysters, barnacles, and just about everything else we could throw at it. To this day the 30 pound test remains our go to line for bait casting rails and any level wind reel where super tough line is needed. Its ability to remain its original yellow color is phenomenal, by far the best colorfast line on the market.We use 80 pound PRT for our shark fishing and it has yet to ever fail us on a big fish.
So there it is a fair and long-term review of the lines in the FINS family of lines that have really done the job for our clients. If you consider the daily use our clients give these lines, the average fisherman will get many years of faithful service from FINS line. There is no one perfect braid and as the company clearly states in its advertising and in the copy on its website, their lines are situational and I hope you can see from this review, and I came to that same conclusion on my own. You can confidently buy FINS line at your local store or directly from them on their website. Know that you’re buying a line that will do exactly what you ask of it based on your needs. I hope this review will help you purchase lines that best suit the way you fish and remember it’s okay to buy more than one kind line when you fish for multiple species in varied habitats.