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Wire line: mcmaster vs malin vs mason vs others

3765 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  SalmonBum
Ok guys, hoping to get comments from a few of you that have used both the mcmaster and at least one of the other major brands. Im planning on spooling up a couple of reels to give wire a shot this year.

If you had to pick one right now, would you go with the mcmaster or one of the other brands? Which brand?

What color is the mcmaster?

How does it compare to the others? (flexibility and kink resistance)

Is there anything the mcmaster lacks?

Is there anything any of the other major brands lack?

Do you prefer the 25 the 40 or the 55?

Any other advice on wire line in general?

Thanks in advance guys!
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I cannot give you a comparison, but..... I cannot imagine spooling up anything heavier than 30 lb. I use Mason because it's what I could find at Franks. I believe it's made by family of the Fishing Tackle Grab Bag, which is only15 minutes away, in Davison. I hit stores from Basspro to Franks to find it, when I coulda just gone down the road.
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McMaster Carr

3 cents a foot, you can buy it in as long of lengths as you want

Catalog page #1318

Type 304 stainless .012" dia 25lb - catalog # 34641T1
Type 304 stainless 1/64 dia 40lb - catalog # 34641T2

Edit: the 40lb diameter is only 0.0156". That's still smaller than 25lb monofilament which typically runs ~.018"

I've never run wire, but I'm thinking about buying the 40lb test myself just because when buying from a place like McMaster Carr you're not getting the fudge factor they toss in with fishing line. If McMaster says it's 40lb test it's 40lbs. Conversely, I've tested 15lb monofilament and you can pick up a 25lb dumbell with it easily.

You can get type 302 too. I just listed that stuff after doing a quick search.
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The only realy i brought up the mcmaster 40lb and 55lb is because they both seem to be smaller diameters than the malin 30lb.

In the other thread, I though it was decided that the 302 was the way to go as it was less prone to kinking? Either way, thats the stuff im talking about! Any opinions on it compared to malin/mason/american trolling wire/etc?

Thanks guys!
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The only thing I'd check for is a coating. I've seen some wire lines have a very thin plastic coating of some sort.

I know Steinfishski said he used the McMaster stuff, and he's one of the site's big wire advocates.

I'm guessing that this is like the flashabou they sell for fly tying. It's $4 for a little bitty bag if you buy the fly-tying stuff. You can get 20X that at Christmas called "icicles" for $2.00. The target customers will over-pay, so they price accordingly.
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Masons 30 is only .018, which seems in line with mcmasters numbers. (Which is what I'd go with, but I have limited experience with wire, and only rigged with an 8 oz or 16 oz ball.)
Thats kind of the same thing I was thinking Beave. That and the fact that mcmaster has the ability to sell it in any lengths, which probably passes on some savings. Im sure there are people using it for other stuff that buy miles of it at a time.

My main concerns are, if anyone has had a really bad experience with it, or had a lot of break offs with it, id rather spend a little extra up front to prevent break offs and lost terminal tackle. If its all the same stuff for the most part, I might as well take advantage of the deal and save some cash!

Any idea if there was ever a concensus on the 302 vs 304 question that came up in the previous thread?
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Originally posted by TimT
Masons 30 is only .018, which seems in line with mcmasters numbers. (Which is what I'd go with, but I have limited experience with wire, and only rigged with an 8 oz or 16 oz ball.)
Mcmasters 40lb is 1/64 or .0156". Their 55lb is .018. Thats why I included 55lb test in this thread, I knew it matched up diameter wise with some of the other players. ;)

Thanks again and keep the info coming guys!
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Make sure whatever wire you buy is 7 strand and not single strand. I run 5 rods with 30 lb Mason, but will be adding 2 more setups of 20 lb. Wire with coatings are no good either. Doesn't let the wire do it's "magic".
Beave, did you change those numbers on your post, or did I read them wrong.
Just to clarify, the mcmaster wire in question is uncoated 1x7 strand, available in both 302 and 304 stainless steel.

lb test - diameter - 302 part number - 304 part number

25lb - .012" - 3458T141 - 3461T1
40lb - .016" - 3458T11 - 3461T2
55lb - .018" - 3458T142 - 3461T3


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I must've added an extra "4" to my part numbers. Oops.
The 25lb from McMaster is too fragile. Chasin used it and had a couple breakoffs. I've used 30lb Mason for 2 years without a problem, but would go with the 40lb McMaster for price next time.
Ok guys...

Here is my .02 worth...

I have been running Malin 30 lb. test 7 strand the past couple years and have no complaints. I get the 1000 ft. spools which will fill up a SG47LC (now SG47LCS) nicely (no backing). I have had no breakoffs so far... but I usually will re-terminate after every other trip... or if by some chance a bad kink gets into the wire. I usually will check after every fish caught on the wire.

I did really well this past year on the wire... but in 2002... the wire was SMOKIN' :eek:

Al & Bob's in Grand Rapids has the 1000 ft. spools for $29.98.... which if my math serves me correctly.... is cheaper than .03 per foot (although... not by much!!) :D

I run wire on dipsies... and suspended wire setups.

Any questions... feel free to give me a holler.
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The mcmaster is listed as .03/ft but it seems ordering 1000ft or more puts it at .02/ft. It ends up being $20 in the shopping cart. I may just break down and go with the mason, considering most seem to have good luck with it lasting a while.
I ran the mcMaster/Carr wire in 40 lb last year.No break-offs ! ordered it in 1000 ft spools at 20 bucks a spool.Good fast service ! Not sure if I'll ever need anything other than wire dipseys on the boat.
I run the exact same setup as DonP. I have 4, some of which have been through better than 600hours of pulling dipseys. I never strip any off, retie, re-terminate, etc... Some are through season 3. Never had a break off. $30 a spool doesnt seem like much when your pulling $50 in tackle behind it. I've never used the Msmaster stuff, but it seems like it gets mixed reviews. If there is any doubt, don't risk tackle, fishing time, headache, and a nice fish, to save $10 a spool.
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Ok guys, now that I see what I need, I have a question. What is the big benefit of wire? I hear a lot of talk about how great it is, but why is it so much better than running a dipsies off fireline?
Hey Jason,

I ran wire first time last year and had 2 break offs! Both times I noticed the end was "coiled" up after reeling in the empty line. What is causing my wire to do this? If you get 3 seasons out of your wire, with no break offs...we must be doing something different!

My set-up was this: 20lb wire to a coastlock swivel (I used crimps), connected to a #1 dipsy with large glow ring, connected to a coastlock swivel on 30 lb ande mono to a coastlock swivel, to a spin doctor, to a fly on 50 lb ande mono.

Do you use crimps or a knot? What Knot? Or if you crimp, how do you crimp it?

Thanks, and I hope I have better luck this year!
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vanwagm, search the archives and there is more info on wire than you can swallow. Benifits are being able to run deeper than mono, but more importantly I believe, the "humm"(for lack of a more scientific word) that the wire gives off.

SalmonSlayer, #1 cause of break-offs is kinks in your wire. Once you kink it, you're gonna have problems. What Kind of tips(Twilli, Roller, etc) do you run on your rods? How do your guides look. I run Daiwa Heartland Dipsey rods with standard ceramic guides and a Twilli tip. I dont have any problems with those guides, but if they get grooved, that will cause a break as well. I've never ran 20lb, because I've always had great success with 30, so that could be part of your problem. I don't know many guys that run 20 that will say theyve NEVER had a break off. I don't use crimps. To be honest, I didnt even tie my own knots(Thanks Bill), but I do use knots. I wouldnt worry about all your tackle after the break point, as thats not whats causing your breakoffs. What brand of wire were you running? 7 Strand I assume???
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