I’ve recently had the pleasure of trying out some products from the Platypus fishing line company. If you check out April’s VFM, you’ll find an excellent overview of the Platypus company by Dominic Fry. As you can see, they’ve been around for a long time now. I was supplied with the Platypus products Game Leader, Super Braid, Lo-Stretch and Pre-Test to give the once over.
Game Leader is designed for fishing situations where the line may come in contact with abrasive surfaces that could be potentially damaging to the line. Tie on some Game Leader that is thicker and stronger than your main line and you can avoid situations where a fish either bites you off or drags you though cover and cuts you off. Leaders such as these are very popular with anglers using braid, as well gamefishermen.
Super Braid is braided line that offers near zero stretch, no line memory, very fine diameter and superior sensitivity to regular monofilament.
Lo-Stretch is a monofilament line that offers similar characteristics to braided line, in that it does not stretch as much as standard monofilament.
Pre-Test line is a must for all sportfishing enthusiasts such as ANSA or IGFA members or anyone wishing to claim an Australian or international sportfishing record. Pre-Test actually has its breaking strain measured and the average of three tests written on each spool. It is essential that the line breaks at or under the stated breaking strain if you are claiming a record for that line class. I am a member of an ANSA-affiliated fishing club and don’t know too many ANSA members who do not use Platypus Pre-Test fishing line.
I gave the lines a good workout. First up, I had the ANSA ‘King of the Rip’ fishing convention. Although I did not trouble the record books, I did manage to weigh in the best Australian salmon for the weekend at 1.48kg, using 2kg Platypus Pre-Test (that’s all I’ve been using for years, anyway). I tied the line directly to the lure and had no problems with knot strength or unexplained breakages.
The following weekend, I headed up to Lake Mulwala with a fresh spool of 15lb Super Braid and some 40lb Game Leader. I deliberately wrapped the 40lb game leader around some rusted pipe and gave it a decent workout. This would be more torture than being wrapped around a few logs by an angry native fish and it held up just fine apart from the expected abrasions. The lake had an unusual amount of weed that made using lures difficult, but I did manage a few small fish using surface flies tied to Game Leader and fished over the weed beds.
The Thursday after that I flew to Queensland and fished with a group of 20 at Lake Monduran (yep, I’ve been burning brownie points big time!). I spooled up with 30lb Super Braid and tied on 60 lb Game Leader.
Unfortunately, the lake wasn’t fishing well for barramundi at the time, but I sent plenty of lures sailing at snags for the four days we were there, and gave the line and leader a good workout on a few logs all the same.
Next up, I caught up with the old man on the Sunshine Coast and we visited Lake Borumba. We flicked lures around the snags and I managed a small bass at about 40cm.
The only issue I had with any of the line was the Game Leader dispenser. It comes with a few crimps in a separate compartment, which is great for gamefishermen, but if you’re carrying your gear in a backpack or tackle box, the 22cm diameter dispenser does take up a fair bit of room.
The 30lb Super Braid casts surprisingly well for such a heavy braided line. I would have to say it is one of the best I’ve cast and overruns pick out very easily (I didn’t have tooooooo many – honest!). I tied the Game Leader onto the Super Braid via a bimini twist and the braid leader knot (see Geoff Wilson’s ‘Knots and Rigs’ line of books) and it pulled up a treat. The Game Leader is not too soft that it can abrade or cut through too easily, yet it is soft enough to tie knots with. Some leader material is as hard as Whipper Snipper line and near impossible to tie knots with. Others are about as soft as cooked spaghetti. Soft lines are great to tie knots with, but cut through and abrade very easy. In my opinion, Game Leader has found a very nice balance between the two.
As you can see, over a few weeks I gave all the lines a fair flogging and none of them had any unexpected breakages or knots slip. The yellow colour on the Super Braid had faded to near white for about the first 10–15m of line, but that could be expected with a lot of sun exposure and the amount of casting I did. Best of all, Platypus line is Australian made and Australian owned!
To cap off the test, I decided to compare the Lo-Stretch, Super Braid and Pre-Test with regards to line stretch. I tied each line to a solid object and ran out 10m. I stretched each line to the point where the line stopped stretching and I just knew it was about to break, then measured how far it was past the 10m mark.
The 10m of Pre-Test stretched a further 2.0m, providing 20% stretch (about normal for monofilament lines). Next up, the 10m of Lo-Stretch stretched 1.1m, which is about 50% less stretch than Pre-Test. The 15lb Super Braid stretched only 20cm past the 10m mark, equivalent to 2% stretch – very very low indeed!
More info is available at http://www.fishplatypus.com.auReads: 9060