PDA

View Full Version : Is it really fishing line?



Hilomar
11-11-2017, 02:54 AM
Hi all. This is my first post so I hope it goes OK..I'm on this baritone forum and some of the people assure me that all fluorocarbon strings are merely repackaged fishing Line.. Could someone give me a definitive answer on this matter? Thankyou

MopMan
11-11-2017, 03:13 AM
Hi all. This is my first post so I hope it goes OK..I'm on this baritone forum and some of the people assure me that all fluorocarbon strings are merely repackaged fishing Line.. Could someone give me a definitive answer on this matter? Thankyou

Totally, completely, and in all other ways FALSE. There are a hundred different kinds of fluorocarbon strings, none of which are fishing line.


I have heard that some people have tried using actual fishing line... seems silly to me.


Edit: :confused: It seems my statement above may be incorrect. Some fluorocarbon strings might in fact be indistinguishable from fishing line. Either way, I wouldn't let that fact deter you from using fluorocarbons.

Choirguy
11-11-2017, 03:33 AM
There are a lot of threads on this this issue. Strings are made from a number of materials...fluorocarbon is just one option.

While the topic has cycled around and around with fluorocarbon strings, no one from a fluorocarbon factory has ever spoken up—and the fluorocarbon string “packagers” have also been silent. I say “packagers” because as far as I know, the only company that makes strings themselves in their own factory is Aquila—who does not make a fluorocarbon string. Everyone else has strings made for them—and no one is sure what the chemical differences are betweeen those strings.

I do know people who buy Seaguar Blue fluorocarbon fishing string in bulk to string ukuleles—individuals, schools, and ukulele manufacturers. Those people have no complaints—there has been no damage—the feel like fluorocarbon strings—and they sound equivalent to other fluorocarbon strings.

Martin fluorocarbon strings are usually my choice because I like how they feel, they aren’t that expensive, and they are available all over. Some prefer Oasis, Worth, or Ken Middleton Living Waters. To me, play with what you want and can afford—but I have no problem with the Seaguar users, either.

(We’re pretty sure Seaguar manufactures some of most of the other brands—but no one is talking).

Hilomar
11-11-2017, 03:57 AM
Totally, completely, and in all other ways FALSE. There are a hundred different kinds of fluorocarbon strings, none of which are fishing line.


I have heard that some people have tried using actual fishing line... seems silly to me.
Agreed.. I have titanium strings on one uke..living water on another and they seem very different from eachother! (I actually had Martin fluorocarbon strings on another uke and disliked them as they felt like fishing line!) I presented this observation and was shouted down politely as they had a very reputable source who carped on ( pun intended ��) that it's all fishing line! Ps the so called reputable source is a YouTube reviewer..very full of himself! Lol..slagged off a stagg uke as he didn't like the name ' stagg' not sure his opinion is worth a �� light!..Hopefully someone who makes ukuleles and sets them up might be more enlightening!? More reputable than mere opinion!

jer
11-11-2017, 06:29 AM
When you mention titanium strings up there, I'm guessing you're talking about the D'addario Titanium strings. Those are not fluorocarbon. They are monofilament. That is one reason they are so different.

I don't know how anyone can say for 100% sure except the string sellers whether or not their strings come from fishing line companies.
Personal opinion/guess: Yes, the fishing line companies probably are making all of the line repackaged and used as fluorocarbon strings. Personally, I don't see that as being a bad thing. Maybe some of the companies do change up their formula a bit for the string sellers. It's possible. Once again though, only they would know and they're not going to tell.
It seems it's just simply the thought of your strings being fishing line that is bothering you, rather than anything to do with how well the strings work. Of course there are different makes of fluorocarbon line too, which is why it makes sense you'd not like Martin but like the Living Waters. It's personal preference there.

Let me put something out there to try to prove a point I'm attempting to make: Wood is used in ukuleles. It can also be used in toilet seats. Maybe someone out there has a nice solid koa toilet seat. Does that take anything away from a nice solid koa uke just because the material can be used in other areas too?

Choirguy
11-11-2017, 06:35 AM
I disagree with this assessment: in every comparison test I've heard, the fishing line has sounded like fishing line—not awful, but noticeably not as good. Even if Seaguar makes both fishing line and instrument strings, it's faulty logic to say they're the same: that Seaguar uses the same formulations (and it's obvious that certain fluorocarbon strings are made with different formulations) or uses the same degree of quality control (fishing line doesn't need to intonate evenly over its entire length), and fishing line isn't available in the same range of diameters, for matching the tensions for specific pitches, a common challenge for people trying to use plain fishing line.

I’ll find myself on the other side of the debate, as we often are, Ubulele. I’ll just leave it to Barry Maz and Got A Ukulele who came to the conclusion that Seaguar works just fine. And for the record—I don’t use Seaguar myself.

hendulele
11-11-2017, 06:44 AM
Agreed.. I have titanium strings on one uke..living water on another and they seem very different from eachother! (I actually had Martin fluorocarbon strings on another uke and disliked them as they felt like fishing line!) I presented this observation and was shouted down politely as they had a very reputable source who carped on ( pun intended ��) that it's all fishing line! Ps the so called reputable source is a YouTube reviewer..very full of himself! Lol..slagged off a stagg uke as he didn't like the name ' stagg' not sure his opinion is worth a �� light!..Hopefully someone who makes ukuleles and sets them up might be more enlightening!? More reputable than mere opinion!

I use Seaguar fishing line on seven of my nine ukes. No complaints. I prefer it to Aquila nylgut because it’s brighter and gives a more resonant sound. If I were buying commercial strings I’d go with Martins or Worths. But it’s always possible they’re simply fishing line specially made for the string distributors.

sbanacho
11-11-2017, 06:47 AM
Maybe fishing line is just made from ukulele strings.

Hilomar
11-11-2017, 06:48 AM
When you mention titanium strings up there, I'm guessing you're talking about the D'addario Titanium strings. Those are not fluorocarbon. They are monofilament. That is one reason they are so different.

I don't know how anyone can say for 100% sure except the string sellers whether or not their strings come from fishing line companies.
Personal opinion/guess: Yes, the fishing line companies probably are making all of the line repackaged and used as fluorocarbon strings. Personally, I don't see that as being a bad thing. Maybe some of the companies do change up their formula a bit for the string sellers. It's possible. Once again though, only they would know and they're not going to tell.
It seems it's just simply the thought of your strings being fishing line that is bothering you, rather than anything to do with how well the strings work. Of course there are different makes of fluorocarbon line too, which is why it makes sense you'd not like Martin but like the Living Waters. It's personal preference there.

Let me put something out there to try to prove a point I'm attempting to make: Wood is used in ukuleles. It can also be used in toilet seats. Maybe someone out there has a nice solid koa toilet seat. Does that take anything away from a nice solid koa uke just because the material can be used in other areas too?
Thought monofilament is a type of fishing line too! Lol..yes your right! It does bother me a bit..I happen to think ukuleles are splendid instruments and having stupid people telling us that ukes are fine with fishing line denigrates this fine instrument.. As does wearing silly hats or acting the buffoon whilst playing a ukulele..also in my opinion denigrates the ukulele.. I take playing my ukes fairly seriously...just bugs me.

Choirguy
11-11-2017, 07:00 AM
We have had some experts in the past talk about formulation—and I’m not denying that. However—to my knowledge, no one has done a public study of formulation between Seaguar and the other brands. When we were testing motorcycle oil, we were able to send samples to a lab—pre and post use—of various oils. It didn’t take long to see that certain brands were made of the exact same chemical make-up. Is there anyone that can do chemical and visual (microscopic) analysis of strings to put this matter completely to bed?

Ultimately, prove—without a doubt—that Seaguar is not equal, that it is a lesser product, that it is a different product, that it performs on a lower level, and that it might even hurt your ukulele—and no one will even think of using it ever again on a ukulele.

Whatever the case, Seaguar HAS to be better than the strings on some of the low quality ukuleles (not talking Aquila Super Nylgut) out there.

P.S. I’m sure that Aquila knows all of the answers, but as they have no fluorocarbon product and they make their own strings, they don’t need to address it.

bratsche
11-11-2017, 08:11 AM
After doing my homework reading on the subject, I bought bulk Seaguar Premier leader in two gauges, each to replace the 3rd string on my fifths tuned ukes, a tenor in CGDA and baritone in GDAE. I had previously installed Thomastik classical flatwounds, which I still use on both instruments for the 4th string. To this lifelong musician's ears, the Seaguar sounds extremely good - full sound, ample sustain, and intonation is right there. I can't speak for any other fishing line or brands. This is Seaguar's most expensive product. The main reason I chose to try it was to reduce finger noise. (Yes, even with Thomastiks, I could hear it - I just have noisy fingers, I guess!) For that reason I prefer an unwound third string, and this turned out to be just the ideal substitution I had hoped for in every way.

(If string makers aren't using Seaguar leader, one wonders by what strange coincidence certain companies have fluoro strings with identical gauges to theirs. Hmmmm.... )

bratsche

Ukulele Eddie
11-11-2017, 08:15 AM
@MOPman, why do you say this so definitively? I’m curious on what basis you’re so sure since the topic has remained a bit of mystery for many.

My understanding is there are only a handful of factories that make fluorocarbon line. They make all the fishing line, all the flouro instruments strings, etc. there is no other source.

I happen to know several people who use large spools of fishing line, selecting different gauges for each string. And this is worth a read for those interested:

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2015/05/something-fishy-fishing-line-as-ukulele.html?m=1

70sSanO
11-11-2017, 08:34 AM
I have been using fishing line (leader) at different levels since 2010. Here is my take on it...

Seaguar is owned by Kuhera. Kuhera was the first producer of fluorocarbon classical guitar strings for Savarez.

Over the years I have used about a half-a-dozen manufacturers and fishing line levels. There are definitely differences between fishing line manufacturers and within their offerings. I have no doubt that there are formulary differences in the manufacture of fishing line. Therefore, it stands to reason that there will be differences between some (all???) fishing line and ukulele strings.

While not privy to manufacturing cost and run size, I would imagine a company would need to run a substantial amount of ukulele strings to develop totally unique formulas. But that may not hold true.

Bad fishing line usually make poor strings. They all work, but there are significant differences in sound and intonation. Intonation is driven by string/fishing line consistency.

Today I use only 2 sizes of Seaguar fishing leader to replace either the C string or the A string; and only if a slightly thinner string sounds/balances out better. I only use Seaguar Premier because it is IFGA rated for tournaments so it is made to closer tolerances and is higher quality. It makes an excellent string, but I wouldn't recommend stocking up on a bunch if sizes. But for me it is cheaper than buying a set of ukulele strings just for an A or a C.

John

Booli
11-11-2017, 09:29 AM
Totally, completely, and in all other ways FALSE. There are a hundred different kinds of fluorocarbon strings, none of which are fishing line.


I have heard that some people have tried using actual fishing line... seems silly to me...

Edit: :confused: It seems my statement above may be incorrect. It seems some fluorocarbon strings might in fact be indistinguishable from fishing line. Either way, I wouldn't let that fact deter you from using fluorocarbons.

Not to burst any bubbles, but the common wisdom of the Hive Mind of both the uke-world and classical guitar realm will take you to task for an authoritative source for the original statement.

I'd suggest that you to learn from the experience of others here in this community on UU if you wish to enhance your ukulele experience.

Oasis Strings started their fluoro strings lines with assistance of master artisan luthier Chuck Moore, and have openly admitted to using fluoro fishing leader as the source of the strings, and there are threads here on UU that show the beta-testing and discussions of the entire process. You can find those threads by searching the forum.

Oasis Strings are loved by MANY here in the uke community, and really are just fluoro fishing leader, cut from spools to 63" lengths for two sets in the pack and labeled as 'ukulele strings' or other lengths and sold as 'classical guitar strings' in their GPX-named products.


@MOPman, why do you say this so definitively? I’m curious on what basis you’re so sure since the topic has remained a bit of mystery for many.

My understanding is there are only a handful of factories that make fluorocarbon line. They make all the fishing line, all the flouro instruments strings, etc. there is no other source.

I happen to know several people who use large spools of fishing line, selecting different gauges for each string. And this is worth a read for those interested:

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2015/05/something-fishy-fishing-line-as-ukulele.html?m=1

I agree with you here, and thanks for posting this so I don't have to.

After personally testing over 100 different sets of strings, including fluorocarbons from many many string makers, I can confirm that while all the strings labeled as 'fluorocarbon', some are different, and not just in color, gauge, feel or tension.

Some products like Fremont Blacklines, or Worth Browns are colored differently, but also FEEL and SOUND different than the clear strings of the same gauges by the same maker.

-

Is it all snake oil? I don't know, as I am not a chemist, nor care to split hairs, but I know that not all fluoro strings will play the same (not talking about gauges/diameters), and having tried Seaguars fluoro fishing leader myself in sets given to me that are the same gauges as the Worth CT strings, I could not tell any difference between the Seaguars and Worths on the ukes I tested them on.

YMMV :) :music:

spongeuke
11-11-2017, 10:03 AM
I once proposed this on the Marketplace BB and was accused of fishing for gullibles.
So here goes again. I've wondered if using hollow core, constant diameter fly fishing line for all four strings and filling the 3 descending strings with increasing density material to produce the proper notes with almost the same tension on each string.

Pirate Jim
11-11-2017, 10:53 AM
I once proposed this on the Marketplace BB and was accused of fishing for gullibles.
So here goes again. I've wondered if using hollow core, constant diameter fly fishing line for all four strings and filling the 3 descending strings with increasing density material to produce the proper notes with almost the same tension on each string.

Isn't this something like what Dirk over at Southcoast attempts? Uses a variety of materials to get strings of similar gauges and tensions with different densities in order to produce sets that feel consistent across all four strings for good, predictable response when playing? I've never used his strings so I can't say for sure, but I'm sure I read it on their site - that they aim for consistent tension across the set and gauge where possible.

besley
11-11-2017, 12:17 PM
When you mention titanium strings up there, I'm guessing you're talking about the D'addario Titanium strings. Those are not fluorocarbon. They are monofilament.

"Monofilament" just means it is a single extruded piece of plastic - not woven or spun or wound. So D'Addario Titanium strings may not be fluorocarbon, but calling them monofilament doesn't prove anything.

jfalconc
11-11-2017, 12:29 PM
Fluorocarbon strings = fishing line...Fake news!!!

hendulele
11-11-2017, 01:23 PM
Well said, Bill.

bratsche
11-11-2017, 02:28 PM
Just think, in an inverse scenario. snobby fishermen who own the best gear and fish from the priciest yachts might be on their forums discussing the provenance of their specially engineered, top-of-the-line competition grade leader in similar terms:

"From a factory that makes ukulele strings, you say? What slanderous, blasphemous twaddle!"

bratsche

EDW
11-11-2017, 03:09 PM
Earlier in the century when customers weren't so picky, the history of Worths on the Worths site clearly stated that the original Worth strings were cut from high quality Japanese fishing line. High quality Japanese fishing line is still expensive to buy in Australia today, it is not cheap rubbish. I think now that Worths probably may have an order at the factory to get some additional processing as appropriate to instrument strings, or they may have their own facility to cut, check, polish, package, whatever, the strings so they are ready to use on a musical instrument.

I have wondered whether the fluorocarbon strings have some additional processing or are a higher standard as far as consistency, diameter, etc. Perhaps it is an issue of differences in thickness or other. FWIW- I have noticed a difference in the sound and feel of different brands of fluorocarbon strings.

spookelele
11-11-2017, 04:31 PM
Theres a difference between nylon and FC though.
Plastics are just linked carbonX chains.

Nylon is a linear polymer. Its a long zig jag chain, that ends up wadded together like a pile of yarn
Flourocarbon is a cross-linked chain, like a net with the frayed ends terminated by a fluorine atom.

Its why fc is denser and has more tensile strength than nylon.
It's not just marketing. It's physics, and the material matters.

Monofilaments are just plastic noodles. They're made the same way spaghetti is made. Probably why strings come from Italy and Japan. Guess who eats alot of noodles?

That doesn't mean all fc are the same. Just like Barilla is different from Cremette.
But yeah, strings are strings. You can use it for a uke, or for a fish. The string doesn't care.

Doug W
11-11-2017, 05:25 PM
Many of you have seen this video before of the Aquila string factory but I do like the low tech feel of the place. Seems an appropriate thread to insert it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Cwe_pz0Uo

Choirguy
11-11-2017, 05:56 PM
Many of you have seen this video before of the Aquila string factory but I do like the low tech feel of the place. Seems an appropriate thread to insert it.

Thank you for sharing that! I have always appreciated how Mimmo will come on the board from time to time; now I have a whole new appreciation for what they do! I thought it was a much larger company (and perhaps it has expanded since 2008), but this is a whole new mental image for me. I love their KIDS strings (colored and priced for education) and just wish they had fluorocarbon, which I tend to prefer on my own ukuleles, as I would buy them from Aquila (100% personal preference, I might add...I would never tell someone that they had to choose or like my preference).. I am waiting for their new sugar strings to come out in stores!

Inksplosive AL
11-11-2017, 06:19 PM
Yup.... Aquila reds for me. Never catch a fish with one... easily.

besley
11-11-2017, 09:43 PM
Theres a difference between nylon and FC though.
Plastics are just linked carbonX chains.

Nylon is a linear polymer. Its a long zig jag chain, that ends up wadded together like a pile of yarn
Flourocarbon is a cross-linked chain, like a net with the frayed ends terminated by a fluorine atom.....

"Flurocarbon is a cross-linked chain" with frayed ends?

Nylon and flurocarbon are indeed different in many ways - but cross-linking isn't one of them. Please don't try to give the group a lesson in polymer chemistry, since you apparently aren't up to the task.

ripock
11-11-2017, 11:31 PM
okay. I have to admit it: I don't get it. Worths are made of the same material as fishing line; Aquilas are made of the same material as panty hose. What's the significance? That only an effeminate man would use Aquilas? That Worths are great at low G tunings because they can catch more bass? There seems to be some unspoken conclusion that everyone is sharing like an ornate inside-joke. Let me in on it.

Rakelele
11-12-2017, 12:55 AM
Over the past years, this question has come up over and over again. I guess its subtext is that string manufacturers are scaming customers by selling an overpriced product they buy cheap from a dubious source and that essentially, they are all the same.

I have no idea if fishing line is really all that cheap, if my strings are identical to it, or if they all come from the same source. To me, the manufacturers provide a valuable service by putting together suitable packages of strings that can be used on a musical instrument. I don't want to go through different roles of fishing line myself in order to find the ones that happen to intonate properly and have good balance across all courses. For this service, and a certain guarantee for it, I'll gladly pay a couple of bucks per set extra. Perhaps my perception is totally biased by clever marketing, but I think I can see, hear and feel some notable differences between some of the brands. So even if they did come from the same source, they're not all the same.

For those who do want to buy roles of fishing line instead: that's fine, too.

ripock
11-12-2017, 01:53 AM
Really? That's it? It seems a bit base to be grousing about paying the cost of a breakfast to get three or more years of playability from a package of Worth strings. I tend to agree with you. It wouldn't be worth my time to go to a sporting goods store and buy some spools of line to find out whether 10# test, or 12, or 14, or 20 will fit the nuts and give the proper tensions when tuned. However I can see where it would be worth a music teacher's effort to find the four spools that would adequately provide a classroom of instruments with strings.

ukantor
11-12-2017, 02:07 AM
If anyone considers that modern ukulele strings are somehow tainted by association with fishing line, they can always seek out traditional instrument strings made from animal tissue. They are still available, and some folk wouldn't use anything else. It's your choice.

John Colter.

Choirguy
11-12-2017, 03:38 AM
Really? That's it? It seems a bit base to be grousing about paying the cost of a breakfast to get three or more years of playability from a package of Worth strings. I tend to agree with you. It wouldn't be worth my time to go to a sporting goods store and buy some spools of line to find out whether 10# test, or 12, or 14, or 20 will fit the nuts and give the proper tensions when tuned. However I can see where it would be worth a music teacher's effort to find the four spools that would adequately provide a classroom of instruments with strings.

The spools option has been used by builders and ukulele clubs, too. I think my friend Paul said it works out to $1.90 per set of strings...which is a significant savings. Aquila has a better solution for education: colored KIDS strings that end up being about $2.50 per packed shipped in packs of 20 right from Aquila. This really helps instruction on a classroom set of ukuleles (We have 112 of them).

hendulele
11-12-2017, 04:04 AM
My concern always has been using what feels good and looks good and sounds good. I tried baz's fishing line experiment (he even suggests the proper tensions for each course in his video), and it works for me. I've also bought commercial string packs since, including Martins for my tenor. I've tried several varieties of Aquilas. The nylguts that came with my Firefly are fine. The ones on my Koa Flea were muddy and dull, so I swapped them out with fishing line within a couple of weeks. Very happy now.

If I ever run out of fishing line, I may return to individual string packs, but that issue isn't likely to come up any time soon.

If you have some sort of status-related issue accepting that your $15-$20 pack of strings may simply be high-grade fishing line that's been carefully tested, sorted, and packed for your convenience, then I've got nothing for you.

spookelele
11-12-2017, 04:44 AM
"Flurocarbon is a cross-linked chain" with frayed ends?

Nylon and flurocarbon are indeed different in many ways - but cross-linking isn't one of them. Please don't try to give the group a lesson in polymer chemistry, since you apparently aren't up to the task.

Nylon: It's straight. It will always grow linearly, and then gets wadded up in a glob
104358


Flourocarbon:
From left to right, you can see what happens when it polymerizes and gets longer. It starts to branch and bind back to itself.
104362


If you want to think of it.. like untangling xmas lights. A straight line (nylon) of lights will pull more, than a net light.
FC is like a net of carbon, and if you were to cut it from a sheet, the frayed ends are replaced with fluorine atoms

besley
11-12-2017, 05:09 AM
Nylon: It's straight
104358


Flourocarbon: It's branched, and linked
104359
104360
104361

If you want to think of it.. like untangling xmas lights. A straight line of lights will pull more, than a net light.

None of those structures that you've posted are branched (one is substituted, which isn't the same thing, and two are alicyclic, not branched), and they also aren't the polyvinylidene fluoride used to make the fishing line - so what's the point? (For background, I do know a little bit about this sort of thing, being a Ph.D. polymer chemist retired from Dow Chemical with 40 years experience.)

spookelele
11-12-2017, 05:24 AM
None of those structures that you've posted are branched (one is substituted, which isn't the same thing, and two are alicyclic, not branched), and they also aren't the polyvinylidene fluoride used to make the fishing line - so what's the point? (For background, I do know a little bit about this sort of thing, being a Ph.D. polymer chemist retired from Dow Chemical with 40 years experience.)

Ugh... perfluoro2methylpentane is branched. just look at it.
I dont see why youre so dead set on trying to say Im wrong.

The point I make is a valid point. They are functionally different, and I may not have used precise terminology in trying an uncomplicated explanation with terms of spaghetti, and nets vs strings because when making a point to a non-technical audience, thats what you do.

It wasnt meant to be a technical abstract for a chemical journal.

UkerDanno
11-12-2017, 06:21 AM
Glad we got that all settled, again. Now on to more important subjects, like what's better high G or low G...:smileybounce: :shaka:

hendulele
11-12-2017, 06:23 AM
Glad we got that all settled, again. Now on to more important subjects, like what's better high G or low G...:smileybounce: :shaka:

:D :deadhorse:

Booli
11-12-2017, 06:48 AM
ok, so how much string tension and what diameter of fluoro uke strings should I use to garrote myself?

or should I just use Seaguars fishing line or piano wire?

j/k :)

:nana:

dinghy
11-12-2017, 07:12 AM
Glad we got that all settled, again. Now on to more important subjects, like what's better high G or low G...:smileybounce: :shaka:

or

how many angels can dance on the head of a pin

spookelele
11-12-2017, 07:14 AM
ok, so how much string tension and what diameter of fluoro uke strings should I use to garrote myself?

or should I just use Seaguars fishing line or piano wire?
:nana:

This was actually my point. Things are things. Anything that can be used for something becomes that thing based on it's useage, not because it was "intended" for that.
The OP was is fishing line uke string, or vice versa.

If you had a long enough uke string, you could catch fish with it.
And you can string a uke with fishing line, which then makes it a uke string.

Either way, it's plastic extruded through pretty much a pasta machine.

Just like the old gut strings were not born strings, but intestines.

Hilomar
11-12-2017, 07:37 AM
This was actually my point. Things are things. Anything that can be used for something becomes that thing based on it's useage, not because it was "intended" for that.
The OP was is fishing line uke string, or vice versa.

If you had a long enough uke string, you could catch fish with it.
And you can string a uke with fishing line, which then makes it a uke string.

Either way, it's plastic extruded through pretty much a pasta machine.

Just like the old gut strings were not born strings, but intestines. very wel put..on the whole I agree..and from the remarks of the great and the good here I think it is clearly fishing line! But as you so cogently put it. It's only fishing line if used for angling if used for playing a ukulele it's ukulele string! However some of my ukes were expensive instruments and it doesn't sit well with me using bloody fishing line on my much loved ukuleles..hahaha.. Even though by mystery actually fishing spool magically becomes ukulele string! If used on a uke! Think I shall carry on using aquila strings or the very good kala pearls strings...seems the armchair experts on the baritone group where this question arose were possibly right? However they have banned me!! Lol..for having the temerity to disagree? Ah the irony!

DownUpDave
11-12-2017, 08:24 AM
It's not fishing line it's florocarbon. It's not ukulele string its florocarbon. Its not bread or pasta or pastry its wheat. You use an element to make "something" from it then you stick a name on it. A rose by any other name is still a rose

SailingUke
11-12-2017, 09:29 AM
I know a top class luthier that uses fishing leader (flouro-carbon) on all his ukes.
I won’t name drop, but I am guessing almost everyone here would love to own one of his ukes.

besley
11-12-2017, 09:53 AM
Glad we got that all settled, again. Now on to more important subjects, like what's better high G or low G...:smileybounce: :shaka:

Why not both?

Hilomar
11-12-2017, 10:42 AM
I know a top class luthier that uses fishing leader (flouro-carbon) on all his ukes.
I won’t name drop, but I am guessing almost everyone here would love to own one of his ukes.
Do you mean Mr kala? I have one of his ukes it's OK? I also have one made by his mother, ma kala! Better in my opinion.. It's got a dinky dolphin shaped bridge.

spookelele
11-12-2017, 11:17 AM
Do you mean Mr kala? I have one of his ukes it's OK? I also have one made by his mother, ma kala! Better in my opinion.. It's got a dinky dolphin shaped bridge.

I think he means Mr Moore.
We would all love to have one of his.
it's actually on my bucket list..... some day...

ukantor
11-12-2017, 11:19 AM
I thought he meant Sven Nystrom.

John C.

besley
11-12-2017, 11:34 AM
Perhaps not quite in the same league just yet, but Bonanza Ukes from Minnesota come strung with fishing line. The owner had his set up with spools of line at the Silver Creek Uke fest this August.

Hilomar
11-12-2017, 11:54 AM
I think he means Mr Moore.
We would all love to have one of his.
it's actually on my bucket list..... some day...
I have a ukulele by Mr Eckhaus..and one by Mr Claughton I wouldn't trade either of them...

70sSanO
11-12-2017, 12:48 PM
At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter. There have been hundreds of threads over the years on what strings to use for a particular ukulele, and typically there are many options. For a couple of ukuleles, I've spent years of string chasing for just the right balance and sound and for others, I string them up and that's the end of it.

Fishing leaders work fine for ukulele strings, but the results can be just as fickle from one uke to the other. But if you have a real lot of ukuleles and you use a lot of string sets, spending $50 - $100 for 25 yards might be a good route to go. We all know that some luthiers use fishing leaders, so there is something to it.

There was a thread a long time ago by UU member OldePhart on what to so with 42 sets of ukulele strings; which is what he got out of 4 rolls of fishing line. For most people that is not a viable long term option economically, especially if better strings come along in the next 10 years.

John

Tenore76
11-12-2017, 01:36 PM
The spools option has been used by builders and ukulele clubs, too. I think my friend Paul said it works out to $1.90 per set of strings...which is a significant savings. Aquila has a better solution for education: colored KIDS strings that end up being about $2.50 per packed shipped in packs of 20 right from Aquila. This really helps instruction on a classroom set of ukuleles (We have 112 of them).

That’s right...I’ve got a video on my website that shows the difference. Is it “Worth” it? (Sorry...I teach middle school...) It depends. http://www.ukuleleforteachers.com/string-comparisons.html

I think the Aquila Kids Strings are better for teaching, and with the cost to schools being as close to fishing line as it is, I switched to the Aquilas. But there are other benefits to the fishing line....community engagement. It’s a major issue that we music teachers have to deal with all the time. Just ask a group of parents who has extra fishing line in “such-and-such” weight and what you plan to do with it (and most who fish have way more line than they’ll ever use), and suddenly, you have a group of people invested in the program in a different way than just asking for more money.

THAT’S invaluable...

hendulele
11-12-2017, 02:32 PM
Very cool.

Nickie
11-12-2017, 02:58 PM
Very entertaining thread. Seems mostly opinion rather than fact, but I'm no scientist. I like Aquila and Mimmo, and what the company stands for (environmentally friendly), but I just don't like playing the strings. I don't care what they're made of, or where, I'll stick with my Worth Browns. I do have a set of Aquila Reds around here someplace that I bought for my banjouke, but they're the wrong size ARGH! I just wish Aquilas didn't have to be so damned thick.
I am considering the Aquila Kids strings for the 100 teaching ukes we have, when they finally need new ones.

AndrewKuker
11-12-2017, 09:39 PM
I want to add a few points. First, fishing line was nylon for many years, and still is. Dupont nylon fishing line was the first nylon classical guitar sets with Andres Segovia as an early adopter.

Fluorocarbon is a fairly modern invention that many now use for fishing but many also still use nylon for fishing. It depends on what type of fishing they are doing. When I did the Ko’olau Aho line (Aho is Hawaiian for fishing line, no secrets here) I went through a number of different fluoro manufacturers trying their premier lines. I eventually found ones reliable I liked. Fluorocarbon comes in different levels of quality and consistency to the diameter. There’s different gauges, density, and other factors as well. I have many rolls of string I will most likely never use. But it’s something I wanted to do, and I still want to continue to offer different variations because I like these combinations and think other will too.

Bottom line is this, go with your ear, what you hear and like, not what you read or think. And buy your strings however you think is in your best interest. If you’re a Costco shopper and bulk is your thing, and you go through lots of strings, then by all means, give it a shot. There’s a handful of good options out there.

Choirguy
11-13-2017, 01:40 AM
Paul—thanks for adding to the topic and for the link to your blog—great resource, Educators! Take note!

The other point that hasn’t been discussed is the history of the instrument. It woudld seem logical that the first ukuleles would have used fishing line for strings?

One other question: has anyone played actual gut strings? I’m curious as to what the difference is in feel and tension and sound...but I have 0% interest in buying real gut strings for any of my instruments.

strumsilly
11-13-2017, 03:11 AM
Paul—thanks for adding to the topic and for the link to your blog—great resource, Educators! Take note!

The other point that hasn’t been discussed is the history of the instrument. It woudld seem logical that the first ukuleles would have used fishing line for strings?

One other question: has anyone played actual gut strings? I’m curious as to what the difference is in feel and tension and sound...but I have 0% interest in buying real gut strings for any of my instruments.No, but the tech in my local music store has a vintage Martin and only uses gut strings on it. It sounds great, but then irt is a vintage Martin and probably would sound great with nylon or floro. He probably gets them at cost as I am way too cheap to use them. Amazon has them for $34 a set.
Now we can also discuss which animal guts are the best.
https://www.amazon.com/Aquila-Genuine-AQ-1-Soprano-Ukulele/dp/B00MXUJFEM?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00MXUJFEM

Hilomar
11-13-2017, 12:50 PM
Very entertaining thread. Seems mostly opinion rather than fact, but I'm no scientist. I like Aquila and Mimmo, and what the company stands for (environmentally friendly), but I just don't like playing the strings. I don't care what they're made of, or where, I'll stick with my Worth Browns. I do have a set of Aquila Reds around here someplace that I bought for my banjouke, but they're the wrong size ARGH! I just wish Aquilas didn't have to be so damned thick.
I am considering the Aquila Kids strings for the 100 teaching ukes we have, when they finally need new ones.
Agreed..why are aquila strings so thick? But I'm not grumbling, As it looks like my string of choice for the
Future (I'm not using fishing line) string of no choice more like..it is what it is

gnordenstam
11-13-2017, 01:07 PM
Maybe fishing line is just made from ukulele strings.

:agree: :biglaugh::biglaugh:

70sSanO
11-15-2017, 07:50 AM
One thing I'd like to add... over the years these fishing line threads pop up and are largely based on experience, reasonable conjecture, and opinion. What seems to always be lacking is someone from the industry selling fluorocarbon strings to confirm or deny the opinions of this topic.

I would never expect a mfg/retailer to provide source information or any other proprietary data that the person/company spent time and effort (money) necessary to develop their product. It is their livelihood. But it would be nice to get a definitive answer as to whether the strings are the same as what is found in your local bait shop, or additional processes are done to make the line consistent enough for use. Even if confirmed, I doubt the average person would make the investment. Those that need bulk may benefit from it, or have already moved in that direction.

John

Nickie
11-15-2017, 08:10 AM
Agreed..why are Aquila strings so thick?

That's exactly what I'd like to know. Maybe Mimmo will chime in?

spookelele
11-15-2017, 09:37 AM
Agreed..why are aquila strings so thick?

Physics.

Nylon density ~ 1.15 g/cm³
FC density ~ 1.78 g/cm³

One of the variables in string frequency, is linear density meaning how much mass you have in a given length.

Nylon has to be thicker to add the mass difference per length because it's not as dense as fc.

TjW
11-15-2017, 11:36 AM
Physics.

Nylon density ~ 1.15 g/cm³
FC density ~ 1.78 g/cm³

One of the variables in string frequency, is linear density meaning how much mass you have in a given length.

Nylon has to be thicker to add the mass difference per length because it's not as dense as fc.

Yes, and it's actually the critical variable. People talk about the diameter of the string. It would make a lot more sense if they talked about grams/meter. With all the different formulations for nylon and fluorocarbons and the possibilties of additives, diameter only makes sense if you're talking about exactly the same formulation.

1931jim
11-16-2017, 10:23 AM
This has been an interesting "read indeed"
4 reels or spools or rolls of 30,40,50 and 60 lbs test fishing line.
It makes me ponder....should I or will I.
At my age "3 pairs of socks on sale" is not a good investment. gigglegiggle.

Nickie
11-16-2017, 11:03 AM
This has been an interesting "read indeed"
4 reels or spools or rolls of 30,40,50 and 60 lbs test fishing line.
It makes me ponder....should I or will I.
At my age "3 pairs of socks on sale" is not a good investment. gigglegiggle.

Jim, I don't even buy green bananas anymore...

Nickie
11-16-2017, 11:04 AM
Physics.

Nylon density ~ 1.15 g/cm³
FC density ~ 1.78 g/cm³

One of the variables in string frequency, is linear density meaning how much mass you have in a given length.

Nylon has to be thicker to add the mass difference per length because it's not as dense as fc.

Thank you. I guess I'll have to live with the thickness for now, that's what's on my banjouke, and it is NOT comfortable to play.

Rllink
11-16-2017, 11:32 AM
This has been an interesting "read indeed"
4 reels or spools or rolls of 30,40,50 and 60 lbs test fishing line.
It makes me ponder....should I or will I.
At my age "3 pairs of socks on sale" is not a good investment. gigglegiggle.Like that 9000 ft roll of bailing twine I bought twenty years ago at the farm store, thinking I'll have enough twine to tie things up for a long long time. Moving it from one shelf out in the garage to another, I've thought, so will my kids and their kids. It will be their inheritance. Some day my grandkids will say, "That's grandpa's roll of twine. It looks like he hardly ever used it. I wonder why he bought it in the first place."

jer
11-16-2017, 01:57 PM
I'm the opposite of some of you. I find the nylon (big fan of LaBella pro series), Nyltech (love these too), Aquila, etc. strings more comfortable than the thinner fluorocarbons. I don't have trouble playing fluoros though.

bratsche
11-16-2017, 02:50 PM
I want to try two nylon trebles on my tenor. The fluoros are just a bid uncomfortably thin. Not critical, but I'm curious.

Not 9000 ft. of baling twine, but I just bought 1500 ft of 1/4" diameter sisal a few months back. It goes faster than you'd think when you have lots of cats, as I've been using it to re-wrap their treehouse trunks and scratching posts. Bulk is the only way to go, but then we also have 3 refrigerators and memberships at two wholesale clubs. ;)

bratsche

maki66
11-16-2017, 09:25 PM
A very informative and entertaining thread.
Thanks to all who have contributed!

I think that I will spend my Christmas money on 5 rolls of Seagur fluorocarbons.
Partly because I really like the sound of the Martin brand FC strings and partly because I'm a hoarder who likes having more than I need at the present.

DownUpDave
11-17-2017, 12:29 AM
Here is my issue with buying spools of fishing line. What if I don't like the sound!!! There is more than a 100% chance it will not be the best sounding strings on all my ukes, or half my ukes, or one quarter of my ukes.

Just considering my 6 tenors, they all have different strings on them. Then there are sopranos, concerts and baritones. Forget it. If one wants to experiement with different individual florocarbon strings go to strings by mail and both Savarez and Pyramid have a huge selection of diameters.

Maki66, this was not in response to your post above, for some people spools would work well. I am an experimenter by nature so I will always be curious about what if???? I certainly agree with you that it has been an interesting post.

Choirguy
11-17-2017, 01:39 AM
I have enough ukuleles, personally, that spools might make sense. I don’t have any problem with Seaguar and one of my ukulele was “born” with Seaguar (Bonanza). But I’m okay with Martin and have no need to experiment with every string (but do want to try the coming Aquila sugar line). I also don’t change strings every month...I only change them when there is a problem—such as a frayed string (2 cases in my short playing life). I haven’t had a string break and none of them sound “dead” to me yet—even on my oldest ukulele (Makala CE that I dragged into school this week). If you were a fanatic string changer—having 40 sets on hand might be good.

I also like Martin’s air tight packaging. I do wonder how time and air can impact the life of strings if just in the open—for ukulele playing or fishing!

maki66
11-17-2017, 02:34 AM
A question for string mavens, the Gotaukulele article lists the Seaguar sizes for various high g ukuleles.


30lb - Soprano / Concert A string
40lb - Soprano / Concert G string or Tenor A string
50lb - Soprano / Concert E string or Tenor A or G string
60lb - Soprano / Concert C string, Tenor E string
90lb - Tenor C string
http://www.gotaukulele.com/2015/05/something-fishy-fishing-line-as-ukulele.html?m=1


Anyone know what size low g would be for soprano/concert and tenor?
Thanks!

DownUpDave
11-17-2017, 02:59 AM
I have enough ukuleles, personally, that spools might make sense. I don’t have any problem with Seaguar and one of my ukulele was “born” with Seaguar (Bonanza). But I’m okay with Martin and have no need to experiment with every string (but do want to try the coming Aquila sugar line). I also don’t change strings every month...I only change them when there is a problem—such as a frayed string (2 cases in my short playing life). I haven’t had a string break and none of them sound “dead” to me yet—even on my oldest ukulele (Makala CE that I dragged into school this week). If you were a fanatic string changer—having 40 sets on hand might be good.

I also like Martin’s air tight packaging. I do wonder how time and air can impact the life of strings if just in the open—for ukulele playing or fishing!


I sold fishing tackle in my younger years. Fishing line manufactures always told us that UV light was the thing that broke down or weakened the line the most. So keeping it in a package or in a box out of direct lighting 24/7 is the trick

hendulele
11-17-2017, 03:25 AM
Here is my issue with buying spools of fishing line. What if I don't like the sound!!! There is more than a 100% chance it will not be the best sounding strings on all my ukes, or half my ukes, or one quarter of my ukes.

...

I am an experimenter by nature so I will always be curious about what if???? I certainly agree with you that it has been an interesting post.

Suggestion: If you don't like the strings you get from the spools, sell 'em on the Marketplace! :)

DownUpDave
11-17-2017, 03:30 AM
Suggestion: If you don't like the strings you get from the spools, sell 'em on the Marketplace! :)

I have all my ukes dialed in already and have stocked the strings each of them sound best with. But selling the spools here could work for someone. Heck you could offer people pre cut set for sale, or multiple sets, everybody saves money

70sSanO
11-17-2017, 06:18 AM
I have all my ukes dialed in already and have stocked the strings each of them sound best with.

This is the best advice. Going out and buying spools of fishing line is counter productive. Buy ukulele strings and dial in the sound. Once you get there you can check to see if any of the line dimensions are close and try a spool if you want to test one out. If it works just as well as the ukulele string, then you can make a decision.

Since it is impossible to get full specs on fishing line or ukulele strings, it will always be a guess.

Some ukuleles are picky to reach full potential and some are not or they have a lower ceiling so it is not as critical. I spend much more time maximizing the sound on a better (more expensive) instrument than a less expensive one.

John

Rllink
11-17-2017, 12:14 PM
So beyond fishing leader, are soprano and concert stings interchangeable?

Hilomar
11-18-2017, 01:08 AM
I sold fishing tackle in my younger years. Fishing line manufactures always told us that UV light was the thing that broke down or weakened the line the most. So keeping it in a package or in a box out of direct lighting 24/7 is the trick I'm already getting moaned at for my uke playing she says 'why don't you ever play a tune?' because I like noodling on my ukulele! So? Now I have to sit in a darkened room! Noodling in the dark, lonely sad with only bats and dracula for company? I'm going back to the Hungarian hand flute
.no strings that can be affected by the light! And to be honest..in the dark, by yourself is a good way to practice the Hungarian hand flute.. Concentration and steady hand required..arpeggios a good start!

Booli
11-19-2017, 06:49 PM
A question for string mavens, the Gotaukulele article lists the Seaguar sizes for various high g ukuleles.

Anyone know what size low g would be for soprano/concert and tenor?
Thanks!

I've posted this elsewhere on UU, the D'Addario EJ99TLG has the best unwound fluoro low-G I've played, which IIRC is 0.041" in diameter. Most unwound low-G strings in other sets are 0.0358" which I found to be be tubby in tone and lots of intonation issues (sharp more than 7 cents, which I cannot play because this offends my ear).

I've experimented with some cheap 'Vicious Salt' brand 100# (0.0415") and 120# (0.0433") fluoro fishing leader ($7 ea. for a 15 yd spool on ebay) for a low G and while the intonation issues were resolved, I did not like the tension, as it felt out of balance (much tighter) than the rest of the strings, and also due to the tension had significantly less sustain than the other strings, which if your uke sounds boomy, might actually solve a problem for you.

For low G, I will use either a Thomastik-Infeld CF30 chrome flatwound classical guitar string, or a Fremont Soloist smoothwound low-G, OR in a pinch, a D'Addario NYL030 classical guitar string (which I then attack with some 250 grit sandpaper to make smooth, but it removes all of the silver-plated coating, which exposes the copper wrap wire and is prone to oxidation and turns green in the summer time due to the humidity) and yes, I absolutely DETEST string/finger noise on wound strings.

DownUpDave mentioned in another thread about using and enjoying the Oasis smooth wound low-G which I suspect is likely to be somewhere near 0.030" diameter and give ~11-12 pounds of string tension in order to intonate acceptably well on a tenor uke.

Booli
11-19-2017, 06:52 PM
So beyond fishing leader, are soprano and concert stings interchangeable?

Oasis seems to think so. Add tenor to that list too. :)

I've not had any problems using the Oasis strings on soprano, concert, tenor (and even baritone, in re-entrant DGBE tuning), which are NOT labeled per scale length - so once again we get caught in the undertow of hype and riptides of media labeling.

:)

mimmo
11-20-2017, 12:33 AM
Hi guys,
I have just seen this post so here are my answers:
1) almost all (but not all) the fluorocarbon strings (PVDF) are made for fishing; however, exist a few variations in the basic fishing line's formula just to meet some necessity (more elasticity/more stiffness etc). Just a few of the PVDF monifilaments are made for different goals than fishing; however no one is made directly for music: the big globalized industrial producer of PVFD monofilaments says that the quantity per year do not justify a such production. Said that, those that sell ukulele fluocarbon strings buy the fluorocarbon in two ways: or in straight bundles of 1-2 Kg each if the company is big (yes, the monofilament is always made in the same way for fishing line), if the company is small, they cut out the string at its proper length directly from the fishing line bobins of a few Kg each.

2) the fact that almost all the fluorocarbon strings are made for fishing line do not mean that the quality is low. The string itshelf is still very good despite the fact that the main application of the PVDF is fot that. Inded, the real problem is that when a fishing line became a string: the final cost raise a lot. The second problem is the availability of different gauges necessary for all the different uke sets, that is scarce : this is why sometime there is a problem of tension balance on some sets.

3) The Aquila video: this is a demo video, nothing to do with our real situation, whose production raise 1 million of ukulele strings per month whose 90% is for the asian ukulele
manufacturers; we also are an anhonymous suplier to some well knows US and EU stringh brands. In other worlds our job follow professional and well organized ways.

4) Gauges: gauges can be different, at the same working tension, because plastics has different densities. Yes, the PVDF is 1.78 but Nylon is NOT 1.16 asd I have seen there: this is the density of the common nylon for fishing line that cannot be employ as musical string because the sound is too dull. Actually, Nylons for music has densities that range from 1.02 (cristal nylon) to 1.04 (Tynex du Pont: the very common nylon) to 1.08 ( our Bionylon).

5) Sugar aquila strings: we are ready to launch them in the market. Gauges has same diameter of Nylgut sets (the blend has same nylgut's density) while the sound is far over the fluorocarbon strings, as testified by those few that had a chance to tried them.

All the things I have explained here are true because this is my job and this is the reality.
Take care
Mimmo (from a could Italy)

DownUpDave
11-20-2017, 01:09 AM
Thanks Mimo, as always you do a great job of explaining these things. You are very much appreciated here for your involvement and always helping out and educating us. I look forward to trying out your Sugar strings when they become available

cdkrugjr
11-21-2017, 06:43 AM
Exactly! There are a few companies on the planet that produce plastic monofilaments. Your strings come from there. The price difference (usually...) reflect the skill that the string makers apply to making balanced sets.

Raw materials are almost always much less important than the skill applied to making them fit your application space.

spookelele
11-21-2017, 09:34 AM
Exactly! There are a few companies on the planet that produce plastic monofilaments. Your strings come from there. The price difference (usually...) reflect the skill that the string makers apply to making balanced sets.

Raw materials are almost always much less important than the skill applied to making them fit your application space.

Does anyone except d'adario rectify strings though? The other thing to consider.. the non-rectified d'adarios.. are just off the spool like everyone else.

jer
11-25-2017, 05:17 AM
Does anyone except d'adario rectify strings though? The other thing to consider.. the non-rectified d'adarios.. are just off the spool like everyone else.
LaBella, Savarez, GHS.

Rllink
11-25-2017, 05:52 AM
Does anyone except d'adario rectify strings though? The other thing to consider.. the non-rectified d'adarios.. are just off the spool like everyone else.
What does it mean to rectify them?

1931jim
11-25-2017, 06:12 AM
From my electronic background "rectify" simply meant changing AC to DC. I would also like to be educated.

jer
11-25-2017, 09:07 AM
This:
"There are also rectified nylon treble strings which start out as clear nylon strings and are then precision ground to a uniform diameter along their entire length."

They also feel different. They tend to have a rougher texture. Think LaBella Pro Series uke strings. Some people can't get over the texture. I quite like them. It does make a bit of extra finger noise though that I'd prefer wasn't there...
There are plenty of threads on various classical forums about rectified vs. plain I've noticed with some searches.

1931jim
11-25-2017, 09:15 AM
I guess rectify must really mean change.

Graham Greenbag
11-25-2017, 12:52 PM
I guess rectify must really mean change.

Well I can see what you mean but the change appears, to me, to correct them from being an uneven or variable diameter to a fixed and specific diameter. You rectify something that is wrong to put it right, well that’s how I see it now.

Edit.
Rectified Nylon strings are center-less ground to produce a smooth texture and consistent diameter. This produces a more comfortable string with impressive intonation.
Source: https://kalabrand.com/products/rectified-nylon-ukulele-strings

Booli
11-25-2017, 06:40 PM
Well I can see what you mean but the change appears, to me, to correct them from being an uneven or variable diameter to a fixed and specific diameter. You rectify something that is wrong to put it right, well that’s how I see it now.

FWIW, I agree with this definition. :)

Booli
11-25-2017, 11:08 PM
https://www.gamutmusic.com/new-page/

This is a link to a page about gut string production and history. If you don't want to read it all, search on "rectify" to find the origins of the use of the word in string making. It looks like it might come from the early 1800s, or before.

Thanks for the link to that page. I find the how-to and history of this very interesting.

It was a good, and quick read, while also very dense with detailed information. I am happy to have learned something new today. :)