July 27, 2015

Review: FINS Windtamer Braided Fishing Line

FINS Windtamer is the hottest braided fishing line out there and people have been giving it a lot of praise. But is this a result of excellent marketing or an awesome product? This is the Louisiana Fishing Blog, we don't buy into hype and we put all our equipment to the test. We fish often and know what makes for good gear, so we were excited to get this fishing line and give it an objective review. Read on and we'll tell you exactly what makes this fishing line one you want to consider.

Not everyone is as religious about braided fishing line as others but chances are you have at least one rod equipped with it. It's a good tool to have in the toolbox! People use braided fishing line primarily because it does not stretch and has incredible tensile strength in comparison to its diameter. It's really easy to feel soft bites or details in the water bottom because it transmits every bump the lure encounters. With braided line it is easy to tell if you are jigging across a muddy bottom or oyster reef. You can also pack a lot more of it onto a reel so you have more fishing line readily available. It is light enough for speckled trout but can handle an attack from brutes like bull reds and jack crevalle, making it an excellent choice for inshore anglers. Braided line has its place in the world but always had some setbacks. What makes Fins Windtamer unique is that it has solved some of those problems.

Who is FINS?

Fins Fishing Line Logo

FINS makes a variety of super lines suited for every need

FINS is a company based out of Erlanger, Kentucky who specializes in creating and selling braided fishing line made from Spectra fiber. You must be thinking, "What?! They don't manufacture the fiber themselves?" No, they do not. Honeywell does. Honeywell is a manufacturer of advanced fibers and composites. They are the creator of Spectra fiber, which is used by many companies to manufacture braided fishing line. In fact, FINS is not the only company who uses this fiber in their products. PowerPro, Magibraid and Woodstock do as well.

Spectra fiber is produced using a patented gel-spinning process. It is a high-strength ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber that is white in color and resists water, chemicals and sunlight. Being four times stronger than nylon and fifteen times stronger than steel it should come as no surprise Spectra fiber is used to create ballistic materials to protect our military personnel! So it's safe to say that Spectra fiber would do pretty well as a braided fishing line. Watch the video to learn more.

So what makes FINS special?

For years FINS has created braided super lines. In short, they are fishing line people. What makes them unique is their experience in various weaving methods and post-processing techniques to improve the performance of Spectra fiber as a fishing line. I am sure these secrets are kept close to the heart in Erlanger, but from what I see it is clear they are experts in weaving Spectra fiber in different patterns, coating it and coloring the final product in order to address different fishing needs.

See, FINS understands that no single fishing line is the best one for everybody. This is why they have multiple product lines, one to meet each special scenario. That is where FINS Windtamer comes onto the scene. If the name isn't obvious, "Windtamer" literally tames the wind. The chief complaint of braided performance is the "wind knot" that forms when casting in a stiff wind. These wind knots can wrap around the rod tip or just get tangled in the wind by themselves, creating a knot the equivalent of a Rubik's cube. Time spent untying wind knots is time spent not fishing, everyone's least favorite time category.

Wind Knot Around Rod Tip

Wind can cause the fishing line to wrap back around on itself or the rod tip, causing you to pause your retrieve and untangle the line.

Wind knots are not the only problem associated with sub-standard braided line. Sometimes braided line can pull into itself especially after a prolonged fight with a bull red. This will cause the line to cast poorly or not at all, since it is stuck under a layer of itself. Typically an angler must pull out this length of line and reel the line back onto the spool to remedy the problem. Again, this is time spent not fishing.

Some braided lines can "screech" on rod guides because the line is not smooth and inherently causes a lot of friction. This is also detrimental to casting performance. For obvious reasons you want the line to easily fly off the reel so you get less backlash, more casting distance and overall better performance.

FINS has solved these problems by weaving 100% Spectra fiber into a round shape that packs evenly onto the reel and is not so flimsy that it folds back onto itself, causing wind knots, rod tip wrapping, backlash and other issues. This line really stands out on a baitcaster but does well on spinning reels, too. It's not just the weave that separates Windtamer from the rest of the herd; FINS also uses a proprietary process to treat and finish the Spectra fiber.

Windtamer comes in different colors: yellow, green, pink and white. You may be wondering why anybody would want to use bright colors. The answer is really simple. Using a bright color makes seeing the fishing line that much easier! That is why I use yellow fishing line. If I am fishing with newbies it is easier to identify their fishing rod as "the one with the pink line" and it is even easier to untangle fishing line when it is different colors. So choose your favorite color!

The Good

Fins Windtamer Shimano Curado

You can tell the line settled in on itself but not so badly as to negate performance

I purchased a 150 yard spool of yellow FINS Windtamer in 20lb test from the FINS website. The product was delivered on time to my doorstep and I immediately removed the old braided line from my Curado. As always, I put down 20 yards of 12lb test monofilament as a backer, tie the two lines together with a Uni Knot and then spooled the Windtamer on. I spent a month and a half fishing with it, fishing for speckled trout, redfish and largemouth bass in places like Breton Sound, Hopedale, Slidell and Bayou Segnette. I tightlined lures ranging from Matrix Shad on jigheads, to spinnerbaits, topwater lures and swimbaits.

I can tell you that I did not have a single wind knot. I fished in winds up to 15 knots with the Windtamer and it did exactly that, tame the wind. The only time the line backlashed was from operator error (sometimes I swing for the fence really hard) and I did not experience rod tip wrapping. If I fought a really big fish the line would cut into itself a little bit, but it was easily pulled out by just casting again. It did not cut into itself like sub-standard braided line did before. After about a month of usage I unraveled the line to look at the inside of the spool and found that the line had settled a little but not so much that it affected the performance of the line.

TIP: I like to unspool my reel from a slow-moving boat and then reel it back on so it untwists in the water and packs evenly onto the spool. If you do this the line will not settle at all. Be sure to let the line go into the water without anything tied on.

Does FINS windtamer fade

FINS Windtamer did not fade at all after 45 days of use.

The Bad

Windtamer is not as abrasion resistant as some monofilament line, believe it or not. If you're still not sure, then check out a line abrasion test Estero did. While FINS wasn't the worst line in terms of abrasion resistance it certainly wasn't the best. However, it's only an abrasion test and a pretty  tough one at that. It's not realistic and is designed to give you a better idea of how different lines hold up in a controlled environment.

Fins Windtamer Abrasion Resistance

Estero used a 120 grit aluminum oxide emery cloth to test the abrasion resistance of FINS Windtamer

You get what you pay for. FINS can be more expensive, but not so much it's not worth having on your reel. It costs about 40% more than braided line from other companies in the same yardage and tensile strength categories. Consider the time you spend fixing the small annoyances of a lesser braided line and figure how much it is worth to have those vanquished. Is it worth the extra five bucks? I think so.

I believe Windtamer is a cutting-edge fishing line whose performance is best realized on a baitcaster. For that reason I don't mind shelling out the extra bucks because I am getting so much more value for my dollar.

TIP: Be sure to pay close attention to that drag setting: lighter for trout, heavier for redfish.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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