What does PE rating refer to?

Learning the PE rating can give you a quick guide as to what braid to use

PE is an abbreviation for Poly Ethylene, which is what braided fishing lines is made from. The PE rating is a uniform measuring system developed by the Japanese that refers to the diameter of the line, not the breaking strain.

The PE rating is a constant measurement, so while two lines advertised as being rated to 50lb may actually test at different breaking strains, two lines with the same PE rating will always be the same diameter. For example, a PE5 line may break anywhere between 30 – 80lb, which can be due to the quality of the fibres, amount of strands (4, 8, 12 and 16 strand), or quality of the braiding process.

To make it easier for the consumer, most brands recognised brands market their lines with a breaking strain that’s 10 times the PE rating, so you can estimate the breaking strain of a PE line by following this general rule: Multiply the PE Number x 10 = breaking strain. So, PE6 x 10 = 60lb, and it will rarely break below this mark. In fact, in most cases these lines will break well above the advertised breaking strain.

Not all braid is created equal Advances in technology and manufacturing has seen huge improvements in braid, so some leading brands can now be more specific in advertising breaking strain. The Shimano Ocea EX8 brand for example is an 8 strand braided line that is incredibly smooth and thin for its strength, allowing anglers to fish more current and experience more sensitivity when jigging at depth. Moreover, Shimano gives more exacting breaking strains e.g. Ocean EX8 Premium PE 6 has a breaking strain of 86.3lb.

These top braids also give you extra spool capacity.

The Japanese also rate rods and reels according to a PE number so you can match your gear, attain better balance, and get the right action into your lures.

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