Spreading a Little Christmas Cheer – III

Stren line sale. Bass Pro Shops 1976 Christmas catalog.

Stren line sale. Bass Pro Shops 1976 Christmas catalog.

This part of Spreading a Christmas Cheer is about a couple of things. One, the cost of a bulk spool of line and two, a bit of a historical – maybe even hysterical – look back on DuPont Stren in 1976.

So, to touch on the first part, check out the cost of the 2400-yard spool of Clear Blue or Golden Stren 12-pound test. Yes people, you’re reading it right – $12.99. Back then it cost less to buy a year’s worth of premium line than it does to buy 70 meters of a premium fluorocarbon today. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Now that we’ve hopefully recalibrated ourselves to what line cost back then, let’s take a look at Stren’s line options.

Clear blue Stren was as close as you could get to a premium line at the time. It was soft and castable, it was visible above the water and touted to be invisible below, it cast well on spinning gear and casting gear and as you saw above, you didn’t have to hawk your truck to fill a spool. It was great line and there was never any doubt about it.

As much as Stren had a winner with the clear blue line, it had an absolute loser with the Golden and Florida Orange lines. In fact I’m surprised the state of Florida didn’t sue DuPont for misrepresentation.

I remember the first spool of Golden Stren I got my hands on. I tried tying a jam knot on the spool of my reel in order to fill it up for  trip I was going on to Casitas to fish during the spawn and wanted the extra visibility for those spawning fish – there was nothing such as sight fishing back then.

Anyway, I go to cinch down on the knot and things got weird. I pulled, the knot got tight but nothing cinched down. I pulled harder, same thing happened, and still the knot didn’t move. all this time the knot was getting smaller and smaller and I had the sensation that I was actually pulling on the line. The next iteration resulted in the line breaking – you guessed it, the knot still hadn’t moved.

This perplexed me. So I grabbed the line, took a couple wraps of it in each hand and pulled.  To my amazement, I pulled and and the more I pulled the longer the line got.  I have to say it’s funny today but I felt I’d been taken to the bank  back then. I never bought another spool of Golden Stren again. From what I hear, the Florida Orange wasn’t much better and it cast even worse.

Yep, line costs back then were actually affordable but you had to watch what you bought. If you stuck with Stren Clear Blue, Maxima Green or Trilene XL or XT, you got not only a great line but something you could afford.

  • Jojo Norwood

    I remember Trilene come’n in a plastic box 2 spools connected together Ea spool was110 yds if I remember correctly That was “big Money” in ’76. LOL

    • Stren did that too Jojo. In fact, if you click on the picture, you’ll see it here. 🙂

  • Scott Jarvis

    I was a Garcia Royal Bonnel MAN !! They would link spools also.

  • paul wallace

    Gold Stren…There are still guys to this day, that swear buy the stuff for ice fishing! It has/had a cult following in the ice fishing world. 2 lb and 4 lb test.
    Paul