Fishing line gauge
Let me introduce some fishing lines that can be used on stringed instruments. I have been trying fishing lines of various makers and gauge without concentrating one manufacturer or brand. As you can see below, you can find lines that can be used as strings for various instruments, except for metal wound ones. I listed those I'm using, between 2.5 and 26 gauge. I was totally impressed to find 26 gauge "Seaguar" with an orange label in "Johshu-ya" (a large fishing supply store chain) in Hachioji. Because I was not expecting to find a line used for fishing a huge tuna in Hachioji where my office is and some call the Tibet of Tokyo. Even "Johshu-ya" in Shibuya (Central Tokyo) carries "Seaguar" only up to 20 gauge. I should not have taken Hachioji lightly. If you are walking in a fishing supply store with 26 gauge "Seaguar" in your shopping bag, other shopper may talk to you asking "Are you going to fish marlins in Pacific ocean?".
By the way, Kureha Chemical Industry, the manufacturer of "Seaguar", produces a leader line specialized for a long line fishing of tuna, as a "Man-yuu" brand. It seems to be available between 40 and 200 gauge. Other than "Man-yuu", there is thick gauge lines, one of which is by DUEL. Even though DUEL produces lines made of fluorocarbon, their characteristics seems to be quite different from "Seaguar". Other than fluorocarbon lines, there is a nylon line coated with fluorocarbon. I've heard that this line is stretchy and not suitable for musical instruments.
Usually, the line becomes thicker as the gauge number. Also, one can find fractional gauge numbers like 3.5 and 4.75. You can't find 25 Magnum, though
Tornado (100% fluorocarbon), Sunline
2.5 gauge ; 0.260mm diameter
3 gauge ; 0.285mm diameter
DUEL (H.D carbon, polymer shield)
According to company information, "This product utilizes polymer shield produced by resin composition method. It's hard to wrinkle, tolerant to rubbing and scratch, and strong at knots. It's designed for supreme strength, etc."
4 gauge ; 0.329mm diameter
5 gauge ; 0.367mm diameter
6 gauge ; 0.403mm diameter
7 gauge ; 0.435mm diameter
8 gauge ; 0.465mm diameter
10 gauge ; 0.559mm diameter
12 gauge ; 0.612mm diameter
14 gauge ; 0.661mm diameter
16 gauge ; 0.707mm diameter
Seaguar Grand Max (100% fluorocarbon), Kureha Chemical Industry: red/gold label
0.3 - 4 gauge are also available
5 gauge ; 0.370mm diameter
6 gauge ; 0.405mm diameter
7 gauge ; 0.435mm diameter
8 gauge ; 0.470mm diameter
10 gauge ; 0.520mm diameter
Seaguar Ace (100% fluorocarbon), Kureha Ch. Ind.: green label
0.2 - 10 gauge are also available
12 gauge ; 0.570mm diameter
14 gauge ; 0.620mm diameter
16 gauge ; 0.660mm diameter
18 gauge ; 0.700mm diameter
20 gauge ; 0.740mm diameter
Seaguar (100 % fluorocarbon), Kureha Ch. Ind.: Orange label
0.3 - 18 gauge are also available
20 gauge ; 0.740mm diameter
22 gauge ; 0.780mm diameter
24 gauge ; 0.810mm diameter
26 gauge ; 0.840mm diameter
Most of the strings sold for guitar and lute seem to be produced as fishing lines. Not only nylon lines, but also fluorocarbon lines are available at fishing supply shops. Line diameters and corresponding gauge numbers are listed above, because they are displayed according to gauge in fishing supply shops. If you purchased a few appropriate lines for your instrument, you may be able to used them for a life. You should never inquire the sales person "do you have instrument strings". Well, I'm the one who did that at one store.
You will never be able to find them neither EMS not Guitarra.
ÄEKureha Chemical Industry : http://www.kureha.co.jp/
They carry a few lines of Seaguar and have been introducing new product lines.
Seaguar: It has an orange colored label and is available between 1 and 30 gauge. It is relatively stiff and its knot tends be be larger than one would like. However, this is the only one greater than 20 gauge is available. I obtained them in "Johshu-ya in Hachioji.
Seaguar Force : It has a blue label and is available between 1 and 10 gauge. Lately, this is overshadowed by "Seaguar Grand Max", introduced later. Softer than "Seaguar".
Seaguar Ace : This is supreme to regular "Seaguar" and very popular, though it's hard to find ones thicker than 12 gauge. It has a green label and is renowned world wide among early music players.
Seaguar Grand Max : Finally, this is Grand Max long awaited by enthusiasts of 19th century guitars. It has special coating on the surface, which makes it softer though strong against tension. This is an excellent product. Well, I'm not a sales person at fishing supply shop, am I? The one I recommend most is 10 gauge Grand Max.
I'd like to remind you again that these are fishing lines and not intended to be used as strings for musical instruments. But, it's worth a try, in my opinion. Nylon fishing lines are relatively inexpensive even for thicker gauge and easier to find. This "Ginrin" (silver scale) is rather soft and stretchy, which may make this unsuitable for some instruments. But they are inexpensive and available in many gauge.
Fishing lines made of nylon and fluorocarbon can be used as
strings on musical instruments. There are many interesting products
produced by Torey.
Information on their product line up can be found in http://f-net.torayfishing.co.jp/products/index.html. "Ginrin" is available from 0.4 to 30 gauge in nylon. "Ginrin Z" is available from 1.5 gauge. "Ginrin Soft", found in http://f- net.torayfishing.co.jp/products/sea1/ginrin_soft.html, deserves a special attention. Also, "Ishidai", http://f- net.torayfishing.co.jp/products/fune/ginrin_ishi.html, is available thick gauge ones like 16, 18, 20, 25, and 30 gauge.
Their web page is detailed, yet easy to understand, which is a good example of how web page should be.
It became harder to get thicker gauge "Seaguar". Some fishing
supply shops stopped carrying them as a regular stock item and
required to order at least 5 rolls. You can call Kureha's leisure
product division and inquire about the nearest shops that carry their
product. They are well aware that some customers are using these on
According to a source who works for Kureha chemical industry and is an enthusiast of mandolins, they produce a quite few of "Seaguar" with different characteristics in their product development process. I envy him on many "Seaguar" he can try on his instruments....
According to a renowned player of early stringed instruments, he sometimes brings "Seaguar" in his oversea trip as a souvenir to his musical friends. According to another professional player, some players who came to Japan for a concert tour bring "Seaguar" back as a souvenir. Among foreigners, "Seaguar" must be as famous as Geisha and Fujiyama.
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