Monofilament

Made in Florida

FSF Staff October 29, 2013

Anglers and boaters rarely consider the tremendous effort required to design, manufacture and service the countless components and accessories that enhance our on-the-water experiences.

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Photo: doughertyphotos.com

Skilled craftsmen design and assemble many of these essentials right here in Florida. We wanted to learn more abut these companies and are confident that you, too, will be fascinated with what we uncover.

Lindgren-Pitman became the first company to engineer a longline spool specifically for monofilament fishing line.

As developing technologies and techniques continue to improve sport fishing experiences, monofilament fishing line remains the top choice for a variety of applications. Even thought high-tech gelspun polyethylene lines are extremely popular and impressively strong, today’s superbraids are not the go-to solution for every angling scenario. Monofilament fishing lines are highly versatile and offer a great deal of elasticity under pressure. The inherent stretch allows for several advantages and disadvantages. While line stretch weakens the overall breaking strength of the line, it allows for a slight cushion and provides anglers a brief moment to make necessary adjustments before a hooked fish comes unbuttoned due to a pulled hook or parted line.

Few companies in Florida’s saltwater fishing industry deserve as much recognition as Pompano Beach’s Lindgren-Pitman. Founded in 1975 by Peter Lindgren and John Pitman, LP emerged as the go-to for the manufacturing of essential deck gear for the emerging longline fishery. After a few years, John decided to focus his efforts on marine electronics, while Peter continued on his path of designing and innovating the highest quality fishing products. Since, the LP brand has established itself as an industry leader in producing top-notch components necessary for both recreational and commercial angling.

Over the years, Peter Lindgren has seen his company grow to more than 20 employees with more than 37,000 sq. ft. of industrial warehouse space. Lindgren-Pitman became the first company to engineer a longline spool specifically for monofilament fishing line. As time went on and the spools became popular, Peter decided it was time to produce their own brand of monofilament fishing line so customers could purchase an entire longline system in a single package.

Today, LP continues to produce high quality products including Electralume fishing lights, carbon-steel hooks, and the most innovative electric fishing reel in existence—the S-1200. However, their Primeline monofilament and leader material is the focus of this issue’s Made In Florida. In developing Primeline, Peter Lindgren spent two years working closely with DuPont researching and testing the perfect blend of nylon to create the highest quality, large diameter, void-less monofilament. One of the major problems of manufacturing large diameter monofilament fishing line is that the inside material doesn’t cool as quickly as the outside, which can create air in the line that leaves weak points. Peter also worked on the most effective method to pull, stretch and heat the molten monofilament to achieve exceptional strength, resistance, and tolerance to surface wear from large pelagic game fish.

While LP continues to produce ready-to-fish longline spools, they also manufacture heavy monofilament fishing line for the recreational sector. With a minimum of 250 lb. test line, most of their monofilament is destined for outrigger halyards and wind-on leaders for anglers chasing tuna, marlin and swordfish. Whether the monofilament is destined for recreational or commercial use, manufacturing remains the same.

The process starts with clear nylon pellets that are loaded into a hopper (Image 1). This is where all monofilament starts. An additional hopper is loaded with highly concentrated colorant that is blended into the clear pellets. The nylon pellets and colorant are melted at a specific temperature to ensure there’s no risk of overheating, which could result in the degradation and weakening of the end product. Once the material is heated to a temperature over 400 degrees it is time for the extrusion process. Molten monofilament is extruded through a small hole to create a single strand of line (Image 2). This die is critical in determining the profile of the final product and the ability of the molten monofilament to flow evenly without undesirable voids.

From here, the monofilament is quenched in a cool water bath. The line then goes through a series of pulleys with specific draw ratios and turning speeds (Image 3 & 4). This process not only controls the thickness of the line, but its breaking strength as well. The line is pulled, stretched, cooled and heated several times to achieve the desired pound test diameter and strength (Image 5). Cool or heat the monofilament too much or too little and you’ll either break the line, or you won’t achieve the desired strength. Once the line has finally cooled it is wound onto a 5 lb. skein, 25 lb. spool, or full size longline spool (Image 6 & 7).

Manufacturing high quality monofilament fishing line is actually an art with experienced craftsmen playing a big role in the fishing line’s ultimate characteristics. Because quality is imperative, a section of line is tested off every spool (Image 8). Whether it’s the manufacture of electric reels, monofilament or LED lights, the philosophy of LP revolves around their family oriented mindset focused on top-notch products backed by unbeatable customer service.

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