Around February I was digging through the clearance bin at the local outdoors store when I came across a spool of Berkley NanoFil in 3lb test. Normally $20 per 150 yard spool, it was on clearance for ten bucks. I had already heard the hype about the line but wasn’t willing to drop full price for only one spool. This was the perfect opportunity to see if it performed.
Three pound test was perfect for my ultra light trout rig, so the environment it was tested in was a small Iowa spring creek (McLoud Run). It had to deal with sharp rocks and hang ups on low lying tree limbs. After a few months of hard testing I feel like I have a good idea of what the line is capable of.
I read somewhere, maybe Berkley’s website, that NanoFil will add 30% to your cast. I believe this is in relation to monofilament and not braid, but I will say that it cast more smoothly than a braided line. 30% longer overhand casts is good, but where it shined is underhanded, off balance flips and flicks into hard to reach holes. I found it incredible how I went from passing up holes I thought were unreachable to pulling fish out of them. I credit the improved casting to the smoothness of the line and lack of memory.
How about strength? This is one point I feel less comfortable talking about; keep in mind I was only using a line with a three pound rating. I lost lures on hang ups, but never on a fish. The major weakness in the line are the knots. Such a low friction line requires a very strong knot and I do not recommend the NanoFil knot suggested by Berkey. This knot failed multiple times for me. I recommend a 6-10 turn standards uni knot. Slowly tighten the knot and always check the knot’s strength but applying a good amount of pressure.
Berkeley has hyped this line a lot, and talks quite a bit about the science behind it. You don’t need to worry about the polymerization and chemical bonds to know that is is a very good line. If you have the money to spend on a quality line I definitely recommend Berkely NanoFil.