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ESP: Two-Tone Coated Braid

September 30, 2013

esptwotoneI’ve been looking to use combi-links for my barbel fishing, and while I’ve messed around tying up braid and nylon with some success, it is a fiddly and time consuming rig to tie. I’ve  therefore been looking around for a coated braid, a material I’d used for many years for carp. But most of the carp ones are very thick for their breaking strain even if you drop to 15lb and none seem to be supplied under that breaking strain. I’ve some 15lb Snakebite in my carp tackle box, but this is way thicker than the 15lb sink Link I’ve been using this year. The Sink Link by ESP has been very good, but is still subject to frequent tangles, especially when you need to give the feeder a bit of a thump.
Enter the ESP Two Tone Striptease in 12lb & 15lb BS, and seems to exactly what I’ve been looking for.

This is what their website has to say:

Two-Tone Coated Braid
– Two Tone is marginally finer in diameter and slightly more rigid than the original Striptease. It has a tightly woven Dyneema core and a translucent polymer coating with a specific gravity of 1.25, so it sinks and lays flat along the bottom without the need for additional weight.
– Two Tone is nominally rated at 15lb, 20lb and 25lb and is lower in diameter than the most coated hook link braids of these breaking strains. However, with carefully tied 5 turn Grinner knots we obtained average achievable knot strengths that were way above this nominal rating.
– Available in: 15lb (0.48mm), 20lb (0.50mm), 25lb (0.52mm)

 – Two Tone is a versatile hooklink material which can be used for a wide variety of rigs and bait presentations. Although the fast sink polymer coating is quite stiff, it is easy to smooth out dead straight without the need for steam.
– This coating can be also stripped off easily with the fingernails, without damaging the ultra fine dyneema filaments.
– Importantly, the extra stiffness of Two Tone means that the hook link tends to fall away from the lead fully extended and in a straight line, making the bolt rig system more efficient.
– The two colours of Dyneema have not only been tightly woven together but have also been semi bonded to produce a perfect round core which is extra strong.

I have to admit I’m impressed with this material. It is far thinner than the Snakebite, seeming to be of a similar diametre to the Sink Link.. I say “seems to be” as Sink Link doesn’t have its diametre quoted. I tied up a couple of rigs of around 60cm, stripping back about half its length,  and was very pleased with the way they looked. On my first trip out with it on the Meuse, it didn’t tangle once on several dozen casts on both rods. It is certainly a strong material, and its dyneema construction should see it have good abrasion resistance.
I also like the slightly tougher plastic coating than I remember from the original Striptease I’d used for carping..This often got damaged by a tough fighting fish. Here the rigs survived the day and even with barbel, chub and bream, the coating stayed intact.
All in all a an excellent product, and one I think I’ll start to use on each river trip.
Tight Lines
Gareth

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