View Full Version : Broken Stringer

North Star
07-30-2010, 07:15 PM
Caleb, Kathy, and I went out of Newport Oregon yesterday to the north reef to see if the vis had improved over the zero vis we had two weeks ago. It had, but just barely - about 5 feet. As little as you can have and still see enough to shoot.

Caleb and I made two dives each. He got a limit of seven rock fish and two small Ling - 23 and 25. Fish were really hard to find and see - I got 4 rock fish on the first dive and 3 on the second, but hadn't seen any Lings until the last few minutes of my last dive. Saw one under a ledge and shot it, about 29", was really happy about that - then swam about 10 feet further and saw another one the same size and shot him - I was really stoked - two nice lings that close together at the last minute.

In fact, I was so low on air that I did not even string the last Ling - just kept him on my spear, did my 3 minute safety stop with him on the spear, and acended to the surface. I then put in my snorkel and strung the Ling.

Everything was right with the world, I had finished my limit, 5 nice fish on the stringer, and was headed back to the boat surface swimming, when I turned to look back for some reason and noticed two rockfish floating in the surface!

I looked down at my stringer and it was EMPTY! It had broken - plastic coated stainless steel cable mind you - right at the crimp. I grabbed the two floating rockfish, but one rockfish and the two lings sank out of sight into that five foot vis in about 40 feet of water. Could not find them. Made me sick.

Looked at the broken cable under a stereo microscope and best I can figure the cable work hardened and broke cleanly at the crimp. No sign of fraying or compression cut at all. I had only used this stringer about 7-8 times since it was new.

Work hardening of braided cable (and solid rod) where it comes out of a swaged fitting is common in other situations. Seems like that is what happened here, I think.

I am thinking about switching out my stainless steel cables for 400 lb mono shooting line in hopes of avoiding this problem in the future.

What do you all think? Anybody had this problem before?




North Star
07-30-2010, 10:15 PM
Tyson - Thanks. I stripped the clear plastic coating back several inches to look for signs of rust, and there were none. The broken ends of the cable are shiny under the microscope, and all the same length (broken straight across on all of them), so it seems pretty clear that it is work hardening at the swage.

In any event, I am going with mono in the future. I use 400 lb mono on my shooting line on my gun and abuse it terribly on rocks and sharp metal when shooting fish and it holds up great. I haven't put this stainless steel cable under any significant strain at all, and it breaks. Go figure.:confused: