Product Spotlight:Downrigger Cable and Downrigger Braided LineWhich would you rather use for your downrigger, steel cable or braided line? Steel Cable has been around for decades, and ever since braided line was introduced to replace the steel cable, it has been up for debate as to which one is better. Steel Downrigger CableSteel downrigger cable is available in strengths of 150lb and 180lb. and comes in packages of 200 ft to 400 ft rolls for recreational anglers. ProsIf properly maintained it will typically last longer than braidCost is lower than some of the higher end braided linesHas more abrasion resistance than braided linesCan provide a fish attracting electric charge if you have a black box or if your downrigger has this feature built inConsNeeds to be maintained, treated, and rinsed after each use so that the steel won’t fray, get brittle, and rustMakes a whining noise as you trollThe downrigger can send electrical charge down the wire, which can scare fish awayWhen the wire gets brittle and frays it can cut you if you let it get too bad before changing out the wireHarder to spool, and is prone to kinks, unlike braidBraided Downrigger LineBraided downrigger line comes in popular strengths of 150 lb to 250lb test and in rolls of 200 ft to 400 ft. ProsBraided line is quiet when you trollStronger breaking strength than steel wire with the latest advancements in braided line strength availableIt is a smaller diameter than wire, which provides less line bowing than steel wireGive a more true actual depth of your downrigger weight compared to the counter on the downriggerA downrigger can be loaded with much more line with much less weight and bulk than heavy steel wireNo electrical current transfers down the lineConsProne to line nicks, it’s important to cut the bad parts of the braid off for each use so you don’t lost the downrigger weight from a break in the lineKnots in the line become a weak point in the lineIt’s really a matter of preference. If you are used to the steel wire, and feel the electrical currents and whining of the wire are attracting the fish, then I would recommend not switching. Or try switching to braid on one of your downriggers and run a side by side comparison for a season as you keep a log of which one catches more fish, along with some of your own pros and cons, for a true comparison. If you do switch a downrigger that was using steel cable to braided line, make sure you check for any nicks in the downrigger spool and the end of the boom on the pulleys to make sure there are no areas that can cause fraying of the braided line, or even cutting off your braided line when it’s under a weighted load. Scotty Premium Power Braid Downrigger Line300FT OF 200LB TESTScotty Premium Stainless Steel Downrigger Cable200 ft to 400 ftDisclosure: This post is brought to you by the Mendenhall Outdoors team. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase.