Some Thoughts On GLISS Line


By now, quite a few anglers have become aware of a new player on the fishing line market called GLISS, or GLISS KG, manufactured by German company WFT (World Fishing Tackle). Some are touting this stuff as the potential replacement for existing braided and fused gel-spun polyethylene fishing lines, others as a cross-over between braided lines and monofilament… while still others are panning it as an abject fail… So, what’s the real story?

I first became aware of GLISS after reading this article on the Angling International website during 2014. Since then, Angling International have run several more pieces/press releases about the line, including this one (followed shortly thereafter by this clarification), then this piece earlier in 2015, and most recently, this report about GLISS KG winning the award for best new braided line at the 2015 EFTTEX Show in Europe. (Click on the highlighted links in the previous sentence to read each of the write-ups, or find out more about EFTTEX.)

The three colours of GLISS currently available: pink, yellow and clear/white (translucent).

The three colours of GLISS currently available: pink, yellow and clear/white (translucent).

According to these reports and other research I’ve done, GLISS is made from extruded and fused HMPE ( high modulus polyethylene) fibres. HMPE is widely used in high quality marine ropes, tow lines, etc. In a fishing context, it’s claimed to have very low stretch (like braid), to be ultra smooth (like mono), and to have ridiculously thin diametres for its strength… Reading those descriptions, I just had to get hold of some and try it, as it sounded perfect for a lot of the styles of “finesse” fishing I do…

Tracking down some WFT GLISS wasn’t easy. Eventually, I ordered a spool of 6kg in the translucent finish on-line from a British mail order business (6 kg was the lightest they had in stock). After waiting several weeks for the line to arrive, I received an email from the mail-order company telling me that the package had been inexplicably returned to sender. They re-sent it, and eventually my first spool of GLISS arrived. Sure enough, it felt very thin and slippery and I wasted no time top-shotting the spool of a 3000-size spin reel with the stuff. (As a side note, 150 metres of 3 kg [with a stated diametre of 0.12 mm] took up VERY little space on the spool, calling for the use of some sort of backing… For comparison, 0.12 mm is thinner than most one kilo monofilament lines. Bear this in mind when spooling up!)

I was very eager to try the line, but work and weather conspired to delay my first session with it. When I finally got on the water, I used a Double Uni Knot (with 12 wraps on the GLISS side and 6 on the mono side of the connection) to attach a rod-length leader of 6 kg fluorocarbon leader to the GLISS. The knot tightened nicely and after trimming the tags almost flush, hand testing of this connection by applying a steady, even pressure of what I judged to be about 4 kg showed no further slippage of the knot (and it didn’t break!).

I've just been using a Double Uni Knot to connect nylon and fluorocarbon leaders to the light GLISS. However, I use around 10 or 12 wraps/turns on the GLISS side of the connection.

I’ve just been using a Double Uni Knot to connect nylon and fluorocarbon leaders to the light GLISS. However, I use around 10 or 12 wraps/turns on the GLISS side of the connection.

First cast with a soft plastic rigged on a 7 gram jig head was a bit of a spin-out. For several seconds after launching the cast, I assumed I had broken the lure off in flight, as there was absolutely no sensation of line traveling through the rod runners, and I watched the lure splash down many metres beyond the point where I’d expected it to land. However, glancing down, I found myself still connected! Repeated casts reinforced the notion that this line casts further and far more smoothly than ANY braid or PE line I’ve ever used. It is quite remarkable in this regard. There is very little sensation of line leaving the spool or traveling through the guides/runners.

GLISS comes in pink, yellow or white (translucent).

GLISS comes in pink, yellow or white (translucent) and seems to be available on either 150 or 300 metre spools, in breaking strains from 4 to 19 kg.

A few short fishing sessions with the 6kg GLISS only produced a handful of modest fish, culminating with a snapper of around a kilo. The line fished well, felt good and showed no obvious bad habits during these early trials. Knot strength was surprisingly high (when tested against snags, etc), “feel” for detecting bites and setting hooks was excellent, and I experienced no casting knots (so-called “wind knots”), although I took extra care to avoid any stray loops and keep the line neatly packed. GLISS feels very fine and “wispy” and has a bit of a tendency to “hang” in the air following a long cast.


4 kg GLISS (the lightest breaking strain currently offered) proved very hard to track down!

I was now really keen to get hold of some 4 kg GLISS (the lightest strength they currently make) but it proved to be unavailable or out of stock everywhere I tried. Eventually, I tracked some down in Germany, thanks to my good friend and renowned Nertherland’s angler, Jeroen Schoondergang. Jeroen kindly ordered me 300 m of 4 kg in the white/semi-clear translucent or “trans” colour and posted it on to me. It came spooled up on an un-labelled white plastic spool, so I assume the retailer in Germany has access to a bulk supply?

The 4 kg GLISS has a stated thickness of 0.10 mm… which is very thin indeed! However, I can’t verify the precise accuracy of WFT’s ratings for either diametre nor test strength, and braided or fused lines are notorious for “flattening” under pressure in the jaws of a standard micrometer, thus returning very low diametres. However, it certainly feels skinny!

I’ve now had a pretty good chance to fish with two 1000-size spin reels top-shotted with 4 kg GLISS and have caught at least several dozen fish on the line, including flathead to 52 cm, bream to about 35 cm, tailor to perhaps 35 cm, silver trevally to a similar size and a few other sundries. I’ve had one casting knot so far (which proved completely impossible to unpick, forcing me to discard around 30 m of line). I’ve circumvented a few other potential snarl ups by quickly spotting a loose loop on the spool and taking the time to remove it before casting again. I really think you need to take extra care to avoid disastrous casting fluff-ups in this material, as they are VERY hard to pick out!

I’ve run mono (mostly fluorocarbon) leaders with rated breaking strains of 4 and 6 pounds on the 4 kg GLISS and up to 20 pounds on the 6 kg, ranging from leaders as short as a metre to as long as about four metres, always using a Double Uni knot with 10 to 12 wraps/turns on the GLISS side and 6 to 8 wraps/turns on the mono side. So far I’ve had no unexpected breakages and, when busting off a snag on the lighter gear, the mono leader has broken at the lure connection every time, as I would expect (and hope for).

Up to this point I’ve experienced no noticeable wear and tear or obvious abrasion damage on either the 4 kg or 6 kg GLISS, but many other anglers whose opinions I respect HAVE, so I fully expect to witness some of these shortcomings myself. So far, most of my fishing with GLISS has not taken place in environments where abrasion resistance was super important. Personally, I regard it as an “ultra-finesse” option and wouldn’t choose to use it in demanding rock or snag fishing scenarios.

Those interested in doing some more homework on GLISS should definitely read this interesting string on Facebook (click here), and also check out this blog piece by respected UK-based angler, writer and photographer, Henry Gilbey (click here for his latest blog on GLISS). These sources go into some detail about shortcomings they’ve experienced with GLISS. Make sure you read them before parting with your dollars! (GLISS isn’t particularly expensive, but by the time you add shipping costs and currency exchange rates, mail ordering the stuff from overseas isn’t cheap. At the time of writing, Jarvis Walker were reportedly thinking about importing GLISS into Australia, but hadn’t made a final decision, to my knowledge.)

At this point in time, I’m willing to go on record as being extremely impressed with the performance of the two lightest breaking strains of GLISS (4 kg and 6 kg) in ultra-finesse applications. I give it the following ratings, while stressing that it’s still too early for me to comment on long-term durability and resistance to wear and tear;


SENSITIVITY/FEEL                 8.5/10

KNOT-ABILITY                           7/10


VALUE FOR MONEY                 7/10 (when mail-ordering from overseas)

DURABILITY                              Too early to say

ABRASION RESISTANCE          Too early to say, but no problems so far


To sum up, if you’re looking to try what might arguably be the ultimate in long-casting, ultra-finesse braided/fused lines currently available, give GLISS a try… BUT take into consideration the negatives reported by some reputable commentators in terms of abrasion resistance and long term durability. Hopefully I’ll be able to report in greater depth on those aspects myself in the near future. Meanwhile, good luck trying to track down a reliable source of 4 kg GLISS if your interests lie at that end of the tackle spectrum!