1/05/2016

Review: Seaguar Fluorocarbon Uke Strings



Uke clubs and shops have been using Seaguar fluorocarbon fishing line as bulk string material for a while and I decided to bite the bullet and get a bunch of it in varying gauges myself. My review of the "blue label" stuff, though?

It sounds more or less like Worth clears or standard Martin fluoros, though the Martins are slightly more "sparkly." It's exactly what I was looking for to do away with endless uke string packaging and give me easy access to "custom lengths" for things like tenor and five-string banjos, long scale baritone ukes, and whatnot.


The "standard" soprano/concert/tenor set gauges-out in their lb-tension readings as G = 40, C = 80, E = 60, A = 30. Those are approximately the same gauges as Martin/Worth clear strings when you do the measurements. I have a "50" roll for E strings that seem to tense, though, or for stepping the C/E down a notch.


I also bought some lighter rolls for alternate tunings and octave strings. 25lb works well for replacing the A with a high C for open C (gCGC) tuning or as an octave in a 6/8-string set next to the low C. The 12lb works great for a high E in DGBE tuning (starting a full step above the low C string on that D) which is a tuning I like a lot for recording as I can double guitar lines in weird keys easily and it has a sort-of Charango-ish/Latin-ish high-pitched sound to it.

That same high E is a mandolin-pitched high E as well, so this also works well if someone comes in wanting to try "mandolin tuning" on a uke and has trouble with those Aquila fifths-tuning strings snapping (I always have trouble with them, anyhow).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't know about ukulele strings but it's most excellent as a leader fishing Texas gulf coast bays!

Jake Wildwood said...

Worths are, presumably, basically the same stuff -- with perhaps minor changes to the forumla. They sound darn good, to me -- easily in the same ballpark as Worths/Martin fluoros -- so good enough for gov't work, as they say.

Anonymous said...

could you provide string gauges suitable for "mandolin" tuning on a concert scale uke?
thanks.

Jake Wildwood said...

80lb for D, 30lb for A, 12lb for E -- not sure what you'd use for the G but maybe 100lb or 130lb test. Worth seems to use 100lb test for their low Gs but I'm guessing that it'd be a bit too low-tension to sound really nice.

Seaguar has charts for diameters which are useful:

http://www.seaguar.com/saltwater/fluorocarbon.html

Compare with a Worth low G set that's slightly heavier:

http://www.elderly.com/worth-bs-lg-strong-with-low-g-uke-set.htm

The unfortunate problem with the 100lb/130lb test is that it's a lot more expensive than the other sets.