Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape Review FTN536-100 – Low Friction Fishing

Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape

The Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape is a lightweight and low-friction fishing tool that excels in crowded conduit. We’ve run plenty of wire with it as we refurbished an old industrial building in Central Florida.


  • Thin, low-friction nylon slides easily past other wires in the conduit
  • Textured case makes payout and rewind easier
  • Lightweight
  • Nylon’s color is easily visible
  • View window to see length left


  • Recommended just for fishing, not for pulling


The thin diameter and extremely low-friction material of the Greenlee nylon fish tape help it excel when fishing in conduit where wires or cables are already present. It slides past those existing elements as they help the tape to resist flimsiness. But it doesn’t have the stiffness of steel or multi-stranded poly tapes we’ve used. Still, it can make several bends in shorter runs. The case’s ridges help with payout and rewind and the handy viewing window gives you a point of reference. It may not be your all-around fish tape but it can get you out of a bind when others fail.

How Does the Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape Perform?

We’ve been hard at work on an old industrial building that’s getting a complete refurbishment. It’s proven to be a great testing ground for the Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape. We had lots of new conduit as well as some existing conduit with existing wires. Like the Greenlee adjustable cable stripping tool, this product finds its niche with commercial electricians.

Greenlee FTN536-100 conduit run

The Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape is a slim, lean 3 pounds – which is especially nice when you’re on a ladder. The 250-pound tensile strength nylon’s payout is very smooth, revealing a skinny 3/16-inch diameter tape. It’s no surprise that there’s a trade-off in stiffness compared to thicker poly tapes and nearly every steel version. However, we found this allows us to fish quite easily through conduit that already has wires in it, especially given the nylon’s notably low friction.

The nylon’s color is also very easy to see in our typically de-energized and dim work environments.

Greenlee FTN536-100 nylon fish tape

Be Kind, Rewind

If you’ve been around the trade for even a few years, you’ve likely had a steel tape become irrevocably stuck in the case upon rewind. It’s frustrating and expensive, especially if it’s your only tape on hand. But the low-profile nylon is smooth on the rewind and poses no risk of getting stuck.

Greenlee nylon fish tape reel

I really like the Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape’s viewing window—a small opening in the case below the handle. You don’t always have an idea of how much tape is in the conduit—either coming or going—and this window helps. It’s inexact but still handy.

Follow the Leader

The metal leader of the Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape follows the same low-profile form as the tape. It’s important to note that Greenlee only recommends this tape for fishing and not for pulling. Does that put it at a disadvantage to the competition? In some cases, perhaps. However, consider that high-friction steel and even thicker poly tapes would have a tougher time fishing in conduit that already contains wire. The thin, low-friction nylon has the best chance of making its way to the other end.

Greenlee nylon fish tape leader

This tape works great for straight runs and can handle several 90°s at a shorter distance. Its ability to get around bends diminishes the more closely you approach its 100-foot length.

Greenlee FTN536-100

How Much Does the Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape Cost?

Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape is $108.11. For reference, take a look at some of the competition:

The Bottom Line

The Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape earned its place on our job site because it’s best suited for the tough task of fishing through conduit that already contains wire. Its low-friction and thin diameter is more likely to succeed under those conditions over stiff steel or thicker poly tapes. Keep in mind Greenlee only recommends it for fishing and not for pulling, so it may not be your all-around fish tape, but it’s certainly nice to have on hand for shorter runs and crowded conduit.

Greenlee Nylon Fish Tape FTN536-100 Specifications

  • Model Number: FTN536-100
  • Tensile Strength 250 LB (1.1 KN) Maximum Design Strength
  • Material Nylon
  • Type Non Conductive, Curl Resistant
  • Application For Fast, Clean Fishing, For Fishing In Conduit With Wire Or Cable Present
  • Price: $108.11

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“Greenlee only recommends it for fishing and not for pulling…” WTF?? It seems to me that this is like buying a car that is superlative in every respect…. Except, when you arrive at your destination, it is not recommended that you step out of the car!!!
Am I missing something here??? PLEASE ADVISE!!

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