The triple strand design of the new Milwaukee 100 ft Polyester Fish Tape approaches the stiffness of steel while retaining the smooth, low-friction movement of poly. The result is the best fish tape we’ve ever used. As an electricians tool, this shows promise. Let’s go fishin’.
- Triple strand poly design strikes a great balance between stiffness and low-friction
- Payout and rewind are far superior to steel and thinner poly tapes
- No kinks and no catching in the case like steel
- The case’s thick grips are comfortable, making rewind very easy
- The leader’s metal coupling to the tape can get caught on the box during rewind (a common fish tape problem)
RecommendationThe triple strand design of the Milwaukee fish tapes offer the best of both worlds. You get greater stiffness for payout but low friction for rewind. It’s the best fish tape our crew has used, getting to the endpoint faster and coming back easier. The low friction assists the tape inside the case as much as inside conduit. Virtually gone are the tough pushes and pulls that can make wire installation so tedious. And the case’s wide, inside grips are excellent. The metal coupling can get snagged on service panels—a common (but not huge) problem with any fish tape. But overall, Milwaukee has done a great job with this tool.
Milwaukee Polyester Fish Tape Performance
Most electricians would have drop-kicked their steel fish tapes long ago if it wasn’t for steel’s payout stiffness. Steel’s friction upon rewind and the frustrating caught-in-the-case situation are big downsides.
If you’ve used a poly tape on the job, no doubt you’ve felt the benefit of the lower friction. But poly tapes, like the Southwire SimPull our crew reviewed a while back, won’t pay out as far as their steel counterparts.
The Milwaukee 100′ Polyester Fish Tape might have changed that. Using three strands of poly, Milwaukee has increased the stiffness without increasing the friction.
The result is the best fish tape we’ve ever used. We’ve been running wire at the large job where we reviewed the Southwire conduit benders. There’s a lot of work to do and the Milwaukee tape makes it noticeably easier. In fact, one Pro referred to this tapes rewind as a dream compared to steel. It hasn’t gotten caught in the case, either. In this case, having no memory is a great thing.
As you know, a run can’t have more than 360° in total bends between pull points. But the tape glides so well through everything we’ve thrown at it, we wanted to push its payout to the limit. We set up a quick experiment that wasn’t part of the installation: five 90°s and a 45° kick.
The Milwaukee 100′ Polyester Fish Tape accomplished this with ease—and that’s really impressive. Any other tape of any other material would have failed absolutely or at least relative to the Milwaukee. Steel’s friction would have been too much. Using other poly tapes would have been like pushing on a string.
Be Kind, Rewind
In addition to the tape’s low friction, the case’s inner grips give you a solid grip during rewind.
The only (admittedly small) gripe we had was with the metal coupler that connects the leader to the poly. It can get caught on the edge of a service panel during rewind. It’s beveled but still not quite enough. We’d love to see more even more taper in the next generation. That will ensure a smooth rewind that matches the rest of the Milwaukee 100′ Polyester Fish Tape’s low friction.
Milwaukee 100′ Polyester Fish Tape Pricing and Competition
Where does the $99.99 Milwaukee 100′ Polyester Fish Tape fall in the competition’s price range? Here’s a sample:
- Southwire SIMPULL Fish Tape 100′ Flexible Metal Leader FTSP3-100FML: $54.99
- Milwaukee 100′ Polyester Fish Tape 48-22-4195: $99 .99
- Klein Fiberglass Fish Tape with Spiral Leader, 100′ 56010: $161.00
- Ideal Industries 100′ 31-061 Blue Nylon Jacketed Fiberglass Fish Tape: $209.99
The Bottom Line
Milwaukee’s done electricians and other installers a great service with the stiffer payout and smooth rewind of the Milwaukee 100′ polyester fish tape. The triple strand design eliminates the biggest weakness of other poly tapes without detracting from poly’s low-friction movement. It’s superior to steel in every way we used it and a better tape than other poly and fiberglass tapes we’ve had. We’re working more efficiently and with a lot less hassle.
Milwaukee 100′ Fish Tape Specifications
- Item Number: 48-22-4195
- Variations Also Available:
- 50′ Non-Conductive Tip: 48-22-4162
- 50′ Flexible Metal Leader: 48-22-4192
- 100′ Non-Conductive Tip: 48-22-4165
- 200′ Non-Conductive Tip: 48-22-4167
- 200′ Flexible Metal Leader: 48-22-4197
- Width: 13.19 inches
- Style: Flexible Metal Leader
- Height: 17.3 inches
- Price: $99 .99