I Saw the Light: Weedwacker & Fishing Line 3-string Cigar Box Guitar

Repurposed CBG using weedwacker and fishing line strings!

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Comment by Doug Thorsvik on July 28, 2021 at 10:50am

Thanks RTZ! I was pleased by their unique tone and they are easy on the fingers; that’s a plus too!

Comment by RTZGUITARS on July 27, 2021 at 11:40pm

Thats good sound for those string 

Comment by Doug Thorsvik on July 27, 2021 at 8:46pm

Thanks Derek for the encouraging feedback. I Saw the Light has become a favorite in the last year. Fishing line works well for the high notes of a ukulele. I have a 22” scale length CBU tuned GCEA (low G) and it sounds just fine. Getting the lower notes for our CBGs is another story; enter the weedwacker string for that low G. Once you have the fishing line on hand (120 yd rolls), you are set for a while! 50 yards for the weedwacker rolls. Lots of room to get creative.

Comment by Derek Rose on July 27, 2021 at 8:28pm

The guitar sounds really good with those strings, Doug. I remember a few of the guys and ladies from the pacific rim talking about using fishing line for their ukes back when I used to frequent the uke forums in the early days. Great Hank gospel performance.

Comment by Doug Thorsvik on July 25, 2021 at 8:41pm

I appreciate the feedback Kale, AGP, Uncle John, and Rope!

I thought a gospel song would be a good choice for a Sunday recording and this is a Slingers fave!

Years ago I tried a weedwacker bass (lots of others were doing it too at the time) which has long since been dismantled. I still have the 4 weights of weedwacker line. As strings they had interesting characteristics: pretty quiet, low sustain, and an interesting thump when plucked.

Surprisingly, the weedwacker strings settle down faster than the fishing line strings. I have no idea why.

I’m about ease of play for new CBGslingers. Steel strings are harder to play and will last a long time. Classical strings are easier to play, but discolor rapidly and are fragile, especially thinner wound strings, and will break on guitars unattended (apparently they do it on 6-string guitars too!) I have been experimenting with fishing line strings, but a low G needs 200 lb test and a 31 5/8” scale length. That’s a long neck. I tried one classical string with two fishing line strings and they did not blend well. Classical low G was too dominant. So I decided to try trimmer line to get that low G and am pleased with the result.

Unfortunately, the test guitar has has metal frets, so I won’t be able to determine the wear characteristics on my 3D printing frets. So, I need to make a new CBG to test it out, now that I know the string combo works. There is always a next project!

Probably too much info. If you want to try out this string combo yourself, let me know and I’ll send you some strings to play around with.

Comment by Rope Walker Country Star on July 25, 2021 at 8:10pm

 Nicely done. To my ear, the strings have a more woody sound, less twang. I like it. Do they go out of tune constantly or do they hold on?

Comment by Uncle John on July 25, 2021 at 6:50pm

Sure sounds good.  Good old Hank Williams Gospel.  One of the best.   Nicely done.  

Comment by AGP # on July 25, 2021 at 6:22pm

The Weedwacker's sounding great Doug, and a great choice of a Hank Song, have been playing around with it a bit myself lately :-)

Comment by Poorness Studios on July 25, 2021 at 5:53pm

Cool idea to use the weedwacker line. I guess we use those on washtub basses all the time but never thought to use one a git.

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