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The ultimate strength of laser‐drawn silica fibers has been found to be related to the velocity of drawing and the tension in the fiber required to maintain it. We find that when the uncoated pristine fiber tension during drawing exceeds about 80 g for a 110‐μm fiber there is a dramatic decrease in strength (coated fiber). Dimensional analysis of the laser‐drawing process indicates that for this particular system the fiber tension should be proportional to the cube of the drawing velocity. This is confirmed experimentally for fibers drawn at a variety of tensions and speeds of 0.4 and 1.0 m/s.