As you say many things can be used as an antenna, but this one actually looks pretty good. You have two electrically large objects (meaning at least one quarter wave long) and they're separated and connected in the middle to a feedpoint. This is the definition of a dipole antenna, yours is just a bit lobsided. It should work pretty well for transmitting and receiving, for the frequencies where the VSWR is low enough.
By cutting it and adjusting the two-wire line you have managed to make it resonate where you need it, so I would say you are done, enjoy it! You could experiment making the loose wire more vertical or more horizontal, to see which works better for your band.
If you want to compare the performance of two antennas I recommend the digital mode WSPR. You can be up and running in 10 minutes:
- install the software from here, start it up and put in your callsign and grid locator. Set it to transmit every period, as you're doing a short experiment, not a long term project.
- tune your rig to XX.110 MHz, SSB, set for the lowest power you can
- hold the microphone close to the computer speaker, with an elastic band around the PTT
- start the program transmitting, let it transmit one or two complete cycles.
Open up https://www.wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map and search for your callsign, you'll see all the places you were received, and the strength.
Then change antennas to the other one you want to compare, and repeat.
The difference between antennas may be visible immediately in the number of places that can hear you, or you may have to look through the list of spots and check the received SNR of a few nearby stations.
This is what a strong station looks like today in 10 minutes:
And this is the top of the list of spots, the SNR number is the one you want for antenna comparisons.
Timestamp Call MHz SNR Drift Grid Pwr Reporter RGrid km az Mode
2022-07-29 22:44 KB0VYG 18.106148 -18 0 EN11vi 0.2 EA8BFK IL38bo 7356 72 2
2022-07-29 22:44 KB0VYG 18.106249 -20 0 EN11vi 0.2 EA8/DF4UE IL38bp 7354 72 2
2022-07-29 22:44 KB0VYG 18.106157 -22 0 EN11vi 0.2 WA2TP FN30lu 1936 84 2
2022-07-29 22:44 KB0VYG 18.106169 -24 0 EN11vi 0.2 KL3RR BP51ad 4175 320 2