Reviewed by Capt. Mike Schoonveld
Braided fishing line has been around since I started fishing a million years ago. Back then it was high-tech stuff made of miracle fibers called nylon or Dacron. Monofilament was soon developed that made these early braided lines nearly obsolete – Dacron and nylon braids are used these days mostly by guys who don’t have cell phones or email addresses.
In the 1990s new fibers were invented to weave into fishing lines. These were quickly adopted by geeky guys who believed the Internet was something likely to catch on eventually. These lines, made from fibers with bunches of X, Ys and Zs in their chemical names, were dubbed “super-lines.”
I guess I was one of those geeky guys since the two major attributes touted by makers of super-fiber lines appealed to me – they were (and still are) nearly zero stretch and crazy-thin for their strength. I could see advantages to both details. At the time, the only zero-stretch, relatively skinny line available was stranded steel wire.
The first generation super-strands left much to be desired at best and some were absolute junk. But they took hold and we are now in the fourth, fifth – perhaps 10th generation. Now, these lines are simply called generically, braided line. Few brands are perfect though most are pretty darned good, these days.
There’s a place for braided line on my boat from early spring to the last trip of the season. Depending on the when, where and how I’m trolling, a few, to as many as every reel I’m employing are spooled with braid. Last fishing season I spooled two of my downrigger reels with Sufix 832 Advanced Superline. It proved to be as close to perfection as I’ve ever used.
I spooled up with 20 pound test, in the Coastal Camo color. I like hi-vis lines and the bright-light blue Coastal Camo is easy to see and looks cool! It’s thin and smooth. I don’t know if it’s the thinnest or smoothest but it’s seems as slick or slicker than others I’ve used and performs “thinner” than other extremely skinning, but somewhat textured braids.
I downrig with braid anytime I’m sending the lures deeper than about 40 feet to reduce blowback and to facilitate tripping the release when or if needed. With little blowback and no stretch in the line, popping the line free from the release is easy when my ‘riggers are set even deeper than 100 feet. Explain how to do that with mono.
Catch a fish that deep on traditional mono and all the angler feels is a weight on the line. With braid, it’s more fun. Every fin-wiggle, head-shake and tail-pump transmits up the line, whether the fish is a small fry or the biggest catch of the day.
I’ve had plenty of hi-vis braids that worked well, but after a few trips, their bright color fades like new blue jeans in a hot washer. After a couple of months, the Coastal Blue is still as vibrant as when I wound it onto the reels.
I’ve used braids that were equally smooth, but the smooth seemed to be at the expense of abrasion resistance. On those, scuffs and easily-apparent fibers coming loose where I attached the line to releases, rubber bands or planer boards made me suspect of the strength of the abraded spots. I’ve not seen that with the Sufix line.
We had a typically bad dose of fish-hook fleas where I fished last summer. Normally, FHFs and braid are a terrible combination. The fleas easily hook the thin line. “S832AS” wasn’t immune, but with light or medium infestations it was slick enough to allow the line to be reeled in without clogging the rod tip. Being smooth and thin made manually removing the flea-snot clumps easier than on braids with thicker and rougher weaves.
When you are respooling for the 2019 season, grab a spool or two of Sufix 832. You’ll like it!