I like to think of myself as a lure angler who is keen to refine my methods and keen to try new things, but when it comes to the braid I use on Multiplier reels, like a lot of anglers in the UK, I have stuck with Power Pro almost without exception. However, there’s been a lot of talk about Japanese braids lately on the forums and I have been experimenting with a few Eight strand braids on my fixed spool reel set ups in the last few months. Eight strand is not really suitable for Multiplier reels though so, my favourite Abu Revo STX baitcaster has been consistently spooled with 25lb Power Pro despite the temptation to change. Or at least it had been until about a month ago. The distributors of Sunline in the UK have been advertising with us on Luretour and they were really keen for me to try some out. I must admit I was a bit worried “I’ve got to warn you” I said “I’m a bit of a Power Pro fan. So if I do review it, it will basically be head to head comparison. And I’m going to take quite a bit of persuading! If I don’t like it as much, I will say so.” They weren’t put off though and still wanted me to give it a go. I made a few excuses for a couple for weeks and tried to avoid the inevitable to be honest I was worried that if I gave it a bad review, I’d upset an advertiser, but if I gave it a good review, people might just think I’m plugging a sponsors product. It was when I was deciding whether to take out a reel that was spooled with High Viz yellow Power Pro or the dark green camo version that I decided that maybe the Sunline wasn’t such a bad idea after all…
What finally swayed me was, of all things, the colour. I like the stealth approach of using dark green braid most of the time, as I tend to feel that if a fish does see the braid, it looks pretty much just like a stand of weed and so is less likely to spook them. Most of the time it’s not an issue, but in very clear gravel pits where the fish are under quite a bit of fishing pressure then I think they can be spooked by High Vis lines at times. Of course the problem is, having a high vis line does offer quite a lot of advantages when it comes to lure control and bite detection. It’s great to be able to easily keep a close eye on the angle of the line as it enters the water at distance and in low light levels, and that can be next to impossible with dark green “Camo” lines. So when I saw the colour of the light green version of Sunline SuperPE it seemd like a very nice middle ground. Bright enough to see in all but the dimmest of light, but still green enough to pass from a strand of weed or grass stem if seen by a fish. I was still pretty skeptical when I spooled up the reel with some of the 25lb breaking strain version though, having come to trust the easy to use and reliable properties of Power Pro it was not going to be simple to convert me to another brand.
When it comes to the technical details of a braids such as line diameter and even breaking strain, it’s very difficult to accurately measure them without specialist equipment. Sunline don’t even list a line diameter for Super PE in their catalogue, so I’m not going to get too hung up about the tech spec. But visually it looks at least as thin as Power Pro and has a lovely tight braiding and a very round profile. It went onto the spool very smoothly and I was lucky that my first trip out was in the boat, which gave me the chance to pop an a shallow diving crankbait and let all the line out behind the boat. I then reeled it back in wet under the tension of the lure as we slowly trolled along which allowed the line to bed down really nicely. I know not every one has access to a boat to be able to do this little excercise, but if you can, it’s a great way to ensure your new line is loaded under consistent pressure and at close to maximum stretch. As the line dries out it tightens down a little and really sits neatly on the spool.
The first thing I really noticed about the Super PE was how nicely it cuts, some braid need to be hacked at, even with a quality pair of braid scissors, but Super PE cuts very neatly, which is a bonus. It knots well too. Japanese imported braids are renowned for their super slick coatings and I’ve heard that some of the really expensive Sunline braids like “Castaway” have such a slick coating their is the tendency for knots to slip unless you are VERY careful about what knots you use and how you tie them. The Super PE does feel slick (we’ll get on to that in a minute) but I’ve found that in nearly two months of use I’ve never had a knot slip once, and they do tie down really nice and neat. I was also pleased with the colour when I tried it in practise, it is very visible, but being green it doesn’t look as unnatural as a pink or bright yellow line would.
Casting wise it’s a dream and I would definitely say it casts further than the equivalent B.S. of Power Pro. It’s quieter too with noticeably less noise being heard as it comes back through the rings under pressure. It seems to take on less water than Power Pro too and give off less spray when you’re reeling in fast, which will be a boon during the icy winter months. So all in all the coating on the line is slick and lovely to use. It’s going to take longer than 6 weeks to fully test the lines abrasion resistance and longevity but so far I’m very impressed, I’ve checked the first 20 feet of braid after every trip and so far I haven’t felt the need to cut off any line whatsoever, it all still looks as good as new. There’s no hint of colour fade either.
Sensitivity wise it’s definitely at least on a par with Power Pro. The manufacturers state that it has less than 5% stretch and I can believe that as you can easily feel the wagging of a Kopytos tail when you retrieve it. My main worry when I spooled it up was that it wouldn’t be a very well behaved braid. I have to say however..it has behaved impeccably. I’ve not had a wind knot or really any tangles at all. It’s performed well on a straight pull out of a snag and I’ve landed a lot of fish with it now, without any dramas whatsoever.
All in all I’m very impressed. I haven’t given up on Power Pro yet, but the Sunline will definitely be staying on my Revo and next time I need to buy some new braid it’s going to be a tough call. The Super PE offers much better value than many Japanese Braids, but it is still a bit more pricey than Power Pro at around £23.50 per 150m spool. It’s a close call but I have a feeling the extra casting distance that the Sunline offers may just persuade me to part with the extra few quid.
Sponsor or no sponsor, I can honestly say that the Super PE is good stuff !
Sunline Super PE is available in the following breaking strains:
6lb, 8lb, 10lb, 15lb, 20lb, 25lb, 30lb, 40lb, 50lb, 60lb and 80lb