Love them or loathe them, braided mainlines are one of the most innovative tackle developments that the industry has seen in the last 25-30 years.

In this article, we will be breaking down our top 4 braids and how they compare to each other. These braids have been extensively used by our team and below we give you a true evaluation of their performance out on the water.

braid on spinning reel

1. Daiwa J Braid

Our number one choice, constructed and engineered in Japan, this 8-strand construction braid provides you with a round and smooth performance line. Exceeding in lure, jigging, trolling and ledgering work. This near faultless braid behaves extremely well on the spool and provides efficient casting performance thanks to its silky finish.

Daiwa j braid

The heavier and lighter breaking strains of this line have the same characteristics and there was nothing different in performance when used with heavy pike lure setups and finesse lure setups.

Daiwa’s J braid knots extremely well using either a palomar knot or double grinner.

Pro’s

  • – Very limp and smooth braid
  • – Great casting line
  • – Great knot strength – based on palomar and double grinner knots

Cons

  • -The line can go slightly flat in the heavier breaking strains after a lot of use whilst casting. Although we have not seen this hinder the line’s performance.

2. PowerPro

An old favourite, PowerPro is a brand that has been at the top of the braided mainline game for a while. Unlike the other braids in our list, PowerPro is of a 4 strand construction, meaning that the line is rough in hand and not as smooth as the other braids in our list. Don’t let its 4 strand development put you off though, this lower strand braid is as tough as old boots. Think of it like car tyres, your 4 strand braid is like the 4×4 mud tyre – rough, durable and reliable!

power-pro-braid

Great for lure and ledgering work. We found it to be slightly noisy whilst trolling due to its rougher texture and we found it to be not as enjoyable to use in the lighter breaking strains whilst using for finesse lure fishing tactics due to its lack of suppleness compared to its 8 strand counterparts.

Pro’s

  • – Great for using through dense vegetation
  • – Higher abrasion resistance than multistrand braids
  • – Great knot strength

Cons

  • – Rough in texture
  • – Can be noisy when trolling or coming through the rod guides whilst casting

3. Sufix 832

The Sufix 832 Advanced Superline Braid has a construction of 8 braided fibres and with 32 weaves per inch to make an incredibly strong, durable and small in diameter. This braid is constructed from 8 fibres, made up from 7 Dyneema plus 1 GORE Performance Fibre and 32 weaves per inch. The R8 Precision Braiding technology and Dyneema fibres provide high strength, sensitivity, hydrophobic water-repellent protection and a small diameter.

sufix 832

This GORE fibre was introduced to increase abrasion resistance. The theory is the Gore fibre acts as a cushion and lubricant to the other seven fibres. This eliminates the chances of the fibres from cutting into one another in situations of high impact, like setting the hooks.

The line is super smooth and casts like a dream and it knots extremely well with both the palomar and double grinner knots. We also like the natural finish of the braid, unlike some other brands that have thick wax type coatings or coloured dye that requires a few sessions to make the braid supple – Sufix 832 is supple right out of the box!

Pro’s

  • – Great knot strength
  • – Low diameter for 8 strand construction
  • – Great casting braid especially in lower breaking strains

Cons

  • – We have found in the lower breaking strains the line requires a bit more manual management to eliminate wind knots on smaller sized reels.

4. Berkley X9

A new braid to us, but one we are extremely impressed with. The name X9 comes from the 8 strand weave that’s woven round a ninth strand carrier. This results in a super smooth and round profile performance braided main line. Berkley designed this line for optimal strength and casting distance and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in both of these field tests. With its unique construction, the X9 braid is extremely quiet when in use – especially going through the rod guides – this is especially more evident on fixed spool setups when the line is a bit more chaotic on the cast.

berkley_x9_braid

The X9 is a very limp braid in comparison to some other 8 stranded lines we have seen on the market, thanks to its 9 strand carrier construction and the abrasion resistance is very good for a 9 strand braid. Like all 8 strand plus braids, we find these lines to be great for open water application as well as around rocks or sunken trees. However, we would always opt for a 4 strand braid when fishing around dense vegetation as it seems to cut through the vegetation a lot easier thanks to its rougher texture.

The X9 braid knots extremely well with both palomar and double grinner knots and we found that the X9 braid’s characteristics means it’s easy to manage on both spinning and casting setups.

Pro’s

  • – Extremely thin in diameter
  • – A very round profile thanks to the 9 strand construction
  • – Will appeal to anglers that troll due to reduced noise

Cons

  • – More expensive that than any of the other offerings
  • – Not as well known on the market place

When & Why to Use Braid

Braid can almost be used in any fishing situation. However, where it really comes into its own is when it is used whilst fishing with lures, fishing at distance or when targeting species with extremely hard mouths.

So what are the main advantages of braid over monofilament of fluorocarbon mainlines?

Lower line diameter/Higher Breaking Strain

Due to the way these dyneema lines are engineered and interwoven together. The diameter of braided lines are significantly lower than breaking strains of a monofilament equivalent. So for example: A 12lb monofilament will roughly have a diameter of 0.330mm a braided mainline of the same diameter will have a breaking strain of 60lbs!

A big difference right? The general rule of thumb is choose a braided mainline by diameter rather than breaking strain in most instances.

When it comes to the packing that braided mainlines come in. Most will give you a monofilament diameter equivalent. This can cause some confusion with anglers as they may think they have been mis-sold the incorrect breaking strain. So ensure you double check the packaging.

Increased Casting Distance

As we touched upon earlier in the article, braid is advantageous due to its higher breaking strain, lower diameter properties. This adds to the castability of the line. This coupled with a no memory line and a multi strand fiber construction or special coating provides you with a line that provides increased casting capabilities.

braid with baitcaster

Increased Sensitivity

Unlike monofilament or fluorocarbon, braided mainlines have very little stretch. This provides increased bite indication and sensitivity. This allows you to impart more action in lures, feel how your lure is working through the water and increased sensitivity allowing you to feel for the subtlest of takes. The lack of stretch also means you can set a positive hook hold, even on the hardest of mouthed fish species.

braid and fixed spool

Tough & Durable

Unlike monofilament, braids do not suffer from UV deterioration over a season. This means it doesn’t need to be replaced as often. In actual fact braided mainlines can last for a good few seasons without needing replaced at all. You may find the coloured dye infused into the braid starts to fade throughout use, however, this does not affect the performance of the braid itself and is merely a cosmetic alteration.

We do recommend that you check for abrasion on the last couple of feet of line and cut it back where and when necessary and re-tie knots every so often. Apart from that you should have trouble free fishing.