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My Braids - The good, the bad and the ugly.


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Hi all,

Just thought I would post up my thoughts on braid I have used. I went away on a camping trip on the weekend and before leaving I made a hesitant purchase of TD Sensor Braid, I believe it was around $77.00 so I was hoping that finally this was the consistently good braid I was after.

I'm in no way technically down with braid lingo and benefits and disadvantages behind Microfuse and true braid but I thought I would post this from fisherman who does all sorts of fishing, and alot of it.

Having tried Stren Microfuse, Finns and Fireline - I've had my fair share of ups and downs in braid.

Fireline - 6lb & 8lb

Stradic Ci4 / G.Loomis DSR820S 2-4kg

This is a real hit and miss braid for me, at least 1 out of 3 rolls lasted the distance. Fireline can be complete utter shit, or awesome which is a real concern for me- so although my experience with my good roll was amazing, it's not worth the risk.

I use my teeth mostly to split braid as I find it easy and quick haha and found that the best of the lot was almost IMPOSSIBLE to break at 6lb. However, the other two rolls were variably weak. It seemed that 1 meter would be strong as nails, then the next would be as weak as cotton. I use a double uni-knot to tie my leader to braid and I would find 50% of my knots would break with ease after testing strength before use and I'm talking no force at all. Then the next knot would hold like fort knox.

Alot of people complain about the wire like characteristics of the braid but I found this to be a plus especially in the lower end of weight ratings- however I could see this to be quite an issue when you start looking at 20+lb lines. Would be like fishing with steel.

My verdict?? Not worth the risk. Unless you know you are going to get that "good quality" roll of braid then don't bother.

Finns - 6lb

Stradic Ci4 / G.Loomis DSR820S 2-4kg

I thought I would try this as I had heard some good reviews. I lasted only one roll. I'm not sure whether or not this is an indication of all rolls and perhaps I got a dud but I found with this one purchase, although strong I found it to fray quite easily. After about 3-4 uses I could notice it fraying and found myself snipping away the frayed line as to avoid any weaknesses everytime I fish. Strength was always there but I never wanted to risk it.

My verdict?? Although I've only tried it once- it wasn't good IMO. Paying good money for braid and then seeing it waste away, meter by meter had my bank balance shaking at the thought. I found it had a nice good feel to the braid and casted quite nicely but to me ? Fray = wasted pay day.

Stren Microfuse

TD Sol 3000 / TD Sol 10-17lb 7ft

Again off reviews I decided to try Stren Microfuse, but this time instead of opting for it in the lighter category I upped the line class to both 10lb and 15lb for my TD Sol 3000 spools for my heavier in the bay fishing and launching slugs and lures off rocks. Immediately I was impressed- although it carries the same wire like feel as the Fireline- it does not seem to matter in this heavier class. I'm pinging slugs as far as I could imagine a 7ft 10-17lb sol could do whether it be behind the breakers at the beach, across the inlet at Burleigh Heads- this stuff casts a mile. Heavy weight casting = stress on line and both the 10lb and 15lb have showed no signs of fraying or weakness.

My verdict?? One to keep. I've put this braid under some pretty heavy stress and it has held up trumps. Seems to cast a mile, slide through the glides with ease, no wind knots and best of all- it does not deteriorate with age like the Finns or Fireline. Will definitely give it a try on my Stradic Ci4 and Loomis in the lower weight class.


Now for the finale.

TD Sensor Braid

Stradic Ci4 / G.Loomis DSR820S 2-4kg

After all my pains with braid I decided to shell out the dosh for some TD Sensor Braid. I've heard good and bad reviews (mostly good) but thought I would try it for myself. As mentioned above, I camped over the weekend for some freshwater bashing. Although I can only mention my experience from 2 full days of solid fishing I find this braid to be, supple but strong. It's as thin as they get and compared to Fireline and Finns it casts insanely far.

I found myself getting snagged on the opposite banks so easily because this thing just glides... and glides.. and glides. It feels and sounds like it just isn't sliding through the guides at all. I was underestimating distances due to being used to the Fireline, it was an absolute pleasure to cast with.

It's strong, and after god knows how many casts over the weekend I cannot visibly see any deterioration in the line at all. Compared to the Fireline and Finns, it seems like a keeper!

My one issue? Wind knots & tangles. I find that because this is thin, supple and light (which is a massive plus for braid) you have to be careful. So easily I found my lure catching the line through the guides while trekking through the bush, or looping over creating all sorts of mess on retrieve. I guess it's one of those "because it's bad like that, it's actually quite good".

Although the fish weren't really on I did load up the rod on a good sized Yella and under stress the line seemed to... glide through the guides like Braid should. Smooth and easy (and sounded a treat too ;) )

My verdict?? Although I can only judge on minimal use- this could be the one. It casts an absolute mile, it's strong and unlike the Fireline it is consistently strong throughout the line. No deterioration yet which you can see in the Fireline and the Finns and I suppose as the old saying goes- you get what you pay for.

Overall, Stren Microfuse and TD Sensor braid seem to be the goer. When you pay good money for braid you want it to last more importantly, and you want it to be strong. You don't want to lose that biggun because your braid decides to cark it for 1 meter in the line (Fireline has costs me some good fish).

Looking at the RRP of the above braids. For the budget minded fisherman. Stren Microsfuse seems the business. For the guys and girls who want the quality- TD Sensor Braid (thus far).

If Fireline could get their quality strikerate at 100% - This would be my pick by far, although it doesn't cast that far for $25 you could get 3 of these for the price of the TD Sensor. Unfortuantely, that is not the case though and I won't be back for more.

I hope this helps anyone looking at the next braid they want to buy and although this probably isn't the best reflection of the product it's how I view it and hope it comes in handy.


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Mal - Thats some good stuff on putting that on paper for everyone to read and see your experience.

I used to be a "fireline is good enough" sorta guy. Then I tried some of the better lines and I will NEVER go back.

I had TD sensor on one of my reels (might have been the stella 1000) and I found it horrible with wind knots and tangles. Any light wind or super light presentations I found I had wind knots every 10 casts or so if I wasn't paying attention. The line felt nice, casts well and had great strength... just crap line management.

I spooled on Linesystems Frog PE braid in 4lb... and this is my go to line. Soft, supple and very strong with no line memory and it is the best. I've got it in 30lb and its just as good. The line however is pretty exxy at ~$100rrp if you can find it.

I've also got Varivas Sea Bass in 10lb on an exist and thats some pretty good line as well.

Haven't really tried any othre lines.. but I've found the one that works for me :)

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Always good to read about other peoples experience with different braids as i'm always changing my line to try different brands. I prefer Fireline and similar for the lighter stuff and have found their new Exceed to be pretty good. Would also agree that the Stren Microfuse is pretty good for the price and seems to wear really well. I've also just started using a brand called Toray and found it to be to very good also as it's a similar price to the TD Sensor, I also find the Power Pro in 30lb to be very good value as well. Lines can be a personal thing as what one fisherman swears by another will hate.



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thanks Mal for that, i am generally a fireline is good enough for me kind of guy as henry put it, but i do have the same issues that you mentioned regarding knot strengths and consistency. I have spooled most of my reels with the new exceed. the juries still out on that one, i need to do another 10 trips before i can make an opinion on it. even now after 8 trips with it, i am still hesitant to make a call on it. perhaps thats my opinion on it after all.

the best braid i have tried was a sample of Pontoon 21 8 PE (blah blah blah insert technical info here) and that stuff is amazing (it will be up there in price as would be expcted from this quality). i will import some eventually when the factory in Japan gets back online. My 24lb braid is super thin, soft subtle and when i do bring it in will be my go to stuff.

until then though the next time i buy braid i will refer you what you wrote. it was very helpful



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Interesting seeing someone else's point of view.

I would say I've had the same experience with fireline so now I only use what I have left over for backing.

I've made the switch to Power pro braid and mainly the Depth Huunter (been buying it from the states directly cause it's not freely available here and when it is it's expensive). I'm very happy with the PP and have found casting distance to be greatly increased over many other braids (haven't tried the Team Daiwa one yet)

for now I'll be sticking with the PP stuff.

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I use Toray PE 16lb on a BC.

Toray PE 10 lb on a spin setup (very fine, almost too fine)

Stren 6lb on another spin setup.

Can't comment on the Toray havn't caught much on it yet (feels good, but very light).

Stren 6lb- pretty good but expensive as braid is.

I still like Fireline for its ability to tow a car.

I found fins to fray quite quick but hard to say have only bought it once.

PE has that annoying quality of just flicking off when you snagg and it touches a rock, where at least braid your in with a fightin chance of getting your gear back.

I am of mixed opinion.

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I have microfuse 6lb - amazing line as far as I can tell. It's never ever broken on me unless I got something stuck on a rock and tried to hand pull the line out. It's been in the Stanley, in snags in the bush, Brissie River, in pylons, rocks, flats, you name in. Knots up easy, casts well, doesn't get tangled, good sensitivity. Only complaint is that it frays a bit, but that doesn't seem to affect performance.

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Being an inshore northern bay shallow reef fisher most of the time i have always used mono normally but lately i decided to give braids a shot spooled 2 of my lighter outfits with 10 and 15lb power pro braid and lost about 15 fish in the first outing to snaps or faults in the braid or just being rubbed off on the bottom. (using a 20lb leader about 1.5meters long so assuming its the braid giving way) got sick of that quick smart and decided to give the microfused type braid a go. Switched over to 15lb fireline and to my knowledge have not lost a fish to braid breaking yet and this includes the 95cm jew i got last weekend which i caught on a 1-5kg 6'11" ugly stick with 15lb fireline and a 20lb black magic leader and i gave it heaps! if there was any fault in the braid when i had atleast 50m out it would have found it. So to be honest i have not had any bad experiences with the "cheap and nasty" fireline yet so i think its pretty good value and for someone looking at braid just to see if they like the feel of it i definitely think its a good place to start.

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awesome mal, thanks for that. Now when are we going fishing? :)

Haha name a day!

Btw guys, big update on the Sensor braid. Was out at Bribie last night casting into a strong headwind all night. Not one wind knot or tangle. This braid is looking the goods.

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