Daiwa J-Braid - is this aggressively priced 8-strand braid the real deal?
I have been looking forward to giving this new and very interestingly priced Daiwa J-Braid a go, and I’m fascinated to see how it might work for my lure fishing (info on colours, spool sizes etc. here). I can’t tell you much about it yet save for the fact that it feels nice, looks nice, and the price is rather nice as well - I am seeing this 8-strand Daiwa J-Braid online now for around the £15-18 mark (or equivalent in Euros) for a 150m spool, and whatever way you look at it that’s not very much money for a spool of braid. The fact that this J-Braid is an 8-strand then makes it even more interesting, but of course it does depend on whether the stuff’s any good or not. I have had a thing for the fantastic (but discontinued I think?) Daiwa Tournament-8 Braid for a few years now, so I can’t help but be drawn to Daiwa braids anyway, but I wonder how their new and considerably cheaper J-Braid might stack up? Whilst I need to get out fishing with it to get a feel for it, various reports from anglers I know and trust who have been fishing with this J-Braid are good so far.
What I am not going to do is try and compare this considerably cheaper Daiwa J-Braid against what for me are my “money no object”, yardstick braids - either of the high-end Varivas 8-strands, the grey Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE or the bright green Avani Sea Bass Max Power Tracer (review here). As much as a part of me wants to, it simply isn’t fair to compare a braid that is retailing around the £40+ here in the UK against a brand new 8-strand that you can find for a lot, lot less. And of course the simple fact is that however much I might like those high-end Varivas braids (or indeed the higher-end ones here), the majority of lure anglers simply can’t or indeed won’t spend that kind of dosh on a spool of mainline which let’s be honest is going to hurt like hell if you get either the mother of all wind-knots or snag up your lure and snap the braid way down the spool somewhere across a sharp rock. And yes, I speak from experience! Serious ouch.
Before I go much further though, yet again there’s a degree of confusion if you start examining the different diameter and breaking strain figures. Have a look at the screenshots above from the US, the UK and Australia. The US quotes the same figures as Australia, but here in good old Blighty we are seeing some rather different figures to put it mildly! Take the 0.13mm Daiwa J-Braid for example (assuming it is actually 0.13mm wherever you happen to buy it) - in the UK the breaking strain is quoted as a pretty impressive 18lbs, whereas the same diameter J-Braid from the US or Australia is quoted as a somewhat lower and not so impressive sounding 8lbs! I can’t help but refer you back to a recent blog post of mine right here, and knowing what (little) I do about the way our lines are rated in the UK and parts of Europe, personally I am going to go with those UK ratings until my experiences with the line tell me otherwise. Call me cynical, but I have come across far too many instances of US rated lines breaking miles above their stated breaking strains and therefore anglers think wow, what an amazing line - when in fact it’s just a regular line and it’s us anglers being led up the garden path. Again.
Nope, it’s hats off time to Daiwa if you ask me. Whether I will be still be saying that after a few months of fishing with this J-Braid is something I can’t tell you yet, but whatever the confusion may be over the diameters and breaking strains, I just don’t believe that a fishing tackle company as large and progressive as Daiwa would put a crap line onto the market which even if it’s marginally better than ok is a potential game changer via the somewhat aggressive price. I would imagine that a few line brands have looked at this new J-Braid and hoped it might be a pile of poo, put it that way! What I am going to do is to alternate between the increasingly impressive - and not far away in price - Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid (check here) and this Daiwa J-Braid, and then see where I end up. Fishing lines are all about confidence for me, and whilst we can’t help but buy based on the various figures, if a particular line works well for me in various fishing situations that I know well, then to be perfectly honest all those figures can go take a jump really. Surely you’re in the same boat and you get a feeling for how a line is performing or when a line should or should not be breaking in certain situations?
And what about England being in the World Twenty20 final on Sunday afternoon? Holy cow, are we now becoming a serious one day and Twenty20 side? I can’t pretend that I enjoy the shorter formats of the game anywhere near as much as I love Test cricket, but that England semi-final against New Zealand was some seriously impressive stuff. Can we win the final? Why not I reckon. If they go out with such a positive attitude again I reckon anything’s possible……….