My best fishing line of 2008

There are many outstanding lines out there these days, indeed you have got to go far to find a really bad one I reckon. If I use mono lines, it has to be Sufix (Tritanium, Zippy, Synergie etc., all outstanding), but with the amount of bass fishing I do, more often than not it is going to be braid that I end up fishing with.

If I had to put my money on the table and come up with the best all round "regular" braid, then I still reckon Power Pro is it. This braid will work for our bassing just fine, indeed I have used Power Pro all over the world and it keeps on nailing fish. I see that Shimano have recently bought Power Pro, so I will be interested to see what happens here, but whatever does, you can use it with complete confidence.

But, and this is a big but - earlier this year I began using the top of the range, high-tech Varivas braids from Japan, and I can't help but say that these are another step up. A "regular" braid like Power Pro is fantastic, but these premium Varivas braids are in a class of their own. There are various reasons as to why I use them so much now for my bass fishing, but in reality I just like using them, plain and simple. They just feel right.

Braids don't come cheap as well all know, but they do last for ages if you underfill your spool and avoid loads of the dreaded wind knots. The absolute top of the range bass braid from Varivas is on the spool you can see in the photo above - a dull kind of grey colour. When I first felt this braid, I could not believe it, indeed I have never felt a line like it. A true 8 stand braid (as opposed to 4 strand), it is something else - the exact name is Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE, and you can get it right here. I said it wasn't cheap, but it is unlike any braid you have ever used. I use the 20lb for bass fishing, and I also have a reel filled with the 15lb for mullet fishing - honestly, this braid is so thin you can hardly see it !! In fact my mate Del rang me from the Isles of Scilly later yesterday afternoon to give me the update on his mullet fishing - three fish up to 6lbs, and guess what line he is using for it (and raving about) ? Yes, this exact braid in 15lb breaking strain.

But it is the very slightly thicker and more "regular" feeling Varivas Avani Sea Bass Braid that you can see on the reel above that I have been using most of the time. Cheaper than the Max Power PE stuff, you can get it here. I really like the 23lb breaking strain in the green colour, with a short length of Varivas fluorocarbon leader to my lure. This braid is outstanding to fish with, and one fill up lasted me most of last year without any problem at all. You can horse fish on it. In my mind this braid is a kind of "ultra premium" regular braid (sounds like unleaded), while the Max Power PE is plain and simple "the best".

My personal favourite for the moment has to be the slightly cheaper Varivas Avani Sea Bass Braid in 23lb breaking strain - I know the Max Power PE is a better line overall, but it is just so thin that sometimes it freaks me out. It is up to me now to get my head around using a line as thin and different feeling as this, because I know it works better for my fishing. But in all honesty, you can use both with complete confidence for all your bass fishing - they are that good.