I really like Sufix mono lines and have done ever since I came across our rather awesome guide out in Namibia using and abusing Sufix Synergy I think it was on his sharking reels. Without a doubt 0.50mm Synergy was being less affected by the waves than the line I was using - which from memory was 0.50mm Ultima Red Ice which I must presume is no longer available. It's as if the Synergy stuff was "dragging" less in the turbulence, i.e. the line was cutting through the waves better. Anyway, I digress. I seriously like Sufix lines but up until now I've had little experience of their braids.
When the Sufix 832 8-strand braid was first launched, a friend of mine who runs fishing trips over in the Florida Keys kindly sent me over a spool of 20lb to see what I thought - and I took one look at the stuff, compared the quoted diameter on the spool to what I was currently using for my lure fishing and then rather unceremoniously chucked the stuff in a box and never used it. Why ? Well at the quoted diameter I couldn't see any reason to even give the line a go when it was so much thicker than the braid I was using at the time and getting on perfectly well with - whatever that was. Talk about making a mistake..............
So yet again we come to this infernal problem of US and European line diameters and the fact that they just don't add up - if you want to know how much it fries my brain, read this (long, brain-fried) blog post of mine here. Anyway, I was at a meeting out in Finland earlier this year and a couple of the guys asked me if I had fished with this Sufix 832 braid, to which my response was along the line of "nope, haven't bothered because it's just another too-thick US braid". Cue a couple of rather quizzical looking Finns !! "Oh, we thought it was some pretty thin and awesome stuff" they say, and now I'm the one looking quizzical - so we open up the European Sufix catalogue, a publication that I had never seen up until then, plus the guys took a spool of 20lb Sufix 832 out of a cupboard for me to have a look at.
Look at the US webpage for Sufix 832 here and you'll see that the 20lb stuff is quoted as having a diameter of 0.23mm. Now look here for the European webpage and the 20lb 832 is quoted as having a diameter of 0.15mm - which any way you look at it is a considerable difference. It was this "European issue" Sufix 832 that the Finnish guys showed me, and the lads kindly gave me a couple of spools to take home and try out. If we take my original yet perhaps perfectly understandable mistake and go with this European labelled 832 then we are talking about a braid that potentially compares rather favourably with some rather more expensive ones.
As for how the line fishes, it's pretty simple really - I love the stuff, albeit this comes with a caveat which I will tell you about in the next paragraph. It's an easy line to tie, it casts great (caveat), I haven't had any mystery breakages, it seems to be very strong and thin (yes, ok, I admit to my earlier mistake) and I have caught plenty of fish when using it. Sufix 832 seems to be a very good value, excellent braid that in my mind compares very favourably to some of the significantly more expensive 8-strands - and nope, I have no idea whether seven Dyneema fibres combined with 1 Gore Performance Fibre gives me an advantage.
But, and it's a "but" that I have got around through some trial and error - I very rarely get wind-knots when I fish with braid, and whilst I accept it's the kiss of death to say this, if I do get them it's generally because I have overfilled my reel slightly or I've been working surface lures for long periods and haven't bothered to whack out and wind in under tension every so often. The first reel I loaded up with Sufix 832 was a brand new Shimano Sustain 2500FG (review here), and I made sure to deliberately underfill my spool slightly like I usually would. The line's fishing away just fine for a few sessions earlier this year and I'm really starting to like the stuff, but then out of nowhere I start to get the odd, admittedly insignificant wind knot that I can just pull out gently and carry on fishing. But then I got a proper wind-knot.............
It wasn't as if I was working surface lures or whacking lures into big headwinds because I started trying this Sufix line out during that horrible period of NE winds we had early on in the year. I could keep on fishing (blanking) away just fine and then out of nowhere I would get a small wind-knot and it was starting to do my head in. I spoke to a mate who was also using the line on exactly the same reel and he told me that he was also starting to experience the same thing, and I can't remember ever seeing him get a wind-knot. But he did tell me that he was hearing about a few lure anglers who were fishing the Sufix 832 on a larger size spinning reel and getting on perfectly with it.
So I took the line off my 2500 size Sustain and wound it on to a larger Sustain 4000FG. I really like the smaller spinning reels, but on my first trip over to Ireland this year I saw my friend Ger using the slightly larger Sustain 4000FG and to be honest it felt perfectly well balanced on his lure rod - these higher-end, modern spinning reels are all so light and smooth to fish with that it's just a matter of what feels right for you. I'll do a review in due course, but I've been using the Sustain 4000FG for a while now and it feels as easy to fish with as the slightly smaller 2500FG to be honest with you, and I'm just head over heels with these Sustains. But I digress..........
And this Sufix 832 fishes just perfectly on the 4000 reel. Seriously, I have not had even the merest hint of a wind-knot with this combination and I just think it's the most fantastic line to lure fish with. I wish I had a clue why the line was misbehaving for me on the 2500 reel but I haven't - you must accept that it could just be me and the way I fish, but I do think that some braids perhaps don't suit certain sizes or even makes of reels. There is a certain 8-strand braid that I have fished with for a few years now - it's an awesome line and it never misbehaves on me. I put some on a certain high-end spinning reel that I have also started to play with and the line suddenly starts misbehaving for me. I switch to a different line and no problems at all. Why ? Not a clue, but again, it could just be me.
All I know is that now I've got this Sufix 832 stuff on a 4000 size Shimano and it's fishing exactly like the lads over in Finland told me it would - perfectly. This 832 gives me a huge amount of confidence when I am fishing with it and I can't ask for more than that really. I fished/filmed with the Sustain 4000FG loaded with 20lb Sufix 832 when we over in Ireland doing stuff for Tight Lines (podcast here) and I would not be using something for that kind of job which I didn't trust 100%. And yes, I am doing some work with Shimano UK, and yes, I am genuinely freaked out by the Sustains and how good they are.
If you go looking for this line, then personally I would be buying it on diameter. I completely discard US braid ratings as I think they are a farce, so from the European website these are what I would be looking for when it comes to Sufix 832 - 13lb/0.10mm, 18lb/013mm, 20lb/0.15mm, 26lb/0.18mm, 30lb/0.20mm etc. I never meant it to be, but this seems to have been a week of line related stuff on the blog !! Have a good weekend. Oh, and that knot which I have devoted two blog posts to this week because it's just so awesome happens to work great with this Sufix 832 braid.