Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid and Daiwa J-Braid review - can “budget” 8-strands really be serious fishing lines?

Crumbs. Two very smooth feeling and frigging lovely to fish with 8-strand braids that are on sale at prices which can’t help but shake things up a bit. No longer do anglers need to buy a 4-strand braid because an 8-strand costs too much money. Nope, with these two 8-strand braids at the prices they are, to me the choice between a 4-strand and an 8-strand now comes down to what you want from your braid and what you prefer fishing with. Sure, the really high end 8-strands aren’t suddenly going away, but I must imagine that various line companies are at least a little worried with the might of Daiwa especially behind such a good value for money, “proper” 8-strand braid.

Daiwa J-Braid on the 2016 Certate

Daiwa J-Braid on the 2016 Certate

But why be worried about Daiwa more than Sufix? Is one of these braids better than the other? Not at all, indeed these are two equally good braids for lure fishing in my opinion. What I mean is that Daiwa’s a seriously big player in the global fishing tackle world and has obviously decided to chuck its might behind their newish J-Braid, whereas as much as I am a serious fan of Sufix monos and braids and I wish we saw more of them here in the UK, the fact is that Sufix is not in the same league size wise as Daiwa and as such they don’t have the global marketing reach to get behind their outstanding Performance Pro 8 braid like Daiwa can with their J-Braid. Daiwa make some serious gear and I am seeing more of this J-Braid for sale in the UK and Ireland, but it strikes me as such a shame that you’ve got what I reckon is one of the best line companies in the world in Sufix not being properly represented here and as a result I wonder how many people will get to see just how good their Performance Pro 8 braid is? Choice is a good thing if you ask me, and especially when we have two similar types of braid here that can do so much good stuff for us consumers.

Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid on a Penn Clash spinning reel

Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid on a Penn Clash spinning reel

It’s pretty simple if you ask me. Buy either one of these braids for your lure fishing and you can’t really go wrong. Of course I recognise the supposed advantages of a good 4-strand braid for rougher ground fishing or wrassing on the plastics especially, but I do enjoy bass fishing especially with a really smooth, long-casting 8-strand braid. I accept that the best gear is always going to cost, but sometimes stuff comes along which for me kinda redefines what we can get for a certain amount of money. The Major Craft Skyroad rods have done that for me big time for me as regards lure rods for example, and Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid and Daiwa J-Braid are now doing it for me on the braid front.

What can I really tell you about these lines other than they are lovely 8-strand braids to go fishing with? I like the range of colours - and yes, bright braids do it for me, but both are available in a dark green if you don’t - and there are endless diameters and breaking strains to suit a wide range of fishing applications. I like the spool sizes for my UK and Irish lure fishing (150m/135m), but I can buy larger spools if needs be. Daiwa J-Braid seems to be pretty widely available now, but if you want to get some Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid then it’s easy to find some say in Europe (check my preview blog post here for example). I can’t believe how cheaply such good 8-strand braids can be sold for, but it’s good news for us anglers.

Daiwa J-Braid in action

Daiwa J-Braid in action

I have ranted about line diameters and breaking strains before (check here). I have no idea if the figures for both these braids are true, and of course there are wildly different figures depending on where you buy the lines - both lines feel very thin though, and as before I am going on the European specs. I know that some anglers do their own kind of line testing and that’s great. I don’t. I’d rather go fishing, use my lines in real fishing situations, and then make my own judgements from there. I reckon I’ve used enough 20lb braids (whatever that actually is) for my fishing to know when I’ve got a good or a bad one as regards actual strength and how it fishes - bearing in mind of course that you need to keep a close eye for line damage on those first few feet of braid especially, regardless of whether you use a leader or not.

Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid on a Penn Clash spinning reel

Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid on a Penn Clash spinning reel

And with the 20lb/0.16mm Daiwa J-Braid and then the 21lb/0.15mm Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid (European figures, and no, I don’t know how “true” they are), I’ve got two mainlines here for my lure fishing which I reckon are doing what I have come to expect as such from a quality 20lb braid. These are serious mainlines and I am struggling now to justify spending more money on an 8-strand braid mainline. I only use the FG knot to attach my leaders to my braids, and I retie leader knots and change leaders often. Sure, I have a bit of thing for the far more expensive Varivas 8-strands, but as much as I like them because I know them inside out and I trust them implicitly, I can’t sit here and tell you hand on heart that they are much better than these two much cheaper 8-strands. Things are changing and I am all for it if it gives us anglers greater choice and better gear for our money. I reckon Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid and Daiwa J-Braid are fantastic braids and are now a more than viable options for those of us who want to fish with those smooth feeling 8-strand braids but don’t want to sell body parts off to do so.