Before I start this review, I wanted to show you what I reckon is a pretty impressive way of showing off photographs online. I am always on the lookout for different ways to try and get across how awesome I think fishing looks, and I came across some software the other day that just "speaks" to me in the way it shows photos off - check below, or to see it larger check here for a presentation I put together the other day of bass fishing in Ireland 2014. Hope you enjoy. Anyway, onto the review..........
The Sunline braids and fluoros seem to have such a good reputation all over the place, and to be honest it continues to bug me that I struggled with their top of the range Castaway 8-strand braid - I have to put it down to me and the way I cast (angler error basically!), because I got on really well their slightly cheaper Momentum 4x4 8-strand. Whilst I can't help but be drawn to those slightly thinner and more "silky" feeling 8-strands for my bass fishing (Varivas, YGK, Daiwa etc.), Sunline's reputation seems to be based a lot on their lines' overall toughness. This of course can not be ignored when it comes to fishing lures in and around rough ground, and it is especially on my mind with the loss of a good bass the other day (check here).
This Sunline Super PE8 is Sunline's brand new "budget" 8-strand braid, and although the UK retail price of £29.95 for all the breaking strains is hardly some throwaway change for a 150m spool of mainline, when compared to any other readily available 8-strand it's potentially really good value for money - if the line is any good that is. So what's it like?
Well for one I absolutely love the bright orange colour. I like highly visible mainlines and I don't worry for a second about them putting fish off, and especially since I am always using some kind of leader to my lure clip. I love the fact that there isn't a single mention of one of those infernally confusing PE numbers anywhere on the spool or the packaging (aside from the line name being Super PE8 of course) - PE numbers drive me mad and I think that they confuse the hell out of a lot of anglers, me included. Nope, all you've got here are breaking strains in lbs and kgs together with how much line is on the spool, and I can't help but admire that there are no (often pretty dubious if you ask me) line diameter claims anywhere to be found as well. A highly visible braid, not too expensive, a good range of breaking strains on 150m spools, and all at the same price. What's not to like so far?
The first time I took this line out was some in pretty horrendous conditions, verging on unfishable in fact, and from the off I didn't hold back with this Super PE8 in a 20lb breaking strain. I loaded it up on one of those older generation but still rather awesome (blue) Daiwa Luvias 3000 spinning reels, and the wind was increasing all the time, up to at least a constant force 6 I reckon, perhaps gusting 7 - wind and waves were from the SW which for where we were was from about 2pm if straight ahead is midday on the clockface. Now to be honest I don't expect the braids that I know and trust to misbehave on me, but you never quite know what might happen when you take a new line out. Well from the off I have to say that this new Sunline Super PE8 behaved impeccably - try as I might I could not get it to fluff up in any way on me.
Most of the times I have now fished with this line have in fact been in amongst some pretty lively conditions, and as per the first trip out with it the line keeps on performing perfectly. It knots great (this knot here of course), and in fact I snagged up a hard lure on that first outing and ended up having to pull for a break. With a 20lb braid to 16lb YGK fluoro leader via that FC knot and a lure clip to the lure, unless I have some unseen damage to the braid I would expect that either I straighten a treble out and get the lure back, or if the lure's jammed properly solid then the fluoro just above the knot to the lure clip is what breaks - rather than the braid to leader join as one would get with a knot like the Improved Albright. And that is exactly what happened. That's plenty strong enough for me with a 20lb braid, as in no fish we might hook from our shoreline is going to put that much "straight pull" pressure on our gear - you just can't bend the sort of spinning rods we use that much to be able to exert that sort of "straight pull" pressure, however much you might try - and believe me, I have!
OK, so perhaps with one of those ever so slightly thinner and "silkier" feeling (and a lot more expensive) 8-strands like the ridiculously good Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power Tracer (review here), I'm cutting through the wind a little better and getting a little less drag off the waves when they roll in from the side, but at best it's pretty bloody marginal, and of course it's no more than a feeling. I reckon this Sunline Super PE8 is a really good mainline that I happen to think is really well suited to how and where we tend to do a lot of our lure fishing. I like fishing with it, my lures fly out there without any issues at all, and I have to say that this "budget" 8-strand is starting to inspire a lot of confidence in me. Crumbs there's a lot of good gear out there now for us lure nuts..............