This stuff is a lot cheaper than the high-end Japanese 8-strand braids that I have mostly been fishing with for the last few years and I sort of feel that I should be finding faults with it because it's under the £20 mark for a 150 metre spool. Nope, I am not saying that around £18-20 is cheap for a spool of fishing line, but when you go looking for high quality braided mainlines that work well for lure fishing, you will find that a 150 metre (or yards) spool for this price is potentially some pretty good value for money. So what's the catch with this YGK G-soul X3 braid then ?
Well I'm still looking. I love fishing with the stuff and so far it's done me proud. I am pretty sure that this YGK G-soul is the first 3-strand braid that I have fished with, indeed I am not personally aware of another braid like this - aren't they mostly 4 or 8 strands ? Well whatever the case I simply could not care if a line has 1 or 100 strands in it if it does the job for me, and I like it even more when the price is pretty tidy as well. I have learnt quite a bit more about braided lines recently and in due course I will blog about it.
I have now fished enough with this YGK G-soul X3 in the 20lb breaking strain to have come to a personal conclusion that this is one fantastic mainline. I don't feel that I am losing any distance compared to a smoother style of braid like say the (considerably more expensive) 8-strand Daiwa Tournament or Varivas Avani and to be honest this somewhat cheaper YGK braid comes off the reel just fine - and I have fished with it in big side winds and also with some pretty snotty conditions right in my face with no problems of any sort. I could feel a strong side wind almost dragging my lure down when I used that Berkley Nanofil stuff for example, but no worries on that front with this YGK G-soul X3. It casts great.
I do underfill my spinning reels to try and help prevent wind knots, and so far there has not even been a sniff of the dreaded with this line. I like how it knots to my fluoro leader and I have fished for wrasse, bass and pollack with this YGK G-soul X3 in the 20lb breaking strain and it has worked flawlessly with all techniques I have tried out. Hard lures for bass, soft lures for bass and also wrasse, no worries at all. This 20lb line feels like it should to break out of a snag if I jam up a Texas rig when wrassing, i.e. it's strong stuff.
Yes, the line is not as bright yellow as when I first started fishing with it, but then does any braid maintain its original colour over time ? The colour on a braid is a coating, and over time this coating wears off a bit, hence the colour loss - but it does not remotely affect the performance of the line. A friend of mine has been fishing with the 25lb version for a fair while now and he also loves the stuff.
One "quirk" if you like of this braid seems to be that the moment you spool up with it on to a spinning reel it looks like the line is twisting up a bit in the first few yards. I asked the angler in Japan who put me on to this line if he experienced the same thing and he does - I guess this "slightly twisted look only in the first few yards" is perhaps a characteristic of this YGK G-soul X3 braid, indeed over time fishing with weightless soft plastics especially it does not look at all like those first few yards of the line have actually twisted up any more than when the line first was wound from the spool to my spinning reel. It bothers me not one bit and the line continues to fish just great.
So what's the catch ? Well I can't find one - what it has started to do though is get me thinking about what advantages I might be getting from using an 8-strand braid that may well be double the price and a bit more. I love those silky-smooth, easy-casting 8-strands for a lot of my lure fishing, but try as I might I don't find myself fishing with this YGK G-soul X3 braid and instead wanting for something much more high-end all the time. Either I am missing something here or otherwise it's just a fantastic braid at a really good price - which I happen to think it is.
And how about the opening weekend of the 6 Nations ? Well done Ireland for starters (check here for the most outrageous bit of individual skill you could hope to see on a rugby field). I thought England's performance against Scotland was a pretty immense effort and my hope continues to build, and especially because we came out for the first time after that drubbing of New Zealand and played very well again. England are starting to look like a team again. France are (were) the favourites and they get turned over by Italy. It's shaping up to be a great tournament I reckon - roll on England in Dublin next Sunday.....................