Henry Gilbey

Fishing lines (old page)


Braid mainlines and fluorocarbon/mono leaders.

Daiwa J-Braid

What’s not to like? A silky smooth 8-strand braid that is as cheap as a regular 4-strand, the aggressively priced Daiwa J-Braid is the real deal. I have been lure fishing mainly with the 20lb J-Braid and it works exactly as I would expect a 20lb 8-strand to work, except that it’s much, much cheaper than what you would expect to pay for a braid like this. A good range of colours, breaking strains and spool sizes, this Daiwa J-Braid is a bit of a game-changer. See my preview here and my review here.

You can buy this line here in the UK.


Daiwa Tournament 8 8-strand braid (discontinued)

I love this stuff, and especially in the high-viz green colour. There is so much misinformation surrounding mainlines, but the simple fact is that this Daiwa Tournament 8 braid is awesome – but only if you know how to tie decent knots with these kinds of lines. I tend to use the 25lb high-viz green (because it's so insanely thin and I think it’s essentially a 20lb line anyway) for a lot of my bass fishing these days and it inspires complete confidence in me. More info on the braids I use here.

Duel Hardcore X4 4-strand braid

A very good, modern 4-strand braid that at around £20 for a 150 metre spool is very good value for money. I can’t fault this stuff, indeed it’s the easy and efficient to fish with that you can’t help but wonder whether it’s really worth upgrading to a more expensive 8-strand braid. Check out my review of this Duel Hardcore X4 braid here.


Duel Hardcore X8 8-strand braid

One of the best value for money 8-strand braids I have come across - at around £33 for a 150 metre spool, this Duel Hardcore X8 is some serious stuff. I love those limp and silky feeling 8-strands, and this stuff is very, very good. See my review here.


Sounds so good on paper, but sadly it’s one of the worst fishing lines I have ever had the pleasure? of using. Gliss promises so much - casts like a dream, it’s very thin, it’s pretty cheap when compared to many braids, and it comes in some good colours. I have read numerous glowing reports of Gliss, so I am going to have to assume that these anglers have never used it in saltwater. My advice? Don’t! Look at the photograph - this is Gliss after only a few sessions of saltwater use - severely weakened and looks like it is literally unravelling. Check out my first blog post on Gliss here, and then my second one here. What a shame.

Gosen X8 braid

Another high quality, smooth as you like 8-strand braid that you simply can’t go wrong with if you choose to fish with this stuff. This Gosen X8 braid is more expensive than say the Daiwa J-Braid and I can’t tell you that you’re getting a heap more performance by spending more money, but it’s a stunning (pink) braid that has performed flawlessly for me. Check out my review here.

You can buy this braid here in the UK.

PowerPro 4-strand braid

What is there not to like about PowerPro braid ? It’s tough as hell, very dependable, fishes great, pretty cheap and it just plain works. OK, so it’s not as “smooth” to use as a high-end 8-strand Japanese braid, but PowerPro is much cheaper and there is a strong argument that it’s somewhat better as regards abrasion resistance – yes, it’s a fantastic line for wrassing with soft plastics. For some daft reasons there seem to be various labelling discrepancies as regards diameters and breaking strains in the US and the rest of the world, but if you buy on diameter then you won’t go wrong – check my blog post here about it for a start, and generally I tend to use the 0.15mm PowerPro which equates to a roughly 20lb breaking strain. A fantastic line that continues to serve many anglers very well.

SpiderWire Stealth Smooth 8 braid

Another sub-£20 8-strand braid that to me is just about perfect as far as a braid mainline goes for the sort of lure fishing I tend to do here and in Ireland. I can’t recall having fished with any SpiderWire braids in the past, but this new SpiderWire Stealth Smooth 8 braid is sublime. Thin - but then you know it’s going to be, albeit the figures claimed on the spools are at best dubious - it casts great, knots well, and I haven’t had a single problem lure fishing with it. See my review here.

You can buy this line here in the UK.

Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid

I love how this smooth and very thin Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid is a different kind of mainline to the outstanding Sufix 832 braid, because it gives us more choice. The Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid is very much like one of those very high end Japanese 8-strand braids that some of us so love to fish with, except that the price of it is more in line with the incredible value for money Daiwa J-Braid. A silky smooth and very thin 8-strand braid from a line company that I trust big time, Sufix Performance Pro 8 braid does it for me in a big way. See my preview here and my review here.

This outstanding braid is now available in a bright orange colour (yippee!) - check here for UK stocks.

You buy this line here and here in the UK.

Sufix 832 8-strand braid

Sufix monofilament lines have seriously done it for me for years now, yet until fairly recently I had hardly used a Sufix braid. I can’t believe this Sufix 832 8-strand braid flew under my radar for as long as it did because it’s an awesome line – but don’t make the mistake I made and assumed from the US packaging that it’s a “standard, even fairly thick” braid. Go for the European specs (diameter and breaking strain) and you will see how this is one seriously thin, tough, easy to cast and fish with braid that deserves to be known about far more in lure fishing circles. I love this stuff and if you look around it’s pretty good value for such a high-end line. See my review of this line here.

See my updated 2017 review of Sufix 832 here.

You can buy this line here and here in the UK.

Sufix Super 21 FC fluorocarbon

What’s not to like? Whilst this Sufix Super 21 FC may technically be a “castable fluorocarbon”, it also happens to work perfectly as leader material - and I absolutely love how you can buy it in 150m spools which don’t cost very much at all. By all means feel free to spend a whole heap more on the “pure” fluorocarbons, but as far as I can work out, the fish we are likely to connect with couldn’t give a stuff - so I’m using this Sufix Super 21 FC, saving money, and I’m loving it. See my review here.

You can buy this fluorocarbon here and here in the UK.


Sunline Momentum 4x4 8-strand braid

As far as 8-strand braids go this Sunline Momentum 4x4 is a bit of a bargain, indeed I actually prefer it to the more expensive Sunline Castaway. I have fished with the bright yellow 20lb Momentum 4x4 and I can’t fault it – sits on the reel nicely, knots well, casts great and doesn’t let me down when I hook a fish. This 8-strand braid to me seems to have very good abrasion resistance. Sure, you can find thinner 8-strands out there, but this is one robust braid.

Sunline Siglon fluorocarbon

I have used a few different fluorocarbons for my lure fishing leaders and I am really, really liking this Sunline Siglon stuff in the 20lb, 18lb and 15lb breaking strains. Stuff just has to feel “right” to me, and from the off this Sunline fluoro did it for me. Easy to knot to my braid (an Improved Albright sometimes with a three-turn locking knot depending on the braid I am using) and to my lure clips, with a good diameter – it just works really well. What more can we ask from a leader ?

Sunline Super PE8 8-strand braid

I love the colour of this new Sunline Super PE8 8-strand braid, and I simply can’t fault the way it casts and fishes. Compared to some of the really high-end 8-strands, this one is really good value at around the £30 mark. A good range of breaking strains on 150m spools, and I am left asking myself what’s not to like about this braid? See my review here.

Toray Sea Bass Power Game PE 8-strand braid

One of the seriously good 8-strands I have fished with, this Toray Sea Bass Power Game PE is one awesome line. It strikes me as having all the good bits say from the Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE braid, together with a little bit of the extra toughness of the Sunline 8-strands. This Toray braid casts like a dream, it’s very strong if you tie decent knots to your leader, and I just really like it. Not cheap, but then the high-end 8-strands just never are - look after a line like this and it will you for ages though, and I tend to reverse the braid after a while to get at all the unused stuff sitting on the reel. Review here.

You can buy this braid here in the UK.

Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE 8-strand braid

My out and out favourite 8-strand braid, and it has been for a few years now. This stuff has never, ever let me down and I trust it implicitly. I use the 20lb breaking strain which has now been relabelled as “Max 28.6lb – Average 24.8lb”. Thin, strong, casts like a dream – simple, but it is not cheap stuff. More info on the braids I use here.

You can buy this braid here in the UK.

Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power Tracer 8-strand braid

A bright green version of the ridiculously good Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE braid. Not cheap, but then the really good stuff never is. I absolutely love these Varivas 8-strand braids - they have never let me down and they are just a pleasure to lure fish with. Check my review here.

You can buy this braid here in the UK.

Varivas SeaBass Shock Leader fluorocarbon

What can I say ? It works, plain and simple. I just really like this Varivas SeaBass Shock Leader fluorocarbon and I tend to use short lengths of it at the end of my braid. This line has never let me down in any way, shape or form.

You can buy this line here in the UK.


YGK G-Soul WX8 8-strand braid

When it comes to high-end 8-strand braid, for a while now I have found it hard to look beyond the Varivas Avani Sea Bass Max Power PE braid and also the Daiwa Tournament 8 braid in 25lb breaking strain, but more recently the Sufix 832 line has come on to my radar, as well as this (not remotely cheap) YGK G-Soul WX8 8-strand braid. I am starting to think that this YGK 8-strand is up there with the Varivas stuff, and if you know highly I rate and trust the Varivas 8-strand then you will realise how awesome I am thinking this YGK stuff is. I have been fishing with the 20lb breaking strain in the bright green colour. Nope, these lines are not cheap, but you get what you pay for and they are simply incredible to lure fish with. Review here.

You can buy this braid here in the UK.

YGK G-soul X3 4-strand braid

OK, so technically it's a 3-strand braid, but in fishing terms it's akin to 4-strands. I want to find something wrong with a braid mainline that is this (comparatively) cheap, but I can’t. This 3-strand YGK G-soul X3 braid is just awesome stuff, and it’s a serious bargain for what it is. See my review here.

You can buy this braid here in the UK.

YGK Nitlon DFC fluorocarbon

I love this stuff and I have been using it in various breaking strains. Easy to tie, it causes me no problems, and I really like how this YGK Nitlon DFC fluoro comes on a 100m spool and costs very little when compared to a lot of other fluorocarbon leaders – see here. I only use fairly short leaders when lure fishing for bass so this line should last me for ages, and especially when your mates have forgot their own leader material and need to go dipping in your rucksack !! Just a very, very good fluoro, but then YGK are known for making very serious lines.