Choosing rods and reels is always an interesting concept, it’s not like taking a car for a test drive, you can’t walk into a tackle shop and say ”Can I see what that one feels like when I’m hooked up to a rampaging…” With choosing braid for that new reel, well that’s even harder. You can at least spin a reel or bend a rod in the tackle store, but getting a handle on what a braid is going to perform like is difficult. Whilst not the investment of a rod and reel, some braids aren’t cheap and there’s nothing worse than forking out to try a new style of braid, only to have it not perform well once it’s out in the field. For this very reason I’ve always been reluctant to change braids, often sticking to similar makes and styles for a considerable period of time. It takes a while to build confidence in a braid and, as it is your only connection to you and the fish, this is important. Similarly it only takes a couple of issues early on when using a new braid, losing a good fish or merely casting off a few lures, to put holes in your confidence in the product. Too often I’ve seen someone tell me about the fancy new braid they’ve spent coin on only to see them picking out knots later on that session.
Happily though I can say after testing a few varieties of Dawia’s new J-Braid for the past 6months it has performed magnificently in a variety of angling situations. I’ve been using the new J-braid on the local kingfish and tuna population for the past few months and have been super impressed by its performance.
It hasn’t lost colour or frayed/fluffed up and still bursts off the spool on the cast like new. Its limp/fine enough to knot well yet doesn’t loop and tangle easily like some low diameter braids. The multi coloured braid depth increments are an essential requirement for these applications for a number of reasons, like getting a feel for how far that tuna may be from the boat or how close that king is from getting you on the bottom. The 40lb has certainly been strong enough to stand up to the rigors of casting, jigging or trolling for the above species. I spooled one reel up with 30lb, concerned it may have not been strong enough, but keen for some extra distance and stealth factor. Yes the 30 does allow you to throw a stickbait an absolute mile, yet I’ve been able to land tuna to 18kg on it.
Sure it may take a bit of extra time to get the fish in, but on days when hook-ups are difficult with finicky fish, it’s not an issue. A few of those times when patience has worn out and I’ve gone a lot harder than I normally would, the braid continues to hold out under some serious stresses and drag settings.
I’ve also been using the 6lb on a couple of lighter outfits for many diverse applications from pinkgrubbing for bream, tangling with rats kings to casting for lake and river trout. Much of this time the rods have been in the hands of my two young sons. Tangles, windknots etc have been minimal.
Of course their line management is never going to be perfect, however when the odd tangle has occurred, they have been easily pulled out or dealt with without fraying or damaging the line. The outer coating of the line not only retains its color well but also its smooth, yet not stiff, outer layer.
One pinkgrubbing session with my sons we were doing a bit of rod swapping as I removed hooks from fish, de-snagged hooked lures etc. I of course was wanting to use the reel spooled with the J-braid, but every time I tried to get it back of my eldest son he said no. Given that the rod and reel were virtually identical I quizzed him as to why he wanted to keep that one. As I asked the question I already suspected I knew what the answer. “ It just casts better dad ! ” and you know what he was right! Getting distance when casting for lake trout, long casts with small plastics to spooky surface rat kings and flicking unweighted pinkgrubs into little nooks and crannies is all a pleasurable experience with a line that performs like Daiwas new J-braid.