SUFIX 131 Braid Review: “A whole different beast.”
A complete guide to Sufix braids
This is not a sponsored article.
We were recently in a tackle shop in New Zealand picking up a few supplies when we got talking to Mark, the owner, about the Sufix 131 line we’ve been using over here. Although we’re aware it has a fundamentally different design from other braids, we weren’t really sure how this actually worked (or if it made a significant difference). After hearing a strong testimony from this tackle shop owner, we got in touch with Sufix ourselves to learn more and tested the 30lb line on a range of species in NZ.
Oh, it’s a whole different beast to other braids. it’s one of the cheapest upgrades that you can make to really improve your fishing.”Mark, owner of Fishermen’s Loft, Christchurch New Zealand
This got me interested, so I got chatting with Chris, Trade Marketing Manager for RapalaVMC, the UK distributor of Sufix to find out more. Here’s what he said.
It has 13 strands, which is a fricken’ lot
“It’s a 13 carrier braid, with 12 UHMPE strands, and one GORE® strand, which is the line’s central core. It goes straight up the middle of the braid, and then the other 12 strands are woven around this central core, which gives it a solid round construction.”
So why is this central strand of GORE needed?
”It means the line won’t go flat, and it’s impossible for it to go flat because it has this central core. You find a lot of 12-strand braids are hollow and either go flat or take on water, but this one doesn’t do either.”
Sufix 131 apparently lasts much longer than other braids
This reduces the internal fraying of the line, massively increasing the longevity of the line. When GORE completed tests, an addition of a GORE Fibre within the braided rope increased the rope’s cycles to failure by over 20x! In practical terms, this means your line stays stronger for longer, WAY longer.
The line is one of the smoothest solid materials in the world
The GORE fibre is primarily used for high-performance ropes as it acts as a barrier to abrasion. It’s incredibly smooth. Actually, it’s crazy smooth. it’s one of the smoothest solids around. A benefit to this is it reduces wear on the line caused by the heat created by friction. This reduces the internal fraying of the line, making it stay stronger for longer.
“One of our sponsored anglers had some 832 on one of his reels for four years, using it every week.”
The GORE makes Sufix 131 sink rather than float
This is a fairly unique characteristic for a braided line, as the material that makes braid, HDPE, floats. This is because water has a specific gravity of 1, anything above this sinks, and anything below floats. Braid has a specific gravity of around 0.97, so it floats. However, the inclusion of the GORE fibre changes the specific gravity of the line, meaning the line now sinks slightly.
There is reduced slack in your line, especially when fishing in deeper water
How does this affect your fishing? Well, it has the benefit of increasing the sensitivity of the line. With a standard braid, it is trying to float when your hook is in the water. This causes a bow to form in the line, reducing your connection with the hook. Whereas lines with GORE will sink slightly, providing a more direct connection with your hook. This is an advantage for any sub-surface fishing. It might be slightly less ideal for surface lures, or very shallow, heavily weeded areas, but for most people’s fishing, this feature is an advantage.
What are the practical advantages?
Sufix uses the GORE strand in two separate ways: internally as a central strand for the 91 and the 131 or externally, interwoven with the braid for the 832.
Using the GORE fibre in these ways has different effects. When the GORE is used internally it provides a smooth circular surface for the braid to be weaved around. This creates a rounder braid, increasing casting distance. When the strand is used externally it increases the abrasion resistance of the line, and reduces friction from the braid through the eyelets when casting, leading to smoother and quieter casting.
So what are the results?
“You have a real smooth, long casting and long-lasting, high abrasion resistance braid.” However, for all it’s benefits there’s no doubt it’s a premium product, with a hefty price tag to boot. Is it worth the upgrade from the normal eight-strand braid? Mark certainly thought so.
“It’s one of the cheapest upgrades that you can make to really improve your fishing”.
He described how people would buy expensive reels in the shop, only to then use cheap lines, he said:
“It’s like putting cheap tyres on a Ferrari“.
A guide to other Sufix Lines
A high-performance line
A new line released by Sufix is due in April, and is between the 131 and the 832 in price. Here’s what Chris said:
“You’re getting a lot of the attributes of the 131 here”
You lose out slightly on the abrasion resistance due to the reduced amounts of strands, however,
other than that, carries most of the same benefits as the Sufix 131, but at an improved price point.
The GORE central core strand creates a round structure for the braid to form around. As a result, it creates a much rounder line than the standard eight-strand braid.
Another interesting benefit of this line is, unlike most other braids on the market, it sinks. This is partly due to the GORE fibre and partly due to the coating of the line. This would be particularly beneficial when boat fishing, it reduces the bow in the line caused by the braid trying to float, in turn improving sensitivity.
The most abrasion-resistant line
The name ‘832’ is named after the 8 strands and 32 weaves per inch. 32 is a relatively high weave per inch, with lower-quality lines usually having a much lower count. The braid has been around for a number of years, but for a good reason:
“it covers every kind of discipline that I know…I’ve used it feeder fishing for bream, and then I supplied some to a shop for Marlon fishing. We see it as the number one all-round braid.”
This is not your standard 8-carrier braid. It has 7 HDPE strands and one GORE strand, but unlike the 91 and the 131 lines, where the GORE strand is the core, in this case, the strand is interwoven. This has a number of benefits:
- Improved abrasion resistance – It massively increases the abrasion resistance, not just in snags but also in the longevity of the line.
- Smoother casting – The GORE fibre actually has a very low coefficient of friction, making it smoother when casting, so it’s quieter and casts further.
- Braid that sinks – Due to the GORE Fibre, the line sinks, especially useful for boat fishing.
This line won’t be as smooth as the 91 or the 131, but if abrasion resistance is an absolute priority. This line is certainly worth a look.
Value for money eight-strand braid
“This is a pretty standard 8-carrier braid, used more by the saltwater market. It’s a super smooth braid, and silky. It sits very well in this market as it’s actually a slightly superior braid“. This is due, in part, to using same-size strands throughout the line. For context, the X8 is around the price point of braids such as; J-braid, and PowerPro-type lines. This braid won’t have the abrasion resistance of the 832, or the smoothness of the 91 or the 131, but good value for the price point.
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