Tuf-Line XP & Duracast
There are as many choices in braided lines these days as there are rods and reels. For every angler, it comes down to choices. These items are put to the heaviest test by fishing guides who put the equipment and tackle to the harshest test: Handing it to a client. It has been a few years since I first heard about Tuf-Line and back then, the comments were very good. So I tried it after buying it at the local tackle shop. The price was right and it worked very well.
When I entered the guiding business, I fell into another sponsorship for line. When years passed and it was time to find a different sponsor for line for my fishing reels, I did my research but in the back of my mind, I was still thinking about the Tuf-Line. After consulting with Joe Hebert of Fish On Lures (The Edje and Silly Willy), I was introduced to some people at Tuf-Line. Before long, I was supplied with Tuf-Line XP and Duracast to spool up and put to work on a daily basis to evaluate and see if I would like it to be what I use. The company? Western Filament, Incorporated dates back to the 1930’s. Originally in “shoe laces”, now 60% of WFI’s revenue comes from fishing lines.
Keeping in mind that my fishing is light tackle and lures for inshore species, the lines that I am using are the thinner diameter and not the really high pound-test lines that others may be using for other kinds of fishing. The basis of my evaluation, I am interested in was the performance, the presence of “problematic situations” and the durability. Ultimately, I can tell you that I consider all three to be incredibly important. I do not want to be replacing line all the time (durability). I want the line to have a nice fine feel to it and allow the average casting client to get good distance (performance). The final piece of the puzzle, the “problematic situations”- those who have used braided line can remember back to their early days. Braided lines can twist, particularly for people with little or no experience (for instance, some of my clients). With different lines, there are different propensities for these problems.
After use of the Tuf-Line XP and the Duracast, it is obvious that these two products score very well in all categories. Castability: The lines rate just fine. Durability: Months later, in some heavy use in some harsh conditions, the spools of line still look like new and there have been zero “failure incidents” with breaking. The line tangles of the “Problematic” category have been very few and can be attributed to angler technique and not the product. (As a side note: All of these tangles were “resolved.” The bunching up of line that has been commonly called “a wind knot” has been something that has occurred but in all cases, I was able to untwist and save the line, something that wasn’t always possible with other lines I used in the past.)
Again, with clients being the main users of this equipment, their behaviors would be more likely to create more trouble than my own technique and this was not a problem with these products. In my own use of the reels with this line: Without any problems and great results. The “feel” is very good. Anyone who has used cheap braided lines will tell you that it is stiff, noisy and somewhat coarse. Tuf-Line products feel smooth and round to the touch and the line rolls off a spool smoothly.
I clearly marked the spools of the different lines I put on my reels. I wanted to be able to draw comparisons between the Duracast and the XP. What I found was that both rate out well in performance, durability and overall “value”. I like the Duracast line but as a person who likes the test of time, I think that the XP is a great first choice for anyone.
The concept of value is very simple: You won’t be sorry if you buy either of these lines. Compare prices, and then give it a shot. For me, the updated “test of time” is complete for me. This is all I will use for my charter business because I am comfortable with knowing what I will get with value: Performance, durability and rare, solvable problems. Other product notes and observations-
“Knot a problem!” Leader to line connections are strong, unlike other lines that may be too slippery for tying knots.
Color options: White, Green, Yellow and Red. Take your pick; they’re all excellent choices. My recommendation: Go “Green”.
Test options: 6-pound up to 250-pound. Useful for a variety of fishing situations. For light inshore fishing, my recommendation: 15-pound for the beginner, lighter and lighter for the advanced angler.
For more information, visit http://www.tuf-line.com/
Good luck and good fishing!
Neil Taylor www.strikethreekayakfishing.com