Few tackle items are more important than your line. The primary connector between the angler and the fish, a quality, correctly chosen line not only ensures you stay connected to your fish it’s also crucial to many techniques and maximising your effectiveness as an angler.
For a lure angler, and especially a tournament angler, line choice considerations are far broader than simply what rated line is need, but includes consideration of the lure being used, technique, water clarity, structure type being fishing, and the type of outfit being used (spin v bait).
This horses for courses approach to line selection is one of the many hallmarks of a successful, analytical angler, and a feature that can stand tournament and non-tournament angler out from the pack when it comes consistency and potency as an angler.
One brand that’s tailor-made for this horses for courses approach is Toray. Performance inspired and growing in its popularity in Australia, both on and off the tournament trail, Toray is a brand that is synonymous with quality, innovation, and choice.
Six anglers, Tom Slater, Ben Biggs, Alex Roy, Andy Smith, Craig Simmons and Neil Wilson know and love Toray better than most, and provide as with an insight into their favourite Toray lines, and where and when they use them.
From straight through fluorocarbon for finesse cranking through to heavy PE and leader for muscling fishing from timber these guys know their lines inside out and provide us with an analysis on their choices that can help us all improve our fishing.
A thinking man’s fisherman, particularly when it comes to his fishing tackle, Tom Slater’s been using Toray for many years, and when it comes to his shallow water fishing where long casts and stealth are required he has one outfit that he reaches for, and that’s the one that’s spooled with Toray Lightfish PE, and with good reason.
“Toray Lightfish PE is the thinnest braid available from the Japanese line giant. It’s offered in 4lb (0.3PE) 5lb (0.4PE) and 6lb (0.5PE) and offers finesse anglers a whole new world of opportunities without the inherit downfalls of many super thin PE braids. Light Fish PE retains a degree of stiffness which offers the perfect mix of castability and line management”, explains Tom.
Fish-Tec Solutions’, Australia’s Toray distributor, Craig Simmons further explains why Light Fish PE is perfect in such a situation.
“Light Fish PE is incredibly thin in its profile which in turn reduces line bow and increases sensitivity and casting distance. This makes it ideal for fishing on shallow water flats during summer, or when fishing deep water for bream in winter”.
When it comes to leader choice Tom likes to give a little, and he likes his leader to do like wise. The Toray LEX Leader is his go-to, and his go-to for most of his fishing.
“LEX is a great all-round flurocarbon leader material. It offers great abrasion resistance with fantastic shock resistance that sets it apart from other fluros on the market. LEX has a high amount of stretch, which is a good thing when it comes to leader material. It cushions delicate hooksets as a fish surges and lunges, and also allows tightly fought battles to be fished a little harder”, explains Tom.
Like Tom, Ben Biggs loves his Toray fluorocarbon, and when it comes to fishing fluro it’s Super Hard Natural that gets the call up on his boat, both as a straight through line and as leader.
“Super hard natural is primarily designed as a premium spinning fluorocarbon due to its excellent abrasion resistance and knot strength. Its abrasion resistance was the first thing I noticed when I first started using it. It doesn’t mater whether I’m fishing dense weed or lilies, around timber or rock bars, super hard natural maintains its strength and integrity after heavy repeated contact. There have been tournaments where I haven’t had to replace leaders because it’s worn so well, and this saves both time and money,” explains Ben.
Ben’s adoration for Super Hard doesn’t end there, and a few other important attributes cement his love for it. Ben explains again.
“It has very low memory which makes it excellent for fishing as straight through, and also has excellent sensitivity, knot strength, and life span”.
These characteristics combine to give Ben the confidence to fish heavier cover and lighter leaders, which in turn improves his chances of getting a bite and landing fish.
An angler who loves his bream fishing is 2012 BREAM Classic Championship winner Alex Roy, and while Alex’s co-worker Ben Biggs leans towards straight through fluro for his breaming Alex takes a PE approach a lot of the time.
“Toray is one of the largest manufactures of fibres in the world and produces some of the finest and toughest fishing lines in the world. Their PE lines in particular have few equals, and the Seabass Powegame is one of the best there is, and one of my personal favourites”, explains Roy.
Made using HG PE and featuring 8 strand polyethylene weaved construction Seabass is smoother than most PE lines, is incredibly thin, and has no memory, a combination of traits that Alex loves.
“I primarily fish 12lb, which is a 0.6pe line, and one of the thinnest 12lb braided lines on the market, and the lightest size in the Seabass Power Game range. Many people think that 12lb PE is too heavy for bream, but due to its fine diameter it allows you to have extra strength around structure, with the ability to cast super light lures”, explains Alex.
Victoria’s Andy Smith is another angler that’s increasingly using straight through fluro in his fishing, particularly when it comes to his finesse fishing. And while he embraces his fluro fishing today, it hasn’t always been the case.
“For years I struggled to find a straight through fluorocarbon line for shallow flats fishing and finesse applications. I tried plenty but I just couldn’t find one that had what I was looking for, namely thinness, high knot strength, minimal stretch, and excellent wear and tear over time. With Toray Bawo Super Finesse I finally found what I was looking for. One of the best things about Bawo Super Finesse is that it doesn’t tend to twist and cause headaches like other fluros can. It is without a doubt the best finesse fluorocarbon I have ever used”, explained Andy.
While Toray has a strong presence within the bream scene, it’s equally at home with other species. When it comes to bass Crag Simmons knows the species intimately and has two favourite line set-ups that stand out when it comes to chasing this iconic species.
“The line and leader combo that I use when targeting schooled fish out in the open with no structure is Toray Seabass PE Powergame paired with a LEX fluorocarbon leader. The thinness of the Seabass maximises casting distance while the LEX leader has good stretch to minimise the chances of pulling hooks on fish”, explained Craig.
Of course bass fishing isn’t all deep plastics and blades out in the open, and targeting fishing amongst cover is a significant and attractive element of bass fishing.
“When I need a line set-up that has plenty of abrasion resistance I go for Toray Radius and I match it with a L-Hard fluorocarbon leader. The Radius has excellent abrasion resistance while the L-Hard has a tough outer layer to handle the nastiest of cover”, explained Craig.
When it comes to chasing Australian natives in lakes few species are as testing on gear as sooty grunter. Neil Wilson is a sooty grunter addict and has had plenty
of experience finding out the damage that sooties can do to inferior tackle, particularly line that isn’t up to task.
“Eungella is an unforgiving place. You’re catching big, hard pulling fish that live deep in the timber, and will tow you home in the blink of an eye”, explained Neil.
To withstand these rigors Neil favours 18lb Toray Jigging PE Powergame, a 4 carrier braid that is made with a resin coating to cut down friction and increase abrasion and wear resistance of the line.
“It doesn’t matter how far back into the timber a sooty get’s I’m confident that I’ll be able to pull him out with the Jigging PE”, explained Neil.
Matched with L Hard fluorocarbon leader, Toray’s super hard, super abrasion resistant leader, Neil is armed to handle what ever a sooty, or Eungella’s forest of flooded trees has to offer.
Our anglers have given us an insight into some of their Toray lines/leaders, to find out their favourites check out the table below.
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