Review of FireLine Ultra 8 Carrier Fishing LineReview of FireLine Ultra 8 Carrier Fishing Line When I give a review, I’m going to be completely honest about it. So here it goes...
By Glenn May
When the folks at Berkley asked me to try the new FireLine Ultra 8, I said, “OK, I'll do that. But when I give a review, I’m going to be completely honest about it. It may not be on brand or say all the things you want me to say about it. But I’ll do that if you guys are OK with that.”
“Bring it,” they said.
The response surprised me a little. So, even though Berkley is a sponsor, this is actually as honest as I can get because I’ve been given free reign. I wanted to give it a real thorough testing before I shared my findings with you guys, so I’ve used the 30-pound test FireLine Ultra 8 for several months now.
FireLine Ultra 8 differs from other braided lines in that its eight strands of Dyneema fibers are fused together with heat. That makes it stronger. It’s called a “super line.” Now that may sound like new terminology for some of you, but the original super lines actually came out in the mid-1990s. They were the precursors to the braided lines you see in today’s bass fishing. The Ultra 8 version is an improvement over the original FireLine introduced way back when.
The first thing you’ll notice about FireLine Ultra 8 is that it’s black. Many anglers use a black felt-tip marker to color braided line in hopes of camouflaging it. That is fine and dandy, but the marker eventually wears off, forcing you to cut off line or re-apply marker again and again. It’s a hassle. So, the folks at Berkley made this line completely black, solving that problem.
The first thing I thought was, “Well, when I start casting and start using this, is my thumb going to get all black? Is the black going to wear off the line?” Because face it guys, I’m sure you’ve used any of the green braided lines out there and have had the color rubbing off onto your hand. So, I wasn't convinced that Ultra 8 was going to stay black. But after several months of heavy use, it faded very little. The last few feet were a little lighter in color than the unused line deeper in the spool. It’s a subtle difference. Honestly, if you didn’t make that comparison, you wouldn’t know it. I’m impressed with that — OK,really impressed with that.
So, I never got a black thumb from the color rubbing off. That’s cool. But what else does this line offer?
When I first spooled the Ultra 8 on my reel, I immediately noticed the line was thicker than other 30-pound test braided lines. I also noticed it was stiff, which set me back. How could this line be manageable? How would it cast if it’s so stiff?
Sure enough, the first few casts with the FireLine Ultra 8 seemed a bit short. Distance wasn’t going to be good, so I thought. But after fishing with it for a while, the line became supple. In fact, my casts got longer and longer, with less and less effort. I can now cast farther with this line than with comparable lines. This can be attributed to it being fused, which makes it slick and smooth. That reduces friction as it goes through a rod’s line guides.
For a real test, I used the Ultra 8 to do some flipping and pitching. I’ve been fishing PowerBait MaxScent Creature Hawgs in some pretty heavy cover — wood, brush and thick aquatic vegetation. The line’s abrasion resistance is remarkable. After catching several fish, it had no nicks or cuts, so it doesn’t need to be repeatedly retied. It doesn’t fray. It cuts through aquatic vegetation really well. I’ve been really impressed with its performance in heavy cover.
I often fish in clear water, and I wondered if the black line would be easily seen by bass. That didn’t happen. The fish didn’t shy away from it. Maybe it was where I was fishing, the dark color blending into the heavy cover. Or maybe those guys that were marking up their lines with black felt-tip markers were on to something.
Overall, FireLine Ultra 8 works really well. Give it a try, guys.
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