Review of FireLine Ultra 8Review of FireLine Ultra 8
After a little fishing, you’ll enjoy FireLine Ultra 8
By Clayton Westgate
It’s pretty safe to say that most experienced anglers have heard of, and probably used, Berkley FireLine at one time or another. I’ve used it on a few occasions. It’s been good for what I used it for, but it always seemed wiry and thicker than other braided lines of the same size.
So, when I was given the chance to try the new FireLine Ultra 8, I was curious about what I would receive and how it would differ from what I used in the past. I got spools of 10- and 30-pound test. I put the 10-pound test on a spinning reel, and the 30-pound test went on a baitcasting reel.
FireLine Ultra 8 felt fairly wiry at first, not unlike previous versions of FireLine. But it was rounder in shape, thanks to it being made from twice as many — eight — strands of Dyneema fibers that are fused together with heat. The diameter of the 30-pound test looked noticeably thicker than other brands of the same strength. The 10-pound test looked only a little thicker than other brands of the same strength. Its color didn’t rub off on my hands too much while spooling it on my reel, so that was nice.
At first, the Ultra 8 fished much like original FireLine. It was pretty stiff and sprung off the spinning reel’s spool, allowing for longer casts. Sensitivity was as expected. It made little noise — slightly louder than the original — while running through my rod’s line guides.
One thing that became apparent was that Ultra 8 seemed to really “break in” after some use. I’m not sure if it was the result of getting wet, feeling the shock of hooksets or repeated casting, but the line softened up and wasn’t nearly as wiry as when I loaded it on my reels. That made it much more manageable.
I spent considerable time fishing the Ultra 8 on a spinning reel, casting a lightly weighted small worm in a stiff wind. I experienced no wind knots or extra line being pulled off the reel, other than the obvious bow from the wind. I never tested the line’s abrasion resistance, try as I might; I never had a flipping bite in any kind of heavy cover with it.
Overall, I was pleased with FireLine Ultra 8, even more so after the break-in period. I would suggest buying a pound test size smaller than you usually use if you’re putting it on a spinning reel. The 10-pound test I used was right on the edge of what most anglers would be able to manage without having serious line tangles until after the break-in period.
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