Courtesy of Hooked Up I recently received a spool of Strike Pro Armour 8 braid and was asked to do a very honest review. Now, I admit I’m very much a creature of habit with gear, especially something as important as braid, and I can be reluctant to move away from what I know and feel confident with. However, with an empty Daiwa reel and a brand spanking spool of the Armour 8 in 20lb, it was an appropriate time to load the reel and put this braid through its paces.
Armour 8, as the name implies, is an 8-strand braid made with 100% PE fibres and available in three colours of hi-vis yellow, slate grey and hi-vis orange. It comes in 150m spools from 10lb-50lb and 300m spools from 20lb-50lb.
Out of the box, the first notable characteristic of the Armour 8 is the very smooth feel. A PTFE coating provides this finish, which also helps to make the line highly resistant to abrasion. Through the fingers it has a ‘silky’ feel, and a strength test in hand via a straight pull and some fairly fast, short and quite brutal jerky motions (using both hands to test shock load) was passed with ease. The braid does boast of superior strength and this certainly appeared to be the case.
Line lay across the spool of the reel was precise and the bright orange colour added a nice contrast against the all-black reel. Being a soft supple braid that featured a coating, my next point of interest was how easily it was to tie an FG knot with, and just how well it would bite into a hard fluorocarbon leader. With leader in hand and braid in the other, I made my first set of wraps and was instantly impressed at how well the braid ‘bit’ into the leader. Continuing the process with more wraps and necessary hitches to finish the knot, the FG was a breeze to tie with the Armour 8. After some more serious tests with very significant tension, the braid’s claim about ‘optimum knot strength’ saw another box ticked.
Line castability was the next big test and during a mid-morning session I fired off what must have been hundreds of casts, coinciding with the right period of the tide. In conditions that varied from no wind to over twenty knots, the line fired off the reel beautifully and provided continual trouble-free casting.
The final test just needed some ‘opponents’ and the initial casting went from slow to a wild little bite window that saw just about a fish a cast. My targets may have been estuary jewfish and mangrove jack – but who’s going to complain about catching juvenile GTs. They hit with ferocity, fight like mini steam trains and have that never-say-die stamina that you have to admire. They also happen to be a fantastic way to test and stretch new braid and gear. With continual action for roughly half an hour, I put the line through various drag settings and everything from a relatively light setting to a near lock-up was tested. In each instance the line’s overall strength and sensitivity was seriously impressive and resulted in one very enjoyable line to fish.
I quickly gained huge confidence in Strike Pro Armour 8 and am now changing over two baitcasting outfits to accommodate. Given its star characteristics of strength and light bite detection, it is highly suitable for soft plastic work, jerk bait casting, reef bottom bouncing, trolling and vertical jigging. Its price point, versatility and strength all pack a serious punch. At $29.99 for 150m and $54.99 for 300m, it offers exceptional value for money for the quality on offer.
Words & Images: Peter Morris