If you’ve never heard of Tokuryo Line Lab you can be forgiven. It’s new to Australia but was established in 1983 in Taiwan and has become very popular across much of Asia and Europe thanks to its large range of high-quality braid, fluorocarbon and monofilament.
Australian distributor Juro has just taken on the brand and is now distributing it here, recently sending me the Casting Pro 8 to review.
Casting Pro 8 is an 8-strand braid available in breaking strains of 10, 12, 15, 18 and 20lb and available in spools of 150m and 300m. It comes in a deep, vibrant blue colour and is available in stores now.
The first thing I noticed (and was happy to see upon receiving the packet) was clearly printed line data. If I’m going to use a line, I want to know exactly what I’m spooling. Refreshingly, the packet stated the breaking strain in pound and kilos, in the test case 15lb/6.8kg, its PE rating of 0.8 and its actual diameter of 0.09mm – this meant there was no guesswork and I knew exactly how much I could fit on my spool and how much backing I needed.
This data clearly allows me to ascertain its best application – the days of judging a line’s application by its breaking strain are long gone. When lines with a diameter of 0.09 are breaking at 6.8kg, it’s an extremely thin line for its breaking strain. I was impressed with the Casting Pro 8 so I spooled it on one of my favourite reels, a 2016 Daiwa Certate, where it’s a great match.
When spooling my reel I noted the deep and vibrant blue colour, a smooth finish, a tight weave that doesn’t unravel when twisted and a good level of stiffness to perform well on a spin reel. Also, being an 8-strand, it should offer great durability and abrasion resistance. All positive attributes I like in a braid.
A line of this class would usually be used for targeting estuary species, as it’s thin enough to cast ultra-light offerings and has a breaking strain that can pull fish from structure. It’s also perfectly suited to targeting squid. With lockdowns preventing any travel, the local and current giant southern calamari spawn run was the intended quarry for the review.
Tying an FG knot, I noted it knots beautifully and it’s a very manageable braid. It casts like a dream and I noted no adverse issues with line management. In fact, its slightly stiff feel – which I attribute to what Tokuryo calls its SI Coating – makes it a joy to use, even for such a thin braid. This coating also provides a soft and silky finish that provides quiet operation through the guides and line roller.
I went down to the southern reaches of Port Phillip Bay to test the braid, and although casting large 3.5-style squid jigs aren’t a great test for casting ability as they go like a rocket, I was still impressed with how manageable this line is. In these waters spawning squid will only play ball when the tide starts running, so you need a thin braid to cut through this fast tidal water – and PE #0.8 is just perfect. Working heavy squid jigs aggressively can take a toll on an FG knot, especially when you’re adding the pressure of multiple ultra-large squid. You’ll often note fraying on the knot after hundreds of casts and retrieves, but the knot looked just as good at the end of the session as it did at the start. I went on to catch many large squid and thoroughly enjoyed using the Tokuryo.
It isn’t often a completely new braid comes along that is this impressive, as quality braid isn’t an easy thing to produce. I am really impressed with Tokuryo and Casting Pro 8, which is a premium quality braid that’s priced at $55 for 150m – and while it isn’t cheap, the price reflects the quality. I look forward to testing some of the other products they have on offer. Tokuryo is hitting stores now so be sure to look out for it at your local dealer.
Words & Images: Kosta Linardos
Distributed by: Juro Australia