YGK is world-renowned as a leader in braid manufacturing technology. It is one of the few companies in the world with a Japanese factory dedicated to manufacturing high-quality braid and recently released a new series of lines under the X-Braid banner. I was recently given a spool of X-Braid by YGK (made in Japan) to try here in Australian conditions.
X-Braid has quite a few new models but as a GT on topwater enthusiast, the new Full Drag braid caught my eye. I got it in 100lb breaking strain, which comes in a 300m spool. This braid – as indicated by the name – was designed for the hardest punishment a braid can be dealt: GT popping. I’ve been running the braid off a PE 10 (100lb) popping set-up and I must say I am impressed.
A Vast Ratio
The strength to breaking strain ratio of a high-quality Japanese braid is second to none and Full Drag has delivered with a diameter of just 0.41mm (PE #6), which is the equivalent of a 17lb mono test. This is extremely thin for its breaking strain and YGK has coupled this with a super-fine silicone surface coating to make the braid super-slick for casting.
It is without a doubt the best GT casting braid I have used. You can cast the lures an absolute mile and even drop down to lighter lures I wouldn’t normally use with 100lb set-ups.
You can’t test a braid called Full Drag without putting the bold name to the test, so I was keen to lock it up and test the strength out on a few reef thugs. The drag was tightened right up, to the point where I struggled to keep myself in the boat fighting a big GT.
The fish quickly burnt out and YGK proved again why its braids are among the best on the market. The few times I have busted off since using Full Drag has come via the 200lb leader not the 100lb braid, which was very reassuring.
The braiding technology uses super-thin yet extremely strong strands that are expertly woven to provide you with a smooth braided line with minimal stretch and a smooth round finish. This tightly woven finish increases abrasion resistance and general wear, giving you a longer lasting braid. This was evidently working well in my use of the braid and after a week of solid fishing I went over the braid and found very little sign of wear or ‘furriness’ over the first 30-50 metres.
Full Drag knots well, and I’ve been tying FG knots onto 200lb leader with no issues at all. The braid bites into the leader well and holds on tight. There’s been no sign of wind knots or guide wrap when casting in the wind and the line lays on the spool nicely.
The braid comes in a plain white colour and doesn’t have any coloured metre marks. This is not an issue for me on my casting set-ups as I do prefer a plain-coloured braid; the small, coloured marks often attract small long tom and mackerel into biting your braid and creating weak points. The 300m spool required about 100m of mono backing to fill a Shimano Saragosa 20000 so I’d like to see it available in bigger spools for the heavier breaking strains soon.
Full Drag is one of the best casting braids I have used and I believe one of the best on the market. It’s one to keep your eye out for if you’re a keen casting angler. For this kind of quality it doesn’t come cheap, with a 300m spool sitting somewhere between $170-190, but the price is reflected in the product and you get what you pay for with high-value line.
Words and Images: Colby Lesko