November 9, 2015 Last Updated 6:17 pm

* Testing Times – Ultima Octane 8Braid Protoype 20lb

It is nice to get things to test... It is great to be given a line not even launched yet in the marketplace. Topfisher is Trusted!.....



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Ultima Octane 8Braid Protoype 20lb

I am a regular user of Ultima line. I have met with the people from Ultima at different events and I was delighted when they sent me  a sample of some new line for test. It was something new for me, actually testing a line and reporting on the test in order to determine its suitability for a market launch – Such is the case with Ultima Octane.

Ultima make great mono. While I do not use mono on my reels I use a lot of mono for trace building and leaders. Shore anglers that use mono tell me that Ultima F1 and Red Ice are  amonst the best mono available. I know from use myself that Ulitma’s Enigma is superb leader or snood material and also their Memor-x is just superb as a no-memory trace line. I have used their Power Braid on some of my multipliers and it is very reliable braid indeed.

I could never find an Ultima Braid to suit my lure fishing. It was simple really, they didn’t make one. Power Braid Just was not really an option being on the thick side.


Why use Super Braid at all?

This is a good question. Some might say that braid is braid and therefore any braid will do. I suppose this simplistic view is actually technically correct! All braid is essentially made from the some product. There are two product names in use for what we know as braid: Dyneema and Spectra. It depends on the company you buy your braid from. Thus Dyneema or spectra is only available from a few factories around the globe. The raw product is the same but the fibres must be combined in some fashion to create a fishing line as we know it.

For clarity here we will only speak here forward about “braid” as it pertains to fishing line. We give a nod to the coated dyneema and also the extruded and fused Dyneema that ends up on our reels as Nanofil and Gliss. These types of modern line are not braided lines and here we are all about the braid.

So let’s talk of braid composition. Braids are threads of  Dyneema that are woven like a rope. It take a complex weaving machine considerable time to produce a spool of braid as we know it. There is a short video that shows you the complex process – and you wonder why your braid costs so much!

“Normal” braid has been superseded by what we will call “super” braid. Essentially the braid we were using has been refined by using machines that will weave tighter and more threads together to make thinner braid that “normal”. You will mostly hear this braid being referred to as “eight strand” or “Super” braid. There are modern four strand braids but let’s not complicate the issue here.


What’s the thing about diameter?

Just think of it this way – the thinner your line the better it should cast. Is you are fishing from a boat the thinner your line the less weight you need to keep in contact with the bottom. The benefits of a super braid are really felt by anglers fishing vertically from a drifting boat. When I am fishing vertically for bass super braid allows me to use less weight to keep my lure in the action area.

There is one thing to note about braid diameter: there is no standard method for measuring the diameter of braid therefore the manufacturer can claim whatever they want in terms of diameter (And breaking strain for that matter). It tends to lead you haveing to feel your way through braids and it can make ordering online from non-reputable sources to be a risky business given the amount of forgeries about.

Back to the braid. I like braid. I have exclusively used braid for the last few years. I am not very fussy on my boat fishing multiplier reels. But I am very fussy about the braid I use on my fixed spool lure fishing reels. It took a bit of experimentation to find the most suitable type, diameter and breaking strain. I like to fish with as light a line as possible and I have experimented with some very light braid. The down side to using light (and therefore thin) braid is that there is little forgiveness or strength when you get snagged up. Therefore 10lb breaking strain was not a success for my style of fishing. I eventually settled on 20lb breaking strain as it gave the balance needed. Time to check out the 20lb braids. You will find there is a wide range of diameters for a 20lb breaking strain braid. The breaking strain we talk of here is Absolute Breaking Strain as distinct to the Lbs Test expressed by the Yanks. The normal for super braids  is about 0.13mm for 9kg or 20lbs breaking strain. I am somewhat dubious about the claims of some manufacturers. Berkley claim their whiplash braid has a diameter of 0.06mm for 20lbs – I’m more than a little dubious!

octane spool

The Prototype

So I usually use a spool filled with 0.13mm braid for my lure fishing. I have tried a few different brands. Sufix 832 is great although difficult to get your hands on locally. More often than not I’m spooled with Strikepro Strike Wire 0.13 9kg.

A package arrived with the postman.  I wasn’t expecting a package, I had not ordered anything so I was intrigued when to spools slipped from the package along with a complimentary slip.

The braid was spooled on big spools and was labelled plainly “Ultima Octane 8 Braid Prototype 20lb”  There was also a part number and I guess from that part number that this braid is rated at .14mm. There is only 100m on the spool and it is a lovely shade of pink!

I reckoned I’d better spool it on the smallest reel I use so I checked and found a spare spool for my Penn Battle 2000. I backed up the spool with 20lb mono and filled it out with the Ultima Octane.

The first test for any line is “how does it knot”. I use a Yucatan knot as my knot of choice. It is the most simple knot to tie on a moving boat and it holds very well. The Octane knotted perfectly once lubricated. The thin diameter makes for a nice tight, slim knot.

What would you do to test a line?

The first thing I did when I got on the water is I wet the line. I actually played out a good bit of line and reeled it back in. I always do this with new line. I like the way it beds in the line on the spool. My first session was vertical fishing for bass and that really tests a lines breaking strain! I snagged up a few times. Each time I pulled out or broke off. Each break off was either at the leader knot or at the lure knot. A good result for the new braid.

That first day I tried a few casts. The line seemed to retain some memory as you could see tight coils when it lay on the surface just after casting. I expect this from modern tight woven braid. It disappears after a few casts and I have not seen the coils since.


My second trip was another bass trip but on this one I was casting a lot. The Octance casts beautifully. I think wind knots are more of a product of the reel and the angler rather than the line but Octane was impeccable on the Penn Battle. I was very confident, rarely even looking down to check for a tell tale strand across the top of the spool – The next cast is a knot if not carefully done. In all my sessions I have not had a knot. I would say that I don’t suffer from many in any case. I have learned the lessons over time.

My third trip saw me back out in my Rubber Duck targeting pollack and other reef dwellers. I would say that by now the hot pink colour has faded from the line that is most in use. It is not until I’m exposing unused line that you really notice the fading. I think all braid I have used fades like this. It certainly  does not upset me.

I had superb session on lures fished vertically. I had crash diving pollack to 10lbs and has the mother of all battles with a 16lb ling, a superb fish on a 7-28g Abu Garcia Rock Sweeper 7’. It was really squeaky bum time as the fish scrapped hard. I feared for my leader but I had no bother from the 20lb Flouro either.

In summation

I sent back an email to the people at Ultima – The bottom line is that this is good line. I would have no bother changing from my current favourite to the Octane.

I have no idea where the price point of this line will be. I hope that it will be competitive.  When it comes down to it I have not heard Ultima’s plans for launching Octane onto the market. I can only hope they do. Further news when it arrives…..


Check out the Ultima Range here:


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