Last year I was lucky enough to be sent a Daiwa Tatula baitcasting rod and reel combo to have a play with, and inside the box was a spool of the original J-Braid x4 line to fill it with. For a 4-ply braid which was certainly at the lower end of retail pricing in tackle stores, I was very impressed.
Some 18 months later I’m still using that same spool of line. I have had some torrid battles with threadfin salmon who’ve put me in and around any number of artificial and natural structures, but the braid has held up beautifully.
With that in mind, you can understand my excitement in June this year when we opened an AusPost express bag with four spools of the new Japanese made Daiwa J-Braid Grand in multi-colour, and an equal amount of J-Thread fluorocarbon leader.
I took two spools of braid – 10lb and 30lb – and two spools of leader to match, and headed home to fill some reels and plan my testing missions.
The 30lb went on an old Luvias DA Custom 3000 (yes, the one with the tribal tattoos on the side), and the 10lb was wound onto my Emeraldas MX 2508.
The heavier set-up would come with me when chasing threadfin on the Brisbane River, and the lighter pairing would be on hand for any estuary fishing that was on the cards.
I normally leave the spooling up to the tackle store I buy line from, because they’ve usually got a machine and it’s faster, packs it on tighter and leaves me more time to spend far too much on lures. However, spooling the two reels myself actually gave me a really nice feel of the lines before I’d even wet them.
The first thing I noticed from both weight classes was that the new J-Braid Grand is a much smoother profile than both the original 4-ply and 8-ply versions, and also very soft and supple. It had little to no memory coming off the spool, and didn’t lose colour as it ran through my fingers that were keeping tension as it filled the reels. If you’ve ever done this job you’ll know you can end up looking like you’ve had a fight with a packet of Sharpies.
Once both reels were full to capacity it was time to tie a couple of FG knots and a rod length or so of the J-Thread fluorocarbon leader.
The bride and I were lucky enough to have a babysitter that night, so we went out for a kid-free dinner and then hit the river for some thready action. The braid cast both light and heavy lures very well, with no signs of wind knots or colour fading, and it wasn’t long before the first of five nice fish were hooked and trying their best to rub through the J-Braid and J-Thread on some pylons.
The line held up incredibly well on both wooden and metal structures. The fluorocarbon was scuffed and tattered by the end of the night, but didn’t even look like breaking or rubbing through. I am a notoriously terrible knot tier, but I managed to re-tie new leaders with ease, even with a heavier line class than I normally use.
With the heavier combo proving itself so well, I was pretty pumped to get out and try the 10lb versions as soon as possible. Over the last few months they’ve been put to the test on bream, bass and squid.
With this set-up the lures I’ve used and the situations I’ve used them has been a lot more varied than with the 30lb combo so while the strength and durability has certainly still been tested, it’s more about performance when casting lures for long periods of time in both fresh and saltwater arenas with topwater, diving and sinking hard bodied lures, squid jigs and soft plastics.
In every situation it has performed like a braid and leader combo that you’d expect to pay twice as much for. Cast after cast it peeled off the reel with no memory, no wind knots and once I was connected to a fish or squid, performed very well under stress.
J-Braid Grand is available in both multi-colour and island blue in spools from 6lb through to 80lb in 150 yard and 300yd spools with RRP’s starting from only $22.95.
J-Thread fluorocarbon leader comes in spools of 100m for the 4lb to 20lb classes and 50m spools for 30lb to 80lb and RRPs from $22.95 as well.
If you’re after a high quality Japanese designed and manufactured braided line or fluorocarbon leader without breaking the bank, I would highly recommend asking your local tackle store for J-Braid Grand and J-Thread.