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Sep 23

Solaroam Super Hard Upgrade Fluorocarbon

Solaroam SuperHard Upgrade – Bringing a Braid Junkie Back to Fluorocarbons
Review by: Rob Edwards BassJunkies Fishing Addiction

Over the past 8+ years I have become somewhat of a line junkie; meaning that I really enjoy trying out new lines (usually braids). Each season I would spool up with a few new lines and give them a thorough test drive before repurchasing the ones I truly loved. In 2011 I got my first look at Japanese lines (Sun Line) and it kind of opened my eyes to what was actually possible and brought me back around to using fluorocarbon as an alternative for certain techniques. Although impressed with how far fluorocarbons had come in the past several years, I was not hooked, and continued on my journey to test out newer and better lines.

This year I was able to try out three different lines by premium Japanese line manufacturer, Toray. In this review I will focus on my (now) primary fluorocarbon line Soloram Super Hard Upgrade.

SuperHard Upgrade is a 100% Fluorocarbon line known for its strength, sensitivity and durability. In TackleTour.com’s 2007 Fluorocarbon Showdown, the Upgrade tested at 13% stronger than it’s actual on box rating (14lb line broke at 16lbs pressure) and unlike many lines it kept upwards of 93% of its rated strength at the knot (Click here to see the full Tackle Tour Review). Both of these were big pluses for me, considering memory, line strength and knot strength are the main reasons I had previously used primarily braided lines.

I know, I know these are just numbers… You want to know how it fishes!

Pros:
SuperHard Upgrade although strong, maintains a very limp feel and has extremely low memory. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this impressed with a fluorocarbon line’s handling characteristics and how well it sits on the reel. Its thin diameter also allows for great casting distance. Admittedly, I have done the majority of my testing so far with top-water baits and flipping jigs which tend to be long casting on their own. Upgrade casts and flips smoothly and does not seem to bunch up on the spool like some of the other premium fluorocarbons I had been using.

In the above numbers breakdown, I covered the strength side of things, but I would be remiss not to mention it again here as one of the line’s most impressive qualities. Durability generally comes along with strength, and believe me, this line takes some serious abuse and stands up to the roughest of structure. On average Toray lines last twice as long as their competitor’s line, and 4x longer than many off the shelf fluorocarbons.

Fact: Toray owns most of the fluorocarbon technology in the world. They do a tremendous portion of the OEM business in the line market. They even supply the raw materials and resins to many of the manufacturers they don’t directly extrude. When you own the technology, it’s makes sense to use your best and highest quality resins for the products bearing your own branding.

In the below image you will see that looks like a red laser beam coming off my spool. What it actually is, is a halfway marker letting you know that you have hit the halfway point on the spool or 75 meters. I really love this as it takes the guessing game out of refilling your spool, and makes it easier to get multiple reels out of one spool.

Cons
I’ll be honest here, I have yet to find a flaw in this line, I have been fishing it for a few weeks now, and its performance has been nothing short of spectacular. If I had to choose a few areas on pick on it would be the pricing ($30-$39 a spool) and availability. The pricing although expensive is on par with other high quality high grade lines, and since it out performs these lines I guess you get what you pay for.

Regarding price though, it is important to remind anglers again that this line will last two to four times longer than the majority of fluorocarbon lines on the market. When you take this into consideration, Toray lines are actually extremely competitive with cheaper fluorocarbon.

Fact: Time is money, I get it. Many anglers don’t like to spend their hard earned money on a quality line, but when you think about it, if you are replacing your cheaper line twice as often, how much are you actually saving? Between the cost of replacing the line, and the time it takes to strip your reels and re-spool, you may be better off just picking up a spool of Toray and getting the job done right the first time. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did.

As for availability, your best bet is to buy direct from the guys at Blackwater, as they are the exclusive North American dealer of Toray lines (and a few of their own).

Spooling Up:
If you’re paying $30+ for a spool of line you best not waste it. Way too many anglers don’t use any form of backing on their reel and simply fill their spool up with their line of choice. This is a mistake. By the time you get to the back end of the spool the line has been abused and/or you don’t have enough left to properly fish with it. Here is a trick I was taught and have been using ever since.

I fill up my reels with a cheaper fluorocarbon ($6 spool) that is the same diameter/strength as the line I want to use on my reel. Then I spool the reel to where I like it. Once there I strip off between 50-75meters of line (you can estimate, use your arm as a measurement. Each arm length is generally one meter). Once I attach the Upgrade to the backing I then fill the spool back up, thus only using 50-75 meters of the good line (if you do it right you should be at the red line in the image above). If you use this method at 50 meters, each spool of Upgrade will now be good for 2 more refills. If you use the 75meter mark (like I do) then you have 1 more refill in the tank. I think you’ll find this will lengthen the life of your line and make that purchase price a bit easier to swallow. Try it out and let me know what your think

Tip: After attaching your main line to the backing, take a piece of hockey/duct tape and wrap it around the spool. If you get a little fast and loose on the water this will ensure your backlash will only go so far back and minimize time spent pulling out backlashes.

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