Re: Gonna switch to braid
Well.... that's a good question. I've tried them all And here are my thoughts....
My considerations are price, line longevity, and performance. I don't care for braids on certain spinning reels. The looser (non-coated) braids tend to twist up pretty bad even w/ swivels. But I have to admit my spinning rigs are used mainly to throw light inline spinners like roostertails and this really twists the braid. Coated lines like the Spider-Wire Stealth & Power Pro don't twist as bad. I've switched reels to one w/ a better bail and roller design and it doesn't seem to twist as bad. I also switched swivels to a higher quality one.
On bait casters I love 20-30lb braid! I don't use a mono-leader either. Doesn't seem to matter as they are so focused on the lure action than the line.
However, I do like to use a 2-3ft mono leader when throwing tubes and senko w/ the spinning rod.
Tuff-Line sucks, it goes flat and ribbons. Good news is you don't find it much anymore anyway. And they've continously improved it into Tuff-Line Plus (which was better) and finally into Tuff-Line XP, which I think is a pretty good braid. I use 20lb on my bass rods and 30lb on my walleye/steelhead rods.
I also have a lot of Spider-Wire both Original (non-coated) and Stealth (teflon coated). I primarily use this on my bigger rods & reels for steelhead, salmon and my off Shore rigs for bottom fishing. Depending on the application and real size (theirs about a 2lb differance in diameter between coated & uncoated) I may give up the coating in favor of line capacity. For instance, I have a alum framed Pinnicle Baitcaster w/ flipping button that use for steelhead, I went with "Original" (uncoated) 30lb Spiderwire in order to get a full 150yds on it w/o dropping down to 20lb. The uncoated line also casts farther w/ light lures, but tends to backlash a bit more.
Stren Super Braid is one I've just tried on a Penn 321GTI halibut reel. It's uncoated and wolven in a square shape. I was trying to get a full 300yds of 80lb on that reel so I could reach even the deepest spots for halibut. 300yds = 900ft and I've fished 750ft with it so far and boated 4 last year. It seems to be doing the job just fine.
But we don't care about offshore reels and lines!!!
My opinion is this...
Start w/ 20lb Stealth first, I think it's about the cheapest right now anyway. Then try 20lb XP and finally 20lb Power-Pro. Or set up 3 rods w/ each and you decide which you like better. I think Stealth is stronger, than XP.... no, no I KNOW it's stronger. PP is maybe even slightly stronger yet, but it cost a bit more.
All will last 2-3 seasons before needing to be flipped around on the reel. It has no memory, smaller dia = more line capacity (important for steelhead guys), is tough as nails, excellent abrasion resistance, lasts 5-10x longer than mono, and now is about the same cost as good mono used to be. And about 3x stronger for the same diameter. It's a win/win all the way around!
Yes braid has changed everything. Nice small comfortable bass reels can now hold enough line of suitable strength to be used for larger gamefish. Now we're seeing alum frames replacing composite, and beefed up drag systems (ie. Quantum PT) being developed to address this evolution.
My goal this year is to use my alum framed Pinnicle for offshore silvers, perhaps even TUNA! if the opprotunity presents itself. Yes, I'm expecting to smoke it! But I just gotta try, just to see if it can be done.
Whew, that was much longer than I expected!
Did I mention I LOVE BRAID!!!