An Extended Look at Sunline's FX2 Braided Line
Total Score: 8.17 - EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
Braided lines are a mainstay of anglers around the world and over the last several years, these lines have become more sophisticated and specialized. Sure there are braids made for general purpose applications, but now there are braids made for finesse fishing, braids with a special formulation so they actually sink, braids for flipping and pitching and so on. Today, we take a look at a line especially developed for the latter technique, but one both Zander and I have enjoyed as a general purpose line. Here now is our look at Sunline's FX2 braided line.
Sunline FX2 Braid Specifications
||8 strand braided line (blend of PE and PET)
||50, 60, 80
|Line Weights Fished
Background: Back in 2013, we ran a bunch of the available braided lines through a series of tests on The Machine all in an effort to develop a standard batch of tests. What we've come to discover over the last several years is those results were not necessarily repeatable. Braided lines are a tricky lot, so for this line type only, we're going back to our old fashioned story telling and sharing of our experiences en route to each product's review.
Sunline's FX2 braided line is an 8 strand braid made from a blend
of PE (polyester) and PET (polyethylene)
Impressions: Sunline's FX2 braided line is an 8 strand braid made from a blend of PE (polyester) and PET (polyethylene) materials with significant input from Dean Rojas, their resident frogging and flipping pro-staff. It is available in a solid green and a kind of camo green/blue color scheme. Sunline only offers this line in 50, 60 and 80 pound test popular flipping, pitching, and frogging weights - the techniques this line is developed to support. It has a relatively round cross section and doesn't crush under weight, but it has a very rough texture.
The camo green/blue is a favorite amongst TT editors.
Performance: When I first started to fish this line several years ago, I was not a fan. Having fished and become familiar with more general purpose braids like Daiwa's Samurai Braid and Suffix's 832, I could not get over the rough texture of Sunline's FX2. So it took me a while to really give this braid a chance. Once I forced myself to fish it more regularly, what I came to appreciate about it was how well it handled.
Zander uses FX2 on the majority of his big sticks for big baits.
somehow infused the color into this line in a manner that reduces the bleed
problem we get with most all other braided lines. Zander has noted that when
fresh out of the spool some of the blue coloration will come off when wet and
can transfer to gloves or cork. Most of this comes off with some water and soap
however. Additionally, there's no extra coating on the line to "protect" this
finish or the line itself. The result is a very supple, easy handling braid
that's not only handles pitching and flipping duties well, but in fact is a
fantastic casting line. In fact, it has become a go-to line choice for both
Zander and myself when casting small to medium sized big-baits.
Fresh spools don't bleed color over your combos.
Abrasion: One of the reasons we've abandoned our lab tests for braided lines is this category right here. FX2 performed horribly in our indoor, controlled abrasion tests. That afore mentioned rough texture of the line gives it zero resistance against hard, rough surfaces. So why would Sunline make a braid with such a rough surface? To slice through soft, pliable vegetation when you have a fish at the end of the line and need to pull it out of the thicket - a situation smoother braids have difficulty handling.
This is a very
supple, easy handling line.
If you happen to find yourself fishing in an area with a lot of rock, or dock pilings with freshwater muscles or clams encrusted on the surface, the best practice would be to tie on a good length of fluorocarbon leader and then you have the best of both worlds.
With the line's
rough texture does come a good amount of noise through the guides when under
Noise: Of course, with that rough
texture of the braid comes noise through the guides, a lot of noise.
Make no mistake about it, this line is loud. Whether you're just retrieving a bait or battling a fish, you're going to hear it running through your guides, and while we've not experienced any problems with grooving, I'd make sure the rod you're fishing this line with has a good set of guides with inserts that are able to handle the abuse.
Knots hold up well through a day of fishing, but it's always
good practice to retie through the day with braid.
Impact/Knot Strength: One issue with braid anglers often complain about are the sudden breakoffs when setting the hook or casting a bait. Braided line is essentially micro-scale rope made up of individual strands that can, over time, degrade or slowly break. The overall line will still hold together, but is weakened. So if your line is a little
on the worn side, and you're experiencing these breakoffs, it's probably time to respool. Granted, sometimes this happens with brand new line and in this case, that likely indicates an issue with the line's knot strength or even resistance to scenarios of sudden impact (hook setting, etc.).
Sunline's FX2 Braid holds up well over time, but everything
While I did have an issue with the former - unexplained breakoffs from FX2 braid that I fished over 3 years! I've not had a problem with FX2 that was freshly spooled or up to a year old on my reel. The 3 year old line was swapped back and forth between reels I was testing because let's face it, when you go through the number of reels we do each year, sometimes it's just easier and more cost effective to re-use line. However, after one respool, I had a break off on both a hook set and cast, so it was obviously time to retire that spool of line.
Sunline's FX2 is definitely Zander's Choice.
Longevity: As I alluded to earlier, Sunline's FX2 holds up pretty well over time, but everything within reason. Depending how often you get out, it's usually good practice to swap out the line on your reels at least once a year. I used to be pretty diligent about this, but over the last few years, I've been negligent. Sunline's FX2 handles so well even after a few years being swapped back and forth between reels, it's difficult to ascertain when it's an appropriate time to lay it to rest and reach for a new filler spool.
Sunline FX2 Braid
Nice, round-ish shape, two choices in colors
Handles extremely well - not too limp nor is it too stiff
At roughly $0.13 a yard, FX2 is actually on the more affordable side of average. We came up with a $0.14 average cost for braid across 14 different products.
8 strand braid, blend of two materials, available in two colors
Intentionally made with a rough texture to help cut through vegetation.
Design for frogging, pitching, and flipping but great as a general purpose braid
: 2 =
poor : 3
: 4 =
: 5 =
: 6 =
fair : 7
= good :
: 10 =
Pluses and Minuses:
| + Handles extremely well
|| - Only available in 50, 60, and 80lb test
|+ The blue/green color is where it's at!
|+ Works well for small to medium sized big baits as well
Conclusion: Sunline's FX2 is a case in point why we here at TackleTour approach each piece of tackle that crosses the threshold of headquarters and lands on our list of products to review with an open mind.
Initial impressions don't always hold up once we get a product on the water, and if fished with the products intended use in mind, can often be turned completely around to deliver an "aha-moment" as was the case with FX2.
Approach each piece of new tackle with an open mind, and you
just may be surprised with a new favorite. Sunline's FX2 Braid is one such
Where this line really won us over was in its fantastic handling. It casts extremely well and is limp, but not too limp to where you have to constantly worry about wind knots and the line wrapping around your guides. Sunline has struck a really good balance with this line and if the last several years have proven anything, it's that FX2 braid has earned, this Editor's Choice Award.
Looking for Sunline FX2 Braid? Try TackleWarehouse