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Line Review

Introducing Sunline's New P-Ion Assassin FC (continued)

Sensitivity: To test sensitivity, I fished finesse techniques on Lake Powell with Jarrett Edwards and Paul Schluter from St. Croix rods using the eight pound (8lb) test Assassin FC spooled on the afore mentioned Daiwa Certate Finesse. The reel was mounted on a St. Croix Legend Elite medium light powered spinning rod.

The fish were biting very light on this trip, but the line and rod worked well together to communicate those pressure bites in time for me to land about 90% of the bites I sensed - I missed a couple of fish because I was just too slow. There were, or course, a few occasions where the bite was more obvious, and the Assassin FC communicated those takes in typical fluorocarbon line fashion - very crisply.

The waters of Lake Powell proved to be an excellent spot test Assassin's knot strength and resistance to abrasion.

Abrasion: Fishing a finesse jighead with a variety of baits including tubes and shad imitators, my Assassin FC in eight pound (8lb) test was exposed to a lot of abrasive obstacles in Lake Powell including rock ledges and submerged tumbleweed. With each snag, snare, and hook up, I checked my line for signs of abrasion and the need to retie, but the line held up really well and frankly, better than I expected. I retied very infrequently despite frequent snags and snares!

Knot Strength: In the lab, knot strength worked out to be about 51% of the line's rated strength and 64% of the average tested strength of the line. This is just under our average of 65% of rated strength and 71% of tested strength for all the fluorocarbon lines in our database. Without knowing how the baseline Assassin FC material performs before being put through Sunline's P-Ion process, it's difficult to say if the treatment is a success or not, however, compared against our FC averages overall, it seems the P-Ion process has had little affect with the material's knot strength.

Jarrett Edwards was impressed with how slick this prototype fluorocarbon line from an un-named manufacturer was.

Out on the water, on a few of my underwater snags, I pulled on the line with a good amount of force, not necessarily trying to break the line (because I didn't want to be irresponsible and risk polluting the crystal clear waters of Lake Powell), but with enough force where if the knot strength was sub par or if the line was abraded, it would have or should have broke. So the line, again, behaved better than I expected out in real world conditions.

Manageability: I covered this topic a bit with regards to casting gear up above, but the real test of a line's manageability comes on spinning gear - especially with fluorocarbon line. The Certate Finesse 2004 is a traditional "2000" sized spinning reel that features a very shallow spool made to hold about 100 yards of three pound test line (0.148mm). I was able to get enough 8lb test Assassin FC on the reel to fish effectively and despite the relatively small diameter of this spinning reel's spool, the line was easy to manage and did not have the tendency to want to jump off the spool like a lot of fluorocarbon lines I've used in the past.

Assassin FC has a very slick surface and it's also soft and manageable in body making it feel a bit more like a stiff nylon monofilament than a fluorocarbon line. We're assuming this is due to the P-Ion process. If so, the benefits of this technology really materializes in the line's manageability.

Performance Ratings for Sunline Assassin FC

Cast/ Pitch (1-5)
Sensi-tivity (1-5)
Abrasion (1-5)
Knot Strength (1-5)
Manage-ability (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Features: The big deal with Assassin FC, of course, is this new P-Ion technology. So what does it entail? Plasma is what scientist refer to as the 4th state of matter. It is essentially ionized gas produced by very high temperatures as in the Sun and other stars but also by the ionization from the exposure to an electric current like how a fluorescent light bulb and neon sign work (American Heritage Science Dictionary).

Sunline uses this process to alter the fluorocarbon raw material chemically rather than just adding a coating on top. The result is a slicker surface on the material helping it to perform better and ultimately last longer. Their numbers show a 40% increase in slickness, a 30% increase in abrasion resistance, and a 30% increase in longevity.

We received samples spools of 8, 10, 12, 15 & 20lb test Assassin FC.

Colors: Part of the benefit of the P-Ion process is supposed to be the ability to introduce color to the fishing line material without altering its performance. But as far as we know, Assassin FC will only be available in clear.

Spool Sizes: The only information we have on Assassin FC's spool size is the 225 yard filler spool size. There's no word from the manufacturer if Assassin FC will be available in small leader or large bulk spool sizes.

Coatings: As mentioned above and throughout this article, the P-Ion process results in a smoother coating on the line than normal to help with greater manageability, smoother handling, better knot strength and better resistance to abrasion.

Package Features: Sunline's Fluorocarbon filler spools are pretty basic, so we're going to assume there are no special features in Assassin FC's packaging. Sniper and Shooter FC's, both from this same manufacturer, come with no special provisions in their packaging.

Spool Clip: Sunline typically provides a way to stow the line's tag end to avoid a tangled mess when the line is not in use. We're going to assume Assassin FC's filler spools will have some provision for this. Note not all spools of line have this seemingly benign little feature.

Features Ratings for Sunline Assassin FC

Colors (1-3)
Spool Sizes (1-3)
Coatings (1-2)
Package Features (1-3)
Spool Clip (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

Design & Ergonomics: Despite Assassin FC's P-Ion manufacturing process designed to provide the line with better than average (for fluorocarbon) handling characteristics, line memory is still about average for this line. We tested this by letting coils of line fall off the spinning spool after about a week of storage. The coils were not terribly tight, and did not affect the line's fishability. I was able to get most of it out after my first cast by pulling tight on the line.

To really get a gauge of any fishing line's longevity, we need more than a year with the product. However, we like what we've seen and experienced thus far with Assassin FC.

Longevity: This is an area where we really need an extended period of time out on the water with the product in the sun, in the boat locker stored for extended periods, and so on to really get a good sense of how the material holds up. For us, this means a good year or two fishing the line to really determine its longevity on the spool. I did like what I've experienced thus far, so for now, we're going to rate Assassin FC "average" in this department.

Dia per Rated Strength: Lab tests aside, Assassin FC's diameters all feel very Sunline-esque meaning the thickness of the line in each strength seems thinner than average. Then again, the majority of manufacturers will mis-lable their lines giving you the impression their "12lb line is strong" when you're really fishing 16lb test or higher. This is the reason we test similar diameters not ratings on fishing line. However referencing the line tests for Assassin FC, our 12lb rated line tested closer to 10lb test, so in this instance, the ratings might go the other way.

Clarity: Some fluorocarbon lines have the tendency to cloud up after a few days out in the sun. We're not sure why this is the case but have always fest the lines to that do exhibit this behavior are made from inferior materials. Assassin FC has not clouded up on our reels after several trips out on the water.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Sunline Assassin FC

Memory (1-5)
Longevity (1-5)
Dia per Rated Strength (1-3)
Clarity (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Applications: Assassin FC is a very good general purpose fluorocarbon. From vertical to horizontal presentations, this line is suitable or a wide variety of techniques. Naturally, any fluorocarbon is a poor choice for topwater baits because the line sinks and has the tendency to either foul on your bait's hooks or inhibit the bait's action. Additionally, I'd be a hair cautious about Assassin FC's use in heavy cover situations due to its somewhat average performance in our lab abrasion tests - even though the 8lb test did hold up very well in an abrasive environment. The line would also receive higher points for finesse applications were it available in strengths lower than eight pounds.


Application Ratings for Sunline Assassin FC

Moving Baits (1-3)
Jig Style Baits (1-3)
Heavy Cover (1-3)
Topwater (1-3)
Finesse Fishing (1-3)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)



Sunline Assassin FC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Feels nice out of the package 8.125
Performance Performed well in the lab and out on the water 7.18
Price The average cost of fluorocarbon across samples we've tested is $0.17/yd. Assassin FC is priced very well at only $0.09/yd! 8.5
Features Difficult to make a full assessment without the official retail packaging but we don't expect anything extraordinary here other than the P-Ion process 5.38
Design (Ergonomics) As with everything, we need more time on the water with this product to truly test the limits in this category, but so far, so good. 6.87
Application A really nice candidate for general purpose fluorocarbon line 7.33

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


+ P-Ion process is intriguing - Not available in less than 8lb test - at least not yet.
+ Very affordable FC compared to the average - We have to wait until sometime after ICAST 2015 for the product to be available
+ Held up well during the period we tested  


If you're looking for a cost effective fluorocarbon solution that handles and performs better than average, Sunline's new Assassin FC is worth a try.


Conclusion: Sunline thinks they have the key to take fishing line to the next level with their new P-Ion Technology. What we've been able to validate is their new Assassin FC is a very manageable, and therefore fishable fluorocarbon line. Knot strength and resistance to abrasion did not impress in the lab, but out on the water, Assassin FC more then held its own. This is why we test product in both environments. Hopefully, more finesse sizes will become available in the near future, but the important thing here is Sunline debuted their new P-Ion technology in a mid-grade fluorocarbon product making it accessible to a wider audience. We're anxious to see P-Ion's effect on a higher grade fluorocarbon line as well as nylon monofilament. In the meantime, if you're looking for a cost effective fluorocarbon solution that handles and performs better than average in a variety of situations, Sunline's new Assassin FC will be worth trying.










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