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Line Review

Top Flight Japan Bass Pro Morizo Shimizu's Take on a 100% Nylon Line : Sunline Shooter Defier

Date: 12/4/08
Tackle type: Fishing Lines
Manufacturer: Sunline
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.92 + EDITORS CHOICE!


Introduction: Soon after we discovered fluorocarbon wasn't the best choice in lines when the task of tossing big, heavy baits was at hand, our journey began in search of a replacement. We had heard very good things about Sunline's 100% Nylon line, Shooter Defier, and since we already a favorable impression of this company's product based on experiences with the Shooter Fluorocarbon, taking the leap of faith to try this new line was not difficult. Presenting our journey in getting to know Sunline's Shooter Defier.


Introducing Sunline Shooter Defier Nylon Monofilament

Sunline Shooter Defier Nylon Line Specifications

Line Type Nylon
Colors Available Stealth Dark Green only
Colors Tested Stealth Dark Green
Line Weights 13, 15, 17, 19, 22
Line Weights Tested 17lb (.33mm), 19lb (.36mm) & 22lb (.38mm)
MSRP $37.99 (19lb/330yds (~$0.12/yd) )


Impressions: Shooter Defier is a very smooth, slick line and is rated in accordance with most lines coming out of Japan. That is, as close to the material's true breaking strength as possible meaning it is probably thinner than other lines rated at the same strength from within the US market. Case in point? Long ago, we tested Trilene XL as our baseline of comparison within our Fluorocarbon Showdown. We used the 12lb rated line that we measured to be 0.32mm in diameter. In the lab, this line tested to 14.3 pounds on average before it broke. Shooter Defier has a product listed at 0.32mm in diameter as well, but it is rated at 15lb test, not 12 and likely tests out close to 15lbs unlike the Trilene XL that tested out nineteen percent higher than its rated strength.


Fresh on the filler spool.


Lab Tests: In our own measurements, we found the 17lb Sunline Defier measured to 0.33mm in diameter - close enough for the purposes of our lab tests, so off we went with this spool of line to see how Defier stacked up and what we found was a product that stayed true to form in tensile tests and one that rated lower in abrasion than Trilene XL while dry, but performed better than Trilene XL when wet - when it counts. Stretch was considerable in this line, but that's pretty much expected with nylon monofilaments.


Sunline Shooter Defier Nylon Line Lab Tests (17lb - 0.33mm)

Tensile (lbs)


Material Strength (psi)
Abrasion Resistance vs Berkley Trilene (0.32mm)
Stretch / Deformity (+2hr soak)
17.6 / 16.3
14% Lower
16% Higher
12.2% / 1.1%

Knot Strength: We had some unexpected difficulties with knots and our Defier most notably when trying to tie an improved clinch knot. As with Hi Seas Black Widow, another very slick monofilament, we found Defier simply would not hold with this knot and continued to slip time after time. Of our remaining knots, Defier performed best with the Trilene knot at just over ninety two percent and the Palomar at close to eighty four percent.

Sunline Shooter Defier Nylon Line Knot Tests (17lb - 0.33mm)

San Diego Jam
Improved Clinch*
Avg Knot Strength (%)
Avg Knot Strength (lbs)
Values expressed as percentage of TESTED WET tensile strength
*Knot slipped several times during tests


Field Tests: We fished the seventeen (17), nineteen (19), and twenty two (22) pound test versions of this line throughout our Swimbait Rod Wars and even spooled some thirteen (13) pound test onto our Daiwa Branzino 3000 in pursuit of river run salmon.


Spooled onto our Daiwa Zillion HLC and mounted on our Megabass Super Destruction as part of the Swimbait Rod Wars

Casting: Defier is as easy to cast as they come on both spinning and baitcasting reels. It really flows off the reels easily handling extremely well - especially when coming off of a couple of years of fishing pretty much nothing but fluorocarbon lines. It was easy to forget how nice nylon monofilament handles, but even then, Defier takes it to another level.


Fishing it on the Shimano Metanium MG

Sensitivity: I fished the defier exclusively in moving bait situations, so sensitivity was not part of its necessary attributes. Since it is a nylon line, it will never compare to fluorocarbon or a superline, so I never put it in a situation where I expected it to deliver on sensitivity. Just the same, with some of my bigger baits, I could still feel the baits in the water, so it's not like the line is totally dead.

Spooled on a superTTuned Chronarch 101a in pursuit of striped bass!

Abrasion: Conscious of the fact I was using a nylon line throughout the tests, I made a point to retie every couple of hours or after every big fish depending on activity levels. Sticking to this game plan, I ran into zero problems with Defier's resistance to abrasion and not once do I recall getting wrapped or brushed up against an abrasive piece of structure. Nor do I recall feeling unexpected knicks or cuts in the line running it between my fingers every so often to test for these clues.

Defier is so easy to handle, I used it on my loaner rigs when taking friends out for a day on the water.

Memory: If stored for several weeks without use, Defier will demonstrate some memory but nothing unmanageable. One or two casts, or pulling the line taught usually relieves this with the lines I fish, and Defier is no exception. Memory intensive coils are easily cleared.

Defier handles well on spinning gear too.

Longevity: After about two to three months of use, I did begin to notice some fading in the color of my Defier. Once I saw this, I took the line off my reel and respooled. While I did not run it through any additional tests when viewed under these conditions, I felt it just made sense to switch it out and be safe. It is no different than I would do with any nylon monofilament. I think its longevity, based on this factor alone, is pretty much on par with other nylon lines I've used in the past.

A jerkbait bass caught on the Ito Monoblock and White Python combo.

Application: Defier is a wonderful line for just about any moving bait application but especially so with cranks, topwaters, and jerkbaits. The give in the line really aids with hookups in these techniques and it is just so buttery smooth going out and coming back into the reel, that it's a joy to fish with.


Ratings (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Sunline Shooter Defier Nylon Line Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Smooth, slick high quality line 9
Performance Everything I expected 9
Price At roughly $0.12 a yard, a bit pricey for nylon 6
Features slick smooth surface, easy handling 8
Design (Ergonomics) dark green color takes some getting used to - especially in clear water situations. Be nice if there were a clear line option. 7
Application Fantastic line in support of moving bait applications 8.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!

Pluses and Minuses:


J Handles great L Only one color option
J Good knot strength L Pricey if you're used to low cost nylons
J Small diameter L Wish there were a +25lb test option for bigger swimbaits
J Did I mention it handles great?  


Conclusion: Defier is about as soft and supple as fishing lines come. I'd recommend paying close attention to the manufacturer's rated line diameter and adjust your expectations of line strength and resistance to abrasion accordingly. As an example, I typically fish twelve pound test with cranks and jerkbaits, but after feeling the diameter of the thirteen pound Defier product, I just couldn't do it - not on the California Delta. Instead, I opted for the 17lb test as that felt closest to what I was used to between my fingers. I was happy with my results.

Defier is a great line for moving bait applications.


The only thing I find myself wanting for with this line is a 26, 28, or 30 pound test solution so I could spool up some of my larger reels for swimbaits. Sure I can use the 22 pound test for this, and I have, but even then, it just doesn't feel quite thick enough to hold up to the punishment long term. Of course, it could be perfectly fine, but when risking high dollar baits in pursuit of trophy fish, every bit of reassurance would be nice. Just the same, Defier inspires enough confidence in me with other applications to win this Editor's Choice award.


Sunline Defier can be found at TackleWarehouse










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