As an outdoor writer, I often get asked to test drive the latest and greatest products and when it comes to fishing line, the “latest and greatest” often ends up being indistinguishable from the products that have been on the market for years. As a result, I was a little leery about agreeing to write a review about a new braid being released by Seaguar. After years of using their Threadlock braid with my offshore tackle, I was already very happy with their spectra but wasn’t sure that I’d have a lot to say about a new product. As it turns out, the new line by Seaguar – TACTX, ended up not only being different from their other braids but a perfect fit for inshore fishing.
After fishing the line for a few trips, I found the website’s description to be accurate but thought I’d add a few things I noticed as well. The most notable feature is that this braid is surprisingly thin. I normally fish 30 and 50-pound braid on my inshore rods and was a little bummed that they only sent me spools of 30 and 65-pound to test out. As it turned out, the diameter of the 65-pound was small enough that I was able to effectively fish the line on reels that I’d normally fill with 50-pound.
This may not seem like all that big of a deal, but extra line capacity is a big thing when you’re fishing smaller baitcast reels because you’re not changing your spool diameter dramatically when making long casts. Maintaining spool diameter allows for a consistent retrieve rate when fishing artificial lures which can make a big difference when presenting certain lures. If I were Seaguar, I’d definitely add “thin diameter” to the qualities they tote about the line.
Regarding the claim about the line’s perfectly round shape and tendency to stay firm, I agree completely. When fishing inshore, I love using a stiff braid for the reasons they describe as well. When fishing calicos, I’ll make hundreds of casts in a day and don’t always keep consistent tension on the line when retrieving my lures. Limp braids don’t fare well in this situation because they tend to dig in when a fish bites, causing a tight spot on the spool that can potentially cause a backlash on the next cast. I also agree with the lack of tip wrapping and after several days of fishing, the line can attest that it didn’t happen a single time.
While I haven’t fished the braid long enough to be able to comment on its long-term durability, I will say that I agree that the line casts very well, has good abrasion resistance, and does have enough tooth to easily cut through the kelp. Seaguar describes this tooth as a “pebble” texture, but whatever you decide to call it, I’ve fished enough braid to know that this stuff will cut kelp if you happen to hang a big yellowtail while fishing for bass or are targeting seabass near kelp beds.
If you’re unfamiliar with a kelp cutter rig, it’s a reel filled to the brim with spectra and rigged with a short (3 to 4-foot) fluorocarbon leader. The advantage of this rig is that if you hook a big fish and it buries itself in the kelp, all you’ll need to do is back your drag off a bit and let the fish run. The friction caused by the spectra moving across the kelp stalks under pressure will act as a saw and cut the fish free. This works most effectively if the spectra has a rough texture and TACTX certainly fits the bill.
Finally, the braid’s natural camo color definitely does blend in well around kelp or rocky bottom in shallow water. While I’m not sure that this makes a big difference when presenting artificial lures for calico bass, I think that it could have an impact when targeting yellowtail or seabass with live bait. Regarding the color retention, while I haven’t fished the braid long enough to be a judge, if TACTX is anything like Threadlock, I’m sure the color will hold up in the long term.
Overall, I was very happy with how the braid performed and look forward to fishing it on future trips. As a side note, when unboxing the braid, I found a coil of fluorocarbon leader included in the packaging. While I didn’t use the leader, as I tend to use heavier leader than line, it’s nice to get something for free when purchasing line. And at around $30 for a 300-yard spool, this line is at a good price point for inshore fishermen who don’t completely re-spool their reels when changing line. Since I’m usually only fishing the top 100-feet of my spool, I can refill three reels with 100 yards for only $10 per reel. If you’ve been looking for a new inshore braid, I recommend giving TACTX a try!
To learn more about Seaguar TactX or other Seaguar products go to: www.seaguar.com