Jim O’Donnell says it is foolhardy to spend a fortune on rods and reels, yet neglect to consider a robust and reliable braided mainline. He has used Calcutta’s Ultra Braid for several years and now assesses how this American braid holds up.
Calcutta products were first produced for the predator anglers before being developed and rolled out to saltwater anglers worldwide. The American brand has a name for producing a high quality range of lures, luggage, tools, clothing and lines including their famous Ultra Braid.
Braided lines have come a long way in the last decade, and now most anglers, freshwater and saltwater use regularly, or exclusively, some form of braided mainline. And there are many to choose, of which Spiderwire, Power Pro and dare I say it, Ultra Braid, are of the very best. All are created using Spectra Fibre. Honeywell USA’s patented Spectra Fibre process creates the world’s strongest, lightest and thinnest fibres which pound for pound are fifteen times stronger than steel.
Good for casting
Calcutta Ultra Braid is a 6 strand, gel-spun, polyethylene spectra-fibre braid formed in a perfectly round shape. This helps it pack better on reels and aids casting if required. Its ridiculously low diameter cuts tide very ably indeed, while intrinsically minimal stretch exaggerates bite detection beyond that of some other popular brands.
A robust braid possessed of excellent abrasion resistance, Ultra braid copes with fishing the roughest wrecks and reefs. And if that wasn’t enough, Calcutta Ultra Braid’s custom coating ensures that this braid lasts longer on the reel, and offers good value for money.
I have been fishing with 30lb green (300 yard) Calcutta Ultra Braid on my three carp rods, on my 15lb class down-tide outfit and on my plugging rod for several years. Over the five reels I have loaded with this braid, none have been changed and still retain the original braid which is still in perfectly good condition.
In my experience Ultra Braid has never parted in fishing use and never been the cause of any lost fish. Perhaps Ultra Braid’s best attribute is Calcutta’s special coating, I have suffered less wind-knots and bird nests than I have with other braids! You can spend big money on fancy rods and reels, but never forget – the only two things that keep you connected to a fish are good hooks, and a good line!
Calcutta Ultra Braid comes in two colours, low-vis green and high-vis yellow, and five pound classes – 10, 15, 20, 30 and 50lb. The 10lb braid is the same diameter as 3lb mono, the 20lb is the same diameter as 6lb mono and the 50lb is the same diameter as 12lb mono. Calcutta Ultra Braid is one of the thinnest and strongest Spectra Braids on shop shelves. Also available in 300 and 150 yard spools.