The Lowdown on Seaguar's Smackdown Braid
Total Score: 7.58 -
When I think of Seaguar fishing line, my thoughts immediately go to one line type, fluorocarbon. Their Tatsu fluorocarbon line remains a top choice among TackleTour Editors since we started fishing it over six years ago. Just a couple years ago at ICAST 2018, the company introduced a renewed take on their braided line product, Smackdown. Let's take a look!
Seaguar Smackdown Braid Specifications
||8 carrier braid (unspecified fibers)
||Stealth Gray, Flash Green
||Stealth Gray, Flash Green
||10 - 65lb
|Line Weights Fished
||$29.99 per 150yd Spool
Background: Originally introduced in 2013, Seaguar's Smackdown braid was re-imagined for 2018 where the company also introduced new colors, stealth gray and flash green. The manufacturer does not discuss much regarding the makeup of the line other than to say it is produced with eight (8) "ultra-thin, micro-weave strands in a round, smooth-casting profile." Not that it truly makes a difference to know what constitutes these micro-strands, but it always makes me wary when a manufacturer does not share this information openly. Our assumption, naturally, is that these are polyethylene fibers of some sort.
Introducing Seaguar's Smackdown Braid
Impressions: Smackdown is Seaguar's premium braid product and is priced accordingly at roughly $0.20 per yard. Their latest weave results in a product with very smooth consistency and just a little bit of stiffness. If you ball up a little section of it in your hand, it will hold onto that shape because of that stiffness. This is not an uncommon characteristic of braided lines and has a lot to do with the coating manufacturers use. That coating on Seaguar's Smackdown is not excessively waxy and no doubt contributes to its smooth overall texture.
Smackdown is an 8 carrier braid made from unspecified fibers
Real World Tests: Up until a few years ago, the only real strength braid I fished was fifty pound (50lb) plus or minus five to ten pounds in rating depending on the line's actual diameter. Something in the neighborhood of 0.30mm works best for my purposes. But recently, I've taken on the strategy of filling those standard depth spinning reel spools with a lighter braid (~20lb) and top shotting that mainline with a high grade fluorocarbon as a cost saving measure when using expensive fluoro.
Stealth gray straight up on my Revo Beast X
green topped with Sunline's discontinued Shooter Invisible FC
As a result, I fished Seaguar's Smackdown in both 50 and 20 pound test. Note that Smackdown's diameter at 50lb test is a little on the high side. Published diameter for their 50lb test is 0.370mm. We measured it at 0.335, but our historical average for line of similar rating is 0.319mm. At 20lb, Smackdown is listed as 0.185mm in diameter but measured extremely thin at 0.094mm. By comparison, Daiwa's J-Braid Grand, a line that runs on the small side naturally, is 0.249mm at 50lb and 0.134mm at 20lb, so Smackdown is a little inconsistent on both sides of the ledger, but more importantly is not accurate against their own ratings.
No break-in period for Smackdown, I put it right to work launching big baits
Casting: All of that aside, I spooled the 50lb Smackdown on my Abu Garcia Beast X casting reel and the 20lb on my Shimano Japan Vanquish spinning reel with a topshot of Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon. In both cases Smackdown performed very well coming off the spool during casts.
The slight waxy coat that
anglers will find on Smackdown does not interfere with casting performance whatsoever. Best of all, Smackdown does not need that annoying break-in period that serves as a pre-requisite when fishing many other braided line products.
Smackdown has a very smooth texture
All 8 carriers of unspecified origin
Abrasion: Where that coating comes in handy is around hard structure like dock pilings, logs, rocks and submerged brush. Here, Smackdown seems to slide off such obstacles with little to no damage. Of course, repeated abrasion in the same spot will eventually break the line down, but what's important is that your braided line holds up well enough in these situations for you to get out of the entanglement without the line breaking. Afterwards, always inspect your line and retie if necessary.
A line has to have my utmost confidence when throwing this
precious not so little bait
Noise: Another area where that smooth finish on Smackdown comes in handy is when it's going through your guides either during a cast or on the retrieve. Smackdown does so quietly like I'd expect an 8 strand braid to behave.
While some braided lines that
are made up of 8 strands can still make a lot of noise coming through your guides on tension, Smackdown's noise level
presents at an acceptable, non-distracting, level.