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Line Review


 

The Lowdown on Seaguar's Smackdown Braid

 

Date: 5/27/20
Tackle Type: Fishing Line
Manufacturer: Seaguar
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.58 - GOOD

Introduction:
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

Line Type 8 carrier braid (unspecified fibers)
Colors Available Stealth Gray, Flash Green
Colors Tested Stealth Gray, Flash Green
Line Weights 10 - 65lb
Line Weights Fished 20lb, 50lb
MSRP $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


Flash 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.


Not to mention an early production run, yet to be named or priced bait from Mattlures

Impact/Knot Strength: I threw Seaguar's Smackdown braid right into the fire spooling it on my Revo Beast X and pairing that reel/line combo with my Megabass of America Onager for some big bait duty. This continued when I paired the reel/line combo with my Kistler KLX swimbait rod where I was putting that stick through the ringer with baits like my ten inch Rago Tool, a prototype Mattlure's shad profiled swimbait, and Megabass of America's Big M7.5. Through it all, I had zero difficulty with the impact and knot strength performance on casts, hooksets, and some fun, crazy battles with fish.


Time to drag this bait and the line through some weeds

Longevity: Seaguar's Smackdown braid held up very well through the course of several trips with no real fade in color or fraying in the line from repeated use. It is priced at a premium, yes, but seems to have good longevity serving as a bonus so maybe you don't have to replace it as often.


How about a sub-surface big bait with a lot of resistance?

Ratings:

Seaguar Smackdown Braid Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Smooth, consistent finish, but actual line diameters didn't match up to their specifications in our 50 and 20 pound test weights - fortunately, the line was smaller than specified, not larger 8
Performance Handles extremely well with good knot strength 8
Price $0.20 per yard... make no mistake about it, this is a premium braid product 7
Features Available in 2 colors 7
Design (Ergonomics) Smooth finish and colors hold up well over extended use 7.5
Application Available in a variety of strengths to suit almost any freshwater fishing application 8

Total Score

7.58
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:

Plus

Minus
+ Very nice handling line - Inconsistent line diameters
+ Colors hold up well through extended use - Premium price point
+ Nice, round profile - Only available in two colors

  

Conclusion: In the final analysis, I have mixed feelings about Seaguar's Smackdown. It is a line that fishes extremely well, holds up over extended use, has a nice, round profile and requires no break-in period. On the other hand, the disparity between stated diameters versus what we measured out of the box were surprising, and it is also only available in two colors. On a positive note, the discrepancy in line diameter is that it tested out smaller than listed. I don't find this quite as offensive as when a line is thicker than I expect, but because this is priced at such a premium, angler's expectations will likely just be higher.


Smackdown is a line that fishes extremely well, holds up over extended use, has a nice, round profile and requires no break-in period

So I guess my search for a new go-to braid continues though I have a feeling Smackdown will see some extended time in my arsenal simply because it fishes so well. If you're looking for a new premium braid to fish and don't mind a smaller than listed diameter, Seaguar's Smackdown Braid might be the line for you.

Looking for Seaguar Smackdown Braid?

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