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Line Review

A Fishing Line Worthy of the Title "Enthusiast": Toray's SuperHard Upgrade 100% Fluorocarbon

Date: 10/01/08
Tackle type: Fishing Lines
Manufacturer: Toray
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.3 + EDITORS CHOICE!


Introduction: If the fishing industry had their own dictionary, the word "Premium" might be defined by the single word, "Toray" - well, at least in the category of fishing lines. If not the most expensive, Toray's array of high quality fishing lines certainly ranks up there with the most exclusive including a few products rivaling in cost to that of premium fly fishing lines! Today we take a look at what was once their flagship fluorocarbon product. Yes, that's right, while this premium fluorocarbon is still in production, believe it or not, it has been supplanted as Toray's top end fluoro. Introducing Toray's SuperHard Upgrade Fluorocarbon.


Introducing Toray's SuperHard Upgrade Fluorocarbon fishing line

Toray SuperHard Upgrade FC Specifications

Line Type Fluorocarbon
Colors Available Clear Only
Colors Tested Clear
Line Weights 3 - 20lb
Line Weights Tested 10lb, 14lb & 20lb
MSRP $37.00 (14lb/168yds)


Impressions: Out of the box, Toray's SuperHard Upgrade feels much like our previously reviewed Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon. Word on the touring circuit is that Sunline has their product extruded from the same factory that Toray does with the only difference being Toray owns the factory? We've been unable to substantiate these claims and to us, it doesn't really matter. What we care about is the final product and how it performs and Toray's SuperHard Upgrade feels like it should perform very well. Let's find out.


SuperHard Upgrade features this pink indicator at every 75 meters


Lab Tests: In our 2007 Fluorocarbon Showdown, this line performed very well, but for this review, we took it back into the lab for closer analysis and comparison against the median performance metrics developed during the showdown. Our 14lb test spool measured out with a 15.9lb breaking strength which, when taken across the line's cross section, equates to an overall material strength of fourteen percent above the median - tied with Sunline Shooter for second highest of all fourteen lines. Abrasion resistance tested out higher than Shooter at an impressive 60% above the median - tops out of all our test subjects in the showdown. Stretch and deformity values were minimal. The SuperHard Upgrade from Toray tests out very impressively in the lab.


Toray SuperHard Upgrade FC Lab Tests (14lb - 0.32mm)

Tensile (lbs)
Material Strength
Abrasion (vs avg*)
Change in Abrasion Resistance After +2 Hr Soak
**Stretch / Deformity (+2hr soak)
(vs avg*)
14% higher
60% higher
0% lower
6.5% / 1.1%
*Average values taken from data on 14 products tested during TackleTour 2007 Fluorocarbon Showdown
** Average Stretch/Deformity values for 14 products = 10%/2%

Knot Strength: Of course, the downfall of all high end fluorocarbon line is in the knot strength. Toray's SuperHard Upgrade is no exception to this rule. We ran it through our test of five different knots and came out with a value of 76.2% or more importantly 12.1lbs for the 14lb test line.

Toray SuperHard Upgrade FC Knot Tests (14lb - 0.32mm)

San Diego Jam
Improved Clinch
Avg Knot Strength (%)
Avg Knot Strength (lbs)
Values expressed as percentage of TESTED WET tensile strength


Field Tests: While lab tests can set us up with what to expect, they certainly do not tell the entire story, so with the lines that interested us from the showdown, we took to the field and fished them over time to form a more real world impression. With the Toray SuperHard Upgrade, it's been about a year's worth of trial on several different reels.


Rigged and ready to go for a day of field testing

Casting: The handling of Toray SuperHard Upgrade is the same as other high end fluorocarbons we've fished. Namely they are fine on casting equipment but a bit squirrelly on spinning gear though admittedly we didn't use anything below 10lb test line during our sampling of this product.


The pink indicator is also a quick way to tell which reel has what line on it

Sensitivity: I couldn't tell the difference between Sunline Shooter FC and Toray SuperHard Upgrade in the water. Fished on virtually identical rods with virtually identical jigs under the exact same conditions, they felt the same to me. This is a good thing considering how much I enjoy this particular quality in Sunline Shooter which of course means I like the way Toray's SuperHard Upgrade transmits information back to my hand.

Hooking up with a jig fish on 10lb test spooled on a Daiwa Pixy

Abrasion: Despite extra-stellar performance of this line in the lab when compared to all other products, under fishing conditions, I can't say it really transmitted to much other than to point out my need to retie while using this line was very minimal. In fact the only time I really did retie was when I was switching baits. Fished in and around rip rap shorelines, standing timber, and thick weedbeds, the SuperHard Upgrade held up just fine.

SuperHard Upgrade is a great choice when fishing plastics

Memory: With casting gear, memory issues are sort of moot. One or two casts later and the coils are pretty much gone. With spinning gear, however, the springiness of SuperHard Upgrade cause the line to jump off our spinning spools. Again, we only tried this with 10lb test line. Presumably, this problem will be less bothersome with lower pound ratings, but for us, FC and spinning gear rarely works out.

A hookup with a hard fighting fish!

Longevity: I fished the one spool of 14lb test Toray SuperHard Upgrade shown I these photos for the better part of a year before finally respooling with something else, not because the line had worn out, but because it was time to try another line. If you can control the professional overruns, the higher quality fluorocarbon lines can last a very long time, but an overrun gone awry, with a lot of kinks and loops in your spool are best replaced at your soonest opportunity no matter how refined the fluorocarbon product may be.


Application: I would not hesitate to recommend this line for just about any application you might choose save for topwater (where a floating line may be more beneficial). I continue to use it for both vertical and horizontal presentations though admittedly, I do not use it much for tossing big baits. I'm slowly getting back there with fluorocarbon, but not quite all the way back - at least not with some of the top dollar stuff I'm throwing.

One of many striper landed thanks to SuperHard Upgrade

A New Flagship: Just when we thought we had the top end of Toray's lineup pegged, out they come with a new SuperHard Premium-Plus Bawo Hi-Grade fluorocarbon inserted at the very top of their product offering. At the time of this writing, it was still uncertain as to whether or not this product would actually make it to US shores or not, and with a projected price tag of roughly $35-$40 for a 100 meter spool (~109 yards), well, we can understand their uncertainty to bring this product over from Japan.


Can you believe this new, premium level Fluorocarbon from Toray is roughly 50% more expensive than SuperHard Upgrade? Due to its price, a US introduction is still uncertain at this point.


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):

Toray SuperHard Upgrade FC Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very high quality product 8
Performance Everything I expected including sub-par knot strength :( 7.5
Price The most expensive product in our 2006 Showdown 4
Features Excellent abrasion resistance and sensitivity 9
Design (Ergonomics) Clear FC precision wound onto the supply spool 7.5
Application As versatile as any FC product we've tested 8

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:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Good Handling Characteristics L No bulk spools
J Good Abrasion Resistance L Knot strength is still an issue
J Excellent Sensitivity L Among the priciest FC's on the market
J Very Good Longevity  


Several of our tackle shop owner friends in Japan tell us Toray is #1 for fishing line in Japan. With products like SuperHard Upgrade, we can see why this may be true.


Conclusion: If it weren't for this product's hefty price tag, it could very well be my everyday line. That's how much I like this product. Of course, price has rarely been something to stop or slow me down, but given my propensity for professional overruns, and my subsequent practice of replacing my entire spool once something like this occurs ( provided I remember ), I try to pick and choose my spots on when and where to spool up with Toray SuperHard Upgrade or a more economical alternative like the previously reviewed Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. At the same time, when the product I'm testing calls for a jig or plastic presentation, or even a spinnerbait, crank, or jerkbait, it's tough for me to reach for a reel spooled with anything other than a high grade fluorocarbon, and of the high grade fluorocarbons we've fished to date, Toray SuperHard Upgrade is this Editor's Choice for just the extra bit of confidence it inspires thanks to how well it performed in our own in-house lab tests.


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