Using a catapult or a throwing stick can give a nice spread of bait, but when you want your freebies concentrated in one area, Spodding or Spombing is most definitely the way forward.
There are many braids on the market that are suitable for spodding and spombing, but it is important to know that the one you buy is suitable for the job in hand. Many anglers, myself included, prefer to use braid straight through, whereas others favour the use of a braid/shock leader combo.
Some manufacturers rate their braid on the true knot strength, whereas many others don’t, causing some anglers to be misled about the capabilities of their chosen product. Throughout this article, I will make multiple references to a test that was carried out by Tackle Box which shows the advertised strength of the braid vs the actual breaking strain.
Let’s get into it and take a look at some of the best spod/spomb braids on the market today.
Berkley Whiplash 8
If you asked a group of carp anglers what braid they use on their spod reel, I would imagine that at least one of them would be loaded up with Whiplash 8 from Berkley.
This braid has been around for a long time and is an extremely popular choice for carp anglers when the time comes to fill their spod reel. It is manufactured using Dyneema, which is proven to be up to 15 times stronger than steel! Utilising a unique formula, the microfibres produce a braid that is strong, yet incredibly low in diameter.
The breaking strain and diameter of the 30lb braid (pictured) was put to the test by Tackle Box, with the actual results differing to what is advertised. The diameter was recorded at 0.26mm – more than double the stated 0.10mm – and the braid broke at 17.63lb, which is considerably less than the claimed strength of 30lb.
In light of the above, I have used this braid myself (always in conjunction with a shock leader) and would say that it is among the best braids that I have used. I am not a distance caster, but had no trouble in dispatching my spomb in excess of 100yds whilst using this braid.Berkley Whiplash 8 is usually priced competitively on eBay or Angling Direct.
Daiwa J-Braid X8
J-Braid from Daiwa was developed with predator and sea anglers in mind, but it was quickly picked up by the carp fishing community as an ideal solution for use on their spod reels.
You may have guessed that the X8 part of the name is due to the fact that it is constructed with 8 fibre strands of Izanas, which have then been compressed to create a perfectly rounded braid.
This option (pictured) of the J-Braid range has an advertised diameter of 0.32mm and 40lb breaking strain. Again, we turned to the test that was carried out by Tackle Box, with their results showing an actual diameter of 0.31mm and a reduced breaking strain of 24.49lb.Daiwa J-Braid X8 is available in chartreuse, multi-colour or dark green and you can often save a few quid by ordering from eBay or Bristol Angling Centre.
ESP Spod Braid
ESP now have dedicated braids for both spod and marker work, having previously marketed a single product to take care of both.
One of my fishing buddies uses this braid, so I have had a chance to see it in action. Even when spodding at extreme distances, it remains really buoyant.
This is another braid that is manufactured using 100% Dyneema, giving it a very fine diameter. My friend has no problem hurling his spod well in excess of 100yds with this braid, and he is normally a bit of liability when it comes to casting!
As the test by Tackle Box was carried out before the dedicated spod braid from ESP was on the market, data isn’t available for this particular product. However, it boasts the same breaking strain as the braid that was tested, which performed very well – breaking at 18.88lb from an advertised strength of 20lb.When used with a shock leader, ESP Spod Braid is unlikely to let you down and can be purchased from eBay or Bristol Angling Centre.
Fox Exocet MK2 Spod Braid
Fox set the bar extremely high when they released the first version of their Exocet braid back in 2011, so the MK2 was always going to have a lot to live up to.
Still boasting the same ultra-buoyant qualities as its predecessor, like most braids, the MK2 has virtually zero stretch.
This braid performed reasonably well in the Tackle Box test, with the 20lb advertised strength breaking at 15.32lb. The diameter was larger than advertised, measuring 0.24mm instead of the 0.18mm that was claimed.
When used with a shock leader, this silky-smooth spod braid will have no problem sending your baits to your chosen area, regardless of the distance.Fox Exocet MK2 Spod Braid is available at most good stockists, including eBay or Bristol Angling Centre.
Gardner Kinetic Spod Braid
Gardner’s Kinetic Spod Braid was developed with the intention of allowing anglers to spod for prolonged periods of time, without the need for an additional shock leader.
Like some of the other braids listed, this is manufactured using 100% Dyneema, ensuring that it is incredibly strong and boasts a high knot strength.
Unfortunately, the Tackle Box test didn’t include the Gardner Kinetic Spod Braid, opting to put Gardner’s braided mainline through its paces instead. The results of that test showed that the 15lb, 20lb and 30lb versions broke within 10% of the advertised strength, which supports Gardner’s claims that their braids are rated on the true knot strength.Gardner Kinetic Spod Braid is a favourite among carp anglers! You can get yours from eBay or Angling Direct.
Korda Spod Braid
Korda’s Spod Braid seems to get praised and condemned in equal measures within the carp fishing community. Personally, I have nothing but good things to say about it.
It casts extremely well and has excellent knot strength, though at only 20lb breaking strain, it does need to be used in conjunction with a shock leader. Naturally, Korda recommend the use of their own Arma-Kord, though any proven alternative will suffice.
This braid didn’t perform too well in the Tackle Box test, taking only 13.93lb of pressure to break the advertised strength of 20lb. The diameter was also shown to be larger than claimed, actually measuring 0.23mm instead of 0.16mm. With that being said, I found this braid to be excellent during the season that I used it for, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again in the future.
It is manufactured in a fluoro green colour which will allegedly deter seagulls from diving on your bait as soon as your spod or spomb hits the water, though, in my personal experience, this wasn’t the case!Korda Spod Braid is one of the most widely used braids within the carp fishing fraternity. You can usually nab yourself a good deal from eBay or Bristol Angling Centre.
This is the braid that I am currently using on my spod reel, and is also the most competitively priced option in this article.
I have the 60lb breaking strain version, and I use it straight through without a shock leader. So far, I haven’t had any issues with frapping or crack-offs.
I did see a study previously where several different breaking strains of Spectra Braid were tested, with all of them breaking at roughly half of the advertised strength. Those figures would give the 60lb version a realistic breaking strain of around 30lb, which is more than enough for even the larger spombs.
The diameter of the 60lb version is stated to be 0.40mm, which is slightly thicker than some of the others on this list, though I have never experienced any difficulty casting a spod to 100yds+, so it should suffice for most fishing situations.This is an excellent braid that is well-priced. The best value can almost always be found on eBay.
Spomb Braid by Fox is a relative newcomer to the world of braids.
While this isn’t a braid that I have used personally, I did manage to compare it side-by-side with the Fox Exocet MK2 Spod Braid and, on the face of things, they seem to be almost identical.
The advertised strength and diameter are the same, and they look to have the same profile when doing an up-close comparison, leaving the only visible difference to be the colour.
As with the Exocet MK2 Spod Braid, it is recommended to use this product alongside a shock leader, with Fox recommending the Spomb Braided Shock Leader.This new addition to the world of braids can be purchased at a competitive price from eBay or Bristol Angling Centre.
TF Gear Banana Braid
Total Fishing Gear, or TF Gear as they are more commonly known, tend to get a lot of undeserved negativity from some carp anglers.
I used Banana Braid a couple of seasons ago and, like many of TF Gear’s products, it was excellent (and better than a lot of the higher-priced competition).
I used the 50lb Banana Braid without a shock leader, and it performed perfectly at all times. However, the test by Tackle Box showed that the actual breaking strain was 30.67lb, which is considerably lower than the advertised strength. With that being said, it never once let me down, so it gets the thumbs up from me.This is a braid that a lot of anglers (myself included) swear by. The best prices can usually be found on eBay or Bristol Angling Centre.
It can be frustrating to experience crack-offs and lose a Spomb, so I can only try to imagine how heartbreaking it must be to lose a serious piece of kit like a Deeper. It is with that in mind that you should always have the utmost confidence in the braid that you are using.
As you can see from some of the products listed above, your choice of braid doesn’t need to be super expensive as there are plenty of good quality products on the market that don’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Do you use any of the braids listed above? If so, please let me know your thoughts in the comments.