Now in 2019, Sakura have worked hard over the past few years to find a line that at least matches other high-end offerings. They've now done it! 8-strand braids have come a long way over the years and the original X8 Sensibraid that I used for quite a while was brilliant as it was. Now new, improved and half the price, we're in a great position as lure anglers with products like these being more affordable than ever before. There's a great X4 version available as well for anglers who require a more durable braid, or just want to save a few quid on the more supple stuff.
Sakura Braids - why you should ignore the breaking strains!
I absolutely love the Sakura Sensibraid. I used the old version for a couple of years with no problems at all. It's one of those braids that flew under the radar a bit because it just did a faultless job (so no talk) but wasn't really stocked anywhere. There are however a few things that you need to be aware of when buying it - which I strongly recommend.
Braid has always been a nightmare to buy blind. Looking at the stats printed on the spool tells you almost nothing these days. Depending on where it's made, how it's tested etc, different brands and countries have contradictory ways of doing things. So you could get two "20lb" braids where one will be twice as thick as the other! The Japanese PE scale to me is the only consistent thing about the market. You will find with time (at the point of writing) that for your bass fishing you could use a #1.2PE or #1.5PE braid for nearly all of your fishing.
"PE" isn't just a scale for diameter, but line weight too. Generally it's easiest to consider it a diameter related rating to keep things simple. The breaking strain of a braid has pretty much zero reflection on how a line fishes - unless your priority is in getting lures back from snags - in which case you may be sacrificing presentation and casting. And if you are buying by breaking strain, still don't believe what it says on the spool! If you want strength you need thicker diameters. But you can't believe the printed diameters either so...... You have a problem! Comparing side by side is the only way.
It's the diameter of a line that allows you to successfully fish lures of differing weights. Line stiffness can also have a reflection on how easy a lure is to handle. Stiffer braids are less prone to wind knots and great for anglers who either have less experience or just want stress-free fishing. More supple braids can gain you a couple of extra yards in casting distance and make lure control with very light lures more precise, but can be more prone to tangles unless used carefully.
The Sakura Sensibraid 8X reminds me a lot of the excellent YGK X8 Upgrade - a Japanese braid with a great reputation and a little more stiffness than some. Officially the Sensibraid doesn't come supplied with PE ratings. Others in our range all do - so for comparable diameters I've added these with comparison to the Gosen X8 (by eye). It's not scientific but if you go by what's printed on the spools of the Sakura you'd end up buying lines that are far thicker than you wanted. I regret having to put the breaking strains on the product titles as they make the lines look inferior for breaking strain vs. diameter checks, but buy by my PE comparison and you will have a strong, VERY smooth braid that does exactly what you ask of it.
Buy the 13.2lb (more like #1.2 = 20lb+) for all-round bass fishing and buy the 15.4lb (more like #1.5PE = 25lb+) for heavier surf work and metals.