At Korum, we recognise the demands of modern coarse fishing, especially when you're targeting bigger fish. We also recognise the rising costs of fishing – a constant battle for the keen angler. The Xpert range of hooklinks was born because of this, as we didn't believe anybody provided tough, reliable hooklink materials that wouldn't break the bank.
Traditionally, specimen hunters have had to turn to the carp world for their rig materials - spending up to £15 on braids and high-tech lines that promised the earth. Today, however, there's Xpert Power Braid and Power Mono to put your faith in.
I actually received samples of the braid some time ago and used it in my fishing as it sank totally of its own accord. Over time, I recognised the awesome abrasion resistance and landed fish from weedy and snaggy areas that I could never have dreamed of catching from with a standard 'carp' braid. The thin braid was ideal in the winter and I caught fish up to nearly 30lb fishing underneath Rhododendron roots. One fish actually snagged me for a good 15 minutes and I was astonished to see the braid completely unmarked when I landed the carp.
It was too good to keep to myself, so after consulting with the Korum development team we decided to develop a brown version based around the same materials and weave, as well as a slightly thinner version. Suddenly, we had four braids that I thought were superior to anything else I'd tried previously.
The 10lb version, which actually breaks at more like 14lb with a grinner knot and knotless knot, is a low diameter braid that's still really supple, well camouflaged and super heavy. One of the materials in the weave actually absorbs water, nailing the braid to the lakebed.
The 15lb version, meanwhile, is ridiculously strong and with a well-tied grinner, strengths of over 20lb are achievable – stunning performance and a braid that many anglers should turn to when fishing snaggier conditions! Xpert Power Braid lives up to its name!
At the next product development meeting, I asked our consultancy team what they thought of the braids and all were impressed. But they also asked about whether Korum had plans to develop a mono hooklink material that boasted similar benefits. Strength, reliability, abrasion resistance and fast-sinking capabilities were demanded, and the search began for something that matched the profile.
We'd been looking at lines, anyway, having wanted to develop a new reel line for some time. In my drawer was a dull, olive coloured line that had properties very similar to a line most of you will know well beginning with 'M' and ending in 'ima'. The new line was impossible to kink and could be 'ironed' out straight really easily with your fingers. It was a nice, non-glare colour and better still, it broke way above what you'd expect for each diameter.
As with most lines, you get different results from different knots, but with a knotless knot, grinner, or figure-of-eight, this mono was just incredible. I decided to get more of it and testing began accordingly.
The final result is Xpert Power Mono, a line that is incredibly user friendly. Available in 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 15 pound, there's a line for all applications. Expect knot strengths that match the rating on the box, if not more.
The colour is very different - this is no ordinary transparent mono. It's completely low-glare, with no reflection, and is a nice olive green that disappears on most lakebeds. The line is also very heavy, sinking without treatment - it's a pleasure to use and fish with.
The heavier breaking strains will suit big fish anglers with greater demands on their tackle. Barbel anglers in particular will love its toughness and anti-kink properties - it's tackle you can really rely on.
All of the hooklink materials come on an ITM compatible spool case, with a clip-spool inside should you not have an ITM tackle box. You can fit all of the breaking strains, braids and mono, into your Rig Manager, Maxi Rig Manager or Tackle Manager, they're designed to slot in. Each case comes with a little tag-end holder rather than a cutter, as we find this is much friendlier on the line. No cutter can match a good pair of scissors, after all!
They're available from late July, with the Power Braid costing £3.99 and the Power Mono just £2.99.