I must admit: With all the advances in line technology over the last few years, I've gotten away from fishing standard-style monofilament lines. The achievements in superlines and fluorocarbons have just been incredible. The newer lines performed more consistently for me, with less effort, and from all angles improved my lure presentation and success.

But this old dog is always willing to learn a new trick, so when I received Stren's new Brute Strength mono in 12-pound test, I spooled it on immediately and took it to the lake.

Brute Strength isn't an ordinary monofilament, but a breakthrough copolymer that, according to Stren, is almost twice as strong as its label rating. For a line that proved to be more durable than I expected, it was quite easy to manage with much lower memory than I anticipated. Prior to testing, it appeared to be a smooth and easy-casting line with a respectable 0.016" diameter for 12-pound. Sure, that diameter is closer to a standard 15- or even 17-pound, but it seemed to handle closer to 12-pound.

At the Lake

I spooled the new Brute Strength on an Abu Garcia Orra baitcast reel that I paired with a 6í6" medium-action Fenwick HMG rod. This has been a reliable rod-and-reel combo for me, so with that confidence, I added a topwater popper and set out for some early morning action.

It didn't take long to put the new line to the test. A 5-pound hybrid striper crushed my lure and the fight was on. Stripers are incredible fighters. They hit and fight much harder than a largemouth and put any equipment through an unforgiving test.

As the morning went on, I caught and landed numerous stripers and some very respectable largemouths. Despite all the fish I caught, I never retied the Stren Brute Strength. The line held up perfectly, and as strong as it is, it laid on the water extremely well, casted great, was durable and by all accounts is a very well-made line.

I also added Brute Strength to another reel for shallow-water square-billed crankbaiting and I'll soon be banging these lures off every dock and stump the lake has to offer.

I have no doubt that after holding up to the punishment the line went through on this most recent day, it'll rise to the occasion again. The new Stren Brute Strength is an excellent line that's true to its name and tough as nails.

Notable

> A 330-yard spool of Stren Brute Strength ranges in price from $7.95 to $10.95, depending on test strength.

> It's available in either clear/blue-fluorescent or lo-vis green.

> For more info or to order, visit Stren's Brute Strength page here.