Sunline FC Sniper BMS Line

Sunline BMS Sniper Tenkara Line

Hello.  My name is Jason and I’m a level line addict.  So when Gary, a Tenkara Talk enabler reader offered to send me some Sunline Fluorocarbon Sniper BMS line, how could I refuse?  Even though there are already plenty of good fluorocarbon lines out there, I love to try out as many as I can in the interest of being able to provide the best advice to tenkara beginners.  Here are my brief thoughts on this line.

The unique feature of the Sniper BMS is that it is dyed in alternating colors of clear, orange, and pink in 15 cm (5.0 in.) segments.  You can probably already see the appeal of this.  Not only does it make the line more visible, but the contrasting colors make strike detection easier.  In fact, “BMS” stands for “Bite Marker System”.  And although the line is intended and marketed for bass fishing, since it’s fluorocarbon and comes in just the right diameters, it’s also a good choice for tenkara.

So, the big question with any level line is always, “how’s the visibility?”  Personally, I did not think this line is very high vis.  It’s not invisible.  But the dye seems a little pale and the line is transparent making it a little hard to see in some conditions.  I prefer the new Tenkara USA level lines in pink and orange (see my review here) since they’re opaque and are easier to track on water with a lot of glare (my nemesis).  The photo below shows #4 Sunline next to #2.5 Tenkara USA line.  Even though the Tenkara USA line is much thinner, to me, it’s still more visible on the water.

Sunline FC Sniper BMS vs. Tenkara USA Level Line

Sunline FC Sniper BMS (left) and Tenkara USA Orange Level Line (right)

Having said that, the line casts about as well as any other line I’ve tried.  I suppose I can’t say there is a huge difference in the cast-ability among most fluorocarbon level lines.  I’ve never cast a “bad” one.  The differentiating factors usually seem to be visibility and memory.    Here, memory seems on par with the orange Sunline fluorocarbon we’re so used to.  But I’d give it a B+ on visibility.

What about those alternating colors?  Do they actually make strike detection easier?  Well, yes….but only if you can see the line in the first place!  If I were designing this line, I would make the alternating sections opaque for better visibility.  Hmmmm, I bet that just gave someone I know an idea. ;)

Luckily, this line comes in diameters that translate well to the rating system tenkara anglers are familiar with.  I got samples of 12 lb. which corresponds to a #3 line and 16 lb. which corresponds to a #4.  though, they offer thicker and thinner diameters as well.

If you’d like to try the Sunline Sniper BMS line, it’s available here.  It’s good.  Just not good enough to pull me away from my Tenkara USA line.

Author: Jason Klass

Jason is an avid fly angler and backpacker. As a former fly fishing guide originally from Western New York, he moved to Colorado and became an early adopter of tenkara which perfectly suited the small, high altitude streams and lakes there. He has not fished a Western-style fly rod for trout since.

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5 Comments

  1. Jason, thanks for the review and for your thoroughness in reviewing the level line landscape in general. I was out last week with my new Tenkara Guides braided line. It was really frustrating. The line was too long for most situations that I was in, not great for dries in general, and then in a situation to which it was perfectly suited, namely casting a kebari into a deep, fast slot under a little cliff, I managed to wrap the thing around a submerged rock, or something, so that when I finally managed to break it off it was totally hosed. I am sticking to level lines for the foreseeable, and I’m going to start with T.USA based on your recommendation.

    While I’ve got you on the line, using an Iwana 12, typically not in heavy wind, what line weight would you suggest?

    Cheers

    Alex

  2. Hi Alex,
    Well as a good all around size, the #3.5 is probably the best choice. If there’s little to no wind and you need delicacy, I’d go with the #2.5. I’ve been playing around with lighter lines and am starting to like them more and more.

  3. Alex,
    Sorry to hear that my line did not work well for you. If it was damaged, I can repair it for a very nominal fee of $8.00 return shipping included. Contact me at john@tenkaraguides.com if you need any help or have some questions about my lines since you have tried them.

    John

  4. I just wish you could get samples of the TUSA level lines, I hate buying entire spools to find I really don’t like hte line or it isn’t as visible as I want. I agree with the lighter line, the longer the line the lighter it can be jsut as with a shorter line using a heavier line will allow it to cast better.

  5. Haha, the enabler here. One big advantage of the sniper line is that you can buy it in bulk spools for a significantly lower price than buying individual lines. In the rhododendron covered, tree-lined streams of the east, that’s a real advantage. At least it is if you want to send your kids to college .

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