I've now had about 5 days on the water with SA's marquee Sharkskin GPX fly line. I can honestly say, I'm hooked (pun intended).
As usual, I was fishing with the Trident Signature Trout Outfit, which consists or:
What is Sharkskin?
Sharkskin is 3M/Scientific Anglers' proprietary fly line texture. It's rough to the touch and because of this, it has dramatically reduced surface area. What does this mean? It slides through your guides like nothing else out there. The little pockets also trap air, which enables the line to float higher and make picking it up easier.
2012 Update: After speaking with several of our guides it's clear that SA has really made improvements in the line. They've made the texture less aggressive, so it doesn't over shoot or tear up your hands.
But how does it perform?
Distance: (5 out of 5)
Sharkskin WANTS to leave the rod. It shoots better than any other line I've tried. On a 5wt, I think it probably adds 5-10ft before a double haul.
Dry Flies/Presentation: (3/5)
I view this as the weakest point of the line - but it's got nothing to do with the Sharkskin. GPX is 1/2 size larger (great for casting), has a relatively short head, and is aggressively weight forward. This translates into a line that makes very delicate presentation difficult. That being said, for fast-action rods, you don't really have the option to add a true presentation line.
This is where the line really shines. GPX is heavy enough and has a great taper for easily casting big indicators, tandems, and split shot. Furthermore, Sharkskin is easy to mend and exceptionally easy to shake line out of the rod to produce the perfect dead drift.
You get all of the benefits already discussed with the 1/2 size heavy line. The 2012 Sharkskin doesn't bother me at all when stripping, but other than the added distance, it doesn't add much for streamer fishing.
As some of you may have heard, the line is also noisier than a standard line. It sounds like a zipper moving quickly. It didn't bother me, but it might bother some.
It's amazing. If you can afford it and have a fast action rod, buy it.
- Casts REALLY well
- Amazing for nymphing
- Not the best presentation for dry fly fishing in streams with highly spooky trout