Friday, March 27, 2009

Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Fly Lines

By now, most of you have heard about the new Sharkskin fly lines by Scientific Anglers but I wanted to take a minute and do a quick post about the lines now that they have been out for awhile and we have gotten some feedback and had a chance to use them. I promised myself that I wouldn't copy and paste the info from SA for this post so I will not use the terms revolutionary, microreplication, or premium (even though they are accurate) in my description.

First off, for those that have not seen the line its defining feature is that instead of a super slick surface to the fly line it has a micro texture embossed into the coating of the line, so under a microscope it actually looks "scaly". What the company claims this does is that it creates less surface area in contact with the guides and therefore, less friction and less wear on the guides with better shootability. The line also has less surface tension on the water thus allowing it to float higher. Does it work? Will it improve your flyfishing experience? The answer is yes, the line shoots easier and definitely floats higher so it is easier to mend and pickup line. It seems to have less memory than conventional lines as well. The Sharkskin line will last longer too for one big reason. The first thing to go on your new fly line is that wonderful, super smooth, fresh out of the box slickness, usually it's noticeably less slick before the first season is over. With the Sharkskin line, it doesn't rely on extreme smoothness for its shooting and sliding through the guides, it relies on the texture which does not go away. Even a little bit of dirt does not seem to affect the performance of the line.

So what about the downsides? There are a few minor negatives. The textured surface does create a significantly louder noise than conventional line when it shoots through the guides (it's a "zing") that doesn't bother some people and annoys the hell out of others. Secondly, if you are using the Saltwater taper or stripping flies a lot with any of the tapers, you will want/need a glove or finger sleeve. A running bonefish will burn you if you try to slow the line with light finger pressure. The last downside is/was the price of $99.95 which initially led many people to "wtf? $100 for a fly line?" but given the fact that the price of most other lines has come up to almost $70 and the fact that the Sharkskin will outlast the conventional line, the price is reasonable.

Scientific Anglers started the first year with the Sharkskin line in the Ultimate Trout taper and this past year have expanded the lineup to include a Magnum taper (bigger flies, windy conditions), a saltwater, a steelhead, and the GPX taper (1/2 size heavy to better load fast action rods). Now of course I'm not going to let you go with out a link so check out the lineup of SA Sharkskin lines at The Northern Angler and while supplies last, Scientific Anglers is giving away a free hat with the purchase of a line. Be ready for the upcoming season with a revolutionay new, premium line with the patented SA microreplication technology (damn! broke my promise) and you won't be sorry you did. We welcome your comments and feedback on the line.

The Northern Angler

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