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Sharkskin
Published by dougm
11-29-2007
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Default Sharkskin

Fly Fishing with Doug Macnair:
A Product Update©
Scientific Anglers Sharkskin
Doug Macnair

[img2="left"]http://www.landbigfish.com/images/articles/DM-SASharkspin1.jpg[/img2]What can I say? With the advent of Scientific Anglers “Sharkskin” fly line, I dare to suggest we have entered a new era of fly fishing, a quantum jump from what we have known before. Scientific Anglers calls it the “Ultimate Trout Taper.” However, after three weeks of extensive testing using a wide variety of 3 and 5-weight rods, I prefer to call Sharkskin the Ultimate Fly Line. In fact, I personally believe Sharkskin is the biggest happening in fly fishing since the arrival of the graphite rod.

What a line! It is a line, the likes of which I have never thrown before. Have you folks ever wished for a line that does everything well? I know that I have; and while some did a better job than others, none satisfied all the requirements. And what could the requirements be? Glad you asked:
  • Cast a long line
  • Cast a short line
  • Roll cast a WF line like no other…
  • High flotation
  • Gentle water lifts
  • Easy mending
  • Low memory
  • Increased shooting distance
  • Reduced friction in the guides
  • Tough and durable
  • Gentle presentations at range…
Think about it!

I certainly do not profess to know much of anything about fly line design but I do know how I prefer a line to handle. Over the years I had come to believe that the ideal line was not attainable; Simply stated, too many things mitigated against the science of man such as the weather, the temperature of the water, and the wind to -- name but a few. About the best one could hope for were lines that worked very well in hot weather, or cool weather, or saltwater, or freshwater, but not all of the above. My [img2="right"]http://www.landbigfish.com/images/articles/DM-SASharkspin2.jpg[/img2]all-time favorite is/was the Mastery Bonefish. With it I could throw a long line in the salt flats or freshwater. With its long head, it would do battle with Mr. Wind except when he was howling like the Northwind’s train in Dickie Bird’s illustrated storybook of old. So what makes the Sharkskin so very good? The secret is a radical departure from the smooth-surfaced lines we have come to know so well, to a micro-pattern inscribed on the entire circumference of the line … said another way, it is a precise texturing process that embosses the fly line coating with a repeating geometric micro-pattern. Gone is the smooth finish of yesterday, and with it the flash or line glare that most of us have experienced from time to time. The embossed sharkskin can be optimized by varying the shape, depth, and frequency of the pattern. The result? Greatly improved flotation, casting performance, and overall line suppleness and durability.

SA reports over 200% improvement in resistance of the Sharkskin to be forced into the water, effectively improving line “flotation” beyond anything that can be achieved by the addition of glass bubbles or surface chemistries.

[img2="left"]http://www.landbigfish.com/images/articles/DM-SASharkspin3.jpg[/img2]As I pursued the workout of the Sharkskin, I couldn’t help but wonder about the integrity of the line coating with regard to cracking … SA explains, “… Actually, the opposite occurs. The engineered micro-repeating pattern effectively introduces flex points that increase the suppleness of the line and, in lab testing, the durability and resistance to cracking is up to 3X greater. A good analogy is how a bicycle chain, although made of metal, bends due to flex points in the links.” So much for my concerns…

Tell you what folks, spring for a Sharkskin and try it for yourself. My evaluation suggests is doesn’t make a bit of difference whether you fish bamboo, fiberglass, or graphite; nor does it matter whether your favorite rod is fast, moderately fast or progressive. Sharkskin likes them all.

The Ultimate fly line has a long compound head that stretches from 45-feet for the 3-weight, the lightweight of the series, to 60-feet for the 8-weight, the extreme on the heavy side. The running line is thin, strong, and supple and makes up the difference between the length of the head and 100-feet, the overall length of the Sharkskin series. The taper of the head, with two bellies, very much reminds me of the Mastery Bonefish. The new welded loop is wonderful allowing for my favorite connection … loop-to-loop.

Once you give it a flick, you are in for a treat. It casts effortlessly. I think you will find tight loops become your habit as well as long precise casts. Soon, you are likely to find yourself addicted to the line, making easy money by taking your buddies to the cleaners with “small” bets … Of course, a wise man will never mention he is using a Sharkskin, only the man who plays the fool.

Trust me. I will never tell…

As I said up front, the characteristics of the perfect fly line should stand against these requirements:
  • Cast a long line
  • Cast a short line
  • Roll cast a WF line like no other…
  • High flotation
  • Gentle water lifts
  • Easy mending
  • Low memory
  • Increased shooting distance
  • Reduced friction in the guides
  • Tough and durable
  • Gentle presentations at range…
I am happy to report to all of you, Sharkskin more than excels against these criteria. It truly does do everything well.

For more information regarding these and other fly fishing accessories, visit http://www.scientificanglers.com/ or telephone: 1-(800) 430-5000.


- 30 -

© Copyright: Douglas G. Macnair, 2007.
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  #1 (permalink)  
By Joni on 11-30-2007, 02:56 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

So the sound of the line going through your guides is nothing to worry about?
I have heard this question plus what is the long term effect on the guides, knowing the line has not been out long enough to give a possitive answer.
It is taking the technical edge for sure and does all you claimed.
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  #2 (permalink)  
By dougm on 12-06-2007, 09:58 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

The sound of the "wind" whistling through the guides is like all of those things I love about fly fishing ... If you don't like it, don't throw it...

Only a fool would try to discredit a new line unless they have a personal agenda...

Dougm
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  #3 (permalink)  
By Joni on 12-07-2007, 01:06 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

Easy there Dougm, no discredit, just a qestion. I did get a chance to cast it and it does shoot/lie beautiful. I could even live with the whizzing sound. However after a 6hr casting/fishing with this line, my finger was a little raw.

This is under COMMENTS, so take it or leave it.
I love SA line.
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  #4 (permalink)  
By mojo on 12-07-2007, 10:14 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougm View Post
Only a fool would try to discredit a new line unless they have a personal agenda...

Dougm
Nice informercial Doug, but that's just one guy's opinion. And, only a fool would write about a line that he has only fished for 3 weeks and call it the "biggest happening in fly fishing since the graphite fly rod." Then put someone down for asking a question about it. And personal agenda? Come on Doug, get real.
And from your report-"Of course, a wise man will never mention he is using a Sharkskin, only the man who plays the fool." If the shoe fit's.

For the price they want for it, we'll see in a year if it's as really as big as you say it is.
Although I've only cast it for less than a day, I'm not that impressed, but then again I'm no "pro" writer/instructor/all around nice guy like you.
I'll be the first to admit, it does shoot great, floats good, but not that good to command $100 price tag. I'll stick with Rio. A Windcutter II, Gold, Trout Selective, Accelerator. Never had a problem with floatation, casting long distance or short casts either with Rio. I've also discussed this line with 2 flyshop owners that have fished it when they got of the same line this past summer from SA. One remark was he hated the sound it made through the guides, (although I've read some people like it, some hate it and others don't notice it) another comment was how it chewed up his finger when stripping it in. So tell us, how did it treat your fingers? And what will it eventually do to your guides- even though you say (or SA says) it has reduced friction through the guides. That's shooting the line through them. How is it when you strip it in, against the "shark teeth''?
Like I said we'll see in a year.
Sharkskin- what a concept. Or is it a gimmick?
Although I doubt I'll buy it in the near future, I will try it again. I won't rule that out. But I don't think I'll change my non professional mind.
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  #5 (permalink)  
By BigCliff on 12-10-2007, 01:41 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

OK, right now I'm expecting this thread to become a vindictive flame war. I'd love to be proven wrong.

Really now, is there any useful benefit created by declaring that others have ulterior motives or that their perception of something is wrong? If you're not posting to create useful benefit, then don't.

This thread started out being beneficial, online squabbling is useless.
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  #6 (permalink)  
By mojo on 12-10-2007, 05:43 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
OK, right now I'm expecting this thread to become a vindictive flame war. I'd love to be proven wrong.

Really now, is there any useful benefit created by declaring that others have ulterior motives or that their perception of something is wrong? If you're not posting to create useful benefit, then don't.

This thread started out being beneficial, online squabbling is useless.
Cliff, I thought the review was fine. One man's opinion. No big deal. When Joni asked a simple question, Mr. McNair decided like he does quite often throw the wrench in the works with a snide comment. Maybe he's from the old school that women belong in the kitchen, not on the water.That didn't sit well with me. Opinions and reviews are like you-know-what. Everyone has one. I think Mcnair owes her an apology. This isn't the first time it's happened.
I just thought a little of his own medicine fit the bill.

mojo
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  #7 (permalink)  
By BigCliff on 12-11-2007, 10:52 AM
Default Re: Sharkskin

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that Joni started the squabbling.
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  #8 (permalink)  
By mojo on 12-11-2007, 06:37 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

I understand that Big C. I just wanted to clarify my response.
Nuff said about the subject. On to the next........
Flame out
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  #9 (permalink)  
By Fly2Fish on 12-11-2007, 09:15 PM
Default Re: Sharkskin

Be nice to see a bit more Christmas spirit in evidence on this thread . . .
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