Went with Sharkskin
Instead of the Orvis Big Bug line, I got a chance to really field test Sharkskin, and I am now a believer. I own no stock in SA, so this is just one guy's opinion. I was using the Magnum 6wt on an Orvis Clearwater II and a Scott S3.
I like to throw larger flies and get good distance. I'm mostly fishing SM and Carp (got a 24"er this am, had to throw that in, although it did take 2-1/2 hours and more than 30 casts). I can't speak for how the line would be for more traditional Trout fishing. But for me it works great.
It is BUTTAH. It casts like a dream, without getting that friction after the line has been wet a long time. Maybe it's just me, but I get a lot more drag after the line has soaked awhile. It mends beautifully and just flies through the guides. The extra 1/2 wt of the Magnum doesn't seem to be there from the casting point of view, but it shows up on the delivery. The line worked well on both a med-fast and a fast rod. This line has done at least 2 things for me, it has cut way down on my false casting and given me 20-25% more distance with the same effort.
Things to consider - How will it hold up over time? Too new to know.
- It does make a noise. I got over it by the 3rd cast, but it may really bother some people.
- It is rough to strip. Add a few bucks for some stripping gaurds. I'm using the lycra fingers and they work well. I think they were 3 for $5.
- It is $30 more than than the next level of "quality" lines.
I am now fishing a minimum of 4 days a week (dang that weather) and loving it. This retirement stuff ain't half bad.
Got it on my Saltwater setup's love it. But I do use the stripper fingers with it in the salt because you can tear your fingers up. LRO sells em they are blue cost like 5 bucks for 3 worth it
Those sharkskin lines do cast amazingly well, and I would like to be able to use one but ... I'm one of those unfortunate people who can't stand the sound it makes. I know many who it doesn't bother, but for me it's like fingernails running across a chalkboard.
For anyone out there who can't take the sharkskin sound, look at airflo's ridge lines. That's what I fish. the ridged texture has all the same benefits of the sharkskin, but without the noise (and the extra high price tag). However, the ridge line is made from polyurethane rather than PVC and has a very different feel than any fly line you've ever cast. It took some getting used to but I now love it. Also, I believe their poly lines have a 5 year no crack guarantee.