Someone had asked about the new sharkskin line from SA on another thread. I had been planning to post a report for several days, so I guess now is the time. I was in desperate need of a new line, when I first heard about the new offering from SA. After the initial sticker shock ($!) I decided to give it a try, hoping that at least that longer life claim would be true. Incidentally, my previous line was a RIO Selective Trout and while I can not say enough good things about this line, long-life was not one of its qualities (I've had it about 18 months but it was completely wore out in less than 12 months).
I have had the Sharkskin about 3 weeks now and taken 6 trips to the South Holston during that time. This line looks different, feels different, and definitely sounds different. I will try to deal honestly with some of the claims. First, it is without a doubt the slickest line I have personally ever tried. I simply couldn't believe how slick this line is. Second, I believe that it does float higher than any line I have ever fished before. Hard to prove, but I'm convinced. I think that this feature makes it pick up much easier.Third, it does without a doubt have the least memory of any line I have ever fished and this is a feature that I really like. And last, it most certainly makes noise going through the guides (in or out). As a matter of fact the more I have fished it the more I think that there is some sort of mental thing going on that bacause the line makes so much noice it gives the idea of shooting through the guides better. It is definitley slicker, but I'm not sure that it shoots as much better as I first thought. I'll confess the more I fish it the less I like the noise, but for a line that is slicker, floats higher, has less memory, and I am really hoping last longer (only time will tell on this one), I think I can put up with the sound.
SA calls the new Sharkskin the Ultimate Trout Taper. I am certainly not an expert caster, I've been fly fishing 4 years now and am a novice at best, but I would consider myself a competent caster to about 60 feet and a fairly accurate caster to about 45 feet. In my opinion this taper seems to do all things fairly well. My first concern was how would it load in close, I believe that it truly excels in this area. My second concern was minimizing false casting, as the line shoots so well I was also pleased in this regard. The one area that I seem to be having a little more trouble with this line is when I already have about 40 feet out and want to shoot to 60 feet. I would think that this line would excel at this, but so far I'm not having as much success.
I believe that I could present the fly slightly softer with my RIO especially in the 20 to 40 foot range.
One man's experience and opinion. So far, I'm satisfied, if it last longer than my RIO I'll be real satisfied. Final thoughts: this line is slick!