Sharkskin Review and giveaway: $100 fly line, are you serious?

Scientific Anglers new Sharkskin fly line does put a dent in the wallet but it is well worth it.

We started using this line in earnest this January for winter steelhead. Fishing the Umpqua I had ice in my guides yet the line remained perfectly straight, and lacked the memory of other lines.

Another great feature of this line is the way it facilitates feeding line out of the rod. Because of a micro-replicated surface, it feeds out of the guides with greater ease than any line I have ever used. When fishing down stream dry flies or nymphs, “micro drag” is eliminated if you can feed your line smoothly, the Sharkskin excels at the downstream feed tactic. In addition the line has a super small welded loop, making a looped leader connection easy, and the small size limits line/leader hang up in the guides.

The Chain Effect:
The micro-replicated surface in Sharkskin lines gives actual points where the line can bend or flex without cracking. An additional benefit is the structure also relaxes or relieves memory of the line to give an anti-tangle effect, which improves shootability and line control.

Wear on Guides?
According to extensive testing by 3M on fly lines and wear on guides, Sharkskin has shown to wear less on guides than other leading fly line manufactures. Furthermore, the material used to make guides matters more to the longevity of your line than anything.

Fly Line Stretch:
Over a 100 foot span of line, stretched with 500 grams of force the difference between Rio Gold, Cortland 555, SA Mastery Trout, SA Sharkskin was less than 1 foot of stretch. Interestingly, Aiflo was shown to stretch the most at 1.8 feet, with Cortland, Rio, Mastery trout, and Sharkskin stretching between just under 1 and 1.2 feet comparatively.

Current top end fly lines including, Rio, Airflo, and SA float half in and half out of the water. You can also think of this a percentage of fly line floating out of the water. In this case 50% of the line is out of the water. 3M has purchased a machine that can measure the angle of the line to the water, or contact angle. In the case of Sharkskin, when this contact angle is expressed as a percentage of line floating out of the water; it consistently tests out at a contact angle of 130, equating to 72% of the line out of the water. Micro replication is a phenomenon found in nature, such as the pad’s on Water Skipper’s feet (do Water Skippers have feet?), and has been emulated in the Sharkskin series of fly lines for supreme flotation.

Now for the contest: We will be drawing, at random, one winner from the comments on this post (and others) between now and May 1st to giveaway one of these Sharkskin lines. We’re going to put all the email addresses in a boot and pull one out. One comment will be counted per person. Saying something intelligent isn’t necessarily required, but it’d be nice.

Pick up your Sharkskin Fly Line at

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24 Responses to Sharkskin Review and giveaway: $100 fly line, are you serious?

  1. Eric Milton says:

    Hi there I was at the Fly Fishing exposition in Calgary Ab. over the past weekend and ended up picking up a new rod. I was talking to Jim and Lynda Mclennen when i was there and they recomended to me to try out the new Sharkskin line and I would feel the difference. Could you please consider me for your line give away. Thank you, Eric Milton

  2. Ron Bentch says:

    Hi, I borrowed a friends rod that had Sharkskin on it. I don’t want to fish again until I can get my own Sharkskin line.

  3. Terry says:

    Looking forward to adding a Sharkskin to my arsenal when I can afford it.

  4. Chris Schnepf says:

    Boy, I sure do hear a lot of back and forth about this line (price, price, price, abrasion on fingers, wear on guides, sound, etc. ). I sort of like the idea of being able to hear my cast as well as feel it (presuming it doesn’t become annoying). I’d like to try one for a season. Please add me to your drawing.

  5. Mark Lipchick says:

    I currently have a tlx 3wt set up with a4wt sharkskin line. This set up allows me to throw size 24 bwo up to size 4 october caddis with perfict presentations. I let my wife borrow the rod and now I may find myself buying another!

  6. Greg Hatten says:

    I’m a big fan of the sharkskin… I only have it on one reel – but I will convert them all… one by one. Love it – the sound, the feel, the performance!!

  7. Zak says:

    I have heard good things about this line from a friend of mine. I hope to pick some up soon to try it out for my self.

  8. Mark says:

    Good job showing patterns for the Willamette and McKenzie. See you in the store.

  9. I have heard sooo many good reviews of the SA Sharkskin line! I want to try it our for myself!

  10. Jim says:

    Love to give it a try.

  11. Jeff says:

    Everyone I know is switching over to this line, hopefully I will be next.

  12. Bryan Croot says:

    I’ve heard great things! Sounds like a great product! Hook me up!!

    -Cold Steel

  13. David Llewelyn says:

    Hi, I’m in the UK and have heard some very good reports about this line. I could do with all the help I can get with my casting:-)

  14. Chris Coiner says:

    I’ve heard this is an amazing line. Great work on the blog by the way. A great resource and wealth of information. Very much appreciated.

  15. Robert Clark says:

    I fished this line this past fall on a Sage custom 5wt with an Orvis Battenkill BBS II reel. The line shoots extremely well. It floats high and with the added buoyancy makes the tip work well as a subsurface strike indicator. With the high float of this line it also aids in the pickup and recast. There seems to be less drag on the pickup. I was a bit concerned after reading the initial reports on this but after fishing this on many streams in PA last fall it really seems to load a rod well and repels algae and other debris well. All in all it is a very well thought out design and is worth the price. Tight Lines RC

  16. Chuck Hansohn says:

    I have been hearing about this line from a friend in Oregon/New Zeland, I’m a guy thats 64 years old and I can use the extra shooting ability with the Shark Skin.

  17. jeff jones says:

    please, please pick my email. I bought a new ross reel, a new ross pole ….i am fishing for trout, 4-5 wt forward

  18. Capt Walt says:

    Sure, Send a few rolls of your Sharkskin Line and we will try them out on out Charter/Guide Boats here in Maine both fresh & Salt water.

    P.O. Box 1585 Saco, Maine 04072
    Maine: Sure its Cold; But its a Damp Cold!

  19. Jim B says:

    I hear this is “the ticket”

  20. Joseph Marsicano says:

    Papa needs a brand new fly line!!

  21. Frankie A says:

    Just retired and am looking forward to spending more time fly fishing the Letort creek and at my favorite sport.

  22. Brenda Porter says:

    My fly fishing friend claims that Sharkskin line is the best and he refuses to fish without it. I would love to try it too!

  23. GySgt Erik Martynuik says:

    This line is BA!!!! Thank you, Now if you could offer this line and rod to the United States Marine Corps and design it to throw grenades the Taliban would be up sh$$ creek. Thanks again for making a great flyline

  24. Wayne Carriere says:

    After researching everything I could find regarding Sharkskin fly line on the Internet, I have concluded that this is the best floating fly line currently available. I purchased one today. I can’t wait to get it on the water.

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