sharkskinflylinesfamily0A few of you have asked me to give a review of SA’s Sharkskin line now that it has been on the market for a while and tell you what I think.  Much discussion has taken place on this new line technology since its introduction in the fall of 2007. Here is my experience.

I received one of a handful of the Sharkskin test lines in summer of 2007 well before the product was introduced at the Denver retailers trade show where it won an award for best new product.  I promptly began fishing the line so that I would be able to give a review to SA before the Denver show.

Casting: The line casted like a dream. The movement through the guides sounded rough because of the noise it made while hauling and shooting but felt as though it moved through the guides with less resistance. 

Floating: The line floated as high as any other on the waters surface when fishing still water. The line mended like no other as it would jump out of the meniscus when making mends with the stiff Sage TCR that I was testing it on. I felt this result changed a bit when long line nymphing through rough water. The line became bogged down in the broken water when trying to throw long mends. So far, to my knowledge, there has not been a line on the market to ride high in big broken water.

Running line: SA has made the running line on this product slightly larger if I am not mistaken. This larger diameter, coupled with the micro-replication scale technology, made the single biggest difference for me. The shootability of this running line was far above other lines from any company that I had used before. Casting long distances with bass, musky and trout streamers requires anglers to lay copious amounts of running line at their feet to achieve distance while fishing big rivers and lakes. The shooting of the Sharkskin line was much easier because the running line tangled considerably less often than other lines. It also picks up easier with more line on the water.


Like any product some preform better under certain conditions.

Trout fishing in small spring creeks.

I don’t believe that the sharkskin line gives as much advantage to the small spring creek angler as it does in other situations. Many times I never see my running line in Western Wisconsin or in Southeast Minnesota. I am making numerous roll casts or short dry fly casts of less than 40 feet. I don’t use the line to its fullest extent in these situations. Does the slight advantage of mending and shooting at these short distances warrant the cost difference? I’m not so sure.

Big Rivers, Still Water and Salt Water

These are the areas where I think the Sharkskin is well worth the money and out preforms other lines. When it comes to casting, shooting and hauling all day this is the line I like to use.

Myths and Truths

Stripping streamers all day or for numerous days with Sharkskin lines will cut a a groove in your stripping finger. This will happen with all lines to a certain extent but the sharkskin will saw through skin like no other. Wear a stripping glove or strippy when using the this line for stripping streamers.

Sharkskin lines will cut  into rod guides. This is generally bunk! SA has tested its Sharkskin against numerous other companies lines on highly sophisticated machinery at 3M HQ. The factor becomes the quality of your guides. All lines will abrade rod guides. The Sharkskin lines tested near the lower end(less abrasion) between Cortland, Rio and Airflow on tests using everything from ceramic to titanium rod guides.

Cleaning: SA says clean this line like you would any other line. I have formed no opinion on the matter as of yet.

All in all I like the Sharkskin line. So far it has performed well for me and not cracked up. I am still fishing that test line going on its third season. I used the Steelhead version last year and it was good. Protect your fingers though…… is a shark.