We’ve said it before, but the fly line is the most important component of any fly rod set up. No rod can make up for a poor match of fly line, but luckily there are no shortage of choices on the market today! We love testing out new fly lines and today we present you with a look at Scientific Anglers’ new series of textured fly lines, the SharkWave series.
When Scientific Anglers first released their ‘Sharkskin’ series of textured fly lines nearly seven years ago, they changed the way many of us think of modern fly lines. By creating a textured surface to the fly line, less surface area is allowed to come in contact with the rod guides (i.e. less friction), thus allowing for greater distances to be achieved when shooting line. The advantage is pretty straight forward and its hard to deny their performance. Try one and you’ll most likely agree.
However, over the years some anglers have found the texture of sharkskin to be too abrasive on the hands over a long day on the water. After all, much like running your hand the wrong direction on a shark, the Sharkskin texture is silky smooth in one direction (to help shoot line) while rough in the other direction (the direction it is stripped in). The irony was indisputable. Other anglers found the texture of Sharkskin through the rod guides to be too noisy.
In order to offer an alternative to the more ‘aggressive’ texture of Sharkskin, Scientific Anglers released their Mastery Textured series of fly lines which featured a less aggressive texture. The Mastery Series promised the benefits of a textured fly line, but with a feel closer to that of a traditional fly line. In fact, the Mastery series ‘texture’ was that used in the previous Bruce Chard Grand Slam Line, a line we are quite fond of.
Still, the Sharkskin texture offered the most in terms of casting performance and the good folks at Scientific Anglers set out to create a line that performed like Sharkskin, but handled like the Mastery Series. Their solution? Combine the two! SA’s new series of Sharkwave lines feature not one, not two, but three different textures. Sharkskin at the tip of the fly line, Mastery Series texture throughout the belly and running line, and a short section of entirely smooth texture to allow you to ‘feel’ the break between the head and running line. This is one of the more advanced fly lines we’ve seen to date, and we think its pretty clever.
SA SharkWave Saltwater Taper
The SharkWave series of fly lines comes in several different tapers depending on the fishery at hand. We tried out the Saltwater Taper with some South Andros bonefish in mind. While we liked the idea of a ‘triple textured fly line,’ and found it to live up to its reputation, one of the things we found most interesting was the taper.
The Saltwater Taper actually consists of a front AND a rear belly (the heaviest portion of the line used to load the rod). The front belly consists of an aggressive 20 foot section that is able to load the rod extremely quick at short distances. This is pretty helpful considering the majority of our shots are in the 30-40 foot range. The front belly is followed by a ‘rear belly’ comprised of 15 foot less aggressive section that allows for more line to be carried in the air if need be. We found this ‘double belly’ system to be a good trade off for our fishery at Andros South where short shots are the norm, but the ability to reach out is still desired from time to time.
Like all modern Scientific Angler fly lines, each SharkWave fly line also features SA’s ID system, where the series, model, and line weight are printed directly onto the tip of the line. After many seasons of changing fly lines in and out, this is a simple but super helpful feature we’ve learned to truly appreciate!
If you’re a fan of textured fly lines, or want to give it a second chance, give the SharkWave a try, we think you’ll enjoy it.
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