Gear test: Scientific Anglers SharkWave Ultimate Trout line

At the beginning of summer, I reached out to John Van Vleet at Scientific Anglers. It was going to be what I was calling the “3-weight summer,” and I wanted to take the opportunity to review some light-weight fly lines under a variety of circumstances.

John sent me several lines to use this summer as I plied the small waters around Yellowstone National Park for an upcoming book project. It’s safe to say that I now have a new appreciation for Scientific Anglers, largely because, for the first time on small water, I realized that the line really does matter.

My favorite of the lines that John sent me is the SharkWave Ultimate Trout Line. SA’s “shark skin” technology is pretty impressive, and while I could see and feel the difference between SharkWave lines and other “slick” lines when casting bigger flies in bigger environments, it really hit home to me when I started casting this line in tight quarters.

Contrary to popular belief, small-stream anglers do, now and then, have to lay out some long casts. Fish get skittish, and sometimes, we need long casts with delicate presentations dropped on a dime two pools upstream just to reach fish that haven’t been alerted to our presence. The first few casts with this line convinced me that lines for light rods really can make a difference. Simply put, I’m a fan.

The SharkWave Ultimate Trout line glides throught the guide with that satisfying whisper many who fish the “shark skin” lines have come to appreciate. The 3-weight line is balanced for all of my 3-weight rods, and it does just as well dapping over a likely run as it does shooting 50 feet upstream to put a hopper at the lip of a plunge pool. Also, it doesn’t stiffen up in cold water and it floats like a champ.

I highly recommend it.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.