I guess this is Sharkskin generation 2 – certainly the principles appear to be the same. Curiously, the blurb says the surface texture on the coating “delivers low memory, improved casting and increased durability”. That seems to me to select from the full list of benefits claimed for Sharkskin lines, hard to tell if this line performs less well than a Sharkskin line or if the needs of marketing led to limit the claims for this series of lines. What is sure is Scientific Anglers redesigned the texture pressed onto the surface of this series of lines, this pattern is designed to be 'less aggressive' and possibly less abrasive than the texture of Sharkskin, apparently the pattern on this surface is more rounded and less diamond shaped than Sharkskin.
On a rod this casts well, actually very well. In my hand the coating feels hard, I guess the texture printed into the surface means it bends a little more easily. I don't think this is as limp as some fly lines, however, limp lines are not always ideal lines, in fact not often ideal. This shoots very cleanly, very smoothly, where limp lines tend to drag over the rings. In warm conditions this continues to feel firm enough when a limp line becomes 'sticky'.
Like the Sharkskin lines I have handled, this seems to float high and lifts off the surface very cleanly. Through the rings this makes that familiar buzz as I haul and zip when the line shoots. Noisier than smooth coatings, I think I prefer the 'shusssh' of smooth lines over the 'zzziiipppp' of this. That said I have friends who simply don't notice it, having used textured lines for some time.
In theory, textured lines should be less prone to cracking than a softer smooth line. Part of the sales info on Sharkskin lines asserted than they stay cleaner than smooth lines. All good news for the life of the line and the rings on our rods if that proves true.
The tip of this line, front and back, ends in a small neat loop which I used and which seem pretty durable. A foot or so behind the front loop Scientific Anglers have printed details of the line, make, model, type and size on the coating. That may mean little to a fisher who owns one or two fly lines, but as someone who has a good many fly lines – on and off reels – I can't begin to tell you how handy that is. In my perfect world that would be mandatory.
Designed to suit faster rods according to the blurb, this line is a “half-size heavy” – a tiny additional weight spread over the length of the line. Personally, that 'half-size heavy' seems more and more like a marketing ploy to convince less confident casters this will make their fishing lives easier. My advice would be, if a heavier line makes casting easier buy a line one size heavy and be done with it, and get a casting check-up with a good instructor.
The GPX profile remains one of my favourite lines to cast. Clean loops, predictable turnover, the head length (38ft) and front and rear tapers seem to suit me well ... very well! I matched this with a 9ft rod and tried a 10ft during the last casting session, the GPX suited that too. While I have minor issues with the noise this makes through rod rings it's hard to fault how the line performs, this is a fine, if expensive, general-purpose floating fly line.
From: Scientific Anglers, Mastery stockists