Greg Pearson, from SA Fly Lines, was generous enough to let me try out the new Sharkskin Double Taper Trout Line. In the past, I have never been a fan of double taper fly line. I have had it in my head that the weight forward taper is all we need as trout fisherman. This week, my mind has been completely changed. Don’t get me wrong, the double taper is not meant for every situation, but is is the perfect line for fishing dry flies. I lined up my DT Sharkskin on my Scott 884-4 G2 rod. This is a medium action 4 weight rod, made for delicate presentations.
For those of you who don’t know the difference between the two, here are a couple pictures of the different tapers. The fly line itself is the same, it is merely the taper that differs. A WF taper has most of the weight compressed towards the front of the line. A DT Taper has the weight more evenly spread out along the taper of the line.
Now, what do these differences mean to you? Imagine you just made a 50 foot cast with a #20 Parachute Adams to a big brown trout sipping Tricos on the Dream Stream. You accidentally make a cast 3 feet to his left, and miss. With a Double Taper line, I am able to immediately pick it up and lay it back down on the fish very delicately. This is only possible with a DT, due to the long thick belly of the taper. With a WF taper, you have to strip 20 feet of the line in and make another cast, this is due to the combination of weight being compressed towards the front of the line and the back end of the line being very thin (making it difficult to lift out of the water).
Another benefit to the DT is it mending capabilities. The long thick belly allows you to pick the line of the water and mend it effortlessly. This is key in getting technical drifts to picky fish. You must make you fly look natural, and mending is the only way to accomplish this.
Now lets talk about the line itself. Sharkskin uses textured technology to minimize friction and memory, increase durability and floatation. The textured technology puts, a “dimple like” texture to the line. This makes the line slide through the guides with minimal friction, allowing you to cast further. It also makes for minimal drag on the water surface, making it easier to pick up and recast to that trout sipping Tricos on the surface. Sharkskin lines are also extremely durable. Theo and myself have been casting a Sharkskin GPX on the pavement for the past couple years, and it still fishes! You simply cannot buy a line that is more durable, they last a long, long time.
A DT Fly Line does have it’s drawbacks. It will not turn over large nymph rigs, handle big flies or punch a streamer into the wind. For most fisherman, who only want to pick one fly line, a WF is their line. But, I love to fish dry flies and a DT is the line for me and any other dry fly enthusiast. For most people it makes sense to have a WF line on one spool and a DT on another. While dry fly fishing, you will catch more fish and make better presentations with a DT fly line.