Extended Field Test and Review: Monic GSP Skyline Clear Tip Floating Fly Line
In this era of industry consolidation it’s great to see new product innovations coming from a smaller company like Monic fly fishing. Their new fly line the GSP Skyline sets a new standard for casting distance, zero stretch, abrasion resistance, and color fastness.
As a full time fishing guide a good portion my year is dedicated to fly fishing for Tarpon and Snook. I guide in the tannic stained waters of SW Florida. In addition to the dark water color, there is always a sticky surface film that comes in with every tide, a very hostile environment for fly lines.
Regardless of brand, the fly lines I had been using all performed about the same. Poor abrasion resistance, line stretch, and color degradation. I was determined to find a fly line that was truly different, I wanted a fly line that could stand up to the rigors of daily use in a harsh saltwater environment. At the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando I was fortunate enough to visit with the crew from Monic Fly Fishing and found exactly what I was looking for in their new GSP Skyline.
For the past 7 months my clients and I have been using a Monic GSP Skyline 9wt floating fly line with a clear tip on a daily basis. This line has seen more use than the average fly fisherman could give it in years of recreational fishing. It’s impossible to know exactly how may times that fly line has been cast, but it has to be in the thousands. I did track the hours of use, (182 hours) from July 2015 thru December 2015. This represents a real world test that you can count on when buying your next fly line. The following results speak for themselves.
Casting distance is the first thing you will notice. This line literally sizzles through the guides, you can hear the difference in line speed. Long casts (80 plus feet) to big schooling Tarpon were a breeze, in fact you could generate enough line speed to easily cast ahead of very spooky fish in shallow water.
STEALTHY LINE COLOR
This was one of my most important considerations. The line color is called liquid blue and it is translucent blue with a 10 foot clear tip section that the fish didn’t seem to notice at all. Originally I thought that a clear line would be better, but I feel the translucent blue color of the line is less visible against a blue sky and easy for the angler to see.
My initial thoughts were that the line would be to stiff and that spool memory would be a problem. In fact memory wasn’t a problem at all.
ZERO LINE STRETCH
This is a huge advantage, and frankly you have to use the line to really appreciate the advantages of zero stretch. Setting the hook on any big powerful fish is always a challenge and this is especially true with tarpon. You can feel the strike better and when you strip set you can tell immediately if you have a good hookup. I never realized what a difference zero stretch makes, especially on light strikes from picky nighttime Snook.
This is my biggest complaint with conventional fly lines, poor abrasion resistance. The surface of all GSP lines is a clear polyethylene coating. What this means to fly fisherman is a line that can withstand a close encounter with barnacles and oysters on Mangrove roots and live to fish another day. With conventional lines its time to buy a new one. I found small rough spots on the GSP line after such encounters and one of the abrasive polishing pads for cleaning fly lines returns the line to a like new condition
UV STABILITY AND COLOR RETENTION
The tannic stained (tea colored) water that I fish is hard on fly lines. Conventional fly lines loose their original color and turn orange after about 100 hrs of use. In addition the sticky surface film requires conventional fly lines to be cleaned before every trip. The super clear polyethylene coating on Monic lines enables me to go weeks before the line needs to be cleaned. Then all you need is a cloth cleaning patch soaked in 303 protectant to have the line casting like new. The Monic Skyline line is still the same color as the day I opened the box, there has been no fading or discoloration caused by the tannic water or the intense UV’s of a Florida summer. (see photo)
If you aren’t familiar with Monic Fly Fishing, find a dealer near you and cast one of these great lines. Don’t be surprised when you cast farther than you ever have with very little effort.
Capt Eric Anderson
What A Hawg Fishing Charters
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Original Review was posted on “What A Hawg Charters” site located here as well as Fort Meyers Fly Fishing Charters site, here