Scientific Anglers Bonefish PLUS Fly Line Review - Textured & Smooth Versions
Bottom line, if you don't like to read long reviews: Buy it.
10 out of 10 - This line is fantastic. If I had to complain about something I'd say the color could be more interesting, but performance is flawless. Believe me, I tested it on the best saltwater fly rods in existence. Check out the product pages here for more specs and info:
I want to call this new line "Bonefish & Beyond..." or maybe "SA Infinity Bonefish" or a longer title: "SA's finally caved to newbie need for a heavier (easier to cast) Bonefish line and decided to make their own version of RIO Elite Bonefish" - So, what is this new line about? Why is there still regular SA Bonefish line too? What is Infinity Salt? Isn't this line also a half-size heavy? What about Grand Slam??? SA likes to keep you thinking hard. Don't worry, that's why you ask a pro.
I have personally gone out today for a couple of hours, testing the best saltwater fly rods with this line. For those of you just joining us, I have every single great saltwater fly rod known to man and I use them to test fly lines - sometimes I even use them to fish. But that's my benchmark, and in 8wt for Bonefish, the reference fly lines are SA Bonefish (true-to-weight) and RIO Elite Bonefish which is a bit heavier, same 30ft weight as this new line at 225gr, but they are different designs. Heavier than the Bonefish-specific fly lines are SA Infinity Salt (half-size heavy) and SA Grand Slam (3/4 size heavy). Then there is RIO Elite Flats Pro which I would say is the heaviest but useful for multi-species trips (not exclusively a Bonefish line) and also windy conditions without ever needing to change lines. All have their purpose, all are fantastic fly lines. This is all important context because I have to say I really, really like the new SA Bonefish Plus line. It performed perfectly on all the rods I tested.
Rods tested and notes below - Note these are not ranked in any particular order just making notes as I test. The line worked well with all rods tested.
Sage Salt HD - Classic, tough, powerful saltwater rods. This line was excellent with it. The Salt HD needs something with a little weight to it and this was a great choice. Note that this rod is no longer available as it was discontinued last year, but I still have mine and many other people might also, so it's worth testing it here for their benefit.
Sage Salt R8 (the new one for 2023) - Always performs well. Strangely I felt that the regular SA Bonefish was a little better, somehow. Wind was light though. Overall the line worked great. I just feel this line "clicked" a little better with the Sector.
Scott Sector - Why is this rod always great? It is so good, perfect with this line. Probably the best performance of anything tested. That doesn't surprise me because the Sector is incredible, but this line matched very well with it.
Thomas & Thomas Sextant - This one was actually fantastic with the new line, I was surprised. It is a great rod, don't misunderstand, but it performed far above normal with Bonefish Plus. Just like with the Sector I think this line is a perfect match.
G. Loomis NRX+ S (Saltwater) - Worked very well. Nothing surprising there. Technically this rod is at a lower tier than the others, being G. Loomis' mid-priced option, even though somehow it costs $990. The Asquith is around somewhere but I didn't test it, the only one I really left out today. I'm pretty sure it would work great.
Secret rod (built to my own specifications) - Can't tell you what this rod is but it worked very well with the line. Stay tuned if you like really cool fly rods that aren't as boring as most rods in terms of looks and color options.
Conclusion: Buy it. This is an easy recommendation. If you are after Bonefish, this is well worth trying unless you are a die-hard true-to-weight line enthusiast who somehow knows a place to fish where there isn't much wind. Then stick with SA Bonefish "Classic" as I will call it from now on. But "Infinity Bonefish" sounds cooler and works great.