07-19-2010, 01:35 PM
Re: Tarpon rod
Just a couple things to think about as far as rod weights go---
Give some thought to:
- the size of the tarpon you'll be targeting
- the frequency that you'll be chasing them
- other types of fishing you may do (and your current arsenal of rods)
- where will you be chasing tarpon, in the US or foreign destinations?
- will you be using a guide or will you be on your own?
Personally i think a 10 weight would be a more versatile outfit than an 11 or 12 weight if you're going to chase medium sized tarpon to 60 lbs or so with the occasional 100+ pounder. You could use a 10 weight for other stuff permit, snook, cobia, mahi, small tuna and 10's are generally a lot easier to cast than an 11 or 12 in the same model rod. And unless you chase tarpon a lot, it may also be a better choice than an 11 or 12 weight because it will probably be easier to deliver the fly to the fish--- as far as fighting tarpon, you can still put a whipping on tarpon with a 10, but the first challenge to overcome is getting the fly to the fish. And think about the other types of fishing you do. If you do a lot of fishing in the mangroves, or in deep water with a sinking line, a 10 is also easier to blind cast all day than an 11 or 12.
Another thing to keep in mind is that fishing for big tarpon is pretty specialized, and if you'll be chasing them in Florida with a guide, they'll have their own equipment you can use, including high end rod and reels. So you can bring your 10 weight and use the guide's 12 weight if you want to try it.
But if you're seriously going to target 100 lb + tarpon a lot on your own it might be enough to justify the purchase of a 12 weight, or if you'll be fishing in foreign destinations like Costa Rica, Belize where guides may not have extra tackle you may want a 12 weight. (An 11 is kind of an oddball rod weight and most 11's seem to cast more like 12's than 10's so i'd go with a 12 if you're choosing between an 11 and 12).
Another thing to keep in mind if you're going to chase big tarpon is that you'll want a very solid reel. The amount of stress a big tarpon can put on a reel is hard to describe and you'll want a quality reel with an established track record-- if you want to save some money look for a used quality tarpon reel.
You'll definitely want to try out different rods before you buy. Mosca's rod suggestions are good ones. Since you're in FL, you'll also probably come across used Sage RPLX's or RPLXi's that would be worth trying out and could probably be found at a decent price.
I don't mean to discourage you from an 11 or 12, I have a some that I pretty much only use on few (5-7) days of tarpon each year, I just don't use them any where near as often as the 10 weight for other stuff. An 11 or 12 is a pretty specialized stick.
Hope this helps.