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Saltwater Fly Fishing Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, False Albacore, Striped Bass, etc...

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Old 01-15-2008, 05:59 AM
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Default Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

My wife and I are going to the Yucatan this Spring and we plan to fish at Boca Paila. We've never fished salt water before and have been advised that the rods to take for the Bones, Permit, Snook and baby Tarpon that we'll find down there are an 8 wt., a 9 wt. and a 10 wt. Since saltwater fishing is not currently in the picture for me as becoming a big component of my flyfishing, I want good rods, but I don't want to spend big bucks on them (I'm hoping that those two points are not mutually exclusive). I realize that renting them in Boca is an alternative, but I'd prefer to buy them and have them for future use. I will likely use the 9 wt. in Maine for Stripers on an annual basis, so I could justify going to a better rod for the 9 wt.

What I'm looking for is some advice on what rods to purchase. I've looked at the Sage Fli and the Winston Vapor rods and, to me, they have a nice feel to them. I've also heard good things about Redington's CPS as well as Scott's and Loomis' saltwater series. I could probably go to a top quality saltwater rod for the 9 wt. I'd appreciate your advice as to whether or not there are any rods in the mid-price range that have a reputation for being particularly good for the type of fisihing that we'll be doing in the 8, 9 and 10 wt. range?
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

hi Pocono

Using my fishing in Ambergris in Belize is an indicator of the fish that you would be chasing---we were using a 7wt for the bones and a 10wt for the tarpon and jacks---we didnt see any permit but the 10 should work nicely there also.

I use a Scott s3s 10 and 12 and a T&T 7wt--Unfortunately a first class rod/reel combo can run as high as your vacation--I do have an Echo 9wt thats my favorite and didnt cost an arm and a leg and some of the TFO rods do rather nicely for a modest cost---renting the rods for the first time would be smart in my opinion on the first attempt and would save hauling them down there and back

My friend in the ACA told me that some of the internatioal guys that travelled with thier reels in thier carry on bag were made by the TSA to take the line off thier reels and check them in thier bags--
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

If wanting to go for a tip-top quality 9wt, Sage's Xi2, Loomis' Cross Current GLX, and Scott's X2s would be great options to consider. I think a 9 would do a pretty good job on all three species, depending on the size of the Tarpon you're getting into. Put a great reel with it and you're pretty well set. You'd be best off of course with an 8, 10, and a 12, but rods, reels and lines for all that will sure get pricey.

Shorthaul's reco of the ECHO 9wt is not the first I've heard on that rod, that might be a great option. But I don't recommend going cheap on the reel, as both permit and tarpon will REALLY put the reel to work. I'd say a Lamson Velocity is the starting point as for what reel I'd want to take down there. A 9wt Xi2 or GLX and a Lamson Litespeed 4 would be a SWEET rig. (If you do the Loomis and Lamson thru Steve, he might even throw the line in or something)
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

Hi Pocono,

You have some very good suggestions for rods. If it was me I would buy one good 9wt. rod with a good salt water reel. I would buy a good fly line and use Power Pro as backing. The Power Pro will allow a smaller diameter reel and still give a lot of backing. I would want a Nautilus NV reel or an Able Super. These will handle Baby Tarpon and if the Tarpon are too big I would use one of the lodges rods. I think a good 9wt will handle everything you will encounter.

Now if you want to get an inexpensive lighter rod I would take a TFO TiCr 7wt or 8wt. After your trip you will have a much better idea of what you want in equipment. The suggestions of using the lodge's rods is sound but you never know what they might have.

You will find that rods only one step different in wt will have some crossover application. I usually think that two steps is a better choice. For instance I would prefer a 7wt and 9wt or a 8wt and 10wt.

You state this is your first salt water fishing and that concerns me that you will be able to cast a 10wt rod for long periods. I hope you have plans for a lot of practice or even a couple of lessons. If you are more experienced than I thought then that makes things a lot easier for you.

Frank
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

Frank brings up a great point about casting: even if you only have to make 12 presentations in a day of permit pursuit, its still a very different casting stroke than casting a 5wt. I recommend getting the rod plenty early and practicing with it.

You'll need to go from having 15' of line outside the rod tip to making a 40-60' cast as quick as possible. Being able to drop the fly into a hula hoop on the first try will help quite alot as well.

When casting, try to keep your rod hand below your shoulder and your elbow moving straight forward and backwards. This allows you to put power into the cast and reduces strain on your shoulder.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
If wanting to go for a tip-top quality 9wt, Sage's Xi2, Loomis' Cross Current GLX, and Scott's X2s would be great options to consider. I think a 9 would do a pretty good job on all three species, depending on the size of the Tarpon you're getting into. Put a great reel with it and you're pretty well set. You'd be best off of course with an 8, 10, and a 12, but rods, reels and lines for all that will sure get pricey.

Shorthaul's reco of the ECHO 9wt is not the first I've heard on that rod, that might be a great option. But I don't recommend going cheap on the reel, as both permit and tarpon will REALLY put the reel to work. I'd say a Lamson Velocity is the starting point as for what reel I'd want to take down there. A 9wt Xi2 or GLX and a Lamson Litespeed 4 would be a SWEET rig. (If you do the Loomis and Lamson thru Steve, he might even throw the line in or something)
Thanks Big Cliff,

I was thinking seriously about the Sage Xi2 for the 9 wt. as I have a 5 wt. Z-axis that I love to cast.

I'm reassured to hear you make positive comments about Lamson's Litespeed reels. My wife and I fish Litespeed 1.5's on our 7 ft. 4 wt. small stream rods up here in Northeastern PA. I really like the reel. The weight of the rod and reel are perfectly balanced and the reel functions extremely well. Based on my experience with the 1.5, I bought a Litespeed 3.5 last Summer on sale and put it away for a "just in case" situation... and here it is; although your suggetion was for the 4.0. Will the 3.5 be too small for a 9 wt. rod?
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

I've cast the TFO TiCrx in an 8 wt and thought it would do the job very well. An old friend that fished for steelhead in the Pac. NW and now goes after sailfish in Cabo San Lucas swears by his TFO TiCrx in a 12 wt (this from a diehard Sage RPL fan). I think you get good value with the TFO ( I almost bought a Finesse but found a Sage I couldn't pass up). The Xi and X2s are wonderful, accurate and much lighter. I may go with an Xi in a 9 wt in the future if I decide I need a backup for my 8 wt when traveling or a TFO to save a few beans.
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

To those used to a trout rod, the TiCR X will feel like a dang broomstick. The TiCR is almost as fast and has a good bit more feel to it.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

Thanks for all the helpful advice. Here's the outcome.

I ended up going with 3 rods; two that will fish Bones and two that will fish the larger, Permit, Snook and baby Tarpon. I know, three rods and 4 applications doesn't necessarily add up, but here's how I approached it.

For the 9 wt. I went with a 9 ft. Sage Xi2. This rod will get used on this trip and throughout the Summer in Maine for Strippers and Bluefish. For the 8 wt., I went with a 9 ft. Redington CPS. For the 10 wt, I went with a 9 ft. Echo-2.

Here's how I got 4 applications. Since my wife and I will be fishing together on this trip; actually, we always fish together, and since some of that time will be on the flats for Bones, I wanted two rods that could work for this application. Based on the feedback from the forum, the 8 wt. and 9 wt. should do that. We'll also be fishing from boats, and for the larger species, again based on the feedback, the 9 wt. and the 10 wt. should do that. For reels, I went with two Lampson Litespeed 3.5's and one 4.0. One 3.5 is rigged for Bones (floating), the second is rigged for both Bones (floating) and for the deeper fish (sinking tip line on a separate spool). The 4.0 is rigged for saltwater species. All with SA lines. The second spool for the 3.5 gives me the option for the 4 appications.

Thanks again for the great feedback. I'm getting ready to start both of us practicing with these rods; which will be a real change from the 4 wts. and 5 wts. that we use up here in the mountains for Trout.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Yucatan bound - need advice on rods

P:

There are many ways to cast and haul...the Sage Xi2 9wt is genuine bona fide salt rod. It works best with a timed double haul...the haul is a must when fishing in the wind in salt...a good, as in simple to understand, instruct/tape on the haul as well as casting is Lefty Kreh's...now I cheat when my timing is marginal in a wind cast or when I just made a bad cast...grab/stop the line when you see fly is not going to turnover or it's going to flop left or right not straight...don't worry if you can't cast the whole line with it..I have seen very few salt flats fishermen who can cast 90-100 feet of fly line AND 10 feet of leader AND turnover a fly AND do it with fly in hand roll cast out of hand and no more than 2 or 3 cycles...there are alot of reps and fly shop folks who can unload 100 feet of fly line on asphalt..that's not on the casting deck or wading a flat when "buck fever" takes over upon sight of a closing fish....if you can cast 50-55 feet of line and turnover a 9-10 foot leader with fly where you aimed within 3 feet about 50% of the time...you're an old salt...IMHO practice how you will sight fish...that's fly in hand...about 6 feet of line out the tip...45-55 feet line coiled at your feet...now see how many cycles does it take to get all that out with a shoot for the last 5-8 feet of line and still turnover the fly where you want it to go...that's does it for a boat...for wading depends on tide flow you can trail 30-40 feet line maybe more if DIY... with guide out of boat he should help with the line management then you can have more out...here's what happened to me recently. DIY Andros wading... intently looking for fish not looking where the tidal flow is taking my 40 feet of line off the reel...big fish at 50-60 feet tailing..."buck fever"...start the cast...don't take my eye off the fish...line between my legs...wrapped around one leg... but it's great and it keeps me humble
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