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

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Old 05-25-2014, 08:07 PM
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Default Fl keys tarpon setup

Hey everybody. This is my first post and I had some general questions about my saltwater setup. I live in Fl, so saltwater fishing is big. I have always fished the salt but never on a fly rod. I have a 8wt that I use for bass fishing. What's a good setup for tarpon fishing? I don't really have a budget.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Fl keys tarpon setup

Lots of different folks will have differing opinions on rods. I like a rod that has a lot of muscle in the butt half but has a bit of feel in the tip. Sometimes you are making a quick short cast and you want that rod to load with one stroke. This is my top choice (Of coarse Im biased as the owner of the company is a good friend) Beulah Blue Water 10/11 weight | Beulah Fly Rods

I would get a very good reel. Tibor, Abel and Galvan come to mind. If you really enjoy airing out the wallet, check out the Charlton's and Mako's.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Fl keys tarpon setup

There are some 'big' tarpon in the keys and other places in FL.. If you are targeting the big ones a 11wt would be the minimum I would look for and a 12 or 13 is not out of reason. I sure have not way to recommend a certain rod......I can, however ,recommend a fine reel that I have a smaller version on a 9wt rig. Do some research on the Colton Torrent reel. These reels are not cheap but they are very competitive with the big names and IMO are as good if not better. I have no interest other than seeing that you get a durable and fine tarpon rig so I can enjoy your reports on all your tarpon adventures.

I would also recommend that you call the owner and talk with him on his products. I have 2 of his rods that I like a lot.
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Last edited by ditz; 05-26-2014 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Fl keys tarpon setup

Welcome to the forums.

If you are just getting into it, you may want to consider a good 9wt. If I had to choose one fly rod for the Keys, it would be a 9wt. I've done more than one flats slam on just a 9. It works just fine on the big Keys bonefish, especially on windy days, it can handle permit fishing, and it can catch the smaller tarpon too. More than 50lbs. and you will have your work cut out for you though... lol, but with a 9wt, you can also chase snook, reds, jacks, cudas, etc...

If you are just targeting the big tarpons, then you are looking at a 12wt. With a 12wt though, you are pretty much limiting yourself to tarpon when you are on the flats. (You can have fun with sharks too...)

With a lot of fly fishing, the reel is just a place to hold your line, but with tarpon, you're going to need a good one with a good drag. They will most definitely put your reel to the test. Get a large arbor that will allow you to pick up a lot of line in a hurry but make sure that it will allow for LOTS of backing too. 250yds of backing is what you need for the big boys. For the tarpon, you are talking 20lb tippets and 80lb shock tippets. Fun stuff!
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Fl keys tarpon setup

For a dedicated tarpon rod, you want a 11 or 12wt. Please don't listen to anyone telling you to get a 9wt. Until you catch one, it is hard to grasp the strength of these fish. Besides, you already have an 8wt, which is perfect for bonefish, redfish, snook, and trout.

I just started getting into fly fishing for tarpon this year, but have a lot of experience fishing for them with spinning gear. Just about any 11 or 12wt will work. If you have the room, I really like 1 piece rods like the Hardy Proaxis-1 or Loomis NRX Pro-1. Also look at the Sage Xi3 (4 piece rod). Other companies like TFO and Redington make cheaper options. Just make sure you get a rod with plenty of backbone.

For a reel, you need something with plenty of drag and line capacity. A large arbor is a must. Any of the big names will do - its just a matter of personal preference.

If budget was no concern, my ultimate tarpon setup would be:
G-Loomis NRX Pro-1 12wt
Nautilus Monster
Wulff BTT Intermediate line
65# Power Pro backing
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Fl keys tarpon setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkd View Post
For a dedicated tarpon rod, you want a 11 or 12wt. Please don't listen to anyone telling you to get a 9wt. Until you catch one, it is hard to grasp the strength of these fish. Besides, you already have an 8wt, which is perfect for bonefish, redfish, snook, and trout.

I just started getting into fly fishing for tarpon this year, but have a lot of experience fishing for them with spinning gear. Just about any 11 or 12wt will work. If you have the room, I really like 1 piece rods like the Hardy Proaxis-1 or Loomis NRX Pro-1. Also look at the Sage Xi3 (4 piece rod). Other companies like TFO and Redington make cheaper options. Just make sure you get a rod with plenty of backbone.

For a reel, you need something with plenty of drag and line capacity. A large arbor is a must. Any of the big names will do - its just a matter of personal preference.

If budget was no concern, my ultimate tarpon setup would be:
G-Loomis NRX Pro-1 12wt
Nautilus Monster
Wulff BTT Intermediate line
65# Power Pro backing
Glad to hear that you are just getting into it. I feel really stupid that I have been doing it wrong since the late 80's.... Thanks for pointing that out to me. I guess the hundreds of juvies that I've caught were just the dumb, lazy ones or something. ??

To be fair, I did differentiate between the youngsters and the big ones. If you can't catch a juvie tarpon on a 9wt, then you don't know what you are doing yet.

My freshwater rods never go to the salt and vice versa. I also seriously doubt the 8wt will have a reel on it that will work for bones. For a rod to learn on, I still believe a good 9wt that you can carry along on flats and around channels this summer would be a lot of fun. And as I said, if you are going after the big boys only, then you need to go 12wt.

The best way to learn is to catch a lot of fish. I used to guide in the Keys. If we wanted to hook up a lot and not just chase trophies, we would spend a great deal of time in the channels casting to the breaks and mangroves. If you are near there, you can park your car and work the channels between islands in the same way. Small tarpon hang out in the ever present currents all summer long, plus there are a number of other species that will pick up the same flies. If you take a 12 wt, you will be ready for that one in a hundred big ****, but you will be totally overgunned for most everything else, just like taking your trolling rod bass fishing....

Not all the big names are created equal, many are older designs with a big name attached and a drag that will fade half way through a fight. I prefer narrower reels and large arbors. I am really excited about a new reel coming out soon, the Hardy Ultralite SDS. It is based on a great design and promises to be a whole lot of reel for the money.

---------- Post added at 10:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:08 AM ----------

Hmmm..... It appears that we can't say P O O N on here....

That's odd considering my margins are full of questionable advertising images... LOL.

Okay, from now on it's SABALO!!!!!
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Fl keys tarpon setup

Thanks everyone for there opinions on the different setups. I took all inconsideration when choosing this setup along with my research and talking to my local fly shop. I ended up going with,
G-Loomis NRX Pro-4 12wt
Nautilus Monster


Cant wait to use it this weekend in the keys. I was going to go try it out on the beach this morning before work but the weather was bad. Anybody have any tips on fishing off the beach for tarpon never done beach fishing always was a boat person.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Fl keys tarpon setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by madler View Post
Thanks everyone for there opinions on the different setups. I took all inconsideration when choosing this setup along with my research and talking to my local fly shop. I ended up going with,
G-Loomis NRX Pro-4 12wt
Nautilus Monster


Cant wait to use it this weekend in the keys. I was going to go try it out on the beach this morning before work but the weather was bad. Anybody have any tips on fishing off the beach for tarpon never done beach fishing always was a boat person.
Great choices, there is not a better Tarpon reel than the Nautilus Monster with its quick line retrieval and light weight
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