Originally Posted by dkd
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
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!!!!!