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

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Old 07-13-2014, 08:52 AM
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Default 12 wt for GT and tarpon

Hi everyone,

I am hoping to get some recommendations on a 11/12 wt rod. I have been fishing for nearly all of my 40 years, but the vast majority with conventional gear. While far from an expert fly fisherman, I have managed quite a few bonefish in tropical waters and stripers here on the NC coast.

For my 40th, my dad (and best fishing buddy) is taking me on a dream trip to Christmas Island to pursue bonefish and giant trevally, and possibly a day or two offshore. I am covered on the bonefish rod, but need help with selecting the GT rod. From everything I have read, 11/12 weight rods are the rule for GTs that can get up to 100 pounds. This will primarily be wading the flats and targeting GT on the edge of the flats where it drops to the channels. With the remoteness of Christmas Island, the recommendation is to come with a backup rod in case of breakage (no place to buy a replacement on the island). I am looking for a rod (or two) that will get the job done, but not break the bank.

Also should mention, we fish the Keys at least once a year, so ideally, whatever rod I get, I would also use for tarpon there (from a boat). I am currently considering the following:

TFO Mangrove series 12 wt
TFO Lefty Kreh TiCr X 12 wt
TFO Lefty Kreh Bluewater LD 10-12wt (one person suggested these rods are underrated and that I should instead consider the baby 8-10 wt)
Orvis Clearwater 12wt

All of these are under $300, which is where I would like to stay, especially if buying two. Looking at the TFO charts, I am concerned that the Bluewater may not cast very well, but I am impressed with its lifting rating. The reason I am considering the mangrove is because its chart is very balanced, but is it strong enough for a big GT or tarpon?

Would really appreciate views from folks experienced with big fish on these rods, and I welcome recommendations for any other rods that I should be considering.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

Is your dad interested in adopting a 66 year old son?
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

I have an old Fenwick that'll handle a 12wt line ;-) Unlikely to break either unless it gets ran over by a steamroller haha
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

ditz, I'll ask, but it might be odd for him to have a son that is 2 years older than he is! Haha. Dad went to Christmas Island back in 2012 and has been trying to talk me into going with him ever since he arrived back. He said it was by far the best fishing experience ever. However, with me having 6 kids still living in my house, I somehow was unable to talk my wife into giving me the green light to spend that much on a fishing trip (just for myself). I guess dad finally figured that if he was ever going to get a chance to fish there again with me that he and my mom would have to finance the trip. I feel very lucky that my parents are doing that and that my wife agreed to let me leave her at home with the kids for the 9 or so days required for the trip.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

Get the Mangrove . Heck of a rod and casts like a champ.! I have the 10 and it's been great for Tarpon and some big Bluefish! Sure the 12 won't be any diffrent in performance.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

I own a Mangrove and it's not a very good choice for making long cast. It loads very nice at close range, but lacks line speed to push through the wind. The Redington Predator might be worth looking into if you like a fast rod.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

No way I would take anything TFO to Christmas Island....
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

I sure as heck would. BVK would be perfect for the Trevally. I use a 9wt for them here in Hawaii.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

Christmas Island isn't Hawaii... (with plenty shops and resources). I've saw way too many BVKs break on the flats to trust one that far out.

If you don't believe me, read some reviews on using BVKs on the flats. There are plenty of stories of them breaking for no reason at all. They fish fine, but if you snap one (or two) that far out, you're screwed and you end up using some piece of junk that someone left behind four years ago. Dad is paying for the trip, so pony up a couple hundred more and get a top of the line stick.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: 12 wt for GT and tarpon

Thank you for all the constructive input thus far.

Labradorguy,
I think you are oversimplifying it a bit. As I mentioned before, I don't do a ton of flyfishing, so the rod is only one item on a fairly long purchase list. There is also the reel to match with the rod, possibly a backup rod in case whichever I end up with breaks, fly lines, flies, possibly a backup for my bonefish rod, plus I am on the hook for costs once I get there, so tips, beverages, lodging in Honolulu, etc. I am the sole provider for a family of 8, so $200 here, $100 there, eventually adds up. I have read about the break issues with the BVKs, which is why it was not on my list. I have not read about problems with the others I listed in the TFO line, though. What would you recommend?
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