This spring I decided to take a trip to the Florida Keys with a good friend in pursuit of large tarpon on the fly rod. I have only done one previous salt water trip to Belize and that was totally different fishing than we experienced in the Keys.

My tools of choice for this trip were a Loop Flatsman S1 9' 12 wt rod paired with a Loop Opti Megaloop reel (which I also use on my 8wt spey rod for Steelhead). Both performed flawlessly. The Megaloop drag was smooth with lots of power to keep big tarpon boatside until it could be released for another day. The extra large arbour design picks up line super fast to stay in contact with the fish after those long runs they make.

The flatsman rod was really amazing. I'm not one to get caught up in the marketing hype of new technology but what they have done with 3M's new nano technology resin is pretty impressive. It has allowed them to make a light weight but super strong rod. I've found most saltwater and 12 wt rods are stiff as a broom stick. Not the flatsman. It has a fast recovering tip with a medium fast action that I am more comfortable with than the ultra fast rods out there. The rod has incredible feel to it as well as packing the power to punch through the wind and subdue large game like muskie and tarpon. With 4 times the strength of regular graphite rods it is ready to take on those big bruisers and come back for more. The flatsman rod did not disappoint when fighting and lifting multiple tarpon we hooked on our trip.

The wind was strong everyday of our trip which made casting more difficult for a saltwater novice like me but the flatsman rewarded us with quick and accurate casts both in short and afar. It is very light in the hand with a crisp, medium fast action that is a pleasure to cast. I would encourage everyone to try this line of rods out. You may be pleasantly surprised at what these rods can do. I know I was. That's why I now have 2 Loop Cross rods. The 12 wt flatsman and a 12' 7wt Cross spey rod for chasing steelhead on my local rivers.