Tarpon Reel [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tarpon Reel

11-26-2004, 12:12 AM
Hey folks

I have owned a Penn 4G reel for a couple years now, I use it on my home waters to fish mostly for salmon and steelhead. I have developed an affliction for tropics fly fishing and I am looking to hear from any of you with thick enough forearms that may have used this reel on a single hand rod (it's bloody heavy). I am thinking specifically about building up a tarpon rod, and hoping to use this reel. I have no desire to drop any more cash on another reel, this one certainly is a workhorse, but of the Clydesdale variety.

thanks in advance.


11-26-2004, 06:57 AM
Actually, there can be times when you'd cast more often. I fish the Everglades occasionally for tarpon and we sometimes end up casting to busts in the creeks. During particularly active times it can be cast, cast, and cast again. One wouldn't spend a whole day doing this, however (at least I never would.) The Penn makes for such a fine tarpon reel otherwise that I would at least try it first. If you fish only the ocean-side flats or the Gulfside of the Keys you won't have any problem at all with its weight.

Capt. Mel Simpson
11-26-2004, 07:27 PM
....or if you fish for the World Record Giant Tarpon here on the West Coast of Florida you need a big reel to go with the 12/13wt rods we use. I personally use the Pates and Tibor's but some use Penn's.

Our fishing is all sight casting so the weight is not a problem when your not blind casting.


11-26-2004, 08:41 PM
The extra weight can be an issue and will feel pretty weird until you get used to it.

Definitely practice with it on your single handed rod in the back yard (or on water) and try a few shots to targets before you go. Best get the bad shots out of the way before you come face to face with that 150lb silver king :smokin:

I use my Pate Marlin with a 12wt from the kayak. Keeping the false casts to a minimum helps prevent sore muscles and arthritic joints :D

11-28-2004, 11:54 AM
thanks for all the feedback. We are in the middle of a harsh BC interior winter, just the excuse I needed to build another fly rod, string it up, and go casting on some snow (neighbours just don't understand). This leads to my second question, what would be the perfect companion tarpon rod for that reel? I will be building the rod, and I am looking to put together something in 3 or 4 piece that will be a suitable all-around tarpon-tamer... I am aware that the requirements for a tarpon rod probably vary in relation to whereabouts you fish, but I am looking to hear the input from some experienced tarpon rodders on what I should look for. 9'? 8.5'? 11,12,13 weight? If this has been discussed somewhere else, please don't hesitate to direct me there either. Anyway, I am headed down to Belize again this spring, and I will not travel there again without a heavier companion to my 8-weight. Thanks again folks.

Capt. Mel Simpson
11-28-2004, 01:34 PM
The 4G is about 13 oz or about the same as the Pate Tarpon.

I wouldn't hesitate to use it on a 10wt and on up thru a 13 wt. Probably your best bet is an 11wt; ok for the Keys, a little big for Belize but still useable for the really big fish here at Homosassa.

And as for the length, a 9' is pretty much the standard size. But I would look for a blank that is very fast.

I used my Tarpon on a 9' for a 10wt for 15 days of Permit fishing in Southern Belize and made lots of casts, about tore my arm off tho. :cool:


wind roper
01-17-2005, 05:42 AM
i have the penn 4G AR on a 9' 12wt. penn international rod and am very happy with this set up! it is heavy though but it handles well and casts better than my penn 2.5G on a 9' 8wt iternational. you wont do much blind casting though due to the weight, after about 30 min you will find your self standing there sight casting again with out realizing it. the penn international 12wt. is a 2 pice, and i picked it up new for about $150, that rod would be a perfect match for your penn 4 reel. check out e-bay and you may find a penn or sage rod to your likeing and for a good price