Tarpon Rod Advise [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tarpon Rod Advise

03-08-2006, 03:17 PM
I have no experiance Tarpon fishing but, I am headed to Belize this summer to try to jump one or two and could use some help. If you were going to buy or make a Tarpon Rod to be used on mid size fish say 90# and under what would it be?
Right now I'm thinking a 9' 10wt Dan Craft FT or maybe even a Loomis GLX. I sure could use some insight from someone with some experiance with these fish.

Capt. Mel Simpson
03-08-2006, 03:42 PM
Well TL your in luck (or not) because I have lots of experience tarpon fishing, in Belize and in Florida, ...and I'm not without an opinion.

I fished Sage and Kennedy/Fisher1090's in Belize and at times wished I would have had an 11 weight. There are some big tarpon around Ambegris, and the 11 weight will work for the Florida Keys as well. In Florida I use an 11 for the 12# class tippet record.

I now use mostly 12-13 weights but that's because of the giant tarpon here on this coast.

One thing I would not do on a rod again is put a forward grip. You need to fight a big fish with your hand back as close to the reel as possible. Take advantage of the thicker and stiffer part of the rod.

See I told you I had an opinion, Mel

03-08-2006, 03:55 PM
No thats good! I may be fishing the Keys some day maybe a 11 or 12 wt is the way to go. I have heard that those forward grips look better than they act also heard they can throw the rod off balance while casting. Funny thing about opinions - WE ALL HAVE THEM

03-08-2006, 04:32 PM
If things work out I can loan you a 12wt two-hander and a matching line. Let me know when and where. it's an 11ft three pc for travel dimensions.

In return we want an article for the site.

03-08-2006, 06:08 PM
Wow that is quite an offer!
I will private message you Juro.

Keep those opinions comming!

03-08-2006, 08:03 PM
I like a 9' 11wt that loads up fairly quickly. If the light isn't good, you somtimes don't have a lot of time to get a cast off. if you are really only interested in jumping the fish (or they are going t be under 80#'s, a ten wt. would work too.
You really should cast a bunch of different rods. One of my favorite is the RPLXi series. Loads up quickly and very strong.

03-16-2006, 04:13 PM
I agree with Mel, 12 weight is better for tarpon. Losing a fish is one thing, braking your equipment is another, although we fish them here in St Martin with 10w rods, but we do not have a lot of MONSTER tarpons.


03-16-2006, 04:44 PM
I was going to say:

"When I go flyfishing, my selection of rod and line weight are based on prevailing conditions (wind, current, distance etc.) and particularly the size of fly and presentation I'm looking to achieve, NOT the size of fish I expect to hook.

Now, the reel, leader/tippet configuration and amount of backing AND quality of drag ARE based on the size and power of fish I am targetting.

Fly rods are designed for casting flies. They are NOT designed for fighting fish. In fact, fly rods are lousy tools for fighting fish until you get to 14wt at which point the term 'fly rod' becomes a stretch."

I was going to say that, but decided to keep quiet :lildevl:

04-07-2006, 10:23 PM
I use forward grips on all my big fish rods and never had a problem with breakage. Look at most of the top tarpon guys (like Apte, Kreh, and Mill) and they either use a forward grip or they put their hand up on the rod above the handle for added leverage - having the grip there makes it much more comfortable for multiple fights with tarpon or even just one protracted fight (anything more than 20 minutes or so). If you're not going to grip the blank above thee normal grip then it's useless but if you do, then you might as well have a foregrip. Jerry Siem of Sage posted on another board that putting a grip above the normal grip does not cause any more rod breakage than is normal and I concur.

As far as indivdual rods are concerned, I used to use a high end 12 wt rod (which shall remain nameless) but that has been relegated to my backup rod in favor of a TFO TiCr 12 wt which in my own testing on my own rigs has proven to have more butt strength than any 12 wt I could get my hands on, in fact it has near blue water capability without sacrifice in casting capability. Just my .02, YMMV.

04-08-2006, 04:22 AM
Welcome brotha!

After fishing for tarpon as a kid, the recent re-introduction has me jonesin' for the megalops rush day in and day out.

I look forward to discussing tarpon with you in the days to come.

Say what do you know about Puerto Rico for tarpon?

04-09-2006, 05:15 AM
Hey Juro
I do not agree with your idea of a DH rod when fishing for tarpon. If you hook a large fish 50lbs plus you will have great difficulty bring it to the boat.
Fishing from a boat for big fish demands as short a rod as you can cast.


04-09-2006, 07:08 AM
Hey Pete -

Who said it had to be long? Does your tarpon rod have two handles? :lildevl:

Think unconventionally.