tarpon and Biminiīs [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: tarpon and Biminiīs

10-16-2006, 06:25 PM
Hi there folks,
time is coming... 30th of November Iīll take the airplane from the Netherlands to go back home for almost a month. Aruba, maybe not the best place for bones, but they are there and I still have a unsettled acount with the one that got away.
Hopefully I can catch some fish and post some nice pics on the forum for you folks.

The other thing I hope to do is land a tarpon. But the only place I have seen them is difficult to fish, especially when flyfishing itīs almost impossible to make good casts. But what the hell, Iīll give it some shots. As I was thinking about tarpon and preparing the things I think Iīll need I realised that the tarpon tippets are complicated special riggs. So I did some research on google and discovered the Bimini knot. If I am correct this not makes the leader more shock resistant and thus a bit better to fight the jumping silver trophy Iīll be fishing for.

Anyone got suggestions on riggs? And if so, anyone who knows if I could use a smaal piece of steelwire at the end, to protect the loss of a bunch of flies to angry baracuda who happen to be in the same spot as the tarpons will be.

I do know how to make Biminiīs, practiced a few of them and they work very well.

10-16-2006, 06:36 PM
Unless you're determined to fish by IGFA rules, you can simplify your tarpon leaders a lot. I like to use 30# fluoro leaders albrighted to a 60-80# fluoro bite tippet. The other end is loop-to-loop'd to the fly line. It's much simpler and just as effective.

10-17-2006, 06:34 AM
In my limited experience with baby Tarpon.....

I keep the leader as simple as possible...

Butt section to 20lb mono then double over the end of the 20 lb mono and tie it to a SLIM BEAUTY knot on a 40 to 60 lb shock tippet (about 18" long)....

I check the shock after every fish and retie when I dont feel comfortable with the condition of the line.

Keep it simple...

If you are going after big Tarpon I am sure the rules change but in my spinning days I fished Costa Rica for 70-80lb Tarpon and just tied on a long piece of heavy mono to avoid the abrasive mouth with a simple double surgeons knot and it worked...!

10-17-2006, 07:02 AM
I agree, keep it simple for smaller tarpon. I use 10' Rio Saltwater tapered leaders in the 22 lb test. I will attach about 18" of 40lb fluorocarbon for the tippet.

10-17-2006, 09:38 AM
I agree with the other comments. The standard IGFA leader with double biminis is only any use if you are fishing for world records.
These days for big tarpon I use 35lb straight through with a shock of 60-80lb tied on with a double uni knot.
For small tarpon the same but with 20lb and 40lb.


10-17-2006, 06:15 PM
isnīt the bimini knot the shock absorbing part of a shock tippet/leader?

10-18-2006, 04:56 AM
You can tie biminis so that they have a spring. This is not good in a tarpon leader as you get a better hook set with no spring.
The hook set is one of the most important parts of tarpon fishing.


10-18-2006, 05:31 AM
Can anyone then tell me how I can tie my own tarpon leader and how itīs set-up?
I thought that just using a thick leader and some titanium or fluorocarbon (like I would do with pike for example) wouldnīt do the trick as Tarpon are so strong. As I learned in the local shop here in the Netherlands the leaders they sell for tarpon have some shockabsorbance, thatīs why a 20lbs leader has a shock resistance of 60-80lbs. I thougt that they were knotted whit a bimini knot and that this knot gives the shock-absorbance.
As these leaders are more or less 10 euroīs each (more then 12 us dollars) I think thatīs a bit to expensive for me. Also thereīs barracuda cruising around the place I am going to look for tarpon and it would be a pity if I would tear up such an expensive leader.
So anyone who has experience in tying a good leader for tarpon, with just the simple materials, I am willing to learn and hear it. Tying difficult knots is fun, so that wonīt be the problem. I just learned the bimini from the internet a couyple of days ago. Let my girlfriend hold two equal pieces of nylon, one with a Bimini in it and the other without. Then I pulled them hard (hard enough to get cursed on by my girlfriend) and the one with the bimini knot could stretch a bit more instead of breaking like the other piece of nylon did.
Well, anyone with suggestions or ideas? What I am basically looking for is how to tie my own shock tippets.
Ohw, donīt forget, I allready apreciate all the responses I had untill now. Thanks people!

10-18-2006, 08:41 AM
The bimini goes on either end of the class tippet. One end of that is then doubled and a surgeons' knot, or a three times through surgeons' knot is tied there. That is looped to the end of the butt section. Though a lot of guys use some fairly heavy class tippets, including ones heavy enough that there really is little need for a shock tippet at all, I don't advise that. For one thing, it is a safety issue. At least when fishing from a boat, there is often line all over the deck when a tarpon takes. If a loop of that line ends up around your leg, or wrist, or whatever else gets in the way, tippet material much over 10kg isn't going to break in order to save your butt. One of the reasons the IGFA did not increase the maximum tippet to 15kg a few years ago was exactly that issue. I've written about this before on various forums and other guys write back and poo-poo the danger. Some have said that they have a serrated knife on their hip that they would use to simply cut themselves free. Well, almost everyone, especially guys, seems to think they're Indiana Jones. I know I'm not, and am aware that before leaving the boat you might even be knocked unconscious. A fish is simply not worth the risk. Anyway, for those who still use the class tippet to shock tippet approach, there are about a dozen knots being used for the connection. The guy who developed the slim beauty knot (Tom Rowland I think is his name) has stated that he's gone back to the two times around blood knot. The class tippet is wound 5 times around the shock and the shock just two times around the class. He claims it's easier than the slim beauty and has even a better record regarding failure of the knot. Huffnagels are used, Stu Apte's improved blood knot works, some guys just use an Albright (which I don't recommend for this purpose.) I think if you googled Tom Rowland you would find the article where he explains why he rarely uses the slim beauty these days and uses that modified blood knot instead.

10-18-2006, 02:26 PM
I did the Tom Rowland search and found graphics on how to tie the knots...

Again great info from the forum .... now to put it to practice with some Tarpon !

thanks again