Tarpon line [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tarpon line

01-11-2007, 03:40 PM
I've got two questions for the tarpon experts on this board. What is the best fly line for these fishes in a 12wt. Anyone ever use power pro (spectra) as backing. What is the best knot to attach it to fly line. I've always used an albright. Just wandering if anything is better.

01-11-2007, 05:12 PM
1. Rio makes excellent tarpon lines, both floaters and intermediate sinktips.
2. I use Bionic Braid on larger reels. Its pricey, but round and the 65lb gives me about 50 per cent more backing than 30lb dacron.
3. Because of the slippery nature and brittleness of this type of line, knots correctly tied are critical to insuring no compromise. The arbor knot should be a 60-turn bimini, wrapped around the spool twice and then a 12-turn uni-knot to seat it on the spool. The attachment to the flyline should be a 60-turn bimini and a double surgeons for a double line on the flyline. If the flyline doesn't have a loop, then a 50lb braid loop with a double catch should be used - loop-to-loop between backing and flyline.

01-12-2007, 07:34 AM
I normal use SA tarpon lines but have recently been using a Sage Equator Taper to go with my xi2.
I personally don't like Rio lines as I find they can burn fingers when stripping or with a hard take.

The SA lines are very good and the Sage is perfect with a Sage rod.

For backing I usually use normal 30lb Dacron. I don't really like the very thin stuff as it can also cause finger cuts.

For a connection I make a loop in the fly line and connect it loop to loop to a bimini made in the backing.

The loop in the fly line is made by stipping the coating from 3-4 inches of fly line. First by soaking it in nail varnish remover for a few minutes and the stripping it off with a finger nail.
I then make a loop in the stripped line and whip it with normal fly tying nylon.
I then seal it with a flexible glue.

This method has never failed me even with fish up to 150lbs.

The advantage of this method over an albright is that it slips easily through the guides.

I hope that is clear. If not I will try to give a better explanation.


01-12-2007, 10:37 AM
I know this sounds stupid. I might not be thinking it thru. How do you do the loop to loop with fly line and backing. I hear this is a fast way to attach lines. Do you have to do it like a leader to fly line. :confused:

01-12-2007, 10:46 AM
I hope I can make this a little clearer.

You make the loop at the end of the fly line as explained.
Then tie a bimini in the backing, this loop can be quite large so that you can get the reel through it, then connect the fly line loop through the backing loop.

01-13-2007, 09:33 AM
I then make a loop in the stripped line and whip it with normal fly tying nylon.
I then seal it with a flexible glue.

How do you do this.

01-13-2007, 10:12 AM
Try this:


01-13-2007, 11:09 AM
thanks I've been looking the web over for this

01-13-2007, 02:07 PM
An easy and not so messy way to strip the coating off the fly line is to take a few inches of dacron backing and throw a half hitch over the fly line, come tight about three inches from the end, and quickly yank the dacron off the end of the fly line. It will leave just the core which can then be served into a loop with rod wraping thread and a bit of Zapagap.

01-15-2007, 12:50 PM
Just for reference. I just got off the phone with the guy from power pro. He said sportfishing magazine did an article in the fall on braided lines. He said the bimini twist should only be 11-14 turns in power pro. This is what power pro's tech guy told me.

01-15-2007, 12:53 PM
That's interesting. Why is that?
I normally use a normal bimini of 20 turns. However on some reels there is normal daxron and on others there is the really thin stuff. I think it is called micro something . I am not sure.


01-15-2007, 02:46 PM
I have a floating Rio line for my 10 wt which I love but I also want a int. sinking or sink tip. My rod is an XI2. This will be for Keys Tarpon. Any rec. fellas?

Petevicar- I heard the same as you in regards to a bimini w/ power pro. I can't remember where I read it but I'm 95% sure it was written by Lefty K. I'm sure if I looked I could find it.

01-15-2007, 09:51 PM
I just did a pelagic setup for a customer of mine and I used 12 turns for the bimini in PowerPro. It sure made me nervous because it doesn't look like much when you're done. However, I read the article and the results seemed pretty conclusive. Since that customer is going with me to Guatemala for sailfish in three weeks I'll get to find out first hand if it works. I'm bringing along an extra flyline for him just in case!:hihi:

By the way, Lefty did not write that. He just answered a question in a recent issue of FFSW and recommended 60 or more turns to create a bimini in GSP. The problem with that many turns is getting everything tightened down evenly. I sure hope the 12 turn version works because it is a much easier way to tie one.

01-16-2007, 06:04 AM
Hi Steelboneguy
The only slow sinker for tarpon I know of is made by Scientific Anglers.
I have used it with success on a number of occaisions.
I also have a fast sinking tip line for warm water from Teeny. That goes down very fast. But using it is "dredging".


01-16-2007, 06:52 AM
Jr Spey,

How did you tie it off at the bottom of the bimini.

01-16-2007, 07:01 AM
I have done a little more research on biminis in gel spun and there is a lot of discusion on the web about it. It apears that the bimini when tied in gel spun can slip and when only tied with a small number of twists it can break at a significantly lower level than specified.
It seems that to get the best out of a bimini in Gel Spun it needs to be tied with 60 or even 70 twists.


01-16-2007, 08:09 AM
If you mean finishing the knot, I just used about five half hitches which is what I now use with dacron, too. I used to use a five turn uni-knot but find the half hitches seem to work better. A tiny drop of Duro Super Glue on the tag end finished it. Is this what you meant?

01-16-2007, 08:57 AM
Yes it is. I tried the 14 turn last night. The knot kept slipping. I'll try it with that many half hitches. thanks I also tried the 60 turn with power pro twice. Both knots broke with about 30 lbs of pressure. Might be my skill level.

01-16-2007, 09:19 PM
How are you testing your knot strength? I would like to do some rigging test this winter myself. Are you testing against both shock strength and constant pressure?



01-17-2007, 09:20 AM
I'm measuring constant pressure. I've rigged up a little mechanism with my 30lb boga grip. I use a rubber bushing to hold the loop in the bogas and pull against it with another bushing. The five half hitches do hold the power pro from slipping.

01-17-2007, 12:17 PM
I have done a little more research on biminis in gel spun and there is a lot of discusion on the web about it. It apears that the bimini when tied in gel spun can slip and when only tied with a small number of twists it can break at a significantly lower level than specified.
It seems that to get the best out of a bimini in Gel Spun it needs to be tied with 60 or even 70 twists.


That was exactly the prevailing idea about biminis in GSP UNTIL the article in Sportfishing. The key to the article as I remember it was that a small number of turns tended to cause slippage while the large number had a lower breaking point. I don't have the article in-hand as I write this so I'm more than acceptable to correction if I'm wrong on this. That is why I use the small drop of Duro super glue on the tag end. It significantly reduces the likelihood of slippage. Even if a bimini in 50lb GSP breaks at 30lb, which seems to be about the worst case scenario, that is still well above a 10kg class tippet. Therefore, unless you exceed the 10kg it shouldn't be much of a worry anyhow. However, I'm always looking to get the strongest connection I can---especially backing to flyline as a bad knot means that the flyline is history as well as the fish. That's inconvenient for me but also a lot more so for the fish. The ones I've tied will be tested in a few weeks on sailfish, and I will get back to this thread to report the results.

01-17-2007, 12:46 PM
I would be very interested in your results.
I have been testing the strength of different bimini knots in the GSP I have. It is called GSP ultra thin fly line backing 45lb sold by Royal Wulff Products, I don't know who manufactures it.
I have tried various numbers of twists with the bimini. I have not been able to measure the breaking point but I have tested them against each other.
The results are that a 50 turn bimin is better than a 20 turn Bimini which is better than a 12 turn Bimini.
I did not apply any glue to any of the knots.
I also read somewhere else that different manufactured GSPs have different knot strengths and that the only sure way is to test them out before you go fishing.
I think I'll be doing that in future.


01-17-2007, 05:28 PM
What about using a blind splice in the backing. The backing is threaded up into itself for two feet or more, and a loop is formed. Some super glue can be used to secure the end, or even a nail knot for added security. This is a very smooth connection with no knots, unless of course the nail knot is used, which can be done with 10lb flouro to keep it small.
I seem to remember reading about a tarpon guide using this in the keys.

Is this connection secure enough?

01-18-2007, 08:41 AM
Vince, a blind splice can be used in dacron since it is hollow. Not the case with gelspun, not hollow.

01-18-2007, 09:28 AM
Yes, I knew that. I guess I should have started a separate thread for Dacron connections.
What about the blind splice for dacron backing-does anyone not think it is strong enough?

01-18-2007, 12:03 PM
Vince, a blind splice in dacron is strong enough; but for insurance, use a double catch. The downside is it can abrade on the flyline loop if it goes thru the guides on a regular basis. The gurus on the left coast recommend a bimini with a double surgeon knot for both dacron and gelspun.