Cheater Tarpon Leader [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Cheater Tarpon Leader

01-22-2007, 03:21 PM
Ok guys besides buying a Rio or Orvis Tarpon Leader is there some cheater way to build a tarpon leader? I'm talking less complicated knots besided albright and bimini. I'm talking full grown tarpon as well 80-120lbs. I've been practicing bimini twist and they drive me crazy. Also I think it may just be as expensive to buy a leader than to buy all the different size flurocarbon to to tye my own leaders.
So if you have a cheater system for tying tarpon leaders please share it.


01-22-2007, 03:45 PM
Recently I have been not using IFGA style leaders as I also think that they are a pain in the backside.
My set up is a 3ft piece of 50lb nail knotted to the fly line, attached to that is a 4ft piece of 30lb and I tie the shock to that.
For shock tippet I use anything from 50 - 100lb.
The shock I use starts off at about 2ft as this allows changing flies without having to tie a new leader on.
The knots I use are double uniknots.
The bimini set up is only important if you want to use very light line and get maxium strength from it.

You can even use a straight through 60 or 80 lb leader with no real problems.


01-22-2007, 04:38 PM
PeteV. Thanks for the quick post. I'm going to hope some other chime in before I repost but I quickly wanted to add.

I'm not fishing for records or care about IFGA. Want to get a fish on and battle, then quickly revive the fish for release.

{By the way Pete everytime I see that Giant T. in your avatar I get jealous. I'm :D w/ envy. }

01-22-2007, 05:59 PM
I totally agree. The IGFA specs are a waste of my time and do not add to the enjoyment, though they may for some folks. For big fish, as long as I have a bit of line or a knot that tests out lower than the fly line I'm OK with it. I have all my reels filled with 30 pound dacron, so breaking the backing (other than on rocks or coral) has never been a concern. The simpler the better!

01-22-2007, 07:18 PM
One of the problems with the straight through 60 or 80 lb test is that your flyline or backing is now the weakest link. An even bigger problem, IMHO, is saftey. Since when tarpon fishing there is usually some line laying on the deck of the boat as you set the hook on a fish, you'll be in big trouble if a loop of that gets around your leg or wrist. With 20lb class it'll be an adventure, with 60lb or 80lb you're looking at a serious situation, if not even life threatening. I've mentioned this before and it seems a lot of guys imagine themselves as Indiana Jones in disguise and speak of having a serated knife on their belt which will be used if something like that should happen. Truthfully, you may very well be unconscious before you'd ever get a chance to reach for a knife. There are reasons for the IGFA rules and one of the reasons the committe rejected the big game classification about four years ago was the liability issue involved with approving 30lb class tippets.

You know, the bimini is just not that hard of a knot to master. And, once mastered is not very time consuming to tie (under 1 minute.) An Albright is only slightly tougher to tie than a simple nail knot. And an improved blood knot (and others) that are even simpler can be used in the place of an Albright for that matter. The key is the same as it is for casting. One has to practice. I usually watch Seinfeld re-runs several evenings each week, and I spend that 30 minutes practicing one of the twenty or so knots that I use in my flyfishing. Do that several nights a week and there are few knots that will intimidate you.

01-23-2007, 10:07 AM
I like simple. All I do is buy a 15 to 25 lb tapered saltwater leader shorten it to a length that I can manage and turn over big flies with and attache 60 or 80 flouro to it for the shock tippet. I know some will cringe but I just use a loop to loop and a 3 or 4 turn surgeons. Your weak point is still gong to be the last part of the leader if you use 50lb backing. You can even use a bonefish leader if you want a ligther break point.

01-23-2007, 10:32 AM
"There are reasons for the IGFA rules and one of the reasons the committe rejected the big game classification about four years ago was the liability issue involved with approving 30lb class tippets."

I can't imagine filling a wrongful death suit against the IGFA over the class of one's tippet! Thats one for Boston Legal:chuckle:

01-23-2007, 12:48 PM
I can't imagine filing a wrongful death suit against the IGFA over the class of one's tippet! Thats one for Boston Legal:chuckle:

I'm sure you can't and I wouldn't conceive of it either, but I'm sure the IGFA lawyers felt differently. And it wouldn't necessarily have to be wrongful death, either. The one predictable thing about our legal system is its unpredictability. That's proven almost every day in the newspapers. Regardless, it is not a good saftety move to have the weakest link in your system being 50lb or more. I think when anyone thinks about it they'll realize the common sense nature of that. No fish is worth the potential injury or worse that could result.

01-23-2007, 02:17 PM
Our guy Edward at Bikini will certainly concur. We were zipping along across the lagoon and he had a 300 pound test hand line out when a tuna nailed it. The line wraped around his index finger and about pulled it off. Not pretty!

01-23-2007, 03:27 PM
That is a crazy story. However 300lb test is different than 50 or 30.

Anyone use furled leaders for tarpon or bones? I recently found out a local fly shop sells bonefish furled leaders and Biggame GT, and tarpon furled leaders. Sounds interesting.

01-23-2007, 05:41 PM
I'd not care to fight that tuna on my finger with 20 pound test, but if he had a weak link in the rig it would have been better perhaps. The only way we saved his finger was by grabbing the line and getty some slack to unwind it. It all happened in about 4 seconds.

I'm not big on furled leaders for trout. The guys that use them here are concerned about turning over a dry softly. I'm not sure what advantage they would give someone throwing a bonefish fly. They certainly cost more than tying up some leaders.

01-24-2007, 03:12 PM
I've used the Blue Sky furled leaders for bonefish and quite honestly, didn't care for them. They seemed to be much more susceptible to the wind, and I had flies blown all over in even moderate winds. However, on dead calm days (yes, they do happen) I like the light presentation they offered. I still have them in my leader wallet for just those occasions (rare as they may be.)

02-06-2007, 01:59 PM
I can't agree any stonger with the obove warnings about useing heavy mono greater than the breaking strength of the Flyline or Backing. I also must say that the bimini twist and hufnagle knots are not hard at all! Unfortunately these knots are presented poorly in books and other presentations. I am sure there is someone at a local flyshop or flyfishing club who is willing to show you a few tricks. I made a guide in the Keys show me his trick to the bimini at the end of a trip. I can tie one in a flash and I even use it up here for Stripers and Bluefishing. Good luck but be a pest and make someone show you how to do it!