Tarpon, Bonefish rod recommendations [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tarpon, Bonefish rod recommendations

02-10-2007, 11:55 AM
Staring this year I am planning to take a break from Alaska fishing/weather and visit my family in Florida. I have never fished for Bonefish and Tarpon.
The HD 9-13 by Danielsson I use here for Kings should be perfect for Tarpon.
My LW 6-9 for silvers will do the job on Bonefish.

Is faster action Winston BIIX 96 wt. 8 , currently used for silvers, sufficient for Bonefish, if not any recommendations?

What rod I should get for Tarpon. Generally, I prefer to stay on lighter ( wt. rating) side of the rod.


02-10-2007, 04:10 PM
Those reels are perfect. I use the 6/nine on a 7wt for bones and LOVE it. I did load it will several miles of 50# gelspun though vs. conventional dacron, one never knows what one may encounter in the tropics when armed with only a 7wt.

I prefer a faster 7wt for bones and find no loss of distance with the better lines that are availble today for tropical applications vs. an 8wt but the 8 will be great and I wouldn't buy another rod with such a fine pc of equipment as that in hand.

As far as the tarpon...

If you like the lighter side I would go with an 11wt to match the HD and handle the behemouths you will probably be after in Florida.

Tarpon: are you planning on fishing with guides? Boat or shore?

02-10-2007, 11:40 PM
If given the choice of any rod available for bones I would choose the Winston BIIX. I prefer a 9', but the 9'6" should work fine.

02-10-2007, 11:49 PM

Do you have any particular wt.11 rod/rods in mind?


02-11-2007, 10:58 AM
The 9 1/2' 8wt BIIx is great for bones. Been using it for 3 years now for them and it works very well. You'll be all set there.

02-12-2007, 10:19 AM
Robert -

Frankly I rarely fish with a single hand 11wt (two-handers instead). So rather than take an unqualified position I will defer to someone who has recently gone through that process.

However I will be in the market for an 11wt travel rod for tarpon fishing but have not started to cast my way through the various brands yet.

The 11wt singles I have cast in the past were Sage, Scott and Loomis. They all felt like broomsticks to me :)

02-12-2007, 11:50 AM
Well, I fish for larger tarpon, so I use a 12 wt. Since I only fish for them once a year and because of the ease of travel, I finally replaced my 2 pc Sage with a 4 pc TFO 12 wt. Great rod. I'll use my resources on tackle for anadromous salmonids and all kinds of other equipment that demands more critical casting and line control. Like the Sage, I fish a 13 line on the TFO. Get it there quickly. Sure, they're a bit heavier, but it's not like you're doing a day of non-stop casting. Personally, I'd never use a two hander for tarpon.

02-12-2007, 11:53 AM
Thats an interesting point - two hander for tarpon. I am looking for an 11wt single hander to fish larger tarpon primarily from a boat, but from the shore during the migration or at an inlet mouth from the beach... I think I might actually prefer it. Never from a boat though, for tarpon at least.

Here is the outlet of the same body of water where Fred and the basser found hordes of tarpon last week. Notice how there is good current flush and interesting surrounding areas for jacks, oceanic bones, possibly some permit and roving tarpon. I suspect the permit fishing will be much better elsewhere but I have some time to kill in San Juan so the airport area will be on the list of sampling sites.

I have been told by fellow Forum members that finding and hooking giant tarpon in these areas was not the hard part but fighting them here was very difficult. It could be a situation where hanging on from the beach would be easier with the big stick as it has proven to be in similar striper situations where it has received a lot of testing.

Also some bar structures where I would much prefer the two-hander (pic #2)

02-12-2007, 01:19 PM
In the second example, I would imagine daybreak on a rising tide would bring any passing oceanic bones inside along the coral looking for substantial meals (crabs etc). In that case I will have a single hander and try to stake out the lanes with a suitable fly for their arrival.

This structure extends for quite a ways to the left (off picture) and has much more of a flats feel where there is high potential of tapping into the larger (but fewer) ocean bones the area is known for.

Both of these spots are directly on the ocean side. Many other spots are on the lee side and are much more accomodating in terms of waves and wind.

We shall see...

02-12-2007, 02:41 PM
Interesting, I can see what you mean. I'll admit that 95% of my tarpon fishing has been from a skiff. I can see where the big stick might have some advantage. If I wasn't already booked for three tropical trips I would have jumped on your PR trip. Looking forward to see how you do.

02-12-2007, 07:15 PM

the more I read the more I am learning that giant permit are common in certain areas... however there is ZERO knowledge of other areas and I suspect I will see big ocean bones and permit in several other locations that are yet untapped.

These other areas look a lot like the opening of Binnacle where I went eye to eye with that big silver dollar the day of the mudding maddness while watching the boat.

I expect to find lots of baby tarpon in the lagoons, snook and ladyfish - and big ocean bones, permit on flats adjacent to deeper water on the right times and tides, and larger tarpon in the transition zones around inlets and intertidal zones as well as inside the lagoons.

I really will try to resist casting to any really big tarpon I see this trip. I like them in the 25-50# class best but will take a 60 if it'll have me.