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BlueH20 10-15-2003 02:33 PM

advice on rod & line
Hi all
For you time tested experts I need some advice. I just got into bonefishing and barracuda's with a medium action 8 wt. I want to try for tarpon and permit in belize this winter and was thinking of getting the new 10wt xi2 which replaces the rplxi,or the xp10. Is a ten wt the rod for me or should I go heavier. I am not going for monster tarpon,10-50 lbers are what I am going for but you never no what takes the fly. Will a 10 wt. throw those big tarpon flies. Does a 10wt work for jacks and the other assorted creatures of the flats.
Also when I cast my 8wt with the long bellied 8wt bonefish taper there is just no sweet spot in the line for shooting. I dont know if it is the med rod or the long belly in the line.I do like wt forwards for shooting. Is this problem why some guys recommend going with one wt heavier line for saltwater lines. When I get my new rod I dont want it to have the same dead casting feeling as my 8 wt has. No matter how I try casting that 8wt I cant get it to cast more than 75 ft, and that is when I do it right. I know I dont really need to cast that far most of the time, but I practice long range which makes short range a breeze. any help is much appreciated.

Eddie 10-15-2003 03:19 PM

I haven't cast the new Xi2, but my XP is an excellent rod. A cuple of months ago, I fished in Belize, and we fished with eights most of the time and nines when the wind picked up(we were fishing for permit exclusively). The XP ten would be good if you were fishing with heavier flies. For the small tarpon in the river, an eight would be fine.
As for the problem with you eight weight. What kind of rod is it? What kind of line?

Adrian 10-15-2003 03:38 PM

I think the 10wt will serve you well for permit and medium sized tarpon, jacks & barracuda. Actually many tarpon flies are not as big as you'd imagine. Down in the Bahamas, we used orange palmered flies about and inch in length and the tarpon hit them with relish.

Any Belize regulars here offer any thoughts?

Also, a 10wt will subdue a 100lb fish in short order with the right technique - just keep the tip down and put maximum pressure on the tippet. I like to practice busting tippets in the back yard before a trip - amazing how hard it is to break a 20lb tippet with good knots - also its nice to know what 19lb of pressure feels like.

Whilst probably true in most cases, from experience, when targeting permit the longer you can cast with accuracy the greater your chance of success. I have yet to pursuade one to eat my fly but the longer the range the more positive the interest.

As for your issues with the 8wt its hard to tell. I would try different lines. I once had a clear intermediate which claimed to be a 9wt that wouldn't even load a 7wt. The manufacturing process does produce the occaisional "dudd" - maybe a 7wt found its way into the box? Going up a line size might help but I found that whilst it works fine at short ranges, the additional weight can have a dampening effect which will also compromise tip speed and distance. Also a 9wt line is going to offer more wind resistance being somewhat fatter - especailly with a floater. Your constant companion on the flats will be the wind - particularly during the winter months.

Definitely "Try before you buy" with the 10wt. Your dealer should accomodate you. If he won't then find one who will!

Have a great trip and post a report with loads of pics :D

BlueH20 10-16-2003 07:32 PM

thanks eddie and adrian for the quick responses I'm sure I will have more questions before its all over

juro 10-17-2003 12:08 AM

Hey blue -

Once you target the bigger creatures in the sea you might consider the ease of using a two-hander for bigger lines, flies, and fish. These are shorter than spey, quicker overhand casting rods designed specifically for big game fishing.

Drop me a line a couple weeks before you are going down there and if you are interested and if it's available I will send you a demo rod to bring along. All I ask in return is your honest feedback and shipment in a prompt manner once you return from the trip.

JWW 10-29-2003 07:16 PM

With the Rplxi rods being discontinued you can find a great rod at bargain prices. I got a brand new one for 275 in Gruene Texas and I bet you will able to find similar deals. If you going for baby tarpon an 8wt will work fine , I do not think you will need to go heavier then a 10 for the tarpon you are targeting in Belize. Where in Belize are you going?

BlueH20 11-01-2003 12:11 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the input. Juro, I appreciate the offer of the two handed rod but I am still a little bit confused about the new 10 wt I am going to get set up with, trying to figure out the casting and lines needed for the two handed rod may put me on overload, Ive never even seen a two handed fly rod, remember I live a sheltered life around yellowstone park. Its a thought.
Jww-- I am going to be staying on the island of caye caulker off the coast about 6 miles right next to the reef. From there I will be shooting out to all the differant cayes in the area and also am looking really forward to tarpon fishing at night. I still do some night fishing for big browns up here where I live, but is is mostly throwing big nymphs and streams in the shallows, so I am kind of use to it. I here they have salt water crocks that cruise the shore areas at night looking for dogs and such, I wont be doing any wading at night for sure.
Ill keep you guys posted.
talk at you later

JWW 11-01-2003 04:54 PM

I remember reading apost about night fishing for tarpon on the website. I would post a question there or search back a few pages lokking for for additional info. If you are stuck in Bleize city for a day I would consider fishing with or trying to secure a day trip with the belize river lodge guides. Belize city is not very cosmopolitan and they have few sights worth seeing there. I would get as much fishing in as I could.

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