Originally Posted by nmbrowncom
i would think for tarpon you'd want the largest arbor possible relative to the rod. you'll appreciate it when you're reeling it in. that said, you'll want 250 yards of backing-maybe more depending on whether or not you're on a boat.
as for the battenkill reel, i'm not sure that that's the way to go. i think you'll need a heavy duty salt water reeland if my memory serves me right the battenkill is a fresh water reel. anyway, there are plenty of moderately priced reels around that are made for salt water conditions. i'd check out nautilus or danielson..
Since outer diameter and width determine the speed of retrieve and NOT the arbor size, I would say that if the other measurements are about the same I would opt for the mid-arbor in order to increase capacity. Normally for either a bonefish or a tarpon reel 250yds is getting to be pretty much standard, although as already noted you won't need anywhere near that much where you're headed. However, if some day you want to use the same gear to fish in the Keys or whatever then you'll appreciate having a reel with enough capacity.