Skip to main content
Home Fly Fishing

Got a question

LoganGLoganG Posts: 48 Deckhand
On a regular basis how many of you use a 6 or 7wt,and what do you use it for? can they handle say a baby tarpon or pike?


  • Montana1Montana1 Posts: 212 Deckhand
    Can't comment on baby tarpon, but I regularly used 5 and 6 wts for pike fishing in colorado when I was on lakes that didn't have many large fish, the biggest problem was being able to turn over large flies, or being able to fish into the wind.
  • redjimredjim Posts: 774 Officer
    Logan, I catch a lot of baby tarpon and I use a 7 and 8 and things work out fine. I think with a 6 you are pushing it but it depends on how baby your tarpon are? On rare occasion the 3-30 pounders turn into 50-60 and with a really light set up things can turn down hill fast for me.

    Small Tarpon do not fight that much, so you really do not need a big stick. With the small ones it's the endless jumps that folks live for. But I think you could get by with a 6 if you already have it. The reason I would not use is because the bugs I offer to them are a bit large and hard to get out there on a six.

    Whatever you decide, good luck and have fun.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    We have had an upsurge of questions regarding lighter rods in the salt these days. Time to remind folks of what Montana at least alluded to in his post: That is, that if you want to know if a certain weight rod is suitable for this or that species, all you have to do is consider the flies that are required. That in turn will determine the necessary fly line, rod and so forth.

    Along with this move toward lighter rods, I want to ask that you all PLEASE take into account how long it is going to take you to land and release the fish that you are hooking on these lighter rods. Too often we release a fish and then walk away happy, assuming that fish will live to fight another day. The truth is that we really do not know if the fish survived at all. And one reason why they might not survive, is excess build-up of lactic acid in their muscle tissue, exacerbated by a prolonged fight.......much less, a fight made even longer by an angler who is using equipment that is at best, borderline in its ability to subdue the fish in a timely fashion. Even if a fish might otherwise survive, it may be vulnerable to predation for a more extended period.

    YES, I too use a 6 wt. (only in Mexico). But a large bonefish there is only 4 lbs. The record is just 8 lbs. Most are closer to 2 lbs. The dinnerplate permit average 2.5 lbs. and they do not fight near as hard as their larger brethren. (in fact, I had a thread started, suggesting that "dinnerplates" not be considered real permit. They are incredibly easy to catch and in large numbers. They are nothing like the "real" permit of the world.) But that is a different topic. Back to the point.

    Actually, there's not that much more to say, other than to ask everyone to be sure that you are effectively beating a fish and not merely outlasting it. I fear we are already doing the latter with the relatively new 20 lb. tippet that most now use for tarpon and billfish. I have wondered....out of all the billfish taken on fly since the first one, way back in the 60's.....If they were released, how many survived a week? No matter, there is nothing that can be done about it now or in the future and I surely do not lose any sleep over this. But with smaller fish, we DO have a choice.
  • sunflowersunflower Posts: 729 Officer
    I would agree with Permit Rat on this one.

    The truth is, the "big fish on light leaders" world records are ego crap. Bad for the angler, bad for the fish. I read Tred Barta's attempts for featherlight records after he became paralyzed, and it truly made me nauseous to consider the process. In the end, it is luck. You fight a hundred tarpon on 6-pound-test, to finally luck out and land one. It wasn't skill, but luck. And the fish dies after the long arduous fights.

    Hook it, fight it hard, and let it go home. Don't turn it into a torture test.

    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Sunflower and Rat,

    I agree with both of you, In the day when I was a Tarpon hunter, I would use the best rod for casting my fly to the fish, I didn't care if it was on the light side, I only wanted to jump the fish get a few jumps then break it off, I wasn't interested in records, Just fun. However I'm not interested in Tarpon anymore.

    It seems now a days while doing most of my fishing in Loreto Mexico for big mean strong fish, I use perhaps a little too heavy of a rod, because we fight them right to the boat , remove the hook and watch them swim away. I agree with over powering the fish, as apposed to fighting them on too light of tackle and pulling on them like a little girl. When I hook a fish in Mexico, it's coming in or it's going to bleed (lol) I try not to give the fish an inch, Bring them in "green" get splashed and all wet releasing them, you know in your heart "that" fish will live to fight again.....My 2 cents

    Carl Blackledge
  • tarponfly49tarponfly49 Posts: 336 Deckhand
    I have an rplxi 6wt with saltwater hardware/fighting butt with a tibor's hands down my favorite setup...caught countless baby tarpon to 30lbs, tons of big red....awesome rod! Only time I can't seem to use it is in windy conditions or where I need to throw bigger flies....
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    The rplxi 6 wt rod is a noodle, I wouldn't recommend that rod for a 30 pound tarpon, perhaps 10 pound tarpon. my 2 cents

    Carl Blackledge
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.


Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now