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Casting Platform

Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
I've really got tarpon fever and have a question for you guys (or ladies).

I'm told it's critical to see your fly during the retrieve. Assuming that's correct, I really have a hard time finding my fly during the retrieve. Maybe I just get too excited or something seeing the fish but I'd like to see if I can improve my odds.

Would a casting platform up front help? I assume a little height couldn't hurt but it's an expense and if it's not going to help why spend the money?

If it would be helpful, how high? Is there a point of diminishing returns whereby the tarpon sees you easier?

I guess I'd just like your general comments please (or maybe I should just give up on catching a tarpon on a fly and take up tennis :willynilly

Thanks so much for your thoughts, observations etc.

Replies

  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,751 Captain
    Negative on the tennis& yes a platform would help. Some keep it as simple as a cooler. Wondering why you don't see your fly. Maybe, big maybe, shorter leader, a little color added to your fly. Surprised you are not seeing the fly. Good luck & don't give up.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 880 Officer
    I love my platform, not only for tarpon but for any and all flats fishing.
    The height not only facilitates better visibility of your quarry and your terminal rig, but being elevated above your stripped out line seems to help reduce the chance of disaster when you need to clear the line on a hot fish.
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    Sincere thanks to both of you for your responses.

    One of the (many) things I love about our sport is how people are generally so willing to offer help and advice...maybe not the location of their favorite tarpon flat but you know what I mean.

    I don't have a classic flats skiff so I'm going to have to fabricate some sort of platform. I'm in my 60s and not as nimble as I used to be so I'd rather have something more than just an ice chest.


    Since I'm going to the time, trouble and expense of having something fabricated I have the chance to make it any height. Is higher always better? Would I risk spooking fish if it were too high? :huh
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 880 Officer
    Anything for a fellow Sage guy... Lol.

    Well, I think a standard height is around 15 to 16".. But they vary.
    There are several platforms which pull double duty and also act as a cage to keep you from falling... This is especially a concern for tarpon angling, because often times the poons are found in bigger water with less than ideal sea conditions.
    Lemme see if I can post up some examples.... The Chittum Spider is awesome, but BIG $$$$..

    Here's the spider

    Here's a common style very common down here in the Keys, this one made by Pro-Trim, but I've seen many examples of similar design.

    These are very common as well, but not quite as secure as the others, but the lean to is good.. And removable
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    Hey Backlash...

    You are way kind to take the time to post those images.

    I don't know if you follow sports much but there's a term...."getting in somebody's head"...like how Florida beat Georgia all those years in a row. It gets to be mental. I think the tarpon have managed to get in my head.

    I'll check out the pricing on these. I noticed you said big bucks for the Chittum spider. Since I'm retired most of my bucks seem to be smaller these days...but that does look sweet.

    Again...thanks for taking the time.

    Do you really think it would help me see the fly that much better? Would it make a difference? (Please say yes because I really want to do this).:wink
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 880 Officer
    In my opinion, yes. Others will disagree.

    The cool thing about the spider platform, is that it does three things:
    1- elevated casting platform
    2- cage to keep you on the platform
    3- stripping basket to hold your stripped out line.

    You could just do the basic platform fabrication for a few hundy.. But a basic cage above it would probably double the price..
    What's the boat it's going on?
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    You probably know the boat. It's a 17 ft Boston Whaler...the Montauk. My friends with traditional flats boats call it the "family sedan". :)

    Since I only get to go tarpon fishing three or four times a year, I'd want to do something that was removable. Also, since I'm an older guy I'd want to be sure to have a cage to keep from busting my tail.

    I probably should just stand on an ice chest and not spend the money but, as I said, these **** tarpon have gotten in my head. It might not make a huge difference but, like chicken soup, I don't see why it would hurt.

    Thanks for taking time to reply.
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 283 Deckhand
    SM: You've got the boat analogy to Chevy Chase's "Family Truckster" remember that scene wrong turn to East St Louis in the Truckster but they work caught my first billfish on one off the south AUTEC buoy on Andros and my first Permit in a beat up 13 running on only one cylinder OMC 15hp on Andros with Charlie Smith a long time ago Yours still the traditional sandwich foam construction? Can you mount a through bolt on the forward platform to attach a turnbuckle to fix a platform with leaning bar or if not it's custom aluminum ladder affixed midship like a mini tuna tower...check out the tower that Billy Pate rigged up for Tarpon...big cooler wide based and custom leaning bar affixed to console...us old guys need something to steady us at sea.
  • Net 30Net 30 Posts: 1,050 Officer
    Casting platform does get you higher and increase visibility but comes with the added risk of taking a spill. One of my boats is a 17 Montauk and trying to put a platform on the bow would be tricky due to the construction of the hull and difficulty in attaching the platform to the deck with a turnbuckle.

    If you fall off the platform on a normal skiff, you have the nice big flat forward deck to step onto. On the Montauk you have the curve of the cockpit sides and then a pretty big drop into the cockpit off the forward platform. If you go the platform route make sure you get the **** bar that attaches so you can lean forward or backwards. It also gives you something to grab onto as you step up.

    Whatever you have made I'd highly recommend Blue Point Fabricators in Titusville Fl for the build. Great guys, the highest quality out there and they build all the platforms and cages for Hells Bay and Chittum.
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    I echo the cooler suggestion. I use a Yeti 50 (dimensions on their website) with seadek on top on one of my skiffs. I find I don't need the apparatus to secure it, especially not while fishing. It's a dual function solution.

    What kind of glasses are you using? Should be able to see the fly in normal conditions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 283 Deckhand
    SM:
    Just looked at the Whaler site saw front deck...you have an anchor eye that could double as a trubolt for a turnbuckle ...take to Blue Point and fab a platform and back bar... cover up the anchor cleat with a towel... clean all around the sides and floor and you won't need any line buckets or spikes drop line to low deck jump up on platform and let the wind blow strip in low let line fall to bottom...if you keep the area clean from line grabs...you've got a real/reel functioning tarpon skiff but you need the sturdy leaning bar for grabs don't want to hit that low deck and have a hip replacement
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    I echo the cooler suggestion. I use a Yeti 50 (dimensions on their website) with seadek on top on one of my skiffs. I find I don't need the apparatus to secure it, especially not while fishing. It's a dual function solution.

    What kind of glasses are you using? Should be able to see the fly in normal conditions.


    The cooler would certainly be the easiest and I'm sure would work as well. I'm just a little worried because I'm in my 60s now and not in as good of shape as I was 30 years ago...unfortuately it'll happen to you guys too :)..so I'd feel much more comortable with a rail or bar. Also, I'm fishing on the beachside along the Gulf Coast (Cape San Blas in the Port St. Joe area, for example) so there's usually some wave action to contend with. I'm not in protected waters.

    I do have a couple of pair of Costas so any fault with not seeing the fly lies with me and not my equipment. Maybe I'm just getting too excited and focusing on the tarpon and not my fly...or maybe I'm just not very good. :huh

    Thanks so much to you and the above posts for the insights.
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    Net 30 wrote: »
    Casting platform does get you higher and increase visibility but comes with the added risk of taking a spill. One of my boats is a 17 Montauk and trying to put a platform on the bow would be tricky due to the construction of the hull and difficulty in attaching the platform to the deck with a turnbuckle.

    If you fall off the platform on a normal skiff, you have the nice big flat forward deck to step onto. On the Montauk you have the curve of the cockpit sides and then a pretty big drop into the cockpit off the forward platform. If you go the platform route make sure you get the **** bar that attaches so you can lean forward or backwards. It also gives you something to grab onto as you step up.

    Whatever you have made I'd highly recommend Blue Point Fabricators in Titusville Fl for the build. Great guys, the highest quality out there and they build all the platforms and cages for Hells Bay and Chittum.

    Great stuff...thanks. Blue Point seems to be the place to go if they do the work for Hells Bay etc.

    My problem is I live on the Gulf Coast of Alabama so they're really not practical for me. I believe there are some guys in Pensacola, FL that do good work. Maybe they could fabricate something like the Chittum Spider. The problem remains how to affix it and how to make it removable. As I said above, this is also a "take the grand kids tubing, grab some beers, put Buffett on the stereo and watch the sunset" boat.
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