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Need a few recomendations please

sleepydeersleepydeer MemberPosts: 60 Greenhorn
well, I finally decided to dust off the fly rod I bought 15yrs ago and hardly used.  I could use some advice on a new reel and line set up. I’ll be targeting the usual snook, reds, tarpon, trout etc from mangrove edges to maybe 5-6’ depths more often than anything else. I’ll get a spare spool or two for different lines if needed for deeper or different fish when the time arises.  Id like to upgrade from the cheap okuma airframe I put on it yrs ago as well, unless someone tells me otherwise I think the rod is plenty good for now. 

Rod is a 9’ 9wt tfo lefty edition for reference. I know close to nothing about fly gear and companies I apologize for sounding like a noob. 

Questions I have given the above described fishing I’ll be doing-
what line?  I’m guessing floating for that depth?  If the rod is too big to throw a line that won’t spook em in the flats let me know. 

good mid grade reel recommendation?  I hear the Orvis hydros sl Iv mentioned a lot. Would like quality, ability to withstand salt, and top notch warranty.  I like Stradics for inshore so maybe the fly equivalent of that (with longer lasting parts and warranty hopefully..)

I’ll start with that until I confuse myself further..


  • sunflowersunflower Senior Member Posts: 722 Officer

    Most people use 8-weights for general light Florida fly-fishing, but a 9 is fine.
    9 & 10 for big permit, 12's for full-grown tarpon.
    I have only used floating lines almost 100% for the past 10 years. I rarely use an
    intermediate line for big tarpon in 20-feet of water.
    I prefer Hatch reels, but they are not mid-price.
    Extra spools and lines are very expensive. You could get a "better" reel.
    I don't know if higher-priced reels are really better than cheaper ones.

    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Senior Member Posts: 850 Officer
    A 9wt is just fine for inshore.
    The orvis hydros is a good reel for the price. I have 2 friends who use that reel on tarpon and snook and don't have any complaints. Its not as good as a hatch, nautilus, abel, tibor one of the other big name reels out there is but also doesn't come with their price tag.
    A floating line will do for the depth you are fishing. I like rio lines but everyone has their own favorite. I don't think you need a spare spool unless you get into deeper depths or other fish like pompano.
  • sleepydeersleepydeer Member Posts: 60 Greenhorn
    Thanks guys, I don’t mind spending the coin but I want to see if I’ll stick with it before going nuts. I sure didn’t last time..  I fish with my wife and younger kids quite a bit, I’m thinking it’ll be fun to shake it up a little with flys on the rare days I have the boat to myself.  
    Sounds like floating line it is. 
  • troutbomtroutbom Senior Member Posts: 417 Deckhand
    I have 7 Orvis reels including Hydros(disclaimer, a friend is wholesaler) . They get the job done in 8/9 wt up to 40 lbs tarpon altho I try and target 20 or less . I rinse the hell out of mine not withstanding that some people claim "it drives salt in". I remove spool when rinsing to make sure everything get rinsed well. Occasional reel oil on anything that looks like you should including especially small lever to remove spool. They keep changing models so if you buy one now get an extra spool. A clear intermediate line is an advantage beach fishing for snook. BTW. I've rinsed the hell out of spinning reels and conventional for over 50 years and have no corrosion issues. 
  • sleepydeersleepydeer Member Posts: 60 Greenhorn
    Thanks bud. 
    I ended up putting together a whole new 8w set up, got my backing and line on and now just need to
    figure out leader setup. When you guys make your leaders are you using regular seaguar flouro like you would on a spinner or is there a different material I should look at or do the tapered leaders make more sense?  

    I usually use 20-30 flouro leader around mangroves and flats on spinners and only bigger after it gets chewed through and pisses me off for the day, stick with the same size or do I need to go down in size to get the right action on the smaller flys?

    thanks in advance. 

  • sa1280sa1280 Junior Member Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    sleepydeer- Best bet is to try to keep things fairly simple at first.  Its easy to get carried away hearing about every possible leader composition that is used out there.  They all work. If you can tie uni or blood knots, and a loop knot, you'll be good to go.  You want SOME sort of taper to the system, but its not absolutely crucial.  Attach a 4' section of 40# mono or fluoro to your fly line, put a loop in the end. This is called the butt section, and is semi-permanent.  From there, goes your tippet - this is where you can mirror your spin setup if you want, so then loop on a section of 15-20# mono or "affordable" fluoro such as Berkeley Vanish about 3-4' long (this is akin to the main line of your spinning reel). Attach to that with said uni or blood knot a section of heavier line, 25-50# fluoro as your shock tippet, depending on your target species.  I'd suggest about 2' of that so you can get a few fly changes out of it. Total length of leader from fly line to fly: around 9'. Tie on a fly and go. 
    If you wanted to keep it REALLY simple, you could just use straight 30# from that butt section of 40 to your fly, 4-5' of it. You could potentially run into a problem if your backing is close to your leader strength- you hook a very large tarpon or jack (the only two things that likely will pull hard enough to make you worry) and its not a good feeling knowing that the weak point could be between you and your fly line vs your fly line and the fish, as this could get expensive. I like to think of the lighter section of tippet as an "eject button" when you need to purposely lose a fish such as that in order to save your fly line from say, a buoy or pier that a fish is headed towards, or perhaps because you've been fighting the same tarpon from the beach for over an hour and want to go have lunch.  A non tapered leader also won't cast as well as one with some sort of taper, especially in the wind.  Speaking of wind, the windier it is, the shorter a leader I'll generally use. 
     I fish shock leader as low as 25# for snook when on the beach in clear conditions, and you're more likely to get chafed through on that by a 20" fish than a 40" fish - seems most of the big snook get lip hooked.  If targeting snook and jacks around the mangroves or any tarpon, I'd probably use 30 or 40# for the shock. General purpose all around, I'd say 30#.  Smaller flies will not look as good on 40 as they do on 25, but you'll have to figure out the compromise there.  Reds and trout don't really require a shock tippet, but its hard to say "Well, I'm only going to hook redfish today".... Better safe than sorry!  
  • sleepydeersleepydeer Member Posts: 60 Greenhorn
    Thank you there’s some good info there. I think I got it sorted for the moment.  Fishing’s been pretty good lately hopefully I can sneak out by myself and put it to work!
  • troutbomtroutbom Senior Member Posts: 417 Deckhand
    Re leaders : at the risk of complicating this too much, I've been using World Wide Sportsman 10' extreme  16lb tapered leader. I fell into habit of buying a tapered leader because I fished grassy flats for reds alot and multiple blood knots caught too much floating grass. I use flouro bite tippet 25-30lbs depending on fly size. Since beginners (ok , not just beginners) may struggle turning over 10' of leader plus 24" of bite tippet, you may want to chop this down to 8' and then blood knot your18-24" bite tippet. I have found that in back country snook, reds, juvie tarpon not particularly leader shy. Bonefish on the other hand usually are and the longest and lightest you can manage is best. In the back, lately Ive been using the 10' WWS leader and tying in a short (6" loop) Bimini twist and then a perfection loop in the doubled line and bite tippet and loop to loop it. Very strong connection which helps stop a snook from reaching mangroves and even on the flats the fish didnt seem bothered by it. I wouldnt use this for bonefish,too much crap going on. In addition to extra strength , your leader lasts for a long time since you arent shortening it each time you add bite tippet. 
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