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i hate it when my rod gets bendy like that

sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 721 Officer
edited June 2019 in Fly Fishing #1
Been two years.
Red tide made the fish invisible last year.
Gotta love a fish with a 'stache.


grace finds goodness in everything ...


  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 721 Officer


    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 3,237 Captain
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    Captain Keith - Crooked Rod Charters
  • ERKERK West Central FloridaPosts: 4 Greenhorn
    That's awesome! I've recently been bitten by the obsession. Hooked my first big girl last Sunday while fishing solo. Got way too aggressive with the strip set and popped her off (20 lb class tippet) :(
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 721 Officer
    There is nothing better to fish for.
    Tarpon season from mid-May to July has been a huge part of my year for the last 17 or so.
    I don't use a class tippet. My leader is 60-pound mono to 30-pound mono to a bite section of 40 or 50-pound flourocarbon. Light flouro, but I'd rather hook more fish and lose them than hook fewer.

    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • ERKERK West Central FloridaPosts: 4 Greenhorn
    I hear ya! Think I'll go the same route and not mess with that class tippet stuff til I've successfully hooked and fought a few. 
  • JWTJWT Posts: 788 Officer
    be careful using a tippet as heavy or heavier than your backing. you run the risk of losing the whole line if something has to give. i will often use a "cheater" leader for smaller poons. you can retie & get back in action faster. for the bigger girls i still use 20#, & just drop to 40# for the shock. the stalk & hookup is the main part of the fun (for me anyway). pulling them to the boat can get to be like work :)
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 721 Officer
    I think my backing is at least 50-pound gelspun. Maybe heavier? Why not?
    I think fly lines are about 50-pound. I fish in the open ocean, so there are no hazards to avoid breaking a line on.
    The system breaks on the 30-pound part of the leader: 6 feet of 60-pound, 4 feet of 30-pound, 3 feet of 40-pound flourocarbon. Unless the tarpon wears through the flourocarbon.


    grace finds goodness in everything ...

  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 300 Deckhand
    I tend to follow a similar set up for KW Tarpon as 'Flower.  Bigger fish 11wt Method with 50 or 40 Seaguar 5 feet to 5 feet of 40 or 30 Seaguar.  With usual 1/0-2/0 Tarpon fly...and usual hooks anything above 90 lbs if I cannot flip them off, the hook eventually  opens and they are gone.  In me dotage I enjoy the take, jumps, and initial run...mano a pesca primordial ...ain't my fun once upon a time it was the killing season for Miami Met and Collier County Tournaments for  under 50 lbs it's 40 to 30  with 9wt TCX...but then I'm with a guide and it's close to the fly line for the action.   I don't use IGFA for any fish I don't eat and even then I usually don't...if I wasn't so addicted to flats...I'd seek out a slot snook for dinner at 8 or could be blinded by hunger and desire that was a 25 lb Black Grouper with a mutant round tail not a juvie Jewfish or BFG(Big **** Grouper)....
  • JWTJWT Posts: 788 Officer
    using that heavy a backing, you are pretty safe. i tried the gelspun, but didn't care for it & went back to 30# micron, hence my comment.  
  • sunflowersunflower osprey, floridaPosts: 721 Officer

    Either gelspun or Dacron is fine.
    Dacron is certainly more traditional. I've never used it.
    Tom Rowland makes a good argument for gelspun. Because it is thinner, your big-arbor reel maintains more size even after a long run by a fish. This makes it easier to recover line.

    "Great question!  There are actually a couple of answers to this one.

    Old school flyfishermen will remember when the Billy Pate Tarpon was the reel of choice.  It was bulletproof, but kind of heavy.  The trend at the time was to have a short, wide reel to increase capacity.  Reels were made smaller to decrease weight but there was a problem with capacity.  Dacron was our choice of backing and it had a pretty big diameter for the strength.  It was hard to get enough 30 pound backing on a reel to keep from getting spooled. 

    Seeking out new materials, we found that Gel Spun was far thinner for the pound test and we could get more capacity with this stuff.  That solved a problem we were having but there were still other issues.  With a reel like a Billy Pate Tarpon or an original Abel 4, the arbor was tiny.  As the backing was dumped from the reel the diameter of the arbor went down fast.  When the fish stopped running, we began collecting the line on a spool that was basically the size of a thread spool and we would frantically reel in line until the arbor size was increased to help collect more line on each revolution. 

    Soon reel design started to change.  Some companies tried multiplying reels.  While a multiplier was a great idea, they just didn't ever really take off.  Abel came out with the 4N which was a narrow, taller model.  The backing would build up the arbor size quickly and we could recover more line faster.  Gel Spun also helped to allow the fish to run farther without decreasing the size of the arbor as much as Dacron. 

    Using this approach, we were just creating an artificial larger arbor reel with extra backing.  Next came the Tibor reels that actually were large arbor reels and this changed reel design forever.  Now, pretty much every reel is a large arbor and for good reason.  They are a better design.

    You could easily use Dacron on a modern reel and still be light years ahead of the way we used to have to do it, but with Gel Spun backing or simply braided line, you can get exceptional strength out of a tiny diameter.  This means that you can use smaller, lighter reels to accomplish the same task, making casting an 11 weight feel like casting an 8 or 9 weight rod.

    I now use braided line on my reels, but I use a pound test far more than I would ever need simply to stay attached to a fish.  My tippet is usually around 20 pound test, the fly line breaks around 30 usually, but I routinely use 50-100 pound braided line.  Why do I do this?  I found that the super thin, 20 or 30 pound braided line was so thin that it was hard to handle with a fish on and actually could get buried in the spool if it was not wound on tightly enough.  I moved up in pound test and never had another problem. 

    Using lighter or thinner diameter line will keep the already super large arbor of today's reels, much bigger, longer with a big run making it much easier to recover line fast.

    I encourage the use of Gel Spun or braided line.  I hope this answer helped you.

    Let me know.

    All the best,

    Tom Rowland"


    grace finds goodness in everything ...

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