Although we gladly provide
high-quality equipment, there is something special and familiar
about fishing rods and reels that are your own. These are some
suggestions that will help guide either what you choose to purchase
or to bring on your fly fishing adventure.
Bonefish: Fast action 8 and 9 weight rods are ideal tools for
these fish. Keys bonefish are larger than those found in the
Bahamas and Central America, requiring heavier rods to both fight
the fish and to cast the larger flies that these bonefish prefer.
Bonefish taper or Saltwater taper floating fly lines are perfect
for this fishery. A quality reel with a smooth drag system and
at least 150 yards of backing is also a good idea. Leaders are
often 12 feet in length and taper down to 12 to 16 pound tippet.
Permit: A fast action 10 weight is the perfect rod choice for
these tough creatures. The slightly larger rod is a benefit when
a permit gets into slightly deeper water such as a channel and
it also helps to cast the heavy, bulky flies often required to
fool these fish. A quality reel loaded with a floating 10 weight
line and a couple hundred yards of 30lb backing is also suggested.
Depending on the wind conditions, leaders are often between 10
and 15 feet with a 16 to 20 lb tippet.
Tarpon: To enjoy this fish to the utmost it is imperative that
you scale your tackle to the size of the quarry. For large fish,
11 and 12 weight outfits are ideal, although when conditions
demand, a 10 weight can be an exceptionally effective tool. When
fishing for large tarpon, a reel’s drag system is put to
the test. High quality reels with smooth drags capable of holding
250 yards of 30lb backing are required. Most of the time a WF
floating tarpon taper line is all that is necessary. Leaders
average about 12 feet in length consisting of a long section
of 40-50lb butt material, a 12-20lb tippet and a 60-80lb shock
tippet. For babies (fish 10-30 lbs), the same rods used for bonefishing
Redfish/Snook: An 8 or 9 weight rod that loads quickly but is
also capable of reaching long distances is ideal. Shots at these
fish can range from very close to the boat to 65-70 feet. Floating
lines are used almost exclusively for these fish. Generally,
leaders are shorter than those used for bonefish or permit. This
helps turnover the leaders and flies at short distances. Tippet
size ranges from 12 to 20 lb and while a shock/bite tippet is
not necessary for redfish, a short length of 30-40lb will protect
the leader from the snook’s abrasive mouth and sharp gill