We recommend 12-14wt rods for our adult Tarpon. 10/11wts are fine for smaller fish, but once you get into a tarpon over 100 pounds, things change, prepare to have your mind blown.... You will want a rod with stiff action and a lot of fighting power. We want you to be able to really give it these fish once they are hooked and a good rod can help assist. Reels need to be strong, in good shape, and have a reliable drag system and be capable of holding a minimum of 250 yards of backing (we recommend 300). Common things that break on reels are the drag itself, handles, and knobs. Make sure that all of the components of your reel are in good working order prior to arrival and that all backing and line has been properly spooled onto the reel.
Lines (fly lines, backing)
Starting with the fly line, our fly line of choice is an intermediate sinking fly lines. Full sink intermediates, floating intermediate, or intermediate shooting heads will all get the job done (I am a fan of a full sink intermediate.). You will want the fly to sit 2-4ft in the water column, depending on the drift, an intermediate line does just that. Next is the backing, you can get away with a minimum of 30# dacron backing but we recommend a minimum breaking strength of 40# (our backing of choice is Hatch premium braid, 68#) and at least 250 yards of a good quality backing (300-400 recommended). Pack extra backing incase you get spooled or damage your backing due to knots or tangles (AGAIN, make sure that your reels are spooled by a professional on a good reel spooling machine or have been double checked prior to arrival).
You have options here.. You can build your leaders or you can buy pre-built leaders. Tarpon leaders can be confusing with all of the differnent knots and different types of material that can go into them. Keep it simple, purchase pre-built leaders and have leader building material and tippet in case you run out or need to try something different. Our fishery does not require any fancy or secretive type of leader. Mono-filament leaders are just fine, but if you are looking for the edge, try some flouro leader as well. A class leader of 20-22 pounds is just fine with a bite/ shock of 80-100# (100# preferred) is the best. Follow that up by bringing some back up tippet and leader material and you will be all set!!