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Paul Arden
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#1

Post by Paul Arden » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:54 am

Hi Gary,

I was reading your excellent post on baby tarpon and I have a few questions and thoughts on similarities with some of the problems I face here.

I haven’t seen SL12S, but I use B10S in 1 and 1/0 for most of my Toman fishing. Are Tarpon comsidered to be “leader shy”?

When I started fishing for Toman (Giant Snakehead) I used 20lb tippet (plus wire) but I was losing all the big fish to snags. So I went to 30lb and lost a huge fish to a snag. So I went to 40lb with 30lb wire. 1 in 10 fish bite clean through 30lb wire (fuck knows how). So I jumped to 50lb tippet and 40lb wire.

Overkill? Maybe. But I want to land the big ones and I’m only constrained by the breaking point of the fly line/weakness of the hook. That’s why I have this direct rod pointing technique. I can apply 10Kg of stopping force to a Giant Snakehead with this tackle. I’ve measured pulls of over 10Kg using a set of scales (in fact this is how I discovered that SA manufacture some sinking lines on 22lb core :laugh: and how I cannot use these lines here).

With Gourami I couldn’t do this however. They eat dry flies around size 10 :D I was fishing .22 mono (claims to be 7.2kg) and lost 9 out of 10 fish to snags. That’s why I went to braid/Spectra tippets. Diameter for diameter I can fish 20-25lb tippet that is thinner than 8lb mono, only it’s drawback is that it has colour. I tried a lot of experiments with different colours and found black is the best. I would have no reservations at all in trying black braid instead of clear mono for streamer fishing with any species. Gourami are a fussy species and I’m using braid with dries. It would be interesting to try 50lb braid on Tarpon (but if it’s an 8WT flyline the braid will need to be around 35lbs - with this stuff the flyline is in danger of being the weak point).

I know it’s a bit different here but in a fishery where the difference between a no-fish day and an amazing day is one fish landed it’s really important to have the strongest terminal tackle I can realistically get away with. Maybe I can send you a braided Leader to try?

Cheers, Paul
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#2

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:20 am

Paul

Tarpon can be leader shy but that seems to happen mostly in the clear saltwater in the Keys.

In the glades the water is usually tannin stained. Since the last hurricane we have lots of algae too. So leader vis has not been a concern in the back.

Curiously, I have found braid to be less resistant to abrasion, but our snags are almost always adorned with razor sharp things like oysters and barnacles. They seem to cut braid like butter while mono gets by with lots of splinters.

As to hooks, I also like the B10S in 2/0 for medium tarpon. It is good enough and inexpensive.

I soak my mono leader material in strong tea for a few days to dye it with tannin. There are some brands that are not polished so they do not have shine. You might try that with light colored braid if your water has brown color? My leaders almost disappear in glades water.

If you send some leaders I would be happy to test them. I think you were going to send some other stuff too? Throw in a hat?
“Very simple man. Catching fish makes me happy. Scaringly simple.”

Håvard Stubø

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Paul Arden
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#3

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:47 am

Hi Gary,

Yes I still need to organise new hats! I’m planning on this in the next few weeks :)

With braid I can charge the colours with a permanent ink pen, here the water is algae green but I think the best colour for tippet is black. Mind you I’m fishing on the surface and the fish are looking up close to the fly so the green tinge will be next to clear.

Over time dark green braid fades and I was seeing more refusals. Taking a dark green pen to the braid saw more eats again. But I also experimented with blue thinking it would be hard to see against the sky. That didn’t work well at all! Maybe it’s how the tippet appears against the mirror that’s more important? The fish are isuallly very close to the surface when they are at the surface.

I’m very surprised that you find that braid has less abraision resistance. I have by far the opposite effect here. If mono just even comes close to a sunk tree it parts immediately, but with braid I can follow it through the snag and often unpick the fish.

I’ll make you a leader tonight and dry it this week.

Cheers, Paul
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#4

Post by petevicar » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:14 pm

I don't think that tarpon are leader shy. All of the tarpon that I have caught and that includes a lot in the Keys always follow the fly. I think they can't see the leader. I believe this to be the case for most species that follow the fly.
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#5

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:39 am

Hi Pete,

how are you mate? :D

I've always thought that leader thickness was more about how the fly swims/drifts rather than trying to hide it. On the same rivers where I fish .10 and size 18 nymphs when I fish a large grasshopper I can fish .16 or even .18 for example. However some people believe in leader shy which was why I asked!

I'm of the opinion that fish only see what they are looking for. That's why they don't see the leader even when it is black or brown, and it's why they don't see the hook. Having said that I have watched Gourami look at the fly many times, look at the leader, following it to the boat, then back to the fly, back along the leader to the boat and on and on this goes. I've never seen another fish species do this. That's one reason why I think that they are more intelligent than trout - certainly I have no other explanation for their behaviour. In fact I always hesitate to use the word "intelligent" when dealing with fish, but this one is a little bit different. I've watched them swim away 20-30ft after refusing the fly, "change their mind" and come back for another look, sometimes eat sometimes not.

Anyway if they'll eat a size ten dry fly attached to 25lb black braid then so will trout. It's not black and white however, (that's a pun :p) because I think that braid colour makes a difference.

What does surprise me is the breaking strains commonly used on tarpon, baby as well as adult. If I'm using 50lb leader and 40lb wire for Snakehead and similar sized flies I see no reason why the same can't be done for Tarpon. I know that you can't apply this sort of force through the rod, but you certainly can on a straight pull.

Cheers, Paul
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#6

Post by petevicar » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:11 am

Hi Paul
I am quite well but not fishing enough.

The reason why heavy leaders are used on tarpon has nothing to do with breaking strain.
It is the abrasiveness of the tarpons mouth that is the problem.
They have mouths like sand paper and will eventually wear through any sort of line.
So a shorter fight is always better.

Similarly snook have razor sharp gill plates that can cut through thin lines very quickly.

Pete
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#7

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:01 pm

Hi Pete,

Generally speaking heavy leaders are not used in tarpon fishing. I thought it was IGFA influence keeping them so light. I’ve regularly seen 16-20lb leaders for tarpon. If they are not leader shy then why not drop to just below the breaking strain of the line? (Unless you intentionally want to break off of course, then that’s another story).

Cheers, Paul
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#8

Post by petevicar » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:39 pm

Sorry my terminology is not quite correct. OK some people including the IGFA use 16-20lb leaders. What I was reffering to was the tippet.
You construct a leader from 16 or 20 lb Hard Mason with a bimini twist at each end. One end is attached to the fly line and the other to the tippet or Bite Tippet as it is sometimes referred to. This can be up to 100lb test.
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#9

Post by sms » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:46 pm

Paul Arden wrote:What does surprise me is the breaking strains commonly used on tarpon, baby as well as adult. If I'm using 50lb leader and 40lb wire for Snakehead and similar sized flies I see no reason why the same can't be done for Tarpon. I know that you can't apply this sort of force through the rod, but you certainly can on a straight pull.
Are you sure?
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#10

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:44 pm

With conventional tarpon rods yes. With the hybrids then you can get similar stoppage force through leverage.
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