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Sonoma Traveler Fly Fishing Outfit 8' #5
A sweet 8' 5-weight four-piece fly rod and reel combo that will do wonders for your fly line casting skills.
11666
id::11666
thumbnail::Sonoma Traveler Outfit.jpg
desc::A sweet 8' 5-weight four-piece fly rod and reel combo that will do wonders for your fly line casting skills.
itemprice::$499.95
Price::$499.95
pricelevel::$499.95
baseprice::$499.95
Name::Sonoma Traveler Fly Fishing Outfit 8' #5
Rod Weight::5 Weight
Rod Length::8-9 Feet
Reel Line Weight::5-6 Weight
Rod Action::Adaptive
Series::Sonoma
Featured::Leland Favorite
Category::Rod
Fishing::Trout
Brand::Leland Rod Company
Rod Type::Freshwater
Primary Color::
Size::
Line Weight::
type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/Sonoma-Traveler-Fly-Fishing-Outfit-8-5-image.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Rods/Traveler/Sonoma-Traveler-Fly-Fishing-Outfit-8-5.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Sonoma-Traveler-Fly-Fishing-Outfit-8-5-image.jpg
detdesc::


Leland Sonoma Traveler 8ft 5 Weight 4-piece Fly Fishing Outfit:



This is the outfit that Leland used on his days off!



Efficiency is the secret of any well-crafted fly cast. A balanced fly fishing outfit, like the Leland Sonoma Traveler, embodies this commitment. Our rod, reel and fly line compliment one another and amplify your body's movement, transferring your effort through the fly rod and into the fly line. The result are casts that celebrate our sport by providing you with controlled distance, accuracy and a subtle presentation, all with astonishing ease.



Our Leland Sonoma Traveler fly rod is designed to respond to the short, compact casting stroke we teach in our Leland Method casting classes. The five weight Sonoma Traveler will help you cast any trout fly with astonishing accuracy and efficiency. This eight footer tracks true, is balanced in hand, and will make you a better caster by rewarding the right stroke with brilliant results. Designed as the ideal beginner's rod, this portable four-piecer ended up as one of the finest dry fly rods we've ever cast.



Adorned with our special Leland grip, the Sonoma Traveler fly rod literally fits like a glove into your hand, adding intimacy that other fly rods often lack. Our intuitive grip provides you with added purchase and control of our already well-balanced fly rod. This rod is truly and extension of your body. Of course it's finished with all the right components, including a highly-figured wood insert on our double-uplocking, anodized reel seat. Our non-glare blank finish combined with and our darkened guide set provides a stealthy approach when on the water.



Fly lines too often are a secondary consideration. Not with us at Leland. We searched and tested high and low for the perfect fly line. Our goal was to find a fly line that combines casting efficiency with fishing function. We did our job. Our Leland weight forward, five-weight floating fly line casts like butter and floats like a cork and very noticeably compliments the efficient taper of our Leland Sonoma Traveler fly rod.



To store the perfect fly line, we obviously needed a fly reel. Again, we worked hard to design a fly reel that balanced correctly with our fly rod, both physically and aesthetically. The Leland Classic Trout fly reel is the answer. When combined with the Leland Traveler fly rod and our fly line, the whole is much greater than the sum of parts. With an adjustable and proven click and pawl drag system, this fly reel nods to the great fly reels of the past, while employing better contemporary materials and manufacturing process, ensuring a fly reel that will last a lifetime. Your grandfather would approve of this reel's quality and he'd certainly approve of the celebratory sound it makes when your fish heads downstream.



Finally, you can store your Leland Sonoma Traveler fly fishing outfit handily in our nylon-covered rod tube. With its integrated, padded reel pouch, you can leave your Leland Classic Trout fly reel mounted proudly on your favorite trout rod for easy storage and more importantly, quick rigging when it's time to hit the water.



featdesc::
  • Line Size: 5
  • Length: 8 feet
  • Sections: 4
  • Blank color: Wine
  • Reel Seat: Double-Uplocking Gunsmoke Anodized Aluminum
  • Guides: Darkened chrome-plated light wire stainless steel
  • Handle: Proprietary Leland Squeeze Grip
  • Action: Adaptive, Fast
  • Line: Leland Trout (WF5F)
  • Reel: Leland Classic Trout
  • Leader: Leland Trout (9'5X)
video::
sku::Sonoma Traveler
rating::94.0%
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quantity::2
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Sonoma Trout Fly Fishing Outfit 8' #5
This 8' 5-weight two-piece fly rod and reel combo is the perfect introduction to the sport.
11665
id::11665
thumbnail::Leland_Rod_Co_Sonoma_Trout_Outfit_1.jpg
desc::This 8' 5-weight two-piece fly rod and reel combo is the perfect introduction to the sport.
itemprice::$299.95
Price::$299.95
pricelevel::$299.95
baseprice::$299.95
Name::Sonoma Trout Fly Fishing Outfit 8' #5
Rod Weight::5 Weight
Rod Length::8-9 Feet
Reel Line Weight::
Rod Action::Adaptive
Series::Sonoma
Featured::Leland Favorite
Category::Rod
Fishing::Trout
Brand::Leland Rod Company
Rod Type::Freshwater
Primary Color::
Size::
Line Weight::
type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/Sonoma-Trout-Fly-Fishing-Outfit-8-5-image.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Rods/Trout_2/Sonoma-Trout-Fly-Fishing-Outfit-8-5.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Sonoma-Trout-Fly-Fishing-Outfit-8-5-image.jpg
detdesc::Leland Sonoma Trout Fly Fishing Outfit 8' 5wt:



This is the outfit that our instructors use to teach casting classes at the Leland Ranch!



Designed to be the best fly rod to use when learning how to fly cast, it's also the perfect outfit for most anglers, as they head for the hills to fish smaller streams for trout.  It will make fans of experienced casters as well, packaged in a cordura tube with a Leland Classic Trout fly reel and a proprietary fly line that aids casting and fishing. This outfit is impossible to beat.



To go with our Sonoma rods, we wanted a reel that was affordable, durable, and classic in appearance. In the Leland Classic Trout, we've used anodized, machined aluminum, proven click-pawl drag system, and quick, easy spool interchange to produce a reel that's as cosmetically beautiful as it is mechanically sound.



With an easy-casting weight forward taper, our fly line turns over fly and leader well and loads the rod appropriately at both close and intermediate distances. At our Sonoma Ranch, and across the fly waters of Northern California, we’ve seen how this line casts and mends exceptionally well, and helps new and returning fly anglers put the fly where it needs to be.



Also included in this outfit are fly line backing and a cordura rod/reel case. We will rig this outfit for you to the Leland Standard, wherein all connections between the leader, fly line, fly line backing, and fly reel will be assembled and tested to the greatest strength and reliability before arriving at your door, ready to fish, right out of the box.

featdesc::
  • Line Size: 5
  • Length: 8 feet
  • Sections: 2
  • Blank color: Wine
  • Reel Seat: Double-Uplocking Black Anodized Aluminum
  • Guides: Chrome-plated light wire stainless steel
  • Handle: Proprietary Leland Squeeze Grip
  • Action: Adaptive, Fast
video::
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rating::80.0%
Fly Category::
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quantity::2
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Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $50
$50 grants the lucky receiver access to thousands of quality fly products.
19519
id::19519
thumbnail::gft-lel-gift-car-fift-0000.jpg
desc::$50 grants the lucky receiver access to thousands of quality fly products.
itemprice::$50.00
Price::$50.00
pricelevel::$50.00
baseprice::$50.00
Name::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $50
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thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-50-image.jpg
detdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

A $50 Leland Gift Certificate
grants the lucky receiver access to any of our thousands of high quality fly fishing products in our store! What angler wouldn't like that?
featdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

  • Attractively packaged for gift presentation
  • Easy to redeem on our website or in our stores
  • Take the guess work out of what to get a fly angler
  • Can be redeemed for both gear and fly fishing classes.
  • The best selection of fly fishing equipment found anywhere - we promise.
  • Can be sent to the purchaser or directly to the gift recipient
video::
sku::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $50
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Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $600
$600, you just bought them the Rod they wanted.  Tight Loops and Fun Times.
19523
id::19523
thumbnail::gft-lel-gift-car-6hun-0000.jpg
desc::$600, you just bought them the Rod they wanted.  Tight Loops and Fun Times.
itemprice::$600.00
Price::$600.00
pricelevel::$600.00
baseprice::$600.00
Name::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $600
Rod Weight::
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url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Gift-Card/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-600.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-600-image.jpg
detdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

Six hundred dollars of fly fishing Nirvana to someone that
appreciates owning and using the finest fly tackle sounds like the best
thing since Christmas. Well, Christmas comes once a year, so this
Leland Gift Card will also serve to say "I love you" or "Thank you very
much" any time of the year.

featdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

  • Attractively packaged for gift presentation
  • Easy to redeem on our website or in our stores
  • Take the guess work out of what to get a fly angler
  • Can be redeemed for both gear and fly fishing classes.
  • The best selection of fly fishing equipment found anywhere - we promise.
  • Can be sent to the purchaser or directly to the gift recipient
video::
sku::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $600
rating::0.0%
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Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $400
$400 is half of what they need for the rod, reel and line of their dreams! Thanks.
19522
id::19522
thumbnail::gft-lel-gift-car-4hun-0000.jpg
desc::$400 is half of what they need for the rod, reel and line of their dreams! Thanks.
itemprice::$400.00
Price::$400.00
pricelevel::$400.00
baseprice::$400.00
Name::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $400
Rod Weight::
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type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-400-image.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Gift-Card/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-400.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-400-image.jpg
detdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

The $400 Leland Gift Certificate goes a long way to equip your recipient with some fine tackle from the best supplier in the business.  Eager fly fishers love fly fishing gear for presents.

featdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

  • Attractively packaged for gift presentation
  • Easy to redeem on our website or in our stores
  • Take the guess work out of what to get a fly angler
  • Can be redeemed for both gear and fly fishing classes.
  • The best selection of fly fishing equipment found anywhere - we promise.
  • Can be sent to the purchaser or directly to the gift recipient
video::
sku::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $400
rating::0.0%
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
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quantity::0
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Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $100
$100 for a special person for Christmas, a birthday, or a job
well done.
19520
id::19520
thumbnail::gft-lel-gift-car-1hun-0000.jpg
desc::$100 for a special person for Christmas, a birthday, or a job
well done.
itemprice::$100.00
Price::$100.00
pricelevel::$100.00
baseprice::$100.00
Name::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $100
Rod Weight::
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Series::
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Brand::
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type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-100-image.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Gift-Card/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-100.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-100-image.jpg
detdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

A
$100 Gift Certificate is a wonderful way to say
thank you to that special person for Christmas, a birthday, or a job
well done. Easy to purchase on the web or over the phone.
featdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

  • Attractively packaged for gift presentation
  • Easy to redeem on our website or in our stores
  • Take the guess work out of what to get a fly angler
  • Can be redeemed for both gear and fly fishing classes.
  • The best selection of fly fishing equipment found anywhere - we promise.
  • Can be sent to the purchaser or directly to the gift recipient
video::
sku::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $100
rating::0.0%
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::0
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Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $200
$200 really shows you care about what the angler cares about. Gear.
19521
id::19521
thumbnail::gft-lel-gift-car-2hun-0000.jpg
desc::$200 really shows you care about what the angler cares about. Gear.
itemprice::$200.00
Price::$200.00
pricelevel::$200.00
baseprice::$200.00
Name::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $200
Rod Weight::
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Series::
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Brand::
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type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-200-image.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Gift-Card/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-200.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-200-image.jpg
detdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

The Leland $200 Gift Certificate will make any angler ready and excited for the upcoming season.
featdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

  • Attractively packaged for gift presentation
  • Easy to redeem on our website or in our stores
  • Take the guess work out of what to get a fly angler
  • Can be redeemed for both gear and fly fishing classes.
  • The best selection of fly fishing equipment found anywhere - we promise.
  • Can be sent to the purchaser or directly to the gift recipient
video::
sku::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $200
rating::0.0%
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::0
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Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $25
$25 for essential
supplies or new gadgets for the vest.
19121
id::19121
thumbnail::gft-lel-gift-car-twen-0000.jpg
desc::$25 for essential
supplies or new gadgets for the vest.
itemprice::$25.00
Price::$25.00
pricelevel::$25.00
baseprice::$25.00
Name::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $25
Rod Weight::
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type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-25-image.jpg
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/In-Stock/Gift-Card/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-25.html
thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Fishing-Gift-Card-25-image.jpg
detdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

A $25
is just the ticket for your favorite fisherman for essential supplies or new gadgets for the vest. A Leland Gift Certificate makes an angler happy!
featdesc::Leland Gift Cards and Certificates

  • Attractively packaged for gift presentation
  • Easy to redeem on our website or in our stores
  • Take the guess work out of what to get a fly angler
  • Can be redeemed for both gear and fly fishing classes.
  • The best selection of fly fishing equipment found anywhere - we promise.
  • Can be sent to the purchaser or directly to the gift recipient
video::
sku::Leland Fly Fishing Gift Card - $25
rating::0.0%
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::0
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Tips & Techniques Fly Casting - Forming a Loop
The most basic motion in fly casting is a "smooth acceleration to a stop" of the fly rod's handle. This lets the rod and the fly line form a loop.
82
id::82
thumbnail::master.jpg
desc::The most basic motion in fly casting is a "smooth acceleration to a stop" of the fly rod's handle. This lets the rod and the fly line form a loop.
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Name::Tips & Techniques Fly Casting - Forming a Loop
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thumb::http://www.lelandfly.com/master.jpg
detdesc::
The Casting in Fly Casting
Bringing the rod handle to a "stop" after it has been smoothly accelerated.
That is all there is to it.


This "smooth acceleration to a stop," happens in two opposite directions for the basic overhead cast. The basic overhead cast results in the casting loop going away from the target and towards the target in the air.

Smooth Acceleration

This smooth acceleration of the handle results in the fly line, in the air, being pulled straight into a line behind the rod tips path. This smooth acceleration also results in the weight of the line resisting the rods patch and thus storing energy in the form of a bent rod. A bent rod is a expensive spring and a springs only job is to store and release energy. Now we have stored stored energy in a bent rod, we now must release it.


The Stop
The “stop” releases the bent rods stored energy into the fly line. This bend of the rod is transferred in into the line in the same shape that the path of the rod tip takes while unbending, this rod tip path creates the formation of the recognizable, classic casting loop.


The Loop

The Loops direction, that looks like a U shape or elongated candy-cane unrolling in the air, dictates where the fly is carried. The tighter the loop the more accurate the fly is carried. 


Summary

Pull the line straight in the air with the rod. Stop the Rod. Watch the Rod release the energy into the fly-line. Watch the fly line loop drag your fly to the target.  Enjoy.

Want to get started casting Master Casts today? You can, and you don't even need to a "real" fly fishing outfit. In every one of our beginning fly casting classes, we always start with our Master Cast Practice Rod. Although it might look like a cat toy (and it is the greatest cat toy, by the way) our Master Cast Practice Rod is truly the best tool to initially learn how to "pull fly line to a stop" and efficiently form controlled loops. You can even learn in the comfort of your office or home any time you wish. Check out our Master Cast Practice Fly Rod.


Through a hands-on demonstration of fly rod mechanics, fly line construction and the tapering of the leader you will understand the energy transference of your equipment and how it leads to a perfect fly cast. You’ll also learn how proper stance, grip and arm position can increase your casting efficiency and relieve potential fatigue.

As the lesson progresses, we’ll teach you to adjust the shape of your casting loops, as well as their angle and direction, to accommodate varying conditions you may encounter astream. You’ll practice adding and stripping line to increase your casting distance and control slack, and how to “gently alight” your fly on the water.

First Steps of Learning to Fly Cast
• Equipment language and assembly
• The theory of tapered equipment
• Body position, stance, and grip
• "The power of the stop"
• Smooth acceleration of the casting stroke
• Forming Loops, open and tight by having the tip of the rod unbend in a open or tight path.
• Aiming loops, changing direction and plane
• Adding line to the system
• Stop and Drop
• “Gently alight” your fly on the water
• Enjoy


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What is a Tarpon
The Tarpon is a giant among saltwater game fish. Although it is not the largest game fish a fly angler can catch and release, it’s known as “the silver king” throughout the warm lagoons, estuaries, thick mangrove swamps, and saltwater flats of southeastern North America, the Caribbean, and northeastern coast of South America. The tarpon: saltwater royalty. Adult tarpon can easily reach 6 or 7 feet in length and can weigh well over 150 pounds.
79
id::79
thumbnail::125-lpp-tarpon.jpg
desc::The Tarpon is a giant among saltwater game fish. Although it is not the largest game fish a fly angler can catch and release, it’s known as “the silver king” throughout the warm lagoons, estuaries, thick mangrove swamps, and saltwater flats of southeastern North America, the Caribbean, and northeastern coast of South America. The tarpon: saltwater royalty. Adult tarpon can easily reach 6 or 7 feet in length and can weigh well over 150 pounds.
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detdesc::

Megalops atlanticus
Archille Valenciennes, 1847
 

“Then the water split with a hissing sound to let out a great tarpon, long as a door, seemingly as wide, who shot up and up into the air … Five times he sprang toward the blue sky, and as many he plunged down with a thunderous crash. The reel screamed. The line sang. The rod, which I thought stiff as a tree, bent like a willow wand. The silver king came up far astern and sheered to the right in a long, wide curve, leaving behind a white wake.”

 
- Zane Grey, “Byme-by-tarpon.”


The tarpon is a giant among saltwater game fish. Although it is not the largest game fish a fly angler can catch and release, it’s known as “the silver king” throughout the warm lagoons, estuaries, thick mangrove swamps, and saltwater flats of southeastern North America, the Caribbean, and northeastern coast of South America. The tarpon: saltwater royalty. Adult tarpon can easily reach 6 or 7 feet in length and can weigh well over 150 pounds. The Megalops atlanticus is astonishingly powerful and is famous among anglers as the mythological silver beast that can walk on water. Tarpon, once hooked, are known for jumping and thrashing about, sometimes longer than 3 hours, their tails skitting across the flat.

The silver king, although caught by indigenous tribes in the Florida Keys probably as early as the 1700s, was officially discovered and named in 1847 by the French parasitologist Archille Valenciennes during his work with Georges Cuvier on their Natural History of Fish, a whopping 22-volume work published between 1828 and 1848. Valenciennes placed the tarpon within the genus Megalops (Greek for “large eye”) because of its prominent and daunting black eyes. Since the turn of the century, a great body of literature, historical and otherwise, has been developed on the subject of tarpon. Fly fishing for tarpon is now a wildly popular sporting pursuit among anglers from Georgia to the Florida Keys, and tarpon are also highly sought after throughout the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Recently, giant tarpon in the 300 pound class have been caught on fly tackle off the southwestern coast of Africa. Tarpon have been so popular in the Gulf region of the United States that in 1955, by act no. 564 of the Alabama state legislature, the “fighting tarpon” became the state’s official saltwater fish.

Rolling and dashing through skinny saltwater flats and estuaries tarpon inhabit a range of 49°N - 44°s, 99°w - 14°e, but they have been recorded as far north as Nova Scotia, along the Atlantic coast of Southern France, and as far south as Argentina. The tarpon uses the thin water of the saltwater flats to feed on smaller baitfish and crustaceans. The deeper water of the open ocean is the tarpon’s spawning grounds. The tarpon does have a counterpart native to the Pacific Ocean (Megalops cyprinoids or Indo-Pacific tarpon), but this tarpon is a much smaller fish and not prized among fly anglers.

Tarpon are an ancient fish that has survived 125 million years of evolutionary tumult. One of the oldest living species in the ocean, the tarpon carries an almost otherworldly presence. Just catching a glimpse of a rolling school of giant tarpon is an intimidating sight even to the most confident fly angler. The tarpon’s huge bucket-like jaws and large black eyes compliment its thick, powerful body. When tarpon clear the top water during a jump, their massive set of mirror-polished scales clatter and clack audibly with the tremendous force of the maneuver. The tarpon’s fins are a dark, steely gray and the tail is deeply forked, providing the silver king with a tremendous amount of underwater leverage and speed.
According to historical accounts dating from the late 1800s, anglers have been able to catch tarpon on artificial flies with reasonable success. Since then fly fishing for tarpon has steadily increased in popularity owing to rousing tales of madly fighting fish from such popular authors as Zane Grey and, more recently, Lefty Kreh. The rising interest in saltwater fly fishing, coupled with tarpon-specific articles and books by other fly fishing greats have fueled the rush to master tarpon on a fly. Today, there is now an extensive network of guides fly fishing exclusively for tarpon from Florida to South America, and a number of tournaments and other competitions celebrating fly fishing for tarpon have also cropped up in recent years.

Fly anglers should understand that there are three classes or sizes of tarpon: baby tarpon, midsize tarpon, and giant tarpon. Baby tarpon range from 5 to 40 pounds, midsize tarpon fill the 50 to 80 pound class, and the giant tarpon weighs in at an astonishing 100+ pounds. Anglers looking to chase tarpon on the fly should think seriously about which weight class they are after before they gear up and head on that tarpon trip of a lifetime. Smaller tarpon are often found cruising on the edges of saltwater flats and in brackish inland estuaries and mangrove swamps. Larger tarpon are usually found cruising and rolling in saltwater flats.

Baby and midsize tarpon offer quite a fighting challenge on an 8 weight or 9 weight outfit. Giant tarpon, however, require much heavier 11 or 12 weight outfits. Fast action fly fishing rods are popular among tarpon anglers for their ability to assist the caster in creating the long, accurate casts (often into heavy wind) required when sight casting for tarpon. It’s important to have top-notch fishing tools when stalking tarpon of any size in the saltwater flats; an angler, even on the best day, may only get 3 or 4 good casts at fish!

Fly Rods
Loop Cross S1
Loop Cross S1 12 Weight Tarpon Rod

As with any saltwater flats game fish, spotting a tarpon can be a challenge. Sunny conditions on saltwater flats can produce some of the world’s most visually taxing conditions, and the sheer brightness of the glare on the water can be overwhelming. A good pair of polarized sunglasses with copper photochromatic lenses can – on some days – be considered the saltwater fly angler’s most useful fishing tool. Yellow photochromatic lenses can be useful for morning light conditions, so if you plan to fish from dawn until dusk, consider two pairs of shades. (Experience in spotting tarpon, or a guide perched atop the polling platform of a specialized flats skiff will also help!)

All Day Polarized Sunglasses
Low Light Polarized Sunglasses

There is a recent movement among saltwater fly anglers who chase tarpon to “dredge” deeper channels and estuaries for tarpon of all size classes. This dredging method is anchored in common blind casting techniques familiar to striped bass fly anglers of the North American coasts. Dredging for tarpon with a sinking line can be productive, but remains a relatively new and unproven tactic in the quiver of tarpon fly fishers.

Deep Water Fly Line

Perhaps the easiest way to recognize the location of a single, pair, or school of tarpon is by the characteristic “rolling” action the species exhibits. The tarpon is equipped with a swim bladder, allowing them to survive and thrive in brackish swamps and saltwater flats as well as the open ocean. Tarpon will periodically appear at the water’s surface to take in a breath, filling their swim bladder before rolling back into the salty depths. This process, although graceful, can cause quite a stir. Fly anglers should be on the lookout for large boils and bubbles in the top water accompanied by a silvery flash – this is likely a rolling tarpon.

Large tarpon in saltwater flats will aggressively chase and take a well-presented fly, adding to the species’ storied place in saltwater game fish mythology. Tarpon will respond energetically to a fly moving directly away from them. Creating this effect can be achieved with a hook cast or a reach cast, both practiced techniques used by freshwater fly anglers. Saltwater flats can offer a fly angler some of the most challenging casting conditions on earth. Long, tuned, and accurate casts of 60 to 70 feet are often necessary. Once the fly is properly presented to the tarpon, the stripping game is on. Anglers will invariably disagree on which are the most effective methods for retrieving the fly when fly fishing for tarpon in the saltwater flats. In one conversation on the subject, one might hear “fast, slow, smooth, jerky” … often in the same breath. Never fear, a local guide will often know just how to play and move a fly to produce results; listen to what they have to say! Be patient though, as tarpon have been known to chase a well-presented and retrieved fly all the way to the boat before striking!

Brackish inland estuaries and mangrove swamps offer saltwater fly anglers amazing chances to cast to, catch and release baby tarpon. Some canal systems – especially in southwest Florida – provide excellent shelter for juvenile tarpon, even through the slow winter months. When fishing these environments, work streamers as close to the mangrove roots as possible. As the tide goes out, more and more of these mangrove roots will be exposed, leaving behind an excellent feeding shelf for baby tarpon. Remember: well-presented flies will move silver kings!



Simply hooking a tarpon can be an operatic experience in itself. The tarpon’s mouth is extremely hard and has been likened to tough construction-grade concrete. Subsequently, successful hook sets are almost more challenging than actually getting an aggressive tarpon to take a well-presented fly. Practice in firm and confident strip setting techniques is extremely important when fly fishing for tarpon. When a tarpon finally chomps the fly, and the hook is set, the fish will put on an impressive aerial acrobatics show. Seasoned tarpon anglers, when trading notes on a day’s work, will often proudly include the number of “fish jumped” as well as the number of fish landed. Tarpon are consistently observed jumping 3 or 4 feet above the water after a hook up. During this aggressive jumping and thrashing, fly, fly line, and tippet are at their most vulnerable point. It is extremely important to protect rigging and tackle by keeping the rod tip as low as possible during the initial few jumps. This process is called “bowing” to the fish, and it’s no secret, bowing to the silver king will minimize the chance of losing a tarpon to a snapped line or leader.

Tarpon fly anglers presented with the challenge of keeping a tail-walking silver king on the line have developed a number of rigging techniques designed to stand up to what many think are the toughest and wildest fighters in the salt. Taking a nod from the rigging standards employed by bill fish and tuna anglers, anglers in hot pursuit of monster tarpon have experimented with extremely complex, heavy rigs. The standard 9 foot tarpon leader, however, consists of a heavy 60 pound butt section, a section of 16 to 20 class tippet, and finally a short, one foot section of 60 to 100 pound mono shock tippet. This rig is the standard for many medium to large tarpon, but there are other options for the really large fish. Be sure to ask your local fly shop about the leaders you should have ready to go before you board the plane for your chosen tropical tarpon destination. Keeping this general rigging rule for tarpon fishing can be helpful: When traveling to far-flung destinations, bring your rigging with you. When traveling to the Florida Keys, a good guide should provide all you need to jump and land the tarpon of your dreams.

Tarpon Leaders

Do not head to the saltwater flats in search of tarpon armed with a sub-standard fly reel. The stress a tarpon can place on even the strongest rods, lines, and leaders is truly impressive – to say the very least. The fly reel is the mechanical link for your connection to the fish and if it goes south, so does your time on the water. Be sure to find a reel with an iron-clad drag system and a large arbor for easy line pick up. The reel should also be large enough to store between 200 and 250 yards of backing; if you find yourself connected to a rolling fish, you’ll use it.

Ultimate Tarpon Fly Reel

When at home along the saltwater flats, tarpon will hunt and feed mostly on baitfish. When migrating and spawning, tarpon are more likely to feed instinctively on smaller crustaceans. Regardless of the situation, however, tarpon will aggressively chase a well-presented fly. Large streamer patterns are the most effective flies for tarpon of all sizes, but some smaller crab and shrimp patterns will yield good results on days when the silver kings are on the move or in a more selective mood.

A favorite classic tarpon fly from Florida to the Bahamas is the Cockroach, developed by saltwater fly fishing legend Lefty Kreh. Other proven tarpon flies include Lefty’s Deceiver, the Clouser Minnow, and the Sea Habit. When tarpon are migrating or on the spawn, the Tarpon Shrimp, Tarpon Crab, and the Seaducer are another trio of useful tarpon flies to have on hand, and the Campeche Special is a brilliant fly for baby tarpon in the mangroves of Mexico’s Gulf Coast.

Tarpon offer fly anglers a unique challenge; discovering the proper blend of power, strategy, concentration, and finesse is crucial when on the flats or in the brackish water in search of rolling tarpon. The majesty of the tarpon survives in a heap of literature from Grey to Kreh, and with good reason. Holding court, the tarpon truly is the silver king of the flats, offering excited anglers throughout the tropics the sport, the drama, the epic struggle, and the joy of the great kings of mythology.

                                                           - Evan P. LeBon  
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Rio: Riomax Tippet Material, Clear, 3 kg
Medium-stiff tippet. Great for steelhead and bones.
7944
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Name::Rio: Riomax Tippet Material, Clear, 3 kg
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detdesc::RioMax is a medium stiff, ultra clear tippet material with 35% elongation and is very easy to knot. Perfect for all anadromous species, and for saltwater fly fishing, especially bonefish. This tippet material outlasts and out-tests any other monofilament. It is completely reliable. Several sizes are rated by International Game Fish Association break strength classes to meet record setting specifications.
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