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  1. #1
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    Yucatan tarpon and snook, with TR!

    So I'm heading to Merida/Chicxulub Pto/Isla Mujeres for eighteen days next month. Looking forward to exploring a bunch, hoping to start spending winters there in ~5 years [sorry skiers ]. Have a tour to a bunch of Mayan ruins and a hacienda one day; and a five-day Spanish class.

    Although I haven't fished much in years, when I saw this trip I had to bite [hahaha]. It's about an hour drive to the end of the road, a 20-30 minute panga trip down to coast to a Nature Preserve empty of people and full of birds, flamingos and crocs....and tarpon and snook. The guide is a big spin caster, with top level equipment included.

    I'm trying to figure out how much effort I should put in to putting a fly rig together for the trip. I haven't found anywhere to rent, even though Merida is a half hour from the coast and over a million people. One guide bud offered to lend me a rig, but he casually mentioned it's a $1200 rod, ++, Most of the tarpon sound like they are in the 10-30 pound range, with some bigger as well. Should I look at investing in a 9 or 10 wt to pack along for the whole trip and only using one day? The TFO Pro II series worth a look?

    Any other insights? Thanks!

    Here's a photo of my guide yesterday, his personal best at 63#. On 30# braid and 40# leader, makes me think he might know what he's doing a bit...

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    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  2. #2
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    I had a similar predicament many years ago and bought a TFO 9 that casts a 10 line, with a Reddington Chinese real, and I use it only every couple years. It still casts and works really well, but I just don't fish for tarpon/snook/stripers/big bonefish that often that are big enough to not use my 8. If I was always guided, I'd just use the guide's stuff. Hard to know how many times you'd use it in the future, and if you like owning these sorts of things. I kinda like owning things.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    I had a similar predicament many years ago and bought a TFO 9 that casts a 10 line, with a Reddington Chinese real, and I use it only every couple years. It still casts and works really well, but I just don't fish for tarpon/snook/stripers/big bonefish that often that are big enough to not use my 8. If I was always guided, I'd just use the guide's stuff. Hard to know how many times you'd use it in the future, and if you like owning these sorts of things. I kinda like owning things.
    Thanks, good info. Guide only knows and provides spinning gear. Trying to weigh spin casting all day vs investing in a setup like you describe.
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  4. #4
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    Tye, I have a brand new Ross reel you can use. It is a Salt Water 13 Wt.

    Unfortunately I have not yet bought the rod or lines.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not bunion View Post
    Tye, I have a brand new Ross reel you can use. It is a Salt Water 13 Wt.

    Unfortunately I have not yet bought the rod or lines.
    Thanks R! Thinking 10, maybe 9 wt...lots of mangrove fishing. You are welcome to join, the boat's paid for.
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye 1on View Post
    One guide bud offered to lend me a rig, but he casually mentioned it's a $1200 rod, ++, Most of the tarpon sound like they are in the 10-30 pound range, with some bigger as well. Should I look at investing in a 9 or 10 wt to pack along for the whole trip and only using one day? The TFO Pro II series worth a look?
    But is the friend's rod under warranty? If he can confirm that, I would think about borrowing it because then you are risking more like $75 to replace rather than $1200.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Mike View Post
    But is the friend's rod under warranty? If he can confirm that, I would think about borrowing it because then you are risking more like $75 to replace rather than $1200.
    He said it's 'insured'...not sure what that means, but ya might be worth another discussion...
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  8. #8
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    You should borrow a rod. I would've for my first trip like this. That will tell you more about how addicted you'll be. Also, on a couple of our guided trips, we've asked for a spinning rod to fling out the back while the guy in front casts. Why not? Well 'cuz it's boring, we don't do it anymore. It's boring 'cuz it's stupid easy.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  9. #9
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    I have a TFO TiCRX 9 weight that I used on a couple trips to Belize, I traded up and it is sitting in moth balls, Send me an address and I will throw it in the mail. Next time I am up at our place in Irwin we can hook up and you can buy me and Schwerty a beer.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    I have a TFO TiCRX 9 weight that I used on a couple trips to Belize, I traded up and it is sitting in moth balls, Send me an address and I will throw it in the mail. Next time I am up at our place in Irwin we can hook up and you can buy me and Schwerty a beer.
    Damn leeee you're the MAN! I'll shoot you a note, will you be up here before mid-october? Heck yes i'll cover beers, whiskey, dibbsbait, etc...

    Thanks! I was tempted to just stick with his spinning gear, but this will be a hoot!
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye 1on View Post
    Damn leeee you're the MAN! I'll shoot you a note, will you be up here before mid-october? Heck yes i'll cover beers, whiskey, dibbsbait, etc...

    Thanks! I was tempted to just stick with his spinning gear, but this will be a hoot!
    It will most likely be later in the year, more like November. And you haven't lived until you have had a baby poon on a 9 weight. I am always glad to help get some else hooked on my addiction. I may have a an old cabelas reel spooled up too, I will check.
    Looking forward to the beers/whiskeys!
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  12. #12
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    Yucatan tarpon and snook, TR to follow

    Tye, tepee, I have that exact rod. I could ship you the reel Iíve got with the 10 wt. SA saltwater taper on it.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Tye, tepee, I have that exact rod. I could ship you the reel Iíve got with the 10 wt. SA saltwater taper on it.
    wow, thanks pluggy!!! Telee's checking his basement for a reel, if there's not one hiding there, I'll let you know! Muchismo gracias!
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  14. #14
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tye1 I got you covered. I will get it in the mail tomorrow. You might want to check the line on the reel. Its been a while since its been used.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  15. #15
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    Ok, sounds like youíre set, tye. Being that itís a 1 day trip, (w/ a non-fly fishing guide), I would go to a shop and have them put on a tarpon leader, (attached to a butt section), then buy one pre-built up spare leader, and a spool of 40 lb shock tippet. This way, if the leader gets effed up, you tie the new one on, and if the shock gets chewed down you can put a new chunk in its place. Or just learn a slim beauty.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  16. #16
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    We talked about that too via PM, when you get down there, you wont find shit in the way of leader, tippet, flies, etc., its best to go fully prepared.
    Also one small (or not so small) detail I forgot, I am left handed so the reel is set up for right hand retrieve. You may want to take that with you to the fly shop as well and have them swap it and respool.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    You may want to take that with you to the fly shop as well and have them swap it and respool.
    Or you could ask yourself if youíd like to reel in 100 yds of backing with your non dominant hand.
    Keep it right handed. Itís the right way.

  18. #18
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    south bend made a reel that addresses that issue
    or you can just suck at salt water and not get em
    i got both
    enjoy salt life
    i do
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye 1on View Post
    Thanks R! Thinking 10, maybe 9 wt...lots of mangrove fishing. You are welcome to join, the boat's paid for.
    I would love to but the schedule is Effed right now. Lerch was telling me about a place he has been going down yonder for baby Tarpon in February.

    If you like it enough maybe a re-match.....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underoos View Post
    Or you could ask yourself if you’d like to reel in 100 yds of backing with your non dominant hand.
    Keep it right handed. It’s the right way.
    I have tried it both ways and have determined I suck slightly less with my non dominant hand on the reel. That being said my guide buddies completely agree with you.
    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not bunion View Post
    I would love to but the schedule is Effed right now. Lerch was telling me about a place he has been going down yonder for baby Tarpon in February.

    If you like it enough maybe a re-match.....
    I'm planning on heading back for the next few falls to fine-tune the retirement planning. He used to go down to Punta Allen, south of Cancun/Tulum. This is the opposite side of the Yucatan. Yes, there will be a guest room.

    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Ok, sounds like youíre set, tye. Being that itís a 1 day trip, (w/ a non-fly fishing guide), I would go to a shop and have them put on a tarpon leader, (attached to a butt section), then buy one pre-built up spare leader, and a spool of 40 lb shock tippet. This way, if the leader gets effed up, you tie the new one on, and if the shock gets chewed down you can put a new chunk in its place. Or just learn a slim beauty.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Good plan, thanks again!!

    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    I have tried it both ways and have determined I suck slightly less with my non dominant hand on the reel. That being said my guide buddies completely agree with you.
    Interesting. I'll try it as is and see how it feels.
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  22. #22
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    If you have never fished salt, remember to try to keep the reel out of the water, and, regardless, give rod and reel a good rinsing of fresh water at the end of the day. Salt water will eff up a reel pretty quick, and an effed up reel in some backwater spot in Mexico will eff up a fishing trip pretty quick.

  23. #23
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    Trip looks cool as hell, have fun with it. Have you cast a 10wt before? It'll trash your arms pretty quick. I'd think about doing two half days instead of a full.

    With a panga, they have these massive anchors in the front that love to snag your line. Maybe bring a bucket to hold line? I prefer Daiwa Saltiga in a 40# for backing. Maybe even set up the 9wt with a shooting head. That can close the distance between the panga and the mangrove. Never seen anyone pole a panga through a mangrove, and they don't like to get those things too shallow.

    Someone else may be able to chime in on this, but I'd do a little legwork and consider hiring a local panga to do the trip. I did a half day in Bocas Del Toro this way for $70. We took all our drinks and food. This guy isn't going to be able to help you with your casting or rigging. He can get you near fish, but chances are he fishes bait while you cast, so you get to watch him reel fish in all day while you beat the water. You could always do a short trip with him and come back in a non-fishing panga. For $395, I'd be expecting him to hand a rod to me when he hooks up.

    The last case for the two half days is the sun. Tuck in under the canopy on the panga while traveling back and forth to the fish. There are packing lists for fishing salt. These will have things you haven't thought of, but you can pick and choose.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BS720 View Post
    Trip looks cool as hell, have fun with it. Have you cast a 10wt before? It'll trash your arms pretty quick. I'd think about doing two half days instead of a full.

    With a panga, they have these massive anchors in the front that love to snag your line. Maybe bring a bucket to hold line? I prefer Daiwa Saltiga in a 40# for backing. Maybe even set up the 9wt with a shooting head. That can close the distance between the panga and the mangrove. Never seen anyone pole a panga through a mangrove, and they don't like to get those things too shallow.

    Someone else may be able to chime in on this, but I'd do a little legwork and consider hiring a local panga to do the trip. I did a half day in Bocas Del Toro this way for $70. We took all our drinks and food. This guy isn't going to be able to help you with your casting or rigging. He can get you near fish, but chances are he fishes bait while you cast, so you get to watch him reel fish in all day while you beat the water. You could always do a short trip with him and come back in a non-fishing panga. For $395, I'd be expecting him to hand a rod to me when he hooks up.

    The last case for the two half days is the sun. Tuck in under the canopy on the panga while traveling back and forth to the fish. There are packing lists for fishing salt. These will have things you haven't thought of, but you can pick and choose.
    Actually a 9' 9wt. I've been practicing in the back yard a bit, definitely more work than a 8' 6wt, but not too hefty. I may have misspoken, itt may be less of a panga and more fishing oriented. Some footage he sent me for his upcoming TV show [that i had to swear not to share] showed a boat with a forward platform being poled through a variety of channels through the mangroves.

    I may well DIY/self guide when I'm back next year, but am looking forward to picking the guide's brain a bunch on this trip. I booked the first reservation after he announced the new area, and it was $345 then, which doesn't feel too bad for a full day with lunch, two hours of driving, etc etc.

    Ya it's going to be sunny and hot, unless it's cloudy and hot. That's probably part of the reason he picks me up at 5am and we're pretty much wrapped up by noon. That and the winds tend to pick up in the afternoons. Just a couple of weeks away, stoked!
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  25. #25
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    Watch those cloudy days as well Tye, the rays are happenning whether it's sunny or cloudy and many people, well some people...don't realize that and get caught without. Yeah, ditto your thoughts....9wt...the way to go..($.01), but if your flies aren't that heavy/big an 8wt can be a lot of fun. So much fun. Sun Gloves and Gaiter and, of course...Glasses and cap.

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