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PERFECT SETUP - ISLAMORADA TARPON

CAMP WALKER

​Dating back to the time of dinosaurs, tarpon are one of the most coveted fish in salt water. For years, flats anglers have marveled not only at the beauty and sheer strength of the silver king, but also at how they bust out of the water, contorting their bodies and shaking their jaw, attempting to rid their monstrous mouth of a lucky angler’s fly. How do you get to the point of hooking one of these marvelous creatures?! Well, just as a paleontologist must have specific tools to study the fossils of dinosaurs, an angler fishing for tarpon must have the right tackle to land a tarpon on fly.

The SALT 11wt provides anglers with a wide range of castability. The strong backbone of the rod provides anglers with the strength to wait longer on their back cast which loads the rod and transfers energy so the line punches through the strong east/southeasterly breeze commonly felt here in the Florida Keys on the oceanside. That’s where you’ll find strings of migrating tarpon in the spring & summertime in the Keys. The Yin&Yang of this rod is also most felt in the angler’s hand when slicked out conditions in the backcountry require the lightest of presentation to a laid-up tarpon, floating so high in the water column that it’s tail is protruding the water line. I have yet to find a condition on the water in which the Sage
SALT has not excelled, especially when paired with a RIO Tarpon Taper 11wt.

Building not only rods but reels as well has allowed Sage to ensure a beautifully balanced setup. Their setup is immensely comfortable for my clients to hold while they await their next opportunity at a tarpon on the bow of my skiff. Holding a balanced rod and reel is far less fatiguing to an anglers arm which enables a smoother and more accurate cast and in the
end equals more bites and….tarpon in the air! Knowing more fish will be connected to the end of your leader, Sage has constructed a reel in the 6212 that gives an angler full control of one of the smoothest drags I have ever fished. The robust drag knob allows anglers to adjust their drag in the heat of the battle with ease. The drag knob has 40 dented drag settings all encompassed in simply one rotation of the knob. As a guide, I am able to hand my clients a setup that has the drag set at the same amount of pounds of tension every time they step up on the bow. Also, this feature makes my job very easy to communicate just how much of an increase in the drag I would like my angler to adjust to while in the middle of an intense fight with a tarpon. The widening of the spool rim allows my anglers the ability to palm the spool to add extra pressure to the fish when needed — like during the final stages of landing a tarpon, right before the face grab and high fives!

Written by: Sage Team / Capt. Camp Walker - Catalyst Charters, Islamorada, Florida Keys
Edited by: his beautiful wife, Michelle