Tackle for Tarpon
The tackle usually employed is a one-piece rod of lancewood, split bamboo or greenheart with removable butt, double guides and agate tip. The usual length is about six feet six inches, and the weight is about twelve or thirteen ounces for the tip and about the same for the butt. Quite large tarpon have been taken on rods with a six ounce tip, and No. 9 twisted linen line, which will stand a strain of only eighteen or twenty pounds, and this is the tackle required by the Aransas Pass Tarpon Club, of Aransas Pass, Texas, but the really large tarpon are not taken on such tackle, or to be more exact they are not held by it. The standard lines are from 21 to 30 thread linen, and will stand from forty-two to sixty pounds strain. The reel must be a tarpon reel of rubber and German silver, holding 250 yards of wet line.
It should have a handle drag, which is described elsewhere, and this should be regulated to a pull of about eight pounds. The reel should be of high quality. The hooks used should be those made for such fishing. The Van Vleck with forked barb is a favorite, and there are others of the regular pattern that are all right." A wire leader, attached to the line by a strong barrel swivel is used and the first ten feet of line should be double. It is well to make some provision for the sharks that inhabit the same water with the tarpon, and are likely to get fast. For this purpose a six inch cotton line is inserted between the leader and the hook, or the entire leader may be of cotton wound to within six inches of the hook with copper wire. The tarpon swallows the bait and is hooked deep so that the unprotected cotton is well inside his mouth but where it cannot be cut by his boney jaws. The shark, if he takes the bait, snaps right shut on the leader and will thus sever the cotton line. In case you only expect to fish a few days it is better to rent tackle, as tarpon tackle is very costly.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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