Tips On a 12 wt

#1
I've been in contact with a guide in Florida about booking a tarpon trip. He suggests that casting a 12 wt accurately at least 80 feet - in the wind - is essential. I've been flats fishing before but with a 7 wt for bones. Any of you have experience with a 12? Is it really difficult? I can cast my 8/9 switch rod but that is set up way differently.
Any thoughts??
 

The T.O. Show

Buenos Hatches Ese
#2
It's an upper body workout, but I'm not sure difficult is the right word. It's just different. If you can throw double hauls on an smaller rod okay then I'm sure you can translate that to a bigger one with a some practice. If the flies you are casting aren't too heavy/bulky then you probably won't have too much trouble with it. I'm an average caster, and I can throw EP baitfish patterns and things like that around 80'. The 12" musky flies I fished last weekend though, not a chance.

I think every big fish I've ever caught I was told I needed to be able to shoot a minimum of 80' of line in the wind. I haven't found that to be true, but I also haven't caught a tarpon yet. If the guide can't get you eats inside 80' then maybe consider another guide.
 

Albula

Active Member
#3
I enjoy having someone on the front of the skiff who can throw a 12 weight 80 or more feet in the wind because it means they can usually cast quickly and accurately at 40 to 50 feet on a moments notice. Seems that is more the distance that most fish are hooked. Often when there is the inevitable glare you have a hard time seeing fish any farther away. A missed shot at 80 feet (your target area is about the size of a soccer ball) means you have to strip like crazy to have time to pick up the line and make a reasonably effective second cast before the fish bounce off the boat. A better alternative is to wait for a cast you know you can make. Just like the old shampoo commercial says "you only get one chance to make a first impression." Also someone who becomes comfortable with a 12 weight finds the 10 or 11 weight I put in their hands for Keys fish fairly easy to cast.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#4
I used a 12-weight when fishing for Dorado off Baja. The largest rod I had used before was a 9-weight for salmon. I didn't find the 12 all that difficult to cast and we were told the same thing about making sure we could cast long distances into the wind -- that wasn't the case in the least. We caught dozens of fish without making olympic length casts. Which is good because, even with practice, I couldn't (and still can't) cast a line 80 feet into the wind.
 

chief

Active Member
#5
In my opinion a 12wt is not that much fun to cast. As Albula describes, a 10wt or 11wt is often enough rod for most of the fishing down there (or most saltwater destinations). That being said, most of us who grew up in trout/steelhead country need to learn a new casting style when transitioning to the bigger saltwater rods. It is not really more difficult, but you need to use more body motion and less arm/wrist. You will wear out your shoulder pretty quickly if you try and cast a 12wt like a trout rod.
 

chief

Active Member
#6
I've been in contact with a guide in Florida about booking a tarpon trip. He suggests that casting a 12 wt accurately at least 80 feet - in the wind - is essential. I've been flats fishing before but with a 7 wt for bones. Any of you have experience with a 12? Is it really difficult? I can cast my 8/9 switch rod but that is set up way differently.
Any thoughts??
These videos might help you prepare - https://anglingcompany.com/videos/
 
#7
I just returned from Christmas Island. The rods of choice were 8 wt. for bonefish and 12 wt. for nearly everything else. I've also been to Baja six times where the choices range from 10 wt. through 12 wt. The thought of casting a 12 wt. quite frankly, scares most people because it's a big rod. What I have found, as in almost all other cases, is that it isn't any more difficult than any other rod providing you have the right line. We tend to really lay into a 12 wt. because psychologically it requires more power and those who fly fish regularly know that doing so reduces the effectiveness of the cast. Yes, the swing weight is greater because the the rod and reel weight but the casting stroke should be the same. When you are practicing, try to use the same easy stroke. It might surprise you.

When I first got down there, I was using an older Tarpon line and I couldn't get the desired distance. SO, I changed the line to a spare that I brought and found that it cast much better. I don't really know how far I was casting but it was easily 60' to 70' and the wind hardly ever stopped blowing. I am not a champion caster by any stretch but it was effective and I caught fish.
 
#8
I think I’m going to go to a place like Pacific Fly Fishers and look into a demo/rental arrangement to practice with. The guide supplies the rod so I’m not looking to buy one
Thanks everyone for the replies
 
#9
Maybe this is not appropriate for tarpon fishing. For heavy weight single hand rods, I have changed to 2 hand rods like Meiser 909’s.
 
#10
I just returned from Christmas Island. The rods of choice were 8 wt. for bonefish and 12 wt. for nearly everything else. I've also been to Baja six times where the choices range from 10 wt. through 12 wt. The thought of casting a 12 wt. quite frankly, scares most people because it's a big rod. What I have found, as in almost all other cases, is that it isn't any more difficult than any other rod providing you have the right line. We tend to really lay into a 12 wt. because psychologically it requires more power and those who fly fish regularly know that doing so reduces the effectiveness of the cast. Yes, the swing weight is greater because the the rod and reel weight but the casting stroke should be the same. When you are practicing, try to use the same easy stroke. It might surprise you.

When I first got down there, I was using an older Tarpon line and I couldn't get the desired distance. SO, I changed the line to a spare that I brought and found that it cast much better. I don't really know how far I was casting but it was easily 60' to 70' and the wind hardly ever stopped blowing. I am not a champion caster by any stretch but it was effective and I caught fish.
When are we going to see a report Steve? Looking forward to it!
 

DimeBrite

Banned or parked
#12
Don't be intimidated, you can cast a 11 or 12 weight. But... practice with your own tarpon set-up before your trip will dramatically improve your odds of success. Select 2 or 3 tarpon lines (long taper floater, short head floater, intermediate sinking line). Purchase a quality 11/12 weight reel and an extra spool to hold the lines and fight the tarpon. Nautilus CCFX2 Silver King or Monster NVG 12 reels are good choices. Then visit a fly shop and start casting some tarpon rods in 10, 11 and 12 weights. Test cast for accuracy, a quick delivery at short and mid range. You really only need to deliver the fly 50-60 feet of it is windy (a bit longer on calmer days). Your new rod must load and deliver the fly quickly for the shorter casts in the 25-45 foot range. A rod with power in the lower sections and a fast loading tip works best for most of us part time tarpon anglers. For this reason, I really recommend casting the Loomis NRX in 10, 11, 12 weights for tarpon.
To cast a 12 weight comfortably for distance you need to have a smooth double haul cast. Lengthen your casting stroke to load the rod effectively, with an acceleration to a stop at the beginning and end of the stroke. Keep the loops tight to cut into the breeze. Do not attempt to overpower the tarpon rod, it will hinder your casting. Practice, practice, practice. Casting on grass is too easy. Next practice casting on an uneven rocking surface like a balance exercise half ball trainer to simulate the boat rocking. Stand on a chair to simulate the casting platform. Strengthen foot and lower leg muscles. Practice line management, forming neat loops on the deck. Really practice the saltwater quick cast. Have fun!

I've been in contact with a guide in Florida about booking a tarpon trip. He suggests that casting a 12 wt accurately at least 80 feet - in the wind - is essential. I've been flats fishing before but with a 7 wt for bones. Any of you have experience with a 12? Is it really difficult? I can cast my 8/9 switch rod but that is set up way differently.
Any thoughts??
 

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