Sheila and Jerry from Pasadena, Maryland, ask two interesting tarpon questions:
Q 1) Why do many tarpon fishermen recommend an intermediate or slow-sinking line? 2) I have a Teeny 350 line, but I have trouble getting a good backcast. Can you help?There are reasons why an intermediate or slow-sinking line is recommended for giant tarpon fishing. The best height in the water column to retrieve a fly for a tarpon is at its swimming depth, so you need to get the fly down in the water column. A floater will often tend to keep the fly high, so the tarpon has to rise to get it - which, in my experience, does sometimes happen. However, tarpon almost never descend to take a fly, so an intermediate or slow-sinking line sinks the fly but usually not too deep. A more important reason is floating grass. All too often where you find tarpon, you find strands of grass floating on the surface. If you cast a floating line over the grass and begin a retrieve, the grass is swept down the line and tangles in the leader or fly. This results in refusal by the tarpon. But grass will slowly slide off during the retrieve on a slow-sinking or intermediate line, unless the line falls in the exact middle of a strand of grass. There is often wind on the flats, which can affect your casting. An intermediate or slow-sinking line is thinner and heavier for its diameter and offers much less resistance in the wind - yet another benefit of these lines.Your 350-grain Teeny line has a level 30-foot sinking head. Unless you are a very good caster, it is often difficult to get the 30-foot sinking head up easily for a backcast. A Teeny 300 line has a 27-foot head and many people find this length easier to get above the surface for a backcast. Since your line has 30 feet of level line, try chopping off a foot or two at a time, until you arrive at a length you can comfortably get out of the water. You can reduce the length to about 24 feet before you really begin to affect the casting characteristics of the lineHAVE A QUESTION FOR LEFTY?
Questions in this column are selected on the basis of general interest. The number of questions submitted is too great to permit publication of all of them or for Lefty Kreh to respond individually to each correspondent.