In the summer issue of Southern Culture on the Fly, Keys guide Capt. Joel Dickey shares his tarpon rig with readers. Dickey shuns the “traditionalist” notion that tarpon should only be fought using 16 and 20-pound test leaders and instead suggests a simple 60-pound mono butt section with a 50 to 60-pound terminal section, connected by a six-turn blood knot.
“Oh, I can hear the polyester crinkling now,” Dickey writes. “Not to mention statements like, ‘that’s not sporting.’ To me, what’s not ‘sporting’ is fighting a 150-pound fish for hours on end just to say you caught it on 16- or 20-pound test, only to release the tarpon, which dies of exhaustion minutes later as you make your way to the next spot.”