Sunday Classic / Tarpon On The 4 Weight

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The Silver King Photo by Louis Cahill

Let me be clear on this…I am not a dumb ass. Well, at least not a big enough dumb ass to try and catch a tarpon on a four weight. But I did buy a new four weight reel the other day and a ten weight line. So I sat down to line up the two reels, which is my cat’s favorite thing in the world, and something occurred to me. I rig my four weight for tarpon. What I mean by that is that I use the same system for attaching my fly line to the backing that I learned when I started saltwater fly fishing.

Before I started fishing salt I attached my line to the backing with a nail knot, like I learned to as a kid. Now I spend a lot more time whipping a loop on the back of my fly line with tying thread and superglue. Then I spend even more time tying a double Bimini twist in my backing and connecting loop to loop. But why?

Well, it’s clearly a stronger connection but do I need that on a four weight trout rod? It sure doesn’t hurt when you find yourself connected to a ten pound trout on your four weight. You will be seeing that backing, I promise. Still, it’s clearly overkill. It comes back through your guides smoother and that’s nice, but still not a big deal. Here’s my reasoning, and this is why I use this method on all my reels.

First, it’s just better. Second, and most importantly, I only change that ten weight line once a year, some times not even that. Why let the knot I trust to hold a tarpon be the first knot of it’s kind I have tied in a year? Knot skills are like anything else, use it or loose it. So when I rig up, I rig for tarpon, every time. I don’t know if I land more tarpon but if I lose a four weight line I’ll be very surprised.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Tarpon On The 4 Weight

  1. I use 30# or 50# braided mono(depending on size of fly line) looped with a double blind splice and a spot of super glue. The fly line is threaded into the mono(about 6″) and two nail knots w/super glue near the end. This is the old Chinese finger thing. It will never fail and is smooth as silk thru the guides. I use a braided backing and do the same double blind splice for a loop, thus no knots.

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