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Tackle to Bring

Fly/plug options are many. This is an attempt to keep it as simple as possible and still cover the basic needs.  Ideally, for both fly and spin fishing, you would have three sets of equipment rigged and ready to cast in the boat so you are prepared for the variety of opportunities that can arise: light (bonefish), medium (snook, jacks, permit), and heavy (tarpon or trolling).

Spin Equipment

(Penn model reels are only listed as an example and the model numbers may be outdated – many manufacturers make similar models that accomplish what’s needed)

Light: Penn4300SS reel w/ 8# line & matching rod

Medium: Penn4400SS reel w/ 12# line & matching rod

Heavy: Penn7500SS reel w/ 30# braided line & matching rod that can handle 20-30# line

Lures: Many of the traditional plugs, lures, and poppers will be effective. However, the five lures below are the BEST selection we have found to take advantage of the fishing situations. These five could be considered a “must bring.”

Fly Equipment

Light: 8 wt. rod/line

Medium: 9/10 wt. rodline

Heavy: 11/12 wt. rod/line

Fly lines:  floating plus a Teeney 450 or similar sink tip line is necessary for fishing for big tarpon in channels


  • 8 – 10# tippets for bonefish

  • 12 – 15# tippets for permit

  • 100# shock tippet on standard tarpon leader with 20# class tippet.

10 yards of 40# for medium shock tippets is good for snook, jacks, etc.

  • 1/8 ou. pink wiggle jig

  • Mirro-lure model #65M red head / white body

  • Lime green tube lures for 'Cuda

  • Bass Assassin model #SA110343 (5 inch) Crystal Shad plastic worm

  • Yo-Zuri 3D Redhead Floating Crystal Minnow. Model F1145 is 3.5 inches and F1146 is 4-3/8 inches. Get some of each.

Hooks for Bass Assassin Crystal Shad would be the 4/0 Owner model #5137-141 or Gamakatsu model #74414

25 yards of 40# and either 80 or 100# mono for medium and heavy shock tippets

6 to 12 inch coated wire leaders with snap and swivel (50#)

#6 & #8 tan Crazy Charlies (both with eyes and without eyes for shallow flats).

Bonefish Bitters in size 8 – colors:  olive, amber, and hermit crab.

Permit Flies:  the best permit fly is the custom tied Hinckley Crab that is tied with “light eyes” just for the shallow flats of Belize.  It was created by Art Hinckley who has taken over 100 permit from the Belize flats accessed by the Rising Tide.  It is only available from Captain Dean on the Rising Tide for $8 each.  You might also try #4 Merkins and #4 Ragheads – best if you can find ties with small, light eyes…Merkins with bead chain eyes are superior to lead eyes.

Most standard tarpon flies are effective – some favorites are the orange/grizzly hackle fly, black/red fly, red/white Whistler, and the old standard, the cockroach. The three flies below from Enrico Puglisi Flies have a recently proven successful track record:    


  • Excellent mangrove snook and baby tarpon fly – both 1/0 and 2/0:

  • Solid for a multi-species mullet imitation – 3/0:

  • Black/purple fly for late evening tarpon casting – 3/0, get some with rattle:

2/0 Blue/white and Green/white deceiver is a favorite “all-purpose” fly for jacks, snook, and many species.

Swimming/diving flies (like the Dahlberg style “Swimming Baitfish”) and poppers can also be effective around shallow mangrove edges for snook.

Barracuda flies with standard pre-tied wire leaders.

For late evening tarpon fishing, dark colored flies with large eyes tied on a 4/0 hook are best.

Some of the salt water dealers like Boaters World or Bass Masters may have several of these lures available on one web site. Make sure you get the exact model, color, and size specified.

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