When your planning your trip, a lot of thought will need to go into your Belize fly fishing packing list. Saltwater flats fishing is a specialized activity, and you’ll need different setups for tarpon, bonefish and permit.
A fast to extra fast action, 9-foot rod is ideal for saltwater fly fishing (no longer than 9 1/2 feet). Typically, greater distances can be covered with less effort using the longer fly rods, with less surface disturbance.
We also suggest bring 4-piece rods as they are easier to travel with.
- Bonefish/Small Tarpon – 7-8 weight fly rods are ideal size for bonefish. The lighter, 7 weight rods are perfect on calm days, and if it’s windy, rig up the 8-weight rod.
- Permit – 9-10 weight rods
- Tarpon – 10, 11, and/or 12 weight rods
Many anglers prefer to have the larger 8-10 weight rod rigged up for permit and a 7 weight with a floating line ready for bonefish. This also leaves a heavier rod as a reserve for extremely windy days.
It is critical that your saltwater fly reels are anodized, corrosion-resistant saltwater models with fully sealed, high quality, smooth drags. They need to hold a full fly line, plus backing.
- Permit and Bonefish – Approximately 200 yards of 20 pound backing.
- Tarpon – 250 yards of 30-50 pound.
A weight forward tropical saltwater taper floating line is perfect for most of the sight fishing you will encounter in Belize. Occasionally you’ll use an intermediate sinking tip line for tarpon or a cagey permit.
Lines get sticky in the saltwater, so bring along some sort of line cleaner.
Leaders and Tippet
- Bonefish – 9 foot 10 and 12lb tapered leaders. Tippet – 8, 10, and 12bl fluorocarbon
- Permit – 9 foot 12 and 15lb tapered leaders. Tippet – 12, 15lb fluorocarbon
- Tarpon – 9 foot straight piece of 40/50/60lb fluorocarbon or hand-tied bimini twist 20lb class with a 40/50/60lb fluorocarbon bite tippet