How To Pick The Ultimate Tarpon Rod (To Catch Monster Tarpon)


Bow to the king!

A tarpon fight requires a whole new level of strength and control when it comes to what rod setup you choose.

So in this video, you’ll learn:

  • The best length rod for tarpon
  • What power and action you’ll need for your tarpon rod
  • And much more

Check it out!

Best Tarpon Rod [VIDEO]

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Here are 3 things you should look for in a tarpon rod:


8 ft offers the best balance for casting and control.

It allows you to have increased casting distance so you don’t have to get too close to tarpon (and spook them off).

And still offers a ton of control throughout the fight!


Power is how much force it takes to bend the rod.

For tarpon, you’ll want to go with a heavy power rod.

But if only the line rating is listed, go with a 15# to 30# rating or 20# to 50# rating.

Both will work great for tarpon in most scenarios!


A fast-action rod is very versatile in terms of presentation.

But if you’re using small live baits like pass crabs or pilchards, those bait presentations are so light that you may need a slower action rod to cast farther.

Otherwise, if you’re using the bigger baitfish like mullet or croaker, stick with a faster action rod.

The bottom line when it comes to action is knowing what kind of bait you’ll be using to determine what action you need.

Have any questions about how to pick the perfect tarpon rod for you?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who plans to target tarpon, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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1 month ago

What you think about Sedona 8k with 24lbs of drag on a 7’ talavera heavy fast with some 65lb braid and I got 25yds of 50 & 80lb fluoro leader.

Luke Simonds
1 month ago
Reply to  Brent

That should work. Let us know how you do.

Cole mcglamry
3 months ago

I have a 13 fishing a3 300 size bait caster. Fitted with 250 yards of 50 lb braid and a 60lb leader. The reel has 40lbs of drag and its on a 8,2 pheniox m1 inshore casting rod heavy with a line rating of 20-40. Would this be ok for bigger tarpon and bigger reds

9 months ago

Hello staff at salt strong! I am located in Ga so I have little knowledge off tarpon fishing. So I have a couple of questions: I’m looking forward to build a perfect setup for big gulf tarpons. I currently have 2 penn spinfisher IV 8500. And am looking for the right rod to pair up with them. If you guys could give me recommendations on rods that would pair with these reels I would really appreciate it. Also also what size lb line would be best to spool on as mainline and leader lb size for tarpon that are 100+ lb. Also what types and size hooks are ideal! Thanks for the attention, hope you guys are able to answer my questions that will help me chase the silver kings 🤙

9 months ago
Reply to  Nick

They are actually 6500

1 year ago

What is the best way to connect the leader to the main line? A swivel or a Connecting knot and what knots to use when doing so?

Rick Wheeler
1 year ago

Hi Justin. I think I have a great rod for tarpon. St Croix tournament. My question is coupling it with a good reel. I have a number of Daiwa Certate 4000’s. Do I need to go with a heavier reel or do you think that would be adequate? If heavier, what would you suggest preferably in the Daiwa models? A heavier Certate? How heavy? I’d go as big as you recommend. I’m in great tarpon country near Sanibel so they can get bigger. Thanks.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rick Wheeler
1 year ago

Would a Penn Slammer IV 4500-6500 paired with the new Shimano Teramar 2022 X-Heavy Fast rod be okay for tarpon and other big fish?

1 year ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey

Thank you for helping me. 🙂

1 year ago

I have a diwa bg 3500 spooled with 30 pound braid for Snook and small Tarpon. I am looking for a 7’6 medium-medium heavy rod, any recommendations?

Thank you!

1 year ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey

Thank you! I have heard the star rod series have been a great rod. Is there any other rods in the 100% range?

Thank you so much!

1 year ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey

I meant 100$

Michael McQueen
1 year ago

Excellent information! As an old avid angler myself I appreciate and respect the candid approach as well as the optional considerations for conditions and baits being used. Fishing is a wonderful sport and hobby. Have not targeted tarpon before but with this information I feel much better prepared to give it a go. Thanks.

Steve Dupree
2 years ago

I noticed that you were using the Star Sequence 8ft rod. All rods seem difficult to find. Can you recommend several brands and models that would fit the bill?

Steve Dupree
2 years ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey


Philip Stoddard
2 years ago

I’ve been doing fine on big tarpon with a 4500 reel and 30# braid (a soft gimbal on the rod butt would be welcome). Justin suggested in the chat to use a leader (80# mono) at least as long as the fish. That was good advice. I’ve had the tarpon’s scales grind through the swivel knot of the 40# that was tied to a 3′ leader of 80#. I now use 5′ of 80# leader. It’s not as good for casting, but it works and beats breaking off.


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