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Hey All, Well for my 60th birthday my wife has booked me my dream trip to Belize to give bonefish a go.

I have spent most of my life jumping baby tarpon, chasing snook & peakcock bass in S. Florida canals to lately chasing trout & redfish in the Crystal River, FL area.

Now all of my life I have gotten away with using the old school low end Pflueger & Reddington reels on old Silstar or Scientific Anglers rods. So I am looking what to get myself for my trip. I am a budget minded guy. Not quite as cheap as George Costanza but, well you know.

The trip cost a little bit of $$$$ so my gear hunt in on $350-600 budget.

I have read that I should have both an 8wt & 9wt outfit with me.

I know that there are a lot of $$$$$$$ outfits out there but like I said trying to budget just a little bit.

Who has been there and done this? Can you tell will TFO BVK SD or Gold Cup model fly reel paired with a TFO Pro 2 Lefty Kreh or TFO Mangrove rod be good enough to to an enjoyable job?

Thanks in advance
jp
 

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I go to Belize often - where are you staying? They may have rods for their guests - I suggest taking that approach first. That 9 wt may not get used at all depending on the conditions. The last time I went, mine barely got used over several days. Maybe purchase an 8 wt since you'll use that way more and see if they have a loaner for the 9.

I love the Mangrove - easy casting, great price. Pair with a Allen Kraken reel and Wulff Bermuda Triangle Taper line - excellent combo that also is perfect for reds.
 

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You know for bones you can get by with what you have or do what @groves said. Also Max Catch rod and Behemoth reels would help you budget
 

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I'd take a stiff 8 if I was taking one rod. Belize bonefish don't run real large so you don't really need a fancy reel, but it might be nice if you hook something bigger, a permit perhaps.

If you are going to a place that has gear for you, just skip taking a bunch of gear and use their's. But I'd take one good outfit of my own.
 

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I went a few years back and took a TFO BVK 8-weight paired with an okuma reel. Line was maybe Rio bonefish taper I think? Successfully sightcast to and caught bonefish with the outfit in both windy and calm conditions. At one spot the wind was howling too. I'm at the office, so I'm not looking at it, but I'm pretty sure this is the rod

And this is the reel:

Total out of pocket, with line, was in your price range. I still use the rod as a regular 8wt, its a solid rod. The reel is looking a little rough though. I'll probably replace it soon. I would definitely not trust it with a big bone or really any larger saltwater species.

Good luck and enjoy the trip. I had a blast with those fish. Can't wait to go back. And happy early birthday!
 

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Belize bones usually aren’t too big. An 8 weight is plenty. I have the Mangrove in 9 and like it a lot. I took a 10 wt for permit and big jacks and a 12 for tarpon. Used the 8wt 90% of the time. As far as reels, the Behemoth is in your price range along with several Lamson models. A lot of nice reels come up for sale on this forum and you may be better off doing that.
 

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I was in Belize in May and will be back the first week of July. Most of the guides have fly tackle for their customers....however, I take mine. For the bonefish I found a 7wt was about right and for permit I did good with an 8wt. I had a 9wt I used for baby tarpon and snook back in the mangroves. If you are soon to be going, the tarpon will be larger and I would take an 11wt. However, back to your original question....if I were to take one outfit, it would be an 8wt. The flies typically thrown in the northern part of Belize for bonefish are either a size 8 or size 6 Christmas Island Specials...however, you are going to find that your guide will want you to forget about bonefish if the conditions are right for permit. Here are a couple of pictures from my last trip...both of the fish were on an 8wt Sage Salt with a Tibor Everglades reel loaded with the new Rio solid core, slick Bonefish line. If you are a half way decent caster and the conditions are alright, you can catch bonefish all day long...It can be windy, so a faster rod can be your friend. If you see permit, which you most likely will, bonefish will be forgotten. I always thought bonefish were the best with runs, not anymore....Permit haunt my dreams now. BTW, if the trip is expensive there is no reason not to spend some extra for quality tackle for the various situations, there is nothing worse than spending a lot of money to travel to exotic destinations with dream fishing, only to have cheap tackle ruin your trip by failing.
176544
176545
 

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8 weight
Decent reel but not high end.
invest in some good wading boots.

oh and make sure you get the right color backing. With any luck you’ll see it a lot !


have a great trip and make sure to post a report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I go to Belize often - where are you staying? They may have rods for their guests - I suggest taking that approach first. That 9 wt may not get used at all depending on the conditions. The last time I went, mine barely got used over several days. Maybe purchase an 8 wt since you'll use that way more and see if they have a loaner for the 9.

I love the Mangrove - easy casting, great price. Pair with a Allen Kraken reel and Wulff Bermuda Triangle Taper line - excellent combo that also is perfect for reds.
Thanks for the info. We are heading to Ambergris Caye (El Pescador)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was in Belize in May and will be back the first week of July. Most of the guides have fly tackle for their customers....however, I take mine. For the bonefish I found a 7wt was about right and for permit I did good with an 8wt. I had a 9wt I used for baby tarpon and snook back in the mangroves. If you are soon to be going, the tarpon will be larger and I would take an 11wt. However, back to your original question....if I were to take one outfit, it would be an 8wt. The flies typically thrown in the northern part of Belize for bonefish are either a size 8 or size 6 Christmas Island Specials...however, you are going to find that your guide will want you to forget about bonefish if the conditions are right for permit. Here are a couple of pictures from my last trip...both of the fish were on an 8wt Sage Salt with a Tibor Everglades reel loaded with the new Rio solid core, slick Bonefish line. If you are a half way decent caster and the conditions are alright, you can catch bonefish all day long...It can be windy, so a faster rod can be your friend. If you see permit, which you most likely will, bonefish will be forgotten. I always thought bonefish were the best with runs, not anymore....Permit haunt my dreams now. BTW, if the trip is expensive there is no reason not to spend some extra for quality tackle for the various situations, there is nothing worse than spending a lot of money to travel to exotic destinations with dream fishing, only to have cheap tackle ruin your trip by failing. View attachment 176544 View attachment 176545
Thanks for the info. Trip is in October.
 

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El Pescador usually has loaner gear, but ask to be sure. Its mostly kinda there for when guests break the stuff they brought with them. IME.

Not your original question, but I’d buy one nice 8 weight outfit. Maybe spend more than you mention. It’ll be the outfit you use most for saltwater. Spread out over 10 or 20 years even a top end outfit is not that much per year.
 

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As others of stated, El Pescador has loaners, I believe I read that they might rent tackle also. I stopped by the lodge in May to check it out and in their office/little store there was as ceiling rack with a number of Orvis outfits in different sizes. You might want to email them and see what their policy is with regards to that. If, in fact, they do have outfits you can use, get you a good 7wt to take which is my size of choice if I were to be largely targeting bonefish in that location, I would take a 7wt over an 8wt for bonefish. But then again, I am a tackle "ho" so to speak, when the guides met me at the dock I would have a 7wt, a couple of 8wts and a couple of 9wts.....I liked a rod with a quick shooter short head for back in the mangroves and a bonefish or permit line for out on the flats. I will also be carrying a 10wt rigged out with a wire bite leader for the large barracuda you will see on the flats plus an 11wt for the large migratory tarpon that will be there in July. One thing I noticed is that my tippet material came in handy and a hook sharpener was a must...I fished with a few guides and none had a sharpener. I also took a few large fly boxes and some of my EP baitfish patterns were a life saver on a windy day back in the mangroves when we could not find anything due to the wind (20+) howling on the flats. There are lots of snook that are not targeted like they are in Florida and they can be rather large too. If you care for such things, join the IGFA before you go and familiarize yourself with their rules, catching a grand or super slam is not that hard to do down there, and if you are a member, you get the little certificates from the IGFA for your man cave or office. I got both a super slam and a grand slam in the three days I fished last time I was there. Be flexible and be willing to deviate from your goals while there, the large snook and baby tarpon saved one of my days when the wind was just too much in most places.
 

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Just got back from El Pescador on Monday. They do have loaners and usually plenty of them, though it will depend on how many other guests are using loaners. They will also have all the terminal tackle you need. The service at the lodge is top notch and the guides I fished with were excellent. My only piece of advice is to be specific in telling your guide what your goals are for the days you are fishing. The conditions were tough while we were there (20+ kn wind and cloudy skies), but we still managed to find/catch fish. That being said, had we not been specific about what we wanted to try to do, I think they would have had us blind casting to bonefish muds every day.

To the original question, I took my 7wt, 9wt and 11wt. Only pulled the 9wt out for half a day that we spent chasing permit, but we never saw any. The 7wt was perfect for bonefish down there (even with the wind) and the 11wt was great for the big tarpon we got into.
 

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Just got back from El Pescador on Monday. They do have loaners and usually plenty of them, though it will depend on how many other guests are using loaners. They will also have all the terminal tackle you need. The service at the lodge is top notch and the guides I fished with were excellent. My only piece of advice is to be specific in telling your guide what your goals are for the days you are fishing. The conditions were tough while we were there (20+ kn wind and cloudy skies), but we still managed to find/catch fish. That being said, had we not been specific about what we wanted to try to do, I think they would have had us blind casting to bonefish muds every day.

To the original question, I took my 7wt, 9wt and 11wt. Only pulled the 9wt out for half a day that we spent chasing permit, but we never saw any. The 7wt was perfect for bonefish down there (even with the wind) and the 11wt was great for the big tarpon we got into.
Did you fish any of the lagoons up along the Mexican border? There were some protected flats in them we found permit in.
 

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Did you fish any of the lagoons up along the Mexican border? There were some protected flats in them we found permit in.
We went up there, but for tarpon and bonefish. Fished tarpon inside the reef and in the mangroves, and bonefish on the flats up there. Never saw any permit up there, but we also weren't really targeting them. We also fished tarpon off Long Caye and did well.

We targeted permit on some flats right behind San Pedro. Our guide caught 4 permit on those flats in the 3 days before we got there, but unfortunately we never saw one.
 

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I was in Belize in April, caught a bunch of bones on a BVK 8wt with an old TFO Hayden narrow spool reel. While there are a lot of small bones in Belize they are getting more and more big fish since net bans and C&R were implemented. I saw 4 really big bones within a short time frame one day and one of the loge guys caught one about 9 pounds right behind the lodge while I was there. It yeah a BVK 8 would be fine.
 

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Hey All, Well for my 60th birthday my wife has booked me my dream trip to Belize to give bonefish a go.

I have spent most of my life jumping baby tarpon, chasing snook & peakcock bass in S. Florida canals to lately chasing trout & redfish in the Crystal River, FL area.

Now all of my life I have gotten away with using the old school low end Pflueger & Reddington reels on old Silstar or Scientific Anglers rods. So I am looking what to get myself for my trip. I am a budget minded guy. Not quite as cheap as George Costanza but, well you know.

The trip cost a little bit of $$$$ so my gear hunt in on $350-600 budget.

I have read that I should have both an 8wt & 9wt outfit with me.

I know that there are a lot of $$$$$$$ outfits out there but like I said trying to budget just a little bit.

Who has been there and done this? Can you tell will TFO BVK SD or Gold Cup model fly reel paired with a TFO Pro 2 Lefty Kreh or TFO Mangrove rod be good enough to to an enjoyable job?

Thanks in advance
jp
Hey All, Well for my 60th birthday my wife has booked me my dream trip to Belize to give bonefish a go.

I have spent most of my life jumping baby tarpon, chasing snook & peakcock bass in S. Florida canals to lately chasing trout & redfish in the Crystal River, FL area.

Now all of my life I have gotten away with using the old school low end Pflueger & Reddington reels on old Silstar or Scientific Anglers rods. So I am looking what to get myself for my trip. I am a budget minded guy. Not quite as cheap as George Costanza but, well you know.

The trip cost a little bit of $$$$ so my gear hunt in on $350-600 budget.

I have read that I should have both an 8wt & 9wt outfit with me.

I know that there are a lot of $$$$$$$ outfits out there but like I said trying to budget just a little bit.

Who has been there and done this? Can you tell will TFO BVK SD or Gold Cup model fly reel paired with a TFO Pro 2 Lefty Kreh or TFO Mangrove rod be good enough to to an enjoyable job?

Thanks in advance
jp

I would do a Orvis Hydros , they are sealed well and have a great drag. we have used them in the Bahamas for Larger bones and have made 7 or 8 trips to Belize and they Have held up fine. For the price point they can hang with some of our Hatch and Orvis Mirages. I would not purchase a 9 or 10 either if your staying at Elpescador - just reserve one of their Hatch - Orvis set ups....
 

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Hey All, Well for my 60th birthday my wife has booked me my dream trip to Belize to give bonefish a go.

I have spent most of my life jumping baby tarpon, chasing snook & peakcock bass in S. Florida canals to lately chasing trout & redfish in the Crystal River, FL area.

Now all of my life I have gotten away with using the old school low end Pflueger & Reddington reels on old Silstar or Scientific Anglers rods. So I am looking what to get myself for my trip. I am a budget minded guy. Not quite as cheap as George Costanza but, well you know.

The trip cost a little bit of $$$$ so my gear hunt in on $350-600 budget.

I have read that I should have both an 8wt & 9wt outfit with me.

I know that there are a lot of $$$$$$$ outfits out there but like I said trying to budget just a little bit.

Who has been there and done this? Can you tell will TFO BVK SD or Gold Cup model fly reel paired with a TFO Pro 2 Lefty Kreh or TFO Mangrove rod be good enough to to an enjoyable job?

Thanks in advance
jp
I went to Belize several years ago to a place called Turneffe Flats. I took an 8wt Scott and Everglades Tibor reel. I spent a Buch of time reading up on Bone fishing and tying the top Bone fish flies. Turneffe Flats had all the gear and would sell you flies as needed. I just took one rod but knowing what I know now I would take two. One is none and two is one. Have fun mine was a trip of a lifetime and I still dwell on it now and then with a glass of good rum.
 
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