As a tarpon angler, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our success rate when chasing the Silver King. 2013 ended up being one of my most productive tarpon years yet. Granted, this success may be attributed to a good run of tarpon during the spring and early summer, but I also attrubite the success to my new choice in tarpon tackle.

I primarily use spinning tackle when casting to tarpon along the beaches of Sanibel & Captiva. It allows me to reach fish at great distances and accurately cast to fish on the move. These spinning outfits work very well when casting artificial baits, like the Hogy 10″ Original Series, one of the most effective lures for tarpon.

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I picked up my first Shimano Sustain 10K FG in late February. With the guidance and experience of local rod builder Matt Sewell and Sewell Custom Rods, I had a balanced spinning rod created to be used specifically with this reel. I then spooled up the reel with 50lb Power Pro Slick braided line. It held approximately 265 yards, which is adequate for most tarpon fishing.

It was mid April when I was first able to break in the reel on an adult tarpon. The fish was hooked on a large, live threadfin herring along Sanibel Island. The fight lasted about 20 minutes and the reel performed flawlessly. It’s drag is silky smooth and can easily accommodate 12-14lbs of drag when fighting a large fish. I really enjoyed the large EVA handle on the reel, it fit nicely into my palm and allowed a comfortable grip on the reel when fighting a fish over a long period of time.

During the course of 2013 I landed over 30 large tarpon and dozens of big snook on the Sustain, by late December at the end of the season, the reel was still in great shape. The drag was very smooth and minimal wear and tear was noticeable on the reel body frame. Over all, I am very impressed with the reel and will be picking up a second one for the 2014 season.

Specs From Shimano Fishing

  • X-Ship
  • New “Magnumlite CI4 Rotor” (1000-4000)
  • Aluminum Sideplate
  • Rapid Fire Drag
  • New “Reel Stand” on 1000-5000 only
  • Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement
  • Propulsion Line Management System: Propulsion Spool Lip, SR One-Piece Bail Wire, Power Roller III. Redesigned Bail Trip, S-Arm Cam
  • Aero Wrap II Oscillation
  • SR-Concept: SR 3D Gear, SR One-Piece Bail Wire
  • S A-RB (Shielded A-RB) Ball Bearings
  • Aluminum Spool
  • S-Concept: S Rotor, S Guard, S Arm Cam
  • New Machined Aluminum Handle
  • Direct Drive Mechanism (Thread in Handle Attachment)
  • EVA Handle Knob
  • WP Drag (Waterproof Drag)
  • Maintenance Port
  • Fluidrive II
  • Floating Shaft
  • Dyna-Balance
  • Super Stopper II
  • Repairable Clicker
  • Approved for use in Saltwater
  • Rated for use with Mono, Fluorocarbon and PowerPro lines

%24(KGrHqN,!qoE88ffUZ!dBPgzE4Kq1g~~60_3 Gear Review: Shimano Sustain 10000 FG - The Perfect Tarpon Spinning Reel Product Reviews

Capt. Ross

Longtime resident of Southwest Florida. Captain Ross hails from the historic waters along the Caloosahatchee River. Publisher of The Intrepid Angler, with a history of guiding anglers from the Florida Keys to Southeast Alaska. His mission is to target big game species with lures and does his best to do it by kayak when he can! Follow his adventures around Florida and the world.

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2 comments

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    • It’s in surprisingly good shape, despite heavy abuse. I’ve had to respool three times over the season due to worn line from heavy structure, but the reel is still smooth and solid. I honestly expected it to be a bit more worn than it actually is.

      I will however, be sending it in for an annual cleaning at Shimano Irvine. I do this with all my gear once a season, just to keep it in the best shape.