It’s disorienting—there is no land, only sea and sky, and everywhere marlin blitz and tuna dive and mahi swarm weed patches. There are no beaches or mangroves to stop them, only you, a rod and reel, and a piece of tippet that you can only pray will hold.


Your fly lands in a frenzy of bills, dorsals, and tails, most longer than you are tall. Rod under the arm you strip as fast as you possibly can, both hands firing, all-the-while trying to keep your nerves in check and your feet on the deck. Your eyes glued to the sardine imitation spun up the night before, in an instant it disappears behind a flank of blue and black. You do everything you can to keep the line clear, but your eyes can’t decide whether to focus there or on the 8 foot billfish tapdancing at the end of your rod tip. Somehow, before you know it, that same fish is a couple football fields downwind in a display of acrobatics like you’ve never imagined.


“After about 6 years of running all imaginable rod, reel, and line combinations we are extremely impressed by the SALT R8 1290-4FG matched with the THERMO 12-16, strung up with the RIO Leviathan. The rods themselves are very castable, the guides are strong (tested by many knotted spaghetti piles jolting through them during hectic hookups), and they have more than sufficient backbone to handle big pelagic species such as marlin, tuna, dorado, and wahoo. The THERMO is an A+ big game reel, retaining its drag pressure after our whole season, and is impressively durable. The large arbor and big reel handle allow the angler to pick up line quickly & efficiently, and saves the hand from cramping during these long grueling fights. This is truly a badass outfit.” - George Vandercook, Los Locos Mag Bay