On a trip tarpon fishing this spring, I tried out Beulah’s Opal 12wt off Boca Grande, Florida. As some of you may know, I am a big fan of Beulah’s fly rods. Why? Because in the age of fast-action fly rods, these rods have soul.
Casting a 12wt is not always fun. In fact, it rarely is. On a prior trip, I was using a different rod from a different manufacturer and my guide said: “This is a soulless womping stick.” He was right.
Not so with the Beulah Opal. It has touch and feel. It feels good in the hand. It’s the combination of strength and sensitivity.
Over two days of casting, I enjoyed this rod immensely. Is it a pure power cannon in the way some other rods are? No. But did I reach every tarpon I needed to with accuracy? Yes. Did I still have feeling in my arm after these two days? Yep, I sure did.
In tarpon fishing, and saltwater in general, I think people sometimes overestimate the need for having a rod that throws a great distance. In my experience, most of my hookups are closer to the boat, or to myself, than fly rod advertising brags about it. Just because you have an ocean in front of you with fish on the other side doesn’t mean you need to cast across them.
The Beulah Opal did everything I needed it to, and I enjoyed using it. Plus, at just over $620, this may be the best value in big game saltwater fly fishing.