Rods – The rods you take depend on where you are going and the targeted species. I generally pack an eight and nine weight for bonefish and permit and a ten weight for tarpon. I have certainly seen seven weight rods work well for smaller bonefish in Belize and Mexico, but they don’t cast as well in the wind as a heavier rod. Everyone has their favourites but if you pack an eight, nine and ten weight rod you have most conditions and situations covered. I prefer a fast action, powerful rod so that the line loads quickly and throws the line through the wind.
Reels –I do a lot of trout fishing throughout western Canada and U.S. and let’s face it most of the time our trout reels are only used to hold the line. Saltwater flats fishing is different, reels matter when you are fishing for bonefish. You need large arbor, anodized reels that are simple in construction have a sealed smooth drag that will stand up to both the rigors of hot fish and the issues caused by the corrosive nature of saltwater. Your reel needs to hold 200 yards of 20 pound backing. I bring up the capacity issue because it is unlikely you are in a boat that can chase a runaway fish. Take a reel to match each rod and a spare if one breaks. I match each reel with a spare spool loaded with a different line.
Take a reel repair kit with you and the appropriate grease and oils recomended by the reel manufacturer.