Budget? What level of outfit are you hoping to find? At Christmas Island, you need to have several backup 12 weight lines along with your outfit...it's not unusual for those nasty tough trevally to wrap your line around a coral head!
I have a TFO. BVK 12 wt. 9ft 4 Piece ---Purchasd a few years ago for a Tarpon trip, but never used it.---It's NEW, except for some practice casting.--Infortunatly it is a Virgin and has never touched a fish.---
New at $300, will sell my rod for ------$185 Inc FREE shipping on CUSA
If you are really going to go after GTs then read all about them before you buy or reel. This is no fish to chase with anything but a top end reel. GTs are simply bad ass and they WILL rip up equipment. Personally I would go with Abel, Tibor, Hatch (or Mako if you are really flush with cash).
You are going to spend around $4K on this trip. Saving a couple hundred dollars on a reel is not the best use of funds in my mind. Look on ebay if you can't find one on here. You can find a used reel from one of these brands in excellent condition for less than $500 and you will have it for your lifetime. Or if this is a one time kind of thing turn around and resell it.
ifsteve is right when he says, "go big or go home". I watched GT shred 3 low-mid price range 10/12wt reels. One happened to be in my hands. If you are serious about catching GT, then be serious about buying a quality reel/drag. I have a McNeese 4.0 Tarpon reel right hand wind for sale that is Anti-Reverse. This reel will handle all the backing/line you will need and will have a powerful drag to slow down GT. Plus, it will save your knuckles. Trust me, GT are knuckle busters. I have a buyer lined up but if he decides not to purchase the reel, consider it an option. $550. Enjoy your trip. I had a trip of a lifetime. Great experience.
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