IF YOU GO
Note that at this writing Mexico customs was limiting each traveling angler to four rod/reel outfits. More than that, and it’s possible you may be required pay a tax on the current equipment value
8-weights for bonefish.
9-weights will cover both permit, smaller tarpon and jacks.
11 or 12-weights for large migrating tarpon. An intermediate integrated line could be useful.
I used self-tied tapered leaders. Whether or not you choose to stick with IGFA-legal class leaders you should figure on 50-pound-test bite tippet for small tarpon and jacks, 80-pound bite for migrating tarpon. Use wire tippet if you want to play with barracuda (Rio’s Toothy Critter leader). 16-pound test is fine for permit, 10 or 12-pound for bones. The guides often forego niceties and go with straight lengths of 50-pound mono or fluorocarbon for the teenage tarpon and jacks, heavier for migrating ‘poons. Have tippet spools in 50, 40, 20, 16, and 12-pound test fluorocarbon.
Pato Crab—my go-to pattern—in cream or tan with yellow lead eyes, sizes 4, 2, 1/0. Tarpon will also eat it. When they’re on shrimp try a Squimp in tan with yellow eyes, sizes 4, 2. Good for bonefish, too.
EP Mullet and EP Black Tail Mullet
EP baitfish patterns, like Peanut Butter (chartreuse/white, red/black).
Classics like the Cockroach, Horror, Black Death.
Don’t forget a Gartside Gurgler in white. Size 1/0 for juvenile tarpon.
For migratory fish, flies should be 2/0 and 3/0.
The usuals, such as Gotcha (pink), Crazy Charley (white, pink, tan), and Ververka Mantis Shrimp in tan. All in sizes 6 to 8.
Neoprene wading boots suffice. No real coral issues.