Yes, the cage is essential for many ocean side situations, and it allows you to focus on fishing, rather than trying to keep your balance and stay on the deck. If you rest/sit on the cage, you can stay up for hours on end. I just can't stand for long periods any more.
While staked out, last year, I had the guide throw me a sandwich and water, and remained at the ready. On that trip we had a good number of "wrong way" fish too, so you really had to keep your head on a swivel.
I agree that a bucket, with a bit of water, is a big plus.
Dan, this thread represents a wealth of experience and knowledge, for anyone looking to chase tarpon!
Your note about watching the loop, and casting the loop, rather than the fly, is one of the keys to casting in general, but especially using big rods/lines. You can get away with an open loop, in some situations, but it will crush you in the wind, or with a 12 wt....and if you can't cast, you probably won't hook or catch fish!
Can't wait to stretch my line, in about a month!
Thanks for the tips.
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