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Guides: Tom Pierce

Posted on May 02 2008

Tom Pierce started guiding in Key West back when wire was the preferred material for tarpon shock tippets. His experimentation with knots for dissimilar lines led to many improvements in leaders, not the least of which was the Slim Beauty knot. And he’s one of the most mentioned captains in the IGFA world record book. Through it all Tom has remained one of those guides that never boasts, never says an unkind word about a client, and would rather be fishing than doing anything else. The Miami Herald‘s Susan Cocking describes an example of the complex leaders that Tom has perfected over the years for catching large, fast, or toothy fish on fly rods. “The fly line was connected to a 12-inch butt section of 30-pound mono, which was fastened to a six-inch section of thin shock gum, which stretches like parachute cord. There followed another small butt section with a loop to connect to the two-pound, tournament-grade tippet which was fastened to a flexible wire-trace bite tippet. It seemed to me you could launch a fly shop with just what was on my rod.”

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