I don't make my own tarpon leaders. Our guide takes care of that. You will probably be using 60 to 80 pound shock tippet, 16", tied to a 20# class tippet with a bimini twist on each end and then about 5 feet of 60 pound mono for a butt section. The shock tippet helps keep the rough mouth tarpon from rubbing through. The class tippet is the breaking point so you don't lose your fly line which happened to me last year. The guides started using new knots last year. One is a Slim Beauty but honestly I prefer to leave that up to the experts.
For wade fishing I would go to Port St. Joe, drive out past Cape San Blas to the State Park and wade fish on the bay side. You'll find hard sand there and hopefully plenty of redfish, trout and no telling what else. Watch out for sharks and rays. If you shuffle your feet the rays will move out of the way. If you step on one, well, you will wish you hadn't. You'll need a Florida Saltwater License. You can buy that on line at a reasonable price.