When people first start out fishing it can be hard for them to understand the best rod choice when it comes to their target species. If fishing in freshwater, it’s normally handy to have a ultralight setup available for when it’s needed.
What is ultralight fishing?
Ultralight fishing involves using an ultralight fishing rod and small reel (either spin or bait-caster) with lighter weight line and low weight fishing lures.
The reason that ultralight gear is so useful is that you can use it to easily cast low weight lures long distances and the rods themselves are very sensitive making working the lure much easier.
The added benefit of ultralight is that they are extremely flexible rods which allow for more accurate casting without needing to take a full swing effect to the rod, just a quick back and forth flick once will cast the lure into your preferred region.
Ultralight fishing target species
Basically speaking, ultralight gear can be used for most fish below 25cm, however is more primarily used when targeting trout species along with redfin perch (Europe / Australia / America) and yellow perch (America).
Ultralights are simple to cast into areas where these fish hide, which is in and along underwater weeds, underwater structures such as rock beds and fallen trees, or on the outskirts of reed beds.
Using smaller, lighter weight fishing lures mean you can target these areas much easier, a regular rod and regular lure weight of around 10 grams or more is not best suited to tight and tricky target regions, hence the use of ultralight can benefit all fishermen who go fishing in rivers, lakes and streams.
They can be used in boats when traveling on rivers where weed beds or reeds / mangroves are present, or on lakes in similar areas. They are also great for the land based fisherman who will find these rods most useful. For people who prefer to walk the water in waders, they are also a very good alternative to fly fishing.
What are the best ultralight rods to use?
When looking for an ultralight fishing rod, the best can be determined by the lure cast weight rating and the total weight of the fishing rod itself.
The lightest weight rods are carbon rods and often they come in two piece or three piece setups. Many people prefer ultralights which are in 3 piece configuration as they are simple to transport around in a backpack or leave in the car without taking up any space.
You want to find yourself a ultralight which has a minimum lure weight rating of 1 gram or less, these are the most sensitive rods and the best all rounders. If the rod only has a minimum lure weight rating of 3 or 4 grams, you are missing out on the full effectiveness of the lightweight fishing setup, and these rods won’t perform anywhere near as well.
How much do ultralight rods cost?
Carbon ultralight fishing rods are often available from $50 to $300, there is very little difference often between these rods, so going for a cheaper variant is usually a good options. One thing you do need to factor in though, is not to make the mistake of choosing the wrong rod type.
Two types exist, first is a spin rod or spinning rod, these use spin reels only and are suited to them, the second type of rods available are casting rods, or bait-caster rods, they only accept bait-caster style reels. You can interchange them however you will never get the correct casting ability if you mix and match these.
Finally ensure you buy the correct size reel, you want the smallest reel possible however you also want to ensure that it is a good quality reel too, there is often a wide range of reels in various sizes to choose from, you want something that works just as well as something larger but in a miniature form to handle a much lower weight class of fishing line.