Tips & Tricks

Ultralight rods—what are they good for?

Fly fishing is filled with specialised rods. This could end result not solely in confusion about when and the place these rods are finest utilized however within the notion of sure rods as odd or impractical. Only a handful of years in the past, many anglers would have regarded an 11’-foot 3-weight Euro-nymphing rod as a peculiar implement. As of late, the trade embraces these rods as precision devices; as tactical gear for the discerning angler. But to many anglers, ultralight rods— 1, 2 and even 0-weight rods — appear suspect and even foolish. In reality, simply as Euro rods may be efficient, helpful instruments, so can also ultralight rods.

In the correct conditions and with the right approach, ultralight rods can earn a spot in any angler’s quiver. What follows definitely isn’t a whole checklist of eventualities the place ultralight rods are a good selection, however should you’re seeking to get essentially the most out of an ultralight fly fishing expertise, I’d advocate utilizing them for the next fishing conditions.


Right here within the Rockies, most of our panfish are tiny. After I see my mates within the Midwest publish pictures of hand-sized bluegill, I get jealous. There’s a cause the bluegill restrict in Utah is 50 per individual, per day. You want to catch 50 simply to have sufficient meat for fish tacos.

However the nature of small panfish — and even the stunted smallmouth bass populations in varied reservoirs — current an amazing alternative to fish ultralight fly rods.

There’s not a lot finesse to pulling in a great deal of tiny bluegill, inexperienced sunfish, smallmouth, or yellow perch (which don’t develop a lot previous 10 inches right here in Utah), but it surely’s essential to really feel these small fish chunk your fly. Positive, you may really feel most bites in your 3 or 4wt – however why not use a small, mild rod for small, mild fish?

And, should you’re attempting to get children all in favour of fly fishing, an ultralight rod on a bluegill pond is without doubt one of the finest methods to do it. The struggle these panfish put up on a 1wt is one thing I take pleasure in, so I reckon children will leap on the likelihood to expertise this sort of fishing.

Excessive-Mountain Streams

There’s a bevy of water within the excessive nation that simply doesn’t get fished a lot as a result of of us suppose it’s too small to hassle with. That’s definitely true should you’re hauling a 9-foot 5wt round, or a tenkara pole.
Ultralight rods are uniquely constructed to fish these waters, although, and also you’re more likely to take pleasure in among the quickest fishing of your life. The little trickles of water that almost all of us overlook have a tendency to carry loads of fish — brookies and cutthroat, in my expertise. I’ve a 6’6” 2wt that’s completely excellent on water like this.

You’ll additionally discover ultralight rods excel at fishing gradual, meandering streams as they wind by way of a meadow. One among my favourite such streams is nearly all gradual, deep water for its complete size. Even a smooth 3wt generally is a bit a lot at occasions, given how arduous a 3-weight line hits the water.

A 7’6” 0wt, although, is a wonderful rod for this stream. The mix of the attain of a 7’6” rod, the gradual line pace of such a lightweight stick, its supple really feel and delicate line offers you the higher hand when fishing water like this.

Loopy Tight Water

Not all of us stay subsequent to a incredible tailwater, or a beautiful spring creek. I did for about six years. Then I acquired married, and I’m a half-hour minimal simply to get to semi-decent trout water. In consequence, I’ve needed to search out water that’s near the home. A lot of that water is skinny, low, and loopy tight.

With overhanging limbs eagerly ready to snag an errant hook set, or a again forged, and water so low and clear the fish see you from 100 toes away, this water calls for the lightest, subtlest presentation attainable.

Enter ultralight rods. That is the place they excel. That is the place these rods shine. We’re beginning to see a little bit of a theme right here – if you want precision accuracy and essentially the most refined of displays, ultralight rods present an edge no different rod can.

Fishing Small Dries

Persevering with the theme of utilizing ultralight rods to realize a stellar presentation, take into account them if you’re fishing small dries. I’m not speaking 18s or 20s. Assume dimension 26 and smaller midges and mayflies.
I do know – most anglers don’t fish these all that always, however should you take pleasure in throwing small dry flies (or if the fish you’re concentrating on demand it), you’ll love the smooth presentation you get from an ultralight rod.

Remaining Phrase

Fishing ultralight fly rods needn’t be restricted to those conditions. Wherever you may ethically use one, I counsel going for it. As a lot as we profess to be creatures of behavior, us anglers like to vary issues up once in a while. My assortment of ultralight rods is way from full — I really want to get my palms on a 000wt Sage TXL-F — and I’ve a sense I’ll get to make use of them greater than common this yr.
When you’re hesitant about leaping on one sight unseen, go go to your native fly store. I’d wager cash at the least one of many of us working there owns a bit 1 or 2wt they’d allow you to garden forged, and even borrow. Some fly retailers even hold rods like that in inventory, too.

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