Ultralight fishing is something that most new fishermen do not understand very well; however, it is by far the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to get fishing in freshwater and estuaries quickly and easily.
Ultralight spin fishing rods are today often made from carbon fibre, and have extremely good flexibility, meaning that they can handle light weight lures and cast these tiny lures a long distance. The rods themselves only weigh around 100 grams in total, and you can purchase mini spin reels to pair them with bringing the overall total to around 160 grams.
This light weight has the benefit of being easy to carry, and the fact you can use even the smallest of lures, means that they are ideal for walking along river beds or lakes all day long.
Ideally the best ultralight to start out with would be a three piece rod, these are usually 1.8 metres total length, but split into 3 parts, you can assemble the rod when you are ready to use it, otherwise it can be carried along in a carry bag (often sold along with the fishing rod) or inside a small backpack or sports bag with your lures.
Ultralight rods are usually suited for fishing lures between 0.8 grams and 5 grams in weight, however if you need to use larger lures, they can handle up to 10 grams total weight before you will need to consider changing to a heavier lure rated rod. I would however recommend sticking to the 5-gram weight limit, as any lure 5 grams or lower will mean you get the full benefits of the rod, going heavier you won’t get the same distances when casting.
You use an ultralight spin rod and reel the same as you would use a regular larger spin rod, however since they are very flexible and light, you can be more precise with your casting, just a small flick will easily send you small lure flying in the right direction, this allows you to get the lures in and around weeds, fallen tress and rocks, where most lake and river fish are hiding.
When it comes to lures you have a wide range to choose from, there are spin lures, diving hard body lures and soft plastic lures that are available within the weight range of the rod, and the best part is these smaller lures are often much cheaper, since you know the lure rating you are looking for, it’s easy to buy fishing lures online within the 0.8g to 5 gram range, and at a much lower price than lures of 7 grams and higher.
In summary, the low price of the lures makes the ultralight an ideal fishing rod to start out with, it’s a great all rounder and perfect for targeting fish up to around 4kg in weight, which is likely most of the fish you will find in freshwaters and lakes when fishing from land. Take a look out online or at your local tackle store for a good ultralight carbon fibre rod, usually priced at around $50 USD.
Chris is a travel writer based out of Vancouver. When Chris isn’t busy with his day job as a project manager for an insurance firm, he’s outdoors. Chris has previously written for MEC Blog and Outdoors Magazine.