Ultralight Fishing: The Benefits Outweigh the Burdens
Making the transition from normal to ultralight tackle presents challenges that can often frustrate anglers to the point that they quit before they’ve really gotten started. For those willing to work through these difficulties, however, ultralight fishing also presents a unique opportunity to experience a whole new kind of fishing.
Practice Your Cast
The first step in mastering ultralight fishing is understanding how to cast. You want to be sure that you plant your feet firmly with your shoulders squared to your target. As you begin to get more comfortable, you’ll have a better understanding of rod-tip speed and release, and you can try hunkering down in the tight spaces that make ultralight fishing so great, but try to start out somewhere with a little more room. Ideally, you want your lure to travel in a high arc and land almost silently in the water near your target, calling for you to release your line early enough that the energy transfers between rod and lure smoothly but late enough that the that the rod-tip begins to flex toward the target.
Work With the Wind
Perhaps the biggest challenge that you’re likely to face with ultralight fishing is the wind. Your line is going to be in the two to six pound range, and your ideal lure is going to be in the 1/16 to 1/32 ounce range. If you have the option of doing so, the easiest way to cope with the wind is to use it to your advantage. Change where you’re standing so you have the wind at your back, using this to help give your cast extra distance. If you can’t change your position, you’ll probably need to change your lure to something closer to 1/3 ounce, keeping in mind that this is going to alter the responsiveness of your rod. Be careful not to overload your rod to compensate for the wind or to try to achieve a longer cast. It’s not unheard of for an ultralight rod to snap with inappropriate weight.
Reap the Benefits
Once you overcome the new hurdles of ultralight fishing, you’ll get to enjoy a chance to really feel the fish as you work them with your line. The exciting, rewarding experience is well worth mastering any difficulties.
Want more? Learn the basics with our introduction to ultralight fishing.