Ultra Light Fishing?

Posted by: jbylake

Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/26/13 11:41 PM

My dad was an expert bass fisherman. I mean he was fanatical, and had it down to a science. He always knew the depth, ph of the water, the tint or stain, lake structure, seasonal habits, which color of the 5 or 10 same lures he had on hand....etc.

Me, I only went with him because I missed a lot of years with him while in the military, then as a civilian because of my employer's location. I think he sometimes didn't really appreciate my lack of sincerity as far as he did, in catching big bass, but he had a tremendous sense of humor, and he just let it ride, while I mostly just goofed off,and navigated the boat, but they were great and unforgetable times.

He was pure catch and release, any species. Me, I didn't keep bass, but fished for trout, crappie, catfish and other species for dinner.

I always chided him about not being sporting enough, with the chest full of lures, and 10 rod and reel combo's. I "dared" him to catch an 8lb or better on ultralight gear.

Sadly, the very last thing he gave me before he died was an ultralight rod and reel, in jest, mostly, for my "challenge". It's still in my storage room unused to this day.

I wonder if anyone uses these for backpacking. A 3.5 foot rod, and a reel that weighs ounces could be strapped to the side of the pack with no problems.

I'm hoping to do a 30 mile trip this spring, and thought about taking it with me, as the trail follow KY lake for the full length, and though I could possibly pull some crappie, or some big bluegill out in the evenings to supplement the dehydrated menu.

Have any of you used this type of set-up, with 2 - 4lb test line? Any succsess, or any reasons you wouldn't take this type of rig, would be appreciated.

J. laugh
Posted by: rockchucker22

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/27/13 12:16 AM

Yep I carry a ultra light set up on most my Sierra trips. 2 lbs test is all that's needed . My biggest problem is my son out fishes me constantly. We have a pond 2 mins from the house so we fish bass, catfish and blue gill all year and trout in the mountians. Lots of good experience for my son! Next will be a tankura(sp?) set up!
Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/27/13 12:40 AM

I use a old telescoping pole. Guides reglued, duct tape at the butt end to keep the pole from coming out the wrong end. I use 4lb. line as I break 2lb. too easily when I tie flies on. I use a clear bubble to get the fly out with my spinning reel, time to upgrade it, I've had it 20 years maybe now. A long stroke reel when they first came out. I keep fish when I think they are plentiful.
Tenkara is the new thing now.
Posted by: skcreidc

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/27/13 03:54 PM

By all means use the set up; it sounds a lit like mine. And what a wonderful way to remember your dad while doing what you want to do. Crappie and bluegill are a tasty way to supplement the diet. As far as 2 or 4-lb line? Well, you will probably loose more line/lures with the 2-lb; at least at first. Maybe bring some of each with you on the trip.
Posted by: jbylake

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/27/13 05:15 PM

Originally Posted By skcreidc
By all means use the set up; it sounds a lit like mine. And what a wonderful way to remember your dad while doing what you want to do. Crappie and bluegill are a tasty way to supplement the diet. As far as 2 or 4-lb line? Well, you will probably loose more line/lures with the 2-lb; at least at first. Maybe bring some of each with you on the trip.

Thanks. I have actually used UL before, but never backpacking, just catching crappie and bluegill off the dock. It's a blast, and a good sized crappie feels like a shark, on that UL gear. But I didn't know how this would work on a backpacking trip. Will also make it necessary to carry my MSR frying pan, oil, and some corn meal...then with my fishing skills, maybe not.... laugh

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/27/13 07:35 PM

I've gone to Tenkara, which is fly casting with no reel and an 11-12 foot telescoping rod, very lightweight. My total fishing gear, which includes a frying pan just in case I catch something, weighs 12 ounces. Admittedly I have not yet caught anything with this outfit, but it's fun to cast with. If I can get to Wyoming's Wind Rivers this summer, hopefully that abysmal record will be corrected. Where I was fishing around here, nobody else was catching anything either!

I bought a 5-piece lightweight fly rod from Cabela's for my grandson (going on 13) and a lightweight fly reel. Thanks to my plantar fasciitis last summer, we never got a chance to try it. Hopefully we'll remedy that this year!

If you're where you can build a campfire (I'm usually not), you can roast the fish on coals and go without the frying pan.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/28/13 09:26 AM

This subject comes up fairly often and as it turns out, the choices vary.
I prefer ultralight tackle no matter where I fish. It's perfect for creek fishing around here but none of my 4-5 foot rods collapse or break down, so they never go in the pack. 4 lb. test or the same size in braid (10lb.) is my line choice.

For backpacking or kayaking, I take a break down fly rod that has 5 sections, and a light fly reel, or....and handline. A handline takes some practice but I've always got a bite while drifting with the wind in a kayak (rubber worm or lizard) or tossing a lure across a creek. That's the lightest system I know.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/31/13 12:33 PM

I got the idea for a telescoping rod on this site. I absolutely love it. I won't fish with anything else, well, unless I had to. It is much more convenient to use, plus it collapses down small. I use a small open faced reel. Last year I tried out braided line and love that as well. I think it is much better than mono. For tackle, I bring a couple clear bubbles, a couple flies, and a couple trebles with powerbait. It all fits in a little box.
Posted by: djtrekker

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 02/10/13 10:06 PM

I'm just a weenie, but I thought I'd post anyway. Backpacking, I do fly fishing for trout. My bass fishing is day-trip floating and "normal" fishing. I use a 4 wt, 8'9" rod for backpacking. It breaks down into only 2 sections, and I just strap it to the side of my backpack, and I'm OK with it. It could be seen as overkill - the lightweight advocates in fly fishing would chide me for using this for brook trout...I do think I will eventually get a 2 wt rod just for brookies. I am also catch-and-release unless I fish stocked waters, but I am pretty much a wild-trout man.
On line weights for bass, crappie, etc., I would offer that 2 lb line does break easily around tree stumps, snags, etc., and I like to keep stray pieces of mono out of the water as much as possible, they can be hazardous to fish. I would recommend going with at least 4 lb even for the small guys just to be a little on the "green" side of things.
Blue gills and crappie, by the way, are seriously yummy eating fish.

"weenie" meaning I do heavyweight stuff because everything I have does everything......it's not just a budget issue, I get attached to my favorite gear and will go to any lengths to pack it along on a backpack........:-)
Posted by: BillgGruff

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 08/15/13 07:21 AM

If you know where fish like to be and what they like to eat they are much easier to catch.
I would definitely pack the rod/reel kit if you think you will use it.

If I'm going to be near water I always bring my 4wt and a box of flies.
Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 09/07/13 02:41 PM

I find the fish can ignore me equally, regardless of what I'm fishing with, so for backpacking, why not take the lightest stuff?

Only fish for trout so light tackle is pretty much standard. Have used a four-piece spinning rod and small reel w/ 4# line the last couple years and despite myself, have actually caught fish on it. Light is more fun!

Sounds like your dad was wonderful.

Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 09/07/13 11:40 PM

On my vacation over a month ago now, I only caught fish at Lake Schmidell during my week out. Those were actually at a pond just below the lake. All the other lakes were too windy when I was there, or I was not motivated to fish. I've been using the same reel and telescoping rod I've had for yearts now. I need to get a new reel, that might weigh a little less by a tiny bit. I usually can catch fish if they are rising good. If not, I'm sol. Best fishing I've ever had was at Rae Lakes a few years ago, caught 70 trout, kept some. I use 4 lb. test line, bubble and fly
First cast a couple weeks ago with a small group, I snapped my line and had to swim out to my bubble after I figured where it had went. Not a good day to swim as it was windy and cool.
Posted by: D Lee

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 10/01/13 02:11 PM

My father was a hunter, angler and backpacker and we enjoyed lots of quality time together doing those things, and I still do all three as much as time will allow.

I recommend getting a longer takedown rod, something 5 or 6 feet anyway. Years ago ultra-light spin fishing was very popular but lost favor among serious anglers who release most of their catch because playing a fish too long increases stress induced mortality. For smaller fish often found in backcountry, light gear is fine. I tried 2 lb line and found I lost too many fish and lures and went to 4 lb.

Tenkara fly fishing has become popular but it is not as versatile as a traditionsl fly rig.

Good luck and have fun.

Posted by: steveks

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 11/26/13 02:46 PM

My back pack rod is a 4 piece 8' 4wt fly rod. Light weight and fits under the shock cord outside my pack.
Posted by: WLLLC

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 02/03/14 10:18 PM

Well, I go with a group of very serious fisherman. We hike by necessity to reach the locations we love to fish. Priority in the pack is fishing gear, followed by food, then shelter, and finally clothes--enough to stay warm, but not smelling sweet. We typically journey to high mountain lakes far from the trailhead, and usually spend a week in the wilderness. We've found it is a blast to fly fish (5 wt, WF, floating line on 8 to 9 ft rod) using an ultralight float tube such as this: Backpacker Pro ultralight float tubes (www.wildernesslitefloattubes.com) with a recent independent review on YouTube


Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/17/14 04:50 PM

I only fly fish when I backpack, because the total gear is lighter than spin fishing. I take one film can full of small flies-most are mosquito look-alikes. I have found that matching the hatch is not that important when you fish remote lakes (Wyoming and the Sierra). I put on one fly, use it until it breaks or a fish runs off with it, then put on a new one. I also reduce weight by taking a very sharp light paring knife - the blade does not last much more than a week, but then I just throw out the knife. I do not use a net - only a 2-foot stringer. I also cut off most of the fly line on a super light reel- only have as much as I can cast. I have caught 16 inch trout with this set up. I am not a trophy fisherman- just want to eat fish. If I loose the big one, so be it. My fly rod breaks down into 3 pieces. I wrap it in a split foam pipe insulation length that I buy at Lowes (plumbing supplies). I hold it together with rubber bands. It fits nicely on the side outside pocket and does not stick up much. For me catching fish is mostly a matter of being the right place at the right time, not the equipment.
Posted by: rde1911

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/04/16 10:13 PM

This is the subject I have been looking for. I want to do a bunch over over night backpacking trips this spring to a number of small ponds that are great for trout fishing. The trout size will not be more than two pounds. I made a rod holder tube today using 2 inch soft core PVC pipe. My 5 foot Fenwick rod fits in it okay but it weighs more than I want. Has anyone fished with the 5 foot Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Pack Rod lite weight? I am looking at this rod or am looking for suggestions on a telescoping ultra lite rod. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Posted by: BrRabbit

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/05/16 02:51 PM

I'm toying with these 2 setups -

1) 1-2 lindy rigs (or similar) - attached to a long line and tied off to any tree branch or stick with a little bell to indicate fish biting. Packable, lightweight and effort-free - cast and do other camp chores, when hear bell (or once per hour) - check the rig and recast.

2) Tenkara fly fishing setup for times when I want to entertain myself or to fish in smaller creeks.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/05/16 04:16 PM

Originally Posted By rde1911
... Has anyone fished with the 5 foot Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Pack Rod lite weight? I am looking at this rod or am looking for suggestions on a telescoping ultra lite rod. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Their seems to be many more sectioned pack rods currently than telescoping pack rods. The sectioned rod tends to be lighter and has better action, which is why I think it is hard to find anything other than a cheap telescoping rod.

However, I discovered as you did, that when you add in a case to protect a sectioned rod, it gets a lot heavier. Telescoping rods don't really need that kind of protection. Retracted they seem much more robust. My son lost the top section to my first rod and I replaced it with a telescoping rod and haven't looked back. I now own two:

1. A cheap rod I bought for saltwater fishing with not very good action for trout fishing (A bit stiff for the tine Mepps spinners I use in the High Sierra). This is it: http://www.amazon.com/South-Bend-Proton-...QC0RSJHJ8NM6S8D

2. I have a nice Balzer rod that I use trout fishing. It's not as cheap, nor as good of action.... but the action is good and matches well with light lures. I think I bought the Magna Magic 25 from these guys (though I thought I spent more than $60....): http://www.psfishing.com/magna-magic-25-telescopic-fishing-rod.html

Most Balzer rods are pretty long like that one. Not sure if they have some shorter with light action. I like a 6ft + rod to be able to cast out into a lake.
Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/05/16 07:10 PM

I don't own a telescoping rod but have more recently tried a couple that showed me they're really improved from the old fiberglass noodles they once were. If the job is to get the bait in the water and (if you're not me) wrangle the fish to the shore, then there are telescoping rods that can do the job and solve the storage problem at the same time. Add a teeny spinning reel and you're set.

I'm taking a tenkara class later this month, so will see how that option looks. If I can figure out the whole tippet and tying the fly business, it looks perfect.

Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/05/16 09:50 PM

I have chosen to only fly fish, because the gear weighs less than spin fishing.

My fly rod (5 oz) is a four piece rod (early 1970's)and not a huge investment if it broke. I am sure there are lighter and better rods out there nowadays. I pack it inside that dark gray split foam pipe insulation (1.5 oz) and secure with rubber bands. As long as I pack the rod solidly on the side of my pack it is fairly well protected. I have also done bubble wrap which weighs less, but is more of a pain to use and does not protect as well.

I also have a really cheap old reel - very light weight. I only put the length of line that I can cast (not that far!) plus 2 feet. I have never lost line or needed to cut it. No point in carrying extra line weight. Granted, IF it were to break my fishing would end. I take one extra tapered leader. (3.5 oz line, leader and reel)

I only take one plastic 35mm film can of flies. I find that just to catch dinner, I really do not need to match hatch or anything like that. On some trips I will have the same fly on the end for days in a row. If I loose all the flies, I simply stop fishing. So far, I have not run out of flies. (0.4 oz)

I use a small 1-oz kitchen knife. It does make cleaning more difficult. I used to get them for a couple of dollars at the supermarket. Lately, I have not seen any. So now my husband sharpens the old ones before each trip.

I carry small scissors in my first aid kit so use this to cut line. I also have to have my bifocals to see well enough to tie on a fly, but I also need them to read a map, so do not consider them strictly fishing gear.

Two gallon sized zip-lock freezer bags to haul fish. One 3-foot stringer (those very light bright colored ones that feel almost like plastic cord). These items weigh about 1 oz. and not absolutely needed- I could instead use my spare shoelace that is in my repair kit.

I cook the fish in my regular 1-qt titanium cook pot. I have a frying pan but do not bring it unless my husband goes with me and the trip is exclusively for fishing.
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/05/16 09:52 PM

I realize that my post is a repeat of an older one. This time I actually weighed the stuff on a postal scale.
Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/05/16 11:46 PM

I only take one plastic 35mm film can of flies.

You're going to have to explain to The Youngs what you're talking about. Film? Can?

Posted by: 4evrplan

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/06/16 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By Rick_D
I only take one plastic 35mm film can of flies.

You're going to have to explain to The Youngs what you're talking about. Film? Can?


Nah, they're google experts.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 04/06/16 11:13 AM

Sorry, didn't realize I replied to this post some time ago. Nothing new here!
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/25/19 08:49 PM

I second the 8 foot 4 weight 4 piece fly rod and a nice light reel. If you are in an area with big fish bring a 5 weight. 8 footers help you keep the fly higher. In reality a dozen flies is plenty. Jim
Posted by: HPD

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/29/19 11:42 AM

I carry a 9 ft, 6 weight, 6 piece, LL Bean rod that weighs, with carrying tube, about 13 oz. It's sometimes a bit of overkill but fishing is one of my main activities while backpacking and since most of my fishing is done high in the Rockies and on lakes where there's usually some wind, it works well for me.

The carrying tube is a fluorescent light tube that I got at HD. It's minimal protection but has worked well for me so far.

My reel is Lamson Guru and it, plus flies, leaders, tippet & hemos weighs about the same, 13oz.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 01/29/19 01:42 PM

How many flies you take depends a lot on whether you're lake fishing or stream fishing and, if the latter, how much brush-bashing or tree climbing you are willing to do to retrieve a stuck fly!
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 02/03/19 10:18 PM

OM- I do not need many flies because I have such trouble tying them on the line (poor eyesight) that I never change it until it somehow goes missing. I throw the same old thing at every fish and it does not seem to matter. I caught the biggest fish ever (+20 inch Yellowstone Cutthroat) on a ratty fly that barely had a thread covering the hook!

Very annoying when I loose a new fly on the first cast because I tied it on wrong. Or the first fish runs off with it for the same reason.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 02/06/19 07:10 PM

A lot of flys could use a bit of roughng up to make them more insect like.
Posted by: rockchucker22

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 12/28/19 08:43 AM

After fishing with Masime Oni this last summer, I learned he has used the same 6 fly everywhere and for the last 50 years. Japanese kabari type flys are extremely versatile and can be substituted for almost any traditional western flies. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakasa_Kebari
Posted by: LeoB

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 12/10/20 02:17 AM

Good discussion. Thanks for sharing your experience, guys! I decided to add my two cents. I bought a new baitcasting reel a few months ago. First of all, I read an article at huntingfishingplus.com about the most popular models and brands. It helped to choose the Curado DC model by Shimano. Though I had the possibility to try it only once, I understood how great it is. If someone is in search, I recommend it with confidence.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Ultra Light Fishing? - 12/10/20 12:37 PM

I've never heard of anyone using a bait casting reel as part of an ultra light setup. How much does it weigh?