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The Joy of Ultralight


Fishizzle, I use worms but I'm looking to upgrade!
As Larry Dahlberg says, "fly fishin' ain't just for trout anymore." And, on one episode of the Walker's Cay Chronicles, I have Flip Pallot landing a 15 pound grass carp in a private Georgia lake on a 4wt.

There's an expression; "you don't know unless you try......" So, instead of denigrating a suggestion about ultralight fly fishing, why not secretly getting an ultralight outfit; start with a 3wt. and experiment. Don't tell your hardcore buddies that insist on an 8-10wt., then sneak-off by yourself and have some fun.

Now, "you kill fish by playing them too long on ultralight tackle." Bull, you kill fish by being afraid of light tackle. Dave Whitlock, Lefty Kreh, Bill Byrd, Flip Pallot, et al, "all you need is to keep 1 lb. of pressure on a fish and he will give up........"...one pound of pressure as you're stripping him in and you should be landing a good sized fish within 20 seconds.

Heck, don't take my word for it, go to:

Fly Fishing with Bill Byrd

Ultralight Fly Fishing, The Forum for those who fish ultralight fly rods from 000wt to 3wt. - Message Board - Yuku

and learn.

I use my 3 wt. for sunnies and the like, or when I am hitting up the small streams. It is a blast when you get that ultralight rod doubled over, and pull in a palm sized blue gill....
Ahh, it's Bluegill you want; well my go-to lake in southern Jersey is full of brutes.....
Here's some slideshows....

These are all caught on a 1wt., 2wt., or 3wt.
Hope you enjoy them, come on down any time,,,,,,,Jim
Nice stuff! But I have Prospect park lake 20 minutes from my door. Hard to beat that!
I'm sorry, but my experience has been the lighter the tackle the longer it takes me to land a big fish; so I avoid going too light. The last thing I want to do is kill a fish just to have a longer fight with it.

I really like the ultralight 0wt - 3wt rods. You can apply much more tension on the line/leader than with a stiffer rod without breaking the leader.

Most FF do not test the rod and leader to the breaking point and get the feel of an ultralight outfit.

The gill is from the Hudson River 2 days ago on a 15 yr. old Diamonback 2 wt. The carp is from August. 14.5 lbs. on a Orvis 7'9" Rocky Mt. 2 wt. full flex of about the same age. It took about 10 minutes to land. I use ultralight gear alot and have had no reservations about fish mortality; and that is VERY important to me. Changing angles, tippet, pressure all play thier role. It can be done , with a lot of fun added in!


You can put plenty of pressure on a fish with a 2wt. You'll also protect your tippet. It's just hard to throw giant streamers of cast 100 yards.
....and, unless you're shore-bound, you shouldn't have to cast anything 100 yards.....

charlie,,,,,that 'gill would fill up an 11" frypan...nice.

In reference to the pressure and play comment; the reason most fish are played way too long and put in stress-jeopardy is the the fact that most anglers are using 5wt-6wt gear with light tippet and are fearful of breaking off so they play with that fear. I've got way too many episodes of fly fishing shows taped going back to the 70's that depict this fact...."I'm using a St. Croix Legend Elite....Sage 596 XP (or some other stiff, "fast" rod) with 5X tippet so I don't want to horse him or I'll break him off...."
DUH, you're going to overstress the poor fish.

Here's a couple of items for consideration.....

incidental catches - UL Photos - Main Forums - Ultralight Fly Fishing, The Forum for those who fish ultralight fly rods from 000wt to 3wt. - Message Board - Yuku

Fly rod vs fish leverage. What does it mean to fly fishers? by Bill Byrd

Don't take someone else's word for anything, experiment, prove it for yourself.

Ultra lite tackle is capable of landing big fish safely. You can lean all over a big fish with these lite flexible rods. Been there done that !
You can land some good sized fish on UL fly rods. The main limitations are not the size of the fish, but casting a light line in the wind, casting a weighted fly or shot, or casting a larger or wind resistant fly.
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