Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I got to thinking about this from a reply I made in the rod length discussion. With my most recent line replacement, my lightest line from a specified pound test perspective is 6# and that is SpiderWire which is officially rated at about half the actual breaking strength according to most tests. I have some 4# flouro on another reel (now relegated to vertical jigging and stealing bits for leaders; putting it on a spinning reel was a mistake) that is actually larger diameter.

Anyway, the SpiderWire is on a rod rated for UL and a UL reel. Because it is is 0.005" in diameter, casting tiny jigs is no problem. Besides the other thread, the other thing that made me come up with this question was packing for this weekend. What was going to be a fishing weekend with some visiting thrown in turned into a visiting weekend with some fishing thrown in. Taking a couple of my younger kids to visit my oldest and will spend some time at parks with lakes or on the coastal rivers. Anyway, I packed up their push button combos and my short UL and the reel with the SpiderWire (and a breakdown fly rod, but that's another story).

I was thinking about grabbing my light rod also, since there is a chance we might go to an inshore location where reds, specs or sheepshead are a possibility, but I really want to pack light and besides we all know that the 6# SpiderWire is really at least 10#. 

So the question is, when is UL no longer UL? Is it the terminal tackle? Rod? Reel? Line? 

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Replies to This Discussion

Andy 

 UL fishing is really the combination of all four components. It all depends on how light you wish to go. I've seen rods rated 1/64 - 1/8 rated UL and reels rated 1-6 lb test rated the same.

I fish what some people would consider nano, 1# line, 7 foot  3/4 oz fixed  pole, #32 hook and 3mm micro plastic. A large catch would blow up my rig. My tradeoff is that a small fish will fight well if you match the set up to the targeted fish.

Question is how willing are you to let an incidental large catch break off to truely fish UL or is the goal to get them all. 

Just something to think about 

Yeah, I guess there are at least a couple of approaches:

  1. A setup that can deliver UL terminal tackle reasonably well while still trying to maximize capability to catch the larger fish that may take the light offering.
  2. Increasing the challenge by limiting the tackle.

And I think most of us are a mix of both. I don't want to just horse the fish in but I do like knowing it is unlikely that I will get broken off and that I will usually get jigs free from snags. I sometimes fish midges almost as small as your nano tackle on my fly rod to catch bait for catfish. That's one of the few times I use a tapered tippet, mostly so I can fit the line through the eye.

I believe what your really asking is what makes up the perfect UL set-up

The perfect UL fishing set-up… hmmmm… it is a rod that feels like the extension of your forefinger… with a reel light and small with mechanics that are strong a drag as smooth as butter in a hot pan, comfortable reel radius and retrieve ratio… line that is infinitely strong that everything that you hook you own. A line so strong that you could point the rod at your quarry and winch and ski it in. A perfect UL world… how to get close to this feeling.

Shorten the length of the rod! … I’ve tried the 6-0 to 8-0 ft UL rods… with that increased length is leverage and increased weight… it takes away from the small UL feel. I’ve found the perfect (IMO) shortness is back to the 5-0 to 5-6 ft length rods. Very light and sensitive with today’s materials … it’s a component you need to fulfill and to accomplish the goal of that UL sensation.

The 50 series reels in today’s market are another necessary component for that small UL feel. I was amazed the quality and feel I was able to obtain from purchasing reels for my UL ice rods that were tiny, strong and smooth that were able to handle large preds on 2-0# test fluorocarbon … truly amazing even at the 15.00 price level. Again you want the small feel. To me nowadays the 10 series reels seem more L than UL in feel.

The line! … would have to be a super line preferably Nanofil or Power pro in 4-0# test… in a recent outing I caught close to 200 crappie by pitching my ultra light with tiny jigs into fallen trees and wood along the banks of the creek channels… getting snagged dozens of times in the branches I was able to straighten the hook or easily pull free without losing tackle and time retying. The line diameter was equivalent to 1-0# test mono dia. I would have easily littered the branches with tackle bling if I used 2-0# test mono.

I learned from ice fishing that retying out in the field is tough to do so I started using these snaps… great for UL bait and lure swaps. A pair of hemostats aids greatly in the lure or bait exchange. So light and small even recommended for fly fishing!

So there you have it in my opinion “The Perfect UL Set-Up”…. Lol … for now anyways

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