How to Choose Suitable Ultralight Fishing Rod?

Ultralight fishing has existed 100 of years ago but it has never widely regarded as one of the fishing area that everyone should explore and enjoy. Today, you can find there many ultralight fishing rods in the market which you can select the various brands made by different manufacturers due to the explosion ultralight fishing trend.

You may want to join a ultralight group here:

Choosing an appropriate rod can be a tough problem for new anglers simply because they are yet to have the right knowledge and experience that will allow them to choose something that suits their soul and also their target fish. There are lots of things that need to be considered before taking a step into ultralight fishing.

In the light of various information on the internet how can you make a good decision? We have done too many on-field-testing based using our experience on various aspects before drawing conclusions that suitable for anglers.

There is only one reason you came here. You’ve been poisoned by your ultralight fishing friend that makes you feel the urge to try ultralight fishing. And due to lack of knowledge you want to make a research about the ultralight setup that’s suitable.

For beginners (even experienced anglers) often do not know how to find a rod that is suitable especially for the type of fishing that they’ve never tried. For instance ultralight fishing is inappropriate to be used for deep sea fishing.

Before making the decision to choose the most suitable rod, anglers should know a bit about “Power” and “Action” of the rod. These two elements usually become an issue and a problem that confusing even for experienced anglers.

Rod Action

Action of a rod means how much the rod can bend when casting. There is few actions on the rod, namely:

1. Extra Fast
2. Fast
3. Moderate-Fast
4. Moderate
5. Slow


Extra Fast Action bend usually only at the end of the tip. Fast Action usually bends around guide number to 3/4/5 or rather the last quarter of the length of the rod.

Normally Extra Fast and Fast Action rod type is used for top water lures. This type of rod is usually a bit stiff but it depends on the manufacturer and type of materials used on the blank.

Ultralight Rod ActionWhile the Moderate-Fast action rod usually bend in the middle area of the rod (from 2/4 – 3/4 rod) and also Moderate Action rod bend at 3/4 the last half of the rod. Slow Action rods usually bend entirely to the handle section.

Fast action rods provide strength (force) to cast for a distance which normally used for anglers that want to do long cast or used to pull the target fish out from the area with structures. While the rod that has a soft action is not appropriate to cast heavy lures or for distance purpose because it was not stiff enough to give force to the rod. This type of rod normally used for soft baits.

Rod Power

Heavy lures and main line recommendation for a particular rod is the main factors that determine the power of a rod. Ultralight rod has been designed from 1-6 pounds of main line with lures weight recommendation from 1/32oz to 1/4oz. Rods that can accommodate heavier lures and bigger poundage main line are categorized from light to heavy.

Power means strength or lifting. When people talk about a rod has a strong backbone, he means the power of the rod. Power rating is usually categorized as heavy, medium heavy, medium, medium light, light, ultralight, etc. Power is usually closely related to the strength of the main line. It is very important to ensure test line within the limits of the rod as recommended if not it may cause some irrelevant issues.

The best way to choose a rod is based on the fish target, the area of fishing and the type of water you want to use. These factors will lead you to make the appropriate choice of rod power. On the heavy structure area you may need a heavy hard rod in order to force the fish out of the house while the open area and which require small main line for sensitive fish you can use ultralight or light rod.

For more information to understand the classification of a rod and main line please click the link below:

What is Ultralight Fishing?


This is related to the modulus where it describes the overall capability of the rod to flex under load and release the stored energy when casting. For example, the finished rod is made possible as a result of the different layers of different materials and all of which contribute to a responsive rod. One thing is certain, especially lighter rod tip is more responsive rod. As Gary Loomis said, the mind of a rod is a barrier for steady performance. Overall, the higher the modulus, the more effective it will store and release energy where it will give you the ability to accurately cast flick on a lower trajectory.


This is the most common material used in building a bass rod in the present and it was first introduced in the 70s by Fenwick. Nowadays graphite is produced using extremely high temperatures that sometimes a temperature around 3000 degrees and it is divided in two parts, one for creating the tensile strength and one for toughness. Generally, the hotter the furnace is in each process the more powerful and tough the rod can be. Means only require less raw material to build a rod and the rod can be built as lighter than and as sensitive as possible.

To build a rod with high modulus and without high tensile strength the rod can easily breaks. This is where most well-known brands can advertise some high modulus graphite at a low price; because not all of the processes for making graphite rod are completed properly because it was very expensive. To obtain high-quality graphite rod is highly capital intensive and most anglers will not be able to afford it.

Normally, only a G. Loomis GLX and graphite St. Croix SC4, which incorporate carbon or graphite fibers instead of glass because it is very expensive and very rare material.

To get the best rod with appropriate action requires a combination of different materials and by using layers of graphite or different types of fiberglass. It’s not difficult to manufacture a graphite rod nowadays because the technology already existed on this modern era.


This material was used to produce rod since the 50s and has come a long way since then. Fiberglass is known for gentle action and has durability, and used to build high-quality rod. Many anglers like to play fiberglass rod lures crank baits or other applications where medium to slow action necessary action. Sometimes rod constructed with a combination of graphite and fiberglass rod that allows designers to produce rod which has a good action.

IM6, IM7, etc.

Hexcel Corporation is using these terms in a transaction that they produce graphite. This numbers is the industry standards or mean rod quality. However, it is able to provide different quality of materials used to make rods of the same manufacturer. You can confidently accept the fact that the graphite rod IM7 is better than rod IM6 if it is made from the same manufacturer. However, if different manufacturers so it is not relevant because the other manufacturers may use different material contents to make rod.


As stated above, refers to the stiffness modulus graphite, not the amount of material used or number of graphite fibers used in the manufacturing process. Buying rod solely based on the rating modulus is a mistake because other factors should also be taken into account. For example, you do not want a rod that hard for a game using small lures or cranking. In addition, other qualities should be included in the manufacturing of graphite rod and the rod must be designed properly to ensure high performance and durability of the rod. Other component that go into the making of the whole rod that will ensure quality and can also affect the cost.


Today, most bass rod has a metal frame and ceramic rings. These guides can vary in price, and a set of spinning guides can reach from RM60 – RM150 based on the quality and brand. Silicon or SiC is usually considered the best material in the present. It offers a very smooth surface to withstand friction. Less friction means less heat. But for ultralight game this is not mandatory because we hardly use force or too much of pushing/pulling that can cause friction.

Alconite is another high quality materials but it is not as expensive as SiC. Hardloy, Hialoy, and aluminum oxide is a ceramic material that is relatively easy to service and can be found easily on the market. There are a variety of guides in the market. Some are made of titanium and some are made of stainless steel. But each of these guides has their respective advantages in terms of price and weight.

Rod has a lot of guides generally give a better throw and cost more expensive than a similar rod with less guides. Rod that has more guides provides more uniform bending and allows anglers to cast farther and give power when fighting a fish. Fuji Concept Guide System is one the best example in the fishing guides manufacturing that available today for rod building.


When fishing, you need comfort grip that allow you to handle the fish properly even if it is wet but retaining the the vibration caused by the fish bite still can be felt. Cork holder is very interesting, looks elegant and but the price is depending on the quality and its brand. Normally, rods that come with a cork finishing are usually more expensive than a normal grip.

Reel Seats

Reel seat is a section where it holds your reel. Not many brand of reel seat available in the market and when choosing the reel seat is depends on the angler itself. Normally a common rod reel seat will be quite hard and will torn out after few use. But if you opt for the comfort-conscious reel seat where it does not hurt your hands and can help you go on a long fishing trip.

All Around Rod Choice

The selection of all-rounder rod is most suitable at present for most beginners. There are a variety of factors that all-rounder rod become the choice. Normally, it’s for anglers who have a low budget and only able to use one type of fishing rods for all type of fishing style. Usually Bass Rod is the recommended option because it has a toughness that is suitable for various fishing locations and target fish. The second factor is for first timer anglers who wish to try on ultralight fishing a hard rod is the best option to avoid breaking it. This is where they will start to feel the game through experience. It’s practical to get the feel first before you invest to buy a rod that is better suited to the soul.

Spinning or Bait Casting (BC)?

It is up to the individual. Ultralight is always referring to spinning and this you have to understand. When it comes to Bait Casting (BC) it’s known as Finesse Fishing. Many people still confuse with the terms used. Using spinning rod is preferable because it gives beginners (newbie) the opportunity to adapt to ultralight game and understand it easily because no matter what ultralight spinning is the most ideal for ultralight fishing simply because:

1. Easy to use.
2. Easily available.
3. Easy to control (Balance & Matching).
4. Cheap.
5. Practical.
7. Ability to cast further.
8. Able to cast lures weighing 0.5g easily.

Even the world famous anglers use spinning when they intend to fish using ultralight spinning because they realize it is more convenient and the most ideal.

You should realized this because even the big guys from US and Japan never come up with BC Rod and Reel for ultralight.

Available Rods In Market

There are different types of rods available in the market at a price considered affordable such as Okuma Nemesis 2, Storm Discovery, Berkley Cherrywood, Timberwolf, Shimano Scimitar, Daiwa Aird and others. It costs about RM70 to RM180.

If you are looking for Malaysian local brand then you may want to try Kanicen Nix – Leebass and also Sengat. The first ultralight rod designed especially for Malaysian waters and the surrounding regions. Leebass is a perfect rod for those looking for slightly rough game since the ideas are more on bass rod and Sengat is for those looking for sensitivity and addicting game. For more info you can check their website at

Which Ultralight Rod Suitable For Beginners?

The most ideal rod for beginners is the rod that was quite tough and hard with fast action if you prefer to cast hard lures. And the most important factor is cheap and affordable so you can push the rod to maximum while in learning process without worries. This is because the concept of Ultralight must be understood first prior to making the decision to get a better rod. Many anglers making lots of mistakes throwing money buying expensive stuff before learning the basic and end up breaking the rod.

Ultralight fishing is an ART. It is not just a hobby that you can beat without understanding it first. It’s not a usual heavy game fishing that you always in where you can pull the fish without hesitate. Ultralight fishing is for those looking for satisfaction by learning the process of how to control the fish using the lightest setup with thin lines and smallest lures if possible. It can become more extreme than any fishing games you’ve ever try before.

There are tons of cheap ultralight rod can be round easily in the market like Berkley Cherrywood, Okuma Nemesis 2 and Storm Discovery. The prices normally ranging from RM70 to RM90 depending on the tackle shops. Rod is pretty tough, hard and suitable for use in various fishing locations and fish species.

The rule of thumb is 6lbs for Ultralight fishing. And its best suit with reels that have drag maximum of 6lbs (normally size from 200 to 1000 spinning within the require max drag) or worst to worst go up to 3kg max drag (still a safe zone since most reels the drag are not dead/solid drag) with maximum of 6lbs main line regardless braided or monofilament. Shallow spool will the best option but not necessary to spend more at beginning. If you are just starting make sure to balance and matching it properly to avoid unwanted issues like breaking the rod.

The length of the rod depends on the interest and suitability of the fishing location. If you fish on the ground then the long rod like 6’6 and longer may be an option. But if a narrow area 5’6 or 6 feet may be more appropriate. The fun of long or short rods is depending on each individual. It’s very subjective to put it into words because different anglers have their own feel and interest. For starters, 5’6 to 6 feet is more convenient to get the feel and understand the tempo.


Selecting a proper rod play an important factor in understanding the process ultralight fishing. It should be based on the desire to acquire knowledge first and based on the budget you have. Expensive or cheap is not an issue. Although the rod is cheap but if you get into the ultralight fishing it can still affects your fishing mood even if you can land a fish of your palms size. To facilitate the learning process spinning rod is highly recommended because it is easy to use and will give you the freedom of casting lures for a considerable distance.

Choose the rod based on your knowledge and pocket. Avoid selecting a soft rod if you never tried ultralight fishing. Remember, knowledge is more important than everything.


All information given is based on best efforts to express our opinions and knowledge that has been acquired. Paragraph or inappropriate words may have been used and it is out of control because we have tried most wisely. If you have suggestions, please comment. We will make changes.

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  1. And does the distribution of weights at a large distance make sense with the help of elastics? I read that it helps when fishing deeply (article in Polish) and the second question to choose a catch in terms of the size of the float?

    • Hi Adam,

      Your first question: Yes it does make sense but not only that. It requires proper balance and matching of your entire setup to make sure you achieve its max performance.

      Your second question: Size referring to the your fish.

      Hope it help 🙂

  2. “Many anglers making lots of mistakes throwing money buying expensive stuff before learning the basic and end up breaking the rod”

    Thats true. My friends bought expensive baitcasting stuff and end up with line mess on their baitcasting reel or broken rod tip. Ultralight fishing is complicated, but when you got the point of ultralight fishing, you will love it.

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