Important Factors To Understand Ultralight Fishing

Ultralight has become a trend and a new phenomenon in South East Asia but in fact this has been existed for decades but it has never been exposed due to lack of media exposure such as Facebook, videos and others media. It is a different story now since the establishment of Ultralight Anglers group in Facebook it has now started to pick it but in a modern style and better way of ultralight fishing.

Many anglers still debating the good of ultralight fishing without realizing its actually the same with any other different fishing techniques. For ultralight it is only the concept changed where downsizing to the setup we used.

What are the important factors to be a good Ultralight angler?


1. Concept

Understand the concept of Ultralight (UL) is the most basic factor that you need to know and that must be understood properly. The things you need to understand about UL are setup need to balance and match. This includes choosing proper rod poundage, reel with suitable drag power and suitable main line poundage plus other accessories used to equip as a setup for fishing.

Universal concept is a fish bigger than the setup used is considered ultralight but its actually ultralight on fish not on setup. If we take this and apply to our daily fishing routine then it will confuse many because not all able to think and have the same way of digesting the info. They will use in all games the same setup and treat it as ultralight.

The first thing you must understand is ultralight is NOT more than 6lbs. This is the rule of thumb not theory. And you also have to understand what is “Matching and Balancing” when combining various accessories which includes rod, reel and main line.

For more info what is ultralight fishing please read:

What is Ultralight Fishing?

2. Time

Time is very important to understand the real meaning of ultralight game. And it’s almost impossible to learn something without spending amount of time to adapt and understand something new. Before you jump into ultralight game you need to make sure you’ve spent amount of time to learn your current setup because you need to really know your line strength, reel strength, reel suitability, rod strength, rod suitability and appropriate lures that suits each game / rod. You need to make sure they are balance and match properly to get the best out of it. And then slowly downgrade the mainline (of course the rod and reel should match and balance as well) to understand every mainline poundage strength and how far it can go when you push it to the max. This is the key to your ultralight game success. Without this you will always have doubts in everything and fails in most of your efforts.

For example: If you are new to the world of Ultralight fishing the most important things to understand is how to strike the fish. When it comes to Ultralight there are no such things as “force” and “snap”. In ultralight it’s more like “DRAG” using the arm power instead of wrist. If this is not followed then you may break the mainline and worst case you can break the rod. Once you understand this then slowly you will get the idea on how to handle the fish without force by using proper drag force and using rod momentum to handle the fish.

Again, you need time to learn ultralight fishing. No matter how good you are in other fishing game but when it comes to ultralight you need to throw your ego and get the “FEEL”. Only by doing this you can learn it properly.

3. Decreasing Poundage

Often we stress that downsizing the mainline poundage uniformly is important because this is the process that will teach all the knowledge, tips and experience you need to become an ultralight angler. If you are using 30lbs now and you intend to downgrade to 6lbs or 4lbs you better forget about ultralight. The reason is you do not go through the actual process to understand everything about UL.

For example: Assumed now you are using 30lbs mainline, how well do you understand the line? Do you really know to what extend you can force your line without breaking it? Did you know your rod power and your reel strength? Do you understand what it “Matching & Balancing”? If you don’t then you are certainly just “slaughtering” your fishing setup.

If you simply downsizing your mainline from 30lbs to 6lbs then what do you understand about the other line poundage like 25lb, 20lb, 15lb, 12lb, 10lb and 8lb? Did you really know that the real strength of the mainline and what is suitable setup for each? Did you know that each mainline poundage the reel drag force setting is different to every rod? Did you know that different target fish require different drag setting? Did you know that each rod, reel and mainline what drag setting is the best? Did you know that you actually need to use the rod momentum to handle the fish instead of using the power of the body? Doubt many know this. If you don’t then it’s time to make a proper decision and enjoy ultralight fishing the way it should be.

There are few major factors you break all the rules and that could be:

a) Over excited.
b) Ego.
c) No knowledge.

Best things to do is:

a) Understand the concept.
b) Take time to learn something new.
c) Downsizing the mainlines (setup) properly and understand Matching & Balancing first.
d) Dump your EGO.

4. Techniques & Skills

Techniques and skills take time. Techniques and skills need soul. Techniques and skills require a process of trials and errors. Techniques and skills need tutoring from the right people. Techniques and skills need to understand the setup used. Techniques and skills require patience. If not even the small fish can break the mainline.

5. Humble

This is a very important thing when you want to learn something. Pursue knowledge in the right way so that you can share the knowledge with friends. Respect the sacrifice of those who took efforts to give you knowledge. When there is respect and humility then everyone would be happy to teach everything properly and sincerely.


To be honest I’ve been through all the things above. Until I got taught by an old man (came from nowhere) in the middle of 2005. But that was the only exposure that existed at that time. Not many information can be obtained and the web at that time is still lack of info. It took me years to understand everything about UL and most important to get hands-on on a good ultralight setup. It’s almost impossible to find one good setup here last time. Today, it’s everywhere. I never stop doing my own R&D and improve weaknesses for educating purpose.

For those new to the world of Ultralight the process of downsizing the mainline (and setup) is a must go-thru process so that the knowledge can be gained in an appropriate manner. Not many dare enough to go on try something new. Without this believes me you are not complete.

Ultralight angling is not for you if you are chasing the popularity and being EGO. I’ve been told to be an ultralight angler you need to understand that ultralight is not for those who want to show-off but for those who are looking for satisfaction fighting with fish.

So, be humble and learn properly. If possible get some experience anglers to guide you.

All the best.


All information given is based on a 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. Good day Kanicen

    I hope that you’re doing well and please continue to update your blog! 🙂

    I just started to the world of light fishing, it seems that I prefer to upgrade /downgrade(I find it an upgrade as it requires a degree of finesse based on your videos lol) , from the usual heavy set up,boating in the deep sea, Andaman, Maldives, Lombok to light fishing

    As you can tell, my set up consists of a 50lb line.(I’m a plain lazy guy that occasionally jig,pops, but i’ll rather prefer laying down my bait and just read a book.just kidding.sleep)

    I have a bad habit of always lining up my spools with a heavier line in order to target fishes between 0.5 – 4 KG in the mangroves (Barramundi, M.J and a few groupers) (i’ll use 30lb to 40lb LOL)

    I just bought a rod(okuma (10-17lb) and a shimano sienna 2500 ) as a light set up , I might be using a 15 lb as a start just to experience the world of light fishing before heading to ultralight

    1)Im really new in ultralight fishing.The main question is, am I going to fast in the lane of light fishing, before I indulge myself in the new world of 6lb poundage lines(ultralight) ?

    2) If it’s alright with you and for some rare reason you have a few minutes to spare,What would be the set up you might recommend for me in ultralight fishing?( spinning reels/rods only please)

    3) Baits, how do you actually know which bait to use in any occasion, between soft plastics or hard minnows,sticks,..

    Thank you for your time, and keep doing whatcha doin


    • Hey Good Day bro,

      Sorry for the late response. Kind of busy with my new rod and other products. Just managed to find time to sneak into the blog. I do my best to assist you and hope you able to get some idea. So, I will just answer your questions.

      1)Im really new in ultralight fishing.The main question is, am I going to fast in the lane of light fishing, before I indulge myself in the new world of 6lb poundage lines(ultralight) ?

      Answer: I believe its still okay rather than jump straight to 6lbs. You already have the idea and that’s most important. I always advise anglers to lower the poundage gradually and seek knowledge and experiences in every poundage because from those experience you should be able to understand the line strength, proper drag setting, how your rod will response to your other gears. This is very important process since it will teaches you balance and matching in everything. Everything means not only your gears but the way you fish, your body, your style, your robustness, your emotion and any other things that will affect the whole understanding of balance and matching. You see balance and matching is not same for each one of you. Its you and yourself. This is where you need experience to understand it and by doing the process of lowering the poundage you will get the idea and start to understand. I would recommend take at least 6 months for each poundage or around 100 fish minimum to get the good understanding from all kind of fishing spots and species. Then only you will be able to understand everything that necessary.

      2) If it’s alright with you and for some rare reason you have a few minutes to spare,What would be the set up you might recommend for me in ultralight fishing?( spinning reels/rods only please)

      Answer: It depend actually. I need to understand your aim. Lets say you want to go into UL what kind of game you plan to. Bass? Stream? All rounder? Normally i would recommend go for all rounder game with any poundage 1-6lbs, 2-6lbs, 3-6lbs with fast action rod. This will be the best for starting. Then as for the line start with 6lbs and get the experience first. I always recommend proven brand rather than china brand since they mostly don’t really follow the specs. Get between 500 – 2000 size reels. I would recommend 1000 since this will go well with any rod out there. Or if you have budget get shallow spool reels from Shimano.

      3) Baits, how do you actually know which bait to use in any occasion, between soft plastics or hard minnows,sticks,..

      Answer: This is where you need to choose proper and proven brand. Some china rods they always play with ratings. Good brand they do RND and they dont simply label it as they like. So, the lure weight recommendation on the rod is what they tested able and users will able to do the same. Just remember this UL max is 6lbs and lure weight shouldn’t exceed 7g. Any rod recommended more than that is not proper. Some rods fast action able to cast out all kind of lures but some rods like moderate fast / moderate / slow action good for soft baits game. You will learn all these during the process of lowering down your poundage.

      So, hope managed to give you some ideas. Whatever you do just enjoy the process and do take time. Dont rush into anything, dont force, and dont over expecting results. Everything need time but once you got it no one can take it away from you.

      Good luck bro 🙂

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