What is Matching and Balancing in Ultralight Fishing?

Matching and Balancing is a very important factor if you pursue the maximum satisfaction with the setup you are using. Selection of the appropriate setup is very important to make fishing more fun. So, what is Matching and Balancing in ultralight fishing?

Matching and Balancing refers to the selection of setup you use consists of Rod, Reel and the main line. Do not forget the weight of the lure and the ideal leader also plays an important role to gain a game that more extreme with maximum satisfaction.


So what setup is actually Matching and Balance?

Matching and balancing the setup is based on recommended poundage line written on the rod where the selection of the main line is based on the rod poundage and the selection of reel is based on the best possible reel that balance with the rod and line. Some reel came with recommended main line but you still have to balance it with the rod to make sure its really balance and matching.

Example 1:

Rod: Kanicen Nix – Leebass / Kanicen Nix – Sengat / Kanicen Nix – Sailang
Line Poundage: 1-6lbs / 2-6lbs
Reel: Kanicen Nix Reel
Drag: 1.8kg (example)
Main Line: 4lbs

If you look at the example above the setup is nicely is matching and balance with the selection of reel, rod and main line is within 1lbs to 6lbs. So this is a matching and balance along with the drag maximum pressure.

Example 2:

Rod: Trapara
Line Poundage: 2-4lbs
Reel: Abu Cardinal STX 10
Drag: 2.5kg
Main Line: 6lbs

If you look at the example above the setup is not matching and balance due to the selection of reel and rod is not in conformity with strings because the rod recommended main line is within 2lbs to 4lbs. So this could break the rod. Many ultralight anglers keep making these small mistakes that could harm the rod and able to cause the rod to break for no reason.

Example 3:

Rod: Nemesis 2
Line Poundage: 2-6lbs
Reel: Penn Battle 3000
Drag: 6kg
Main Line: 20lbs

Is above setup match and balance? If you answer NO then you are now starting to get the point.

The easiest way to make a drag reel selection is based on (kg). Look for a reel where the drag not exceeding 2.7kg because the rule of thumb for ultralight game is 6lbs (in our ultralight anglers group we are still accepting 3kg drag reel because most manufacturers produce reels with standard drag of 3kg and it’s the closest to 6lbs). However, this should be balanced with the main line poundage you use.

For example if you use a 2lb line where it just 0.9kg, then the reel should balance but to find a reel that suit to this extends is kind of impossible. This is where we have to adjust and find a suitable reel to be used. So, any reel that meets the rule of thumb should be fine.

Every rod and reel is made; the manufacturer will provide recommended line test / poundage on the reel and rod. They will give the appropriate information so that we do not skip much of the specifications given because that’s where you get the satisfaction and able to see how good you are.


Everything should start with the rod, reel and line selection based on the target fish. If you hunt for Peacock Bass then you can use trout rod for more exciting game or use a bass rod for hunting in the area where is more challenging with weeds and structures.

Suitable reel size that matches the setup will also help into getting a good fight. I personally prefer reel size 1000 because it’s just balance with all my rods and its good enough for all my target fish. Its light, small and allow me to enjoy every cast. If you need a lot of line then reel size 2000 may be an option that you can match to meet your needs. The matching is not only on the rod, reel and main line but also on the lures you used. Make sure you use appropriate lure weight and not exceeding the recommended lure weight on the rod. Avoid giving pressure to the rod which is likely to break.

If shock leader greater than the main line will that cause a problem on the step?

The answer is NO. You need to understand we connect shock leader to mainline using a knot. So, the strength is decided on the knot (the weakest area) so the its either the knot area or the main line will break first. You can use shock leader based on your target fish.

For example: If you hunt for a Giant Snakehead or in local known as Toman then the shock leader such as 15lb or 20lb based on your confidence level can be used. As highly skilled anglers they may have the courage or experience to use small shock leaders. If you hunt for Indo-Pacific Tarpon then shock leaders like 2lb, 3lb, 4lb, 6lb or so can be used based on your self-confidence.

If you are looking for satisfaction then you are at the right place. To begin with start your ultralight fishing activities by amending what does not conform to the rule of thumb – 6lbs.


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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