Ultralight Bass Fishing

ultralight bass fishing

​Make no mistake about it catching bass on lightweight gear can be one of the most exciting ways to fish.

Ultralight bass fishing has grown at an incredible rate in recent years as fishermen realize just how much fun it can be catching bass in this style.

Throwing small finesse style lures does require a change in both tactics and tackle if you want to make the very best presentation possible.

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​Ultralight Bass Fishing

​Although most anglers use a baitcaster combo for just about every type of fishing that they do year-round, most baitcasters are just not that suitable for really ultralight fishing.

A spinning setup for bass is the preferred choice when fishing on light gear.  Light line flows much easier off of a small spinning reel than the spool of a baitcaster.

Targeting bass on this type of gear means that you really need to be careful with your hook-sets, no more yanking that rod back as hard as you can.

A bit more care and attention must be applied to almost every aspect of how you fish when compared to much heavier tackle.


​The ultralight in ultralight bass fishing predominantly comes from the rod power rating “ultra light”.

An ultralight rod is generally considered the lightest power rating you can get. They are for very light lures or bait rigs and are normally used with lines that are rated 8 lbs in breaking strain or lower.

Rod power describes how heavy or strong the backbone of the rod is i.e how much force it will usually require to bend it.

Rod power ratings start at ultralight then light, light/medium, medium, medium/heavy, heavy, and finally extra heavy.

Rod power is not to be confused with rod action. Rod action describes were about on the rod blank that the bend in the rod will start once pressure is applied to it.

A fast action rod has the bend start higher up towards the top one-third of the rod towards the rod tip.

Whereas a slow action rod will start to bend lower down in the lower one-third of the rod towards the reel. ​If you are fishing for bass on ultralight tackle then you will need a fast action rod.


An ultralight spinning reel is a go-to choice if you want to use light action rods and light lines in the 4 to 6 lb range.

A size 1000 or 2000 ultralight reel is the most common size used, anything over that and you are getting into light/medium spinning combo for bass.

​A good reel is a serious investment and the best reels will have a solid drag system, strong internal gears, and a spool that allows the line to flow off of it with ease.


​The best line for ultralight fishing is monofilament that can be as low as 2 lbs or as high as 8 lbs depending on how you are fishing and just how big the bass is in your local pond.

Braid is rarely used as in really low breaking strains it does become very prone to wind knots.

Braid has also a very low stretch when compared to mono and when fishing with such light gear I tend to favor having some kind of shock absorber in the system which mono is great at.


You need much smaller or finesse lures when using such light tackle so larger spinnerbaits or similar lures are really not suitable. Small finesse lures like Rapala lures or finesse style plastic swimbaits are the top choices.

Jigs are one of the best types of lures to use on light tackle. With the right rod and reel combination, you can actually cast a jig quite a long distance.

Lighter gear also gives you much better sensitivity so you can feel what is going on with the hook much easier.