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Ultra lights from shore
Post 13 Dec 2020, 21:14 • #1 
Guide
Joined: 10/31/08
Posts: 133
Location: Canada
I found myself this year using spinning rods a fair amount. I spent the late summer and fall fishing spins my rods with smaller sized baits (1/16oz jigs, live bait with split shot, etc) and braid at night for walleye. Curious what everyone is using in the way of ultralight spinning rods for distance.


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Post 13 Dec 2020, 21:40 • #2 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Japanese Rockfish rods.
8' and up is a good choice, and they make some out to 9'4".
I have two older Takamiya at 7'6" and 7'9", and two newer at 8' and 8'3".
The newer 8' is pretty cost effective, and a workhorse I'm not afraid to take out in a kayak - Black Hole Dark Horse Rockfish (search ebay - very good price on this Korean made rod).
My 8'3' Yamaga Blanks TZ Nano is pretty much top line except for maybe Norie and Breaden - also unbelievably light at 73 g.

This post links to two youtubes of my Yamaga Blanks TZ at work. One with better slow-motion video of the rod casting (and lame night fishing), the other with good daytime fishing, including fish with shoulders.

Yamaga Blanks rods are in high demand, and pretty much sell out the same day they're listed.

Between the Black Hole and Yamaga, I landed 4 seatrout doubles, plus a redfish+ladyfish double last Arroyo trip (had a Big telescoping Frabill net).

Also for cost effective, Major Craft is a good choice.

you could build your own from a long 3-wt fly rod blank


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 13 Dec 2020, 21:45, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 13 Dec 2020, 21:40 • #3 
Guide
Joined: 10/31/08
Posts: 133
Location: Canada
Thanks for the info bulldog. Looks to be exactly what I’m looking for.


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Post 13 Dec 2020, 22:48 • #4 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
you're welcome - I'm a junkie - they're a blast to fish UL

something else to watch on the last fish on the last YB video I linked - watch how effortless his last cast is, then note how far out the take is when the fish broaches.

At Arroyo when I fished the 8'3' rod, I could cast to the far side of the next-door dock light, and Lou noted I was consistently taking fish there that he couldn't reach on his 7'6" Major Craft.


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Post 14 Dec 2020, 07:48 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 01/12/20
Posts: 66
Location: US-TN
I love fishing with UL/L spinning rods, light jigs, and braid as well. Through a forum posting on "Braid issues", I recently found myself in a similar discussion with Bulldog, who made similar recommendations to me. Having seen his many other well-informed posts, I figured "This guys knows what he is talking about", and took the plunge on the 8'3" Yamaga Blanks TZ Nano Flex rod as well as the 8' Black Hole Dark Horse Rockfish UL rod. I had never heard of these rods.

Wow.

I had been using a 7' St. Croix trout rod for my smaller spinning loves. It is a great rod, and I have so many good memories fishing it. This Yamaga Blanks rod, though, is a totally different beast. I was first actually amazed at how light-in-hand it was. Once I rigged it (for me, 6lb Suffix 832 braid to a 6 pound Seaguar flouro leader) and threw my little 1/16 jig with 1.7-2 gram soft plastic out I was nicely surprised at how far it cast. It chunks. The extra foot feels like a catapult. I also love the tip of that YB rod. It has this really sensitive, crisp tip on it that sets hooks and maneuvers baits perfectly. Love the hooksets. This rod dispels my previously held notion that hook setting was an inherent weakness on UL/L rods. There is plenty of horsing/lifting power in that rod as well...no willow branch there. How they do all of this on a rod that long and light, I have no idea.

I am head over heels in in man-gear love.

The Blackhole rod actually seemed like a little brother to the YB rod in many respects. I broke the tip on mine the first day out, but don't blame the rod, as I rednecked it and was at fault. I nipped the rough edges smoothly down to the 2nd eye, and caught 13 more smallmouth and spotted bass on it. Still a good day! Replacement tip was about $65, half the price of the rod, and I liked the rod enough to order a new tip. I have a feeling this rod could be a great bargain for the UL spinning junkie. It cost the same as my St. Croix, of which I have destroyed two, but is a much better rod for my tastes.

Enjoy whatever you get into and good luck on those walleye.


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Post 14 Dec 2020, 08:55 • #6 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Glenn, thanks for your excellent, fresh observations.
Since these are basically superprogressive fly rod tapers, the mid is really fast, and the butt stiff for turning fish.

I'm curious whether your broken tip Black Hole was the solid tip (ST) or tubular tip (T) version.
Seems to me the softer solid tips are absolutely unbreakable.
I've seen both Lou and Susie reel in their Major Craft until the terminal hardware caused the tip to double back over to the first guide - without apparent damage - they never noticed, and just kept doing it


This is the solid tip Takamiya XUL, fishing 12 years, and has landed 23" seatrout.


The 7'9" Takamiya I have is tubular tip UL, and definitely has a faster tip, though it's also landed big fish and doubles.


and the solid-tip 8' Black Hole, the one that I'm not afraid to take out on the kayak and over-line to 10+lb braid.


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Post 14 Dec 2020, 08:55 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 01/12/20
Posts: 66
Location: US-TN
Mine was solid tip, but I think I might have weakened it acting stupidly and poking a jig backwards out of a tree. As Homer Simpson would say "D'oh!" I don't fault the rod.


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Post 14 Dec 2020, 09:09 • #8 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
ouch - thanks for that

I've mentioned on another thread that Steve has the high-grade Black Hole MH rods sold by IRT as combos with their benchmade spinning reels. First time out with his 10'er, he broke the tip by reeling a spoon in to the rod tip.
The point is a tubular tip rod isn't as tough as the soft solid tips.
He was excited, we were on the edge of Aransas Channel, and jacks had come in far from the Gulf and were slashing bait in front of us.


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Post 14 Dec 2020, 09:17 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 01/12/20
Posts: 66
Location: US-TN
Who can blame him! Behold the power of fishing...That Christmas morning sense of excitement can't be found just anywhere.


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Post 14 Dec 2020, 10:43 • #10 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/14/06
Posts: 691
Location: US-CA

I have a st croix premier 8' 6" spinning rod that is great for long casting of light lures and jigs. It is rated for 4-8lb and 1/16-5/16 oz.
I use it mostly for throwing very light spoons and spinners on the rivers around here as well as small jig grubs for shad.


Last edited by Riffling Hitch on 14 Dec 2020, 11:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 14 Dec 2020, 10:53 • #11 
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Joined: 08/10/05
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks Russell.
Don't take this the wrong way. I have Lami 9' L steelhead spinning rod, and it's great, but the Japanese have taken this idea to extreme - many of the rockfish rods are rated for 1/64 oz on the low end, and just about all of them down to 1/32 oz. The tips are so specialized, and the rods so powerful, they are really different.
The Japanese make their BFS rods the same way, and Dobyns has followed suite with solid tip on their Finesse rods, but don't offer the length.


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Post 14 Dec 2020, 10:55 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/14/06
Posts: 691
Location: US-CA
I'll have to keep my eye out for one to try and compare.


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Post 15 Dec 2020, 16:45 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1630
Location: urban Colorado
got thoroughly outfished recently, Chris was fishing a 10'6" Wright & Mcgill noodle rod throwing a fly and bubble 60-plus yards..
That rod isn't made anymore, the closest thing I find is a Daiwa Acculite same length rated for 2g-12g.
As a general rule the longer the rod the longer the cast.. so this might do well.


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Post 17 Dec 2020, 12:30 • #14 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I've mentioned before, casting is ballistics. If you're moving the rod with the same rotational velocity, every 20% increase in rod length doubles cast distance.


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Post 30 Apr 2021, 12:43 • #15 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
This seemed to be the best thread to add this, since so many common ideas are here already.
Just finished up another project, and added a baitcasting niche - 1/16th oz.

Also just got back from my first cast trial with a 2-g jighead.
After 4 clicks on the mag adjustment and one back, found the sweet setting and laid out a dozen casts all bracketed 90 to 100 feet - that's with a 2-g jighead.


They've only recently been adding bait versions of rockfish/ small game shore-fishing rods to match with light-lure BFS casting reels.
When a rod I've been watching for a year showed up in inventory at my favorite Japan vendor, after a couple weeks of hemming and hawing, snagged the last one they had - and the last they'll get for who knows how long. Then set out to spec/buy/build the reel.

The rod is the mid-level Yamaga Blanks 8'2" and, because of a progressive rod taper, able to cast 2 g to 20 g, protect light line, but also with a stout butt for turning big fish.



Since I was buying a 2 g rod, I set out to build a 2 g reel.
Most BFS reels are capable of casting 3 grams, but their target niche is really stream trout fishing in Japan.
Rather than a 26 mm diameter spool, I wanted the largest 34 mm to be able to cast as far as possible. I was looking seriously at JDM Abu LX992Z, Japan Special BF model.
Still, the only spool out there that's rated to throw 2 g is the Roro X, only made for Daiwa SV reels.
After more hemming and hawing, I sprung for Daiwa's flagship Steez SV-TW in the 1016 size.


Here's the stock reel spool next to the Roro X.
The Daiwa G1 spool is published 15 g, it has the moving rotor SV complication, and by the time you add the bearings, it's well over 20 g - still a light spool.
Next to it, the Roro X with fixed brake rotor, weighs in at 6 g.


As skinny as that 2-mm spool depth looks, I calculated on Pattaya Line Calculator that it should hold 100 m of PE#0.8 (0.148 mm = 0.005") braid.


PE#0.8 is the heaviest braid rated for the rod, and in Duel abrasion-resistant X-wire braid, that's 16-lb test.
For my inshore target, still using 10-lb Blue shock tippet plus 8-lb titanium wire trace, both to protect the rod and line against abrasion/teeth.
The spool held the full 100 m, obviously remains very light, and casts a loaded 2-g jighead like a rocketship.


Daiwa's TW system is a neat touch - an idea resurfaced from the earliest LW baitcasters of the ninteen-teens - the falling line guide, like used on Beetzsel, Okeh, and Douglas-patent Supreme. Narrow line guide for retrieve, it falls forward, with a wide-open friction-less loop for casting


Daiwa's SV complication. This is a nice touch for throwing big weights, but my casting trial proved it isn't needed on Extreme-low-inertial spool system throwing light baits.
On Daiwa SV reels, start-cast inertia makes the spool brake rotor walk a ramp outward - deeper into the mag field annulus - a spring retracts it when forces on the rotor and spool equalize. This is a great brake idea to prevent spool start-up overshoot, and is the same result as having both centrifugal + mag brakes.


The deeper, moving-rotor SV spool that came with the reel got 10-lb fluoro, and would fish on any of my inshore rods.
Not having the SV function on the little spool improves it for mid-cast wind backlash - start-up jerk is pretty small, anyway, when you're throwing 2 g.

Compared to casting 1/8 oz on the G1 spool with 10-lb fluoro, my final mag setting on the Roro X spool with braid casting 2 g was two notches less mag.
The two set-ups (double casting weight difference, different spools and different lines) gave me identical cast distance.


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Post 04 May 2021, 18:45 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1630
Location: urban Colorado
that's a good-looking outfit..
The Daiwa line guide makes a lot of sense. I have an old Heddon with that falling-down line guide, but the wider aperture is new.
From what I read, these UL spools may be damaged by spooling up more than 50m ? not sure if that's just idle speculation though or if it really happened.

My BFS project starts with an Abu Revo X 4, replaced the bearings with ceramic and found a 9g spool for it on Aliexpress. Planning to run 50m of PE 0.6 on there, and try it on several older glass rods before spending more money.

Though, Abu came out with a multi-piece travel UL rod,
https://www.anglersoutfitter.com.sg/col ... -zmss-505l
I particularly like the retro-80s style Abu label on there, looks just like my old Abu glass baitcaster from 1984..

On the spin side, I did get a long light rod, can confirm it will throw ludicrously long distances..

After spending an entire weekend on the phone with a production-down software issue for a customer, got a small bonus.. blew it on an Okuma noodle rod, 11ft rated for 2-12g. Oddly it has a glass tip. As usual with modern graphite it's a lot quicker/faster than I'd expect for the weight rating, though the glass tip certainly helps.
The closest thing to a long-cast spool I could find locally is the Daiwa Revros but I already have one of those, so got an Abu Cardinal from Japan instead,
viewtopic.php?p=389118#p392749

This takes 150m of 8lb Gliss line, and is not quite full at that. I'm leaving it slightly underfilled for the moment as the casts are tremendous even without optimal spooling.
Fished it three times so far, once on a pond reputed to hold bass but you couldn't prove it by me, once on a pond stocked with trout, last time on the bass pond I'd meant it for all along. The concept is proved, this will throw a good 10-20 yards further than the 6'4" Phillipson with 8lb Daiwa x8 Jbraid on a Mitchell 308..

The trout pond was crowded and unpleasant so left for a bit of river fishing instead, the only fish on this so far which is a bit silly..



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Post 05 May 2021, 08:47 • #17 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
What's recommended with XUL bait spools is using light braid - you have to worry about stretch in mono/fluoro crushing the spool.
Many people are not going to fish braid that light on any baitcaster, and will opt for 2-1/2- to 4-lb fluoro.
People who use them for trout fishing or bass finesse don't need much line.
My set-up is for distance and hard-running inshore game, with 2-lb drag set.
Image

I already ordered a Ray's spool with the SV complication, to let me cast greater weight - up to 1/2 oz - fish 27-lb PE#1.2 X-braid, and move the reel between rods and niches.
This one is rated for 90 m PE#1.2 (91 m = 100 yds), and lacks the titanium spindle of the Roro X, but still weighs in at 9.2 g.
(not this color, but black)


Will also add, the spool and line speed with which the Roro X launches 2 g is a hoot by itself.


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Post 05 Jun 2021, 07:57 • #18 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Almost hate to say it, but this makes fly rod obsolete for inshore fishing. I could sight-fish my epoxy crab more reliably than turning it on fly line.

I could also fish this tide pass with a TS-250, but this is less work for longer casts, greater accuracy, and more fun.

Image


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Post 24 Jul 2021, 08:07 • #19 
Guide
Joined: 12/11/20
Posts: 343
Location: Dallas, TX
I’ve barely dipped a toe in the UL waters, but it sure is fun. And you said it, Ron: sometimes a fly rod is simply not the best tool for the job.


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Post 24 Jul 2021, 08:52 • #20 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Dave, if you're interested in UL spin fishing for inshore, the most cost-effective rod I know is made by NS Black Hole
The Seoul vendor is reliable.
The higher-grade Air rods are also a great buy.
Korea has their own fishing tradition, and since they have to target these rods in the Japan market, they keep the quality high and the price low.
The NS Black Hole US affiliate only imports offshore rods, but bench-reel-maker IRT imports high-grade NS Black Hole rods to sell as combos with their spendy reels.


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Post 24 Aug 2021, 23:18 • #21 
Guide
Joined: 12/11/20
Posts: 343
Location: Dallas, TX
Sorry for slow reply! NS Black Hole now on my list.


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Post 28 Aug 2021, 06:52 • #22 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18233
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Dave, have a good lure to show you to imitate winter glass minnows on UL

On the left are small spoons with the single hooks replaced with twin stingers;
next are trout plugs, with the small trebles replaced with salt singles - these are up to 50 mm, and 3-4 g
The one I really wanted to show you is at the bottom of the large frame. That's a Z-man 2-1/2" Slim SwimZ on a 1/15th oz Texas Eye Finesse jighead. For comparison are a 3" minnow tail on 1/8 oz Texas Eye, and a 4-inch cocahoe on another type of flex jighead (Stazo).

The thing about the soft bodies and Texas Eye jigheads, they have better hook rate than anything (except maybe the Stazo double hook with big fish).
Fish don't reject the flexible jigs, because the lure body remain pliable in every direction. The size 1 hook on the finesse Texas eye is a perfect size for consistent hook up. They also fish completely weedless.


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Post 12 Sep 2022, 09:36 • #23 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I have a new example to show, a longer, heavier, wider-range all-range BFS than my Y/B-82/B.
This is also a $100 Abu Garcia rod, and one I wouldn't be afraid to fish from a kayak.
yes, that's 3 g to 28 g, and 20-lb max leader


It has the basic rockfish rod construction of reinforced butt, short soft tip, and long fast mid.
Well-appointed for its price level, with spigot ferrule alignment arrows. Microguides are suitable only for fine braid.


These are 3 g plugs and micro-jig, the longest plug 45 mm
Image
I plan to replace the tiny twin assist hooks on the micro-jig with single size 6 assist.


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Post 14 Sep 2022, 11:24 • #24 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1538
Location: SJC
Nice ! I like my "Salty Style" BFS rod, too.

I decided to see how light I could go with JDM spinning gear for backpacking trips, since the exchange rate is so favorable right now.

First, I found a Shimano 2022 Soare XR 500SPG on Digitaka, and spooled it up with Sunline Small Game PE 0.3 (5#).



I think the Soare XR's are supposedly similar to the US market Vanford's, but more tuned for "finesse" fishing with a shallow spool and lower gear ratio (4.7). Weight is about 4.8 oz. It has an anti-reverse switch, unlike a lot of newer spinning reels.

Next, I picked up a Daiwa Crossbeat SW 746TUL telescopic 7'4" ultralight rod, also on Digitaka.



The Crossbeat is heavier than my Daiwa Presso 7' 4-piece ultralight rod, but also slightly longer and rated for 0.8-7g, while the Presso is rated for 1/16 - 3/8 oz (so perhaps 2-10g). Also, the Presso would need a protective tube or case, while all the Crossbeat needs is a sleeve and the tip cover, so the packed weight kind of comes out as a wash (4-5 oz). The Crossbeat's packed size is also about 4" shorter, at ~19 inches. I noticed there is also what looks like a newer model from Daiwa called the "Mobile Pack 746TUL" which looks fairly similar.

At the casting pools the combo threw a 1/12 oz kastmaster (~2.5g) 100+' (the pools are only 100' long), so I think it will probably work, for those situations where I might want to lob small trout spoons a long way, and for whatever reason am not using BFS gear.


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Post 14 Sep 2022, 12:11 • #25 
New Member
Joined: 09/15/21
Posts: 18
Odonata wrote:
I think the Soare XR's are supposedly similar to the US market Vanford's, but more tuned for "finesse" fishing with a shallow spool and lower gear ratio (4.7). Weight is about 4.8 oz. It has an anti-reverse switch, unlike a lot of newer spinning reels.

Seems the AR switch is a 500 size feature with Shimano these days. I have Vanford 500 with a switch, just received a Vanford 1000 yesterday without a switch. Truth be told, I prefer without switches due to where they located it under the rotor. I’m a hand flipper and had to train myself not to keep inadvertently hitting that little poorly located toggle on the 500. Never been a backreeler.

No matter, you’re gonna love the 500 size. It’s barely even there and makes any rod feel so much more refined without a heavy anchor under the hand. This was one of my biggest surprises when I spent up to shave weight on spinning reels. Like fishin’ a different rod, really.


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