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  1. Default Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    I'm a life long fisherman, but new to the forums. Here's my first post...

    I do a lot of fishing here in KS, mostly panfish and the occasional wiper. Of course, there are some bass thrown in as well. I would say 85% of everything I catch is under 2 lbs. I really like to fish a lot of flies, poppers, and small spinners or jigs (1/32 oz.). I typically use a 4'6" Ultralight Pflueger spinning set up with pretty good success. However, not using a traditional fly rod to cast flies, there is a huge disadvantage in casting distance and control. I have tried a casting bubble, but am not entirely happy. In my opinion, it ruins the presentation of the fly. A fellow fisherman here in KS likes to use a small 2/3w fly rod with an ultralight spinning reel for flies and jigs. Is this really the best route? Is there another alternative I should be considering?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    Welcome Error.

    Before taking up fly fishing, I used a 4'6" ultralight glass Fenwick with a teeny little Shimano reel for panfish and small trout streams. If you are going to be nymph fishing with weight and an idicator, I'd say the fly rod with a spinning reel ought to work ok. Your casting distance is likely to be limited. I'm not sure how you would accomplish throwing drys though.

    How about just going all the way with a 2/3wt fly rig? I found that my "bait" options, casting distance, presentation, everything basically works better for ultralight fishing with a fly rig.

  3. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    I agree on go all the way. I bought a nice little 6' 3wt. W.W.Griggs for $29.
    Perfect for, in my cast, the brushy area trout.

  4. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    I had some reservations regarding fly fishing. The first being where I fish. I fish mainly farm ponds, and the occasional small lake (<250 acres). Typically, these ponds are surrounded by trees and brush. Even fishing with my current ultralight spinning setup, I'm limited to about 50% of the shoreline.

    The other concern I had was the use of the jigs and spinners. Not being able use these as effectively could be a huge sacrifice. I'm afraid I'll have to make a choice between fishing either flies and poppers or jigs and spinners.

    What about a short fly rod with an ultralight spinning reel and 2 lb. line? An example here:Cabela's Clear Creek Fly Rods. This may not be the best rod for the job, just an example of a 5' 2w rod.

    Just for the record, most of the flies I fish are dry flies. I had someone in a fly shop recommend a very small split shot... .

  5. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...


    I understand your fears but having come from where you are I can safely say that you are not giving anything up. Your spinners are emulating baitfish. You have endless options for baitfish imitations in the world of fly fishing that are in my mind more realistic once they hit the water.

    Same goes for "jigs". Your jigs are emulating things like crawfish, leaches, and worms. You have all of these available to you in fly patterns with realism and unlimited presentation potential.

    As far as your dries, I just don't think you are going to get it done with spinning tackle. Micro splits are available but they are going to sink your dries no?

    I fish the same types of waters you do. shore access is always a problem. Sometimes I'm limited to a bow and arrow cast. Once you learn to roll cast , water load, and backcast control, you'll be surprised how much water you can acces. Finally, let me say that I bait/spin fished for nearly 40 years before picking up a fly rod. My success rate with panfish and bass has improved exponentially since converting to the fly exclusively.

    How about this? Sounds like at minimum you are going to pick up a lightweight fly rod to see if you can make things work with your spinning gear. Buy a cheapo fly reel and a line and give it a try. What do you have to lose?

  6. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    2/3 wt should work just fine. You don't have to give anything up. Take the fly rod for your flies and bring the spinning rod for your jigs/spinners. When ones goes to battle, go well armed.
    The head, the tail, the whole damn thing

  7. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    It is so hard for me to switch from Spinning to Fly so I don't. I stick with the fly no matter what. Where I have been fishing lately, I am almost hanging from a tree. It's overhead, on both sides of me, plus hangs out over the water in front of me. Roll cast is the only answer.
    I guess maybe I am a slight purist, cause I refuse to add smell to my flies for carp.

  8. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    i've had a cortland fly rod (7'6", 4/5) for a few years. i just haven't used it as much as my spinning set up. i'll be out fishing tonight and tomorrow night with both set ups. maybe i'll come up with a solution. i really want to avoid carrying two sets of tackle.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    I've used spinning reels on flyrods before, so I have some experience. I even caught my biggest carp (12 pounds) on that rig. But Joni, I didn't just put scent on it, I used a plain hook with a gob of nightcrawlers! I can be excused, though...I was only 12 years old at the time.

    The problem I see it is that as they say, in fly fishing the fly is relatively weightless, so you're casting the line not the lure. Even if you have a lightweight fly rod, that rod is designed to cast a heavy line, not a small fly on relatively weightless 4 lb test mono.

    I don't think a 6 foot fly rod with a spinning reel attached would cast a light lure as well as a spinning rod would. First off, the reel would be mounted behind your hand, so the line would hit your fingers when you cast, slowing down the line. The spinning rod also has large line guides mounted out from the rod blank, while the fly rod has tiny little guides mounted close to the rod. These will also greatly increase drag on the line as the large loops come off the spinning reel's spool, reducing cast distance.

    The only time I like using a spinning reel on a fly rod is when jig fishing in very deep water, such as perch fishing in Lake Michigan, 60 ft down right below the boat. The long length of the rod helps counteract the wave action, and helps in hooksets compared to short rods.

    Bottom line, use one or the other, but don't bother mixing them.
    Jakeway Near Nashville, TN

    Kayaks: Just part of the drag system

  10. Default Re: Ultralight Fly Fishing...

    Just thought of a couple other things. If you go longer with your spinning rod you can get more speed, and might be able to cast some weighted flies. I have a 6.5' ultralight Fenwick spinning rod that can cast a size 8 or larger beadhead wooly bugger fairly well. Cast that around the bushes in your pond, and you may find you catch more bass and larger bluegills than you did with dries and poppers.

    If it's weedy, though, you might have to stick to surface flies to keep from getting hung up.
    Jakeway Near Nashville, TN

    Kayaks: Just part of the drag system

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