Bass fishing with ultralight gear?

Dane Cruz asked:

I tried it for the first time today, and had a rough go of it! My line was in good condition, but fish kept breaking off and I couldn’t understand it (lost several lures!) Had it been my gear, the line would have been Trilene! I love ultralight fishing for bream and crappie, but never tried bass. My question is, what would you recommend as far as line goes? I was using 4lb. mono. Is 4lb. too light? Would a copolymer or fluoro have been better? I’m partial to Trilene, but any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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12 Responses to “Bass fishing with ultralight gear?”

  1. ? says:

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    I would try 8 lb on up. I like using fireline myself.

  2. Jason I says:

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    Ultralight is too light for bass, and 4lb is too light. I’d say set your drag super low so you don’t break your line.. but then you’re never going to get a fish in. I prefer either 10lb line or 8 lb(size) braided.

  3. bassfish says:

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    Trilene is great try the Trilene XL or XS(10-12 pound test) (mono)
    Another mono is bass pro shops tourney tough

    4 pound test is way to light..u’ll be losing fish left and right

    For braid try Stren sonic braid or Stren super braid…both work extremely well

    For ur bass line you are gonna want between 8-12 pound test depending on the cover of the lake..if there is a lot of vegetation go with the 12..and if there isn’t that much go to 8-10..i prefer 10-12 pound test(which ever u can find)

  4. Joe says:

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    4 pound line will catch big bass and i agree with using Trilene XT…..I have caught many fine bass both smallmouth and largemouth using ultralight gear while wading the creek……the key to success is having the drag set properly…….you have to expect to play a larger fish and it could also be the knot you are using……don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t catch large bass with ultralight

  5. Danny says:

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    sounds to me l;ike your trout fishing lol. i use trilene too, 4lb test is too light for bass fishing, i would go with a medium heavy or medium rod (action of the rod) and use 10lb test. i would prefer the ugly stickbecause it is a great, long lasting rod. for a reel i would suggest a okuma, probably an EF-30. honestly thats all ill say, hope this helps

  6. Kevin says:

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    been there done that
    I sometimes use an ultralight setup when fishing for bass.
    I use 4 lb. P-Line fluoroclear.
    I dont think 4 lb. line is too light.
    I fish castaic lake,ca and ive pulled up 10-15 lb. stripers with 4 lb. line.
    my largest stripers there was a 19lb. caught on 6lb. line.

    *****NOTE:those big fish take a LONGGG time to get on the boat with ultralight gear =)

    Tight lines!

  7. dumdum says:

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    Go to 8 lb line and set the drag where fish cannot break the line before the drag starts slipping. You troubles will be over with.

  8. ? says:

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    I fish primarily in very clear, very deep lakes and 4lb line is acceptable for a variety of species including Bass. You will find that the “ultra-light” or finesse pattern calls for a consensus of 6lb, but I do use 4lb.

    In heavier cover, lilly pads and grass 4 lb wont be acceptable.

    Trilene is a major band name and has many varieties. 95 percent of all bass fishing is best done with mono and the exceptions are heavy cover where braids are more acceptable or night fishing where flurocarbons shine. If find flurocarbons too stiff for finesse fishing.

    I personally like P-line.

  9. Al Davison says:

    I bass fish with UL gear all the time and I use 3-pound Trilene XL. If you’re fishing above 4-lb, you’re no longer fishing UL – that’s just my opinion.

    Good equipment and patience is the key! You have to have a reel that has a RESPONSIVE drag as well as knowing how to use it. Many low-price reels have drag systems that don’t “kick in” quickly enough so that no matter how soft you have it set, the initial tug is too quick for the drag to react and you will break off a lot of fish. You should also consider having your anti-reverse turned off sometimes and let the reel spin backwards, controlling it with a light finger touch.

    Rods are also VERY important when it comes to cushioning the impact of the fight on your line.

    I think you learn more about the art of playing and landing a fish with UL than you will learn any other way! With heavy line, most people just reel like crazy when they get a fish on – using their gear more as winch than a rod-n-reel. You can’t do that with true UL gear. You have to learn to play the fish.

    My biggest concern with light lines are when you get the fish to the boat (or shore) because you can’t lift the fish by the line – either net it or lip it but leave the fish in the water until you can handle it some other way.

    Try Trilene XL in 3-lb test – you will love it! P-Line is good line too but the coated lines are often so stiff that they are hard to manage on a small spinning reel.

    Anybody can land a 4-lb. fish on 8-lbs line – it takes a true angler to land it on 3-lb. Practice, practice, practice. 😉

    Tight lines and bent rods,

  10. polo loco says:

    using lines 8 and up is not ultralight fishing anymore. Most people go ultralight and learn more fishing skills than ‘horsing’ to land a fish. I’m telling you, the challenge and excitement is different.

  11. Al Davison says:

    I’d like to see this site get more active but, I wanted to add my newest experiences with a different kind of UL line.

    I have just gotten into bass fishing in rivers with UL since I discovered a pretty good smallmouth river less than 2 hours away – smallies are just not in my immdediate area of Georgia and I love fishing for them.

    So, fishing UL in rivers for bass required something other than mono. It’s not the tug of the fish that is the problem in the rivers, it’s the abrasion of the line moving over the rocks in all the riffles I like to fish.

    I found some PowerPro 10lb-test that is the diameter of 1 or 2lb mono. Now, I know I’ve already put myself on record that I don’t think anything above 4lb test is really UL fishing but, this has proven to be a great “compromise” for me. Like I said, I don’t fear fighting a bass on UL line but light mono or even flouro just won’t hold up to being dragged over all those rocks and river fishing is not conducive to having to re-tie and re-spool all the time – especially since I’m using a shallow-spool reel that only holds about 50yds of line.

    So, give the braid – in the smallest size you can find – a try. You’ll still get the UL feeling and won’t break off so much.

    For those of you who are disappointed that I’ve taken to “cheating”, I can only beg your forgiveness and hope you understand the situation. I’m still using 3lb Trilene for UL bass fishing in ponds! I haven’t sold my soul. 😉


  12. cory says:

    Strange…the topic is about UL and peeps kept mentioning MH rods and 12 lbs. test line. UL is 8lbs max. test line using light rod max. Caught lots of bass using UL – always a nice fight! That’s why its called fishing…

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