Ultralight fishing is fun. There's no denying that. However, for most of us, our main quarry is bass, and ultralight fishing is something we do occasionally. We don't obsess over the length or other specifications about it like we do with conventional bass fishing. For most of us, ultralight fishing is just passing by a creek on the way home and stopping to grab the ultralight from the trunk of car. Or it's going to the old farm pond with grandpa and catchin' a bucketful of bluegill for grandma to fry. We all like doing it, but don't focus on it like we do with bass fishing. We want to make one purchase, and one purchase only, to head down to the creek to have some fun. What's a good all around length for an ultralight rod?
Above: Ultralight rod for most people: 4'6" fiberglass rod.
While most people fish 4'6" length rods to go ultralight fishing, I personally think that 6'6" or 7' rods are the way to go. It is a good length for both lakes and streams. It even works well for those little forest creeks. I know that some of you ultralight gurus out there will probably balk at this mere suggestion, but hear me out.
The long the rod, the further the casting distance. That makes lake and pond fishing a lot easier; no one can really cast well with a 4'6" stick. While the tradeoff is less casting accuracy, the difference isn't that bad. And when you consider that setting the hook is a lot easier with a longer rod, that really seals the deal at this point for me. I don't want to have a beautiful stream-bred smallmouth swallowing my mealworm ever other cast.
In addition, you can "dab" in smaller waters. In those common forest creeks that everyone likes to fish in, you really can't cast. But you can use flip the bail on your spinning reel and drop your bait into the water, sort of like cane pole fishing, or not even flip the bail at all and just put the bit into the water. "Dabbing" is a lot easier with longer rods than short ones, and you can easier sneak up on fish better.
Above: Here's a better all around ultralight rod: 6'6" graphite composite.
So there you have it. The ideal length for an ultralight rod. If you really want an extra edge, get a graphite or graphite composite rod for added sensitivity. Pure graphite may be expensive, but graphite composite is quite affordable.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.