One of our favorite places to fish is a lake up in a nearby canyon that is loaded with trout. For the most part, the lake is pretty shallow except for a few deeper pools out in the very middle. There’s a dock that juts out a bit, giving the angler a little bit of an opportunity to get closer to these pools where the fish like to hang out most of the time, but it’s often crowded and the latecomer is left to roam the banks looking for a good place to cast from.
We met up with some friends on that dock once to enjoy an afternoon of fishing and hanging out together and they brought along their son Henry, a VERY energetic yet adorable 4 year old who spent a lot of time running around talking to everyone, looking in their tackle boxes, getting into mischief, and creating quite the ruckus!
Too cute and friendly to chastise, we soon found ourselves fishing unscrupulously alone, his behavior having quickly cleared the dock of our competitors. We enjoyed fishing successfully for a few hours as we were able to easily cast to the deeper pools where the fish were biting – though I did notice when I got home that a few of my things were missing from my tackle box and I found a couple of things in there that I didn’t remember putting there before the fishing trip!
But what do you do if you don’t have a little Henry to help get you closer to the pools of fish and instead you end up in a place where you have to be able to cast your ultralight lures really far?
The right equipment
One point is to match your gear to your lures and the fish you want to catch. For a long time, I fished with oversized equipment – trying to save a little money on more general purpose rods and reels and not knowing if I’d be fishing for and catching bluegill or catfish.
But if you’re fishing with ultra light lures for something like stocked rainbow trout, you’ll be better off starting out by using an ultralight rod and reel – some anglers argue towards using a larger diameter spool for the reel for even less resistance.
My favorite ultralight rod and reel combination is my Field & Stream TEC-LITE spinning rod (available from Field & Stream) which was designed for casting lighter weight lures and lines, coupled with Pflueger’s President spinning reel (see price on Amazon) – makes the perfect ultralight combination for me!
A good quality monofilament or nanofilament will cast with less resistance and help you cast your light lures and baits further – keeping the size of your intended catch in mind, the smaller the diameter line the better. My current ultralight preference is a 2 lb. diameter braid like this one (available on Amazon) which has a pretty good size to strength ratio.
You’ll also want to make sure the spool on your reel is full so it has less resistance to overcome as it’s flying off. You won’t be able to cast as far with only a half full reel. An easy way to accomplish this with smaller diameter line would be to load it a third to halfway with a filler line like some inexpensive mono first.
As a beginner, we tend to cast with our lure or bait hanging about a foot off the end of the rod making it easier to keep things under control as we’re learning. One tip to help cast further would be to try experimenting with letting the line out further before you cast.
Try casting after letting your lure down 2 or 3 feet off the end of your pole. Letting the line out further will give you more load on the rod and a larger arc, like a catapult, helping propel the lure outward with more force and therefore distance.
Don’t be too aggressive in your stroke. Rather than throwing harder, you want to use a smooth motion utilizing the rod’s action. As you cast, smoothly pull the rod forward as you feel the weight of your lure load the tip. You then want to use the bend in the rod to throw the lure towards your target.
Add a little weight
Adding a couple of small split shot a foot or so above the lure will help gain a little distance in your cast. Just be aware that this might cause your lure to swim a little deeper and may also affect its action.
One of my favorite ways to rig a fishing pole for light lures that’s also a great way to cast really light flies and Pistol Pete’s (link to Amazon) further using spinning gear is by using a water fillable slip bubble float above my leader.
- I feed the float onto my line,
- add a bead or small sinker to act as a stop
- tie on a swivel
- attach your leader – I like to use about 18 inches of 2 or 4 pound fluorocarbon then
- tie your lure to the leader
Now just add a little water for the weight you need. Be careful and don’t overdo it though. You don’t want to get too carried away and break your line, or even worse your fishing pole!
This set up not only adds a little weight for better casting distance but automatically increases the length of the line loading for the cast – making it a great way to get your lure to those fish that would otherwise be out of reach!