See How Easily You Can Lighten Up For Black Bass

Lighten Up For Black Bass

A short time researching “fly rods for black bass” on the internet will find recommendations for bass rods between six-weight and eight-weight. And for beginners these are good recommendations. However, if you’ve been fly fishing a while, if you’re a good caster, and if you understand how to use your rod to fight bigger fish efficiently, you can use smaller, lighter rods than this quite effectively in many situations. Let us discuss the places little rods are appropriate.

I live in central Florida, and fish rivers and shallow areas on lakes with the fly. These places are made-to-order for a little rod. My own favorite is an eight foot three-weight equipped with a weight-forward number four floating line. With this outfit unweighted streamers, small poppers, and gurglers up to size 2 are tossed at likely targets when the wind is less than about 12 knots. When the wind comes up, or if I want to throw a larger or a weighted fly, then I go up to a nine foot five-weight. Either way, the leader is nine or ten feet long, tapered to a 10 pound nylon tippet.

Lighten Up for Black bass

Flies like these can be thrown with a small rod.

Why should you Lighten Up For Black Bass? Several reasons present themselves.
– It forces you to become a better caster. At first casting your typical bass fly* with the little rod will be difficult. If you stick with it will get easier because you will get better.
– You will present your flies with less commotion. The words “delicacy” and “black bass” don’t often appear in the same sentence, but bass can be spooked just like any other fish. A five-weight line makes considerably less splash than an eight-weight line does.
– You can fish longer. That little rod causes less fatigue than a bigger one.
– Those little bass became more fun. A ten- or twelve-inch bass on an eight-weight isn’t very challenging. Put him on a four-weight though, and Boom!- he’s a real fish.
– Those bigger bass are suddenly angling trophies. The five-pounder on the eight-weight was a nice fish. On the four-weight though, you have some serious bragging rights.

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If you fish in thick weeds or timber you will lose a few fish. I submit you will catch more overall though, because you will spook fewer. You will enjoy the ones you catch a lot more, too.

Try to lighten up for black bass. If you don’t take to it you can always go back to using your more conventional fly gear.

*You may want to down-size your typical bass fly by a hook size or two.

John Kumiski