Brandon wrote:Hi guys. Looking for some recommendations on a quality ultra light rod. Or possibly a combo. Wanting to hit some panfish on open water this Winter and stay within $80-$130 to do so. Curious to see what you guys have used and what youâ€™ve liked/disliked.
When it comes to UL rods,
Low-modulus graphite (stiffness to weight ratio), 2-piece rods, rods with an overly slow action, bends thru the handle under load.
High-modulus graphite, fast action, a hint of backbone when put under load, 1-piece rods.
IMO, UL action rods really expose the difference between a cheap, low quality graphite & a good 1 more than heavier actions do. In other words, the phrase "you get what you pay for" rings especially true for UL gear.
As far as length? It depends. Longer is always a better choice "IF" it maintains a fast action which sadly is a rare bird when it comes to UL rods. A 7' UL rod of low-modulus graphite will have the characteristics of a willow branch & be a detriment for anything other than hanging bait under a slip bobber. If you shake the tip & it takes more than a second or 2 for the rod to stop "wiggling", keep looking.
In the price range you mentioned, Id look at st. Croix. I used a 6' UL premier for a handful of years & found it serviceable.
IMO, a "good" UL for less than 100$ is like a unicorn.
For the last 15yrs I have used a loomis IMX SR781(6'6" -1piece). It was hard to rationalize the cost, initially, but after using it a while I realized I had spent 2x that trying other(cheaper) options in the years up to that point. My fishing buddies mostly gave me sh*t for overspending on a UL, &........................
within 2 perch seasons, they all
bought the same rod!