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Crappie and other panfish fishing can be much overlooked as we get more experienced and pursue bass, striper, walleye, etc. But let me tell you, there isn’t much more fun than catching a pile of crappie or bluegill on a super ultralight rig. Growing up when I heard the term ultralight, in my head popped a 5’ flimsy rod spooled with 6 lb test, maybe 4 lb if I was feeling risky. Now my go to rig to chase those small little fighters is a 7’ Ultralight with a little bit of backbone, but a nice sensitive flimsy tip. On it I have a 1000 series spinning reel spooled with 2 lb mono. Fishing small 1/64 oz jigs such as the Trout Magnet without any weight or a float can be done effectively with this rig. People always try to tell me that 4 lb test is plenty small. Most assume that the reason to use a line as small as 2 lb test is the lack of visibility due to the small diameter and that 4lb or 6 lb is small enough. But the biggest reason 2 lb test line is so effective is the jig falls and works in almost a completely natural way. There is not near the resistance that a heavier line will have, even 4 lb. Another bonus is casting a tiny jig without any extra weight a good distance can be accomplished with such a light line.

My go to technique when chasing crappie or bull bluegills is to cast a 1/64 oz Trout Magnet jig without any weight. Sometimes I have to count down up to 20 seconds to get it to the right depth. But that slow fall is irresistible to the target and often your jig won’t make it to the bottom without being eaten! When searching I will also put another jig under a float and set the float to the right depth to where you are fishing, toss the rod in a rear rod holder and let it drag behind my kayak about 50 ft. You would be surprised how many fish that second line will catch!

I guarantee you will increase your catch rate if you drop to 2 lb test on your ultra light setups! But remember, you will need a high quality reel with a good drag for when that big bass sucks in that tiny jig!533