Ultralight spin fishing, aka “threadlining”, has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, not only in the U.S. but in Malaysia, Japan and Philippines. I had the pleasure of working with Joe Robinson, the author of “Piscatorial Absurdities”, who is responsible for my interest in threadlining.
In it’s simplest form, threadlining involves the use of 1 – 3 pound line, and lures weighing from 1/64 – 1/16 ounces. A.J. McClane once stated “2 ounce rod, for 2 pound line, to catch 2 pound fish”. With all the advances in line technology, ultralight monofilament lines are now thinner and stronger, as are the rods. Reels have changed as well, but Joe and others are fans of vintage reels, such as the Orvis 50A, Alcedo Micron, Cargem Mignon, and Shakespeare 2200. Early spinning reels were manufactured without a bail, and these vintage reels can be converted to bail-less with a Dremel! I like the Shakespeare because of the sealed bearings and the 3 stack “drag system”, which can be upgraded with Teflon washers – talk about smooth!
In the late 2000’s, Temple Fork Outfitters rolled out a new rod designed for ultralight spin and fly fishing, and incorporated a lot of the features that Joe recommended. “Gary’s Signature Series Fly/Spin Rods” are general purpose rods – 2 piece, 6 feet long, designed to cast 1/32 – 3/8 ounce lures on 2 – 6 pound line. http://www.tforods.com/conventional-rods/gary-loomis-signature-series/fly-spin-rods.html#.WMShq9QrLs0
Right now my “go to” setup is a TFO Fly/Spin rod, bail-less Shakespeare 2200, and Trilene 2# monofilament. Trilene is widely available, inexpensive, and comes in bigger (200 yd.) spools. Because modern line is so thin, it is advisable to fill your spool with 12# fly line backing first. This helps cut down on amount of line used, and also relieves pressure on the spool.
As always, tight lines!