For micro fishing you will need some very specialised tackle, normal sized hooks and lines seem crude in comparison to the stuff used for minnows and sticklebacks.
for the beginer who wants to give micro fishing a go, a bamboo cane or the top sections of a roach pole will do, but if you want something that will make a minnow feel like a trout then you should consider getting the proper tool for the job.
currently only two specially designed micro rods are available to American and British anglers, these rods are the daiwa soyokaze and the shimotsuke kiyotaki. both rods collapse down to very short lengths which makes them perect for packing into a rucksack for a few hours fishing.
The soyokaze is the one I have, its tip is so fine and sensitive it will bent right down when you hook a fish, no matter how small. but it also has plenty of backbone that alows you to land some suprisingly large fish if you need to, but I wouldn’t advise targeting any big fish with this rod. the rod is also very light, with the 6’6″ version weighing just 1oz.
the kiyotaki on the other hand has a less sensitive tip than the soyokaze but has less backbone, giving it a much slower action. this rod is also incredibly light, the 6′ one weighs 0.6oz!
most micro fishing will be be sight and the places fished are usually very tight, anything over 7′ can be more of a limtation than an advantage. both of these rods are available from tanagobum.
lines for micro fishing are generally below 2lb test, 1lb 8oz is a good choice for beginers, with lines down to 5oz being used by more experienced anglers looking for the ultimate light presentation. these are the lines that I commonly use, the 10oz drennan doube strength being my favourite.
I carry hooks ranging from size 20 to 32, barbless spade ended hooks are much better than eyed hooks for this stye of fishing as they offer much better presentation and easier hooking. ready tied hooks are a good starter but the lines they are tied on are usually much too heavy for micro fishing. A good pattern for smaler fish such as sticklebacks is the owner ‘smallest’ tanago hooks, available from tanagobum.
if you are in the UK then you should be able to go to your local tackle shop and get some small pole floats, these are great for general micro float fishing. if you live in America then these may not be readily available, so you will have to find another solution. a small fly fishing strike indicator and some small split shots will work ok but traditional japanese tanago floats are the best floats for the job.
you will also need some fine tubing to attach your float to your line, drennan polemaster tube is great.
weights for micro fishing can vary greatly, from no13 split shots for setting tiny floats, to 3gr olivettes for holding a bait still in a powerful current.
tiny split shots are made for match anglers using small pole floats for tiny roach and bleak. olivettes are used for setting larger pole floats but are useful to the micro angler in the larger sizes for ledgering in rivers.
for unhooking small fish a micro sized disgorger is very useful, but I also carry a pair of very small needlenose forceps. Ofcourse you will need a pair of very sharp scissors for cutting line.
now you’ve got the gear, get out there and catch some fish!
We are keeping UK stock of Soyokaze and Kiyotaki rods, the smallest being just 6ft long and weighing just 15g ! see http://www.tungsten-beads-plus.com/
We also have Varivas midge hooks as small as #30
Those hooks look like they would be very useful for micro flies, hopefully more people will be willing to give micro fishing a try now there is a UK source for dedicated rods and hooks. I can put a link to your site on my homepage if you like.
It’s hard for a lot of people to understand until experienced but with a rod that bends properly under light load even very small fish can be huge fun to catch.
If you can link to my site I’d appreciate it, very generous of you.
Exactly Joel, I have introduced a few friend to micro fishing recently, but so far none of them have really experienced the fight of a big fish on a tanago rod. The longest fight I’ve ever had whilst micro fishing was with a 11″ dace, it was hooked on the soyokaze 20sr and 1lb line, it took close to two minutes to land!
P.S. I’ve added the link to my homepage.
11″ Dace ! Well done, I have caught them on fly before but not that big.
Thanks for linking to the website.
Hugo, I would be very interested indeed to see some pictures of the tiny lures that you use to catch micro species if you are able to post a few pictures.
Fantastic blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!