ULS is an abbreviation for Ultra Light Scandi, which means very light weight fly fishing tackle. The ULS concept is based on modern double handed fly fishing equipment, that have been used in Scandinavia for decades while fishing for Atlantic salmon. The concept carries on the benefits the shooting heads provides, like battling wind, limited space and achieving distance with less use of power. ULS tackle is a version of the doublehanded equipment we normally use, but downscaled to short and light heads, thinner shooting lines and shorter rods, which makes them very user friendly.
By Steffen Granbo , Guideline PowerTeam Norway
The ULS tackle was originally designed for making trout fishing more effective, with heavy streamers and nymphs. It would also apply for fishing salmon in smaller rivers. ULS creates a special opportunity for fishing with sinking lines as well, which has been proven really effective while fishing for bigger trouts in rivers with heavy currents and cold water. It didn’t take long after the release of the ULS concept before we saw its true potential, taking salmon fishing in everything from smaller rivers to bigger rivers with low water levels to the next level. If you have a pool with small currents or lots of rocks disturbing the smooth streams, a normal-length shooting head will often provide problems getting a good drift.
The first time I read the details for these shooting head’s weight and lengths, I really started visualising the different situations I’m encountering during a season. I have previously missed a short and durable shooting head concept for these conditions, so my heartbeat quickly increased when I saw it was available in sinking lines as well! Imagine the potential of sinking lines down to s3/s5/s7 and only 6 meters. The ULS concept isn’t designed as a long-distance tackle. It is made for fishing as effective as possible in small rivers, or for a salmon fisher’s perspective; medium rivers on low water levels. However, we’re going to look into how you can adjust your ULS setup to reach the big ones you have seen further out in the river.
THE ROD SPECS
ULS hybrid rod is a series of light 10 feet rods, available in 5wt, 6wt, 7wt and 8wt, with a recommend casting weight at 12, 14, 16 and 18 grams when you have a 6 meters short head. What’s unique about these rods are the handles, both the upper and lower part is a bit longer than a normal singlehanded rod, but a little shorter than a normal switch rod. It is the handle that gives it the name “Hybrid”. The hybrid rods are closer to be a singlehanded rod, compared to a switch, which is closer to a light double-handed rod.
Our designer, Leif Stävmo, have found the perfect balance between the length of both handles, which (in my eyes) are great to use both for single and double hands. The blank itself feels extremely crisp, which I think that is one of the most important features of a rod. With this rod you get a combination of a crisp feeling and deep action. It responds to your movement very precisely. So precisely it seems like it responds before I have thought about it myself! One of the hidden features in the handles is the length of the lower part, which helps you to push the rod with heavier pressure than a normal single-handed would do. I am sure you will appreciate that feature when you hook the salmon of your dreams in a heavy pool. At least it will help you to land the salmon in less time – which is beneficial in catch and release.
THE THREE LINES IN THE ULS CONCEPT
ULS 3D+ lines are a series of shooting heads that are made to only add a normal tapered leader of fluorocarbon or nylon. These lines have the same build up with densities as the original 3D+ lines we are using for our doublehanded fly fishing. These lines are available from float all the way down to a s3/s5/s7 with lots of different densities in between. They are made to match the ULS hybrid rods in each line weight, and are being delivered from 6,0 meters and 12 grams to 6,4 meters and 18 grams. With some adjustments for the heavier densities.
ULS Multi-Tip line is based on a floating shooting head body with interchangeable tips in different densities/sink rates. The tips are coming from float and down to S6/7. Length of the body are depending on which line weight you have. The total length varies from 6,8 meters for the lightest one at 12 grams, and the heaviest 18 grams head is 7,5 meters. This concept gives you very durable solutions in many different situations, especially if you have a beat with different pools that requires different sinking tips. I have a small river in Mid-Norway on my mind, which is perfect for this concept. When I’m fishing there, I’m parking my car in the middle of this 2 km beat and walk up the road to where it starts. Then I fish every fishable part while going downstream. I only bring a small mesh wallet in my Alta hip pack containing tippets, a fly box and some snacks. When I am reaching a new pool, I can easily change tips after the depth and current, instead of carrying two rods which I normally would have done.
ULS Multi-Tip WF is a new short headed Weight Forward line with interchangeable tips in different densities/sink rates. Perfect for those who prefers WF-lines instead of a shooting head for their singlehanded fishing. It’s a perfect choice when you fish slow flowing or still water and need to retrieve and fish your fly right back to your boat side or your feet without being interrupted by the loop to loop connection hitting the rod guides.
In Part 2 of this blog I will run through my favorite setups in the ULS system, and I will also show a short video from my sessions with the ULS system.
Guideline Power Team Norway