A spinning reel is essential for fishing, especially for catching smaller fish. Today, you can now purchase ultralight spinning reels that will not only increase your chance of catching fish but will also help reduce the strain on your hands. However, choosing the right product is not an easy task, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. So, what features should you look for in an ultralight spinning reel?
One of the most important features you need to consider is the product’s frame construction. As much as possible, you have to opt for a strong yet lightweight material, such as aluminum, graphite, and carbon frames. Aside from that, you should also choose products that can withstand corrosion. This is especially true if you’re planning to fish in saltwater.
Another vital feature is the reel’s gear ratio. This ratio will determine the reel’s cranking power and how fast you can retrieve the line. For example, a ratio of 4:1 offers a low speed, but it has a high cranking power, good for reeling in large fish. A gear ratio of 6:1, on the other hand, has fast line retrieval and is good for smaller fish.
Aside from those features, you also need to consider the bearings. When a spinning reel has more bearings, it produces fewer vibrations and noise when you’re retrieving your catch. Moreover, you should also opt for a spinning reel with an anti-reverse feature.
With all these features to consider, here are the reviews of our top 12 choices. These are the best ultralight spinning reels available on the market today.
The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel
Considered as one of the best ultralight spinning reels, the Shimano Sedona FI offers a lot of great features. First, this product is equipped with a cold-forged Hagane gear, making it durable. Aside from that, the reel has 3+1 ball bearings that allow you to retrieve the line in a smooth manner. Also, its G Free Body moves the center of gravity near the freshwater or saltwater fishing rod, providing comfort and balance. Its angled spool lip, on the other hand, reduces friction, resulting in a longer and more accurate casting.
The Shimano Sedona FI has a gear ratio of 6.2:1, so this reel has a quick line retrieval rate, which is 26 inches per crank. Lastly, the reel’s 7 pounds of drag power and anti-reverse bearings help eliminate back play and reduce the possibility of lost catches.
As for its weight, the 1000 model weighs about 8.6 ounces, so it is suitable for ultralight fishing. Plus, its Magmumlite rotor also reduces the weight without sacrificing strength.
With all these great features, it is without a doubt that the Shimano Sedona FI is one of the best spinning reels for beginners and experienced anglers who like to fish on saltwater and freshwater. However, it doesn’t have an anti-reverse switch. Aside from that, the handle is also a bit weak.
If you’re looking for an affordable spinning reel that is suitable for beginners, the KastKing Sharky III is an excellent choice. This is not only because of its reasonable price. This spinning reel also offers a lot of great features. For one, the reel and rotor are made of graphite, so it is lightweight. Even though it only weighs about 6.9 ounces, it is still strong and capable of tough battles. In fact, it has a maximum drag power of up to 39.5 pounds, thanks to its triple disk carbon fiber drag.
In addition, this ultralight spinning reel is also sealed with a K.I.S.S (KastKing Intrusion Shield System), a unique water-resistant design for the reel’s body, motor, and spool. The main function of K.I.S.S is to keep dirt and water out.
This product also has 10+1 stainless steel ball bearings that ensure durability and optimum performance. Moreover, its CNC aluminum spool is built with a power launch lip that enables better casting distance and line management. Other notable features of this product include an aluminum handle, stainless steel hardware, and an instant anti-reverse lock.
Overall, the KastKing Sharky III is an excellent product, considering its price (less than $50). However, this ultralight spinning reel is hard to use, especially when the load is heavy. Furthermore, some users have also reported that they experienced noises while cranking and reel binding.
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With a weight of 5.9 ounces, the Daiwa D-Spin is one of the lightest spinning reels on the market. Because lightness is the priority of this product, it is only intended for small fish. So, its maximum drag power is 4.4 pounds. Moreover, it also has a line capacity of 190 yards for a 2-pound line or 100 yards for a 4.4-pound line.
Aside from those features, the Daiwa D-Spin comes with a Digigear that has a gear ratio of 4.9:1. Because of this ratio, the line retrieval of this product is a bit slower compared to other spinning reels on this list, but it is also more powerful. In addition, this reel is made with composite materials, making it strong and durable. Plus, it also has a single stainless steel ball bearing that smooths the process of line retrieval. Lastly, this spinning reel is suitable for both left-handed and right-handed people.
As presented, the Daiwa D-Spin offers several great features. However, it is worth mentioning that you need to manually close the bail after casting so that you can start cranking. Aside from that, the drag of this spinning reel can sometimes be weak. Nonetheless, this is still a notable product, considering its numerous features and affordable price (less than $20).
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The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ has an elegant design that you’ll surely like. This spinning reel also offers features that will make you want to buy it. First, its reel is equipped with X-Ship technology with double bearing gears that guarantee smooth retrievals, even when the load is heavy. This product is also lightweight (5.6 ounces) but strong, thanks to its Magmumlite rotor and carbon filter body.
Another great feature of the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is that the center of gravity is closer to the rod due to its G Free Body design. This feature improves balance and reduces forearm fatigue. Aside from that, this model has 6+1 shielded anti-rust bearings with CoreProtect technology that keep the water out of the reel, so you can use this product as a freshwater and saltwater spinning reel. Furthermore, this spinning reel also has an AR-C braid ready spool design, which allows better line capacity and line management. Lastly, this product has a Power Roller that ensures lesser wind knots and line twists.
With all these great features, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is definitely a great product you can purchase. However, this spinning reel is rather expensive with a price of more than $200. Aside from that, its anti-reverse switch is relatively small.
The Pflueger President PRESSP30X is one of the most popular products on this list. This is not surprising because this spinning reel offers a lot of great features. For one, it has 9 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing. This bearing system lets the spinning reel retrieve smoothly. Plus, these bearings are stainless steel, so they can resist corrosion. Aside from that, its body and rotor are made with graphite, making it light without compromising durability.
In addition, the Pflueger President PRESSP30X has a maximum drag power of about 9 pounds, which is good considering this spinning reel weighs about 8.3 ounces. Additionally, this product has a gear ratio of 5.2:1, making it an excellent spinning reel for catching bigger fish. It also has a retrieval rate of 27.4 inches per crank, which is an advantage if you’ve caught a stubborn fish. Furthermore, this spinning reel is built with a Sure-Click bail, which makes a loud snap when the bail is open and ready to cast. Lastly, this product is suitable for left-handed and right-handed people.
Although a great product, the Pflueger PRESSP30x has one drawback: this spinning reel is not sealed, so it is not suitable for saltwater fishing.
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The Abu Garcia Revo Premier is built with an IM-C6™ frame. As such, this spinning reel has a lot of rigidity and strength, while maintaining a lightweight construction. In fact, this product only weighs about 6.4 ounces, so you can fish for hours without tiring your wrists and arms.
With this spinning reel, you can get up to 10 pounds of drag power, thanks to its Carbon Matrix™ drag system. In addition, it also has a gear ratio of 6.2:1 and 11+1 corrosion-resistant stainless steel bearings that ensure fast and smooth line retrievals. Plus, it has a line capacity of about 150 yards for a 6-pound line, which offers enough space for the fish to get tired. Lastly, this product is equipped with an Amgearing System, which provides exceptional smoothness and durability.
Based on these features, the Abu Garcia Revo Premier is definitely an excellent purchase. However, this spinning reel has one drawback. Some users have experienced some noise when the load is heavy. Nonetheless, this product is still one of the best ultralight spinning reels on the market, especially for catching crappies and panfish from your fishing canoes.
If you’re searching for an ultralight spinning reel that can catch and hold large species, the Shimano Stradic FK should be one of your top choices. In fact, this product is designed to be lightweight, strong, and durable.
For its features, the reel is built with a Hagane body. As such, this product is capable of withstanding unexpected shocks and high pressure. It also has perfectly aligned Hagane precision cut gears that provide smooth line retrievals even when the load is heavy. With a gear ratio of 6:1 to 6.2:1, this product is capable of fast extractions.
In addition, the Shimano Stradic FK has a front drag system that combines steel washers and oil felt to generate about 7 to 24 pounds of drag power. In fact, you may not notice its smoothness with small fish, but you’ll surely be impressed with its capability to capture large ones.
Aside from that, the Shimano Stradic FK has a spool that is made with cold-forged aluminum. This feature helps prevent spool wobble or bend when the load is heavy. Additionally, this spinning reel has a longer casting distance and a larger line storage capacity, thanks to its large spool with an updated spool lip design. This product also has a Power Roller, which prevents wind knots and line twists. Lastly, this spinning reel has 6+1 bearings, which enables smooth line retrievals.
Although a great product, the Shimano Stradic FK is a bit expensive. Still, you’ll definitely get all your money’s worth because this is a high-quality product that has a lot of the great features you’ll come to appreciate.
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The Abu Garcia Orra SX is one of the few spinning reels that offer both flexibility and versatility. One reason is its lightweight design that still allows you to catch larger fish, like a trout or panfish. But, that’s not all. This product also offers a lot of great features.
Like other Abu Garcia products, this spinning reel uses an IM-C6 design, making it sturdy and lightweight at the same time. In fact, this spinning reel has a weight of 8.10 ounces, which falls between a moderate and an ultralight spinning reel. Nonetheless, this weight is the reason for the product’s power, allowing it to catch larger fish. In addition, this ultralight spinning reel has a maximum drag power of 10 pounds, thanks to its carbon fiber drag system. Aside from being smooth, the drag only takes minimal start-up pressure to protect and secure the light lines.
The Abu Garcia Orra SX has a gear ratio of 5.8:1 and a line retrieval rate of 26.5 inches per crank. As for spooling capacity, this product has 140 yards of 4-pound test monofilament. For bearings, this product comes with 8 corrosion-resistant High-Performance Bearing (HPB) and one anti-reverse roller bearing.
The Abu Garcia Orra SX is definitely an excellent product, especially if you’re looking for comfort and versatility. However, the package doesn’t have a manual, so you might have to play with it a little to get the hang of using it.
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The body and rotor of the Pflueger Supreme XT are made of magnesium, making this product lightweight yet durable. In fact, this spinning reel has a weight of only 6 ounces, making it the second-lightest product on this list. Plus, it offers many features that you’ll definitely like.
First, the Pflueger Supreme XT comes with a carbon fiber handle, which is pleasing to the eyes. Carbon is also lighter and more durable compared to other materials. Plus, the carbon handle has an EVA knob that provides smooth and effortless line retrieval.
Another notable feature of this product is its Sure-Click bail design, which produces a solid sound when the bail is open and ready to cast. The bail also has an anti-twist titanium line roller that prevents wind knots and line twists. Another great feature is the instant anti-reverse that allows a solid and quick hookset.
Aside from those features, this product also has 10 stainless steel bearings, which allow smooth casting and retrieval. Moreover, its spool is braid-ready, so it doesn’t require mono backing. Lastly, this spinning reel has a sealed carbon fiber drag system. As such, you can use this product for saltwater and freshwater fishing.
Although a great product, the Pflueger Supreme XT has one drawback: disassembling and cleaning this product is quite complicated.
The UglyStick GX2 is an excellent choice, especially for beginners who don’t know what to get, because this product is a combination of a rod and an ultralight spinning reel.
The rod is made of graphite and fiberglass, so it is light yet sturdy enough for light fishing applications. Aside from that, this rod is available in several lengths, starting from 4 feet 8 inches to 7 feet.
As for the guides, it is made with stainless steel, which increases its longevity and prevents corrosion. The spinning reel of the UglyStick GX2 has 3 ball bearings, which can sometimes feel a bit rough. However, the reel also has an anti-reverse bearing that secures the hook. Moreover, this product has a gear ratio of 5.1:1, so, it has a quick line retrieval speed. The best part is that this product comes with an affordable price tag of less $40.
Overall, the UglyStick GX2 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for speed, durability, and power. However, it has one downside. It comes with a handle knob that is hard to move. Nonetheless, this is a minor drawback, considering its affordable price and great features.
The Shimano Stella FI has a sleek design and great features that will make you want to use it. For one, the reel’s body and gear are built with a cold-forged Hagane, which not only eliminates flexing but also ensures strength and durability.
Aside from that, the reel also has an AR-C Spool design that leads to an incredibly strong rotor, and the X-Ship technology eliminates wobble in the rotor even when the load is heavy. Furthermore, this product also has a smooth lip design, which decreases friction and helps prevent wind knots and backlash when you’re casting against the wind.
Because of the G-Free Body design, the center of gravity of the reel is closer to the hand, adding comfort and eliminating fatigue during long fishing sessions. For its bearings, this product has 12+1 corrosion-resistant ball bearings that are further protected by a CoreProtect technology. This feature prevents sand or water from entering the reel.
Overall, the Shimano Stella FI is truly one of the best ultralight spinning reels for saltwater and freshwater fishing. However, this product is not very budget-friendly. In fact, it is the most expensive product on this list, with a price of more than $750. Nonetheless, if you’re a professional (or aiming to be), you’ll definitely get all your money’s worth because of its great design and features.
The Abu Garcia Revo MGX has a rotor and body that is made of C6 carbon. As such, this spinning reel only weighs about 6.20 ounces, yet it is durable and strong. Plus, the C6 carbon material makes the reel comfortable even when you use it for long periods.
Aside from that, the Abu Garcia Revo MGX is available in two sizes, 20 and 30. The two sizes have a gear ratio of 6.2:1 and a drag power of 11 pounds. In addition, they both have 12 bearings–11 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 anti-reverse bearing.
Another notable feature of this product is its handle that has an EVA knob, which provides comfort and toughness. Plus, this product has a braid-ready spool. As such, you can tie the braid directly, even without a slip.
Although a great product, the Abu Garcia Revo MGX has a few drawbacks. First, learning the cast controls may take some time. Furthermore, this reel is easy to handle if you’re an experienced angler, but it’s not the best starting model.