Ultralight spinning reels are preferred by many anglers because they offer a whole different fishing experience. What is more, they are super-light (yeah, you’ve probably got that from the title already) and offer good overall performance and durability, without compromising on comfort and ease of use.
Reel weight is usually just about preference and fishing approach. Some anglers might love to fight with the catch until they tire it out, others might just want to reel it in and go home with the big catch. In both cases, you’re going to need the best spinning reel on the market.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels in 2021
- Top 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Reviews in 2021
- 1. KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel
- 2. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels
- 3. Sougayilang Fishing Reel
- 4. Cadence CS5 Ultralight Spinning Reel
- 5. Bassdash Alien Ultra Spinning Reel
- 6. Tempo Sphera Spinning Reel
- 7. Tempo Apex Spinning Reel
- 8. Daiwa QR Ultralight Spinning Reel
- 9. Ghosthorn Spinning Fishing Reel
- 10. Linewinder Fishing Spinning Reel
- How to Fish Out the Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Out There?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Q: How Do You Choose a Great Ultralight Spinning Reel?
- Q: What Size of Fish Can You Able to Catch With Your Ultralight Spinning Reel?
- Q: How Does the Product Fare in Freshwater and Saltwater?
- Q: What Is the Purpose of Ultralight Reels?
- Q: Why Does the Line Twist?
- Q: What Can Be Done if the Gears Are Under Intense Pressure?
- Ultralight Fishing Equipment Needs a Slightly Different Approach
- Relevant Resources
Comparison of 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels in 2021
|KastKing Spinning Reels||Check Price|
|Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels||Check Price|
|Sougayilang Fishing Reel||Check Price|
|Cadence Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Bassdash Alien Ultra Light Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Tempo Sphera Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Tempo Apex Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Daiwa Ultralight Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Spinning Fishing Reel||Check Price|
|linewinder Fishing Spinning Reel||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Reviews in 2021
What we are going to review today are the top ultralight spinning reels you can possibly purchase at the moment. What we are going to review today is a combination of budget, efficiency, performance and sleek, lightweight design considering the best ultralight spinning reel reviews out there.
We’ll take a peek at the best budget ultralight spinning reel, at the best spinning reel for ultralight fishing and also analyze some other really good products from well-known manufacturers of lightweight fishing reels. In the end, we’ll go through all the choices, point out the most important features to consider and leave you to decide what is best for you. With the right advice, this decision will be easy.
1. KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel
The KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels are gorgeous-looking and come in many versions. No matter the version you choose, this product by KastKing might very well be the best ultralight spinning reel for the money that you can find on the market right now.
The Centron we’re featuring here has a darker colour theme, while the Summer versions are lighter in colour. If you don’t know which one to pick, you should know that the 2000 and 3000 models are fit for small game fish. The 4000 and 5000 models have a slower gear ratio, but can handle big fish very well.
The reel is CNC machined for better fishing line ability. The 9 ball bearings are resistant to corrosion and thus you can use this reel in saltwater as well. Both the Summer and Centron spinning reels are easy to use and are really useful for beginners. Nevertheless, the most advanced anglers won’t have much to complain about either.
- Really cool, sleek design and materials that look very high-quality
- Can withstand the corrosion resulting from saltwater use
- Very good for newbies
- Easy reeling and what looks like a pretty nice drag
- The nine ball bearing reel is not that smooth
2. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels
Piscifun is a well-established brand whose name many experienced fishermen really recognize. So, the question is: does this product deliver on the brand’s promise? I think it does and can even make a name for itself as the best budget ultralight spinning reel out there at the moment.
If you’re not asking too much from an ultralight spinning reel and are at the beginning of you fishing career, then this is the best choice you can make. What is more, this ultralight reel looks more expensive than it actually is.
The black matte body together with the red aluminum spool are a great choice of colour and the design in itself looks quite comfy and ergonomic. It won’t probably take too much accommodating. However, if you are a professional, then there is no real reason why you should opt out for this product. I recommend it to beginners as a great starting point.
- Stylish colours and sleek design looks also quite ergonomic and versatile
- It is also compatible with braided line
- It does not look like it would resist to corrosion, and heavy fights, so we do not recommend you use it in saltwater or for really big catches
3. Sougayilang Fishing Reel
If in your search for the best ultralight spinning reel reviews you come across this Sougayilang product, then there’s no wonder. Overall, it is known for its good smooth operation and exciting features. It seems that the most important thing about this reel is it stopping power which might be overwhelming at first.
The main shaft and drive gear are made from a really sturdy-looking material that gives you confidence. The precision brass gears make this ultralight spinning reel very easy to use. The handle can be changed from left-handed to right-handed without a problem, and it looks like its overall balance is on point.
- The reel brake system looks ideal for a lightweight spinning reel
- Smooth operation that will last in time
- Helps reduce line memory and fatigue
- The screws might get rusty quite fast
4. Cadence CS5 Ultralight Spinning Reel
This Cadence CS5 can always make the list of the best ultralight spinning reels on the market right now. Built from high-concentration meta carbon, this Cadence reel promises great stability, despite its ultra-smooth and lightweight design.
The drag weight is up to 20 lbs. That’s a lot of power, I know, and it’s impressive. What’s more, the handles are made of EVA for some extra comfort and a strain-free experience. The main shaft is made of stainless steel and the pinion gear is pure zinc alloy. As you can see, all the materials used to scream:
“Great quality” and promise an exciting fishing experience, ensuring you can go for the biggest catch out there without a problem. Well, I’m not talking Loch-Ness-monster big, but just attach a 15lb line to it and have a great time. The way it is build promises great durability over time.
- Great-quality materials and impressive overall design
- High drag weight capacity
- Smooth drag and precise fish fighting power
- Can be used in both saltwater and freshwater
- You might encounter problems with the line looping and getting caught behind the spool
5. Bassdash Alien Ultra Spinning Reel
What are the ingredients for top ultralight spinning reels? How about a carbon body, ultralight side plate and rotor and a surprisingly accurate drag? Moreover, this Bassdash Alien Spinning Reel rounds it all up with high-strength stainless steel main support shaft and a Triple Support System which manages balance and gear alignment very well.
This Bassdash Alien will also be very gentle on your arm as it weights 6.66oz for the 1000 version (12lbs max drag) and 9.14oz for the 4000 version (15lbs max drag). In between, there are two more versions you can choose, depending on your necessities.
- Great smooth performance
- Less strain on the arm
- The drag might tighten often if you don’t grease it periodically
6. Tempo Sphera Spinning Reel
The Tempo Sphera is taking an ultralight spinning reel to a whole new level. Amidst being lightweight, this product has a carbon body, making it very durable. Aside from that, the regular weight is further reduced through the inclusion of EVA handle knobs.
This product speaks of strength and endurance with its aircraft-grade aluminum 7075 pinion gear. The GV rotor and the drag system are also made with carbon fiber, in which the maximum drag is an imposing 36 pounds.
If that is not convincing enough, then here are more of its features. The product has a ‘9+1’ Japanese bearing system of high quality to provide optimum smoothness. For an added value, it comes with an aluminum spool that is braid-ready.
- Solid material with carbon fiber body, GV rotor, and drag system
- A very sturdy pinion gear
- 36-pound maximum drag
- Ergonomic EVA handle knobs
- The high-quality bearing system
- Includes a braid-ready aluminum spool
- A bit pricey
7. Tempo Apex Spinning Reel
Furthermore, the main shaft and pinion gear are made from aircraft-grade aluminum 7075, making it capable of handling strength and power way beyond the overall weight of the fishing gear. The product’s drag system is comprised of carbon fiber washers that make the system capable of handling a maximum of 39 pounds of drag force smoothly.
To protect the system from water and dirt, it is adequately sealed. To emphasize more on smoothness during fishing, the 10+1’ Japanese bearing system is of excellent quality. Like all other unique spinning reels of Tempo, it has a braid-ready aluminum spool and very ergonomic EVA handle knobs.
- Very durable body made from advanced magnesium
- An aircraft-grade aluminum pinion gear
- Includes a braid-ready aluminum spool
- Carbon fiber drag system
- 39-pound maximum drag
- Convenient EVA handle knobs
- Excellent quality Japanese bearing system
- A bit heavier for an ultralight spinning reel
- A little expensive
8. Daiwa QR Ultralight Spinning Reel
The Daiwa QR ultralight spinning reel is built for freshwater purposes. Pair it with an ultralight rod, and you get a perfect combination for fishing gear. Without any sacrifice to the weight, this product maintains its strength at all times.
The spinning reel has a gear ratio of 5:1:1 and has a total of 4 bearings. With its aluminum folding arm and spool, the maximum drag is about 5 pounds. For that additional convenience, it is designed for ambidextrous use. While fishing for a trout or panfish, the soft-touch handles provide a perfect blend of control and comfort.
- Very lightweight
- Able to maintain stability and power
- Perfect to be paired with an ultralight rod
- Aluminum folding arm and spool
- 5-pound maximum drag
- Excellent for fishing panfish and trout and also for ice fishing
- Soft-touch handles for that necessary comfort and control
- Design for ambidexterity
- Suitable only for freshwater fishing
9. Ghosthorn Spinning Fishing Reel
You know that the best spinning reel for ultralight fishing will give you that very smooth and strain-free experience for hours, without having to suffer from any kind of burden in your hand from too much use.
Spending hours on end doing what you love can prove quite difficult on your body, and that’s why you need to consider the most lightweight and reliable fishing gear on the market. This Ghosthorn really does “make a statement” in this aspect, with its three carbon fiber drag washers, 34.4lbs dragging power and four stainless steel ball bearings.
Moreover, it boasts an anti-reverse bearing for some additionally-smooth retrieve. The materials are corrosion-resistant and offer good overall performance both in saltwater and freshwater. Its lightweight design allows for some of the easiest throwing experience out there. And I could also add that the choice of colours and the finish are excellent.
- Carbon fiber drag washers
- Impressive 34.4lbs stopping power
- Really nice and sleek design
- Despite its great design and three carbon fiber drag washers, this Ghosthorn reel has numerous little plastic components which can break easily
10. Linewinder Fishing Spinning Reel
These lightweight spinning reels from Line winder boast a 9+1 smooth ball bearing that promises high performance. The Gearing system improves line lay, while the one-way anti-reverse system provides the strength necessary for big catches. All in all, it looks devilishly good and boasts corrosion resistance for saltwater use.
Furthermore, this Line winder fishing reel offers quite smooth reeling and the drag is quite even. It looks like a well-balanced lightweight fishing reel that is worth the money for its overall performance. May you catch the best snapper or red fish with it!
- High durability
- Corrosion resistance
- No backlash in the gears
- The handle might seem a bit too large
How to Fish Out the Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Out There?
Top ultralight spinning reels that do not compromise too much on durability and strength are quite hard to come buy, pun intended. However, it is not impossible, just a little bit more complicated navigating through a series of factors that you need to consider.
There are a couple of things you’ll have to ponder on, from how you want the reel to rest against your hand, to drag, stopping power, design, materials, protections, maintenance. Too much? Don’t worry! We’ve laid them all out here in front of you to make your decision a piece of cake…well, almost, as there are a lot of top ultralight spinning reels on the market that deserve your attention right now.
The 4 Main Rule of Thumb for Choosing an Ultralight Spinning Reel
This might be a little redundant since we’re already discussing the best lightweight spinning reel you can find on the market at the moment. However, you shouldn’t get too over-excited and run for the lightest out there. As a rule of thumb, you should make sure that it is not too light for the type of fish you’re planning on catching. In addition to this, it should also balance well with the rod and make your casting and reeling an easy job that does not strain your arms too much.
2. Casting the Line Should Be as Easy as Passing the Salt at the Dinner Table
You can start by practicing with the salt to get an idea and the…just kidding, partially kidding. Yes, casting the line should be an easy operation that will not employ too much of your arm strength.
3. Keep in Mind That the Rig Will Stay Either in Your Right Hand or Left Hand
An ultralight spinning reel should also feel good in your hand. Moreover, it should be easily interchangeable so you can swift quickly from left-handed to right-handed. Using a left-handed reel while you’re a right-handed person will create great discomfort.
4. Don’t Forget About the Drag System and the Main Materials Used
You might have gotten over-excited by its lightweight design, easy maneuverability and the comfort it offers and forgotten about the build materials and the drag system. I’m going to take a risk and say these are the most important aspects to consider and they should be left out. The drag, durability and overall performance should weight hard on your final decision, buy we’ll get back to these later on.
The Advantages of Buying an Ultralight Spinning Reel
First things first, the more lightweight the spinning reel is, the feathery the fishing rig feels; and when you spend hours on end fishing, this will make a great difference. Fishing should also be about relaxing, not about strained muscles and aching arms.
Secondly, most ultralight spinning reel reviews out there talk about their quality of being less prone to corrosion. This might be due to them having fewer parts that could be attacked by salt or muddy water. As a result, they can be used both in muddy fresh water, like ponds, rivers or for fishing in the ocean.
Thirdly, if you are a beginner, have small hands or just curious about fishing and want to try for the first time, you should go for the best budget ultralight spinning reel you can. It will give you a very nice sense of overall control over the line and you will enjoy it, I assure you. So, lightweight spinning reels are not to disconsidered when working on setting up your perfect fishing gear for next year, no matter if you are a beginner or a pro.
Also Read: The Best Catfish Reels on the Market
The Most Important Features of an Ultralight Spinning Reel
Ok, let’s get down to business to the most important features to consider when buying the best ultralight spinning reel for the money or the top rated ultralight spinning reels on the market. We’ve discussed a few important rule of thumb and the benefits of choosing an ultralight reel. Now, for the real thing:
This is a little bit more complex than it sounds. It starts with the weight of the reel and the overall design. It’s quite difficult to manufacturer an ultralight spinning reel because you’ll have make everything more compact, smaller in size and also make sure the final product balances well with the other parts of the gear, rod, line or tackle.
If the reel weights too much than the other components, then the entire operation is disrupted. If the reel weights too little compared to the others, again, something is not good. The bottom line is, it all needs to fall into place, balance well together. If not, you won’t be able to cast small lures or you won’t be able to use the proper line for the reel or…well there are so many things that could go wrong.
So, before purchasing a lightweight fishing reel, make sure it is compatible with the other components and that they’re both on the lightweight side of things. Usually, ultralight spinning reels weight a little less than 10oz, with the smaller versions going as low as 6oz even.
Graphite and Carbon Composites Are the New “Tech” in Lightweight Spinning Reels
Modern technology has made it possible to use graphite or any other sorts of carbon composite for building fishing reels. These materials offer incredible light weights, while keeping things together and without compromising too much on durability and strength. So, yes, even the best budget ultralight spinning reel should have carbon composites in its design in order to make this list.
Build and Design
Lighter reel means lighter tackle and more pressure. So, ironically, by making the reel lighter, you also expose her to more pressure. So, you need to make it lighter and stronger at the same time. I’m talking here from the perspective of a spinning reel manufacturer.
Anyways, as we were saying above, the modern technologies of today have made it possible to employ strong raw materials that are also feathery-like light. To ensure you buy an best ultralight spinning reel that features these materials, look for a graphite, aluminum or carbon composite body.
Moreover, the main shaft, gears, bail and even handle should me made of similar resistant materials to ensure durability over time. The spool is usually made of aluminum. An aluminum spool on a lightweight reel will usually be compatible with the braided line also.
Aluminum Vs Graphite Spinning Reels
So, I thought I’d make a comparison between these two materials in the end. Aluminum spinning reels will be more durable than the graphite ones. They’ll be stronger also. Moreover, they won’t be as flexible and could manage more pressure from larger fish. The graphite spinning reels, on the other hand, will be more lightweight than the aluminum ones.
However, graphite does have its weaknesses less robustness and less resistance to high stress. So, graphite lightweight spinning reels are more suited for smaller fish. In the end, you should know that both materials are great, and that you should make your choice based on how much time you’ll be spending on reeling in big or small fish.
Drag is even more important in an ultralight fishing reel than it is in a normal one. The better the drag, the larger the fish you can handle on a light line. The more terrible the drag, the poorly the overall performance of the line. Actually, with an awful drag on a lightweight spinning reel, you might not even manage mall fish in a pond.
The drag in a spinning reel should be smooth. Furthermore, it should be quick, engage almost immediately, otherwise the fish might escape. If the drag shows signs of skipping or hanging up during the retrieval, you should consider changing it because it will break your line at some point.
The drag should also be taken care of. You should oil it regularly to prevent any damage from the high friction temperatures it puts up with during use. This is why the materials used on the drag are important and they should be high-quality, no compromises. What is more, the drag should be easily adjustable.
This is not a specific feature only for ultralight spinning reels, but for all of them, and I consider it rather important. The real size determines how much line the reel is able to hold and this decision here should be made by every fisherman based on his expectations and demands.
Usually, the 2500 sized reels are the most popular among anglers, but it’s your call. Manufacturers usually offer a few versions for their products to fit the reel size demands of every fisherman.
The gear ratio is usually overlooked by most anglers, but I find it quite important. It basically points out to the number of times the bail on the reel rotates around the spool every time you turn the handle. So, once you get used to a certain gear ratio and then change the reel to a totally different one, it will surely feel strange and you’ll want to return the product. Just find out the gear ratio that best suits your style and try to stick with it as much as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How Do You Choose a Great Ultralight Spinning Reel?
A: To choose a great quality ultralight spinning reel, consider your fishing preference first. If you are casual, then a durable body with a slight increase in drag capability might be enough.
But suppose you are into competitive and frequent fishing, whatever the conditions may be. In that case, you need to choose an extremely durable spinning reel, preferably not a regular metal, and a drag system that handles beyond 30-pound drag force.
Q: What Size of Fish Can You Able to Catch With Your Ultralight Spinning Reel?
A: The larger the maximum drag force the spinning reel’s drag system is capable of, the larger the fish it can handle. If you are just casually fishing on a riverside, a spinning reel with low drag force is enough. But if you are going for bigger, extreme catches, there are ultralight spinning reels made for that.
Q: How Does the Product Fare in Freshwater and Saltwater?
A: Saltwater has more corrosive properties compared to freshwater. That is why heavy-duty spinning reels are usually made of highly durable materials that are not metallic such as carbon fiber. Also, parts made of aluminum are highly reliable against corrosive materials.
Q: What Is the Purpose of Ultralight Reels?
A: Ultralight reels are essentially built for light fishing only, such as for catching trout. However, the concept is being carried to competitive and extreme fishing. That is why there are ultralight spinning reels that are made from extremely durable but expensive materials.
Q: Why Does the Line Twist?
A: One prevalent problem is line twisting. Its leading cause is that the line is not properly wound to the reel. The only solution for that is by unwrapping the reel first and then rewinding the line. As you are pulling the line, ensure that ample tension is applied and the reeling must be straight.
Q: What Can Be Done if the Gears Are Under Intense Pressure?
A: If the gears seem to be under a lot of pressure during fishing, the best thing you can do is apply lubrication. If there is damage to the bearing system, have it replaced immediately.
Ultralight Fishing Equipment Needs a Slightly Different Approach
As a final conclusion to our in-depth best ultralight spinning reel buying guide, I would like to point out that using ultralight fishing gear might feel a little weird at first. With traditional fishing gear, you fight to bring big fish quickly and effectively, while keeping an eye on the line. With ultralight rods and reels, things change a bit. You’ll have to fight the fish until it tires and thus becomes easier to reel.
Not even the best ultralight fishing gear can resist brute force and quick reeling in. No, ultralight fishing equipment needs a little different approach. You’ll have to learn endurance and flexibility and a lot of patience, but I think you already know that. For more comfortable lengthy battles, try using a large-line-capacity reel and maybe braided line since it is more durable than all the others.