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 2020
- Top 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Reviews in 2020
- 1. KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel
- 2. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels
- 3. Sougayilang Fishing Reel
- 4. Cadence CS5 Ultralight Spinning Reel
- 5. Ghosthorn Spinning Fishing Reel
- 6. Cadence CS4 Ultralight Spinning Reel
- 7. Bassdash Alien Ultra Lightweight Spinning Reel
- 8. Linewinder Fishing Spinning Reel
- 9. Quantum Fishing GenX Ultralight Spinning Reel
- 10. Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel
- How to Fish Out the Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Out There?
- Ultralight Fishing Equipment Needs a Slightly Different Approach
- Relevant Resources
Comparison of 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels in 2020
|KastKing Spinning Reels||Check Price|
|Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels||Check Price|
|Sougayilang Fishing Reel||Check Price|
|Cadence Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Spinning Fishing Reel||Check Price|
|Cadence CS4 Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Bassdash Alien Ultra Light Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|linewinder Fishing Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Quantum Ultralight Spinning Reel||Check Price|
|Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel||Check Price|
Top 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Reviews in 2020
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. 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
6. Cadence CS4 Ultralight Spinning Reel
If you’re going to buy a light spinning reel, you might very well o for the top rated best ultralight spinning reels list and start with this Cadence CS4. Cadence is a household name for good-quality, premium and high-performance fishing gear.
So, the question is: does this CS4 spinning reel really live up to that expectation? Well, lightweight it is, with its 6.7oz weight for the CS4-1000 and all the way up to only 9.5oz for the CS4-4000 model. The difference stands in the drag quantity. You’ve got a max drag of only 9lbs for the most lightweight model, and this value raises all the way up to 16lbs maximum drag weight for the Cadence CS4-4000.
The frame of this spinning reel is made of carbon composites, and it boasts a high corrosion-resistance. So yes, you can fish in saltwater. Moreover, the drag system is made of carbon fiber and provides really good stopping power that enables you to reel big fish into your boat without much hassle.
- High durability
- Very good drag system
- I don’t think it’s good for big catches, though
7. Bassdash Alien Ultra Lightweight 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
8. 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
9. Quantum Fishing GenX Ultralight Spinning Reel
This lightweight fishing reel from Quantum might not be the lightest spinning reel on this list, but it surely enables you to fish for hours with very little strain in your hands. The most impressive thing at this spinning reel, and all the other spinning reels on this list, is that they manage to remain sturdy and durable, despite their low weight.
The Quantum GenX also features a multi-stack drag system, a high gear ratio and a 4-bearing system for an overall smooth performance and far-casting experience. The clutch system has an anti-verse function to make sure no big fish will get away too easily.
- Durable build and design
- Ergonomic and comfortable to use
- The drag system works very wear and the gear ratio is one of the best on the market
- It might make a little too much noise
- You might find that the bail does not close entirely while reeling
10. Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel
This ultralight spinning reel from Sougayilang looks smooth, and strong enough, despite its impressively low weight. It’s perfect for small and medium-sized fish, and has a quite good power compared to its ultralight design.
The ball bearings are stainless-steel,while the main shaft is made of hardened metal. Its spool is made of CNC-machined aluminum, and you can use it with braided line without a problem. The drag system is sealed in carbon, and the manufacturer says it features a prolonged casting distance.
This Sougayilang reel stands out for its versatility; it can be used in a variety of inshore fishing environments, both in fresh and saltwater and it is also quite easy to use due to its simple left and right-hand interchangeable system.
- Stainless-steel and shielded ball bearings
- The drag system is made from sealed carbon
- It can be used in both fresh and saltwater environments
- It might feel a little too tight on the reeling
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.
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.
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.