From going down to the lake with my dad to going there on weekends with my son in tow, his little fishing rod bouncing over his shoulder, fishing has been such a wonderful opportunity to make memories. And I know for a fact that it’s true for so many Americans. One of my friends described it as a rite of passage for kids. And I agree with that wholeheartedly.
However, in the past few years fishing has evolved from being a pastime to a source of livelihood. So if you’re someone who wants to ease their way back into fishing to rediscover their childhood or someone who just wants to enjoy the adrenaline rush, we’ve got you covered.
However, it’s been reported that using heavy fishing equipment for a prolonged period of time can cause terrible pain in shoulders and wrist. So to fully enjoy the art of fishing pain-free – we have reviewed the best ultralight spinning reels for you today!
The perks of ultralight fishing
Ultralight here refers to the lightest weight reels available for fishing. A large part of the fishing community prefers these compact yet full of amazing features reels over the usual ones. Mainly because it’s silent, swift, and makes for a lightweight cargo when going on vacation.
Not to mention the rush that comes from fishing with these. It gives people the same euphoria of catching a big fish, despite the fact that it’s almost exclusively used to catch smaller prey. These are gentler and more accurate. That is why anglers prefer these over any other reel. Also, these don’t cause any damage to your wrist.
Because of its popularity, there are so many types of ultralight spinning reels available in the market. How to find the perfect one for me?
Fear not, to save you from this dilemma and make the journey of finding the best ultralight spinning reel easier we’ve reviewed a ton of products and came up with a list of seven best ultralight spinning reels ranging from incredibly fancy to sturdy and affordable.
We’ve also included a buyers guide so you can get as much information as you need. So let’s get stuck in, shall we?
Top 7 ultralight spinning reels Reviewed
Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel
The Okuma Helios earned a number one spot on our list because it’s an all rounder.
This spinning reel earned overwhelmingly positive responses. It features a carbon compound body which effectively makes it ultralight and prevents corrosion.
The bearings are made of stainless steel which eliminates the chances of corrosion. They make retrieval effortlessly smooth. It has quick anti-reverse to stop rotor back play from happening. This little tech miracle comes in three sizes with knobs made of slip-free EVA. The double anodized aluminum bail, spool, and handle are made from the same material as the frame which gives it lifelong durability. One other amazing feature is the unique Elliptical Gearing System which keeps the line even.
Even though it packs so many amazing features it weighs only 6.2 ounces which means that there’s no risk of damaging your wrist even if you keep on fishing for one week straight.
- Truly ultralight
- Stealthy, and swift
- Corrosion-resistant body
- Super smooth retrieve
- Anti-reverse roller bearing
- A bit pricey
- Not fully sealed
Shimano stradic ci4 spinning reel
Shimano stradic puts the light in ultralight. Its Ci4+ graphite build makes it 20% lighter than every other product in this line. It weighs only 5.6 ounces, which is lighter than Helios. These two share a lot of similarities as well, like the G-Free body and the core protect the system. Two features that give this reel high durability and extreme precision.
You have the option to choose from four sizes. It features a new technology called Magnumlite Rotor, which makes operating the handle swift and easy. The Shimano trademark hagane body and gearing make the reel strong and durable irrespective of the weather and the size of the prey.
It lacks the anti-reverse system feature but makes up for it with it’s never wavering drag system. It’s not overpriced but it’s certainly not cheap. Price-wise it sits in the middle and in my opinion it’s worth the money. It’s aesthetically pleasing and has a sleek design. I highly recommend it if you’re not working within a tight budget.
- Super lightweight
- G-Free body
- Highly durable
- Smooth drag
- High price point
- No anti-reverse clutch
Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel
Did someone say value for money? Yes, that’s Okuma Ceymar for you. At a ridiculously low price, it offers a smooth multi-disc drag, corrosion-resistant finish, and quick anti-reverse bearings. It probably won’t win any prizes for aesthetics, but it does the job and does it well.
The anti-corrosion design enables it to perform well even in saltwater. It also features high performing aluminum bait wire. The rotor system is furnished with unique Okuma RESII computer balancing, which offers superb equilibrium at high speed. The ergonomic EVA handles provide supreme comfort.
If you’re new at ultralight fishing and you want to learn drag adjustment then Okuma is your guy.
- Sturdy for its small size
- Very affordable
- Drag could be improved in terms of smoothness.
- Some have complained about the reel making squeaky sounds.
- Slower gear ratio
- Not fully sealed
Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
If you’re looking for a highly durable and well-designed reel under a hundred dollars, then this one’s it. The thing I love the most about Penn is that even though they’re offering high-quality products, they somehow manage to keep the price affordable. Penn provides you with 8 models to choose from. But this one I believe is the best spinning reel for ultralight fishing.
The Penn Battle II has a full metal body armor, completed with the metallic side plate, rotor, and aluminum bail wire. The bail wire is forged to work for a long time without warping or bending. It has a total of five ball bearings sealed with stainless steel. Which means there is no possibility of corrosion if exposed to saltwater. While we’re talking about corrosion, I’d like to mention the superior paint job as well. They used high-quality paint to provide extra protection against corrosive damage caused by salt water and various marine chemicals.
The drag system is smooth as butter. Penn battle features HT-100 drag system, HT stands for high tech. They’ve traded in the traditional felt washers for keyed carbon washers which provides a very effortless drag. This reel also flaunts Instant Anti-Reverse, which they’ve achieved by using a one way bearing while creating the reel. It prevents back play from happening when one sets the hook.
Last but not the least, it has a Superline Spool!! All thanks to the capacity rings you can always see how much line is remaining. No more surprises!
- Braid ready spool
- Ultra-smooth drag system
- Reasonable price
- Instant anti-reverse
- Amazing rugged design
- A bit on the heavier side
- High maintenance
Shimano Stella FI Spinning Reel
For those of you who are in a mood to splurge, this one’s for you. Shimano Stella has all the advanced technologies you can think of and more. Starting from G-Free Body to MicroModule Gear System, it has it all.
Let’s start from the handle, eh? The ergonomic design with a metal finish is slip-free thanks to the rubber grip. What’s better is that it’s adjustable, so it doesn’t matter if you’re left-handed or right-handed it’ll fit just right.
The G-Free body helps center the gravity of the reel and provides it with phenomenal equilibrium. It brings the reel weight closer thus minimizing any chance of error during the retrieve. Not that weight is a factor here as the reel only weighs 6.3 ounces, which basically makes it feather-light.
The S-Direct drive system prevents any back play and enables you to cast wider.
Core Protect stops water from entering inside the reel. Hence increasing durability and making it rustproof. If money’s not an issue for you, by all means, go for it.
- Looks like a work of art
- Feathery Light
- Sleek design
- Highly durable
- Ergonomic handles
- Costs a lot
KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel
The people at KastKing take pride in offering a fun-filled fishing experience at an affordable price. But the low cost doesn’t affect the quality in any way. The body of the reel is constructed with reinforced graphite, which gives it a very modern and sleek finish. Even though technically it’s ultralight, the pure power of the drag system makes it capable of catching prey weighing up to 39.5 pounds.
It comes in sizes ranging from1000 to 5000, giving you plenty of choices in the power department. The sharky is waterproof so saltwater damage is out of the question and it has its own unique protection called KastKing Intrusion Shield System or KISS. It prevents water and dirt from entering. The high quality 10+1 saltwater rated ball bearings made of stainless steel and slip-free EVA grip work like a charm. And my favorite feature of all is the anti-twist line roller which helps keep the line tangle-free and saves you money in the long run.
- Water-resistant and corrosion-free body
- Extremely lightweight
- Smooth but powerful drag
- KISS protection system
- High durability
- Tangle free
- It has a low gear ratio so things might get a bit frustrating
Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels
Piscifun has a reputation for creating cool yet affordable fishing tools for people who enjoy it. Take this particular reel for example, at an amazingly low price it offers aesthetically pleasing design and high-quality performance.
It features a matte black body and contrasting red aluminum spool which aptly justifies its name.
It has a uniquely designed compact graphite body and lightweight gears. It weighs around 8.5 ounces which is perfect for ultralight fishing. Thanks to the nine ball bearings the performance is as smooth as it can get. The reel offers drag power up to 19.8Lb which is truly amazing seeing how small it is.
- Big fishes are no match for its triple drag washers
- Smooth and high-quality performance
- There’s not much to hate here. But the space between the rod and the crank can be increased to offer more comfort.
What’s the catch?
When shopping for an ultralight spinning reel, you need to remember a few important points. Like the size of your fishing rod, because it’s quite important for them to fit together. And the quality and material that went into making the bodies of the reels. Materials have the power to make a reel light as a feather.
Ultralight usually takes three bearings. Look for a high-performance drag system and preferably a reel with an anti-reverse switch. Remember to look after your reel, like cleaning it after fishing in saltwater. With proper care, anything will perform well for a long time.
That’s it from me. If you’re looking to try out ultralight fishing, then don’t hesitate. Just do it. It’s a great oppor-tuna-ty! Happy fishing.