Best Ultralight Spinning Reels 2020

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Best Ultralight Spinning Reel
Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

Looking for the best ultralight spinning reel?

You’ve found the right place.

I’ve put a lot of effort into this guide in hopes of helping you decide which ultralight spinning is for you. I want to help you have the absolute best time fishing as this is a hobby that I have enjoyed for some time now.

So please keep reading because you are bound to find an ultralight spinning reel that is perfect for you. If you’re short on time, I’ve put together this top chart: 

Top 10 Ultralight Spinning Reel Reviews: 

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

Known best for being an all around spinning reel, the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is extremely durable with a full metal body, rotor, and side plate. This spinning reel features heavy-duty aluminum bail wire along with an HT 100 carbon fiber drag system which provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness. Renowned for its fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing, this reel has a super line spool that requires no backing which is braided line ready. The line capacities are marked at ⅓, ⅔ and full. It comes in the following styles: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, and 8000.

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I have found the paint quality on this fishing reel to be pretty good. It protects against corrosion, which is always high on my list as I believe in taking care of things you purchase. I also appreciate five stainless steel ball bearings. Therefore, if you are using this unit in saltwater, you’ll have protection.

The price point for the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is quite attractive. I find it to be a great value for the money.

This fishing reel has a very solid feeling that can be felt when out on the water. It is an excellent fishing reel for anyone that is just starting out or for those that have been fishing for years.

The unit features rubber linings, which I find impeccable. This allows for the line to stay better and not slip as some other ultralight spinning reels do.

Pros:

  • Attractive price point
  • Anti-reverse
  • High-quality unit
  • Engineered to last longer than other units on the market
  • Has excellent support due to its metallic body
  • 1-year warranty from purchase date
  • right/left reel handle position

Cons:

  • May have a rough retrieval
  • Heavier than many units

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

With a graphite body and rotor lightweight graphite reel construction, the Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel features a 7 bearing system with corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings. The spool can be tied directly to the spool due to the braid ready spool.

There are a variety of things that I can say I love about this spinning reel. First off, I find the slow oscillation gearing helps improve line lay and minimizes line twist. I also find that I get an excellent grip with the soft-touch knob.

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Pflueger makes it easy for you to pick a reel that will fit how you fish. There are many different size options available.

This spinning reel is also reasonably priced. At the time when I purchased this reel, I was not looking to add to my collection. However, I saw this fishing reel and figured what the heck? With it being fairly inexpensive, I knew that I would get plenty of use out of it.

I will tell you that Pflueger has excellent customer service. I know someone who had one of these models and after about a year it broke. They contacted the company and they fixed it for no charge. It is hard to find a company that stands behind their products like this after a year, but Pflueger does just that.

Pros:

  • Hand position is reversible
  • Lightweight graphite body
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Very affordable
  • Very smooth to use
  • Amazing for both pan fishing and Bass fishing
  • Very durable construction

Cons:

  • Some fishermen feel this spinning reel is not as durable as it could be
  • Not made for saltwater

Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel

The Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel is best known for its smooth and reliable performance. One thing that I love about this reel is the ultra lightweight magnesium frame. I find it very easy to use in fishing conditions and I honestly do not think that one would go wrong by purchasing this one.

Let’s take a look at some of the specifics of this spinning reel. It is manufactured by Pflueger, a company that knows fishing. So, this first aspect should be given that it will be a great fishing rod. Second, it features a carbon handle and an EVA knob. I find that these two things add to the durability of the fishing reel. Plus it makes the fishing reel very easy and comfortable to hold. And this handle is 21% lighter than the same handle that is made from aluminum.

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There is a Braid Ready Spool along with a Sealed Carbon Drag. And I cannot forget to mention the 10 Bearing System or the Magnesium Body and Rotor. The 10 bearings are made of stainless steel and are made to last a long time. All of these aspects make this spinning reel an excellent choice.

There are various choices when picking a Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel. All of the models can be used for the right or left hand, they all have a gear ratio of 6.2:1, as well as 10 bearings.

Pros:

  • Can be used for both saltwater and freshwater fishing
  • Anti-reverse
  • Braid ready spool
  • Is very attractive

Cons:

  • The portholes in the spool tend to attract dirt
  • Braided line tends to get caught in bail roller
  • Proves to be hard to take apart to clean
  • Can be more expensive than other makes/models

Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels

The Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels is a feather-light reel that only weighs 5.7 ounces. I love that this reel helps eliminate arm fatigue so you can fish all day and into the night if you desire! It is crafted with an all carbon fiber body, rotor and side plate. Best known for its Multiple Retrieves, this spinning reel unique and innovative.

When I said above this spinning reel is unique, it truly is. Some of the best features are combined to give this device a look and feel of a higher-priced model at a reasonable price. I have to say that I love spool that is shaped like that of a hollow nest or the direct drive screw-in aluminum handle. Both of these scream expensive, but really, Piscifun has made this model very affordable for us fishers.

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Pros:

  • Super lightweight
  • Multiple retrieves
  • Amazing value for the money
  • Very high-grade stainless steel ball bearings
  • Corrosion-resistant

Cons:

  • Requires a lot of maintenance to keep in its best shape

Penn Fierce II and Fierce III Spinning Reel

With a full metal body and side plate which keeps precise gear alignment under heavy loads, this ultralight spinning reel gives smooth retrieves due to its techno-balanced rotor.

If you are going to be fishing in saltwater, you will appreciate the high-quality paint job on this unit. The reel will be protected against the saltwater and any chemicals, which I find great not to have to worry about.

One great thing that is nice about Penn is that they have an oiled system that allows the reel to have a smooth drag between 10 and 25 pounds. Their tested felt oil system is one of the best out there.

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Pros:

  • Full metal body
  • Reasonably priced
  • Smooth drag
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Versatile gear ratios
  • Variety of model options

Cons:

  • Wind knots are possible
  • This is not the lightest reel you can find
  • Some have issues with casting

SHIMANO Sedona FI, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel

The SHIMANO Sedona Fl, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel has many amazing features for freshwater fishing. Double Anodized Machine Cut Spool and Vary-speed Oscillation System are the two that I can think of off the top of my head that makes fishing with this reel desirable. I also cannot say enough about how durable this unit is. As the Hagane gear is at the center of the reel, this device offers great power and superior durability.

Comfort is a huge deal to me. This spinning reel is one of my favorites for this. It is very lightweight, which helps with this, but also The G Free Body tool helps to bring flexibility due to the center of gravity being closer to the hand.

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Various models sizes start at 500 and go to 8000. This number represents the spool diameter. If you have a larger spool, the more line your reel will hold. For many, this means larger fish can be caught. If you are fishing for smaller fish, you might want to consider getting a 500, but certainly would not need to go any higher than 3000.

Pros:

  • Well designed
  • Very durable
  • Cost-efficient/very affordable
  • Very lightweight
  • Great casting performance
  • Very easy to use

Cons:

  • There is no switch for anti-reverse

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

If you are looking for a powerful, multi-disc drag system, the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is for you. I love the sleek design of the fishing reel that pairs up nicely with the rigid aluminum spool and the blade body design that is corrosion resistant.

The main reason that I love this spinning reel so much is that a beginner can pick it up and use it but a pro can also use it. It works great for either person because it is durable and lightweight. Plus it is so easy to use that even if you have never been fishing before, you will get the hang of it right away.

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One of the best features that I believe this reel has is the zinc die-cast handle. Not only will you be able to handle rough fish with it, but the torque is like none other.

There are three models that you can choose from. All three have the option of left or right hand retrieve with a gear ratio of 5.0:1.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Reliable and very durable
  • Anti-reverse
  • Easy to use
  • Well crafted
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • The line tends to get caught on the spool
  • The reel is very small (Could be a Pro!)

Pflueger Trion Spinning Fishing Reel

This ultralight spinning reel is perfect for pan fishing and bass fishing. It features 6 stainless steel ball bearings and an on/off instant anti-reverse bearing. The fishing reel is convertible so both left and right-handed fishermen can use it.

This spinning reel comes from a trusted company that knows what it is doing in the world of fishing. I have fished with it in small lakes and large lakes, and smaller rivers too. It does an excellent job with all these bodies of water.

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I appreciated the soft-touch knob, as it helps with easy reeling. I have also found that it has a smooth performance with solid construction. This solid fishing reel also comes in many different models with various specs.

Pros:

  • Super affordable
  • Durable
  • Decent drag
  • Smooth operation
  • Great components

Cons:

  • The anti-reverse has been known to work slow
  • The reel has broken on some after only one year of use due to rougher usage

Cadence CS4 Spinning Reel Ultralight & Fast Speed Carbon Frame Fishing Reel

This ultralight spinning reel takes our number nine spot as it is very durable as it is made with a carbon composite frame. It is perfect for both beginners and experienced fishermen. I find that this reel is very easy to handle, which makes it great for those that get fatigued hands and arms after only a short amount of time fishing.

Now, I also have found this reel has smooth casting action and retrieve action. And for even faster retrievals, there are high gear ratios.

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One of the absolute best things that I love about this fishing brand is that they give back! For every purchase you make from Cadence, they work with their charity partners to put a combo fishing reel in the hands of the youth. They want to see as many people as they can enjoy the outdoors and nature.

Pros:

  • Comes with a one year warranty and 90-day return policy for 100% refund
  • ergonomic EVA handle
  • Stylish look
  • Attractive price point
  • Super smooth and powerful
  • Super high quality for the money

Cons:

  • It is easy for the ball nut to become loose

Bassdash Alien Ultra Lightweight Carbon Spinning Fishing Reel

Rounding out the best ultralight spinning reels list is the Bassdash Alien Ultra Lightweight Carbon Spinning Fishing Reel. Featuring a Carbon Body, Side Plate, and Rotor, this lightweight reel will make arm fatigue a thing of the past.

The best thing about the Bassdash Alien Ultra Lightweight Carbon Spinning Fishing Reel has got to be how accurate the drag is. I also find it to be very smooth. And I love the fact that this is such a durable reel. The main support shaft contains a high-strength Stainless Steel and a Triple Support System added so the gear alignment and balance won’t be compromised under even the most extreme pressure.

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There are four sizes to this spinning reel: 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000. No matter what size of reel you purchase, all are great for fishing saltwater or freshwater. I have heard the 3000 and 4000 are excellent for inshore fishing, which they can be on the heavier side. Many flounder, sea bass, perch, and red fish have been caught this way. However, if you like trout or walleye fishing, go with the 1000 or 2000.

Pros:

  • Extra rigid and lightweight
  • Smooth performance
  • Eliminates arm fatigue

Cons:

  • The Drag needs to be greased regularly or it will tighten

Ultralight Spinning Reels Buying Guide

The following information was compiled to help you choose the best ultralight spinning reel for you to have the best fishing experience ever.

Why Should You Use an Ultralight Spinning Reel?

There are so many reasons as to why you should use an ultralight spinning reel. If arm fatigue has plagued you in the past when fishing, this is the perfect reason as to why to test one out. I know that when I used to fish a lot, my wrist aches so bad after being out for only a few hours.

Now, I can start fishing early in the morning, and can go all day long. These spinning reels have changed the way that I fish and make my whole experience much more enjoyable. Another reason that many like to use the ultralight spinning reels is that they are easy to handle. If you are just beginning with fishing, these reels are truly the way to go. And I have found that they are great for casting and retrieving a light lure.

Which Species Will You Target?

When fishing, it is best to know which species you will be targeting. This will help you pick the best ultralight spinning reel for you. Whatever size of reel you purchase will help you determine which size of fish you can catch on your trip.

What Species is Best for Ultralight Spinning Reels

Some fishermen will only target small fish. This is perfectly acceptable because they know that their reel will handle this. However, if you like to catch bigger fish on occasion, you will need to have a long line for long runs. And be certain you have a strong drag system you will need help pulling the fish out of the water.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Ultralight Spinning Reel

There are many factors to consider when purchasing an ultralight spinning reel. Take note of the following when looking for your spinning reel.

Weight

The weight should be considered when you are purchasing a reel. Ultralight means just that…everything you use from your rod to your line does not weigh that much. If you do choose a reel that weighs too much, you will have trouble casting small reels. You will also not be able to properly balance your rod, and you won’t be able to use the proper line. This means you could have increased line management problems.

Now the good thing about weight is that with advances in materials, there’s a push to create lighter-weight materials. Carbon composites and graphite are being used in reels to create ultralight units. I have found that it is best to look for a unit that weighs under 10 ounces for the best results.

Construction

How your lightweight spinning reel is made is super important. After all, you want to catch large fish. So you may be asking yourself, how can I catch a large fish with a lightweight reel?

Ultralight Spinning Reels Buying Guide

The construction will play a huge role here. Reels that are made from strong materials will be the best for you. Look for reels that are produced from either carbon composites, graphite, or aluminum. Magnesium can also be a material that perhaps you would be interested in as it is not only lightweight but corrosion-resistant. Be certain that the shaft is just as durable as the reel, and made of the same materials. Other elements to look at that should also be constructed of this material should be the handle, gears, and bail. You can also look at the spool, but chances are this will be aluminum, especially if it is braided line compatible.

I always look at the entire unit before purchasing to be sure that it is tightly fitted. I do not want to accidentally snag anything.

Bearings

More bearings doesn’t always mean better. Heck, there are even reels with zero bearings nowadays. Look for quality over quantity. However, there are some great reels that have a high number of bearings…quality is everything. 

The best ones are corrosion-resistant ones. I recommend purchasing bearings made from stainless steel or ceramic.

Drag

One crucial aspect of ultralight spinning reels is the drag. I have found that when you have the right drag, your whole fishing trip can be successful. You can catch the biggest fish using a light line. 

I believe it is vital to have a smooth drag. It must engage fast in the water, otherwise, you are giving the fish a head start at getting away.

More often than not, when my drag skips during retrieval, it generally breaks more often than not.

I also cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure the drag has high-quality materials that are greased to stop any damage done from friction.

Budget

Your budget will play a huge part in what type of ultralight spinning reel you purchase. It goes without saying that the higher-quality reels will be more expensive and more durable. But if you plan on fishing every weekend all summer long and then some, it could be in your best interest to spend a bit more to have a higher-quality reel to ensure you have the best when fishing. Justify what you spend on the reel. If you are only going to use it once in a great while, you can easily get by with a cheaper version.

Saltwater vs. Freshwater Fishing

When picking your ultralight spinning reel, you will want to determine what type of fishing you will be using it for. Saltwater and freshwater will each need a different type of reel when fishing.

Saltwater vs. Freshwater for an Ultralight Spinning Reel

Saltwater bodies of water need spinning reels that are corrosion-resistant. Generally speaking, a corrosion-resistant reel will be more expensive than one that is not. If there is not any saltwater near you, it could be in your best interest to just purchase a freshwater reel. However, if there is a chance you will use your reel in salt water, you may just want to spend the extra money on the reel now.

Features Important to Think About

The following features are important to think about when purchasing an ultralight spinning reel.

  • Reel Size – This will determine how much you are allowed to put on your reel. For most fisher, 2500 will be more than enough.
  • Gear ratio – This is the number of rotations that the bail revolves around the spool for each turn of the handle. Every reel has its own gear ratio. Ideally, the gear ratio for the best ultralight spinning reels will be 5:1.
  • The spool – Typically, ultralight spinning reels will hold 100 to 125 yards of 4-pound monofilament. The bigger the spool is, the faster it can lay down.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ultralight Spinning Reels

How will I know which reel is best for which rod?

The rod and reel will be well balanced if they are matched. It is recommended to use a reel size one size smaller.

How often do I need to change my line?

Be sure to look at this often, but be certain to check the last two feet before the lure the most often. Cut and re-tie this if it is rough or uneven. When large sections become abraded, you may wish to change the line out.

Can ultralight spinning reels be used by children?

Yes, by all means! Children do quite well with spinning reels.

What should I do if the gears feel rough under pressure?

You may have damaged gear or a lack of lubrication. Look to see if there is any damage to the bearings. Are they dried out? If lubing them up does not help, they are most likely damaged and will need to be replaced.

How do I avoid reel backlash on a cast?

There is something wrong with your adjustments if this happens. Take a peek at the velocity control settings or the spool tension knobs. These are generally the first two places to look, but if neither of these turns anything up, you may have to delve further into your brand to uncover possible issues.

How can I tell if there is not any drag pressure?

The drag washers are probably worn. You can buy replacement parts at your local sporting goods store. Or you can contact the manufacturer to see if they will allow you to ship the reel back for a repair.

Why does the line twist?

The line is most likely not wound on the spool. You will have to unwind and rewind the spool. Wind it in a straight line for best results and be sure to add the proper amount of tension.

Are you able to use an ultralight spinning reel for trout fishing?

Yes, you certainly can! As these reels have fast retrieval, you can easily bring the hook back in fast once the trout has bit.

Wrap Up

I hope you have enjoyed reading my Best Ultralight Spinning Reels Buyer’s Guide. I hope that I can help you make an educated decision about the best reel for your needs. I realize it can be a hard task to find the best ultralight spinning reel for you with so many of them on the market, but this guide helps you narrow down the playing field so you can purchase one to make your fishing experience more enjoyable.

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