The Best Ultralight Spinning Reels (Reviews & Buyers Guide)

When it comes to assembling the best fishing kit, weight is important.

Lightweight reels offer increased agility and help reduce arm fatigue without reducing performance.

Small, ultralight spinning reels fit the bill perfectly in regard to ultralight fishing, as they are capable of casting super lightweight lures and handling extremely light lines.

This is something bait casters don’t offer. 

Therefore, if you’re planning to put together your own lightweight fishing setup, your best option is a rod and spinning reel. 

However, if you’ve never done so before or don’t quite know what to look for, finding an ultralight spinning reel can be difficult.

With so many options to choose from, things can quickly become overwhelming.

No need to worry though, that’s where we come in!

To help you find the best ultralight spinning reel, we’ve compiled a list of the best. In this post, we’ll review each one for you.

Let’s dive straight in, shall we!

What Is An Ultralight Spinning Reel?

Before we get stuck into our list, it’s a good idea to clearly understand what an ultralight spinning reel is. This will make it a lot easier for you to identify the spinning reel you need. 

As the name would suggest, an ultralight spinning reel is a smaller-sized, lighter spinning reel.

Ultralight spinning reels aren’t actually a specific type of reel, but instead, refer to the smallest size/model of a spinning reel. 

Usually, ultralight spinning reels are between 1,000 to 2,500 or 10 - 25 in size.

These are the numbers given to represent the size of a spinning reel. 

The smaller the spinning reel number, the smaller the reel is. Average-sized reels are typically 2,500 to 3,500 in size, whilst huge spinning reels can be 6,000 to 8,000 in size.

OUR TOP PICK

The first ultralight spinning reel on our list is the Stradic FL 1000HGFL from Shimano.

If you’re looking for the best of the best, this is your best option. 

With a weight of just 6.5 ounces, the 1000HGFL is the smallest spinning reel model from this Shimano series, making it one of the brand's lightest models. 

This spinning reel has lots of neat features that make it a solid choice, but for us, the reel's lightness and durability have to be the most important.

Thanks to the hagane technology used to build the reel, no lightness or durability is sacrificed.

Shimano’s hagane technology is found in the reel’s gears and body and is made from strong forged steel, making the reel virtually indestructible.

This also helps to provide the user with much smoother line retrieval. 

The Stradic FL 1000HGFL isn’t flimsy either, offering a high-performance drag system that easily handles 7 lbs drag pressure. 

Pros

  • Lightweight - The reel only weighs 6.5 ounces.
  • Fast retrieval - A 6.0:1 gear ratio helps retrieve 31 inches of line every time you turn the handle. 
  • Durable - This spinning reel is built to last.

Cons

  • Pricey - The Stradic FL 1000HGFL is more expensive than other reels. 

Also available at:

Tackledirect.com

EDITORS CHOICE

The Abu Garcia Revo SX range is known for its quality build, sleek design, and impressive durability. 

The lightest spinning reel in the series is the X10 reel. With a weight of 7.2 ounces, it isn’t the lightest reel on this list, but it is one of the most reliable.

Sacrificing a small amount of weight gives you a reel that is much more durable. 

The reel’s Amgearing system is made from anodized aluminum, making the reel much stronger.

Machined with computer precision, the reel is also incredibly accurate and smooth to use. 

The reel’s smoothness is improved even more with the help of 8 stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing.

A gear ratio of 6.2:1 allows for fast retrieval and the powerful drag system can handle drag pressure up to 10 lbs in weight. 

We found this high-performing, powerful, and durable reel perfect for saltwater fishing conditions.

Pros

  • Strong casting - The rocket line management system offers excellent casting performance.
  • Powerful drag system - Catch larger fish easily.
  • Super smooth - Retrieval is much smoother.

Cons

  • Slightly heavier - This reel weighs 7.2 ounces.

Also available at:

Abugarcia.com

BEST VALUE

Next up, we have the Pressp20x spinning reel from Pflueger.

This is a great option for anyone that considers design and budget to be a priority when looking for an ultralight reel. 

Featuring a stunning graphite blue body that looks great and feels even better and a golden finish that contrasts wonderfully, this reel is one of the most affordable ultralight spinning reels you’ll find on the market

Despite being designed to be more affordable than other reels, performance and durability aren’t lost.

The spinning reel’s handle is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and the reel only weighs 6.2 ounces.

Slow oscillation gearing also allows the reels line to lie evenly on the braid-ready spool.

Other neat features include an anti-reverse system, seven corrosion-resistant ball bearings, a maximum drag limit of 6 lbs, and a 5.2:1 gear ratio.

The gear ratio this reel offers is capable of retrieving 20.7 inches of line with every turn.

While it may not be the most powerful reel on this list, it’s certainly the best budget option.

Pros

  • Stylish - This reel looks amazing.
  • Affordable - The Pressp20x is a great budget option.
  • Lightweight - The reel only weighs 6.2 ounces.

Cons

  • Not as smooth - Retrieval could be smoother.

Also available at:

Basspro.com

RUNNER UP

Another fabulous budget-friendly option that doesn’t lack quality is the Okuma Ceymar C-10 spinning reel.

Sharing similar features with most higher-priced spinning reels, you can expect smooth, reliable, and extremely durable performance from this reel.

Some of the reel’s most notable features include a Cyclonic Flow rotor design and a Precision Elliptical Gearing System.

Both of these features help to minimize water intrusion and prevent corrosion.

The reel also comes with other types of Okuma technology to eliminate line twists and reduce wobble. 

In terms of weight, the Ceymar C-10 only weighs 6 ounces.

This, along with its multi-disc oiled drag system, anti-reverse functionality, and 7 ball bearings guarantees a smooth fishing experience. 

When we reviewed this spinning reel, we appreciated its large line capacity of 260 meters and a gear ratio of 5.0:1.

This makes the reel more suitable for catching a range of different types of fish. The forged zinc handle is also much-loved.

Pros

  • Affordable - This spinning reel is also very fairly priced.
  • Long casting capabilities - The Ceymar C-10 has a 260-meter line capacity.
  • High-quality - This budget-friendly reel comes with a number of top-of-the-range features.

Cons

  • Retrieval resistance - Retrieval could be smoother.

Also available at:

Okumafishingusa.com

RUNNER UP

The final ultralight spinning reel on our list is the Zephyr saltwater spinning reel from KastKing.

As you can probably tell from its name, this spinning reel suits those that prefer to fish in saltwater conditions. 

There are 4 models of this spinning reel to choose from, but if you seek the best ultralight model, the size 1000 is the best option.

Despite being made from strong stainless steel, aluminum, nylon, and carbon fiber, this spinning reel still only has a weight of 7 ounces as well as a maximum drag power of 18 lbs.

The carbon fiber drag system fitted to the reel is what helps to provide plenty of power while keeping the weight down.

One excellent feature this spinning reel also comes with is a waterproof housing unit that sits on the aluminum spool.

This ensures all sand and debris are kept away from the spool, 

securing the reel's longevity. 

Battling the most disagreeable species of fish is made much easier thanks to the reel’s EVA knob and CNC aluminum handle.

Both of these features provide smoothness and strength when reeling fish in. 

Built to last, we most liked the reel’s corrosion resistance and 10-plus-1 shielded ball bearings network that let the line move more seamlessly. 

Pros

  • Strong drag power - This reel has 18 lbs of drag power.
  • Waterproof housing - Keep debris and sand off your spool.
  • Variety of sizes - There are a variety of reel sizes to choose from.

Cons

  • Not the most durable option - Other options on this list are more durable.

Also available at:

Kastking.com

Buyer’s Guide

Before being able to make your final decision in relation to which ultralight spinning reel suits your needs and requirements best, you need to take a number of important things into consideration. 

To make the decision process easier, we’ve detailed the most important factors to take into account in this buyer’s guide.

Be sure to think about each point we make carefully if you want to make the best decision.

The Best Ultralight Spinning Reels (Reviews & Buyers Guide)

Weight

Easily the most important factor to consider when looking for an ultralight spinning reel is its weight.

After all, the whole reason you’re looking for one is that you want something lighter. 

Spinning reels come in a wide range of different weights. Some may only weigh 5.6 ounces, whilst others can weigh 10 lbs.

With that in mind, you need to find a spinning reel that doesn’t have too much weight.

If you want one of the lightest reels available, you should look around the five ounce mark.

However, you’ll end up with a low line capacity. Therefore, you may wish to balance the weight out with other features. 

Reels around the 7 ounce mark are also perfectly fine. 

Bearings

The number of bearings your reel has is important because the more bearings a reel has the smoother line retrieval will be. 

There are a number of reels that work perfectly with three or four-ball bearings, but we recommend looking for a reel that has seven or eight.

More often than not, you’ll find that most top-of-the-range spinning reels have eight ball bearings.

This ensures high-quality performance and smoothness when reeling in fish. 

It is also worth keeping an eye out for a spinning reel that has corrosion-resistant ball bearings. This will provide greater longevity for your reel. 

Species of Fish

Another factor to take into consideration is the species of fish you plan on catching.

Some spinning reels are designed for general catches, whilst others are better designed for catching heavier fish. 

Spinning reels suited to general catches tend to weigh up to 10 lbs. On the other hand, if you want to catch heavier fish, you need to choose a more heavy-duty spinning reel.

The weight of these reels starts to get pretty heavy, but there are some good lightweight options out there.

Line Capacity

If you plan on casting your line quite far, you need to make sure the spinning reel you choose has a decent enough line capacity.

How much line your reel will be able to hold will depend on the size of its core. 

Surprisingly, there are some smaller reels that are better when it comes to holding more lines than bigger ones.

This is because smaller spinning reels have a smaller-diameter core. Of course, this line will be thinner though. 

With this in mind, before making a decision, you need to think about what size of fish you like to catch and how much line you’ll need to hold in order to catch them. 

Cost

It is also important to take the overall cost of each spinning reel into account.

Just because a spinning reel costs more than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right one for you. 

In reality, a more affordable spinning reel might be perfect for how often you go fishing.

If you don’t take your fishing too seriously and simply enjoy a day on the water every so often, you might not make the most of an expensive reel.

On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned professional, your only option might be a top-of-the-range, expensive reel.

As a result, the best thing to do before looking for your spinning reel is to sit back and think carefully about what it is you need.

By doing this, you’ll be able to identify the type of spinning reel that suits you best and how much you might have to spend. 

This will also save you time when it comes to searching the market or narrowing down our list.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Budget-Friendly Ultralight Spinning Reel? 

The Okuma Ceymar C-10 spinning reel gets our vote when it comes to the best budget-friendly ultralight spinning reel.

Despite not being as light as other spinning reels on the market, it still offers plenty of durability.

It also comes with a number of neat features that other high-end spinning reels come with. Overall, performance is more than satisfactory. 

What Are The Reel Sizes Used For Ultralight Fishing?

The spinning reels used for ultralight fishing are normally size 10 to 20. This typically corresponds to size 1,000 to 2,000 with most manufacturers. 

These sizes of reel are usually more than capable of handling 2 to 6-pound strength monofilament or fluorocarbon line.

These are the two types of lines most commonly used in this type of fishing.

What Is Ultralight Fishing?

Ultralight fishing refers to fishing with gear that is extremely lightweight. This includes the reel, lines, rod, and lures. 

An angler can only be successful at ultralight fishing if all of their gear is matched together nicely.

This type of fishing is usually done with spinning reels, as baitcasters don’t work as well with lighter lures.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, that concludes our list of the best ultralight spinning reels the market currently offers.

An ultralight spinning reel gives anglers much more agility and less arm fatigue when fishing without dropping performance. 

They can be used to cast incredibly light lures and handle lightweight lines, which is something baitcasters can’t do.

While it can be hard to find high-quality reel’s in an oversaturated market, in this article, we’ve given you 5 of the best options currently available.

Each spinning reel may differ slightly in terms of weight and design, but they all guarantee high-quality, reliable, and durable performance for many years to come.

All you need to do now is take your time to narrow down the options until you’re able to identify the best ultralight spinning reel for you.

Tommy Bull
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