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15 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels 2024 – Fishing, Casting and Retrieving

Best Ultralight Spinning Reels

Are you an angler who wishes to have a combo of the best ultralight spinning reels and high-quality gear in the arsenal? Whether you want to “return to the roots” and want to catch a crappie or panfish just like you did as a kid or are aiming for 50-pound muskies, reels are the real game-changer of your overall experience.

While buying a spinning reel, you need to pay close attention to the overall weight of the product as any gear collection will be incomplete without the top-rated ultralight spinning reel. It can work great when you want to bring the small panfish and aren’t worried about the monstrous prize of catfish.

Picking up the best-rated ultralight spinning reel can be a daunting task as the market is flooded with hundreds of options. Even with a clear picture of the specifications and features of what you want, it is challenging to narrow down your search.

Comparison Table

We have scoured a list of the top 10 best lightweight spinning reels reviews, which will help you with stability and performance when casting and retrieving.

Top Ultralight Spinning Reels — Updated Picks

1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 – Affordable and Well-Balanced

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo


Shakespeare’s Ugly Stik GX2 is a fishing rod and spinning combo that delivers a smooth and powerful performance. It deploys comparison bail springs and machined double-anodized aluminum spool, which makes this series the best ultralight reels. You will get dependable performance from this combo years after years.

The high-quality ball bearings help in ensuring smooth operations while delivering the hook sets that can be termed as near-instantaneous. It has around 23 models and comes in different sizes from which you can choose the best one according to your needs.

It is crafted from fiberglass and graphite to withstand harsh conditions without having any impact on the performance of each cast. Whether you are angling pond or local creek or aiming to land on the trophy of competition, it delivers the needed strength to subdue the prey.

You will surely be amazed to experience the exceptional responsiveness that the innovative clear tip design offers. It enables you to detect the faintest nibbles, too, so that you can improve the catch rates by perfectly timing the hook set.

The ergonomic design and lightweight EVA grips offer comfortable and handhold to overcome the hard-fighting fish. The improved range of movement and easy-to-balance design minimizes fatigue.

The ugly tuff series are exceptionally versatile and can be used with any type of line. As it comes in different sizes, you will get a one-piece or a two-piece spinning combo depending upon which size and model you have selected.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: 4.8 to 7 inches
  • Ball Bearings: 2BB + 1RB or 3BB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: Varies with the size
  • Maximum Drag: 17 to 33 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Unit Weight: 4 to 20 lbs.
  • Ultra-light to massive power combos for all applications
  • Sensitive ad durable
  • Well-balanced
  • Extremely affordable
  • Easy to handle EVA anti-slip grips
  • Aesthetically sleek
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Two-piece models are not that much durable
  • Some users prefer a cork handle instead of a foam one

2. Okuma Ceymar – Comfortable EVA Handle Knob

Okuma Ceymar C-30 -- Best Freshwater Spinning Reel


The Okuma Ceymar reel is robust and light-weight, which is designed for diversified freshwater and saltwater use. All reels are sleek in design and range from the C-10 to C-65. The C-10 is suitable for lighter and smaller catches, while the C-65 is for the jetty, pier, and big water fishing.

All the reels utilize an Okuma precision elliptical gearing and fluid 8-bearing drive system for optimum fishing performance according to the intended catch of the user. With a machined aluminum spool and a rigid gearing system, it provides a strong foundation for braided fishing lines.

The multi-disc drag system of the reel allows for a more reliable and consistent drag while maximizing the drag strength. The anti-reverse roller bearings are designed to prevent the reel from turning back while fighting.

What can be more fun than a corrosion-resistant spinning reel for a great fishing experience? The aluminum spool is highly durable and is designed for managing the monofilament. The ergo grip handle is incorporated only in C-65 size for increased cranking power and better control.

The body of the reel is sleek and compact in design, which reduces the overall weight of the reel without having any effects on the power. To hold a fair amount of smaller diameter lines, this is considered among the best ultralight reels and also good for bass fishing.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: C-10 to C-65
  • Ball Bearings: 7BB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 21.8 to 38.3 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 6.5 to 35.2 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 4.8:1 to 5.0:1
  • Unit Weight: 6 to 20.6 ounces
  • Anti-reverse roller bearings
  • Precision machine-cut brass gear
  • Compact size with sufficient drag
  • EVA handle knob for extra comfort
  • Corrosion-resistant body
  • Heavy-duty bail wire
  • Not as smooth as other models
  • Slower gear ratio
  • Not resistant to saltwater

3. Pflueger President – Best Spinning Reel for Beginners

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel


The ultra-light and small graphite body of the spinning reel is specifically designed to provide better catching experience. We know that graphite has self-lubricating properties and is a high-quality material that helps in enhancing the overall durability and performance of the reel.

The construction makes it an ultra-lightweight yet smaller sized reel, which is quite easy to handle. Having a smooth and powerful multi-disc drag system with oiled washer gives it the sturdiness that is needed by the majority of the anglers.

The Pflueger model is known for the unrivaled casting performance and comes with a fixed spool, which makes it quite handy to cast light-weight baits and lures. If you are budget conscious and need a superior reel with incredible casting distance to offer accurate casting at a reasonable fraction of price, then look no further.

Do you know what makes it among the best ultralight reels? The instant anti-reverse feature and ball bearings. Nine stainless steel bearings with corrosion-resistant features make it long-lasting.

The ball bearings reduce the friction among the moving parts of the reel and offer smooth movement even if the reel is under heavy load. You can efficiently work live fish baits or artificial light lures with president spinning reel. The process is easy and fast and is a perfect choice for beginners.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: 20x to 40x
  • Ball Bearings: 10 bearing system
  • Line Retrieval: 20.2 to 31.6 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 8 to 10 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Unit Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Excellent casting distance
  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Smooth drag system
  • High-quality reeling
  • Budget-friendly
  • 1-year warranty
  • Some users reported problems in line twisting
  • Not to be used in saltwater
  • Comes with a single spool

4. SHIMANO Sedona FI Ultralight Spinning Reel – Water-Resistant

SHIMANO Sedona FI, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel


The Shimano Sedona spinning reels earns a high mark for its affordable price, unbeatable quality, and excellent customer reviews. Shimano Sedona offers a number of options to choose from depending upon the size and diameter of the reel or your preference of having a single-handled or double-handled reel.

The manufacturer knows how to offer quality and style in a single product. The G free body of the Shimano Sedona reels shifts the center of gravity much closer to the rod to provide more control and improved comfort. The angled spool lip of the reel also helps in reducing the line friction for more accurate and longer casting.

The high-quality ball bearings ensure the smooth retrieval to offer one of a kind experiences. Because of the unrivaled HAGANE gear, the fisherman or angler can have the confidence that the reel will be tremendously durable over the years and even under extremely heavy use.

Since the internal parts of the Sedona reels are sifted closed to the rod due to the G free body, the comfort it provides is unmatchable. The anti-reverse bearings of the reels can help in eliminating the back play while reducing the likelihood of lost catches.

It is also quite versatile for a reel with such a price range as it can be used for inshore fishing as well as offshore. The robust technical features with alluring designs make it a reliable fishing partner for both experienced and novice anglers.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: SE1000FI to SE8000FI
  • Ball Bearings: 3BB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 26 to 41 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 7 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 4.6:1 to 5.0:1
  • Unit Weight: 8.6 to 21.7 ounces
  • Propulsion line management system
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Helps to prevent fatigue
  • Effective drag system
  • Water-resistant
  • Smooth casts
  • The toggle switch is hard to find.
  • The handle is a bit weak.

5. Okuma Helios Ultralight Spinning Reel – Smooth Retrieve

Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel


It is among the best spinning reels and is a brilliant product with an unparalleled cranking feel. It offers a line capacity of 6lb/240yds, 8lb/200yds, and 10lb/160lbs.

Apart from this, The RSE II system, which is incorporated in it, uses a computer-balanced weight to control issues with the wobble. When it comes to sturdiness, the Okuma Helios is a great option and can work for years without being corroded.

The corrosion-free feature makes it an excellent choice for the ones who want the incredible value of money. The Cyclonic Flow Rotor (CFR) dries the reel up and removes water from the system while the Rotor Equalizing System is incorporated to eliminate spool wobble.

You will be amazed to know that being light-weight, it has a maximum drag capacity of around 13 lbs, which is pretty good for such a lightweight reel. Thus, you can go fishing with the best ultralight reel without worrying, feeling much tired at the end of the day.

Its C40x carbon fiber technology is specifically designed to make the reel both rigid and light-weight at the same time. The whole reel stays aligned to give a smooth experience to the anglers as it doesn’t create high torque or twist unexpectedly. The hard-wearing and long-lasting features of this reel make it an excellent choice for the ones who are looking for the best ultralight reels.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: HSX-20 to HSX-40S
  • Ball Bearings: 8HPB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 24.7 to 35.9 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 13 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1 to 5.8:1
  • Unit Weight: 6.2 to 9.1 ounces
  • Smooth Retrieve
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Super light-weight
  • EVA knob
  • Reel bail can be a bit hard to flip after casting
  • Not Fully Sealed

6. KastKing Sharky III – Best Ultralight Saltwater Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel


This stylish reel is among the best rated ultralight spinning reels, which makes the fishing much more comfortable for all of us. The T handle offers a better grip and improves performance. The graphite body of KastKing Sharky III makes it corrosion free, and to your surprise, the spool is made up of high-quality aluminum to give it extra sturdiness.

It comes with a shielded ball to provide better fishing experience, and the main shaft of stainless steel enhances its durability. KastKing uses a highly powerful carbon drag washer to help the reel in dragging up to 12 kg load.

It is, no doubt, the smoothest fishing reel that anyone can get. You can conveniently rig the spinning reels as these are interchangeable with left or right-hand handle. The new shark fin vented, braid reel’s line allows you to eradicate the backing line and spool it up entirely.

The carbon drag of the triple-disc enables the fishing line to move smoothly through the reel, making the coil much more fluid. It will also help you in fighting with the fish while preventing the breakage of the coil.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: 1000 to 5000
  • Ball Bearings: 10BB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 27.8 to 33.8 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 33 to 39.5 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Unit Weight: 7.4 to 10.6 ounces
  • KISS (KastKing Intrusion Shield System) for protection
  • Precision based manganese brass gear
  • Perfect for both freshwater and saltwater fishing
  • Features a strong graphite build
  • Oversized main shaft for extra support
  • Shark fin cording reel for smooth retrieving
  • Anti-slip EVA grips
  • The line retrieval can be a bit smoother.

7. Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Ultralight Spinning Reel – Inshore and Freshwater

Shimano Stradic Ci4


Shimano Stradic CI4+ spinning reel has almost everything to be loved by the anglers and novices. Its features scream about the performance as well as durability. You will experience that it is the smoothest and toughest reel, which makes it among the top ultralight reels available in the market today.

The patented HAGANE body and gear of this reel makes it easy to handle and minimize the torque. The CI4+ reels are made up of carbon fiber reinforced graphite material and are over one and a half times sturdy than Shimano’s standard XT-7 graphite.

Because the frame, rotor, and side plate do not contain any metal, these are water-repellent, which ultimately makes them rust and corrosion-proof. This spinning reel comes with one of the toughest drags and is virtually indestructible.

The drag system also allows for many levels of adjustment with other premium components, including X-ship, G free body, and core protects technologies. Stradic CI4+ steps up to S ARB with more bearings that have been added in the right places to provide improved protection and shielding.

Not to forget about the sleek style as this reel looks just as amazing as it performs. It features a smooth red spool and an overall chrome-like finish as the perfect accent. The unmatchable technology and level of quality is what draws the attraction of the majority of the anglers.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: 1000 to 4000X
  • Ball Bearings: 6S A-RB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 31 to 39 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 7 to 24 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1 to 6.2:1
  • Unit Weight: 5.6 to 8.1 ounces
  • Perfect for inshore and freshwater fishing needs
  • Extremely light-weight and very smooth
  • Magnumlite Rotor
  • Rapid-fire drags
  • A bit costlier than other reels for inshore fishing
  • Smaller anti-reverse switch

8. Shimano Stradic HG – Cost-Efficient Shimano Ultralight Spinning Reel

SHIMANO STRADIC HG, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel


The spinning reel by Stradic features the latest technology of Shimano while maintaining the high standards to improve the overall experience of the anglers. The X-ship technology of the Shimano Stradic HG spinning reels provides improved gear durability along with removing the friction between the gear and spool shaft.

For the fishing enthusiasts who like to go for catching on the river and freshwater, this spinning reel can be the best choice. If you want to get your hands on one of the best reels, then check out the new generation of Shimano reels.

You will get the durability and quality in a single product having enhanced casting performance than the majority of the spinning reels on the market. It incorporates the HAGANE body and gearing of the Shimano’s flagship that offers long-lasting and robust performance.

The smoothness gives the needed strength to the anglers for both inshore and offshore fishing. It has a built-in Dyna-Balance rotor with a Fluidrive II system that is the identity of Shimano’s propulsion line management system.

The sleek G free body reduces weight by providing better weight balance. Every part of this reel is designed to improve the overall experience of the anglers on the water.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: ST1000HGFK
  • Ball Bearings: 6BB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 31 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 7 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
  • Unit Weight: 7.1 ounces
  • Light-weight and portable
  • Cost-efficient
  • Smooth gear alignment
  • Smooth rotor
  • High durability and power
  • Some users experienced a problem in gear rotation.

9. Abu Garcia Revo Premier Ultralight Spinning Reel – EVA Knob and AM Gearing System

Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel


Abu Garcia spinning reels are designed to be among the best spinning reels which provide the best of both the worlds, the light-weight components, and all-metal construction. The manufacturer has incorporated high-end and light-weight materials to reduce the weight to a minimum.

However, to maximize efficiency, the rocket line management system is incorporated to improve the casting distance. You can have the idea about the smoothness of its retrieve by mounting the handle and spinning the reel a few times.

When this reel was initially inspected, there was no wobbling observed. The entire reel is quite smooth and refined with a notch higher material than what you have seen from the brand to date.

The handle is quite sleek and awesome looking with black and gold highlights. The computerized gear design allows for the most efficient and durable gear system. It has a carbon matrix drag system that provides smooth and consistent drag speed across the range.

IM-C6 body with rocket spool lip design provides better control to the anglers for all types of fishing lines and better control of line coming off the spool. The compact bent carbon handle is ergonomically designed to reduce tension and fatigue. How can we forget about the Everlast bail system and aircraft-grade main shaft of aluminum? In a nutshell, no matter what your style is or where do you want to go fishing, this spinning reel can be your best choice.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: 10 to 40
  • Ball Bearings: 11HPCR + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 30 to 40 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 10 to 11 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Unit Weight: 6.4 to 8.4 ounces
  • Carbon matrix drag system for consistent drag pressure
  • Flat EVA knob for greater comfort
  • Precision AM gearing system
  • Light-weight yet strong
  • Ergonomic designs
  • Anti-reverse K-clutch
  • It is not as much smoother as it should be.

10. Okuma RTX Ultralight Spinning Reel – For Fishing Small Species

Okuma RTX Light Weight Spinning Reel


The reel has been widely used for inshore and surf fishing and intimately been introduced to the saltwater and sand without any noticeable reduction in the performance. The eight bearings of the reel still performed smoothly as if it had never been in contact with saltwater or sand. However, a small amount of debris entered the bail’s spring mechanism hindering the bail from opening conveniently.

The powerful drag of the reel is advertised at 13 lbs. But most of the users have used it beyond that limit, and it performed quite well. Thus, it might be taken as an underestimation of the overall power of the reel.

When you need to fight a big fish, the drag works quite smoothly and allows you to win the fight without being worried about the spool. The anti-reverse function engages instantly and disallows the unintentional backward play.

The light-weight aluminum spool is practically indestructible if you use it appropriately. The graphite frame and rotor are very solid and dense, which gives it durability. Some parts of the reel, including the anodized bail wire that might come in contact with the ground, might show some minor paint scraping, but this is completely normal.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Sizes: RTX-25s to RTX-35s
  • Ball Bearings: 7BB + 1RB
  • Line Retrieval: 29 to 33 inches
  • Maximum Drag: 8 to 13 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
  • Unit Weight: 6.6 to 8.6 ounces
  • EVA handle knob to provide better grip
  • Better for fishing small species
  • Good value for the price
  • Light-weight design
  • Smooth drag
  • Some users find it a bit shaky.

A Comprehensive Buying Guide

Ultralight Spinning Reels buying guide

Before you go on ahead and spend your hard-earned money on the first ultralight spinning reel that you see, go through this buying guide. You will get to know about certain things and features that you previously might have thought didn’t matter.

You need to set up certain conditions, certain parameters that a product must fulfill to become eligible for you. It must have some specifications, must be capable of providing certain specific features that might come in handy when using it. These can be anything from the weight of the product to the quality of its build and design.

Having said that, let’s have a look at what some of these important features can be;

1. Rod-Compatibility

The ultra-light fishing reel that you are going to get yourself should be compatible with your fishing rod. You need to check the requirements of your rod and match them with the specifications of the reel that you want to buy.

If you get a reel that doesn’t match your rod, then you will have to either get a new rod or a new reel. Moreover, when you attach the reel and the rod, the rig needs to feel balanced.

2. Gear-Ratio

Gear-Ratio Best Ultralight Saltwater Spinning Reel

A gear ratio is a ratio between the turn of the spool and the rotation of the handle. Generally, most reels have a gear ratio of 5:1, this means that 5 turns of the spool are produced by a single full rotation of the handle.

Generally, 5:1 is considered to be a moderate-pack gear-ratio. If it is any lower, it will be slow, and if any higher, it will be considered fast. The gear-ratio is important because of two main reasons;

  • Retrieval Speed

The higher the gear ratio, the faster the retrieval speed. This is helpful in situations when you have jigged deep or far away from your location and need to cover a long distance in a short time.

But too much speed can be bad for the catch, the fish might escape or might not bite on to the lure in the first place. So you need to know what type of fish you plan on catching and get the Ultra-light reel accordingly.

  • Lure Action

The faster that you retrieve a spinning lure, the lower time the fish has to decide if it needs to strike or not. Normally, fast retrieval is considered to be good on a bright day with clear and warm water.

Some lures are better used with fast-retrieval time and others are better used with slow retrieval. You need to keep this in mind with regards to the fish that you are trying to catch and get the reel accordingly.

3. Drag

The drag of a fishing reel is a very significant factor when it comes to securing your catch. It matters, even more, when you are using an ultra-light fishing reel. When you are fighting to reel in a fish, you will depend greatly on the smooth and consistent resistance of your reel in order not to break the line.

It is advisable to set your drag to create moderate to heavy pressure when you start fishing. Later on, you can adjust it accordingly to match the conditions and the size of the fish that you are trying to catch.

4. Smoothness of Operation

Smoothness of Operation Best Ultralight Saltwater Spinning Reel

The smoothness of the reel significantly impacts the energy you use throughout the day. The smoother the reel, the better you will be able to perform with it.

FAQs about Ultralight Spinning Reel

Q: What size reel is ultra-light?

Ultra-light spinning reels are not a type of reel itself. Rather, they are the smallest model or size of a spinning reel. Typically, they are considered to be of the sizes 1000, 1500, 3000, and 2500 or in other words, between 10 and 25.

Q: How do you know the size ultralight reel that you need to buy?

The size of the reel depends on the size of the fishing line that you intend on using most often. The lighter the line you intend to use, the smaller the ultralight reel you should get.

Generally, a ten-pound test line is considered to be the highest strength and diameter that should be used on a spinning reel.


Choosing the best ultralight spinning reels can change the game of your fishing. By now, you must have a clear idea about the spinning reels available in the market. However, you should not compromise on the quality of the reel, and there is much more to look for except weight while buying a reel.

The material, design, ball bearings, line retrieval, power, drag capacity, and other features like these collectively make a reel stand out from the rest. Though no one can have all these features in a single reel and there isn’t any solution that will fit all the problems. Still, you should do your best to get the most suitable spinning reel that matched perfectly with your fishing needs.

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