What To Look For In The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel And Why You Need One
When the fishing you know is limited to recreational and freshwater angling, you don’t need any of those bulky, heavy fishing gear. What you need is something light, but provides you with all the features needed for your catch.
This article will help you find the best ultralight spinning reel available in the market today, with reviews of my five favorite products as well as their advantages and drawbacks.
Top 5 Ultralight Spining Reel
KastKing Summer Spinning Reels - The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel
Daiwa Crossfire Front Drag Spinning Reel -Runner-up for Best Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel
Shimano IX1000R IX Rear Drag Spinning Reel- Best Product with Limited Budget
Okuma Ceymar Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel- The highest quality Ultralight Spinning Reel with a High Price
Goture Spinning Reel with Metal Spool - Best Ultralight Reel for Both Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing
Ultralight Spining Reel
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Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Reviews
1.KastKing Summer Spinning Reels - The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel
If I was looking for a spinning reel that’s durable and has excellent drag, KastKing Summer and Centron is definitely my top choice.
It only weighs 8.9 ounces and has a maximum drag of 11 pounds or about 5 kilograms.Another defining feature is its design which involves 9+1 high quality ball bearings and a matching two-colored anodized aluminum spool.
Aside from being lightweight, it is also compact and provides a smooth casting.It has a gear ratio of 5.2:1, a monoline capacity of 0.18mm(diameter)/ 370m (length) or 0.20/300, and a braided capacity of 6 pounds/310 yards or 8 pounds/235 yards.
It also features a graphite frame that’s not only tensile-strong and durable, but also corrosion-resistant. The drag system has a CPT of 62 and IPT of 24.4 that demonstrates unrivaled power.It also comes with a uniquely designed handle for flexibility.
This product also comes in different models with varying maximum drag weight, gear ratio, line capacity, IPT and CPT.
- 9+1 bearing count
- Corrosion-resistant frame
- Excellent drag and gear system
- Interchangeable and flexible handles
- Has a premium, stylish design
- Built with anodized aluminum spool that’s two-colored
- Does not work very well for saltwater
- Weak anti-reverse bearing
2. Daiwa Crossfire Front Drag Spinning Reel -Runner-up for Best Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel
This next product boasts a new body and design that comes in an affordable price. It features a one-touch folding handle of sizes 2000 to 4000 and a standard folding handle with a size of 500 to 1000, allowing me to get a custom handle based on my body size.
This reel weighs 12.8 ounces, which is still light but a bit on the heavier side. The Gyro spin balanced rotor also provides smooth reel and cast, which is great because I find wobbling during retrieval very distracting and may sometimes even cost me my catch.
The Twist Buster system of line twist reduction also reduces the twist by 90% during spooling of the line.Another outstanding feature that I like is the ABS aluminum spool which offers additional line capacity and helps improve my casting performance.
When combined with the Gyro rotor, a smooth casting is guaranteed.It also has a roller bearing, 3 ball bearings, an advanced locomotive level wind, and clickable front drag adjustment that makes this reel one of a kind.
I can say this reel is ideal for intermediate or beginner freshwater shore anglers.
- Smooth action casting and reeling
- Fairly and reasonably priced
- High quality
- Twist Buster is a plus
- Nice design
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- ABS aluminum spool
- Not corrosion resistant
- Limited to freshwater fishing
3. Shimano IX1000R IX Rear Drag Spinning Reel- Best Product with Limited Budget
For only a fraction of the price of other spinning reels, which I love, the Shimano IX100R offers outstanding durability. It has a graphite side plate, excellent rotor, spool, and rear drag frame.
It also delivers a Quick Fire II feature that makes for easy, fast, and optimum one-hand casts. All of these combine for a great finish.The reel, being corrosion-resistant, can also be used in both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
It has a line capacity of 2/270, 4/140 and 6/110. It also features a 19-inch retrieval rate per turn and a maximum drag capacity of 7 pounds.It weighs only 8.4 ounces with a gear ratio of 4.1:1.
This reel certainly performs the function it is supposed to do as well as offer longevity and dependability.
- Made of graphite material
- Quick Fire II for fast and comfortable one-handed casts
- Corrosion resistant
- Works for freshwater and saltwater
- High quality and durable
- Can be used with mono, powerpro, and fluorocarbon lines.
- Great value for a low price
- Limited anti-reverse function
- Bail tends to come loose
4. Okuma Ceymar Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel- The highest quality Ultralight Spinning Reel with a High Price
Assuming I am not at all concerned with the price and want a high quality ultralight spinning reel, Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is the one I will go for!The price is mainly attributed to the high quality of ball bearings that provides the utmost comfort.
This reel is constructed with 7+1 ball bearings that make fishing, casting, and reeling super smooth and easy.Another wonderful thing about this product is its anti-reverse feature that ensures the handles stay put when I turn them.
This prevents my prey from escaping once the hook catches it.It also works for either of my left or right hand. So, you can also use it with whichever is your dominant and stronger hand.
The gear ratio of 5:1 gives optimum pull in speed. The unique elliptical gearing system also balances and evens out the reeling action.On top of that, its RESII technology prevents wobbling during line retrieval.
The rigid body frame is also paired well with an aluminum spool that is both durable and lightweight.
For me, Okuma undoubtedly combines and delivers the benefits of the latest technologies.
- 5:1 gear ratio
- 7+1 high-quality ball bearings
- An anti-reverse system
- Multi-Disc oiled drag system made of felt washers
- Works for both left-handed and right-handed users
- Elliptical Oscillation Gear system
- Doesn't present a range of colors to choose from
- Low line capacity
- The spool frame has multiple small holes, so the spool is not waterproof.
5. Goture Spinning Reel with Metal Spool - Best Ultralight Reel for Both Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing
From a company that has been into research and innovation over the years comes Goture Spinning Fishing Reel Metal Spool. Therefore, this product is well-engineered and thought of for refined precision for fishing in both freshwater and saltwater.
It has a GT-S series featuring a new spin mechanism with its smooth crafted reel. It also has machined or motored spools with felt washers soaked in oil for optimally smooth operation.
The reel also has six sealed ball bearings for easy and quick action. The whole construction is supported by a durable, high quality, rugged graphite frame. It is also corrosion-resistant and sturdy.
This reel comes with an aluminum spool that’s double anodized and contributes to its durability and light weight.It only weighs 7.0 ounces with a gear ratio of 5:1 and line capacity of 4/120 6/95 for the 500 series.
- 6 sealed ball bearings
- Anti-reverse ball bearing
- Comes with an aluminum spool that’s light and double anodized.
- Multi-disk drag system
- Oiled felt drag washers
- Suited for people with small hands thanks to the handle
- Handle arms tend to wobble
- Fragile and weak bail spring
Benefits and Drawbacks of an Ultralight Spinning Reel
To make sure that an ultralight spinning reel is what you need, you should take note that you cannot use it for:
- Catching trophy fish such as large bass or catfish
- Fishing in deep saltwater areas
However, ultralight Spinning Reels are great for scouting or camping purposes because:
1. These spinning reels when paired with pen fishing rods are small and light enough to fit inside coat pockets
2. They can be easily transported for camping trips or field trips
3. You can use them to test out new bodies of water for small fish species such as mackerel, trout, pike, pan fish, and even small bass species.
4. They can be used for fishing in channels of shallow saltwater for a very light catch
5. You can use them to practice your technical skills and patience in fishing because using light fishing gear to catch small fish is quite a challenge.
To know how you can make the most out of this reel, watch this video:
How To Choose The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel
Just like in buying any other product or equipment, I want to make sure that I get the most value for my hard-earned bucks. So, here is a list of all the factors I consider to choose the best ultralight spinning reel.
1. The Weight
The first and most important factor for a reel to fall into the ultralight category is, of course, its weight. It should be as light as possible, not exceeding 8 ounces. If it weighs more than that, then its main purpose is defeated.
Because of this, most ultralight spinning reels do not use heavy duty materials like thick aluminum or steel.
2. The Retrieval Rate
Unlike in casting reels, spinning reels don’t use rotating spools. Therefore, the bail wraps around the spool and the retrieval rate determines the length of bail that goes around in a single turn of the crank.
The retrieval rate therefore determines how fast you can reel in your catch. A rate that’s 26 or more inches per turn is usually enough to allow you to catch agile fish along with its strain strength.
3. The Anti-Reverse
Anti-reverse mechanisms stop your line from unrolling once you start retrieving. This prevents any play in the handle while you reel in.This feature is not very crucial, but can still come in handy especially if you want your retrieve to be as silent as possible.
This also helps you avoid losing catch and saves you some reeling energy and time.
4. Drag Limit And Line Capacity
Unlike mainstream spinners, the drag ability of ultralights are very limited. Usually, they reach at least 2 pounds and a maximum of 10 pounds.
This should not be too much of a concern, however, because your catch should not be heavier than this and may usually be between 2 to 5 pounds anyway.This drag limit is more than enough resistance for the pull of fish around these sizes.
You can enhance this limit by using a braid for the spool, but this can cause looping and slipping in cheap reels.Ultralight reels are often rated with 2 to 10 pounds of monofilament line with a yardage not longer than 200 yards.
This is ideal for finesse freshwater techniques but will not be able to hold a heavy line cast.The reel’s drag system should also be properly calibrated and smooth for optimum operation with your line.
As with any other product, you want your reel to be durable and sturdy. Usually, more durable products cost more. Cheaper options cannot be expected to resist wear and tear as much as its more expensive counterpart.
So, be prepared to pay extra cash to get the most durable components.Avoid products with magnesium components as there are very prone to corrosion.
But if you don’t mind cleaning and maintaining your reel very often, this could work for you. Otherwise, choose ones featuring composite components.
Speaking of components, spinning reels are usually made with graphite, thin aluminum, or composite materials which are light but also reasonably strong.
However, you probably still won’t be able to compete with tough saltwater tackles.Ultralight reels, when used within their specific line capacity and stress range will perform best regardless of the materials.
There is no exact rule for the number of bearings in ultralight spinning reels. This is why one can have at least three to as many as 10 bearings.
However, higher bearing counts definitely make the reel perform more smoothly and lessen the strain it places on the angler.This is also not as crucial in ultralights as in bulky reels for fishing in saltwater.
In any case, make sure that the bearings are corrosion-proof or resistant and preferably shielded. This maintains the reel’s function even after being soaked in water or mud.
8. Drag Washers
Usually, drag washers in cheaper ultralight reels are made with felt while more expensive ones use stainless steel or higher end carbon fiber washers, or even a mix of both.
The higher the quality of the washer, the more durable and smooth is the drag output, a factor that is crucial in any fishing endeavor.
9. Gear Ratio
Ultralights are designed for fast prey and swift reel in. Therefore, they should have a gear configuration ratio of around 5:1 or higher in order to give optimum speed. This allows you to quickly pull in your catch of small freshwater fish which are agile and sensitive to the pressure on the line.
Because ultralight reels are ideal for freshwater, they don’t need to be as watertight. Just make sure to wash and clean the reel after each session to prevent any debris from clogging the gear train.
However, if you plan to use your reel in saltwater, definitely choose one with a waterproof drag. This protects the inner components from saltwater that causes faster corrosion in contact.
11. Compatibility With The Rod
Like any reel, ultralights are best used in combination with ultralight rods. If you can’t find a rod that perfectly matches your preferred reel, check if the same manufacturer is offering any ultralight reel and rod combos.
A combo ensures that all pieces match for optimum performance. These are also oftentimes cheaper than buying your reel and rod separately.However, if you are very particular and confident in what you want and need, you can also make your own combo.
Not only does this allow you to set it up the way you like, but also saves you from compromising for any feature.
In conclusion, I choose the KastKing Summer Spinning reel as the best ultralight spinning reel. It is great for both fishing pros and beginners alike.
I specially like the fact that aside from being light, it is also solid and functional and makes my fishing easy and fun.I can also take it out to the sea along with heavier action and harsher conditions, and not worry about corrosion.
Whether you want to use your spinning reel for recreation or sport, I think you won’t go wrong with KastKing Summer.
If you have any question , you can post them in comment below