5 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels Reviews (2021 Buying Guide)

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When shopping for a spinning reel, you’ll want to pay close attention to the weight of the product. The weight of the reel has a lot of say over the effectiveness of your entire fishing setup. Lightweight rod and reel setups are great for most hobby fishermen and anglers. They give their user a lot of control and reserve strength for when it’s needed.

An ultralight spinning reel is crucial in creating the perfect lightweight setup. The options, though, can be overwhelming. Knowing what to look for and where to look is the first important step.

ultralight spinning reels

Ultralight Spinning Reels Comparison Chart

Product NameGear RatioWeight(oz)Our Rating
KastKing Sharky III5.2:19.14.4 out of 5
Okuma Ceymar5.0: 184.6 out of 5
SHIMANO Sedona FI5.0:17.64.5 out of 5
Piscifun Flame 5.2:110.94.2 out of 5
Pflueger President 5.2:17.44.6 out of 5

5 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels Reviews

Below, we will take a closer look at some of the most well-known ultralight spinning reels on the market.

Best Overall: KastKing Sharky III

Labeled as “Pure Power,” the KastKing Sharky III is a fun addition to your tackle supply box. KastKing has been around for many years, always delivering quality fishing products. Furthermore, the Sharky label has gained trust by fishermen across the globe.

Pros: If there is one word to describe the way users have described this reel, it’s smooth. Whether casting or reeling in, the line runs out or drags in effortlessly. There are no spooling loops or other hassles that might exist with other brand names. Even when exposed to saltwater, corrosion is rarely an issue. It’s great value for the price you’ll pay, which is always reasonable when you’re dealing with the KastKing brand.

Cons: When compared to prior Sharky reels, this one seems to have a few more bugs to work out. There have been some complaints about an uneven line retrieval, as well as how well the reel fits in the hand. The reel feels perfect when gripped by a left-handed fisherman. Right-handed fishermen might experience some discomfort.

Keep an eye on your line retrieval and make necessary accommodations to fit your hand. With the right care, you’ll have a great reel that will last you for years to come.

Best under $50: Okuma Ceymar

The Okuma Ceymar C-20 is the flashiest-designed reel on the list. It will be identifiable to anyone familiar with the brand due to its signature red highlights and sleek black finish. Okuma has earned its place as a trusted brand name in fishing gear. This reel, like others in its brand, is a fisherman’s favorite.

Pros: This reel is lightweight and strong. This allows for easy handling even when fighting with a particularly stubborn catch. You might be surprised by the size of the reel when first unpackaging it. It is small and some users confused it with a children’s’ reel at first glance. They report having to take to online searches to get to the bottom of the sizing situation. The size shouldn’t fool you, yet- there’s a lot of power in that otherwise familiar little package.

Cons: This reel features a square drive reel which can be disorienting during a fast reel. It often leaves a fisherman with the feeling that you are not in control or are losing your line. Because of the shape of the drive reel, lockups are also common. This usually happens when pulling in a fast catch that is trying hard to get away from you. You’ll want to explore line options to find which works best for you.

There’s a little bit of trial and error involved here because of the odd shape of the drive reel. Once you get your preferences figured out, you are left with a lightweight piece of equipment. This reel can and will get the job done. Keeping its small size in mind, don’t be afraid to take this one out for a few test runs to figure it out before you use it.

Best Under $100: SHIMANO Sedona FI

The SHIMANO Sedona FI is the first in the SHIMANO budget line to feature cold-forged HAGANE gears. The drag power in this model has also been upgraded to handle heavier and feistier fish. It’s worth checking out if you are looking at some big reels in the future.

Pros: SHIMANO is known for creating innovative fishing products and the Sedona FI is no different. This reel is designed to effectively work in both saltwater and freshwater situations. It has also been improved to be more lightweight and to reduce fatigue for those who use it. This means longer days doing what you love without sore muscles or exhaustion cutting the fishing trip short. A reasonable price and attractive design round this reel out as a great buy option.

Cons: There has been some confusion about the lack of a toggle switch on this reel. Some users are left scratching their heads about how to release the spool. There actually is a toggle, though- it’s just a little harder to find. Pay attention to the manual and don’t be afraid to look online for tutorials. The design is functional, but outside of the ordinary for some. You aren’t alone if you need a little help figuring it out.

This is a beautiful reel with some great updates over previous models.

Best for the money: Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels

The Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel is a flashy model with a drag reel powered for up to 19.8 lbs. With a braid-ready spool and roller bearing system, this reel has it all.

Pros: This reel is effective at pulling in large fish. It is especially popular among fishermen targeting catfish, due to its ability to hold up against large, strong fish that fight back. It is also known to be an affordable option for those who might not be prepared to throw in the upfront cost of a more expensive brand name. When you combine all this with the flashy coloring and design of the reel, there’s a lot to love here.

Cons: The design of this reel has caused a little bit of frustration for some. It seems there isn’t a lot of space available between the rod and the crank, so if you aren’t careful you can lose your catch when you get hung up on your own hand. This has been remedied by some with some simple tweaks to the rod set. There are also slight alterations in reel-holding that can accommodate.

If you’re looking for a low-cost starter reel or a budget-friendly big fish line hold, this is a good option. Just be mindful of your own needs about hand fit and effective placement on the rod. With a little forethought, this could be a great reel that will serve you well for years to come.

Best Style: Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President Spinning Wheel features a graphite body and rotor, a 10 bearing design and a slow reel system. It is designed to be attractive and effective and has become a favorite among many hobby fishermen.

Pros: First is beautiful. It is designed to catch the eye as well as catch fish, and many owners of the Pflueger have been pleased to report that it does both effectively. When working properly, the 10 bearing system of the reel delivers a smooth cast and tight tension. This helps to reel in the biggest and most impressive catches. It also delivers a controlled reel-in which comes in handy when your catch fights back.

Cons: The reel does seem to have some issues with tangling and twisting, which might be due to its design. It would appear that a lot of effort was put into making the reel aesthetically appealing, but possibly at the expense of effectiveness. Users have reported the line winding and coming off in loops rather than the smooth cast that is expected of a high-end reel like this one. Combine this with a short warranty period and you’re looking at potential frustration and expense down the road.

If you are looking to buy this reel for personal use, make sure you test it out and identify any flaws within the warranty period. This will help avoid negative experiences with replacement or repair costs.

Buyer’s Guide

When picking the best ultralight spinning reel, there are many factors to consider. These range from how you want your rig to look to how the reel will rest against your hand.

Because of the variety of reels on the market, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Odds are, you’ll find many articles online pointing you in various directions. This article, is, of course, included in that assumption. You’ll likely struggle to know which article to trust.

Rest assured that we have already thought of this and we know you’ll be doing your own research, too. We want you to because we know your findings will be like ours, but also because we want you to get a reel that is a good match.

How to choose the best Ultralight Spinning Reel

It should go without saying that the number one thing to watch for when shopping for a rod and reel is the weight. Look for something that won’t weigh your rod down and will work in pulling in your preferred prey. You don’t want it to be too light- after all the greatest fishing stories are the ones involving monstrous fish. You don’t want it to be so heavy that you wear yourself out casting and reeling, though, either.

A good rule of thumb is that casting the line shouldn’t feel any more strenuous on the wrist than passing a plate. Give yourself time to practice with the reel in hand before deciding on the final buy.

Keep in mind that the rig will sit in a right-handed or left-handed person’s grip. Take the time to try out any potential purchases and see how they fit your hand shape. Most reels manufactured today are interchangeable, but there are sometimes slight variations. These can create discomfort. Don’t trust that the reel will work both ways- actually give yourself the opportunity to feel it out in your hand.

You also should pay close attention to the drag system used by the reel, as well as the materials used. These will all play a part in how the reel works and the weight that it will add to your fishing setup.

What are the advantages/benefits of an Ultralight Spinning Reel?

The benefits of using an ultralight reel are that it keeps the fishing rig lightweight. This makes for a more relaxing fishing venture.

An ultralight spinning reel is also an ideal set-up addition for those who are young, have smaller hands, or are starting out in fishing. The weight of these reels gives a better sense of control over the line, which is needed when you are first learning.

Spinning reels work better in muddy freshwater and saltwater, as well. They have fewer parts to corrode and the line will be less likely to drag contaminants into the reeling system. This is an important consideration when you are looking at your preferred species.

Are you fishing off the shoreline for sea bass or casting deep into a red creek for Tennessee catfish? Either way, an ultralight spinner has you covered.

What to Look for in a Great Ultralight Spinning Reel

Gear ratio and reel size are two of the most important factors to consider when purchasing any reel. You want to make sure that you aren’t reeling too fast or too slow. Also, check that the reel size is one that will fit on your pole and seem manageable for your hand size. A large reel might be too difficult to maneuver and a small reel leaves room for error.

The bearings of the reel are also important. No matter what species you are targeting, there is always the risk of an unexpected lunker. These fish will do a number on your gear as they fight to get away. There is a misconception that the more gears a reel has, the better it will work. Quality trumps quantity, though.

The number of bearings refers to how smoothly and quietly the line will cast out and reel in. This doesn’t mean that higher bearings make for a better reel, though. Four quality bearings will do much better than ten which are poorly made.

So Which is Best?

Because of its attractive appearance, ease of use, and features, the Pflueger President is my personal favorite. It is a beautiful reel at a great price. Thanks to its 10 bearing system, there is plenty of control over the line pull. I have found that I always feel in control of the line, even when playing tug-of-war with the catch of the day.

Ultralight Spinning Reels FAQ

What Causes Line Twist? The most common cause of this issue is that the line is not wound on the spool. The only way to remedy this is to unwind the spool and rewind. Make sure that you are pulling the line at the appropriate tension and that it is being wound in a straight line. If the line is coming off the reel crooked or too loose, it will naturally twist because of the law of physics. Keeping a straight and taught spool will make for smoother casts and floating.

Why Does it Feel Like There’s No Drag Pressure? This usually means that the drag washers are worn. These can usually be replaced using parts bought at your local sports shop. If you are unsure how to do this, check with the manufacturer. They will often accept shipped merchandise back in their warehouse for repairs.

What Can I Do if The Gears Feel Rough Under Pressure? This could be the result of a lack of lubrication or damaged gear. Take a good look at the bearings and see if you can spot any damage or if they appear to be dried out. If lubricating the gears doesn’t help, odds are there is damage you aren’t seeing and they will need to be replaced.

Can You Avoid Reel Backlash on Cast? There should never be backlash on a cast. If you are experiencing this, it means there is something off in your adjustments. Look at the spool tension knobs and velocity control settings first. If this doesn’t remedy the situation, you will need to look further. Specific research into your reel brand might be necessary.

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Hi! I’m Steven!

I am an avid life long fisherman, having caught over 25,000 fish over the years. My life-long passion for fishing began when my father taught me how to fish at the age of ten. I started luremefish.com to share my extensive knowledge of all things fishing.


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