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When it comes to fishing, there are a few key things that you truly need. If you do not have a proper rod and reel, you cannot bring the fish to the surface. There is a huge selection of fishing gear options out there, and you will want to narrow down your search to find what rods work best for your needs. This is why we looked at the best ultralight spinning rods available.
What are the best ultralight spinning rods on the market? These are the 18 best of the best, made with quality in mind, and designed to give you years of great fishing. The top rods are:
- Daiwa Mini System Mini spin Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
- OKUMA Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra-Light Trout Rods
- Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning Rod
- KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods, IM6 Graphite Spinning Rod
- Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod
- KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Spinning Fishing Rods
- Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
- KastKing Perigee II Bass Fishing Rod
- Entsport Camo Legend Baitcasting Bass Fishing Rod
- Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Bass Fishing Rod
- Pflueger Trion Reel and Bass Fishing Rod
- Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Bass Fishing Rod
- Entsport Sirius 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Bass Fishing Rod
- Shimano Stimula 2-Piece Spin Bass Fishing Rod
- Falcon Rods Coastal Spinning Bass Fishing Rod
- Tica SMHA Series Trout and Walleye Spinning Bass Fishing Rod
- G. Loomis GLX Bass Spinning Rods
We will further discuss what sets these rods apart from others and how they work for a variety of fishermen.
With bass fishing, in particular, you want a rod that is lightweight and easy to cast.
Each rod on our list can be found on Amazon and sent directly to your door in no time, with many brands being featured in most major sporting goods retailers.
Check out our reviews for the best ultralight spinning reels
Best Ultralight Rods Available Today
If you are searching for the ideal fishing rod, choosing a lighter option is key. This is the best way to bring in quality bass, but each rod will differ in quality and price. You want to find an option that fits your unique budget, which is why many of our fishing rods are extremely affordable.
The best lightweight fishing poles on the market today are:
1 – Daiwa Mini System Mini spin Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod
- Terminal tackle not included
- Ultra compact hard case
- Perfect size for tucking in your luggage
This is the perfect rod and reel combo for traveling with as it comes in a hard carry case that keeps it safe during transport. The case is ultra-compact and the perfect size for tucking into your luggage. This makes the fishing pole a great design for anglers on the move and comes with a compact tackle setup.
The fishing rod comes with an ultralight MS-S500T reel that is extremely smooth and features a ball-bearing drive, multi-disc drags, GyroSpin balancing, and Twist Buster line twist reduction. You will get a limited manufacturer’s warranty with this amazing rod.
2 – Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
- UGLY STIK 4’8” GX2 SPINNING FISHING ROD AND...
- UGLY TECH CONSTRUCTION: 1-piece, Ugly Tech...
- SIZE 20 REEL: 4 ball bearing system for smooth...
This is a great option for anglers of all skill levels, featuring a quality rod and reel combo. The pole is made from a graphite and fiberglass combination that offers lightweight durability. However, the light rod has an added sensitivity to guarantee you never miss a good catch.
To further improve your catching ability, the tip of the rod is clear, which delivers added responsiveness and strength. The lightweight EVA grip provides you comfort during even the longest fishing trip. The reel itself features three ball bearings and a one-way clutch that has anti-reverse, ensuring you continue to get smooth operation.
This is one of the one-piece rod construction poles that we have listed.
3 – OKUMA Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra-Light Trout Rod
- crafted from the highest quality material ensuring...
- "6'6"", ultralite 2 piece"
- made in the u.s.a.
One of the highest quality rods on our list, this piece is made from only the best materials ensuring withstanding quality and durability. The rod comes in two pieces, and is six foot six inches, but remains ultralight. They are made in the United States from one of the biggest brands in the fishing world today.
It features a stainless-steel hooded reel seat, which is an added level of protection for you. You will be able to store your hook away and know you are safe when traveling with your rod.
4 – Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning Rod
- BERKLEY LIGHTNING 6’6” SPINNING ROD, MODERATE...
- 8-14LB LINE RATING, MEDIUM POWER: Lure rating of...
- 24-TON CARBON FIBER: Carbon graphite fibers create...
Berkley is a big name in the fishing world today and a popular choice amongst anglers everywhere. This rod, in particular, has helped many anglers catch more fish for generations. The rod is constructed with 24 Ton Multi Modulus graphite carbon composite blank is lightweight, which is very sensitive, yet durable.
The rod features a double up-locking reel seat, rubberized cork-wrapped full handles, and stainless-steel guides.
5 – KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod, IM6 Graphite Spinning Rod, and Casting Rod
- 【KastFlex IM6 Graphite Blanks】 - Fish like a...
- 【Golf Style SuperPolymer Handle 】–...
- 【Stainless Steel Guides w/Zirconium Oxide...
This amazing rod delivers top-of-the-line performance at an extremely budget-friendly price. The rod features the brand’s KastFlex technology, making it powerful and sensitive, yet very lightweight. This is a great all-around rod that is perfect for any species of freshwater fish and a great choice for many saltwater species as well.
The handle on the rod is made from SuperPolymer which makes them comfortable, durable, and slip-resistant for maximum control over your fishing rod. This level of material is usually only found on higher-end rods but the team at KastKing made it a point to add them to their spinning and baitcasting rods for increased control. They truly are the best value when it comes to fishing rods today.
The KastKing Crixus fishing rod is designed with performance in mind and loaded with amazing features. They are exceptionally lightweight due to their graphite construction but remain extremely powerful.
6 – Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod
- Micro Series Spinning Rod 5'
- Micro Series Spinning Rod 5'
- Micro Series Spinning Rod 5'
Just one of many from the Shakespeare name on our list today, this is one of the most affordable. These rods can be found on Amazon and other sites for around $20. However, even at this amazing price, they are a great ultra-lightweight fishing poles and very enjoyable to use.
The micro-series by Shakespeare has a variety of actions and lengths to fit practically any fish species. They are perfect for use with lighter lures and lines. These rods are made from graphite composite and have full cork handles.
7 – KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Spinning Fishing Rods
- Ultra-Light IM7 Graphite Spinning Rods –...
- Premium Components – To keep weight to an...
- 9 Ultra-Light Weight Spinning Rods – The...
The KastKing Calamus rod is designed to be the lightest rod on the planet with ultra-thin, 30 million moduli, micro polish IM7 graphite blank that has a strain rate of 650K. They are great for catching smallmouth bass, crappie, trout, and practically any warm water species out there. Though they are the absolute minimum in weight, they have an increased sensitivity for the best results.
The Calamus fishing pole comes in nine models ranging in size and in both one and two-piece. The two-piece designs are great for travel and break down easily for storage purposes. This amazing KastKing pole starts at only 2.5 ounces.
8 – Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
- UGLY STIK 7’ ELITE SPINNING ROD: 35% more...
- 6-14LB LINE RATING, MEDIUM POWER, FAST ACTION:...
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Constructed from graphite...
Despite the unique name, the Ugly Stik range of poles is some of the best of the best. This is the second featured on our list, and Elite rod is a great choice for those who are serious about their fishing. They have 35 percent more graphite for exceptional strength and feel that most fishermen love.
They are virtually indestructible with a blank construction designed using a combination of fiberglass and graphite, as mentioned. They have a clear tip that helps you be more responsive to bites yet remains strong. The cork handle is great for lengthy fishing trips, as your hand remains comfy throughout.
These poles are mainly found in one piece and can be used with a variety of line types.
9 – KastKing Perigee II Bass Fishing Rod
- AMAZING QUALITY CARBON FIBER BLANK - All Perigee...
- PREMIUM COMPONENTS - KastKing uses the best...
- SMOOTH POWER - KastKing PTS (Power Transition...
We have several KastKing on the list, but this is one of their top-rated options, coming in both one- and two-piece options. They are great spinning and casting rods with high quality and high performance, using the brand’s amazing technology. These poles are extremely light in weight and comfortable, sensitive, and accurate, being made from a 24-ton carbon matrix.
Each feature on these rods is high quality, featuring Fuji O-Ring line guides that are known as being some of the best among fishermen today. They have a durable EVA handle that offers a good grip that remains comfortable during your trip. The two-piece options are just as durable and easy to control as the one-piece, but many find them easier to transport.
Each of these rods comes with two tips that you can choose to use as needed. They are very versatile and even backed by a lifetime warranty.
10 – Entsport Camo Legend Baitcasting Bass Fishing Rod
- AMAZING QUALITY CARBON FIBER BLANK - All Perigee...
- PREMIUM COMPONENTS - KastKing uses the best...
- SMOOTH POWER - KastKing PTS (Power Transition...
Like most Entsport rods, this one is extremely lightweight yet features maximum strength and effective sensitivity. The components include a high-density EVA handle that is extremely durable yet comfortable. They also have corrosion-resistant guides and an enhanced reel seat that will not rust over time.
These rods work best with lure weights of .1 to 1.1 ounce and are excellent casting rods. They are sensitive to transmit even the smallest bite, yet sturdy enough to handle most medium-load fish. They are comfortable for two-hand casting.
Each of the Camo Legend rods comes with two different rod power tips in medium and medium-heavy, a protective rod bag, and breaks down into two pieces for easy portability. If you want a stylish and elegant designed rod that is durable enough to last for years to come, this is your best choice.
11 – Berkley Cherrywood HD Casting Bass Fishing Rod
- Hybrid design construction for un-matched...
- SS304 Guides - 20x tougher and 55% lighter than...
- Cork handle design for added comfort and grip
If bass fishing is what you are interested in, this is a great choice for your needs and a top favorite amongst many bass fishers. These are a great choice for both beginners and experienced anglers alike because they feature great sensitivity, backbone, and action. The cork handle designed with a reel attaches a good grip and comfort.
You can easily lure bass in as the rod has enough given for all types of cover, yet it is sturdy enough to get an accurate hook set. The rod is relatively tough and works with a huge range of lures, baits, and reels depending on what you would like to fish for. While they are designed with bass in mind, they can be used for several species types and even saltwater fishing.
If you want a rod with good quality, elegance, and proven performance, this is a great choice for your needs. They are actually great, inexpensive rods that you can get endless quality fishing trips out of, making it amongst the best in value.
12 – Pflueger Trion Reel and Bass Fishing Rod
- Reliable fishing rod and reel combo delivers...
- Durable yet lightweight construction with...
- Ultra-smooth operation with 7 stainless steel ball...
If you are dedicated to bass fishing, this is one of the best rod and reel combos for the job. You get a durable yet high-performance and lightweight graphite rod. Along with an amazing stainless-steel ball-bearing reel system that is designed for utmost performance.
Since the rod is made from graphite, it has the amazing sensitivity and responsiveness you need for quality fishing. The casting is easy and there is an instant anti-reverse feature that allows you to reel smoothly. If you want more controlled casting, the shorter rod length is great for you, improving accuracy.
The rigidity of the rod is great for luring bass out of heavy cover and is great for beginner bass anglers as well as experienced fishermen. They work best for smallmouth and medium-sized bass.
13 – Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Bass Fishing Rod
- ABU GARCIA VENGEANCE 6’6” CASTING ROD: A...
- 8-17LB LINE RATING, MEDIUM POWER, FAST ACTION: The...
- 24 TON GRAPHITE CONSTRUCTION for a lightweight...
The first from this amazing brand on our list today, but it is actually a great option. This casting rod is stronger than it seems and capable of providing you with quality trips time and again. It is crafted from 24-ton high modulus graphite, and the components featured are stainless steel guides, high-density EVA handles, and a Texas-rigged hook keeper.
The rod comes in both 6’ 6” and 7’ 6” lengths ranging in medium, medium-heavy, or heavy options. The rod is very sensitive and can detect light bites super easily, yet remains comfortable, lightweight, and easy to use. The handle is solid, and you can get a comfortable yet balanced grip on the pole while fishing.
This is a great baitcasting rod for bass fishing and other fishing that uses lighter lures. The rod is versatile and tough, holding up well over time making it a good value for your money.
14 – Entsport Sirius 2 Piece Casting Bass Fishing Rod
- Built with high-tensile strength carbon blanks,...
- Enhanced reel seat with a screw down, cushioned,...
- 6+1 Stainless steel guides and inserts resist...
One of the long poles on our list comes in at seven feet and comes in two pieces for easy storage. It is made from high-tensile carbon fiber blanks, keeping it lightweight, strong, and sensitive. The guides are made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and the reel seat has a screw-down design that keeps it in place.
They have a hook holder and hook keeper for safety. While the handles are made from high-density EVA, making them durable and great feeling in your hand. The rod is best for lighter-duty work, using lures under an ounce and an eight to twenty-pound line.
The team at Entsport thought of it all, even placing the guides in a way that increased sensitivity and casting performance while minimizing friction. The accuracy, strength, and sensitivity are what make this bass rod one of the best on the market today.
15 – Shimano Stimula 2 Piece Spin Bass Fishing Rod
- The Solara series is designed to be the ideal tool...
- Reinforced with durable Aeroglass blank...
- Featuring aluminum oxide guides for smooth line...
If you have never heard of Shimano, these rods have grown a great reputation for their quality and durability. The two-piece bass rod is composed of aluminum oxide guides. A Shimano reel seat and custom-shaped cork handle with an EVA butt cap and hook keeper.
This rod comes in several shorter lengths and ranges from ultralight to medium. It is sensitive and has fast action, precise accuracy, and consistent bending for quality fishing. The cork handle provides comfort, and the lighter weight allows you to fish for hours without fatigue.
Just like most Shimano products, this rod does not disappoint featuring superior build quality and performance. Despite having bass in the name, many use it for trout, bluegill, smaller catfish, and of course, a variety of bass fishing needs.
16 – Falcon Rods Coastal Spinning Bass Fishing Rod
- Graphite blank
- 100-Percent Fuji guides
- Fuji exposed blank reel seat
These six to eight food medium and medium-heavy spinning rods are constructed from graphite blank, making them lightweight and comfortable. They are extremely comfortable and sensitive enough to capture even the smallest nibble. They feature a Fuji guide, and Fuji exposed blank reel seats, which are designed from quality components.
Like many on our list, the cork handle is easy to grasp and super comfortable. They are amongst the top-rated spinning rods available today, featuring high flexibility, great sensitivity, and a balance that works for heavier fish, unlike others on our list. You can use them for both fresh and saltwater fishing, as well as for a variety of fish species.
17 – Tica SMHA Series Trout and Walleye Spinning Fishing Rod
- Constructed of high modulus and durable TC2...
- Light and sensitive blanks with high strength and...
- High quality, light stainless steel guides,...
These are some of the most lightweight yet highly sensitive, strong, and durable poles on our list today. they are made of high modulus and TC2 graphite blank and a high-quality graphite reel seat. The front of the reel seat has a unique cone design that further increases the sensitivity yet remains comfortable for the angler.
They come in a huge range of sizes from only six feet up to ten feet, making them great for short or long-distance casting. They suit a variety of lures and lines working well for bass, trout, walleye, crappie, and catfish. They come in both one and two-piece options, depending on your needs with the two-piece being easier to transport.
They are made very well and work excellent for light fishing yet work for both lure and live bait. They have a premium fit and finish but come at a very affordable price.
18 – G. Loomis GLX Bass Spinning Rod
Loomis is one of the world’s best rod manufacturers to date and is featured often on pro tours. They produce a huge range of models, but the GLX series is thought to be one of their best and the pinnacle of performance. This rod comes in both spinning and casting models, with the spinning often being more versatile for the average fisherman.
The rod itself is made from a blend of graphite that is 20% lighter than other GLX models yet stronger overall. It has a slimmed-down handle and improved ergonomics and reel seats, making it one of the most sensitive rods on the market today. The cork handle has been slimmed down and tapered for perfect hand placement.
The GLX Spinning rod is available in both medium and medium-heavy power, with the stronger being better for bass fishing in particular.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ultralight Spinning rod
The blank, action, weight, line guides, construction, and handles impact rod performance. Thus, it is crucial to know how. It is the only way to make an educated decision about which is the best ultralight fishing rod for you.
As the name suggests, ultralight fishing rods are lighter than any other type of rod. Thus, they are only suitable for small fishes such as trout.
After reading all the options, you might wonder; why are there no casting rods. Well, spinning rods are the favorite poles for ultralight fishing setups.
Also known as rod power, it refers to the amount of weight needed to bend the rod. In other words, it indicates how stiff the rod is. There are three standard levels: Light, medium, and heavy. Light rods bend easier than medium and so on.
Some brands offer intermediate levels such as ultralight, medium-light, medium-heavy, and extra-heavy. Naturally, you want to get ultralight or light spinning rods if you use thin lines and light lures.
Ultralight setups allow you to feel the pull of small fish as they are the most flexible. Something that you most likely miss with a heavier rod.
While some anglers confuse action with power and vice versa, both terms refer to different things. Also known as rod taper, it indicates how much of the rod bends. Other anglers understand action as to how quickly the rod gets back to a straight position.
There are three standard power ratings: Fast, moderate, and slow. Fast-action rods only bend near the tip. They store a lot of power there, which makes them perfect for long castings. Plus, they become straight quicker than any other.
In contrast, slow-action spinning rods bend throughout their entire length, with the tip reaching to the handle. These kinds of rods are more suitable for large fish that put up a fight. As you might imagine, slow-action rods take quite a while to get back to a straight position.
As happens with power, some brands offer some extra ratings such as extra fast and moderate fast. Keep in mind that neither action nor power is the same throughout brands. For example, an ultralight Abu Garcia rod might be stiffer than one from KastKing. The same goes for action.
Materials of Construction
Most ultralight spinning rods have a carbon fiber construction. It is lighter and more flexible than fiberglass. Thus, it is a better decision altogether. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to see ultralight rods packing a fiberglass core.
On the other hand, fiberglass is heavier, less flexible, and more fragile than carbon fiber. Ultralight spinning rods don’t commonly use fiberglass. It is just too stiff for small fish.
Some brands, like Ugly Stik, use a composite pole. That is rods that use graphite and fiberglass at the same time. They offer a middle ground between strength and flexibility.
Length influences both accuracy and casting distance. For instance, long spinning rods sacrifice accuracy in favor of casting range. It is the other way around with a shorter pole.
So, what ultralight spinning rod size is the best? We suggest sticking with anything below the 7-feet mark. These poles are more accurate and maneuverable. Remember that small fish are delicate. Thus, you must be gentle with them, especially if you are practicing catch-and-release fishing.
Anything about 7 feet will give you more casting range. But it is harder to perform finesse tactics with a long, ultralight spinning rod.
Line guides might not look like a key piece. But they are.
Your fishing line passes through them. Thus, generating friction and heat, which later lead to total degradation of the line. It is especially true with thin lines like the one you commonly use with ultralight spinning rods. Therefore, looking for a decent set of guides is crucial.
Line guides also affect casting. The smoother the line, the farther the lure will go. Plus, fewer chances for bird nests to take place.
You should at least get stainless steel guides with steel inserts. They might not be the smoother rings. But at least they are better than other options. If possible, go for an ultralight spinning rod with aluminum oxide, Fuji, or Alconite rings as they dissipate heat better.
You might also want to try the guides first. Pass the line through the largest guide over and over again to see how easily it breaks.
Handle: Cork or EVA?
Often overlooked by beginners, the grip section is the connection between you and the ultralight fishing rod. A good handle should be large enough to accommodate your hands. Typically, ultralight spinning rods pack small handles. The reason is that you don’t need that much leverage to muscle a small fish. However,
Most ultralight spinning rods either use cork or EVA foam. Cork is firm and slightly rough. Thus, it provides a firm grip regardless if the handle is soaking wet or not. However, cork handles are prone to peel, especially if they are not of quality.
In contrast, EVA foam is softer and offers more cushioning. But it is not as firm nor give the secure grip of the cork.
Some brands use rubber to make their handles. KastKing is one such company. They offer golf-style handles that look and feel awesome.
Solid or Breakable Ultralight Spinning Rod?
It depends on what you favor the most: Portability or integrity. If you have the means to transport a 7 feet rod, then go for a solid pole. Single-piece rods are less likely to break as they have fewer weak spots.
However, having a 2-piece rod has its advantages. For instance, it takes up less space at home and in your car. In addition, they are also more convenient for kayak fishing and engaging in long walks to the fishing spot.
Our only complaint with breakable poles is that they have more weak links. Each joint is a potential breaking point. Although this gap has closed in recent years, single-piece ultralight spinning rods are more reliable.
The reel seat is where you join the reel with the rod. It commonly has the same core as the fishing pole. For example, a carbon fiber spinning rod packs a carbon fiber reel seat.
The seat must be as strong as possible without tempering with sensitivity. It has to hold the reel as tight as possible. Thus, make sure to check whether the reel size is compatible with the rod.
Which Line Size Weight for Ultralight Spinning Rods?
Also known as test strength, it is the maximum weight the line can handle before snapping. Thus, it limits the fish you are after. Heavier lines are thin and snap with ease. But they are strong enough for small fish.
For ultralight fishing, we recommend anything around 4 pounds. We suggest checking the rod’s body as it commonly comes with an engraving showing compatible lines.
Why Ultralight Spinning Rods?
Just like any other piece of gear, ultralight spinning rods have their purpose. You are meant to use them for catching small fish such as crappie, trout, and bluegill. Why? Well, remember that ultralight fishing rods bend with the slightest pressure. Thus, you are less likely to miss bites with them.
It is more exciting as well. Even the lightest of fishes will bend the rod to some degree. You will hear the cracking sound of the drag as it goes off. Using ultralight fishing rods offers a more challenging experience than using a heavy pole to muscle a small bass.
Can I Use Ultralight Spinning Rods in Saltwater?
Sadly, it is not that simple. Saltwater fishes are stronger than the average freshwater fish. Hence, an ultralight fishing pole will be of little to no use for most saltwater fish. However, you can still try to use them as a pier spinning rod. Just make sure that the rod can handle saltwater or you will be in the market again soon
Can You Catch Bass on an Ultralight Spinning Rod?
Of course, you can! Ultralight spinning rods are more than capable of landing a substantial bass if it is the right hands. Naturally, baitcasting models are the crown jewel of bass fishing. But Ultralight spinning rods are not a bad second choice.
Can You Land a Big Fishing Using an Ultralight Spinning Rod?
You might not believe it. But you can land big fish with ultralight spinning rods.
The thing is that it will be harder. Ultralight rods bend with ease. A bulky fish could easily break the rod in half. It takes superior rod skills to avoid this. Therefore, the best thing that you can do is to cut the line if you feel overpowered.
Can I Use Braid on Ultralight Spinning Rods?
Yes, you can use braid fishing lines with ultralight spinning rods. The reel has to support it, though. Check whether your spinning reel is braid-ready or if you have to add some monofilament backing.
The biggest advantage of a braid is that it is thinner than an equivalent monofilament line. Thus, you can spool more fishing line into the spool. Plus, it generates less friction; thereby, increasing the casting range. Just make sure that the spinning reel, rod, and line are compatible.
Which Reel Size for Ultralight Spinning Rods?
Any spinning reel up to 2000 (or 20, depending on the brand) is suitable for ultralight spinning rods. These reels typically use 2 to 6-pound test lines and have low line capacity. But they are powerful enough for ultralight fishing purposes.
What Makes a Rod Ultralight?
It’s construction, of course. Ultralight fishing rods are slimmer, and shorter, with fewer line guides, and shorter handles. All this to keep the weight down. Besides, you are after small fish. You don’t need a thick, oversized pole to land a single bluegill.