Best Ultralight Spinning Reels 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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1. Piscifun New Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel

2. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

3. Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel


Are you a fishing enthusiast or a beginner who is looking to buy a new spinning reel for the first time? You might want to know certain things before you seal the deal and if you are reading this, then you have come to the right place. The fishing industry today is thriving at a great rate and this is the reason why a lot of fishing companies are realizing the necessity of the right gear when it comes to best ultralight spinning reels.

If you think that a spinning reel is not a very essential tool and that you may not invest in it too much, you are wrong. It is very important to invest in a good quality fishing reel because with a strong reel in your hands, you can catch a big game quite easily and if not then you may end up watching your target slip away from your hands.

In this guide, we will be listing some of the best lightweight spinning reels of the year. We will also be listing a few important factors to consider before making up your mind. The review of some of the popular products available online will help you get an idea about what to look for in the best micro spinning reel.

Our list doesn’t only consist of those models which are very expensive; rather it consists of a variety of products which cover varying price ranges. We do understand that every person has different demands and varying budgets but not to worry because we have it all covered.


You should not necessarily limit your options by only considering the products listed in our guide. We suggest that you go through each manufacturer’s official site and then select a model which suits your needs. It is always better to go through important technical terms to get the best lightweight spinning reel of your choice.

Nowadays a variety of options available in the market to choose from but it will help you if you make a list of what kind of features you need and plan a budget so that you don’t end up spending more than what your pocket allows. A few features that every best ultralight spinning reel should offer are; an easy way to operate the mechanism, sturdy structure to last long and tackle big fish, should help you cast long ways, and should be able to handle PowerProand and other braided fishing lines.

When specifically talking about best lightweight spinning reels the first thing that people want to know is the material from which the reel is made. Usually, good quality fishing reels come with a fine body made from either graphite or aluminum. Graphite ones are generally the lighter of the two. You might be wondering why weight is important to consider when buying a fishing reel; it is because less weight prevents weariness overcasts.

It is not just the weight which is important to consider, you should always check if the gear is off the reel is made of stainless steel or not. Some of the best ultralight spinning reels offer waterproof as well as a sealed drag system, plus a front-drag which aids in tackling big fish. Some other high-end models also come with carbon fiber washers in the drag system. There are many other features spinning reels boast which you need to know before you purchase a model.

Important Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

There are many features spinning reels offer and the price keeps escalating as the features increase. It is therefore important to make a list of what all you want from your best small spinning reel so that you don’t regret buying any model. This section of our guide will help to prevent you from making such silly mistakes which can cost a lot.

1. Spool  Design

Casting design is important as these design elements aid in reducing friction. We suggest you for caste design features on the spool of the reel. The spool lip and the size are important too because they also help in lessening the friction. The larger the spool is, the more line it allows to leave the spool with just a single hit on the lip of the spool. Small and regular sized spools lessen friction by angling the lip.

The line doesn’t strike the flat lip; instead, it rolls over a beveled lip to lessen the friction as the wrap leaves the spinning reel. If you go for a bigger spool then it will cost more than a regular sized one and elongated spools need more material to be built. The most cost-efficient choice is the beveled lip design but we suggest that you choose to buy one with the angled lip.

2. Spool  Material

After spool design, you should move towards considering the material a spool is built of. Usually, some of the best ultralight reels embody spools that are made of aluminum because it is a crack resistant metal. Graphite is not preferred by manufacturers to build spools as the metal can deform easily as the line tightens its grip on the spinning reel. Graphite is not even suitable to construct monofilament as it may shrink after regular use and tighten more on the reel.

3. Line Of  Spool

What is the best way to check the line of any spool? It is simple; when loading line on a reel, you need to ensure that it lies flat plus is leveled from head to foot with no jolts. We suggest you check that carefully and do not invest in a spinning reel which comes with shims. The one that comes with shims is actually a defective product which may have got assimilated with the other products.

In some cases, manufacturers themselves mix the products so that customers may even buy pieces with defects which could have been solved at the factory itself. You might be wondering how shims affect the working of the spool. Shims affect the orientation of the spool on the shaft to edge the spool with the bail. Whereas a reel with no shims will already be cautiously accessed at the factory to check if there are any similar problems with the line alignment.

4.Braid Grip

Well, why would anyone need a braided grip? Is it because a braided fishing line revolves on a smooth spool? Yes of course. That means you need to find those spools which are specially made for braided lines because they work well for different kinds of lines too. A braided line spool is equipped with rubber inserts which help to increase the grip and avoid any rotation.

5.Multiple Bearings

It is a simple rule; the more bearings a spinning reel has, the better it will elevate. If you are buying the best light spinning reel we suggest you choose the one which offers a good amount of bearings made of ceramic or stainless steel. Do not, in any case, choose bearings built of low-quality material.

If your priority is lightweight then choose less number of ball bearings but made of stainless steel or ceramic. Certain parts of a spinning reel necessarily need to be of good quality material to ensure its long life and stability, ball bearings is one such part, so make sure you invest wisely.

6. The Handle Of A spinning reel

Always choose a spinning reel with a comfortable hand grip, even if you are a professional angler. Some spinning reels come with handle knobs made of plastic or rubber and they cost cheaper, but we recommend you to never invest in such reels. Those reels which offer EVA material hand grip are the best and offer increased comfort. When you’ll be fishing for longer periods of time you will realize how important it is to have a comfortable handle. Low-quality materials generate friction and that can cause fatigue. The handle of a best ultralight spinning reel should be able to spin around freely and comfortably.

7. Gear Ratio

A fast gear ratio is what everyone wants because it enables quick turning back of the lure when you need it to move faster across the top, handle a big fish attacking your kayak, or pull out a winding loop. It is crucial that you learn to read gear ratio as it is indicated in numbers following a certain pattern. If it is written “6.2:1”, the first number in points (.62) indicates the number of times the spool will rotate with “1” arms of the handle. The usual gear ratios that designs offer is either 5.2:1 or 6.2:1, a few models also offer a 7.0:1 gear ratio.

8.Reeling Wobble

This is a feature which many anglers tend to neglect when buying a best ultralight spinning rod and reel combo. You need to check whether there are any bumps on the spool as the bail moves up and down. If there are any bumps, it means it can lead to jerky motions and that can further impact the casting distance and the level line. All this may affect the working of a reel and we know that nobody wants that. This problem doesn’t even come with any tradeoff so you have to be very careful.

9.Instant Anti-Reverse

This feature works with the drag by preventing the handle from revolving backward. When a fish slams the bait or the spool, you instantly want the drag to function so that you can catch your prey. This feature is what helps to relocate management of the fight from the handle to the drag. There can be instances where a blocked handle can cause the line to split; this feature helps to avoid such a situation.

10.Construction Of The Frame

Many kinds of bets lightweight spinning reels are made of either aluminum or graphite. As mentioned earlier in this guide, aluminum frames are stronger and offer more life as compared to graphite frames. But graphite is popular due to its lightweight and is more resistant to corrosion also. Some manufacturers even use magnesium beecause it offers combined features of both the earlier mentioned metals. Magnesium frames are lightweight and corrosion resistant. As for now, our concern is lightweight spinning reel so we recommend you go for graphite or magnesium frames.

11.The Drag System

Today a lot of latest models of best ultralight spinning reels come equipped with a drag system of carbon fiber or a similar type of material. A carbon fiber drag is usually preferred because of its high adjustability, easy maintenance, and anti-slip qualities; it never gets flat spots that can cause slips.

12.Consider Where You Will Be Using The Reel; Saltwater Or Freshwater Areas

Before you decide what kind of model you want, make sure you have decided where you will be fishing. It is important to consider because each kind of water body asks for a specific kind of spinning reel; that means for saltwater bodies you will be requiring a different reel and for freshwater a different one.

For fishing in saltwater areas, you need the best ultralight spinning reel which is made of corrosion resistant material to counter brackish waters. Usually, such reels cost more than the reels made for freshwater areas. You sure do not want to shell out more money to buy an expensive reel made for saltwater and then fish in freshwater bodies. Some novice anglers deliberately buy expensive reels because they expect that in the near future they might want to shift from freshwater to saltwater areas.

13. Consider The Kind Of Species You Are Planning To Target

This is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the best micro spinning reel because the size of the reel determines its ability to catch prey. If you are planning to buy a light and small spinning reel and want to catch big fish with it regularly, then it can really affect the reel because it won’t be able to handle that much pressure every time.

Some people plan on targeting a specific kind of freshwater species of fish or some other kind of blue water species, and some prefer catching a smaller game. If you are going to specifically target bigger game, you will need a longer line for long runs and a strong drag system to help you pull it out. Therefore certain fishing reels are not made to catch bigger targets.

14. Make A Budget

Before short-listing the models you like online, you need to be sure about what kind of features you require and how much you are willing to pay in the end. This is one of the most important steps as it will help you plan and organize better.

After reading all these factors you will get a detailed idea about what to go for and what not, this will, in turn, determine how much you will be spending on a certain model with certain features. Sometimes people don’t require a lot many high-end features but they end up paying a lot. You should always make sure if you want your reel to offer special features and if not then you can save a lot of money by choosing carefully.

15. Line Capacity

Line capacity depends on a number of factors like the size of the line, species of fish you will be catching, the kind of line, the water body you will be fishing in, etc. If you are planning to fish in shallow areas like a nearby creek or pond, line capacity won’t matter much in that case. If you are a professional angler who likes to hit the sea, you will need a corrosion resistant plus a sturdier line.

Think Long Term And Get The Correct Matching Rod For Your Spinning Reel

There are many such anglers who pursue fishing as a recreational activity, and therefore they don’t feel like spending much on a small spinning reel. If you are a little low on budget, we understand that cheap offers will appeal to you, but be sure that you’re not at all compromising on quality in such a case. Some poor quality reels can break while catching or dragging prey.

We are not even recommending you to only buy the most expensive models. All it requires is a smart brain to navigate what you need and invest when you’re getting a good deal. There are many ultralight spinning reels which are not too hard on the pockets and provide all the necessary features, and some of them we will be listing in the next section of this guide.

In all this process of buying a lightweight spinning reel, do not forget the importance of purchasing the matching rod for your reel. Buy a spinning rod which fits your spinning reel as rods do differ according to the size and weight of the reels. As here we are talking about lightweight or small reels, you need to find a rod which is suitable for the size. Some brands also manufacture best ultralight spinning rod and reel combo to make the task easy for you.

Now we move on to the next section of our guide but before checking the products make sure you have thoroughly gone through this list of crucial factors. Do make a personal list of all the factors and features which are important for you and then only draw a final budget and look for different models.

After reading the first section of our guide we hope you have some idea about what to look for in a spinning reel. In this section, we will be specifically dealing with the top 10 ultralight spinning reels which are compact as well as strong.

Top 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels 2021

1. Piscifun New Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel – Only 5.7oz, Our Lightest Baitcaster, 17LB Carbon Fiber Drag, 7.0:1 Gear Ratio, Dual Brakes Baitcast Fishing Reels, Incredible Cast Distance!

Piscifun New Phantom Carbon Baitcasting ReelThe next model on our list is by Piscifun and is regarded as the best ultralight spinning reel 2018 due to its low price and multiple features. It costs less than $100 so it is a good deal for those who are low on budget and do not want to compromise on the quality. It is one of the lightest spinning reels available today in the market as it weighs only 5.70 ounces. It comes with a premium carbon fiber frame, side plates and handle provides necessary weight reduction without compromising any strength and durability.

It comes with a gear ratio of 7.0:1 which is the best that any angler can ask for today. It offers long distance, precise casting, and instant hook set. It is equipped with 6 corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings and 1 clutch bearing. It delivers high power because of its double hard anodized aircraft grade aluminum main gear and pinion gear paired with 4 disc carbon fiber drag washers. It comes with the dynamic 6-pin centrifugal brake as well as a magnetic brake which provide the anglers with on-the-go tournament ready adjustments.


2. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Daiwa Bg Spinning ReelThis one is by Daiwa which one of the largest, most distinguished tackle companies in the world today. The company’s motto is innovation and quality and this product is no less a specimen. The latest generation of the company’s famous BG spinning reel series has got leaner and meaner. This particular model is ideal to use in both freshwater and saltwater bodies.

With this best ultralight spinning reel, you can catch small fish as well as target heavy big game. It comes with a strong anodized aluminum corrosion and scratch resistant body. The anodization process promotes better adhesion to the aluminum and will not peal like a poorly painted surface. The plus point of owning this gear is that it will increase gear-tooth contact points, which helps to provide a smoother fishing experience.


3. Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel

Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing ReelThis model is by Pflueger which is again a very reputable brand that offers great quality products at reasonable prices. This model itself costs less than $200 and comes with all the necessary features which any angler needs. First of all it comes with 10 bearing system which means that it offers 10 stainless steel corrosion resistant ball bearings. It boasts a strong magnesium body and rotor but that doesn’t mean that it weighs much. It has been specially designed to weigh extremely less so that your fishing experience is enhanced.

It comes with a braid ready spool which allows braid to be tied directly to the spool. It flaunts sealed carbon drag system which is always lubricated and delivers smooth functioning. It comes with a carbon handle which weighs 21 percent less than aluminum with a reel size of 30 and bearing count of 10. What more can one expect at such a low price? This feather light design with multiple stainless steel ball bearings is the real deal for sure.


4. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

The first one on our list of top 10 best ultralight fishing reels is by Penn. It is a durable fishing reel which comes with multiple features like Superline spool, heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, and line capacity rings. It boasts a full metal body, side plate, and rotor, plus 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings. It is equipped with HT-100 Versa-Drag carbon fiber drag system which leverages both sides of each drag washer to offer increased drag pressure.

It also offers anti-reverse bearing which helps in eliminating pullback so you can reel without any disruptions. The drag washers it is equipped with are treated with a special grease to make sure it delivers long-lasting performance. The reel is best suitable for use with Berkley or Spiderwire Superline, the spool is inserted with a rubber gasket which prevents the Superline from skidding under pressure. It also comes with line capacity rings which help the spool display how much line is remaining.


5. SHIMANO Calcutta, Round Baitcasting Freshwater Fishing Reel

SHIMANO Calcutta, Round Baitcasting Freshwater Fishing ReelThis model by SHIMANO is a little more expensive than the earlier listed models but the Calcutta series of reels by the brand represent the core of its quality, durability, reliability and versatility. It has been producing products which have a long-term value. This reel will match all the other fastest low profile reels for contemporary fishing styles and is suitable to be used for almost any application be it freshwater or saltwater.

It flaunts ultralight forged aluminum frames as well as side plates which make sure that all parts remain in perfect alignment for extremely smooth performance and deliver solid rigidity. It comes in various sizes so you can choose whichever size you want. All sizes are equipped with the extra smooth Dartanium Drags and the brand’s most famous Speton Handles along with corrosion resistant ball bearings.


6. Okuma RTX Lightweight Carbon Frame High Speed Spinning Reel

Okuma RTX Lightweight Carbon Frame High Speed Spinning ReelThe latest Okuma RTX is one of the best lightweight spinning reels because it offers long strand carbon fiber framing plus premium aluminum gears at less than 10 MSRP. For novice anglers this is one of the best choices because they can get an ultralight plus powerful spinning reel in an affordable price. It offers a gear ratio of 6.0:1 and focuses on freshwater and light inshore saltwater applications.

The interior body of the model features the Precision Elliptical Fearing system which incorporates an anodized aluminum main gear, oscillation gear and slider. It is definitely harder than brass much more corrosion resistant. The drive system of the model is responsible for enhancing strength and longevity, while further lessening its weight. The brass pinion gear is maintained to offer super smooth gear meshing as well as overall fluid performance.


7. Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning ReelThis one is also one of the most affordable models when it comes to best light spinning reel. It comes with 8 stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing which offer maximum resistance against corrosion. The gearing system it features provides precision machined gears for unmatched smoothness and durability. It comes with a computer optimized gear design which allows for an increasingly efficient gear system. It also boasts a carbon Matrix drag system for ultra smooth drag performance. The gear ratio it offers is 6.2:1.

It combines two designs; an x-crafty gearbox design with a C6 carbon body and an insert model C6 body design which leads to a lightweight construction which houses gears in amazing alignment. Its carbon matrix hybrid drag system will allow you to target medium sized fish with a maximum drag pressure of 10 lbs. It features a graphite rotor which keeps its weight light and huge PVC knobs are not that complicated to handle. The internal body and major shafts of the reel are made of stainless steel for greater sustainability. You can change the position of the reel handle on either the right or left side to suit your demands.


8. Wright & McGill Sabalos Spinning Reel

Wright & McGill Sabalos Spinning ReelThis model by Wright and McGill is one of the best ultralight spinning reels 2017 due to its extremely light aluminum body which is both corrosion and scratch resistant. It features infinite anti-reverse bearing which works with drag to prevent the handle from revolving backwards. It has withstood tests of big fish with this extra smooth drag system. It features a dual disc system and an aluminum spare spool. The best part is that it costs less than $100 so it is a good choice for those who want to spend less money.


9. CS7 Spinning Reels, Ultralight Durable Aluminum Frame Fishing Reel With 9+1 Corrosion Resistant Bearings Smooth Powerful Fishing Reel Spinning With 19 Lb Carbon Fiber Drag & 6.2:1 Gear Ratio Reels

The second last model on our list of best lightweight spinning reels is probably the one which offers the most features at such a reasonable price. It boasts an aluminum frame and comes with 9 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 anti-reverse bearing. It features a carbon composite rotor and a side plate, a braid ready aluminum spool, a big ergonomic EVA handle knob, stainless steel main shaft, and an aluminum pinion gear. The brand has never compromised with quality and this model exhibits the same.

It is made of materials which ensure its durability and sturdiness. Its foundation is a strong and reliable aluminum frame with carbon composite rotor and side plates. The spool helps to prevent your line from slipping and the weight of the reel is lessened with an EVA handle. It is one of the best spinning reels not because of its unmatched quality but also because of the availability of various sizes to choose from. It is an ideal spinning reel for catching that big game fish you have wanted to catch for a long time. It can be used both in saltwater as well as freshwater areas to catch bass, walleye or trout, or inshore species like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. CS7 spinning reel is jam-packed with a variety of features and it will surely exceed your expectations with its classic design and smooth performance.


10. Shimano Ultegra Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel

Shimano Ultegra Freshwater Spinning Fishing ReelThe last reel on our list of best ultralight spinning reels is yet again by SHIMANO which is also very much affordable and will not cause a hole in your pockets. The new model from the ultegra series has all the features it requires to respond effectively and quickly in a huge variety of fishing situations. It features the brand’s flagship hagane gearing system which provides long-lasting, durable and sturdy performance.

It is ideal to use for both inshore and offshore action. It is equipped with the latest X-ship technology which offers improved gear durability and reduces friction between the spool shaft and gear increasing the casting performance and enabling longer casts. It also offers the brand’s new coreprotect water resistant technology which offers long-lasting performance and strength in the most severe environments.


Tired Yet?

We hope not because there are a lot many other options available in the market today with more advanced features and characteristics. You do not have to limit your options to this list as you can for sure explore more by visiting the manufacturer’s official website and read up more about their models in detail. Just make sure you keep all the important factors in mind before making the final decision. This list of top 10 best ultralight spinning reels would have given you a great idea about what to look for when buying lightweight spinning reels. You just need to choose wisely and take care of your budget.

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Donald Patt

Donald Platt, our founder, is a fishing enthusiast who has almost 10 years of experience in fly fishing. While Donald works hard to put up the most informative articles, he still keeps his Sundays free for a quick fishing trip.

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