Reviews

Best Ultralight Spinning Reel – Top 10 Expert Reviews

A good spinning reel is the basic equipment you require while fishing after a fishing rod. However, some fishing reels are much heavier to handle and you end up getting your hands hurt. Therefore, we are here to help you with the list of top 10 best ultralight spinning reels of 2023. Lightweight spinning reels make fishing more fun and easier compared to a heavy reel which can’t be held for more than an hour. 

In this article we have featured the top ultralight spinning reels after testing them precisely in saltwater as well as freshwater lakes and ponds. Moreover, we even contacted professionals for their choice of reels. We have featured those reels at the end of this article so do read this article till last. However, if you are still confused about the reel size you would require, check out the spinning reel sizes before moving further. 

Best Ultralight Spinning Reel 2023

ServiceMain FeaturesScore
1
Best SpinnerSHIMANO Stella FJ Spinning Reel

SHIMANO Stella FJ Spinning Reel

  • Extra smooth
  • Expensive 
  • Water resistant coating
9.7
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2
WaterproofSHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Fishing Reel

SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Fishing Reel

  • Great for bass fishing 
  • Smooth working 
  • Can be used for hours 
9.5
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3
Best OverallKastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

  • Cheap 
  • 11 ball bearings 
  • 40 lbs max drag
9.7
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4
Best ValuePenn CFTII7000LC Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel

Penn CFTII7000LC Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel

  • Adjustable drag 
  • Instant anti-reverse feature 
  • Works finely in saltwater
9.6
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5
Best SpinnerAbu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel

  • Carbon matrix drag system
  • Lightweight 
  • Durable build
9.4
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6
Best ValueSHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel

SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel

  • Full metal body 
  • Great for bay fishing 
  • Water resistant coatings
9.6
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7
Silent DriveOkuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

  • Anti-reverse feature 
  • 9 stainless steel ball bearings 
  • EVA handle knob
9.7
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8
Best EverOkuma RTX Light Weight Spinning Reel

Okuma RTX Light Weight Spinning Reel

  • Good line capacity 
  • Weighs only 0.59 lbs
  • Reasonable price
9.7
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9
Best ValuePflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

  • Super smooth drag 
  • Compact design 
  • Perfect for trout fishing
9.7
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10
Best GearPENN 1338215 Battle II 1000

PENN 1338215 Battle II 1000

  • Affordable price 
  • Good material quality
  • Carbon fibre drag washers
9.8
Check Price

1. SHIMANO Stella FJ Spinning Reel– Best Ultralight Spinning Reel 2023

Best Spinner

Why We Love It

  • Weighs only 6 ounces because of the advanced technology and high-quality aluminum Shimano uses
  • Moreover, the water resistant coating keeps the water and corrosion away for a long-lasting reel life
  • Also, you will be provided with 13 stainless steel ball bearings for a smooth reeling experience

When it comes to the best ultralight spinning reels, always go for Shimano as the first choice because they offer the lightest weighing reel yet powerful enough to fight big saltwater fishes. The Stella FJ weighs only 6 ounces but still can handle fishes weighing 15-20 pounds easily. Moreover, the 13 stainless steel ball bearings offer easy and smooth working during heavy fishing.

Other than that, the reel is very expensive with the price range of $700-$1000 but as said by the professional anglers all around the globe, it’s worth every penny you will pay. Also, the line management system offers a long casting distance and no tangles as compared to other ultralight spinning reels.

BrandSHIMANO
MaterialAluminium
ColorSilver
Handle materialAluminium
Product weight (in Ounces)6 Ounces
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Extra smooth
  • Expensive 
  • Water resistant coating 
  • max drag 7 lbs

Cons

  • Not for small fishes 
  • Expensive 

Opinion

Get the best micro spinning reel in the market if you are really into fishing or want to compete in fishing competitions. The Shimano Stella FJ will be the perfect companion for your next offshore fishing trip. You can handle small sized fishes with the 1000 size. The build quality is also great to work with in saltwater as it won’t break or corrode because of its water resistant coatings. Therefore, it’s a good option to go for with a good budget. 


2. SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Fishing Reel– best ultralight spinning reel for money

Waterproof

Why We Love It

  • Features an exclusive GFree body which makes your overall fishing more comfortable due to distribution of weight 
  • Moreover, the Hagane gear makes sure the reel has a smooth and faster working 
  • Also, the max drag of 20 lbs is more than enough for a spinning reel to be the best light tackle spinning reel 

Want a spinning reel for bass fishing? If yes, you are at the right place this Shimano Sahara FI is perfect for bass fishing for its overall smooth and powerful performance. The 4 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing provides an amazingly strong drag with a max drag force of 20 lbs. Moreover, the 4000 size is more than enough for bass fishing as well as other saltwater fishes. Also, you can get Sahara between the sizes of 1000-5000. 

Additionally, the ultralight spinning reel reviews also recommend that Sahara has a great line capacity even after weighing only 0.8 pounds. However, you should know that it doesn’t include an anti-reverse and auto bail system which may be important for some anglers.

BrandSHIMANO
MaterialAluminium
ColorGold, Black
Handle materialAluminium
Product weight (in Pounds)0.8 Pounds
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Great for bass fishing 
  • Smooth working 
  • Can be used for hours 
  • Quick retrieve

Cons

  • Manual bail 
  • Cannot handle big fishes

Opinion

It’s a great option to choose from all these ultralights spinning reels if you want one for bass fishing or red snapper. The working is perfect and smooth with its 5 ball bearings. Even after rigorous testing, the reel was perfectly fine and we think that it would last long. On the contrary, the line may get tangled due to the unavailability of an anti-reverse system. Otherwise, it’s the best ultralight spinning reel for money as per our experience.


3. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel– top ultralight spinning reel 

Best Overall

Why We Love It

  • Includes a powerful triple disc carbon fibre drag with a max drag of 40 lbs for a superior performance 
  • It has an aluminium spool and a durable body with layers of water resistant coatings perfect for saltwater fishing 
  • Moreover, even at such a low price point KastKing is offering a super smooth working spinning reel with 11 ball bearings

KastKing is a well-known brand amongst anglers for its stunning performance even while fighting big fishes at a lesser price. The Sharky III is one such ultralight spinning reel weighing only 15 ounces yet capable of exerting a drag force of 40 lbs which is too much for a spinning reel at this price point. Moreover, the hand orientation can be changed anytime you require. 

Also, the aluminium spool has a sealing which makes it water resistant and a nice companion for boat fishing. We also call it the best ultralight spinning reel of 2023  because of the easy and smooth reeling experience it provided during the testings at different locations and water bodies.

BrandKastKing
MaterialGraphite
ColorRed/Black
Handle materialAluminium
Product weight (in Ounces)15 Ounces
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Cheap 
  • 11 ball bearings 
  • 40 lbs max drag 
  • Can be used in saltwater

Cons

  • Plastic foot 
  • Fragile construction

Opinion

We would recommend this best ultralight spinning reel for trout to anyone with high needs but a tight budget. As it includes everything you will require for fishing trout easily. You can go for bigger sizes up to 5000 as per your needs. Also, the price range is less than compared to other ultralight reels here. However, the construction is fragile as compared to its spool and handle specifically the foot of the reel which can break easily if overloaded. Therefore, do keep this in mind if you buy Sharky III.


4. Penn CFTII7000LC Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel

Best Value

Why We Love It

  • This ultralight spinning reel features carbon fibre drag washers for an even and powerful drag pressure. 
  • Furthermore, it has 8 stainless steel ball bearings for a minimal friction during casting
  • The Conflict II is available in size ranging from 1000 to 8000 so you can get an ultralight yet strong spinning reel

As already marketed by the manufacturer PENN, the Conflict II is the lightest spinning reel they have ever made. Like many of their heavy spinning reels this ultralight Conflict II also includes the same features except the material used. The HT-100 carbon drag washers and the 7 stainless steel ball bearings let us use the spinning reel smoothly and with no friction. 

Moreover, we also realized that the anti-reverse feature is worth the price as it stops suddenly after clicking the button with no spool rotations ahead. You can use Conflict II during your saltwater fishing trips with no worries as it has a corrosion resistant body. Lastly, you should know that the bail needs to be manually flipped as some people assume that it’s broken.

BrandPENN Fishing
MaterialStainless Steel, Aluminium
ColorBlack
Handle materialStainless Steel
Product weight (in Ounces)14.4 Ounces
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Adjustable drag 
  • Instant anti-reverse feature 
  • Works finely in saltwater 
  • Manual bail

Cons

  • Build quality is not great 
  • expensive

Opinion

Backed by a renowned brand named PENN, the Conflict II will be the best choice for you during your harbor fishing trips as it is one of the top ultralight spinning reels. The superior carbon drag washers provide a super smooth reeling experience and the 8 ball bearings make it even better and smoother. However, after some trials we understood that the reel’s build quality is not that great to handle quite big sized fishes and also, it’s expensive for the features you get. 


5. Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel– best ultralight spinning reel

Best Spinner

Why We Love It

  • This Revo Premier has a good finishing and a well build quality of aluminum and C6 carbon will make it last long 
  • The Amgearing system included in this reel gives a smooth working even during hard times 
  • Additionally, the lightweight is due to the C6 carbon usage during construction

One of the best lightweight spinning reel with a durable body, this Revo Premier by Abu Garcia can work with you for a longer period because of its C6 carbon body. Moreover, the C6 material also helps the spinning reel to be much lighter than many other spinning reels with the same features. Also, we experienced a super smooth reeling performance during trials due to its 12 stainless steel ball bearings. 

As the size is only 2000, you can use it for light saltwater fishing and freshwater too, obviously. However, the construction is up to the mark and as promised by the brand. As it’s a best micro spinning reel by Abu Garcia, it’s a bit overpriced so you can have it if it comes under your budget.

BrandAbu Garcia
MaterialAluminium, Carbon
ColorSilver and gold
Handle materialStainless Steel
Product weight (in kg)0.32 kg
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • 11+1 ball bearings 
  • Carbon matrix drag system
  • Lightweight 
  • Durable build 

Cons

  • Overpriced 
  • Anti-reverse is not powerful 

Opinion

Professional anglers usually use Revo Premier during bass fishing competitions and they recommend it too. The features are up to the mark such as the smoothness the reel provides or the powerful drag they provide. However, it’s expensive for size 2000. By saying that, if you have a good budget you should definitely go for this Revo Premier otherwise you can opt for other ones we have featured. 


6. SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel– best light tackle spinning reel

Best Value

Why We Love It

  • Features a strong Hagane body fully made out of metal for a great efficiency
  • The Stradic FL is available from size 1000 to size 5000 with the same weight range
  • Moreover, the cross carbon drag provides a smooth drag with a wide range of drag settings 

The Stradic FL ultralight spinning reel by Shimano is perfect in all aspects and can be really helpful during your beginner phase. However, professionals use it too sometimes. The full metal body with a durable build will stay strong during reeling and won’t break like other small sized reels. Also, you can handle it for hours as it weighs only 0.7 pounds. 

However, the size is limited up to 5000 so if you need even bigger sizes you can check out the top 10 best spinning reels of 2023. Besides that, it doesn’t include an anti-reverse feature so if you don’t like that, this reel is the best option for you. Lastly, you can use it wherever you want, including saltwater.

BrandSHIMANO
Materialsynthetic
ColorSilver
Handle materialmetal
Product weight (in Pounds)0.7 Pounds
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Cross carbon drag 
  • Full metal body 
  • Great for bay fishing 
  • Water resistant coatings

Cons

  • Anti-reverse not included 
  • Bail flips unexpectedly

Opinion

Shimano tops the list when it comes to small sized, ultralight spinning reels. This lightweight spinning reel is one of those having a great strength yet has a small size. We assure you won’t have a bad day reeling with this Stradic FL as it can cast longer distances and has a durable build. However, you have to take care if the bail snaps unexpectedly as that’s what we experienced during testing. Otherwise, it’s a good reel at a reasonable price. 


7. Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel– best ultralight spinning reel for trout

Silent Drive

Why We Love It

  • This reel has a carbon fibre construction for a lightweight yet strong body 
  • Moreover, the high gear ratio of 5.8:1 gives a super-smooth performance during retrieving 
  • Okuma offers a warranty of 1 year on this ultralight spinning reel so the deal is secure

One of the best lightweight spinning reel with a size 2000 and 4000, the Okuma Helios is perfect for bay fishing as well as boat fishing in freshwater. Many ultralight spinning reel reviews including us will recommend this ultralight spinning reel for its incredibly lightweight. Besides that, the reel offers a great drag force while inshore fishing and fighting salmon and bass with its multi disc drag system.

Moreover, during testings, the Helios performed well for bass fishing due to its powerful anti-reverse system and smooth performance. However, there are minimal problems that can be ignored such as the bail sometimes hits fingers. Otherwise, it’s a good deal at such a low price range.

BrandOKUMA
MaterialAluminium, Stainless Steel
ColorMulti
Handle materialAluminium
Product weight (in Pounds)0.7 Pounds
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Anti-reverse feature 
  • 9 stainless steel ball bearings 
  • EVA handle knob

Cons

  • Bail has a larger diameter
  • Spool is not sealed

Opinion

People searching for a good reel for bass or salmon fishing can go for this reel with a blind eye. It weighs only 0.7 pounds and really works well during light saltwater fishing. As it is available in 2 sizes namely 20 and 40, it’s upon you. You can check the spinning reel sizes and know your preferences. Overall, it’s the best lightweight spinning reel at this price but you have to maintain and clean it after every fishing trip. 


8. Okuma RTX Light Weight Spinning Reel– best micro spinning reel 

Best Ever

Why We Love It

  • The sizes available are 2500, 3000, 3500, 4000 which makes it a good option for fishes weighing up to 20 lbs 
  • Moreover, RTX is the second lightest spinning reel in the list of best ultralight spinning reel 
  • It has a gear ratio of 6.0:1 which is faster and smoother than many ultralight spinning reels.

If you have a budget under $150, the Okuma RTX will be the perfect choice for you. Many professional anglers use the RTX while casting light lures and for small sized fishes. Depending on the construction, we would recommend you to use it only during freshwater fishing because there are no water resistant coatings on the spool. Otherwise, you can use the spinning reel all day long. 

Moreover, what makes it the best light tackle spinning reel is its smooth performance and a powerful drag system. Other than that it offers a good line capacity at a less weight. Therefore, it’s a good lightweight spinning reel under a good budget, you can take it under consideration if you love freshwater fishing.

BrandOKUMA
MaterialSynthetic
Color
Handle materialStainless Steel
Product weight (in Pounds)0.59 Pounds
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Good line capacity 
  • Weighs only 0.59 lbs
  • Reasonable price 
  • 8 ball bearings

Cons

  • Material quality not good 
  • Cannot handle big fishes

Opinion

The Okuma RTX is an excellent choice if you love freshwater fishing. However, according to our experience you can use it while saltwater fishing but only for light use otherwise, the construction is not that strong to handle big fishes. Moreover, it’s popular amongst anglers for its extreme lightweight and a good and smooth drag. You can catch small sized fishes with no hassle. Therefore, you can go for this lightest spinning reel. 


9. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel– best ultralight spinning reel for trout

Best Value

Why We Love It

  • Weighing only 0.46 pounds. The president is the lightest spinning reel amongst all these spinning reels featured 
  • The drag washers are sealed so there will be no water contact, moreover, they provide a good drag force 
  • It has an ultra smooth drag and overall performance because of its 7 stainless steel ball bearings

At such a low price range the pflueger has offered us something a good brand would offer to their customers. This reel is a small sized reel with an ultralight weight of only 0.46 pounds. The president can be a brilliant companion during freshwater fishing for trout, bass and many similar fishes easily. Also, the 7 ball bearings offer a great and frictionless fishing experience. 

Moreover, the sizes are available up to 4000 which makes it an excellent choice for medium-sized fishes. It’s the lightest spinning reel in this list, thanks to its graphite construction of body and rotor. However, the use of graphite has led to a fragile construction which may break if you overload the line.

BrandPflueger
MaterialAluminium
ColorBlue
Handle materialStainless Steel
Product weight (in Pounds)0.46 Pounds
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Super smooth drag 
  • Compact design 
  • Perfect for trout fishing 
  • Handles freshwater fishes easily

Cons

  • Line twists frequently 
  • Poor material quality

Opinion

Love trout or bass fishing? Especially the freshwater ones? If yes, the president by pflueger is the right one for you. It can handle these small and medium-sized fishes easily. Moreover, it’s a very tiny reel with a not so good construction. However, it comes with a good and smooth working drag system and a braid ready spool. Therefore, it’s the best ultralight spinning reel for money. If you have a low budget, you can get this one but handle it carefully. 


10. PENN 1338215 Battle II 1000 – top ultralight spinning reel 

Best Gear

Why We Love It

  • The Battle II features a highly durable metal body to be the best ultralight saltwater spinning reel 
  • Also, the spool is braid ready which means you won’t require any backing while spooling the reel 
  • Furthermore, you will experience a powerful yet smooth drag force with the HT-100 carbon fibre drag system

The Battle II manufactured by PENN is a great small sized spinning reel usually used during bass fishing and similar types. It has a sturdy metal body and a high quality Aluminum bail for a good durability. Moreover, the 5 stainless steel ball bearings and a single roller bearing make the overall performance of the reel better. 

Anyone with a budget under $100 can afford this Battle II with no hassle. As it is an ultralight spinning reel, you won’t be getting a big line capacity or the capacity to handle a big fish. Even though it has a good build, we would recommend you to use it only during freshwater fishing as its size is 1000, lowest of all. 

BrandPENN Fishing
MaterialStainless steel
ColorGold, multicolour
Handle materialStainless steel
Product weight (in Ounces)
Hand orientationAmbidextrous

Pros

  • Affordable price 
  • Good material quality
  • Carbon fibre drag washers 
  • 6 ball bearings 

Cons

  • Binds up
  • High maintenance required

Opinion

The Battle II is a nice freshwater spinning reel which can handle small fishes like pan fish and bream. Unlike other cheap spinning reels, it has a well-built construction which won’t break during your fishing trip. Moreover, you can change the hand orientation according to the user’s preference anytime. However, some Battle II ultralight spinning reel reviews say that the bail binds up automatically which can be problematic for some people.


How to Choose Best Ultralight Spinning Reel (Buying Guide)

It is important to get the best ultralight spinning reel but how to get one? Nevermind, we will help you out. There are many lightweight spinning reels ranging from mere $25 to a huge amount of $1000 but not every time expensive means good. There are many cheap spinning reels with good quality features, some of them are given in this article. In this article we will discuss some factors you should consider while buying an ultralight spinning reel. 

Size of the reel 

Depending on your fishing preferences, the reel size differs. However, the reel size is the principal thing to see while buying a spinning reel because a wrong reel size won’t do any good to you while fishing for a specific target. There are mainly 4 reel sizes namely small size, medium size, large size and extra large size you can get one according to your targets. For example, if you want to target small fishes such as bass, as you should get a small sized reel. Check out spinning reel sizes for more information. 

Price of the reel 

Price is the second most important factor to look for while choosing a spinning reel. As said earlier, expensive doesn’t mean good therefore, you should always check for reels of all price points instead of a filtered search. Many best ultralight spinning reels have a price range starting from mere $25 and can end up to $1000. Depending on your budget, you can get one. 

Weight of the reel 

If you are specifically searching for an ultralight spinning reel, always go for one with weighing less than 0.8 pounds, as anyone can handle such a small amount of weight for a longer time. On the other hand, avoid heavy spinning reels weighing more than 1 pound as you won’t be able to handle it after an hour or two.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ’s)

We would recommend you to get the SHIMANO Stella FJ Spinning Reel for the best ultralight experience. As we all know Shimano has a good name in making spinning reels and its Stella FJ tops the market when it comes to the best ultralight spinning reels. 

Ultralight spinning reels are mostly the ones with small size and medium size. Moreover, they have less line capacity and a non-metallic construction. 

The best spinning reel on the market is Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel with its amazing drag power and line capacity. The runner-up is the SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel. Both of them are amazing in terms of power, capacity and quality. 

The pflueger is voted as the best spinning reel brand for making the lightest spinning reel available. The Pflueger President is the lightest spinning reel featured in our article weighing only 0.46 pounds. 

Can’t say because sometimes they are overpriced because of their brand value with no durability and sometimes they have a good quality material used so they can last for a long time. In case of ultralight spinning reels we would recommend you to always go for cheaper options, as their size is smaller compared to bigger ones. 

Conclusion

While getting a reel always go for the one with lighter weight as you can handle it for a longer time.  Here we have featured the top 10 best ultralight spinning reels with a variety of sizes and prices to choose from. Also, we tested them for their performance in saltwater as well as freshwater for months before coming to a conclusion to make sure you get the right product in your hand.

Out of these our top pics are

We hope that you have enjoyed and selected one of these ultralight spinning reels for your next fishing adventure. You can also check out our article on top 10 best spinning reels of 2023 for more options but they might be heavier.

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