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The 7 Best Ultralight Spinning Reel In 2021

Without at least one lightweight spinning reel, no gear collection would be complete. Sure, it won't get as much usage as that huge spinning rig you use to toss buzzbaits or the baitcaster you use for worming, but it will get some use.

Ultralight tackle will come in handy at some time in your fishing career, whether you're targeting smaller fish or need to toss tiny lures.

The issue is that finding a lightweight spinning reel may be difficult. There are a lot of reels out there, but only a few of them claim "ultralight" on the packaging. The good news is that most manufacturers make a smaller version of their most popular models; these are the ultra-light reels you'll be looking at.

However, size isn't everything, and there are a number of additional aspects to consider when buying a reel. We'll break down all of those aspects for you in this post. Here are the seven best ultralight spinning reels for 2021:

A fishing reel is a cranking reel attached to a fishing rod used in winding and stowing fishing line.
A fishing reel is a cranking reel attached to a fishing rod used in winding and stowing fishing line.

Shimano Stradic CI4+

The extremely smooth Stradic CI4+ is our first choice. It's possible that it's the greatest tiny spinning reel available.

The Shimano Stradic is one of the lightest spinning reels of its size, weighing only 5.6 oz. It has all of Shimano's most recent advancements, such as increased gear longevity and decreased friction between the spool shaft and gear, which will improve casting performance and help keep your reel running smoothly for years.

Purchase the smallest size Shimano Stradic CI4+ if you want to treat yourself to one of the top high-quality alternatives on the market. But be warned: once you get used to the feel of a well-made spinning reel, you may never want to go back to low- or mid-range reels again!

Shimano Spirex FG

When we chose the Best Spinning Reels, the Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel made the cut, and the smallest version of that reel is just as excellent and smooth.

If you prefer a trigger-activated bail, this reel with the revolutionary QuickFire II One-Handed Casting System is a great alternative. Shimano developed the trigger mechanism to avoid interfering with the balance of the reel or getting in the way while cranking it.

The Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel is constructed with high-quality components and has a fine-tuned 5-ball bearing system, a 6.2:1 gear ratio, and an uniquely engineered spool that allows line to blast out with zero resistance. The weight is kept down with a strong graphite frame, side plate, and rotor.

The smallest Shimano Spirex reel is ideal for light fishing because of its small size. It holds 200 yards of 2 pound mono, can handle up to 10 pound mono, and can also be used with fluorocarbon and braid. That's what I'm talking about when I say "quality."

Daiwa Tatula LT Spinning Reel

This Daiwa reel is probably one of the best under $200 choices available.

The Daiwa Tatula LT has a sleek design with a housing constructed of machined, aircraft-grade aluminum that looks fantastic and performs even better. Its high-density carbon components not only allow it to be light, but they also make it one of the strongest, hardest, and longest-lasting reels on the market.

Diawa's invested a lot of time and effort into developing the ideal rotor, and their Air Rotor design is far lighter than the rotors that other manufacturers have been able to create. This, along with the Tatula LT's seven ball bearing system, digitally machined aluminum alloy gears, and finely balanced bail, propels this reel to the top of our recommended reels list.

Our top premium selection is the Daiwa Tatula LT.

Abu Garcia Revo SX

After testing the Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel, it's apparent that it's the best lightweight spinning reel under $150. The smallest model is a little powerhouse with eight stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing, as well as precision-machined gears, for exceptional smoothness and power.

When you need it most, a carbon matrix hybrid drag offers very uniform resistance. The lightweight carbon body of this reel, together with its highly designed gearbox design, makes it light while maintaining the rigidity required to keep the gears in perfect alignment for the years you use it.

You'd be in a better position to present small topwater lures, cast short finesse worms, or sling micro-crankbaits into shallow flats if you combined the premium Abu Garcia Revo Reel with a 5-foot, medium-action rod. Shorten the rod a little and you've got yourself an ice fishing jigging rod setup that'll keep you busy all winter.

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Reel

We concluded that the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel was the finest option available for under $50 when we examined it. The C-10 is the smallest size in the Ceymar line-up, and it's jam-packed with amazing features and smooth handling.

The Ceymar would be the ideal lightweight spinning reel for trout, thanks to its clever multi-disc, oiled felt drag mechanism. When a large trout strikes, the Okuma Ceymar will be up to the task, whether you're easing an in-line spinner into the current or drifting a streamer through the rifles.

If a fish makes one last push before being scooped up, the sophisticated drag mechanism on this reel comes in, giving just the proper amount of smooth, consistent resistance to hold that trout in check.

This reel has a smooth operation thanks to a strong anti-reverse roller bearing, seven ball bearings, and a beautifully machined brass pinion gear, while the aluminum spool and innovative housing design decrease the reel's overall weight.

If you use a 2- to 6-pound test line, the Ceymar C-10 is perfect for crappie, bluegill, and perch fishing. However, it is capable of dealing with bigger species as well.

The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel would be an ideal tool for the task, whether you're employing finesse tactics to target resistant fish, trying to load a cooler full of panfish, or probing the cold depths and need a compact ice fishing setup.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

The 1000 size of Penn's Battle II Spinning Reel is one of the best you can get if you're searching for a lightweight reel with excellent control. While this sort of gear is primarily designed for freshwater fishing, let's face it, saltwater has tiny fish as well.

The smallest variant of the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel can handle everything from catching a light meal to filling a bucket with baitfish. That's because Penn is one of the few companies that has found out how to produce a smooth reel that can endure the rigors of saltwater fishing.

The Penn Battle II Spinning Reel has a carbon fiber drag system with specific lubricant on the drag washers for long-lasting performance. This reel will provide you years of trouble-free operation thanks to durable materials including a complete metal body, side plate, and rotor, as well as a sealed, stainless steel bearing system.

Lews Fishing Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker

The Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Spinning Reel from Lews is a wonderful small spinning reel for crappie fishing. It's packed with features yet is the most affordable reel in our lineup.

The reel's total weight is kept low by a graphite body, rotor, and spool, and the small gearbox keeps the size where it needs to be for an ultralight rig.

Crappie fishermen with a lot of experience know that deep, submerged brush is where the delicious panfish like to hang out. When a crappie strikes your jig in the center of a wooded area, use some pressure to pull the fish towards open water. The Slab Shaker Spinning Reel's strong 5.2:1 gear ratio comes in useful at this point. It will provide you with the necessary cranking power to bring in large crappie in any weather.

The 6-pound test is an excellent line size for crappie fishing, and the Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Reel comes pre-spooled with quality smooth 6-pound mono that can take a lot. This excellent tiny reel from Lews is the ideal one for you if you're looking for a reel that's just the correct size for combating crappie. This reel would undoubtedly complement any of these crappie spinning rods.

What Kind Of Reel Is Used For Ultralight?

Do you envision a short, slender pole with a small spinning reel when you think about ultralight fishing?

When selecting an ultralight reel, the model size should be between 500 and 2500. These sizes are appropriate since they are designed to use smaller lines, resulting in a reduced body and spool size.

There's a reason why spinning reels are the most popular lightweight fishing reel. When fishing with an ultralight rig, tiny light lures are used for a more delicate approach. Furthermore, baitcasting and spin cast reels are unable to throw small finesse lures.

Small lures are effective for modest fish, but most of the time, the small realistic approach attracts the largest fish. A four-foot UglyStik gx2 ultralight rod and a KastKing Centron 500 were used to catch my personal best fish.

A four-pound test monofilament was spooled on that reel. I was using a 1/64-ounce jig and a 1-inch gulp minnow. When my rod seemed like it was about to be yanked out of my hands, I was catching the typical one-pounders and smaller ones!

I completely removed the drag and simply used my fingertips to tighten the line. I retrieved an 8-pound largemouth fish from the lake fifteen minutes later!

The Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Spinning Reel from Lews is a wonderful small spinning reel for crappie fishing. It's packed with features yet is the most affordable reel in our lineup.  The reel's total weight is kept low by a graphite body, rotor, and spool, and the small gearbox keeps the size where it needs to be for an ultralight rig.
The Mr. Crappie Slab Shaker Spinning Reel from Lews is a wonderful small spinning reel for crappie fishing. It's packed with features yet is the most affordable reel in our lineup. The reel's total weight is kept low by a graphite body, rotor, and spool, and the small gearbox keeps the size where it needs to be for an ultralight rig.

The Lightest Weight Spinning Reel

The new Zenon spinning reel from Abu Garcia is ready to raise the bar for all ultra-premium fishing reels.

The Zenon is the lightest spinning reel ever produced, weighing in at an unbelievable 4.9 ounces for the Size 20 and 5.4 ounces for the Size 30. Designed to give serious bass and walleye anglers the advantages they need to propel them to fish to win, the Zenon is the lightest spinning reel ever produced, tipping the scales at an unbelievably light 4.9 ounces for the Size 20 and 5.4 ounces for the Size 30.

When combined with a light spinning rod, the result is a setup that provides serious fishermen with unrivaled sensitivity and all-day comfort.

Zenon was created for fishermen who want the greatest equipment to compliment their talents, whether they're fishing for fun or for a living. Abu Garcia engineers collaborated with their Japanese design team to create the ideal finesse-style spinning reel that would thrive in the very competitive Japanese finesse market as well as the tough U.S. bass and walleye tournament scene.

“The Zenon sets the bar for future spinning reels in terms of weight, comfort and overall performance in finesse fishing applications,” said Abu Garcia Vice President of Marketing Jon Schlosser.

“With the smoothness of the drag, you can fish light line with confidence and do so comfortably because the reel is so light and easy to hold. Our reel designers minimized the weight of the reel to a point few thought possible while making sure the reel retains its Abu Garcia durability. I believe we will see a lot of these reels on the front decks of tournament boats next year.”

Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Size

An ultralight spinning reel, as the name indicates, is a tiny spinning reel. Ultralight spinning reels are the smallest model/size of a spinning reel and are not a type of reel in and of themselves.

Ultralight reels are often sized 1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500 (or 10 – 25). These are standard model numbers that are used to denote the spinning reel's size.

The smaller the model number, the smaller the reel; a typical spinning reel model size is from 2500 to 3500. (in freshwater fishing). For saltwater spinning reels, model sizes can reach a whopping 6000, 8000, and beyond... I think you get the idea.

The key advantage of an ultralight reel is the restricted selection of fishing gear available in the lighter terminal gear. It basically allows you to fish with very little gear. Ultralight gear allows for the tiniest hooks and baits/lures, as well as the lightest (and most undetectable) fishing lines. Smaller gear is also useful in these areas:

Smaller fish species are being targeted (e.g panfish like Crappie, Bluegill, etc)

Fish that are finicky or frightened are less likely to eat bigger offerings.

For other species, such as trout, ultra clear water necessitates smaller baits. Because clearer water allows the fish to see everything, you should throw smaller presentations/lures (this isn't a hard and fast rule, but it's a good practice).

Above all, having a rockin' good time catching smaller fish with lighter gear makes the fish feel like giants!

About The Authors

Jaya Mckeown

Jaya Mckeown - Jaya moved to Boston from New York to pursue a master's degree in corporate communications at Emerson College. This experience, combined with her undergraduate degree in psychology and teaching, has equipped her with valuable skills that she employs on a daily basis in real estate negotiations, homebuyer and seller education, and successful promotion of the team's listings. Jaya's clients often characterize her as meticulous, proactive, and enjoyable to be around.

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