Best Ultralight Spinning Reels 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

​A spinning reel's weight has a lot to do with its performance and stability. Depending on how you're intending to use your reel, you might need it to be lighter or heavier.

Best Ultralight Reels

In this article, we'll list some of the best ultralight spinning reels that you can find on the market, reviewing their build quality, drag quality, line capacity, gear ratio, and overall performance.

Best Ultralight Reels: Comparison Chart

The 7 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels 2019

1. Pflueger PRESSP30X - Best Value Lightweight Spinning Reel

Pflueger President PRESSP30X

The Pflueger President PRESSP30X has 10 bearings, 9 are ball bearings and one of is a roller bearing.

This bearing system makes its retrieve and performance smooth while the fact that they’re made of stainless steel makes the reel resist corrosion and rust.

The rotor and the body of the steel are made of graphite which makes them very lightweight without sacrificing the durability.

The solid aluminum spool is both ported and braid ready. You can easily tie your braid directly to the spool thanks to a series of vertical rubber grommets that can spare you the need of having mono backing.

The Pflueger President PRESSP30X’s maximum drag is about 9 pounds which is satisfactory for its weighs of 8.3 ounces.

It has a 5.2:1 gear ratio that makes it easy to fight against and catch bigger and heavier fish. It also retrieves 27.4 inches of line per crank, which can also be an advantage to you if you’re battling against stubborn fish.

Furthermore, the Pflueger President PRESSP30X has a SureClick bail that is made of heavy-duty aluminum which makes it stable and durable.

When the bail is open and ready to cast, it produces an audible click to let you know.

You’ll get a consistent drag pressure and corrosion-resistance thanks to the stainless steel oil-felt drag.

The ergonomic design of the soft touch knob makes it easy to have a good grip on it, while the aircraft grade aluminum handle elongates the durability of the reel.

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a light, affordable reel that will be a good bang for your buck, the Pflueger President is the one for you.

You may be limited to freshwater fishing as it would require a lot of maintenance if you want to use it saltwater conditions, but still may not be durable in that case.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • 10 ball bearing system
  • Lightweight and portability
  • Left and right hand retrieve

Cons

  • Has a cheapish look and feel
  • Drag could face some issues
  • Not sealed so it may be unsuitable for saltwater

2. Shimano Sedona FI 1000 - An Excellent Ultralight Spinning Reel

Shimano Sedona 1000 FI Light Reel

The Shimano Sedona FI 1000 delivers superb performance at an affordable price because its Hagane gears’ design is upgraded and cold forged.

The flagship Hagane gearing ensures the durability and strength of the reel as well as makes it smooth enough to be used for either inshore or offshore fishing.

Its gear ratio is 5.0:1 while its maximum drag is a quite disappointing 7 lbs. It retrieves 26 inches of line per crank and it's amazingly light at just 7.6 oz.

Without compromising on the body’s compactness, the line capacity is increased by the double-anodized, machine-cut spools.

Moreover, the casting distance is maximized while backlashes and wind-knot formation are prevented thanks to the propulsion line management system and improved spool lip design.

Furthermore, G-Free body technology brings the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod to reduce the fatigue with the center being close to the angler’s hand position.

Finally, the oval oscillation gear keeps the spool speed uniform and consequently keeps the line lay even. This facilitates having control over the reel instead of the line lay being hoarded at the ends of the spool.

Bottom Line:

The Shimano Sedona FI 1000 is a great spinning reel that suits battles with big fish. However, its drag capacity isn’t the largest, so it might limit your catches.

Generally, it’s strong and performs smoothly all while being affordable.

Pros

  • Smooth casting and operation
  • Durability and reliability
  • Solid drag system

Cons

  • Small drag capacity

3. KastKing Sharky III - A Great Carbon Fiber Ultralight Reel

KastKing Sharky III

The KastKing Sharky III spinning reel looks great and is built with premium parts to be durable and powerful.

You can use it to fish in freshwater or saltwater.

Because its body and rotor are made of reinforced graphite it’s quite lightweight and weighs only 6.9 ounces, but all the same, it’s still strong and will withstand tough battles.

Its maximum drag power is about 33 pounds which is quite huge in comparison to its weight.

This is thanks to the reliable triple disc carbon fiber drag, oversized stainless steel main shaft, and the stronger precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears that add fishing muscle to the reel.

It has a unique protection water-resistant design for all its parts: the spool, body, and rotor. This ensures that the water and dirt stay out of its system.

So you don’t have to worry if your reel accidentally falls into the water.

Furthermore, its operation is very quiet and its retrieve is as smooth as silk. The Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool spares you the need to use the backing line when you’re spooling on braid fishing line.

The line capacity enables you to go for bigger sized fish with a stronger fight.
Its features are numerable including 10 ball bearings + 1 roller bearing that are saltwater rated with shielded stainless steel.

It also has an instant lock anti-reverse, stainless steel hardware, aluminum handle, and more line capacity than counterparts of the same price. 

Bottom Line:

The KastKing Sharky III is simply one of the best, most affordable reels out there. Its features integrate together to produce an amazing reel in the end.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight
  • 1-year warranty
  • Smooth operation
  • Interchangeable hand retrieve

Cons

  • None

4. Shimano Stradic CI4+ - Best Quality Light Reel

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ FB

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 1000 FB comes with significant improvements. With 5 grams less on it, it almost feels like it’s not there.

Its operation is very smooth which further extends the ease of use. Its G-Free Body has an oscillating system and worm drive that are brought closer to the stem of the reel. This makes the center of gravity lower and makes it lighter to hold and handle.

Its gear ratio is 5.0:1, its drag power is 6.6 pounds, and it has 6+1 bearings.

The Magnumlite rotor adds to the lightness of the reel. The bail trip mechanism being moved to the opposite side of the line roller spares you from needing a heavy bail hold support.

This makes both sides of the rotor 22% lighter while the balance and rotation are improved with 22% less inertia.

Coreprotect is an addition that acts as a protective water-repellent coating on the roller clutch and the line roller to stop any water from going into key areas.

Finally, the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 1000 FB’s Hagane gears are smoother, stronger, and more durable than those of rivals of the same price range. This makes it superior in terms of gear transition and pulling power.

Bottom Line:

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 1000 FB is a pretty great reel to use while you’re fishing in either freshwater or saltwater. It might need a bit of control and manual handling, but its smooth operation makes it one of the best reels you can get.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Smooth operation
  • Very water-resistant
  • Rapid fire drag

Cons

  • Relatively pricey
  • The anti-reverse switch is rather small

5. Abu Garcia Revo X - A Great Quality Reel

Abu Garcia Revo X

The Abu Garcia Revo X will give you great performance and reliability. It has a forward-thinking design, top-notch performance, and ensure durability.

The compact Insert Molded C6 (IM-C6) carbon body design makes it light and comfortable.
The Abu Garcia Revo X’s gear ratio is 6.2:1, its retrieve rate is 30 inches, while it’s lightweight at only 7.50 ounces.

Its casting efficiency is maximized by the Rocket Line management system that gives you space to fish mono, braid, and even difficult to manage fluorocarbon.

It also has a rocket spool lip design that minimizes backlashes and wind-knot formations.

The instant anti-reverse feature stops the rotor from moving backward and thereby guaranteeing solid hooksets.

It has 6 stainless steel HPCR bearings and one roller bearing which isn’t the most numerous, but they’re durable and give it the smoothness, durability, and stability you’d be looking for.

Its Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system enables it to catch medium-sized fish with a maximum drag weight of 10 lbs.

The graphite rotor helps keep its weight light and the large PVC knobs are easy to handle and durable.

The main shaft and the components of the reel are all made of stainless steel for added sustainability.

You can position the reel handle on either the right or left side to accommodate your needs.

Bottom Line:

The Abu Garcia Revo X is a great reel that combines durability and strength with the affordability of price and lightness.

You can use it in either freshwater or saltwater conditions as it’s quite durable and is able to handle both.

Pros

  • Durable and resists corrosion
  • Great bang for your buck

Cons

  • Not very suitable for use in a saltwater environment

6. Okuma Ceymar C-40  - Best Ultralight Reel for The Money

Okuma Ceymar C-40

The cyclonic flow rotor design on the Okuma Ceymar C-40 allows more air flow through the ported rotor as well as helps reduce the intrusion of water into the reel.

Consequently, the intrusion of water is reduced, minimizing corrosion and extending the durability of the reel. This is emphasized by the corrosion-resistant graphite body.

The Okuma Ceymar C-40 gives you an accurate gear alignment and the maximum ability to cast.

The precision elliptical gearing system works on reducing the friction, increasing the distance and accuracy as well as ensuring a longer line life.

It also makes the performance very smooth and evens out the drag pressures, making them uniform.

The reel can be used in one direction for solid hook sets thanks to the quick anti-reverse bearing it’s provided with.

In total, the reel has 7BB and 1RB bearings, its gear ratio is 5.0:1, has a maximum drag of approximately 13 pounds, and it weighs about 10 ounces.

Indeed, it’s not the lightest but it still combines a bunch of great features and withstands tough battles.

The endurance of the heavy battles is further enabled by the zinc diecast handle that’s designed to make it through any stress.

It gives you the strength and torque required to catch any fish whenever you need it.

Bottom Line:

For a reel under 50 dollars, the Okuma Ceymar C-40 is a pretty great value for the money. It’s great for freshwater use and can be used in saltwater if you rinse it well after. It’s durable and performs smoothly

Pros

  • Durable and resists corrosion
  • Great bang for your buck

Cons

  • Not very suitable for use in a saltwater environment

7. Daiwa D-Spin - A Light Reel for Beginners

Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Reel

The Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight is the one of the lightest spinning reel available on the market as it features a new composite housing and weighs only 5.9 ounces.

It comes at a very low price but without compromising the good performance, speed, and durability.

The main concern while designing it was keeping it light, so it’s more suitable for catching smaller fish.

Its maximum drag capacity is about 4.4 pounds, while the line capacity is 190 yards of 2-pound line.

Moreover, it works well with both right-handed and left-handed people.

Its Digigear has a gear ratio of 4.9:1, which makes the line retrieval a bit slower in comparison to other rivals, but also makes it more powerful.

It might be worth mentioning that after you cast, the bail has to be manually closed. If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to start cranking.

The composite materials that are used to construct the reel make it sturdy while the single ball bearing smoothens the line retrieval process.

If you’re a beginner or take fishing as a leisure activity, the Daiwa D-Spin is a great, affordable choice for you.

Bottom Line:

The Daiwa D-Spin really offers outstanding value for a reel that comes at less than 25 dollars. Somehow, it manages to avoid many of the issues that cheaper reels face.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable price
  • Smooth operation
  • Durability

Cons

  • Drag can be weak sometimes
  • Handle knob isn’t the strongest

How to Choose an Ultralight Reel:

Of course, when you’re shopping for an ultralight spinning reel, the number one feature you would be looking for is the weight of the reel.

Seems easy, but the problem is that some lightweight spinning reels compromise some of the quality and features in order to be lighter.

So even though the minimum weight is important, the maintenance of quality plays a great role too.

Freshwater Reel vs Saltwater Reel

The first thing you need to keep in mind is whether you will use your reel in freshwater or saltwater.

Saltwater has a corroding effect on reels, so if you’re going to fish in saltwater, you should get a seal that is resistant to corrosion and completely sealed.

Some things you should look for are shielded stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and forged aluminum materials.

On the other hand, if you’re going to fish in fresh water, you wouldn’t have to worry about that.

Materials Used

It’s very important that you check out the materials used in the construction of your reel as they greatly affect durability and weight.

The majority of reels you’ll find will either have graphite or an aluminum body. Each one of these has an advantage over and a disadvantage in the face of the other.

Aluminum is generally stronger and has less flex so it can handle more torque produced by bigger fish.

Graphite, on the other hand, is much lighter, so you wouldn’t have to battle with arm fatigue during longer fishing trips.

They have a tendency to achieve the 8 ounces or less mark.

A graphite reel would serve the lightweight-seeking angler better, but if you’re planning on fishing hard or big fish, you might want to look for a lightweight aluminum reel.

Drag System

You get a spool drag system or a frame-based drag system.

The spool-based one is easier to keep an eye on and adjust when you’re fighting a fish. While the frame-based one gives you more strength.

Reel Size

The size of the reel is what determines how much line you can put on your spool. Generally, a 2500 or equivalent is a pretty good deal.

Gear Ratio

This indicates the number of revolutions the bail rotates around the spool per turn of the handle, thereby how much line is retrieved per crank of the handle.

A 5.0:1 gear ratio will rotate the bail 5 times around the spool for every turn of the handle.

Depending on the techniques and applications you’re using, you’ll choose the reel that fits you best. Usually, each brand will have different ratios covering everything you might need.

Which Is The Best Ultralight Fishing Reel Overall?

It all depends on where and how you’ll be using your reel and what techniques you’ll be using.

If you’re looking for a lightweight reel overall that offers great features, you should go for the Pflueger President.

If your main concern is the lightness of the reel, you should go for the Okuma RTX lightweight.

Finally, if you want the one with the best features and most premium quality, you should go for the Shimano Stella FI.


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