The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel To Make Your Next Trip Stress Free

It can be tough to figure out what separates one spinning reel from another, especially if you are a beginner. With so many options available, how do you know which one is the best ultralight spinning reel for you?

Best ultralight spinning reel
Find the best ultralight spinning reel.

When looking for a new spinning reel, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.  There are so many different models on the market, each with its own set of features and benefits.

It can be tough to figure out what separates one spinning reel from another, especially if you are a beginner. With so many options available, how do you know which one is the best ultralight spinning reel for you?

We have done the hard work for you! In this review, we will take a look at some of the top-rated models on the market and help you decide which one is right for you. We will also discuss some of the key features that you should look for when making your purchase.

So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, read on to find out more about the best ultralight spinning reels available today.  Or if you love bass fishing, read our review of the Best Spinning Reel For Bass here.

How We Choose The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

Fishing can be a lot of fun, but it's also a challenging sport. You need the right fishing gear to be successful.

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best ultralight spinning reel.

Some of the questions we asked were: What size lures or bait will I be using? Does it work with braided line?? What kind of drag system does it have? How important is sensitivity? How important is gear ratio? What size spinning reel do I need? Does it make a difference if it's the lightest reel, or not?

After answering these questions, we were able to break down the best options on the market for anyone in search of a versatile and reliable ultralight. With an ultralight, you're not typically targeting larger fish with heavier spinning tackle.  So, an ultralight reel will have a smaller line capacity and a lower gear ratio. No matter what your specific needs are, there's sure to be a spinning reel on this list that's perfect for you.

Most people don't have the time or knowledge to research all the different ultra light spinning reels on the market and decide which one is best for ultralight freshwater fishing.

What are the right questions to ask? When choosing a reel, it's important to consider the size, durability, number of ball bearings, and quality of the drag system. Most reels are in the 1000 to 3000 range, with the larger sizes designed for bigger fish. Carbon fiber and aluminum reels are generally the most durable, while graphite tends to make a heavier reel.

Ball bearings help the reel operate smoothly, and a high-quality spinning reel will have a smooth, even, and consistent drag. Gear ratios indicate how many times the spool turns per rotation of the handle, and a higher gear ratio means more line is retrieved with each turn. When choosing the best spinning reel, it's important to consider all of these factors.

The good news is that we've done the hard work to help you find the right reel. After reading thousands of online reviews and talking to some of the top pros in the country, we've compiled this list of the 5 best ultralight spinning reels. Our goal is to help people decide what spinning reel works best for them.

So What Art Our 5 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels?

1. Pflueger President

Value Packed Ultralight Spinning Reel

Pflueger President

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Why We Love It:

It's the smooth performance and a great value from a mainstay of the ultralight spinning reel world. The Pflueger President® spinning reel is a high-quality reel that delivers features and performance that will impress over and over again. The aluminum and graphite body is strong and lightweight, and the smooth and carefree cranking with a 5.2:1 gear ratio make this spinning reel fun to use. The oil-felt multi disc drag system is something Pflueger has been using for a long time, so it's time-tested, though some say it's older technology. It's probably why the Pflueger President is a great value as one of the best spinning reels on the market.

This reel can be used right or left-handed, has a comfortable cork handle, and even works well when it gets wet. The anti-reverse system keeps you away from backlash and the temper tantrums that may come with it. It's a solid reel, incredibly popular, and it's a top seller. It's perfect for your next all-around bass fishing adventure.

What You Should Know:

10 ball bearings

20 size reel is a 7 ball bearing system

Graphite body and rotor

Braid ready reel spool accepts braided line

Sealed drag system

Slow oscillation gearing

Aluminum handle with soft touch knob

5.2:1 gear ratio

Aluminum bail

2. Kast King Centron 2000

Best Value In An Ultralight Spinning Reel

KastKing Centron 2000

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Why We Love It

The KastKing Summer/Centron Spinning Reel is one of the most underrated bass fishing reels. It is loaded with quality features, including a 5.2:1 gear ratio, 9 + 1 quality ball bearings, powerful drag system, and special components that stand up to hard use.

KastKing suggests pairing this spinning reel with their Kast King brand braided line, to provide an unbeatable high-performance package for bass fishing. But really, any fishing line would work on this spinning reel.

The KastKing Summer/Centron 2000 is our pick for the best ultralight spinning reel for the lowest price. The narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system make it compact and lightweight. It's perfect for any type of angling, including saltwater fishing and ice fishing.

The Centron 2000 has a hardened metal main shaft, and a precision-machined pinion gear. And the Superior Drag System offers incredible stopping power up to 12 pounds, while the nine quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing ensure smooth operation and long-lasting durability.

Kast King also pays attention to looks. Anglers are now going for a good-looking reel also, and this one features a brilliant sharp black finish, with two color anodized neon blue accents. This is a spinning reel that looks like it's going to a Hollywood premiere.

And to repeat, it's a great reel for the price, so it's really hard to beat the Kast King Centron 2000 spinning reel.

What You Should Know:

Great value in a spinning reel. (Did we say that already?)

Light, only 8.6oz

Great black and two-tone neon blue looks

Power launch lip for casting distance

High line capacity spool handles braided line well

Mesh drive gear and precision machined pinion gear

Reversible handle

5.2:1 gear ratio

Easy to use smooth 12lb maximum drag system

9 quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti reverse ball bearing

3. PENN Fierce II & Fierce III Spinning Reel

Value In An Ultralight Spinning Reel

Penn Fierce II & Fierce III Spinning Reel

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Why We Love It

The PENN Fierce II and Fierce III are reliable spinning reels that can handle anything inshore or nearshore.  Available in a range of sizes, from 1000 to 8000, but the 1000, 2000, and 3000 are great small reels. The Fierce III features a full metal body and side plate for unbeatable durability, as well as PENN HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers for smooth performance.

A 4+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearing system ensures smooth retrieves, while the heavy-duty aluminum bail wire and superline spool allow for easy line management.

What You Should Know:

Full metal body and side plate keep precise gear alignment under heavy loads

Techno-Balanced™ rotor gives smooth retrieves

4 stainless steel ball bearings

Instant anti-reverse bearing

HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers

Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire

Superline spool

Line capacity rings

4. Abu Garcia Revo SX10

Finely Crafted Ultralight Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX10

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Why We Love It

The Abu Garcia Revo SX is a top-of-the-line spinning reel that incorporates cutting edge design with superior durability for bass fishing. The im-c6 carbon body design is incredibly lightweight, while the one-piece aluminum gear box provides excellent rigidity and improved gear feel, and making it lighter than previous generations.

This spinning reel is perfect for anglers of all levels who demand the best in terms of performance and construction reel. With the combination of a superior drag system, smooth operation, and the six-pin centrifugal braking system, you always get smooth and consistent braking action. And with a 6.2:1 gear ratio the Revo SX is a perfect small reel. Another one of the best reels on the market, a little higher priced, but a fantastic ultralight reel.

What You Should Know:

Insert Molded C6 carbon body

1-piece X-craftic aluminum gearbox

Computer-optimized machined aluminum gears

Lightweight graphite rotor with Everlast bail

Rocket line management system

Braid-ready machined aluminum spool

8 stainless steel HPCR bearings + 1 roller bearing

K-Clutch anti-reverse

Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system

6.2:1 gear ratio

5. KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold Spinning Reel

Well Designed And Beautiful Spinning Reel

KastKing Valiant Gold Eagle

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Why We Love These

This new Valiant Eagle Gold Edition spinning reel has gold accents that give it a unique look.

The gear ratio of 6.2:1 will quickly catch up to fish making a dash towards your boat.

KastKing's patent pending E.P.S. (Expanded Pinion System) and long-life durability through the unique KastKing Sliding Stabilizer Rod (S.S.R.) are combined into a spinning fishing reel priced under $50. Stabilizing the pinion gear and main gear increases the gear strength and durability.

KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold uses an enhanced graphite frame and rotor for strength and durability. Along with 7+1 stainless steel ball bearings, the Gold Eagle Spinning Reels provide outstanding smooth operation and consistent performance. The spool is CNC machined from aircraft aluminum and anodized for appearance and high performance. It also features KastKing’s Patent Pending line management system for consistently long casts. This is a great reel for both fresh and saltwater fishing applications.

The aluminum spool has a sealed carbon drag system that is waterproof and keeps the carbon drag washers dry to deliver consistent, smooth and powerful drag pressure to handle strong fish.

The tough aluminum handle with a lightweight EVA handle knob is super comfortable even after hours on the water and gives the angler the extra leverage that is required to have complete control for fighting and landing fish in all weather conditions.

This is a great reel for the price and it looks cool too.  That's why it made our list.

What You Should Know:

Sparkling gold trim salutes the Golden Eagle, one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere.

6.2:1 gear ratio, raptor inspired lightweight yet strong body with an enhanced graphite frame and rotor, and the incredible power of an

Sealed carbon drag system provides 22 LB maximum drag power

7+1 MaxiDur shielded stainless steel ball bearings

patent-pending E.P.S. (Expanded Pinion System) and S.S.R. (Sliding Stabilizer Rod)

Patent pending spool designed to increase casting distance and improve line control

Braid line-ready spool doesn’t need monofilament backing

The lightweight aluminum handle with EVA knob

Why Use An Ultralight Spinning Reel?

There are many advantages to using ultralight fishing gear.

With a lighter setup you can use lighter line and lighter baits which is perfect for panfish.  You'll get more enjoyment with lighter equipment because the fish will seem to be bigger and fight more.  It's just more fun with smaller equipment.

You can fish all day long with an ultralight setup without getting any wrist stiffness or pain. They're also great for kids.

The limitations of these ultralight reels are that they can only be used with lighter line. You will need to make sure you have at least 2, 4 or 6-pound test for your fishing trip before using it because anything heavier won’t work properly on an ultra light reel.  And if you "accidentally" hook into a larger fish, chances are you won't be able to land it with light gear.

If you love throwing crankbaits with ultralights, you may like our review of The Best Crankbait Rods here.

Things To Consider

Fishing with ultralight reels with a light rod and small lure is a fun experience.  The action on this type of setup is crazy good.  You need to consider size, the ball bearing system and anti reverse systems, type of drag, gear ratio, and what species you'll be targeting when choosing the right reel for you.  Here's a few points on each one of these considerations.


Ultralight spinning reels are not just a type of reel themselves but can be purchased as small or large models depending on your needs. 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500 (10-25) represent common sizes for these little guys.  Some brands don't have the 500 increments, and just go with 1000, 2000, 3000, and so on.

For a 1000 size, you'll want mono in the 2-4lb range, and braid in 4-8lb range.  These are good for fish up to 3lbs.

For a 2000 size, you'll want mono in the 4-6lb range, and braid in 5-10lb range.  These are good for fish up to 5lbs.

For a 2500 size, you'll want mono in the 5-8lb range, and braid in 5-12lb range.  These are good for fish up to 7lbs.

And with a 3000 size, you'll want mono in the 6-10lb range, and braid in 6-15lb range.  These are good for fish up to 15lbs.

Keep this as a guide, we've caught 6lb fish on a 1000 size reel before, sometimes you can get lucky.

Do a little research, (ha, we've done if for you here) because some brand's 2000 model is different from another brand's.  It may be more like a 3000 size.  There's a standard, yes, but it can vary.

Ball Bearing Systems

Bearings help reduce the amount of friction on the spool, so the action is more smooth. Higher end reels will have more bearings than other reels.

Anti-Reverse System

The anti-reverse system in will stop your reel from turning backward and prevent any tangles in the line, or a "birds nest" situation on the spool. On some reels you can turn the anti-reverse on and off, and on some other reels it's always on.

The Type Of Drag System

A good drag system is essential for preventing your line from breaking when a big fish takes off with your lure. Look for a reel with a multi-disc drag system for best results.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio determines how many times the spool turns per crank of the handle. A higher gear ratio is best for fast retrieval, while a lower ratio is better for casting distance. Choose the ratio that best suits your fishing style.  For smaller fish with an ultralight, it's ok to have a smaller gear ratio.

Line Test

With an ultralight reel you'll be using monofilament in the 2-10lb range, and braid in the 4-15lb range.  You won't be able to spool up as much line on a smaller ultralight spool, but that's ok since generally you're not casting a mile or fishing in deep water.

The Right Rod And Reel Setup

For most of us, the ideal fishing rod is one that’s not too long but also won't make your arm tired after just a few hours. Rods shorter than six feet tend toward being lighter weight and more sensitive which makes them great when trying catch fish quickly or in tight areas where there's little room for error; however they may lack distance capabilities due their weaker spring rate.

You can start with a rod that's about 6 and a half feet long, which is a good basic length for an ultralight rod.  If you need more distance, you can choose a longer rod.  If you need to cast for maximum distance, look closer towards 7 feet and consider slightly stiffer ultralights. The longer backbone of these rods will help with distance.

With the increased popularity in lightweight fishing, it is important to consider rod guides. Rod manufacturers need a balance between strength and weight because friction can quickly destroy two-pound test lines if the guides are not properly reinforced

For the reel, It all depends on how comfortable with spinning reels you are. A spinning reel with a faster retrieve will help pull a fish out of cover. Just remember if you're in slop, a higher gear ratio is your friend.

You have to weigh the options for you to decide.

You may also like our review of the Best Baitcaster Combo For Every Angler here. 

Ultralight Spinning Reels FAQs

Trying to find the best ultralight reel can be a daunting task, especially if you are a beginner. With so many different models available on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.

Not only is it difficult to know which model is right for you, but it can also be tough to determine which lightweight spinning reel features are important and which ones you can live without.

With this list of the best ultralight spinning reels, we have also included an FAQ section so that you can read some of the most common questions and learn more about what to look for when buying the best lightweight reel.

What size spinning reel is ultralight?

Ultralight spinning reels are not a type of reel itself but are the smallest model/size of a spinning reel. Baitcasting reels and spinning reels are different, as a baitcaster will not be considered an ultralight.  Typically, ultralight reels are sized at 1000, 1500, 2000 & 2500 (or 10 – 25)

What's the best ultralight spinning reel?

Abu Garcia Revo SX10

Pflueger President

KastKing Centron 2000

KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold Spinning Reel

PENN Fierce II & Fierce III Spinning Reel

What is the smallest ultralight spinning reel?

The smallest ultralight spinning reel in the Abu Garcia Revo SX series is the X10 size. Weighing in at 7.2 ounces, it's a little heavier than both the Shimano Stradic FL (5.6 oz) and the Okuma Ceymar c 10 (6 oz)

What is a good ultra light reel?

One of the best overall is the Abu Garcia Revo SX10. This spinning reel is perfect for anglers of all levels. With a 6.2:1 gear ratio the Revo SX10 is a perfect small reel. It's another one of the best reels on the market, a little higher end, but a fantastic ultralight reel.

What gear ratio is best for ultralight reels?

Throughout the lineup ultralight reels typically feature a moderate 4.9:1 gear ratio to a fast 6.2:1 ratio. If you prefer slightly more power to speed, then select a reel with a lower ratio.  For ultralight reels, generally a 5.2: to 6.2:1 works well.

What are 1000 reels good for?

The 1000 or 10 size reel is ideal for fishing with 2-to 4-pound test monofilament line. Pair this reel with an ultralight rod measuring either 4 1/2- to 5 1/2- feet long. This is a great combination for trout fishing and small panfish such as bluegill, sunfish, crappie and yellow perch.

What is the smallest reel?

Reel Size 1000 is one of the smallest reel sizes and is most commonly used for species like perch or small wild brown trout. This size is best suited for ultralight lure fishing tactics, though the reel won't have as much line capacity as a bigger one.

What is the best length for an ultralight rod?

It's important to select a rod that's a good match for your lightweight reel. Try to choose a rod that will result in a rig that feels balanced and be sure the rod and reel both have the same line weights recommended by the manufacturer.

Conclusion On Best Ultra Light Spinning Reel

Ultralight spinning reels can be a blast to use, and we’ve hopefully helped you find the best reel for your needs. With all of the options on the market, it can be tough to make a decision on which one to buy. That’s why we’ve reviewed the best ultralight spinning reels you to find the perfect reel for your budget.

So what are you waiting for? Click the button and grab a new ultralight reel!

Tight lines,

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