Best Ultralight Spinning Reels of 2023 Fishing Season [Buying Guide]

Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Products or services advertised on this page may be offered by an entity that is affiliated with us. Learn more about our process here.

Ultralight spinning reels are gaining popularity among anglers because of their lightweight and versatile nature. They work well for anglers targeting smaller species like trout and panfish and can be used in many freshwater waterbodies. But how do you ensure you choose the best among the options available? Here, we have prepared a list of the best ultralight spinning reels you will like.

The reviews provided here are compiled after testing all the reels extensively on different small fish species using the same rod and line. We considered each reel’s size, material, weight, drag pressure, and retrieval speed when ranking them.

We have stated why we liked each product, the specifications, the pros, cons, and unique features you might like.

Roland Brooks

Daddy by day, fisherman at night.

Top 3 Best Budget Ultralight Spinning Reels - Our Favorites

Best Overall

Abu Garcia Revo SX

Abu Garcia Revo SX 

Best Rated

KastKing Sharky III

KastKing Sharky III 

Best Durability

Okuma Ceymar

Okuma Ceymar 

7 Best Ultralight Spinning Of 2023: We Tested Them All

  1. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best Overall
  2. KastKing Sharky III Best Rated
  3. Okuma Ceymar Best Durability
  4. Pflueger Supreme Best Smoothness
  5. Cadence CS8 Best For Monster Fish
  6. 6. Pflueger President Best Performance
  7. Shimano Sedona Best Flexibility


Best Overall Ultralight Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX Ultralight Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX

WHY WE LIKE IT: Among many brands, Abu Garcia understands the need for a reliable and durable reel. I like how their Revo SX reel is ergonomics favorable to maintain performance when delivering outstanding drag.

This ultralight fishing reel handled our lure weights and lightweight shaky heads that tangle easily with other reels. Its powerful drag system allowed us to reel in a Muskie without much struggle.

  • Material: Blend
  • Color: Red, Black
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Bearing and Handle material: Aluminum
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous



OVERVIEW:  Revo SX is a good option if you’re looking for a fishing reel with high-end features such as brass gear, an Infini brake system, and a power Matrix Drag.

I like using light lures; this reel has provided a better hookup ratio and smooth drags. I effortlessly hooked a big fish, and the drag system didn’t fail when fighting.

FEATURES: Abu Garcia Revo SX is among the best ultralight spinning reels with PVC knobs and a powerful D2 gear system that improves overall performance. One roller bearing and nine stainless steel ball bearings reduce friction and provide extreme cast accuracy.


Best Rated Ultralight Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky III Ultralight Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky III

WHY WE LIKE IT: KastKing Sharky III is among the best ultralight spinning reels, which are super strong with a smooth drag. I like how it offers extreme power and a silky-smooth retrieve. Its unique Shark Fin Braid spool is already braided, so we didn’t have to use a backing line.

  • Handle material: Aluminum
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Graphite, Aluminum, Carbon
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel



OVERVIEW: KastKing Sharky III is a powerful reel with a reliable triple disk fiber drag system to enhance durability. The stainless-steel main shaft makes it sturdy enough to catch a fish of up to 39.5 lbs.

Since I like catching bigger fish, finding a fishing reel that doesn’t tangle is quite hectic. I like how this reel features a line roller that significantly reduces the chances of snarls and tangles when fighting with big fish.

FEATURES: KastKing Sharky III has all the features every angler would want. This next-gen reel is made to provide enough strength and smooth retrieval with minimum challenges. It also features slip-control EVA grips that allow you to fish even in the wettest worst conditions.


Ultralight Spinning With Best Durability

Okuma Ceymar Ultralight Spinning Reel

Okuma Ceymar

WHY WE LIKE IT: Okuma Ceymar is a strong spinning reel made with durability in mind. I like how this reel features an aluminum handle, a metal body, and an extremely crafted bearing system that makes it strong and smooth. Its cyclonic flow rotor eliminates moisture in the internal gearing to avoid corrosion.

  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Weight: 0.5 Pounds
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Color: Red/ black
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel



OVERVIEW: Okuma reels are among the top quality reels in the market, perfect for anglers doing a lot of panfish fishing. This reel supports seven stainless steel ball bearings and an additional bearing for exceptional drag performance. I like using this on finicky species because the anti-reverse feature instantly stops and protects the bait from slippage.

FEATURES: Okuma Ceymar is an ultralight spinning reel with a unique gearing system. It also has a good drag system that offers smoother, uniform drag.


Best Smoothness

Pflueger Supreme Ultralight Spinning Reel

Pflueger Supreme

WHY WE LIKE IT: I like how Pflueger Supreme is incredibly lightweight with good design and ergonomics. Everything feels good when using this reel as the knob is comfortable to hold, and the handle length is in check.

I also like how this reel features a braided-ready aluminum spool with ported sidewalls to reduce weight.

  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Multi
  • Handle and Bearing Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 0.088 Pounds
  • Sealed Drag: Yes
  • Braid Ready aluminum spool: Yes



OVERVIEW: Pflueger Supreme is an ultralight spinning reel with exceptional value, performance, and quality. The 9-bearing system allows this reel to cast exceptionally while ensuring you have a smooth and predictable drag. I loved how this reel accommodated our braided lines, and their bail closure gave us great cranking power.

FEATURES: Pflueger Supreme is an ultralight fishing reel that supports a 6:2:1 ratio that provides a good balance while ensuring you have a good amount of torque. Its low oscillation level helps you improve the line lay when retrieving your catch.


Best For Monster Fish

Cadence CS8 Ultralight Spinning Reel

Cadence CS8

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Cadence CS8 is one of the best ultralight spinning reels with amazing features. This reel is equipped with a magnesium body that is 33% lighter than aluminum, thus a good option for anglers who want an extra lightweight reel. We enjoyed the sleek drag offered by this reel as we fought with a big redfish without our light fishing line breaking.

  • Material: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Carbon, Magnesium
  • Hand Orientation: Right Hand, Left Hand
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel
  • Color: Black, Gold
  • Handle Material: Aluminum, Stainless Steel



OVERVIEW: Apart from the magnesium structure, the Cadence CS8 features nine corrosion-resistant bearings and one anti-reverse bearing that supports smooth retrieval. Also, this spinning reel is versatile and works with different fishing lines and line strengths. I noticed that the rubber handle did an impressive job of providing adequate grip when I was tying the braided line to the pool arbor.

FEATURES: Cadence CS8 is an ultralight fishing reel with fast speed and carbon composite rotor and a magnesium body structure. The nine-ball bearings provide a sleek drag without any issues of line slippage.


Best Performance

Pflueger President Ultralight Spinning Reel

Pflueger President

WHY WE LIKE IT: Pflueger President spinning reel is the true definition of performance meets value. This reel offers smooth operation without costing too much. I like their slow oscillation gearing system that tightens the line lay for improved control and casting. I love how the aluminum spool and gear ratio improves the drag system and ensures smooth operation.

  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Color: MULTI
  • Weight: 0.45 Pounds
  • Gear Ratio: 5:2



OVERVIEW: This reel is small yet strong enough to hold a decent amount of weight. It pairs well with ultralight rods and can hold stronger lines when walleye fishing. I like how its aluminum handle and the bearing system give it a lightweight feel while ensuring smooth retrieval.

FEATURES: Since this spinning reel is designed with technology in mind, you will like how it offers excellent versatility at an affordable price. It features a sealed drag system, a 10-bearing system, and a graphite body to ensure it delivers on quality and performance.


Best Flexibility

Best Flexibility - Shimano Sedona Ultralight Spinning Reel

Shimano Sedona

WHY WE LIKE IT: I like how this reel supports a G Free Body that shifts the gravity toward the rod, thus allowing us to fish for extended periods without experiencing fatigue. This reel also features a cold-forged technology and 3D design that gave us a smooth retrieval in every application.

  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Material: Nylon
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Fishing Line Type: Nylon
  • Weight: 0.088 lbs.



OVERVIEW: If you are looking for a durable ultralight spinning reel, the Shimano Sedona is your perfect option. This reel offers a higher gear ratio, maximum drag system, and upgraded performance to give you a competitive edge. I paired this reel with an ultralight rod it was perfect for freshwater fishing. I loved how the line roller and spool lip improved our casting distance.

FEATURES: The Shimano Sedona is a good quality reel ideal for beginners who want an ultralight reel with great drag and smooth retrieval. You will like how this reel supports a Varispeed oscillation gear that produces a consistent pace, thus reducing the formation of wind knots.

What Are Ultralight Spinning Reels?

Just like their name implies, ultralight reels are micro-spinning reels that are lightweight and smaller in size. Typically, they are the smallest size/model of regular spinning reels. Ultralight reels usually range within the range of sizes 1000 and 2500.

What Are Ultralight Reels Used For?

Ultralight spinning is used by anglers who want to use the most invisible fishing lines and smallest baits and lures. Some of the important uses of ultralight reels include:

  • They are used by anglers who target smaller fish species like bluegill and crappie.
  • Ultralight reels are used for fishing spooked or finicky fish that are not likely to bite the lure.
  • Fishing in ultra-clear water. Fishing in clear water means the fish can see everything, so you must make the smallest presentation.
  • They are used when an angler wants to pair their reel with a light rod and braid.

Another reason anglers prefer using ultralight reels is that they are lightweight gear. Fishing involves spending most of your time in the waters trying to induce a bite. Staying for too long with heavy fishing gear can make you tire easily.

An ultralight fishing reel setup is great, as you can fish all day without experiencing any back problems. These reels are also perfect for kids and old anglers who don’t have enough strength to handle bulky fishing gear.

What To Consider Before Buying Ultralight Spinning Reel?


If you are looking for the best ultralight spinning reel, choose one with the lightest material. Most ultralight reels are either made of aluminum or graphite frame. Both materials are lightweight, but aluminum is more durable and cheaper. Graphite, on the other hand, is lighter than aluminum.

The material you choose depends on the fishing you will be doing with your ultralight reel. For example, if you plan to do a lot of saltwater fishing, choose graphite reels as they are corrosion-resistant. If budget is not a problem, you can buy high-end anodized aluminum reels, which offer more corrosion resistance than plain aluminum ones. To see all the important parts of spinning reel, you might be interested in – spinning reel components.

Ball Bearings

The ball bearing determines how smooth your retrieve will be. But sometimes, the number of bearings doesn’t make your reel operate smoothly. Modern spinning reels invest in quality ceramic balls that make casting longer, perform better, and retrieve smoothly.

Line Capacity

The size of your spool determines how many lines it can hold. Choose an ultralight fishing reel that comfortably accommodates about 120 yards of monofilament line to ensure it’s enough to fight with your fish.

Drag System

All spinning reels have a drag system that controls how slow or fast you can retrieve a hooked fish. Ultralight reels are often spooled with light lines that can catch everything in swift currents.

Although the drag system is not much in most ultralight reels, choosing those with front drag systems is advisable. Such reels are long-lasting and more robust than those with a rear drag system.

Ideally, you should choose spinning reels with a sealed drag system to extend their lifespan. Also, if you target larger species, buy reels that support heavier drags. Always set the reel’s drag system to match the anticipated weight.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of your reel determines how fast you retrieve the bait. A lower gear ratio means you will have a slower retrieve, while a higher ratio means a faster retrieve.

Remember, the ratio you choose depends on your fishing technique and the type of lure you will be using. A slower gear ratio is a good option if you want more torque to crank a monster fish. However, most anglers like fast ultralight fishing reels because they are versatile.


Weight plays an important role when buying an ultralight spinning reel. Remember, even a single ounce can make a big difference when fishing for long hours. Ultralight fishing reels are ideal for beginners, kids, and old anglers who want to do a lot of fishing without experiencing fatigue.

Choosing a super light fishing reel is not always a good idea, as some may fail to balance the rod. Ensure you adjust the reel and the rod to ensure the reel is not heavier than the rod and you have the best casting comfort.

Spool Size

If you want the best ultralight spinning reel, spool size is another important criteria. It determines how many lines your reel will handle. When choosing an ultralight fishing reel, ensure the line capacity matches your target and preferred fishing techniques. Choose a reel with a larger spool if you plan on catching hard-charging fish or doing deep jigging. You can find our recommended jigging rods here.

Choose ultralight spinning reels that can handle more line capacity to give you more room when fighting with a bigger fish. Spinning reels with normal spool size that can make at least a 60-foot cast are ideal for targeting bluegills or other average species.


There is no doubt that for you to get the best ultralight spinning reels in the market today, you need to spend more. Quality reels come at a price, but this doesn’t mean you should buy one with exaggerated prices.

There are also affordable ultralight fishing reels that will do most of what these high-end reels can do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your size depends on many factors, but you should use a 200 to 2000 size ultralight fishing reel. Your reel should have a drag of at least 6 lbs, and you should match it with a 6-feet rod for easier balancing.

You can use an ultralight spinning reel to catch a big fish. However, ultralight reels are not ideal for big fish lures, so consider other options if you target larger species.