The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel for 2019

If you are starting to get serious about fishing, the right gear is essential to a successful outing. Ultralight spinning reels and rods can narrow your experience to particular situations and even specific species. In this article, we’ll discuss why you need to add an ultralight spinning reel to your gear, what situations you need them for, what makes a good ultralight spinning reel, and which brands and models we recommend for you consider.

Why do you need an ultralight spinning reel?

A hunter doesn’t use the same rifle to kill a bear and squirrel. The same rule of thumb applies in fishing. For a novice angler, it’s good to know the purpose of an ultralight spinning reel. In a few points, here are key pieces that you’ll need to consider when searching for the right ultralight spinning reel; keep in mind the different species and sizes you’ll be targeting:

The best spinning reel for 2019.

Reel: Spinning reels specifically, are measured slightly different between each brand, but all follow a similar pattern according to the size of the fish you are aiming for. For example, the ultralight-light reels range from about size 500-2000, medium range from about 2000-6000, and large reels go up to as high as 30,000.

Drag system: When adjusted, it allows the line to give a little slack without compromising the reel, rod, or line.

Anti-reverse: Prevents the rotor from moving backward promoting reliable hooksets.

Bearings: Ball and roller bearings are strategically placed in the body for stability, smoothness, and assistance.

Gear ratio: For example, a 5.0:1 ratio means the spool revolves 5.0 times with each turn of the handle. The greater the first number (5.0), the more line retrieved on each crank.

There are dozens of peculiarities in each ultralight spinning reel, and even more when you get
into specific trademarks in different brands and models. I won’t get into all of them, but I will give
you 4 situations that can help you decipher when an ultralight spinning reel may be the right
choice: tight or close-quarters, cutting down your equipment space and weight for long or
distance excursions, decreasing muscle burnout and adding more excitement when angling
smaller species or challenging yourself by aiming for larger targets.

Location

When fishing in locations that are overgrown with foliage or secluded at a covered bank of a river, your casting radius is naturally limited. Instead of a full cast, you are forced to only use your wrist for quick accurate throws. A short ultralight rod is obvious for small quarters, but a good ultralight spinning reel is necessary to complement the rod due to the line size and casting distance. If you have a large reel with small line weight it will likely decrease your casting ability. And when preparing for a maximum launch distance of 20 yds, a large 4000+ size reel with a
spool filled at 200 yds of 10 lb. test line will introduce more problems and extra time recalibrating your rig and line than catching fish.

Travel

ultra light spinning reel

Space is always limited when planning a long expedition. If a lengthy hike is also involved then your pack weight needs to be calculated down to the ounce. Ultralight spinning reels vary in weight but are usually in between the range of 6 ounces and 10 ounces. It might not seem like a big difference when compared to an 11-16 ounce reel, but when coupled with its complementary rod and line you may discover that the space and load for that sized combination can add up to a sore back and headache. Packing light and compact will allocate additional room needed for an extra tackle, food, water, first aid etc..

Fatigue

It may sound silly to the fisherman that is new to the angling world, but fishing is still a competitive sport. Like all sports, proper conditioning of the mind and body will prolong the activity while maintaining peak performance, continuing enjoyment, and limiting frustration. Imagine moving a one-pound (16 ounces) dumbbell in a casting motion; this is approximately the weight of a standard reel-line-rod combo. When in small areas (as we mentioned above) where your forward and back casts are limited to quick snaps of the wrist, your grip and forearm strength eventually fails and your accuracy and distance is then compromised. Utilizing an ultralight spinning reel combo can allow fluid motion at a constant pace and longer duration.

The Fight

Best Reels for ultralight fishing

Big Perch caught on ultralight combo

When forcefully dragging a one-pounder with a stiff rod, 10 lb. fluorocarbon and 4000+ size reel, the only word that comes to mind is ‘overkill’. The thrill of landing any species of fish is gratifying, but the joy of angling is also the fight between man and fish and the stories that follow with embellishment. All reels have a drag setting that is adjustable to different scenarios on the water, so when a fish puts up a fight you can fight back. Dialing the resistance up or down on an ultralight spinning reel will promote an outstanding experience when tackling the smallest or largest species hiding below. And knowing the drag weight limit of your ultralight spinning reel will guide you to a basic combat approach.

Like a Glove

There are hundreds of ultralight spinning reels out in the market today. Technology is continually advancing, allowing any new angler the best opportunity of landing any fish with little trouble. When researching, the price point is commonly a factor for most amateurs. Nothing is worse than spending hundreds of dollars on the “top-of-the-line” ultralight spinning reel, only to have it ruined because of a rookie mistake or lack of education. That said, you also don’t want to go too cheap and purchase the generic plastic ultralight spinning reel that breaks apart during
the drive before you even arrive on the shores of the water. Finding the right fit for you and your circumstances are ultimately going to give you the best overall experience. You’ll never know what the best ultralight spinning rod is for you unless you try it, but we’ll give you a head start and point you in the direction of 10 of the best ultralight spinning reels that we like for 2019.

The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel for 2019

NameImageBearing systemGear ratioPrice
Okuma Ceymar C-10Okuma Ceymar C-10 ultralight spinning reel6+15.0:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2WfyAIL" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
SHIMANO Stradic CI4+ HGSHIMANO Stradic CI4+ HG6+16.0:1 [button-red url="https://amzn.to/2S3V00f" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
SHIMANO Sienna FESHIMANO Sienna FE ultralight spinning reel1+1 5.0:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2WgBmNP" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
Okuma Avenger AV-10bOkuma Avenger AV-10b6+15.0:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2AYUEyv" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
SHIMANO SYNCOPATE45.2:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2CET8l9" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning ReelsKastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels9+15.2:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2Uc2Bra" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
Pflueger PresidentPflueger President ultralight spinning reel75.2:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2Uc2Bra" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
Daiwa RevrosDaiwa Revros best ultralight spinning reel7+15.6:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2sKWFK2" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
Okuma RTX7+16.0:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2AXcrG8" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]
SHIMANO Stella FI<SHIMANO Stella FI Best ultralight spinning reel for 2019.13+15.1:1[button-red url="https://amzn.to/2TibcZ6" target="_blank" position="center" rel="nofollow"]Check Price on Amazon[/button-red]

Okuma Ceymar C-10

Okuma Ceymar C-10 ultralight spinning reel

The C-10 is the smallest model of the Okuma Ceymar family, but remains as tough as it’s larger models due to its machined aluminum reel, spool, and handle. This compact ultralight spinning reel is manufactured for 2 lb. to 6 lb. test fishing line and is recommended for trout, bluegill, sunfish, and crappie. It compliments any ultralight or ice
fishing rod. The black frame with red accents gives it a commanding look and presence.

Features include:

  • Weight: 6 oz.
  • 6+1 bearing system
  • 5.0:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (210 yds/2 lb.), (110 yds/4 lb.), (70 yds/6 lb.)

PROS:

  • Very affordable for any serious angler
  • Smooth action months after continued use
  • Highlights Okuma RESII computer balancing which reduces shaking at high speeds.

CONS:

  • Max drag weight of only 5 lbs.

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SHIMANO Stradic CI4+ HG

SHIMANO Stradic CI4+ HG

The Stradic C14+ HG is one of Shimano’s top ultralight spinning reel, and at around $200 it should be. With incredibly smooth reeling this model highlights Shimano’s trademark features like the Hagane gear and body, Core Protect, and Magnumlite Rotor. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth because this Shimano ultralight spinning reel is built to endure many excursions.

Features include:

  • Weight: 5.6 oz.
  • 6+1 bearing system
  • 6.0:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (270 yds/2 lb.), (140 yds/4 lb.), (110 yds/6 lb.)

PROS:

  • Durable frame
  • Powerful gear ratio and smooth handle
  • Corrosion resistant ball bearings

CONS:

  • Not affordable for everyone

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SHIMANO Sienna FE

SHIMANO Sienna FE ultralight spinning reel

The Sienna 1000FE is a high-quality product at an affordable price. Shimano created the M-Compact Body that shifts the oscillation gear adjacent to the rod. This moves the center of gravity of the reel and introduces a more evenhanded touch. The Shimano Sienna FE ultralight spinning reel is fitting for anything freshwater.

Features include:

  • Weight: 7.4 oz.
  • 1+1 bearing system
  • 5.0:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (270 yds/2 lb.), (140 yds/4 lb.), (110 yds/6 lb.)

PROS:

  • Remarkably affordable
  • Balanced
  • Ideal for beginners

CONS:

  • The 1 + 1 ball bearing may deter some that prefer a 4 + 1 bearing system or
    more.

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Okuma Avenger AV-10b

Okuma Avenger AV-10b

The Avenger AV-10b is a stout ultralight spinning reel and is filled with Okuma’s reliable quality parts like a multi-disc drag system and brass pinion gear. The corrosion resistant graphite body ensures long-lasting dependability. Okuma’s trademark Cyclonic Flow Rotor (CFR) technology increases airflow throughout the rotor, decreasing water in the reel and minimizing corrosion.

Features include:

  • Weight: 6 oz.
  • 6+1 bearing system
  • 5.0:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (210 yds/2 lb.), (110 yds/4 lb.), (70 yds/6 lb.)

PROS:

  • Good value
  • Corrosion resistant

CONS:

  • Some have noticed weakness in the handle while fighting larger fish

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SHIMANO SYNCOPATE

SHIMANO SYNCOPATE ultralight spinning reel
The Shimano Syncopate 1000fg was designed for one-hand casting and reduces wind knots and bird nests while increasing casting distance. This reel is outfitted with a graphite frame, side plate, and rotor in addition to an aluminum spool. You can always count on quality, engineering, and precision in a Shimano. Don’t let the lower price tag dissuade you to purchasing a more expensive model. The Syncopate ultralight spinning reel will not disappoint.

Features include:

  • Weight: 7.6 oz.
  • 4 bearing system
  • 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (270 yds/2 lb.), (140 yds/4 lb.), (110 yds/6 lb.)

PROS:

  • The price and quality is right
  • Good gear ratio
  • Ideal for one-handed casting

CONS:

  • There have been reports that it doesn’t hold up, but not many.

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KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels

KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels

KastKing’s ultralight spinning reels come in two different models, though the components are identical, the look can’t be most distinct. With features that rival the standard spinning reel, you have to wonder if this ultralight is the ‘reel’ deal or if it’s too good to be true.

Features include:

  • Weight: 7.3 oz. (Summer 500), 6.9 oz. (Centron 500)
  • 9+1 bearing system
  • 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (240 yds/4 lb.), (155 yds/6 lb.)

PROS:

  • An impressive 9+1 bearing system
  • Sleek Silver and Black models
  • Affordable price
  • Strong 11 lb. drag system

CONS:

  • KastKing isn’t as well known or tested compared to other name brands that are
    sold in most sporting good stores. There have been many mixed reviews on both
    ends of the spectrum.

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Pflueger President

Pflueger President ultralight spinning reel

One of my personal favorites, the Pressp20x is classy and sleek. With stainless steel ball bearing and graphite construction, Pflueger’s ultralight spinning reel is strong, durable, and lightweight. The President series also includes Pflueger’s slow oscillation gearing which sets line better and minimizes twisting.

Features include:

  • Weight: 6.2 oz.
  • 7 bearing system
  • 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (200 yds/2 lb.), (100 yds/4 lb.), (80 yds/6 lb.)

PROS:

  • High-end product without breaking the bank
  • Great for mono or braided line

CONS:

  • Line capacity is slightly less than many other ultralight reels

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Daiwa Revros

Daiwa Revros best ultralight spinning reel

Intended for freshwater fishing, the Daiwa Revros 2000H ultralight spinning reel has a great price/quality ratio. This reel is constructed with a composite body, cover, and rotor with an aluminum spool and handle. The Revros 2000H is Daiwa’s treasure for amateur fishermen looking for their first ultralight spinning reel

Features include:

  • Weight: 8.3 oz.
  • 7+1 bearing system
  • 5.6:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (135 yds/6 lb.), (110 yds/8 lb.), (90 yds/10 lb.)

PROS:

  • Excellent gear ratio
  • Good bearing system

CONS:

  • This is a slightly larger reel which is heavier than many other models.
  • Max drag weight is low for such a large ultralight reel; 4.4 lbs.

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Okuma RTX

Okuma RTX ultralight spinning reel

The RTX-25S is practically as good as it gets. The price is reasonable for an elite ultralight spinning reel and the quality is unmatched. The 25S is built with lightweight carbon fiber frame that challenges the strength and weight of other graphite frames. From the different gearing to the anodized aluminum bail wire and EVA handle knob, there are almost no flaws to this masterpiece.

Features include:

  • Weight: 6.6 oz.
  • 7+1 bearing system
  • 6.0:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (310 yds/4 lb.), (200 yds/6 lb.), (150 yds/8 lb.)

PROS:

  • Excellent bearing system and gear ratio
  • Large line capacity
  • Elite-level ultralight spinning reel

CONS:

  • Cost is in the mid-high range

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SHIMANO Stella FI

SHIMANO Stella FI Best ultralight spinning reel for 2019.

The stunning design of the Stella FI is enough to set it apart from all other ultralights spinning reels. As one of the most top-of-the-line, the 2000sfi has few equals. Shimano’s the drivetrain is the most efficient due to their highlighted X-Ship and micromodule gear technology improves gear alignment and provides more power and torque.

Features include:

  • Weight: 6.3 oz
  • 13+1 bearing system
  • 5.1:1 gear ratio
  • Monofilament line capacity: (136 yds/3 lb.), (109 yds/4 lb.), (82 yds/5 lb.)

PROS:

  • Ridiculous bearing system
  • Very lightweight

CONS:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Small line capacity

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Conclusion

The perfect ultralight spinning reel is waiting for you somewhere. You want your gear to look cool without sacrificing performance. You want durability and quality without digging too deep into your pockets. But most of all, you want to land your catch. Happy fishing.

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