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Best Ultralight Spinning Reels of 2021

Best Overall Choice
Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

Best Overall - Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

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Best Premium Choice
Best Budget- Shimano Ultegra 1000FB HG

Best Premium - Shimano Ultegra 1000FB HG

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Best Budget Choice
Best for Beginners- Daiwa D-Spin

Best Budget - Daiwa D-Spin

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Kyle W by Kyle W Updated on April 11, 2021. In

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Let’s face it. No gear collection is complete without at least one Ultralight spinning reel. Granted, it may not get as much use compared to the large spinning rig you toss at buzz baits or with that baitcaster that comes in handy for worming.

However, there’s no denying it’ll see a considerable amount of time on the water. Regardless of whether you need to throw tiny lures or you’re targeting smaller fish, Ultralight tackle will become a necessity at some point in your fishing life.

The problem is, shopping for the best ultralight spinning reel can be an uphill battle with the wealth of options that have littered the market. Rather than sporadically settle for the first product that catches your eye, conducting your due diligence is important to curb disappointments down the road.

The good news is, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you and narrowed it down to 9 top products that will give you the best bang for your buck. Moreover, we’ve included a buyer’s guide to permit an informed decision.

Best Overall Choice

1. Best Overall - Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

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Are you on the quest for a top of the range product that delivers durability and comfort rolled into one? Then the Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel is right up your alley. With a padded foam handle that ensures a comfortable and firm grip, hand aches and slipping become the least of your worries.

Compared to the vast assortment of fishing reels Okuma churns out, Helios takes the cake when it comes to quality and affordability. Mostly made of stainless steel, this unit has an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Steel is impressively sturdy, which is what you need when catching fish that put up a fight. Okuma Helios comes with an anti-reverse feature that adds to this already incredible model. Preventing fish from escaping, this feature was designed for those lacking great grip strength or still learning how to fish.

Most of the gears are constructed from aluminum, making this spinning reel considerably lighter than its rivals. The machine cut brass pinion gear ensures the Okuma Helios maintains its impressive smoothness. Furthermore, the internal systems include high-performance, corrosion-resistant, stainless steel bearings along with one roller bearing.

Pros

  • Constructed from durable stainless steel and aluminum
  • Comes with a useful anti-reverse feature
  • Comfortable and firm foam grip handle
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Topnotch quality yet affordable

Cons

  • A bit of an overkill for small fish
  • Not ideal for right-handed people

2. Shimano Sedona

Shimano Sedona

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As a brand that churns out a broad range of reel systems that cater to a vast assortment of activities, Shimano also produces cycling gears that use a closely similar construction to fishing reels.

The same top of the range technology is incorporated into their Sedona ultralight spinning reels that give you the best value for your money.

With more than enough sizes to select from, you’ll have no qualms finding the most ideal option for you. The Shimano Sedona utilizes an anti-skip smooth reeling system that saves you the cost and the hassle of unwinding the line each time it snaps or tangles from heavy usage.

Speaking of the line, this ultralight spinning reel has large machine-cut, double-anodized spools that help you store much more of it, allowing you to cast a line further away from your fishing canoe while keeping the body compact.

With the state-of-the-art Propulsion Line Management System, you don’t have to worry about the formation of wind knots and backlashes.

As a result, you can boost your likelihood of catching fish along the way. Simply grab the padded handle and reel it in upon getting a bite without worrying about reversing or skipping.

Pros

  • Available in different sizes, catering to everyone
  • Overly wide spool to house more of the line
  • Propulsion Line Management System to prevent knots from forming
  • Anti-skip smooth reeling system
  • Padded handle for comfort

Cons

  • Bulkier than other lightweight spinning reels
  • Varying price based on the sizes

3. Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

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As is the case with the Shimano Sedona, the Pflueger President Spinning Reel is available in an array of sizes. If you’re on the quest for a matching set for your fishing crew, then this product is worth your consideration. The spinning reel is budget-friendly, which is a bonus if you want to cut costs.

Don’t let its affordability fool you into thinking it’s one of the flimsy reels that have littered the market. The Pflueger President has corrosion-resistant, lubricated ball bearings constructed from sturdy and durable stainless steel. Therefore, they don’t wear out easily. Avid anglers understand the importance of having lubricated ball bearings and gears.

The Pflueger President is also entirely sealed to curb the buildup of rust. Given that the reel is mostly made of graphite, it has an aesthetically pleasing finish that many people find alluring.

Aside from being eye-catching, graphite also remains cooler than other metals such as aluminum and steel. Therefore, you don’t need to wear gloves on sweltering days, as is the case with other spinning reels.

Graphite also curbs the gears from overheating, making them last longer. The Pflueger President has slow oscillation gearing that not only diminishes line twist but also elevates line lay.

Pros

  • Pocket-friendly pricing for anyone on a budget  spinning reels
  • Different sizes for everyone
  • Corrosion-resistant ball bearing system
  • Various features geared towards longevity
  • Remains cool on hot days
  • Slow oscillation gearing

 

Cons

  • Smaller spool compared to other
  • Bulkier than other reels
Best Premium Choice

4. Best Premium - Shimano Ultegra 1000FB HG

Best Budget- Shimano Ultegra 1000FB HG

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If you’re looking for the best ultralight spinning reel that utilizes all the features it requires for a fast and positive response in a myriad of fishing scenarios, then the Shimano Ultegra 1000FB HG wraps up your search.

By incorporating Shimano’s flagship HAGANE gearing, this reel has the uncanny ability to deliver durable, long-lasting, and strong performance coupled with smoothness. In turn, anglers have the strength they need for offshore and inshore action.

Courtesy of the X-Ship technology, you can delight in elevated gear durability and casting performance due to the eliminated friction between the gear and spool shaft. As a result, this paves the way for longer casts.

Providing Shimano’s new Core Protect waterproof technology, the Ultegra 1000FB HG allows you to enjoy durability and long-lasting performance even in the harshest conditions.

Pros

  • Maximum drag of 7 pounds
  • Improved gear durability and performance
  • Can withstand the harshest fishing environments
  • Sturdy enough for inshore and offshore action
  • Built for fast and positive response

Cons

  • Higher price point

5. KastKing Sharky III

KastKing Sharky III

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Circling back to pocket-friendly options, the KastKing Sharky III Ultralight Spinning Reel is a great family alternative. If you’re learning how to fish or want a product that will get the job done for a few trips every year, then this spinning reel is a solid choice for you.

It’s not only pleasantly lightweight but is also constructed with a high percentage fiber-reinforced graphic rotor and body. Available in various sizes means you’ll find the option that best suits your needs.

The red and black color scheme of the KastKing Sharky III is the first thing that will catch your eye at first glance. Nonetheless, the alluring design doesn’t end there. It holds a substantial amount of line on the spool, making it perfect for anglers that break the line or frequently get tangled up.

The KastKing Sharky III handle is also ideal for firmly gripping with your index finger and thumb. The blend of zinc alloy and stainless steel makes an impressively durable and sturdy construction without compromising affordability.

The reel is sealed with the KastKing Intrusion Shield System (K.I.S.S) that’s a beast at preventing the penetration of dirt and water into the gears. As a result, it curbs corrosion, among other potential problems. There’s also a brass pinion gear that boosts the longevity and lowers the weight of the KastKing Sharky III spinning reel.

You’ll be impressed by the silky smooth, quiet retrieve of this reel. Moreover, with the one-of-a-kind Shark Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool, using a backing line during spooling in a braided fishing line is unnecessary.

Pros

  • Ideal for novices
  • Affordable pricing
  • Eye-catching color scheme
  • Double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Increased line capacity
  • Smooth and quiet retrieve

Cons

  • Weighs a few ounces more than other spinning reels
  • Not as durable as other options

6. Okuma Reels Azores Blue Spin

Okuma Reels Azores Blue Spin

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With features such as a side plate and rotor, machine cut pinion gear, and a die-cast aluminum body, the Okuma Reels Azores Blue Spin reel is a force to be reckoned with. It uses a Carbonite drag washer along with a conventional top drag stack underneath the spool to boost high-end drag output coupled with the spool stability under the load.

The Azores reel family features anti-reverse dual systems, and the Blue Spin is no exception. The ratcheting anti-reverse, which is molded into the base of the rotor, joins the one-way clutch reverse. The mechanical stabilization system ensures all major components of this spinning reel are properly aligned.

The 6mm spool shaft, which is constructed from stainless steel, is encompassed by a spool shaft sleeve measuring 8mm and made from brass, drastically boosting the stability of the drag and spool system alignment. It’s fished below the Azores optimum family drag output that shouldn’t exceed 44 pounds of pressure.

Pros

  • Built from long-lasting and sturdy aluminum and stainless steel
  • Click-drag adjustment for more accurate drag settings
  • Dual anti-reverse systems for optimum security
  • Felt drag, multi-disc, and Carbonite washers
  • It uses Dual Force Drag (DFD) systems

Cons

  • Lacks as many unique features as other units
  • Not ideal for people with big hands
Best Budget Choice

7. Best Budget - Daiwa D-Spin

Best for Beginners- Daiwa D-Spin

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Do you fall into the category of people that only fish a few times a season? If you regard fishing as nothing more than a leisure activity and gravitate more towards a lightweight product that will make it a bit easier, then you’re in luck.

The Daiwa D-Spin is the best ultralight spinning reel that was designed with you in mind. As a comfortable setup weighing only 5.9 ounces, this unit’s composite housing is where you’ll get most of the weight drop-off.

The Daiwa D-Spin was built to substitute aluminum and stainless steel, saving you the hassle of lugging around a heavier spinning reel. Additionally, it’s relatively compact compared to its rivals. You have free rein to take your pick from one of the two available sizes to narrow down your fit.

The interior design of the Daiwa D-Spin is built to diminish line tripping and elevate smoothness. The last thing you want is to be forced to cut off a tangled line, which is why this interval set is crucial for newbies. Although fishing is no easy feat, this ultralight spinning reel makes it easier and more fun to learn for beginners.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Two sizes to select from
  • Smooth intervals
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Smaller than average spinning reels
  • Composite housing is susceptible to damage

8. Shimano Sahara

Shimano Sahara

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As a powerful ultralight spinning reel with unmatched performance and durability, Shimano Sahara incorporates the brand’s industry-leading technologies at an attractive price point.

It has an upgraded drag for starters, not to mention HGN and X-Ship Gearing that provide enhanced smoothness and longevity, appealing to seasoned and novice anglers alike.

Secondly, X-Ship technology delivers better gear durability while eliminating friction between the gear and spool shaft. As a result, this enhances the casting performance and allows for longer casts.

Thirdly, constructed with a G-Free Body, Shimano Sahara adjusts the reel’s center of gravity towards the rod, thereby diminishing fatigue and improving comfort. Take your pick from one of the three sizes available to perfectly fit your needs.

While it has a tough output built to handle a maximum of 7lbs of drag, Shimano Sahara is one of the lightest options you can settle for, weighing slightly below 8 ounces.

Pros

  • Ergonomic padded handle
  • Handles up to 7lbs of drag
  • Cold-forged gears for increased smoothness and durability
  • Constructed with a G-Free Body for reduced fatigue and enhanced comfort
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced anglers

Cons

  • Intended for catching small fish
  • Uses plastic components that are not as long-lasting

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

The Best Ultra Spinning Reel

Now that you’ve looked through the Ultralight spinning reels on our list, you’re a step closer to finding the ideal fit for you. Nonetheless, to ensure you’re getting the best ultralight spinning reel for you, consider the following buying factors.

Size of Fish

Knowing the size of fish you want to catch will give you insight into the type of spinning reel you require. For instance, you’ll require a reel with low drag force to catch small fish.

It’s a great tip to be aware of if you’re looking to save a few extra bucks on the most ideal reel. Nonetheless, this doesn’t warrant you to cut corners.

If you think you may fish for bigger catches, you may end up breaking a small reel, so we recommend opting for the largest lightweight reel with the greatest drag in preparation for potential trips.

Materials

Many materials are used in the construction of Ultralight spinning reels that set them apart from the pack. For instance, using 100% steel throughout the reel isn’t practical as it would be overly heavy to use. Contrarily, using weaker materials such as plastic would make the reel too fragile at the cost of losing weight.

Therefore, the top 3 materials ideal for lightweight fishing reels are brass, aluminum, and stainless steel internals. Aluminum is renowned for its durability and being lightweight. Although stainless steel has impressive durability, it can be weighty.

However, using aluminum or steel alloy internals with a stainless steel exterior can significantly lower the reel’s weight. Brass is an excellent option to consider for the pinion because it lasts for years on end and doesn’t easily rust.

Ultimately, irrespective of the materials used, maintaining any ultralight spinning reel boils down to proper care, including drying off any metal components to promote overall longevity.

Quality and Cost

You don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars on a new ultralight spinning reel if you go fishing a couple of times in a year in relaxed environments.

Nonetheless, avid anglers may want to consider higher quality products. Consider the quality and price point before embarking on your next fishing adventure.

For instance, Shimano delivers excellent quality and is a safe bet if you’re looking for a great quality to cost ratio. Keeping that in mind, anglers that don’t demand much from a spinning reel could consider Daiwa D-Spin or KastKing Sharky III.

Both products are ideal for bulk purchases for a group of friends or family. They’re not only budget-friendly but also ideal for several trips throughout the fishing season.

Conclusion

Armed with the information about what to look for and a few great options to consider, you can choose the best ultralight spinning reel that would perfectly suit your needs, so order yours today!

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