Best Ultralight Spinning Reel
Are you looking for a new lightweight spinning reel, one that makes life as easy as possible? If you are, you definitely want to stick around because we are reviewing 3 of the very best ultralight spinning reels on the market today.
All of the reels we have selected for review come with a great mix of durability, functionality, comfort, and a decent price. We want to help you find the best ultralight spinning reel out there, but we also want to help you save some money. Let’s get right to it and see what the fishing world has to offer!
Lonpar Ultralight Spinning Reel
One of the things that really stands out about this Lonpar Ultralight Spinning Reel is that it has an excellent drag system (precision elliptical gear system), so you can fight the biggest fish out there with ease. The drag system allows for over 33 pounds of drag, which is undoubtedly fairly impressive. The carbon fiber drag system also features a waterproof design to make sure that it stays in one piece for a long time to come. On a side note, this reel is specially treated so it can be used in saltwater without any issues.
Something else that we like about the Lonpar Ultralight Spinning Reel is that it has a very smooth operation. It features an 9 BB + 1 stainless steel bearing system; this helps to keep things really smooth and it allows for long-distance casting and quick retrieval too.
To help make retrieval easier, this reel features a 5.2:1 gear ratio, which is fairly high so you don’t have to spend forever reeling to get that big fish into your boat. Actually, this particular reel also comes with an extra-large spool lip to further increase casting distance, plus it helps to stop tangles from happening.
We also like how this reel is very lightweight due to its carbon body as opposed to a graphite body. Coming in at roughly 8 ounces makes it one of the lightest spinning reels on the market today. The Lonpar Ultralight Spinning Reel is also very comfortable to use.
The high density EVA foam handle keeps your fingers from hurting. What is quite impressive is that this particular reel is so lightweight, yet still manages to be extremely durable, which is not something that can be said for many other ultralight reels.
- Fairly durable
- Very lightweight
- Great carbon fiber drag system
- Fairly high gear ratio
- Ergonomically designed EVA foam handle
- Stainless steel BB system for smooth operation
- Good for long casting and quick retrieval
- For fresh and saltwater use
- Tends to get a little squeaky
- Not too much line capacity
Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel
If you are looking for a very lightweight spinning reel, this one is a great way to go. The Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel comes in at an impressive 5 ounces; this means that it is actually one of the lightest fishing reels on the market today.
This helps make life a lot easier when casting and when fighting those big fish. As was the case with the previous spinning reel, we are also impressed with this one by the fact that it is so durable, even though it is so lightweight.
The Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel features a composite housing and other extremely durable components. Ok, so it may not be the number-one most durable reel out there today, but it can definitely hold its own - especially when compared to aluminum spools.
Something we also like about this particular reel is that it has a fairly strong stroke oscillation, which can come in quite handy at times. Moreover, the new mold design of this reel, as well as the handle, are both ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and function.
Another thing that we like about the Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel is that it has a really smooth ball bearing drive, which is combined with a fairly high gear ratio. The result is that this spinning reel allows for quick and far casting, while also allowing for really quick retrieval.
Especially intriguing as well is the instant anti reverse.
All in all, we think that this is one of the best ultralight spinning reels out there today.
- Extremely lightweight
- Decent durability
- Fairly good gear ratio
- Really smooth ball bearing system
- Quick retrieval and long casting
- Ergonomic design for high functionality
- Does not have a full anti-reverse
- Drag system could use some improvement
Quantum Fishing GenX Ultralight Spinning Reel
While this is not the lightest spinning reel on the market today, at least when compared to our other options, it is still pretty light. The Quantum Fishing GenX Ultralight Spinning Reel comes in at around 400 grams, which is still pretty lightweight. The fact that it manages to remain so durable and rugged even though it is a featherweight reel is quite impressive. Lightweight durability is always a big deal with any kind of reel.
We really like how the Quantum Fishing GenX Ultralight Spinning Reel comes with an adjustable multi-stack drag system. This helps you get those big fish with ease. Moreover, this reel also features a fairly high gear ratio. This, combined with the 4 bearing system helps provide you with really smooth and far casting, as well as really quick retrieval too.
What is also pretty neat about the Quantum Fishing GenX Ultralight Spinning Reel is that it comes with a full anti-reverse clutch system to make sure that those big fish don’t get away. We also like the fact that this fishing reel is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort.
- High level of durability
- Comfortable to use
- Good drag system
- Great gear ratio
- Good bearing system
- Bail has trouble closing when reeling
- Makes a fair bit of noise
Quality bearings are going to make a huge difference for ease of use, longevity of the reel, and overall performance reeling in the fish.
However, not all bearings are created equal, so it's important to ensure you're getting stainless steel ball bearings, for maximum corrosion resistance, smoothness, and durability.
Also, we recommend no less than 8 bearings; bearing count should be specified on the packaging of any reel you're considering, so we recommend looking at reels with 8 or more.
Line capacity is typically shown in pounds per yard, or lbs/yd. It stands to reason that a thicker line will take up more space, and therefore not be able to have as long a line on the same reel.
Also, since braided line is thicker than mono line, you want to keep that in mind as well. Most brands will show stats both ways.
We recommend looking at minimum stats of:
For Mono Line:
- 4/175 (lbs/yd)
- 6/110 (lbs/yd)
- 8/90 (lbs/yd
For Braided Line:
- 8/135 (lbs/yd)
- 10/115 (lbs/yd)
- 15/85 (lbs/yd)
These will be solid minimums for a great balance between making sure you have enough line, and that the line is the right weight for the fishing you're doing.
For fish larger than 10 lbs, we'd recommend looking for a reel with double the stats mentioned above.
Line retrieval is typically denoted by IPT or in some cases IPC.
- IPT = Inches Per Turn
- IPC = Inches Per Crank
This simply means how many inches of line will be retracted onto the reel with each turn. We recommend looking for a minimum of 25" otherwise you end up doing a lot of extra cranking.
Gear Ratio is very similar to Line retrieval, since it's effectively telling you how fast you can retract the line in one turn or crank.
A higher number at the front end of the gear ratio means the line will retract faster with the same number of cranks.
We recommend a Gear ratio of minimum 5.2:1. (If you want faster retrieval, go with a 6.2 or higher)
This refers to the actual weight of the reel and is measured in ounces (oz.)
The only factor to consider here is how long at a time you go fishing, and if you want to carry around the extra weight.
In reality, the other factors above will be the ones that mostly affect your reel choice, and the weight of the reel just tends to go up for the reels that you need for bigger fish, which pretty much stands to reason.
That said, with all other things being equal, going for a lighter reel could be a good option.
Drag refers to the resistance a fish will feel once it is hooked. For example, if you're not reeling in and the fish is swimming away from you and drawing line off the reel.
We recommend at least a 9lb drag force, or you're not wearing out the fish's resistance enough.
Not every model provides a left and a right hand option, so this is definitely a solid check to do before purchasing a reel. Make sure that it can be positioned according to your dominant hand!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Can you fish for Trout with a spinning reel?
Yes. Spinning reels are ideal for fishing trout because most spinning reels have fast retrieval; This is critical, because once you've set the hook, you want to bring it in fast so it doesn't fight its way off the hook.
Q. What is the best ultralight spinning reel for Crappie?
For fishing Crappie, we'd recommend the Lonpar Ultralight Spinning Reel, as seen above. Crappie are not usually very large fish, so this reel is definitely up to the job of reeling in a crappie. Plus, with the gear ratio, if you've caught a crappie off a long cast you won't be reeling it in for a long time.
When it comes to the best ultralight spinning reel out there right now, all of the above options that we have reviewed are top contenders. Each of them is a little different, but they each come with a high level of durability and functionality, while not ruining your budget. We would definitely recommend checking them out.