While fishing with big spinning reels on the beach can be a blast, fishing with ultralight gear can be just as fun.
In fact, some have said that some of the best fishing experiences they have had is fishing with ultralight gear. Even a 1 pound bass can feel like a tarpon and definitely get the heart racing.
In this article, we will list and discuss five of the top ultralight spinning reels and point out what makes them the go to reels when you’re deciding on your ultralight outfit.
What is the best ultralight spinning reel?
Here is a quick preview of some of these reels we will be featuring in this post:
- Abu Garcia ORRA SX
- Daiwa D-Spin
- Shimano Sedona SE1000FE
- Pflueger President Spinning Reel
- Okuma Helios Series Spinning Reel
- Ball Bearings: 8+1
- Gear Ratio: 5.8:1
- Retrieve Rate: 26.5 inches
- Line Capacity: Mono, 4/140 yards, 6/110 yards, 8/80 yards
- Line Capacity: Braid: 6/150 yards
- Braid Ready Spool
- Carbon Drag System
- Weight: 8.10 ounces
- Maximum Drag: 10 lbs
The first on our list of the best ultralight spinning reel is theAbu Garcia ORRA SX.
This reel comes in at 8.10 ounces which is walking a fine line between moderate and ultralight reel weights, but this is great for ultralight fishing for larger trout and panfish species that might require a little more power from the reel.
It has a max drag of 10lbs that is generated with its carbon fiber drag system. The drag is smooth and takes very little start-up pressure which is important for protecting light lines used for ultralight fishing.
This reel has a 5.8:1 gear ratio with a 26.5” line retrieval speed. This is an excellent retrieving ultralight reel that will bring in the fish quickly.
It features 8 High Performance Corrosion Resistant ball bearing along with one anti-reverse roller bearing.
Like most Abu Garcia reels, the Orra SX uses an IM-C6 body design to deliver a lightweight but sturdy reel that provides housing to keep gears aligned while working fish. The spool, bail, and handle are all machined aluminum.
The Orra SX has decent line capacity with s spooling capacity of 140 yards of 4lb test monofilament.
This is a moderately priced reel that provides all of the classic Abu Garcia reel technologies in a small and sturdy package.
Learn more in the following video:
- Ball Bearing: 1
- Gear Ratio: 4.9:1
- Retrieve Rate: 21.4 inches
- Line Capacity: Mono, 2/190 yards, 4/100 yards, 6/60 yards
- Weight: 5.9 ounces
- Maximum drag: 4.4 lbs
Another great spinning reel for ultralight fishing is the Daiwa D-Spin.
Diawa is a renowned reel manufacturer that has provided one of the top ultralight reels at an extremely affordable price. It is a striking little reel with a black body and silver spool, rotor, and bail.
The 500 and 1000 models of the D-Spin weigh only 5.9 and 6 ounces. The lightweight comes from the carbon composite housing, side plates, handle, and rotor.
Both models have a 4.9:1 gear ratio with 21.4” line retrieval. The line capacity is low, but common for reels of this size with the 500 model having a mono capacity of 100yds of 4lb test while the 1000 model can hold 120yds of 4lb test monofilament.
The max drag comes in at 4.4lbs, but it features excellent drag adjustment throughout the small range.
These models only utilize a single stainless steel ball bearing. With the fish this reel was intended for, it is not an issue, but moderate sized fish will put a lot of strain on this reel, and you will immediately notice a “geary” and unaligned retrieval.
This is a reel designed for extreme ultralight fishing and is perfect for small spring creeks and mountain streams.
Specs: (Sedona SE1000FE Model)
- Ball Bearings: 3+1
- Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
- Retrieve Rate: 24 inches
- Line Capacity: 4/140 yards, 6/110
- Weight: 7.1 ounces
- Maximum Drag: 7 lbs
This is an extremely durable ultralight reel that features a double anodized machine cut spool that will hold up to loads if you happen to hook up with a larger fish. Not only is it durable, but it has an excellent visual effect as well with the black carbon composite material with a gold anodized spool.
The Sedona 1000 has a 3+1 high-quality bearing system that provides smooth retrieval and helps support gear alignment.
The 1000 model has a 5.0:1 gear ratio with a 24” line retrieval.
If you have the itch to chase after moderately sized fish with ultralight gear this reel is a great choice that will keep your pockets heavy.
It features a 7lb max drag that has excellent range adjustments with little start-up inertia. Its anti-reverse bearing also helps eliminate back play that can cause a lot of lost fish, especially when trying to work larger fish.
It has good line capacity with and can spool 140yds of 4lb test monofilament.
Line management is incredible with the Sedona, as is most Shimano reels, with it Propulsion line management system and smooth and even rotor oscillation that lays line down evenly.
Learn more about the Sedona Series in the following video:
Specs: (6920X Model)
- Ball Bearing: 7
- Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
- Retrieve Rate: 20.7 inches
- Line Capacity: Braid: 4/180 yards
- Maximum Drag: 6 lbs
- Weight: 5.9 ounces
Another spinning reel that continues to perform is the Pflueger President Spinning Reel.
This model weighs only 5.9oz through the use of carbon fiber side plates and a ported rotor. It’s a beautiful reel with a blue graphite body and drag adjustment knob with a silver rotor and spool with gold trim.
The line capacity on this reel is not as excessive as other models and can only spool 180yds of 4lb test braid.
The gear ratio for the President 6920X is 5.2:1 and has a 20.7” line retrieval rate.
The Pflueger President 6920X model features a 6lb max drag that is produced and maintained with stainless steel washers. The drag is relatively smooth although there is some jerk on initial engagement which could spell trouble if the drag is set high on a hard hit.
The retrieval and gear motion is extremely smooth as the President uses seven corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings. It also features an instant anti-reverse roller bearing.
This is a very durable reel with an aluminum spool, rotor, handle and bail wire. It also remains extremely lightweight through the use of carbon composite side plates.
This reel also uses and excellent soft-grip knob on the handle for easy handling.
Specs: (HX-25 Model)
- Ball Bearing: 8+1
- Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
- Line Capacity: 6/200 yards, 8/150 yards
- Weight: 6.8 ounces
The Okuma Helios Series Spinning Reel is one of the best ultralight fishing reels available, but it is also a little higher in the price range.
That being said, I would venture to guess that those anglers who have invested in one would find it difficult to switch back to any other model. This is a great little spinning reel.
The Helios HX-25 has a lightweight carbon composite frame with a double anodized aluminum bail, spool, and handle for added durability. This reel comes in at 6.8 ounces and features a watertight seal to protect all internal reel components.
It features eight high performance (HPPB) bearings along with an anti-reverse roller bearing that gives this reel incredible casting and retrieving properties.
The Helios Hx-25 has incredible line capacity and can spool up to 200yds of 6lb test. The line is managed well with the computer weight balanced rotor and aluminum alloy gear system that provides smooth oscillation and even lay.
The HX-25 model utilizes one of the best reel handle knobs on our list with a large EVA foam knob that is very easy to utilize and grip under any weather conditions.
The carbonite drag system uses carbon composite washers that can put constant pressure on fish without any start-up inertia and protects light line extremely well while still being able to play larger fish.
We have provided five of the best options on the market, we are by no means saying this list is complete. There are so many other very good reels on the market. The important thing to remember is that the best ultralight spinning reels have to be lightweight to balance with the light rod. They also must have a drag system that can be adjusted to protect the light line.
What do you think is the best ultralight spinning reel? Share with us your comments.