The 5 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels in 2021 [Reviews and Buying Guide]

An ultralight spinning reel is an excellent addition to your fishing toolbox. It allows you to chase highly entertaining species such as crappie and bluegill with an efficiency that cannot be achieved using other types of reels.

This brings us to our five best ultralight spinning reels chosen carefully to accommodate the needs of everyone.

Comparison Table

ModelWeightMaximum DragMaterialBall Bearings
Pflueger President7.36 oz6-8 lbsGraphite7BB
Okuma Ceymar8.7 oz13 lbsGraphite 7BB + 1RB
Shimano Sedona Fi7.6 oz7 lbsXT-7 Composite 3BB + 1RB
Daiwa Tatula LT5.8 oz11 lbsHigh-Density Carbon Strain5BB + 1CRBB + 1RB
Abu Garcia Revo SX16 oz24 lbsCarbon8BB + 1RB

The 5 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels in 2021:

Without further ado, let’s dive head-first into the detailed description of each of those reels.

1. Pflueger President – Best Overall

Pflueger President

We’ll start with our graphite Pflueger President as it’s truly an all-around winner. This reel comes with seven corrosion-resistant stainless steel pre-lubricated bearings. This doesn’t just help with the reel’s overall smoothness but also adds to its ability to withstand saltwater damage.

As for the drag system, we have a completely sealed one, with a maximum of 6-8 lbs according to the size you choose to go with. Add to that a drag adjustment devised with the MicroIncrements design.

Moreover, the Pflueger President sports a braid-ready spool with a SureClick aluminum bail which aims to do most of the work by itself without having to disengage the fishers’ focus.

One element that isn’t the greatest regarding the Pflueger President’s design will have to be that although it weighs 7.36 oz, which isn’t that heavy, the design can seem bulky at times.

Still, the soft-touch dimpled aircraft-grade aluminum handle makes managing the reel a breath of fresh air. Lastly, this reel comes in a variety of different sizes, allowing it to complement beginners and experienced anglers all the same.

Pros:

  • Size variety
  • Corrosion-resistant bearings
  • Sealed drag system
  • Graphite body
  • Braid-ready spool
  • Soft-touch dimpled handle
  • Instant anti-reverse

Cons:

  • A bit bulky

Final Verdict

In the end, the Pflueger President won’t disappoint in any aspect. It can deal with freshwater and saltwater, and with its highly sensitive drag system and smooth gearing, fishing trips are always highly enjoyable.

2. Okuma Ceymar – Budget Pick

Okuma Ceymar

The Okuma Ceymar is our budget pick for this list; nevertheless, don’t be fooled as it can easily defeat a ton of other more expensive reels hands-down when it comes to capabilities.

First of all, it’s made out of graphite, giving it strength, durability, and saltwater compatibility, which is always a plus. As for the gearing, this reel enjoys seven ball bearings and one reverse bearing. Add that to the brass pinion gear, and you’ll know for yourself why this reel is so incredibly slick.

Another factor that adds to the easiness of this reel will have to be the oversized line roller which eliminates, to a great extent, the chance of facing line knots as anglers reel in their precious catches.

As for the drag system, it’s rather impressive, with a maximum of 13 lbs and a multidisk mechanism allowing for easy adjustment. On the other hand, the spool is made entirely out of machined aluminum, and it’s braid-ready just in case that is your preference.

Additionally, if you need to strengthen your grip, the Okuma Ceymar has got your back with its forged zinc handle and EVA knob, allowing maximum comfort and strength simultaneously.

The Okuma Ceymar weighs 8.7 oz. Although it isn’t the lightest on our list, it’s also not the heaviest, mainly thanks to the cyclonic flow computer balanced rotor, which helps eliminate a significant percentage of its original weight.

We have just said that the graphite is saltwater compatible, but sadly, the rest of the components cannot claim the same title as they aren’t sealed. So, this reel won’t be your best friend by the sea.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Graphite body
  • EVA knob
  • Forged zinc handle
  • Cyclonic Flow Computer Balanced rotor
  • Oversized line roller
  • Size variety
  • Brass pinion gear

Cons:

  • Not saltwater compatible 

Final Verdict

If you’re just starting, and you want a reel that will deliver on any freshwater surface with 13 lbs of drag and an eight-bearing system, then the Okuma Ceymar is an excellent choice for you.

3. Shimano Sedona Fi – Most Advanced

Shimano Sedona Fi

The Shimano Sedona Fi is all about presenting as many options and technologies as possible to its users.

Firstly, it has a G-Free body design which works on shifting the center of gravity of the reel towards the rod. What does this do? It relieves most of the pressure from the anglers’ hand, forearm, arm, and even back as it transfers it to the fishing rod.

Subsequently, it delays the onset of fatigue and allows anglers to enjoy their hobby/job for a much longer period as they hold their 7.6 oz reel.

Next, we have the gearing system, comprised mainly of HEGANE gearing designed exclusively by Shimano. The point of the system is to make the gears as large as possible, hence minimizing friction to a very great extent, making the mechanism inside of the reel run without trouble.

Moreover, the Shimano Sedona Fi is a relatively lightweight yet highly robust and saltwater compatible device, thanks to its XT-7 composite build.

Now, let’s talk about the performance of this reel, and performance equals casting and retrieving. As for casting, when you throw a line with the Shimano Sedona Fi, you’ll find that it has gained tremendous momentum, and it stayed straight for an impressive period. That is courtesy of the propulsion line management system implemented into this reel.

Furthermore, reeling in your catch will happen without any knots or line overlapping, thanks to the AntiSkip smooth reeling system, which manages to place your line orderly over the spool.

This manages to happen with only four ball bearings working inside. Last but certainly not least, the drag system of this reel is a CrossCarbon one with a maximum of 7 lbs. CrossCarbon drag systems are incredibly smooth as they are designed with specific patterns that complement each other as they perform.

Pros:

  • HEGANE gearing
  • Lightweight
  • G-Free design
  • Size variety
  • Oversized spool
  • CrossCarbon drag system

Cons:

  • Only four ball bearings

Final Verdict

The Shimano Sedona Fi is a great lightweight reel with many revolutionary options, such as the XT-7 composite build and the anti-skip reeling system, which all work together to create a trouble-free fishing experience.

4. Daiwa Tatula LT – Premium Pick

Daiwa Tatula LT

The Daiwa Tatula LT truly does come with a bunch of excellent features and qualities, starting with its Zaion carbon fiber body which has earned it its place as the lightest reel on this list and definitely one of the lightest on the market, in general, at only 5.8 oz.

Moreover, next to the Digigear gearing system, which turns the workings of the inside of the reel into a knife through butter, we have seven bearings at work whenever someone is using it. They consist of five ball bearings, one corrosion-resistant bearing, and one anti-reverse bearing.

Nevertheless, there are other features that help with the lightness of the Daiwa Tatula LT, and they include the hollow air bail and the air rotor, which remove a bulk of excess weight from the body of the reel.

Additionally, the drag system installed here is rather impressive with a maximum of 11 lbs, the automated tournament technology, and overall waterproofing, which stresses that this reel is saltwater compatible.

Another essential feature that we must include will have to be the ergonomic design of the swept aluminum machine cut handle. This makes dealing with the reel as easy as your own hand.

Unfortunately, though, it’s our premium pick; hence it’s the most expensive on our list, as it sports a backbreaking price tag.

Pros:

  • Zaion carbon fiber body
  • Machine-cut handle
  • Digigear
  • Automatic tournament drag
  • Hollow air bail
  • Air rotor
  • Seven ball bearings
  • Swept aluminum handle
  • Waterproof drag system
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Expensive

Final Verdict

The Daiwa Tatula LT is always a great choice as it’s highly robust and durable while being comfortable at the same time. So, if that price tag won’t put a hole through your wallet, you can go for it without regrets.

5. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best Drag System

Abu Garcia Revo SX

Our last competitor would have to be the Abu Garcia Revo SX, as it packs quite the punch led by its 24-lb Power Stack Carbon Matrix drag system, which helps organize the process of reeling in your fish catch with minimal effort on your side.

Other factors that help with both casting and retrieving your line without any hiccups will be the nine-ball bearings hard at work inside of the reel, in addition to the IM gearing system. That is entirely comprised out of machined gears and a one-piece aluminum gearbox.

Moreover, the Abu Garcia Revo SX is made completely out of carbo, more specifically the IM C6 mold, which brings together the benefits of both aluminum and graphite by being flexible and lightweight, in addition to saltwater compatibility and pure strength.

Furthermore, this reel houses a braid-ready spool with a rocket spool lip and an everlast bail which all work towards proper line management as they make sure that your line goes out and comes back in without any tangles.

Overall, this reel is computer-optimized in almost all of its aspects, and that is always a winning point. Sadly though, it’s on the heavy side at 30 oz., and bail control management issues have arisen in more than one location.

Pros:

  • 24 lbs Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System
  • Nine-ball bearings
  • IM C6 mold
  • Rocket Spool Lip
  • Everlast Bail
  • Computer-optimized

Cons:

  • Bail quality control

Final Verdict

If the reel’s main component is the drag system, and you want something that will help you with all types of fish while still maintaining easiness of use, then the Abu Garcia Revo SX will not disappoint.

How to Pick the Best Ultralight Spinning Reel?

In order to choose the best ultralight spinning reel, there are some features that you’ll have to pick diligently before you decide on what is most suitable for you.

Luckily, we’ll list those items and explain them as thoroughly as possible in order to help you make a completely informed decision.

Weight

When you’re looking around for an ultralight spinning reel, logically, the first thing to look at is the weight of the reel. The boundaries of an ultralight reel extend towards 8 oz.

Nevertheless, there are some exceptions that are tailored, so they feel much lighter than their original weight.

In the end, the paramount thing to keep in mind is not to let the lightness of weight lead you into purchasing a flimsy reel. That’s why you have to judge a reel based on a group of criteria, not just one.

Drag System

The drag system is your first line of defense as you start warring with your catch. You must look at its maximum lbs and the mechanism that it works with.

There are CarbonCross drag systems, multi-disc drag systems, and felt drag systems. Each one of them works in a certain way, so you’ll need to look into that.

Another thing that you should not forget when exploring drag systems will have to be whether or not they’re waterproof. That can change the label of the entire reel from freshwater to saltwater.

Gearing

Gearing means the central gearing system, which includes the pinion gear plus the ball bearings and the reverse bearings. In general, four and up ball bearings are what is considered acceptable.

Yet, our advice would remain to be quality over quantity. Ball bearings can be stainless steel, or, in other more luxurious options, you can find titanium ones. Nonetheless, the most important thing is for them to be corrosion-resistant with the sealing and lubrication.

Build

Reels come in three materials; carbon, aluminum, and graphite. Graphite is saltwater compatible, light, and flexible. Aluminum is sturdy, durable, and robust, but it’s not saltwater compatible as rust is its greatest enemy.

Carbon composite represents the middle ground between the two as it’s flexible and lightweight, in addition to being saltwater compatible and rather strong overtime.

Therefore, you must always think of your fishing destinations and your average fishing time. Also, consider if you’re going to be lending your fishing reel to someone or if you’ll be teaching your kid how to fish. That will affect your decision regarding the reel material significantly.

Final Thoughts

We have come to the end of our list of the five best ultralight spinning reels, and we hope that you’ve landed on one that will help you catch all of the perch, sunfish, and bass that your heart desires.

Now, let’s wrap-up with some recommendations. Our first will be the Pflueger President, thanks to its graphite body, eight bearing system that consists of corrosion-resistant stainless steel pre-lubricated bearings, and sealed drag system.

Next, we have the Daiwa Tatula LT, which is our premium pick with its Gigigear gearing system, automatic tournament drag, and 5.8 oz weight.

Our last recommendation will be the Okuma Ceymar, as it’s our most affordable choice with a cyclonic flow computer balanced rotor, an oversized line roller, and size variety.

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