Top 10 Best Ultralight Spinning Reel In 2020 Reviews

Spending a day outside fishing is meant to be relaxing or stimulating, depending on what you’re trying to hook. Whether you’re just headed out to relax or to reel in catch after catch the whole point of fishing is to enjoy yourself. But without the right equipment, you can end up with wrist, arm, and shoulder pain.

That’s why we’ve decided to review the best ultralight spinning reels currently available. And some are so small and lightweight that you’ll hardly even notice some of these options on your fishing rod. This will allow you to stay out longer and enjoy the day to the max.

Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

So, let’s go through them and find the perfect Ultralight Spinning Reel for you…

Best Ultralight Spinning Reel In 2020 – Top  10 Rated Revews

1 SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Reel

The first UL spinning reel we will look at is from Shimano. Their Sahara FI spinning reel is one of the most durable and powerful spinning reels in its price range. This is a great option for newbie anglers right through to the more experienced.

Are you after smooth power at a reasonable price?

This spinning reel employs Shimano’s X-Ship technology. It features bearings on either end of the pinion gear. Not only does this keep it aligned with the drive gear, but it also removes friction between the gear and spool shaft.

How does that all affect its performance?

You’ll get better casting performance and distance due to this technology. The reel’s outstanding durability is also largely due to this fancy Japanese technology.

The Hagane gear is crafted using Shimano’s cold-forging 3D design technology. This is the other part of what makes the reel durable. It also keeps the movements smooth.

This reel provides ultimate comfort and reduces arm fatigue…

The G-Free body keeps the reel’s center of gravity closer to the rod. With this better balance, the rod sits more comfortably in your hand. We found this to be a really important feature by the end of the day.

What about the technical specs?

This reel is available in a range of sizes from 1000 through 5000. Thus, the weight varies from a minimal 175 grams right up to 300 grams. The gear ratio, maximum drag, and line capacity also vary between models.

SHIMANO Sahara FI Spinning Reel
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)


  • Ultimate durability at this price point.
  • X-Ship pinion gear support technology.
  • Hagane cold-forged gearing.
  • 4+1 bearing system for smoother action.
  • Available in sizes from 1000 to 5000.


  • Less expensive options on the market.

2 Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

Penn Fishing and Tackle Company was founded way back in 1932. Since then, they have been pushing reel design and development and have earned a reputation among professional anglers. Their Pursuit III is an ultralight spinning reel that is available at a shockingly low price.

This is one of the best inexpensive UL spinning reels…

The body of this reel is crafted from ultra-lightweight, corrosion-resistant graphite. This houses a powerful HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that makes this a great reel for saltwater fishing. The spool is machined and anodized, providing quality that should stand up to the weather.

Designed with Instant Anti-Reverse technology…

This eliminates the rotor back play and provides instant hook-ups every time. Working along with the four shielded stainless steel ball bearings, this all comes together for smoother retrieves.

Designed for battle with those larger saltwater fish…

The Pursuit III is available in six sizes. They range from 2500 up to 8000, which ensures that every angler can choose their preference. We will note that, as you would expect for this price, this is more of a novice spinning reel.

Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)


  • Instant Anti-Reverse technology.
  • Made from Ultralight, corrosion-resistant graphite.
  • 4+1 bearing system for smoother action.
  • Available in sizes from 2500 to 8000.


  • There are better options on the market for experienced anglers.

3 Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Ultralight Spinning Reels for Trout

If you are willing to spend a bit more money, you can get a spinning reel designed for the professionals. This option from Pflueger is by no means the most expensive option on our list, but it is a step up from the cheaper models.

We aren’t sure just how many bearings you really need in a spinning reel. The Supreme XT is designed with a ten bearing system. Certainly, that is more than you need.

The ball bearings are crafted from corrosion-resistant stainless steel. The body and rotor, however, are made from magnesium. This is what provides the reel with its light as a feather feel.

It even has a carbon handle that is 21% lighter than aluminum…

Pflueger really did go out of their way to cut down on the weight when they designed this spinning reel. The knob is made from an EVA material. It’s both lightweight and comfortable even after hours of reeling in fish.

This is one of the best trout ultralight spinning reels…

The spool is braid-ready, meaning you can tie it directly in. The whole system is sealed, keeping it lubricated, and the action consistently smooth. Line twist is minimized due to the slow oscillation gearing.

Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


  • Made from some of the lightest materials available.
  • Ten bearing system.
  • Available in four sizes.
  • Sealed carbon drag.
  • Braid ready spool.


  • Not the strongest option on our list.

4 Penn Fierce II and Fierce III Spinning Reel

This next entry in our reviews of the best lightweight spinning reels is a double entry of sorts. Here we are looking at the Fierce II and Fierce III. The latter is the newer model. The upgrades are minor enough that many anglers may wish to save a few bucks and opt for the older version.

There’s something for every angler in the Fierce line…

Penn makes these spinning reels in a range of sizes from 1000 all the way up to 8000. If you can’t find what you need here, you’re likely angling for something unusual. This reel is made to handle anything inshore or nearshore.

This Fierce III is available in sizes from 1000 to 8000. It features a full metal body and side plate. There are also HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers for durability.

Designed for easy line management…

This reel features a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire. There is also a superline spool, so you won’t get all tangled up no matter how hard the fish fight you. Shielded stainless steel ball bearings (4+1) help ensure smooth retrieves.

Penn Fierce II and Fierce III Spinning Reel
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Features a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire.
  • 4+1 stainless steel ball bearing system.
  • Available in a wide range of sizes.
  • Superline spool with line capacity rings.


  • A touch overpriced when compared to other options on the market.

5 Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel – Best Micro Spinning Reel

For those looking for a more affordable option, check out the Ceymar from Okuma. This spinning reel has a blade body design to reduce bulk. We think that most anglers will appreciate this reduction in overall size as it allows you to focus on the fish.

Everyone wants the best micro spinning reel, but is this it?

The Ceymar is equipped with an eight bearing system. Yes, there are seven ball bearings and one Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing. There is also a multi-disc drag system.

What else do you need to know?

The blade body design is corrosion-resistant. The pinion gear is crafted from precision, machine cut brass. Okuma then adds to this with a machined aluminum 2-tone spool.

The reel is built-to-last, with a heavy-duty solid aluminum bail wire and an over-sized line roller. You also get a forged aluminum handle arm. Altogether, this provides you with complete control over the reel. Plus, the handle knob is wrapped in an EVA material for comfort.

Did we mention there are multiple sizes to choose from?

What we really like the most about this reel is the rotor system. Featuring the Okuma RESII computer balancing system, this reel spins without any wobble. Even at high speeds!

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Corrosion-resistant blade body.
  • Equipped with an eight ball bearing system.
  • Available in a range of sizes.
  • Okuma RESII computer balancing rotor system.
  • Inexpensive compared with many options on the market.


  • For this price, it’s hard to complain, but it also won’t compete with our next entry.

6 PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel

Another option on our list of the best ultralight spinning reels from Penn is their Slammer III. Before you read any further, it would be wise to compare the price of this reel with the others on our list. It might shock you how much more expensive it is.

Is the old saying true? Do you really get what you pay for?

Well, to some extent, yes. The Slammer III is a new, upgraded version of one of Penn’s most popular spinning reels. It’s built for heavy-duty fishing. You can trust this bad boy when casting from a boat or the shore.

What has been upgraded?

This new version features Penn’s IPX6 Sealed System. It was designed to keep water out of the gearbox and drag system. They have also upgraded the unit to utilize their proprietary Dura-Drag system.

The body, side plate, and rotor are all full metal for durability. We really like the CNC Gear technology. Plus, it has a 7+1 stainless steel bearing setup.

There is a range of sizes and models available, including high-speed options.

For those looking to check all the details, there is some variation in the build between the smaller and larger sizes. The 3500-5500 have automatic bail trips, while the 6500-10500 have manual bail trips.

PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • IPX6 Sealed Slammer Drag System with Dura-Drag.
  • 7+1 stainless steel ball bearing system.
  • Available in a range of sizes.
  • CNC Gear technology.
  • High-speed options available.


  • Shockingly expensive compared with most of the others we’ve reviewed.

7 SHIMANO Sienna FE, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Freshwater Spinning Reel for the Price

If you are just starting out as an angler or looking for something more budget-friendly, don’t worry. We will now review a few more options at the other end of the price spectrum. When compared with the spinning reel we just reviewed above, the Sienna FE from Shimano seems ridiculously inexpensive.

This might be the best affordable freshwater spinning reel…

The Sienna FE is encased in a M-Compact Body. This moves the oscillation gear closer to the rod. We like how this improves the balance of the reel. Even more, we like how much it reduced angler fatigue.

If you’re going fishing, make sure you’ll be comfortable casting all day…

It’s not too often that many of us are ‘allowed’ to spend the entire day out enjoying ourselves. Fishing offers the chance to do just that. So, don’t end up heading home early due to sore a sore arm and shoulder.

The reel features a Propulsion Line Management System. This helps you cast further and limits backlashes and wind knots from forming. At such a low cost, this is a wonderful feature to have.

Back it up, back it up…

You will also undoubtedly like the Super Stopper II technology that is included with this reel. It offers instant anti-reverse with no back play. The reel also features a Dyna-Balance, which limits wobble during the retrieve.

Also, it is available in sizes from 1000 to 4000…

SHIMANO Sienna FE, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Super Stopper II anti-reverse technology.
  • Available in a range of sizes.
  • Great entry level spinning reel.
  • M-Compact body for better balance.
  • Dyna-Balance and Propulsion Line Management System.


  • 1+1 stainless steel ball bearing system.
  • Like with the above spinning reel, you get what you pay for…

8 KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Reel

Sometimes it seems you can get it all without breaking the bank. This is how we felt about the Sharky Baitfeeder III spinning reel from KastKing. It’s similarly priced with the spinning reel reviewed just above, but with a bit more precision.

Do you really want a spinning reel equipped with only a single ball bearing?

We don’t think so, and neither does KastKing. The Sharky Baitfeeder III has a 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearing system. There’s no way you can complain about this smooth spinning reel. Especially at this price!

This is a unique baitfeeder style fishing reel…

It has classic form and rear drag functions, and a carbon fiber drag for live liner bait fishing action. This makes it a great reel for freshwater and saltwater fishing. In fact, KastKing claims this is the smoothest fishing reel baron drag available.

The reel is also equipped with a CNC aluminum Shark Fin Braid ready spool. It’s housed in a modulus corrosion free graphite body with a computer balanced rotor.

There is even an interchangeable R/L-hand sure grip T-handle.

KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III Spinning Reel
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


  • CNC aluminum Shark Fin Braid ready spool.
  • 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearing system.
  • Priced for entry level anglers.
  • Interchangeable R/L-hand sure grip T-handle.


  • Tends to wear down more quickly than many other options.

9 SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel

One of the least expensive options on our list of the best ultralight spinning reels is made by SeaKnight. Their Rapid Saltwater spinning reel may not be the lightest option here. But for those on a budget, this is still a good option.

Don’t limit where you can go fishing…

This reel is designed for use in saltwater or freshwater. It features an anti-corrosive coating to help with weathering from harsh salinity. It is also available in a few sizes, like most spinning reels reviewed above.

The design offers a thicker main shaft and carbon fiber drag system. It can withstand up to 33 pounds (15kg) of drag. This means you can pull in some of those larger game fish.

We know you like those high bearing reels…

With a 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearing system, this reel is remarkably smooth for such a low price. The Rapid even has a sealed aluminum spool and rotor. This helps to prevent water and sand from ruining the gearing.

Did we mention this is one of the least expensive options on our list?

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


  • Thick main shaft and carbon fiber drag system.
  • 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearing system.
  • Priced for entry level anglers.
  • Sealed aluminum spool and rotor.


  • It’s not the toughest unit on our list.

10 Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel

For those new to angling, there is no need to spend a great deal of money on your first reel. In fact, we highly advise against it. First, you’ll want to test the waters and make sure this is a sport you will enjoy regularly.

Luckily, Daiwa agrees with this philosophy…

For this reason, they have produced the D-Spin Ultralight spinning reel. It’s by far the cheapest spinning reel on our list. It’s so inexpensive in fact that when compared to the other end of the spectrum, you might get heart palpitations.

Can an ultralight spinning reel be any good at this price?

We will admit, this is not a buy now, own forever kind of fishing reel. It has a composite housing. This isn’t our favorite type of housing, as it tends to wear much more quickly. However, it is still equipped with a smooth ball bearing drive. You also still get a couple of size options, though nothing like with the other reels reviewed above.

The 1000 model features a longer stroke oscillation…

This reels best feature may be the Digigear Digital Gear Design. This allows for speed, power, and helps with the durability.

It can be difficult to compare this reel with some of the more expensive options. Still, the weight starts at just 5.9 ounces, so it is an ultralight spinning reel. Plus, it’s priced to a point that makes it a great option for newbies.

Daiwa D-Spin Ultralight Spinning Fishing Reel
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


  • Weighs just 5.9 ounces.
  • Equipped with a smooth ball bearing system.
  • Easily the least expensive option reviewed here.
  • Digigear Digital Gear Design.


  • There’s not much to it in the way of features.
  • Not the highest quality materials.

Further Reading

You may well be looking for something to go with your reel? If so, check out Best Fish Finders reviews and our Best Catfish Rods reviews.

You may also be interested in our articles on What is the best time to catch Catfish, How to hold a Catfish, and How to throw a Cast Net.

So, What’s The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel?

Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel

That completes our list of the best ultralight spinning reels. With such a wide range of options, there is certainly something for everyone. And hopefully, we have helped you find just what you are looking for.

However, if you are having trouble deciding which is right for you, then you probably just need a relaxing day fishing to clear your mind. Therefore, to help you get out there sooner, we would highly recommend the…

Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel.

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