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Up to date Mar 17, 2023 4:18 PM

The highest ultralight spinning reels for trout and different smaller species will depend on your finances, as a result of there are nice decisions at each worth level. A part of the enjoyable of fishing for smaller species is utilizing light-weight, appropriate-sized gear. This checklist options examples of well-designed, well-built ultralight spinning reels which might be suited to fishing streams, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, and even saltwater bays and estuaries.

We’re speaking right here about spinning reels often categorized as dimension 1000 fashions, the smallest most producers produce, designed for line from 2- to 8-pound take a look at. All of them weigh lower than 10 ounces, a few of them a lot much less, for which your casting wrist will thanks. Ultralight spinning is generally a freshwater pursuit, so resistance to corrosion from saltwater isn’t emphasised as a lot as it might be with bigger saltwater reels. In case you do want a reel for small salt species, you’ll need to be further cautious to rinse it completely after every use, and reapplying grease sometimes is a good suggestion.

This checklist contains reels ranging in worth from about $60 to $500. The perfect ultralight spinning reels fall someplace on this vary, and with correct care and upkeep ought to present years of fine fishing.

How We Made Our Picks

I in contrast spinning reels within the ultralight class from established producers, searching for the options and traits that almost all influence day-to-day use – weight, construct high quality, considerate design, producer popularity, and person critiques. Worth was a consideration, and I discovered a variety of good choices for beneath $100. In case you use these reels within the method they had been designed for, they may all present a lifetime of service.

Greatest Ultralight Spinning Reel: Opinions and Suggestions

Greatest General: Shimano Sedona FI 1000

Greatest General

Why It Made the Minimize: The Sedona is a well-liked reel that provides a few of Shimano’s greatest options at a comparatively modest price, together with the exact and sturdy Hagane cold-forged gears.

Key Options

  • Weight: 7.6 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1, 26” of line retrieved per flip
  • Line Capability: 270/2 to 110/6 mono (yards/pound take a look at)
  • Most Drag: 7 kilos
  • Bearings: 3+1
  • Most Drag: 7 kilos
  • Bearings: 3+1


  • Hagane cold-forged gears
  • Larger middle of gravity for much less fatigue
  • Loads of drag for an ultralight


  • Gradual gear ratio
  • No anti-reverse swap

The Sedona FI has fewer bearings and a decrease gear ratio than costlier, metal-bodied Shimanos. However, it prices lower than half as a lot and may nonetheless deal with the species you’re after with an ultralight. One place it doesn’t skimp, providing signature high-end Shimano options, is within the gears. The Hagane gears are cold-forged as a substitute of molded or machined. As with different cold-forged gears, the end result—skipping on some science—is {that a} gear will be anticipated to have sharp enamel for years to return, leading to a product that retains its out of the field clean reeling. The Sedona FL 1000 weighs 7.6 ounces however can also be designed with Shimano’s G-Free physique, through which the middle of gravity is nearer to the rod, so it feels lighter than it truly is.

Greatest Below $100: Penn Fierce III 1000

Greatest Below $100


Why It Made the Minimize: The Fierce III 1000 has a metallic physique and aspect plates, carbon fiber drag, 4 stainless ball bearings plus a curler bearing, and a sturdy aluminum bail—nice specs at this worth, from an iconic model.

Key Options

  • Weight: 7.8 oz
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 22” of line retrieved per flip
  • Line Capability: 160/6 to 110/10 mono (yards/pound take a look at)
  • Most Drag: 9 kilos
  • Bearings: 4+1


  • Sturdy metallic construct
  • 4 stainless-steel ball bearings can deal with rugged environments
  • Spectacular drag energy


Anticipate the Fierce III to carry up nicely when battling good-sized trout, panfish, bass or small salt species. That sturdiness comes due to its metallic building—full physique and aspect plates—and Penn’s proprietary HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers. The 1000 dimension is a real ultralight, snug for lengthy use at 7.8 ounces. The 4+1 stainless-steel bearing system contains prompt anti-reverse to guarantee strong hooksets.

Greatest for Trout: Daiwa Tatula LT 1000

Greatest for Trout


Why It Made the Minimize: In all probability due to its high-density carbon fiber physique, the Tatula LT 1000 is remarkably mild. It has a really environment friendly gear ratio and loads of clean drag energy to deal with the largest trout. Seems to be good, too.

Key Options

  • Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 30.5” of line retrieved per flip
  • Line Capability: 250/4 to 110/8 mono (yards/pound take a look at)
  • Most Drag: 11 kilos
  • Bearings: 6+1


  • Light-weight
  • Six ball bearings plus curler for tremendous clean operation
  • Digigear know-how


  • Complaints of bail slipping open

This not-so-cheap reel is a part of Daiwa’s LT line. The “Gentle and Powerful” idea pares down design and focuses on building, utilizing state-of-the-art supplies for lighter weight parts that don’t compromise a reel’s power. The Daiwa Tatula LT sticks to that LT idea with a robust however light-weight high-density carbon materials physique, what Daiwa calls Zaion. The reel additionally affords a high-tech drive prepare, with the corporate’s DigiGear digital machining—guaranteeing gears match collectively precisely—and a cold-forged aluminum important gear for silky clean reeling. The parts flip inside a beneficiant set of six stainless-steel ball bearings, together with one with corrosion resistant coating. A excessive gear ratio will get fish handy rapidly and may have an effect on a speedy retreat from snaggy construction. The result’s a reel with the finesse wanted to land the smallest native, however with sufficient horsepower to tame the biggest steelhead.

Greatest Premium: Shimano Stella FOkay 1000

Greatest Premium

Shimano STL1000FK Stella FK Spinning Reel

Why It Made the Minimize: The latest version within the Stella collection is constructed for corrosion resistance with a metallic physique and waterproof drag, but it weighs just below six ounces and options 12 shielded ball bearings to maintain it working easily for a lifetime of use.

Key Options

  • Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 5.1:1, 25” of line retrieved per flip
  • Line Capability: 270/2 to 110/6 mono (yards/pound take a look at)
  • Most Drag: 7 kilos
  • Bearings: 12+1


  • Steel physique, coatings, and sealed drag
  • Clean cross carbon drag
  • Twelve sealed ball bearings supply exceptionally clean efficiency
  • Surprisingly mild weight


  • Gradual gear ratio
  • An costly funding

Shimano’s Stella collection reels signify a long-term funding in high-quality gear for severe anglers. The cold-forged metallic physique is totally inflexible, resistant to flexing beneath stress, and a set of inside and exterior coatings assist forestall corrosion, even in saltwater use. The sleek, sealed drag affords full management of your fish. The long-stroke spool and one-piece bail struggle tangles and promote orderly line lay on the retrieve.

Numerous thought has gone into the engineering of the Stella’s Propulsion Line Administration System, together with a spool lip designed for optimum casting distance. Chilly-forged Hagane metallic gears are a part of a specifically designed drive prepare, dubbed Micromodule Gear II, for easy, clean efficiency. The vary of technological advances constructed into the Stella FJ have impressed fierce loyalty amongst ultralight anglers, and it’s straightforward to see why.

Greatest Price range: Pflueger President 20

Greatest Price range


Why It Made the Minimize: This good-looking blue reel has six ball bearings, an aluminum deal with and spool, and a gradual oscillation that delivers nice line lay, all for round $60.

Key Options

  • Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1 Gear Ratio, 20.2” line retrieved per flip
  • Line Capability: 200/2 to 80/6 mono (yards/pound take a look at)
  • Most Drag: 6 kilos
  • Bearings: 6+1


  • Light-weight and compact
  • Runs easily on six ball bearings
  • Aluminum deal with and bail


  • Some experiences of line twist

Pflueger’s President 20 is a good worth every day reel, and it’s the one I exploit to fish spinners for small bass and panfish in my native pond. The drag is greater than satisfactory for smaller species, and the texture is easy on a lightweight 6-foot rod. The drag is sealed, and the aluminum spool is braid-ready; Pflueger lists the capability as 180 yards of 4-pound take a look at braid. The physique and rotor are graphite for a light-weight building, whereas the bail and deal with are sturdy strong aluminum.

Greatest Micro: Zenon SP20

Greatest Micro


Why It Made the Minimize: Abu Garcia calls the Zenon “the lightest spinning reel ever produced,” and it’s loaded with high-end options, together with 10 ball bearings, 11 kilos of drag, and a tiny, one-piece, no-wasted-space magnesium physique.

Key Options

  • Weight: 4.9 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 33” line retrieved per flip
  • Line Capability: 185/6 to 110/10 mono (yards/pound take a look at)
  • Most Drag: 11 kilos
  • Bearings: 10+1


  • Amazingly mild
  • Ten bearings guarantee smoothness and sturdiness
  • Quick gear ratio


Constructed as a finesse fishing reel for the quality-obsessed Japanese home market, Abu Garcia’s Zenon is full of the producer’s greatest tech. The reel achieves its remarkably low weight with a one-piece magnesium physique that eliminates pointless materials, a closely vented spool, and carbon fiber rotor. Along with being light-weight, the C6 V-Rotor offers ultra-low begin up inertia. Ten HPCR ball bearings hold the “plane grade” aluminum important shaft turning easily. The quick 6.2:1 retrieve will usher in 33” of line with every flip, and the 11-pound carbon fiber drag is powerful sufficient to show fish which might be often performed on larger reels.

Issues to Think about Earlier than Shopping for an Ultralight Spinning Reel

Spinning reels have quite a lot of specs, and ultralights are not any exception. The totally different parts of a reel will decide how nicely it performs on the water, and the way nicely it holds up season after season. You’ll need a reel that doesn’t really feel heavy within the hand, cranks easily, can fluctuate how exhausting it’s for a fish to tug line from the spool, and resists corrosion and grit.


Steel is broadly seen as one of the best materials in your reel’s physique due to its sheer power and rigidity. Nevertheless, carbon fiber can a superbly acceptable substitute and is used for our bodies and rotors on the a few of the prime fashions. Carbon fiber is often lighter than metallic, can typically deal with the stress of preventing bigger fish, and can by no means rust.


You’ll depend on your reel’s drag to place the brakes on hard-charging fish earlier than they get too distant to manage, or dart into heavy cowl that may break your line. The rule of thumb says drag ought to quantity to one-quarter of your line’s pound take a look at score. All of the reels listed right here can simply exceed that degree of drag, however a stronger drag is best as a result of it requires much less twiddling with the knob whereas taking part in your fish.


Reels use bearings to maintain gear shafts turning easily. The extra, the higher, though having just a few high-quality bearings is preferable to quite a few low-quality ones. Reel specs typically checklist the variety of ball bearings plus one curler bearing for the anti-reverse clutch.

Gear Ratio

The upper the primary quantity within the gear ratio, the extra line your reel will retrieve per flip of the deal with. If the ratio is 5.1:1, the rotor turns 5.1 occasions for every crank of the deal with. A slower retrieve is sweet for deep-running crankbaits or spinnerbaits, however a excessive ratio additionally lets you pull a buzzbait or lipless crankbait with applicable velocity. The gear ratio mixed with the scale of the spool yields within the “inches per flip” determine – how a lot line comes again onto the reel with a full flip of the deal with.


Q: Who makes one of the best ultralight spinning reel?

All reel manufacturers have costly and cheap fashions, and as with most issues, you get what you pay for. Some manufacturers, similar to Penn and Van Staal, are higher recognized for bigger freshwater and saltwater spinning reels. The perfect ultralight spinning reels most likely come from Shimano, which has a variety of very talked-about fashions, together with the Stradic, the Stella, and the Vanford.

Q: Are you able to catch huge fish on an ultralight rod?

You actually can catch huge fish on an ultralight rod. The following query is, are you able to land them? That is when a reel with a clean drag is most vital. A great-quality drag can apply sufficient stress to manage the fish, however not tighten so exhausting that the fish can break the road.

Q: What’s the lightest spinning reel available on the market?

The lightest spinning wheel I discovered for this roundup is the Abu Garcia Zenon SP20, at 4.9 ounces. The Zenon SP30, which has a bigger spool, weighs simply 5.4 ounces. Regardless of the sunshine weight, these are each competent reels.

Last Ideas

An ultralight spinning reel is a remarkably versatile fishing device, one which’s helpful on the shore of a big reservoir and on a small upland trout stream. Paying shut consideration to options and traits—like supplies, drag, bearings and kit ratio—makes it simpler to pick a reel that gives you few issues and far pleasure for seasons to return. Any of the above will serve you nicely in your light-tackle angling pursuits.

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