Best Ultralight Spinning Reels of 2019: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

By Sonnox | Fishing Reel Reviews

best ultralight spinning reel
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For you to enjoy the thrills of your fishing expedition, as well as increase your chances of catching a large fish, you need to be fully prepared by showing up with the right set of tools. There are several reasons why you’d need an ultralight spinning reel. For one, it helps to eliminate the fatigue associated with carrying around a heavy fishing gear.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced angler or just planning a fishing trip with the boys; we have put together complete reviews of the best ultralight spinning reels around. We also included a detailed guide on what to look out for when shopping for a spinning reel with lighter rods, tackle, and reels.

Comparison Chart

Cadence Spinning Reel

Sougayilang Fishing Reel

Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel

One Bass Fishing Reel

Cadence CS4 Spinning Reel

Best Ultralight Spinning Reel Reviews

1. Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel

This ultralight spinning reel from Cadence is one of the best fishing gear you can ever spend your money on. The Manufacturer, Cadence, is a household name for quality fishing equipment and boast of products that offer premium, high-performance features at an unbeatable value.

Product Highlights

The main features of the Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel that make it a good addition to your arsenal of fishing gears include:

  • Ultra-lightweight Body

The Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel is truly made to be lightweight. It features a frame that is made from carbon composite materials. This makes it easy to hang on to the spinning reel while out on long fishing outings without feeling the weight of the world on your shoulder.

  • Stylish and Ultra-Smooth Design

Add a bit of style to your fishing expeditions with the Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel. The unique torsion control and the smooth design of the body all add up to provide an ultra-smooth performance.

Not only is this spinning reel designed to be lightweight, but it is also built for any type of outing no matter the weather or environment. No more reason not to head out to your favorite fishing spot and catch a big one!

  • Durable and Corrosion-Resistant Bearings

The entire unit is made to be durable and withstand corrosion. The eight high-performance, corrosion-resistant bearings, as well as the single anti-reverse bearing, are perfect for saltwater or freshwater fishing activities.

  • Powerful Carbon-Fiber Drag System

This spinning reel boasts a superior carbon-fiber drag system. This provides you with an incredible stopping power, which makes it possible to reel big fish into your boat.

What's to like about the Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel

The Cadence CS5 is a lightweight and durable fishing gear, which is something you want from a quality fishing reel. It is available in a variety of sizes, making it easy for you to find one that fits your requirements perfectly.

This spinning reel is also safe to use in saltwater and freshwater habitats, thanks to its highly corrosion-resistant body. In turn, this makes it a good investment if you want a spinning reel that will still be highly useful in years to come.

What's not to like about the Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel

While this spinning reel is made to be strong and durable, it is only ideal for game fish such as flounder, bass, redfish, and speckled trout. It may not offer much help when hunting super large fish such as pikes and sanders.


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    Lightweight and durable
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    Resists corrosion
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    Incredible drag system


  • Not effective in hunting large fish

2. Sougayilang Fishing Reel

The Sougayilang Fishing Reel is another quality, ultra-lightweight fishing gear that is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater environments. It is available in five different sizes, giving you more than enough options to choose from.

Product Highlights

Some of the features of the Sougayilang Fishing Reel you would appreciate include:

  • Lightweight Design

The lightweight body and compact design of this spinning reel allow for effortless casting. The product weighs just about 11 ounces, which makes it easy to handle for long-time fishing.

  • Strong and Durable

The Sougayilang Spinning Reel is equipped with a hardened metal shaft, precision brass gears, triple-disc carbon drag washers, and a CNC-machined aluminum handle that can easily be switched between the left and right hands.

  • High-Powered Drag System

The hardened metal shaft and precision-machined gear system provide you with extra fish fighting power. This makes it possible to reel in your catch without breaking much sweat.

  • Corrosion-Resistant Ball Bearings

The ball bearings on the Sougayilang Fishing Reel are designed to be smooth and resistant to corrosion. This makes this reel suitable for use in saltwater and freshwater fishing activities.

What's to like about the Sougayilang Fishing Reel

The ultra-lightweight and smooth design of this fishing reel is a good choice if you are in the market for a piece of equipment that can be used for long fishing hours.

The handles make it possible to switch the spinning reel between both hands, and the metal shaft gives you extra power to reel in large fish. This spinning reel is also suitable for use in any aquatic environment as it is designed to resist corrosion.

What's not to like about the Sougayilang Fishing Reel

The screws on the reel have been known to get rusted after just a few fishing expeditions. To tackle this problem, you might need to replace the screw with lubricated stainless high-powered screws. This is something you might not be comfortable with doing just a few weeks or months after purchasing the product.


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    Very lightweight
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    Available in various sizes
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    Resistant to corrosion


  • The screws rust easily

3. Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel

Another quality product from Cadence, the CS8 is designed with a premium magnesium frame, making for a lightweight, superfast reeling no matter the weather or environment.

Product Highlights

The Cadence CS8 is packed with features that make it a good tool to take with you on any fishing outing, and these include:

  • Lightweight Design

The magnesium and carbon-fiber frame installed on the CS8 makes the entire unit easy to handle for long hours without too feeling tired or stressed out. In addition, the machined line spool helps to keep the line from slipping and also protects the drag system.

  • Ultra-Smooth and Fast Performance

The Cadence CS8 is an ultralight spinning reel that comes with nine ball bearings. These provide a super low torque that produces a fast gear ratio of 6.2:1/5.2:1. As a result, you get an ultra-smooth and fast performance.

  • Corrosion-Resistant Ball Bearings

The ball bearings on the CS8 are made from a corrosion-resistant, stainless steel material. This makes it possible to use the spinning reel for fishing in saltwater and freshwater environments without fear of any of the components rusting.

  • Highly Durable

Equipped with a machined aluminum spool, aluminum pinion gear, aluminum handles, stainless steel ball bearings, magnesium frame, and carbon-fiber drag system, you can trust that this spinning reel will last for years. The CS8 is designed to be highly durable, making it a good spinning reel to spend your money on.

What's to like about the Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel

For an ultralight spinning reel, the Cadence CS8 is designed to provide maximum functionality and handling, which makes the reel safe to use by kids and those without much fishing experience. It is also highly durable due to the use of high-performance, lightweight materials.

The sleek design and the choice of aluminum as the handle material easily provide you with enough power for reeling in your catch. You also get to use the reel on any type of environment as it is designed to be corrosion-resistant.

What's not to like about the Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel

It can be frustrating using the smaller size reels as they are known to break when trying to reel in a large catch. If you don’t want to regret spending on the CS8, you should go for the large sizes.


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    Easy to carry around
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    Highly durable
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    Does not rust easily


  • Smaller reel sizes are not suitable for large fish

4. One Bass Fishing Reel

The One Bass Fishing Reel is another quality ultra-lightweight fishing equipment you can invest in. Made from lightweight aluminum, the reel is designed to provide smooth and long-lasting performance for both experienced and inexperienced fishermen.

Product Highlights

This fishing reel is designed to be a piece of good fishing equipment for both beginners and experienced anglers. It offers plenty of features, including:

  • Lightweight Design

Made from lightweight aluminum, the entire reel is designed to be light and easy to handle for long fishing outings. The aluminum handle makes it possible to hold the reel and easily switch it between your left and right hand.

  • High Performance

In addition to being lightweight, the choice of aluminum as a material for the spool and carbon for the rotor and drag system makes the spinning reel powerful and highly efficient.

  • Smooth and Durable

The ball bearings are designed to be smooth and durable. They can also withstand rust, making it safe to use in any fishing environment.

  • Available in Different Sizes

The One Bass Fishing Reel is available for purchase in different sizes. The small sizes can be used in minor fishing expeditions, while the larger ones can reel in pikes and trout. With these many options, you can find the one that suits your fishing needs easily.

What's to like about the One Bass Fishing Reel

The One Bass Spinning Reel is light on the hands. This makes it easy to handle for long hours while out at sea or your neighborhood lake. It also features durable quality materials, making it a piece of good value equipment for long-term fishing.

The ball bearings are made to be corrosion-resistant, making it safe to use in any type of aquatic environment—be it saltwater or freshwater. You can also select from any of the available sizes depending on your needs.

What's not to like about the One Bass Fishing Reel

Unfortunately, the distance between the rod mount and the ball wire is short compared to other brands. As a result, the ball wire comes in contact with your knuckle whenever you are reeling the line in.

Also, the drag on the reel isn’t completely smooth and might need adjustment to get it to stop jerking when you apply pressure to it.


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    Different size options
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    Resists corrosion


  • The short distance between ball wire and rod mount
  • Drag needs to be adjusted

5. Cadence CS4 Spinning Reel

The CS4 is yet another quality fishing reel from Cadence. Equipped with premium quality components, this spinning reel boasts a meticulous manufacturing process that makes for a high-performance product.

Product Highlights

Similar to the other Cadence spinning reels that made our top five list, you will enjoy a variety of amazing features if you invest in the CS4, such as:

  • Premium Materials

The Cadence CS4 Spinning Reel is made from a carbon composite frame and side plates. This combination provides perfect gear alignment and rigidity.

  • Durable and Lightweight Body

The machined aluminum spool is designed to be strong and provides you with the durability that comes with a quality product. It is also lightweight, which makes it possible for you to handle the spinning reel for hours without tiring out.

  • Available in Different Sizes

The Cadence CS4 comes in four different sizes that offer different gear ratios. This makes it possible for you to find the one that meets your fishing preferences and requirements.

  • Corrosion-Resistant Ball Bearings

The ball bearings are made from stainless steel. This makes the fishing reel smooth, durable, and also resistant to corrosion. In turn, you can use it in both saltwater and freshwater environments.

What's to like about the Cadence CS4 Spinning Reel

The CS4 Spinning Reel is made from durable and lightweight materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and carbon. It is highly resistant to corrosion, making it suitable for use in any kind of fishing environment.

What’s more, you can choose from any of the four available size options depending on the one that meets your needs.

What's not to like about the Cadence CS4 Spinning Reel

When fishing at a depth of more than 10 feet, the ball nut on the shaft of the reel occasionally gets loosened and might need to be tightened regularly. This can put a damp in your fishing experience once you have to reel up to make adjustments every 30 minutes.


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    Ultra-lightweight and durable
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    Different size options
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    Resistant to corrosion


  • Ball nut easily gets loosened

Buyer's Guide

It can be a difficult task to find a quality and ultralight spinning reel. Because there are a lot of products to choose from, it can be a difficult task to decide on the best one to pick. There are a few things you should be on the lookout for when shopping for an ultralight fishing reel, and they include:

1. Purpose

You need to ask yourself why you are looking for a spinning reel in the first place. This could be because you want to go fishing and need the right tools for your outing. You also need to buy a fishing reel that suits the type of fishing environment you will be using it in.

There are spinning reels designed for saltwater environments while there are others made to be used in fishing in freshwater habitats. You can also easily find a fishing reel that can be used in both fishing environments.

2. Materials

The types of materials used in making the fishing reel are also something you should have in mind. Spinning reels made from materials such as magnesium, carbon, stainless steel, and aluminum are known to be ultralight and highly durable.

If you don’t want to buy a spinning reel every time you have to go fishing, then you will need to keep an eye out for reels made from any of the materials mentioned earlier.

3. Drag

The drag on the spinning reel goes a long way in determining its performance. The drag system makes it possible for you to reel in your catch. This is why you need to ensure that it is equipped with a drag system that can be useful in any type of environment.

Fishing reels equipped with a carbon-fiber drag system offers high performance and are known to have the strength to support large fish reeling.

4. Size

The size of a fishing reel also dictates whether you will be able to reel in your catch or not. Fishing reels are designed to either be small, medium, or large. You want to ensure that the product you settle for is available in different sizes. This provides you with options to choose from depending on your fishing needs.

5. Gear Ratio

Another thing to be on the lookout for when shopping for a spinning reel is the gear ratio. You want to check that your product has a gear ratio of 5.2:1/6.2:1 or anything that falls between these ranges. That’s because these can help to promote smooth line retrieval and limits breakages.


1. What is ultralight fishing?

Ultralight fishing is a term mainly used when referring to casting and spinning rods that are designed to be lighter, shorter, and sleeker than regular ones.

Reducing the size and weight of the gear increases the chances of catching more fish compared to when you use full-sized heavier gears. This makes most anglers choose ultralight fishing reels for their outdoor expeditions.

2. How do you use an open face reel?

Open-face spinning reels are popular among anglers due to their versatility. To use an open-face reel in casting, you will need to hold on to the reel by placing two fingers on either face of the post. Then, with your index finger on the line, use your other hand to free the bail to release the line for the cast.

3. What is a good spinning reel for trout?

A good spinning wheel for trout is one that is equipped with nine ball bearings and designed to be strong and lightweight. Since trout is a freshwater fish that can weigh an average of 12 kilos at maturity, you will need a fishing reel that is strong and lightweight enough to support its weight when reeling it in.

The Cadence CS4 and CS8 are good spinning reels for trout. You can also use the One Bass fishing reel to catch trout, thanks to its incredible carbon-fiber drag system that is capable of supporting large fish.

4. How to spool a spinning reel?

While there are different ways to spool a spinning reel, most anglers follow the same principle. This involves matching the size of the reel with the size of the line. To begin, you will need to spool some fluorocarbon or monofilament line on the reel spool.

Ensure that you match the line action as both lines should go in the same direction. This helps to reduce line twist. Once both lines are in, you will need to make a knot at the end of the line and then wrap the line around the spool.

Once this is done, make two more overhead knots and add pressure on the mainline to tighten the spool. Once the line is fastened to the spool, cover your bail and pull down the line towards the pole. You can now begin reeling once you test that the line releases smoothly.

5. What is an ultralight rod?

Just as the name implies, an ultralight rod is a fishing rod that is designed to be lightweight. Yet, in most cases, the term is not only used to refer to only the rod but also used to refer to an entire fishing gear with lightweight reels, lures, and lines.

Final Verdict

While all the spinning reels mentioned above are truly lightweight and durable, we do have to settle for one. The Cadence CS8 is our best ultralight spinning reel not only because it is lightweight and durable, but also because the manufacturers provide a warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Truly, this is all you need to assure that it isn’t a bad investment.

The other fishing reels we have mentioned here are quality products that you can spend your money on too. Just remember that when shopping for a fishing reel, it is important that you make your selection by following the buyer's guide we provided above.

What type of fishing reel have you used in the past? Do you have any fishing reel you will like us to review? Send us an email or let us know in the comment section.

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