Fishing Skillz is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel For Trout Fishing (Reviews for 2021)

Top Pick

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1, Precision Elliptical Gearing system
  • 7BB + 1RB bearing system, Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, Ambidextrous


We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Lasso Brag

Okuma Ceymar Ultralight Spinning Reel

I’ve found that the Okuma Ceymar is the best ultralight spinning reel for trout. The okuma Ceymar destroys the stereotype that spinning reels under $50 are cheaply made, lack in performance, and won’t last.  This reel has a reputation for being a stout lightweight reel that is extremely versatile and dependable. Its compact size and refined engineering make it an excellent traveling reel, and for the price, it simply cannot be beaten. If you are seeking out an affordable ultralight reel that has a buttery smooth cast and crank, then the okuma ceymar spinning reel is for you.

Ultralight Spinning Reels Mentioned

Searching for the holy grail of ultralight spinning reels can be a cumbersome and time-consuming experience.

Lucky for you we spent countless hours testing and researching the best ultralight spinning reels available on the market to come up with a ‘best of the best’ list to narrow down your search.

The Best Ultralight Spinning Reels For Trout Fishing (Reviews)

1. Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel (Top Pick)

The clear winner in the quest for finding the best spinning reel for trout fishing goes to the okuma ceymar lightweight spinning reel. The Ceymar winning should come at no surprise to anyone. It is an absolute powerhouse of a reel and an overall tremendous value that simply exceeds all expectations when fishing for trout.

Right out of the box the reel feels sturdy, rugged, and overall just really well designed. It sports a drilled spool, a thick bail wire, and an extremely sleek black design featuring fire engine red accents. I couldn’t wait to get it out on the water and as expected it did not disappoint. 

The cast was a thing of beauty and seemed utterly effortless. The crank had lightning fast retrieval that was strong and consistent, and as soon as I hooked my first trout of the day, I noticed the drag was buttery smooth and reliable. Whether it is a little four pound trout or a sizeable ten pounder you can be confident that the Ceymar’s drag won’t let you down when it counts.

Overall the Okuma Ceymar lightweight spinning reel couples a sleek design and smooth performance at a rock bottom price. If I had to describe this reel in one word it would be confidence. I know that it will take years of abuse in every imaginable climate and setting and still deliver. After just one outing I had to dig through my pockets and do a double take on the receipt. At around $50 I couldn’t believe the kind of performance and quality Okuma put into the Ceymar at that low price. It is an absolute steal. But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself on Amazon.

2. Shimano Sedona FL

To be blunt, the Shimano Sedona FI feels like a really high-end reel but without the added cost. It is compact in size which paired with right rod makes it a perfect travel reel for chasing trout on the go. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that it feels a little more refined than other reels. It can only be described in one word, smooth. Everyone I know that has one continually talks about how smooth and effortless the reel is. The casting and cranking are both as smooth as butter as well.

Another bonus feature of this super smooth Shimano Sedona is that it really takes the frustration out of inshore trout fishing. Cranking the reel is whisper quiet and the drag will hold its setting like no other. To top it off the frequency of wind knots is virtually non-existent. It is simply an all-around frustration free reel that is particularly useful at intercepting trout because of its lightweight size and ease of use.

The Shimano Sedona FI is Japanese precision in its purest (and least expensive) form that is perfect for recreational fishing and tournaments alike.

​​3. Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is a fantastic mid-range spinning reel choice for anglers of all levels of experience. It sports a thick bail, casts like a dream, and is overall really well made. The body and rotor are comprised of graphite which gives it a lightweight but solid feel to it.

The drag is smooth and silky and is just what the doctor ordered for landing trout of all sizes. I’d stock mine with a 10-15 lb monofilament line but you can go as lows as a 4lb if you have to for trout.

One thing many users find takes a moment to get used to it the slower retrieval rate. It seems almost counterintuitive at first cast but as soon as you get a 3 lb trout hooked on the line you’ll fall in love with the slower controlled reel. On top of that, the slower retrieval rate allows for keeping lighter baits suspended on the water for longer periods of time.

The thrill of owning a Pflueger President spinning reel comes with knowing you have a top-notch quality reel, that is reliable, and comes at an affordable price.

4. Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

The Okuma Helios can simply be described as a “Buy it for Life” ultralight spinning reel. It is the pinnacle of superior design, durable materials, and quality construction. It sports a carbon fiber body, rotor, and side plate that gives it strength, precision, and rigidity.

The Helios reel is perfect for smallmouth bass, steelhead fishing, small catfish, flounder, and tarpon. It seems to be better suited to freshwater fishing, but it definitely holds its own during inshore saltwater conditions as well. The best part of this reel is its 6.2 oz weight which makes it truly an all-day reel. That lightweight combined with its effortless cast makes you feel like you could fish all night and all day without any strain or discomfort.

If you’re looking for a reel that feels like a step up but without the added cost then look no further than the Okuma Helios lightweight spinning reel.

5. Shimano Stradic FK Spinning Reel

If you’re looking for the Cadillac of ultralight spinning reels, then the Shimano Stradic FK is the reel for you. Shimano happens to make some of the best fishing reels money can buy and the Stradic FK is no different. The engineers at Shimano set out to form a spinning reel that in every conceivable way helps improve the anglers experience out on the water.

As soon as you open up the box, you notice its highly polished chrome frame and royal blue accents that give it a sleek and professional look. Using cold forging technology the reel was molded to be perfectly balanced to reduce fatigue and have robust strength that you can depend on.

Beyond durability and looks the Stradic FK outperforms the majority of reels in the ultralight spinning reel class. Its lightweight frame gives it a great feel in the hand and makes casting a piece of cake. Likewise, the crank is buttery smooth and gives very little resistance. Thanks in part to the finely adjustable and incredibly smooth drag which is a surprise because most spinning reels aren’t generally known to have the best drag systems.

The Shimano Stradic FK spinning reel is an absolute champion when it comes to ultralight spinning reels. It’s made with smaller fish in mind, but many fishermen (myself included) have fought and landed absolute monsters with it thanks to the quality engineering and robust frame. If you’re looking for something dependable that will last the test of time, then don’t hesitate to pick up a Shimano Stradic FK.

What Is An Ultralight Spinning Reel?

The term ultralight refers to the lightest weight class of reel available on the market. Typically speaking, these lightweight reels have a more refined and gentle touch which is best reserved for targeting smaller game fish like panfish, crappie, trout, and smallmouth bass.

Paired with a lightweight pole and lightweight lures, a lightweight reel gives you a genuine advantage because it provides a stealthier cast and presentation which often adds up to fewer spooked fish and more overall bites.

When going ultralight, it’s all too common to select a 4-pound test line. That smaller 4-pound line will cast even the lightest of lures long distances but remain strong enough to not snap from the strike of a trout or bass. Spinning reels are the best at handling lightweight fishing line and are optimized for casting lighter weight lures as well.

What To Look For In An Ultralight Spinning Reel

best ultralight spinning reel for trout

A good balance in reel size. Too light and you’ll lack drag power, line capacity, and casting distance. I’d recommend getting a reel that is about 10 ounces or less and holds at a minimum of 110 yards of the 4 -pound test line we referenced earlier.

Maximum durability without added weight. Typically strengthening the reel itself means using more dense metals for the frame or components which means adding more weight. Finding a happy medium here is in advanced materials like graphite, cold forged metals, aluminum, and carbon fiber to give you the best blend of strength while still keeping the reel itself under that 10-ounce threshold.

Cutting edge performance. Ultralight reels can still have exceptional features that on the water make all the difference. For example, having a superb drag system that is reliable and strong will pay off in spades when a 12-pound bass strikes your line. Or a reel that provides frictionless casting that doesn’t get wound up or limit your range on the water.

Conclusion

You can’t go wrong with any of the ultralight reels on this list, but a quick recap might help you make your final purchase decision, starting with my top pick.

Top Pick: Okuma Ceymar

Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1, Precision Elliptical Gearing system
  • 7BB + 1RB bearing system, Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, Ambidextrous


We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Lasso Brag

As I’ve mentioned, it’s my opinion that the Okuma Ceymar is the best ultralight spinning reel for trout fishing. Yes, there are more expensive ultralight reels available that might come with additional features. But when you combine the quality that comes with this reel with its affordability, it makes its way to the top in my book.

The okuma ceymar destroys the stereotype that spinning reels under $50 are cheaply made, lack in performance, and won’t last.  This reel has a reputation for being a stout lightweight reel that is extremely versatile and dependable. Its compact size and refined engineering make it an excellent traveling reel, and for the price, it simply cannot be beaten. If you are seeking out an affordable ultralight reel that has a buttery smooth cast and crank, then the okuma ceymar spinning reel is for you.

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

best fishing line for trout

5 Best Fishing Lines For Trout Fishing (2021)

largemouth bass

What Do Bass Eat? | Searching For The Best Bait For Largemouth And Smallmouth Bass