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Top 7 Best Ultralight Spinning Rods in 2022

Ultralight spinning rods are the best choice for crappie, perch, bass, and trout. They’re easy to use and control at all times and weather conditions.
Ultralight spinning rods are popular, and with technology improving, the market has more and more to offer. Lightweight spinning rods are ideal for adventurers and people who enjoy fishing on the go.

If you’re an adventurous angler, you’re probably looking to pack as little equipment as possible whenever you’re going fishing. In the article below, we’ve done a ton of research where we’ve provided the best ultralight spinning rods. Continue reading as we discuss their features and specifications as well as pros and cons.

Why Choose an Ultralight Spinning Rod?

You should choose an ultralight spinning rod because they are lightweight, which requires lesser energy for you to reel a fish. Additionally, choosing an ultralight spinning rod makes it easier for you if you’re an angler who likes to be adventurous.

These set-ups have lightweight components such as a light tackle-rod, lure, reel, and line.

Ultralight spinning rods bend well and provide somewhat more cushion to your line. These rods also assist the drag and help prevent failures and complications.

Some people might find light fishing rods a bit too delicate, but it’s still strong enough to handle some big bass and walleye. One other aspect is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on these products. Most ultralight spinning rods are affordable compared to other types of rods.

Best Overall


Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Best For Beginners


OKUMA Celilo Graphite Lightweight Rod

Best by Budget


Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

1. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Best Overall

Standout Features:

The Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod has 35% more graphite than other Ugly Stik products. Because of its graphite material, this product provides higher strength and enhanced feel at all times. It has a blank construction that makes it hard to destroy due to the combination of fiberglass and graphite. For this reason, the spinning rod is quite versatile and suitable for all kinds of fishing styles.

The Ugly Stik Elite features the Clear Tip design that adds responsiveness and some more strength to the overall design. It also comes with cork handles for more comfort, especially if you’re on a fishing trip that might last a long time.

It also comes with one-piece Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides and pop-outs inserts for easier use with all types of line. For its price and all the features that this product has to offer, I’d say the Ugly Stik Elite is first choice for a spinning rod.

2.OKUMA Celilo Graphite Lightweight Rod

Best for Beginners

Standout Features:

The Okuma Celilo lightweight rod is made of high-quality materials such as Graphite, which allows durability, resistance, and just enough sturdiness and flexibility.

The graphite blank construction is strong, but it’s also sensitive enough to let you feel even the slightest bite. It’s tested for quality and reliability to deliver impressive performance in different water bodies.

The Okuma Celilo Lightweight rod comes with resistant aluminum oxide guide inserts. These are compatible with all lines since they allow smooth performance at all times. This is also one of the reasons why you might see a lot of anglers using this brand rod.

Lastly, this product is resistant and strong, so it keeps the reel in place even during shock and vibration. It also has rear and fore cork grips for enhanced feel and better control.

3. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

Best by Budget

Standout Features:

There’s a reason why the Shakespeare is called a Micro spinning rod, and that’s mainly due to its lightness and flexibility.

The spinning rod is made of graphite composite and acts as an ultralight spinning pole. It’s an ideal piece for beginners who are just getting into fishing smaller fish in different types of waters.

It features full cork handles that provide good grip even when the rod is wet. This helps you have better control over the pole, especially at times when there’s fish hooked at the other end.

The conventional reel seat is durable and easy to use. It comes with cushioned hoods for enhanced smoothness since they’re compatible with most line types. On top of that, it also features stainless steel guides with inserts made of the same material.

4. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods

Standout Features:

The Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod is made of graphite and is among the most durable choices on the market. It’s tested for resistance and quality so you can expect longevity from its construction.

It has B2 Burled cork design that makes it more resistant to chipping and typical signs of wear. These provide an excellent grip and enhanced control over the pole at all times.

Another thing worth mentioning about the Fenwicks Eagle spinning rod is the combination of stainless steel components. Its guides and inserts are made from the material, so they make the rod compatible with different lines. These are lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and strong.

This product a versatile piece that has enough sensitivity but also the backbone to tackle different fish with ease. This makes the pole ideal for beginners and everyone who’s looking for simple handling.

5. Eagle Claw Featherlight Spinning Rod

Standout Features:

If you’re looking for quick response in a more traditional rod, you might want to consider this Eagle Claw model. It’s a two-piece that measures 6’ and has ultra-light power.

It’s made of fiberglass, so the overall feel is enhanced for you to notice even the smallest bite. The construction also provides forgiveness, which is essential for beginners and recreational anglers.

The Eagle Claw Featherlight spinning rod features cork handles for comfort and excellent grip at all times. It’s a sure grip while the design matches the rest of the pole. Similarly, other components add to the overall attractive appearance of this Eagle Claw model.

This one has five guides, plus the tip for more sensitivity. It’s suitable for 2-6 line pieces.

6. St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rods

Standout Features:

All the rods in the Panfish series are made of premium-quality SCII graphite along with high-strain SCVI graphite. This gives the construction optimal weight, balance, and sensitivity.

This product is designed to perform in all bodies of water and specifically for bluegill, crappie and other panfish. For this reason, it’s suitable for beginners since it’s relatively easy to use and allows you to feel even the smallest bite.

The rod features Pac Bay Minima guides that save up to 20-30% of weight than what you’d get with ceramic guides. This also enhances the sensitivity of the entire pole. It also features Pac Bay Minima reel seat along with a custom insert for better control.

7. KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Spinning Rod

Standout Features:

The KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light spinning rod is considered among the lightest rods available. It’s ultrathin and ultralight, so it’s ideal for catching trout, panfish, crappie, smallmouth bass, and other such species.

It’s IM7 graphite blank with a strain rate of 650K. It has premium components such as titanium guide frames and rings along with 2-piece graphite reel seats.

Another thing worth mentioning is its EVA handle that’s comfortable and helps with the overall ease of use. It’s quite resistant so it won’t show any signs of wear as quickly. EVA foam wraps the handle as well as split fighting butt, so there’s an ideal combination of comfort and balance.

It’s a two-piece that’s 6’0” long and great for on-the-go fishing. It’s simple to travel with, and its enhanced sensitivity helps beginners feel the bite much easier.

Buying Guide: Ultralight Spinning Rods

Light Action Fishing Rod Rating

Ultralight spinning rods feature moderate action. These rods offer a tip that’s sensitive and it bends quickly. Although it bends quickly, these types of rods (depending on the quality), will have a lot of strength.

If an ultralight spinning rod is built as fast-action, it will bend beyond the tip but still have enough control allowing you to tackle even some larger fish.

A moderate-action ultralight spinning rod bends and extends along its entire length. It doesn’t provide as much control, but it has impressive shock absorption.

Power Rating

An ultralight spinning rod power rating recommendation should be ultra-light because the rod will probably bend under a slight load.

If you go for a fast action rod, you’ll feel even the smallest fish pull. Keep in mind that ultra-light power doesn’t mean that the rod is weak.

Suggested Length for an Ultralight Fishing Rod

The suggested length for an ultralight fishing rod should be around 7 feet in length. Anything longer than that comes at the cost of accuracy.

As always, with a long rod, you could cast further away, but you shouldn’t expect the cast to be as precise. On the other hand, short rods are spot-on accurate though they cannot cast as far.

Ultralight spinning rods are also somewhat short. Their reels cannot hold as much line either. As such, they can’t cast that far but expect them to be accurate.


Ultralight rods must have quality guides. Light line is quite tricky to manufacture since friction can destroy those rather quickly.

The key here is to try and minimize friction as much as possible. Even if the fish you’re targeting is small and lightweight, you’ll use it more than once due to friction.

Even some of the heaviest lines break due to heat, so you can only imagine how a lighter line would react. For this reason, make sure to pay attention if the guides on the rod are well-made.

Recommended Lightweight Fishing Rod Material

We recommend carbon fiber for ultralightweight spinning rods.

  • Graphite – this material is ultra-light, stiff, and strong. Its high stiffness makes it quite sensitive as well. Such rods are highly durable.
  • Fiberglass – it’s heavier than graphite but also a bit more affordable. In most cases, it’s not as sensitive and stiff, but it’s strong. It’s among the best choices if you’re fishing for crappie.
  • Carbon fiber – this material is the stiffest among them all. It’s the lightest and strongest but also the most expensive.


Choosing a handle for your ultralight spinning rod is up to you since comfort is very much about preference. There are several materials to choose from here, though cork and EVA foam are the most popular choices.

Cork is warm and gives the rod an attractive look. Still, it’s not as resistant. EVA foam is extremely durable, soft, and cool to the touch.

FAQ for Ultralight Spinning Rod

What Are Ultralight Reels Used For?

Ultralight reels are used for primarily catching crappie, trout, panfish, and other small game fish. With these rods and reels, you won’t be able to target such heavy fish, but rather small ones. Larger species might come across, but this fishing gear is more suitable for tiny fish.

With ultralight reels, you should use 2-lb test mono and whatever up to 6 lb mono. Using a thick and heavy line with a light lure won’t result in an impressive cast. Instead, you should use something lighter.

This goes as far as you want and you can stop it any time. Still, casting small baits is fun, but losing them due to a thin line is annoying and troublesome. To avoid it, you can use your favorite lure with a 15-lb test braid.

This is something you can experiment with to some extent. If you’re a new angler, have some fun and try things until you find what works the best for you.

What Are Ultralight Reels Made Of?

The best types of ultralight reels are made out of lightweight aluminum, fiberglass, and graphite. The reel has to be built well and completely sealed to keep the freshwater and saltwater from soaking and corroding the inner gears.

Keep in mind that the ball bearings should be stainless steel. The housing should be sealed, so the ball bearings are protected from dirt and sand.

The spool should have a gripping surface. It would allow a braided fishing line without the backing of monofilament. Its drag system has to have high levels of adjustment along with high carbon content steel shaft.

All gears meant for durability and strength should also be made of quality materials. Only those that are quality-made can prevent a snapped line and lost fish.

Final Thoughts on the Best Ultralight Spinning Rod

Ultralight rods are great to have as part of your fishing tackle. They’re ideal for beginners and everyone who wants to catch fish for fun.

These rods can be a bit tricky to understand because they’re flexible and sensitive. However, if you give them a chance, you’ll have the best experience with lots of different lines, lures and fish species.

If you’re struggling to find the best one for you, we suggest you consider the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod. It’s among the best choices thanks to its quality components and the perfect balance of sensitivity and backbone.