Ultralight fishing is the new trend in the world of angling. The fact that it is so popular is because it brings back the fun element. Ultralight spinning rods, as the name suggests, are ultra-light and highly sensitive.
No other rods come even close to an ultralight when you need to detect a light strike. Heavy spinning rods might be the perfect choice for a professional angler, but for someone who likes to take things lightly, there is nothing better than an ultralight spinning rod.
The ultralights provide incredible sensitivity, and if you’re casting light lines and lures, there are no other rods that can match up to an ultralight rod. You can use these rods for bass, panfish, trout, perch, and small walleye, and others species. Don’t get fooled by the name as they are quite strong.
An expert can easily catch some big bass and walleye with these rods. Ultralight rods provide cushion to your line by bending adequately and assisting the drag in preventing failures when you tie a difficult fish. If you’re an adventurous angler, who likes to hike and travel long distances for fishing, then packing an ultralight is your best option.
After careful consideration, I have listed the five best ultralight spinning rods available in the market right now. Read further for the detailed review of each product and my final verdict.
Best Ultralight Spinning Rods [Review Table]
The KastKing Calamus Ultralight Spinning Rod is one of the best ultralights available in the market. It is the best ultralight spinning rod for trout, crappie, smallmouth bass, panfish, and other species.
The rod is IM7 graphite blank with a strain rate of 650K. Titanium guide frames are its premium components there are also 2-piece graphite reel seats. The EVA handle is comfortable and easy to use. It’s quite resistant to abuse in the water as the EVA foam wraps the handle.
Furthermore, the EVA foam also wraps the split fighting butt for greater comfort and required balance. The 5’0’’ long rod is lighter to carry, and its enhanced sensitivity helps amateurs to cast efficiently. Overall, the Kastking Calamus Ultralight Spinning Rod ticks all the right boxes of a great ultralight spinning rod.
- Travel friendly with only 2.5 ounces of weight
- Premium components
- Enhanced sensitivity
- Titanium guide frames
- EVA foam wrapped
- Some users complained about the rod being too sensitive
The Cadence CR5-30 Ultralight Spinning Rod is an excellent ultralight in the budget range. The 5’6” long rod has a moderate-fast action and comes with graphite components. The lure size of 1/32 to 1/8 oz is perfect for this rod.
The Line weight of 2 to 6 # with 12” cork handles. There are also EVA foam/spinning material that makes the handle smooth and easy to use. The guide material is of stainless steel with 2 SiC inserts pieces. The moderate-fast action can easily turn a big fish in difficult conditions, and it also utilizes the light lines under high stress.
Furthermore, this CR5-30 ultralight is strong enough for largemouth bass or walleye. This ultralight rod has a great flex throughout its length, thoroughly observing the force that would transfer to your line otherwise. The excellent grade quality and the premium handles are its premium features.
Overall, the Cadence CR5-30 Ultralight Spinning Rod is a fantastic ultralight rod with outstanding sensitivity.
- Outstanding sensitivity
- Quality handles
- Guaranteed soft hooksets
- Great line guides
- Some users complained about quality control
Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultralight Rod is an excellent rod with an affordable price tag. The 6’6” long rod can give any premium rod a run for the money. The blank on this rod bends to 1/3rd from the tip. From this point the backbone starts to resist the touch.
The ultralight rod has a moderate action and the lure size of 1/32 to 3/8 oz. with the line weight of 2 to 6 #. The guide has stainless steel with aluminum oxide inserts. A serious fish will bend the ultralight rod to an arc. For a two or four-pound test, this can save you from a line failure. The Celilo casts well for the length and remains accurate with light lines and lures.
Furthermore, the guide quality is at par with the premium options with gentle hooksets. The cork handle is comfortable and easy to grip. While it may not take much abuse as the premium rods, but it is an excellent value for the money. Overall, the Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultralight Rod is perfect for having a fun time fishing in the waters.
- Great sensitivity
- Excellent line guides
- Quality handles
- Superb casting
- Guaranteed gentle hooksets
- Great features within an affordable price tag
- Fragile in comparison
The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod comes from a popular brand of fishing equipment manufacturers. The ultralight spinning rod is 6’6” long and uses graphite/fiberglass as its primary material. The ultralight rod has a medium action and the Lure size is that of 1/32 to 1/8 oz.
The Ugly Sticks is well known for their tough bomb-proof quality rods. These ultralight rods’ are designed for practicality and will not break down easily. The rod is extremely sturdy and the tip is quite sensitive. The well-designed handle is comfortable for all-day fishing. The high-quality guides offer added strength and increased sensitivity.
Moreover, the cork handles offer smoothness for hours of comfortable fishing and reliable hook sets. The spin rod has a Clear Tip design that is ultra-sensitive and responds to the smallest of strikes, and it is ideal for all lines, including braid for perfect versatility. It has 35 percent more graphite which makes for lighter weight rod.
Furthermore, the One-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides eliminate pop-outs, and a 7-year warranty backs the stick. Overall, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod delivers professional performance at an affordable price.
- Outstanding sensitivity
- Great handles
- Tough built and sturdy
- Superb line guides
- Less refined in comparison
The Fenwick Elite Tech River Runner Spinning Rod is 6’ 9” long and has graphite components along with a fast action. The Lure size of 1/32 oz to 3/16 oz is perfect for this rod. The Line weight is 2 to 6 #, and the handle gets split cork/spinning.
Fenwick’s rods are the best premium rods with the price on the higher range. The River Runner ultralight has a fast action and gives us more control during a fight. The combination of action, power, length works is perfect for every fish from bass to bluegill. The guide material is titanium that makes it quite strong.
Furthermore, the Fenwick has a perfect casting Big perch and small walleye, largemouth bass are easily caught. It also has split handles and high-end cork. It also comes with a unique rod seat design mechanism, providing a continuous cork grip. Overall, the Fenwick elite tech river runner spinning rod is a great ultralight rod for all purposes.
- Excellent sensitivity
- Smooth handles
- Great line guides
- Great combination of action, power, and strength
- Excellent casting
Factors to Consider Before Buying an Ultralight Spinning Rod
You will need to consider various factors before you purchase an ultralight spinning rod. The best ultralight spinning rod and reel combo will enhance your fishing experience by ten folds.
So, you need to be very careful in selecting the right rod for your ultralight spin fishing adventure. Factors like action, power, material, and others helps you to determine the best product that suits your requirement.
A variety of materials goes into the making of the rod, including carbon fiber, fiberglass, and graphite. The composite construction one material are also popular that provides their backbone.
Graphite is strong, ultra-light. The graphite is also very stiff that makes it quite sensitive. The rod is a great and durable choice for an ultralight rod. The material of Fiberglass is heavier than graphite and less expensive.
It is not stiff and sensitive as graphite, but it is quite strong. This feature makes for more cushioned hooksets. Carbon fiber is the stiffest, light, strong material used in a rod. This expensive material is ideal for rod blanks as it gives an unparalleled performance.
Ultralight rods are generally no longer than 7 feet in length. This feature is due to the fact that the length affects the casting accuracy. The increase in the length of the rod means that you can cast longer, but it also decreases the accuracy of the casts. Similarly, the shorter rods are more precise, but casting distance will get limited.
Ultralight rods tend towards the shorter end, and the reels cannot hold many lines. The ultralight rods have greater precision and finesse. Rods closer to 7 feet can cast significant distance. Slightly stiffer ultralights will also serve the purpose.
The action of the rod determines at which point will its length begin to bend while casting. Fast action rods bend near the tip and is stiff for most of their length. On the other hand, the slow action rods start to bend to the handle and reel seat. These rods curve over the longer percentage of the length.
You can find the ultralight rods to be fast or moderate action. They offer a delicate tip that bends quickly. As the load on the rod increases, the strength of their blank kick in. An ultralight rod with fast action bends beyond the tip and provides enough strength to catch even the biggest of fish.
An ultralight rod with moderate action bends along its length even before the blank begins to resist. The bend can also reach the point of a parabolic arc. This helps in cushioning the light line for a difficult catch. The shock absorption will increase; however, you will lose some control.
The force required to bend the rod is its power. A rod’s power will significantly alter the rod’s performance. The blank’s power is ultra-light, and it bends under some loads. Now there is a misconception that ultralight means weak. However, let me clairy that it is not true and the ultralight rods are quite strong.
Cork and EVA foam are two primary materials used in the making of the handle. The Cork material is warmer and more attractive, but it cannot take much abuse. While EVA foam is softer and cooler to touch, but it is quite durable.
Line and Lure Weight
Light lines and tiny lures is ideal for slender and slim ultralights. The line weight of two to six pounds is ideal for ultralight rods. The lures ranging from 1/64 ounce to ¼ ounce is favourable.
The friction caused by light lines can quickly destroy two, four, and six-pound test. The ultralight rods need an outstanding line guides. Friction and heat can break even the heaviest of line.
Low-quality guides can derail your fishing adventure. The first step to check the line guide is to saw the line against a large guide. If the line breaks quickly, you will come to know that it is a low-quality rod. You should avoid those at all costs and opt for a high quality rod instead.
Ultralight rods are most commonly used with spinning reels. Spinning reels can handle light line better than the baitcasting or spin-cast reels. A spinning reel has less amount of friction than other types of reel.
In a baitcasting reel, it must spin the spool and no matter how much well made the reel is the friction will kill casting distance. In spin-cast reels or Closed-face reels, there are line friction with internal design and the housing. This feature means that spinning reels are the best option for ultralight rods.
The Final Verdict
All the ultralight rods listed above are of top-notch quality and provide great value. However, if I had to pick one, I would pick the Kastking Calamus Ultralight Spinning Rod. The Kastking Calamus Ultralight Spinning Rod comes with power-packed features and is lightweight at only 2.5 ounces.
Premium Titanium guide frames enhances the sensitivity. The EVA foam covered handle is comfortable and easy to use. Overall, the rod from the reputed brand of Kastking can be your best fishing companion. You could also go with any other ultralights rods in the list as every rod on the list ensures great performance.