Best Ultralight Spinning Rods

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The best ultralight spinning rod will set you up for success with a wide variety of fish. While most spinning rods for fishing are lightweight, this list is comprised of the ultralight options that’ll save you from carrying too much.

Combining style, weight, durability, functionality, and a few other features, we’ve put together a handful of the best choices available on the market.

Our Top Pick:

Model
Price
Editor’s Rating
St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rod
St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rod (6’9” ULF)
4.9/5

Fishing is and always has been popular. More unique gear is being produced within recent years, making the sport even more exciting than ever. If you’ve been on the hunt for a new ul spinning rod, then look no further.

The list below has any and all solutions that you could be looking for. Need the best ultralight spinning rod under $100? Check! How about the best spinning rod and reel combo? Check! Both of those and more can be found here today. Good luck!

The Top Ultralight Spinning Rods on the Market

1. Okuma Celilo Graphite Spinning Rod | Best Under $50

Okuma Celilo Graphite Spinning Rod
Okuma Celilo Graphite Spinning Rod (Image: Amazon)

Okuma makes some of the best of the best lightweight fishing gear. They produce a variety of ultralight spinning reels, but this rod is another great example of their excellent craftsmanship. The Okuma Celilo Graphite Spinning Rod comes at a killer price with top-notch handling and an ergonomic grip.

At 6’6, this rod is fairly easy to control for most people. It bends well at the top, preventing the rod from snapping or permanently being bent. The high-quality cork is excellent for preventing rust where metal is usually used, and it also helps mold to your hand over time. However, you’ll still get the durability of stainless steel and aluminum throughout the rod.

This rod is incredibly light, you’ll be able to catch trout, crappie, and all sorts of other small to medium-sized fish without a problem. Why spend money on a heavyweight rod when you can do the same with something that weighs much less and has a better price tag? This rod is an excellent choice for people on a budget.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Made with cork, aluminum, and stainless steel
  • Comfortable handling with a grip
Cons
  • Some people don’t like cork because it can absorb water

2. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod (4.6′) | Best Short Rod

Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod (4.6’)
Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod (4.6′) (Image: Amazon)

Whether you’re fishing with kids or looking for the best ultralight spinning rod for small fish, you should get a micro rod. The Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod in the 4.6′ size is definitely the top choice on the list in this category. Since it’s over 2 feet shorter than the average rod, you can pack it up virtually anywhere.

Don’t let the size fool you, this rod is a top choice for many fishermen. It comes with full cork handles to imprint to your grip, giving a naturally ergonomic feeling. The base of the rod is cushioned to make it even more comfortable. You’ll even notice that the reel seat area on the rod is padded as well.

The massive weight reduction that you’ll feel on this rod is caused by the usage of graphite and composite materials. They combine to cut out plenty of pounds where steel is usually used throughout the rod. Cut the weight, slash the price, and get your hands on this lightweight 4.6′ spinning rod!

Pros
  • Comes with an ergonomic cork handle
  • Made out of graphite and composite materials
  • Much shorter than the average rod
Cons
  • Not strong enough for big fish
  • Could be too short for some people

3. Pflueger President Spinning Rod & Reel (6’6”) | Best UL Spinning Combo

Pflueger President Spinning Rod & Reel
Pflueger President Spinning Rod & Reel (6’6”) (Image: Amazon)

The Pflueger President Spinning Rod & Reel combo is one of the best all-around package deals in the fishing industry. It’s made to withstand all sorts of weather elements, making it last for years to come. The stainless steel body is anti-rust and anti-corrosion, which is ideal if you’re fishing in saltwater.

This particular model of the Pflueger President set is 6’6 and comes with an aluminum handle. The cork handle is similar to the previous two models in the sense that it helps imprint your hand. This allows you to have a custom-made rod and for a fantastic price thanks to the natural fit of cork.

One of the best features of this rod is that you can actually choose from several different models. Depending on the size you’re looking for, you can go with 4’8” all the way up to 7’0” in length. Some of them come as a combo, while others only include the rod if you already have a good ul spinning reel.

Pros
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Perfect combo for beginners
  • Made with aluminum, stainless steel, and cork
Cons
  • Untreated cork can get waterlogged
  • Slightly larger, which could be an issue

4. St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rod (6’9” ULF) | Best for the Money

St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rod (6’9” ULF)
St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rod (6’9” ULF) (Image: Amazon)

The St Croix Panfish Series Spinning Rod is 6’9” long, making it a top choice for people looking for a bigger fisher rod than their current model. It’s a great example of why you can still have a lightweight rod in a longer size. The reason that it’s best for the money is that it’s stylish, quick, and just about as comfortable as they get.

The unique spiral design of this rod helps it stand out among the competition. It’s also built to last for several years on end, which is something that the vast majority of ul rods in the industry simply cannot claim. The company even states that it saves upwards of 30% weight compared to the normal lightweight rods.

If you like options, you’re in luck. While the best choice for the money is the 6’9 model, you can choose from several others. These models range from 5’0 all the way up to a staggering 9’0 in length. They also come in varying speeds to give you the exact style of rod that you’re looking for.

Pros
  • Comes in numerous sizes and speeds
  • Comfortable handling thanks to the cork coating
  • Unique, stylish design
Cons
  • Off-gold coating might not be visually appealing to some people
  • The spiral fit could get in the way

5. Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod (8’0) | Best 8′ Spinning Rod

Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod
Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod (8’0) (Image: Amazon)

Berkley is another company that makes quite a few fishing rods. In fact, this product won’t be the only rod on the list made by them. That being said, the Berkley Lightning Rod Trout Rod (8’0) is the best long spinning rod on the internet. This durable model allows for maximum bending without damaging the rod whatsoever.

It uses stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide to prevent the line from sliding and slipping around. This is normally an issue that would result in a snapped line or fish escaping due to a lack of control. However, neither of those are problems that you’ll have to deal with if you go with this lightweight spinning rod.

Although this review is for the 8′ model, you can also choose from two others. These options include 6’6 and 7′ rods, both of which are still very ultralightweight. Each choice, including the 8′ option, is a 2-piece set to give you everything you need in order to get started. It’s perfect for beginners and experts alike.

Pros
  • Comes in three different sizes
  • Designed to prevent the line from slipping or breaking
  • Durability is as good as you’ll find
Cons
  • Plain appearance, nothing flashy
  • Uses a few plastic parts

6. KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Spinning Rod (5’0 UL)

KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light
Cadence Spinning Rod (CR5-30) (Image: Amazon)

If you want a good bump up in quality, then this is the set for you. The KastKing Calamus UL Rod is a solid choice for anyone looking for a top-notch 5’ spinning rod. It also comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 4’6 to 7’0. However, the 5′ option is our favorite since it’s easy to travel with and it doesn’t take up much space.

Using titanium and multiple other durable materials, you can trust this rod to last you much longer than the competition. Special guides allow the line to smoothly move as you reel it in, preventing it from skipping and breaking. It weighs an incredibly low 3 ounces, one of the lightest choices you’ll find.

Another unique feature that comes with this rod is the hook holder. Stop losing your hooks in the lake, you’re spending hard-earned money on them! This holder keeps them from being lost or dropped. If you don’t like the cork handles from the previous models, then you’ll love the cushioned grip on this one.

Pros
  • Padded grip for good handling
  • Incredibly lightweight at only 3 ounces
  • Several sizes to choose from
Cons
  • No option for a cork handle
  • Can be too small for some people

7. Cadence Spinning Rod (CR5-30)

Cadence Spinning Rod (CR5-30)
Cadence Spinning Rod (CR5-30) (Image: Amazon)

The Cadence Spinning Rod (CR5-30) has quite a few models to choose from. We’ll be focusing on the 5’6 model since it has all of the best properties of the previous options on the list. You’ll be using a cork handle with an additional padded foam grip to get the best of both worlds. It also uses a multi-layer core for extra durability.

Using carbon fiber, this company manages to cut down on weight tremendously without reducing the integrity of the product. There’s also a graphite interior layer to allow the rod to bend without breaking or staying permanently bent. Each guide ring allows you to reel it in smoothly without any hiccups.

The aforementioned guides are made out of stainless steel, which is perfect for preventing corrosion. When you’re all done for the day, this rod breaks down into two pieces to save space and make storage much easier. It’s perfect for trout and panfish, making it the ultimate choice for small game fishing.

Pros
  • Comes with several layers of durable materials
  • Designed to bend far without breaking
  • Comfortable grip area
Cons
  • The steel needs to be dried off to prevent rust
  • Not designed for large fish

8. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod (5′ 2-Piece)

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod (5′ 2-Piece) (Image: Amazon)

If you like two-piece spinning rods, then you’re going to like what’s in store at number eight on the list. The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod has a 5’0 option that separates into two pieces for easy transportation and storage. However, those of you who enjoy single-piece models can also opt for that choice as well.

Using graphite and stainless steel, this spinning rod reduces the overall weight while maintaining a high level of durability. It comes at a great price compared to the other models of its caliber. In fact, it’s in the top of its league for well-known brands without a huge price tag. Choose from one of the plethora of other styles if you prefer a longer rod.

The 5’0 ul spinning rod comes with steel ring guides and a cork handle. The guides are one piece of metal molded onto the rod, preventing it from cracking or breaking off easily. Many other brands cut costs by simply screwing in the rings or using plastic, which is definitely not the case with this product.

Pros
  • Comes in plenty of sizes
  • Uses stainless steel and cork as the main materials
  • Steal of a deal for the price point
Cons
  • Steal of a deal for the price point
  • Ergonomic dip on the handle might be an inconvenience for some

9. Eagle Claw Featherlight Spinning Rod (UL Yellow)

Eagle Claw Featherlight
Eagle Claw Featherlight Spinning Rod (UL Yellow) (Image: Amazon)

You don’t always need fancy features to have a good time when you’re fishing. In fact, less is more to some fishermen. If you’re in that category, then the Eagle Claw Featherlight Spinning Rod (UL Yellow) is going to be the best option for you. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of other brands, making it much more affordable.

The bright yellow color of the rod makes it stand out from the rest. You better believe that you won’t be losing it any time soon without seeing it light up! The cork handle helps you get a solid grip on the handle without slipping. Cork is perfect for people who go fishing often since it slowly molds to the shape of your hand.

The rod itself is made out of fiberglass for the most part. This gives it a great level of durability while cutting the weight down a bit. Fiberglass is also well-known for being much more flexible than other materials. You don’t have to worry at all about it bending too far or breaking. It’s the perfect solution for trout and panfish.

Pros
  • Comes with a bright yellow coating to never lose it
  • Made to flex and bend without damaging the product
  • Easy to handle with the cork grip
Cons
  • Fiberglass can wear down from too much sunlight
  • Meant only for small fish

10. Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Rod (5’6″)

Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Rod
Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Rod (5’6″) (Image: Amazon)

Last but definitely not least on the list in another Berkley fishing rod. The Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning Rod (5’6″ version) is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing choice on the list. It uses a deep red finish throughout the rod combined with the naturally light appearance of cork to make a fantastic visual.

The 5’6 model that this rod comes in is the best from the options since it can split into two pieces for easier storage. However, you’ll still have the option of choosing a larger or smaller rod if you so desire. The other choices range from 4’6 to 7’0, giving everyone the exact one that they need.

The aluminum oxide coating on this rod makes it much more durable than other materials. That being said, it also reduces weight, giving you both desirable features in one product. There’s even a built-in anti-reverse system that helps you maintain control of the situation. Easy fishing, lightweight design, and durable construction… It’s as good as it gets!

Pros
  • Attractive appearance
  • Strong, reliable construction
  • Multiple sizes to choose from
Cons
  • Not a low-profile design

How to Choose the Best UL Spinning Rod

When you’re looking to find the best ultralight spinning rod, there are a few features to look for. Other than the obvious longevity and appearance, you should keep an eye out for how comfortable it feels when you’re using it. All of the items on the list are designed with cork or some sort of foam padding for an ergonomic grip. If you’re still searching for a few answers about ul spinning rods, you’re in the right section. Check out the FAQ below for more guidance and information.

Fisherman going with rods
ITAP of a fisherman at the beach going home for the day (Image: Reddit.com)

Weight

Knowing the weight is debatably the most important part about buying an ultralight spinning rod. After all, it’s part of the name. Many of these rods are up to 10 pounds while still claiming to be lightweight. The truth is that the rod should be under 6 pounds tops. Fortunately, every option on the list above is far less than 6 pounds, making them all viable choices for people looking to get a new ul spinning rod.

You should also think about the strength and pull weight capability of each rod. Since you’re more likely to fish for trout and panfish, the rod needs to be capable of dealing with them. That being said, you won’t need much resistance to catch such a small species of fish. Again, all of the rods on the list above meet the required qualifications.

Fishing rod materials
Ultralight spinning rod materials

Materials

Another super important factor to consider is what materials are used in the rod you’re buying. On this list alone, you’ll find rods made with aluminum, stainless steel, carbon fiber, fiberglass, graphite, composite materials, and more. While it might not seem very important, the materials used can directly impact your experience.

For example, aluminum is lightweight and durable, but it can rust if you don’t take care of it properly. Stainless steel is a bit heavier, but it’s about as durable as a ul spinning rod can get. Fiberglass can flex better than any other material, but the sun can wear it down over time. Graphite is a nice combination of a lighter weight paired with medium flexibility. Carbon fiber is fairly durable and flexible, but it tends to cost a little more than the others. Lastly, composite plastics and other materials a super lightweight but not as durable as the rest.

The choice is yours. When you know what you’ll need the most, you can peruse the list in search of one or a combination of the materials listed. Another helpful bit of info is that most of the options on the list come with a graphite core, giving you the desired flexibility while maintaining a stainless steel exterior for the added durability. As far as spinning rods go, this is one of the best combinations available.

Action

When you’re trying to find a spinning rod, there are two types of ‘action’ choices. The first one is fast action, which doesn’t have as much power, but it gives your rod a stiff balance with a flexible end. Moderate action gives lets your rod bend all the way, or at least about halfway down the rod. Many people feel that moderate action rods give more of a cushion, while fast action rods are better if you have a jump on the fish and it’s closer to you already. It all comes down to personal preference and the style of the fisherman using it.

Expert Tip
Always make sure that the connection parts of a two-piece spinning rod are lubricated. Don’t overdo it, as this might cause issues. However, putting a little bit of lubrication will prevent rust, overtightening, and corrosion over time. You should also try off all surfaces of your fishing rod when you’re done for the day to further prevent corrosion.
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