6 Best Ultralight Spinning Rods in 2020 – Top Picks Reviewed
Out there in search of a fishing rod to use while hiking, backpacking or for your angling activities? Well, you definitely want to get the best ultralight spinning rod!
If what you want is the fun of landing a big catch on ultralight gear, you will also want to get an ultralight spinning rod.
Whatever your reason, the primary challenge is how to figure out the perfect ultralight rod and reel combo for your fishing needs.
You don’t only want an ultralight rod, but you also wish to ensure that it is responsive and flexible enough to let you haul any fish that crosses it.
A good reason to go for an ultralight rod is to boost your ability to spot bites. When you utilize a wrong rod, you ruin your chances of being able to cast far or make accurate casts. Using a wrong rod could make you mistake obstacles, hangups, and collisions for a bite.
What you want is to have fun and avoid such embarrassments. It makes sense to know how to select your ultralight fishing rod. This way, you will arm yourself with a sound bite detection tool.
Knowing how to figure out which ultralight fishing rod will offer you the best fishing experience can be nerve-wracking.
Never mind, we have provided in this article all you need to know about selecting an ultralight fishing rod for proper lures. In the end, what you want is more bites, more catches, and more fun. Right?
Quickly, let's find out how!
Why You Need an Ultralight Fishing Rod?
You can use ultralight fishing rods for casting both in the freshwater and saltwater environment. However, given the fact that saltwater fishes are generally stronger than freshwater fishes, different types of rods are designed to suit these diverse fishing environments.
There is also a specific type of ultra-light rods used for fly fishing or for trolling.
You will need the best ultralight trout setup if you are targeting certain species of fish like bass, black bass, trout, pan fish, rock bass, perch, crappies or catfish depending on your location.
In this case, you require an ultralight rod weighing from 1/6 to 1/32 ounces in weight.
You will also need ultra light rods if you are looking for a fishing rod that is smaller, less heavy and easy to move about. Besides, an ultra-light rod means you can go home with more fish because you’ll have a fewer fishing gear to carry.
Ultralight fishing rods are great for veterans whose aim is to advance their angling experience. Such fishing arrangement offers the fisherman a better power and provides you with the subtleness you need to pursue small lures or offer natural bait on an awfully-light fishing line.
Ultra fishing arrangement is commonly more challenging but the most fun-filled and exciting type of fishing. It provides a good learning experience to old hand fishermen.
Spinning Vs. Casting Rod
Good knowledge of the difference between the spinning rod and a casting rod can make or break your fishing success. It determines to a great extent how smooth your casting experience would be from beginning to the end.
You'll stay away from frustrating mix-ups of rods; it'll also save you a considerable amount of time and make you a better and well-versed angler.
A spinning rod commonly bends while fishing out of the pressure exerted on it when a fish bites on the line. At such times, too, the whole eyelets on the rod bend in a downward direction while the line feeds out and flatten.
The spinning rod commonly stays under the rod whereas the grip sits beside the angler's non-principal hand. The result is your main hand would be on the spinning rod while your less functional hand stays on the reel.
Spinning rods come with better fast action and help you to haul in catches to eliminate tangling quickly. The method of operation is more natural put side by side the baitcasting reels.
The most significant plus of using this type of rod is that it is easy for a novice to understand.
Baitcasting rods and reels are a bit more complicated system and take a lot of time to study and get used to it. However, it offers the fisherman a lot more fishing techniques.
Before you can master its use; you would have many recoiling experiences within the casting rod. This is commonly frustrating to the majority of anglers due to enormous time wastage.
They make a great fishing rod for newbie anglers starting on their fishing escapade. Because spinning rod is easy to master; it offers the learner an immediate opportunity to have fun. With this said, casting rods are commonly the best choice of expert anglers and fishermen.
Ultralight Spinning Rod Construction
Ultralight spinning rods for fish are commonly made up of two different types of build with three different kinds of materials which include graphite, fiberglass, and bamboo rods.
Bamboo rods are matchless and outstanding. Their prices differ from the most costly offer to the least expensive. They're very light, waterproof and corrosion resistant. Bamboo rods are very durable but the heaviest type of fishing rod. Many fishermen still go for it because it comes with a great feel.
Despite their strength, they are not as rigid or sturdy as the graphite rod. However, they come with better flexibility. They require more careful treatment and maintenance than graphite rods.
Fiberglass rods are commonly cheaper and are the preference of beginners. They require minimal maintenance, come with average weights and have multiple uses. They don't easily snap.
They are the heaviest type of chemically crafted rod materials and a rod of delight among beginners and youthful anglers. Anglers who are on a budget and unable to pay for more costly graphite rods also go for these rods.
These rods are very useful in fishing environments such as on rocks or wharves where your rod can easily smack hard surfaces. It is very durable and resists breakage most among the three types. On top of that, it also comes in a high price tag.
Carbon Fiber Or Graphite Fiber?
Carbon fiber, graphite fiber or carbon graphite comes from very thin carbon fiber material or atoms in the range of 0.005 to 0.010 mm diameter.
The graphite rod is made up of many thousand carbon fibers linked together in tiny crystals and united along the length of the fiber axis. It is this type of crystal arrangement that gives the rod its strength and rigidity at that size.
Many of the spinning rods in the recent time make use of graphite because of its ultralight feature. It also makes far distance and more precise cast possible. Graphite rods are more sensitive, allowing the user to feel bites from fish easily.
A few contemporary rod designs make use of a mixture of materials including graphite, boron, stainless steel and fiberglass.
Our Picks of the Best Ultralight Spinning Rods In 2020
If you want to cast for a fast or a small fish, you’ll require an ultralight rod to provide you with proper performance and functionality. Given the multiple numbers and brands of best ultra-light spinning rods in the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting exercise.
Because we know, it can be challenging to navigate the market in search of the best ultralight spinning rod, we have conducted several hours of research and came up with a few recommendations.
Ugly Stik Elite
Ugly Stik GX2
Berkley Cherrywood HD
1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite
This Shakespeare Ugly Stik is made with additional graphite to make it lighter and enhance the sensitivity. It features a good quality cork handle that makes comfortable fishing possible when out all day. The stainless steel guides offer top-most durability and prevent popping out of inserts.
The rod is strong enough to manage good sized fish like Jack's, Snapper and Sharks without snapping. It comfortably hauls in large fish and can accommodate the weight of trout below one pound and salmon weighing 28 pounds.
This Ugly Stik gives you a great feel, making undersized fish feel like large fish. It is lightweight, and when used with ultralight rod, it feels great for fishing out all day.
A fisherman testified that it was sturdy enough to let him catch European Catfishes of roughly 100 pounds weight. The size also makes it easily transportable and easy to move about without banging it on things.
2. Ugly Stik GX2 - Best Ultralight Rod and Reel Combo
This Ugly Stik spinning fishing reel and rod combination comes with three smooth bearings and immediate grip one direction anti-reverse system to make instant hooking of set possible. It comes with a double anodized aluminum spool with large bail wire to enhance durability.
The firmness of the bail springs also augments its longevity. For proper maintenance, you need to rinse appropriately after using it in saltier environments.
This combo is strong enough to catch fish of sizes 1 to 8lb when combined with a 10lb spiderwire braid. It can efficiently manage the weight of 20lb blue cat without snapping.
It is great if you are only starting your fishing experience in the lake, but it is probably not the best for serious anglers. The GX2 elite rod and other more superior reels will be better suited for such fishing activities.
3. Cadence CR5 - Best Ultralight Spinning Rod for Trout
The Cadence CR5 comes in 30-ton graphite for durability and stainless steel guides to make it corrosion resistant. The high-grade materials used in the construction deliver premium quality and fantastic fishing experience.
It is structured to provide multipurpose fishing functionality and make one of the best ultralight spinning rod for trout.The handles are of two types. You can either choose the split grip or the full grip system. They are made with a combination of cork and EVA to make it very functional and comfortable.
The performance and durability are additionally increased with its easy to adjust Fuji reel seat and SiC guides.
It makes a great fishing rod for freshwater game fishing like when you are targeting bass, walleye, and trout or when you are after highly demanded inshore lures like redfish, flounder and spotted trout.
Despite the Cadence CR5 spinning rod series came from a brand that is not popular, the performance far exceeded the expectations of the majority of fishers and anglers who used the rod.
It comes with value two times higher than the price. With CR5, you have a good quality rod at an affordable price. It also comes in various length and sizes which is great. It is very light and weighs less than Fenwick Eagle. When hauling a lure, it has a little bend but comes with enough power to pull in nice fish and bass.
4. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod
You can depend on the Shakespeare Micro Spinning Equipment for toughness, excellent performance, and durability. This rod makes great gear for different types of anglers. It is made simple to utilize and comes in premium quality design.
The construction comes from composite graphite material which provides great performance during light and ultralight fishing actions. Its handle is made up of cork for a comfortable grip. The stainless steel inserts and guides make it waterproof and resistant to corrosion. It makes a good rod for crappie fishers.
It is versatile and can haul in different kinds of lure including pan fish, crappies, bait fish, chum, sunnies, and trout using it. Many fishers and anglers testified catching a 3-pound catfish, 10lb 8oz trout, 5-pound trout, large mouth and small mouth bass of more than 3lbs, catfish weighing more than 5lbs without any issue of snapping.
The rod may snap if you are targeting lures above 10 pounds without a net. In this case, you’ll require a sturdier rod. It makes a great pan fish and trout rod when you combine it with a premium 2000 successions of the reel.
It perfectly matches with Shimano synergy 2000 and comes with nothing less than desirable balance and action. The 5'6 light setup with a Shimano IX2000 reel offers you with an incredible feeling when using it with the 8lb line.
5. Berkley Cherrywood HD
It’s constructed using hybrid materials that withstand the test of time and is reasonably flexible. The guides are resistant to corrosion, and the hybrid design makes it very sensitive, lightweight and responsive to any bite.
Along with its ultralight action, its construction comes from durable hybrid materials. The handle is made up of cork yet it is still lighter than the EVA foam.
Cherrywood still maintains a comfortable grip and hardly slips away even with wet hands. It also comes with a sleek and stylish design that makes you feel like a pro.
It makes a good rod for fishing on a kayak and has sufficient power to set the hook on a good bass. The rod's action assists you to have fun while dribbling the fish to your boat.
With regular use on the shore, it also casts well mainly if you are fishing in a place where trees and weeds block the cast.It is strong enough to manage a few large-mouthed small basses without snapping even in a robust windy condition.
6. MAXIMUS ICHIRO Spinning rods
Topping the list of its most admirable features is ultra-sensitive tips. They easily and readily detect any moving animal creature. As soon as they get into contact with these animals, the tips strike to catch the prey. These sensitive tips are complemented with a medium-fast action to save you some time.
High-quality IMF Carbon Construction
In its entirety, the rod features the high-quality IMF carbon construction. This construction accords it some strength and enables it to perform better for longer. Being strong and very resilient, the construction also reduces the incidences of repairs and maintenance needed to keep the rod operational.
Rounding up the list of its most admirable features is the split handle design. Thanks to this design, the weight of the rod is slightly lower than that of its competitors. Moreover, the design also ups the sensitivity of the entire structure not to mention the improvements in the overall balance altogether.
Things to Consider While Buying an Ultralight Rod
If you are looking to buy the best ultralight spinning rod, there are a few features that you need to consider. Knowing these factors is essential to get that high performance and experience you are aspiring.
Let’s quickly examine these factors to ensure you make an informed decision;
If you’re mostly interested in catching trout, go for rod sizes in the range of 5 to 7 inches. The size of fishing rod you choose would depend on the size of fish and environment you want to fish in.
If you're going to do a lot of casting when you go ’trouting,’ you’ll be better off with a rod in the range of 8 to 9 foot.
The length of rod suitable for you would depend on your target type of fishing. Will you be fishing from the boat or beach or are you looking to target larger lures in the surf or go ice fishing?
Also, your rods suitable length would depend on the species of fish you are targeting.
As a rule, longer rods cast greater distance and are better for surf casting. Shorter rods improve casting accuracy and are good for a smaller range.
If your target includes throwing close to the brush or any composition, use shorter rods. For a good mix-up, you can try rods roughly 6 to 7' inches.
The action of a rod determines its ability to resist bending. Rods commonly come in a range and blend of 3 different effects which include slow, medium, and fast action.
Quick action rods flex close to the tip, whereas a slow action rod curves all through the length of the whole rods. If you are looking for rods targeting small lures, your best bet is to go with fast action or ultra-fast action rod for enhanced sensitivity.
For ultra-light experience, you will be better off with a fluorocarbon line of length four-lbs. to eight-lbs. or monofilament fishing line of length four-lbs. to six-lbs.
Number of Rod Sections
A four-piece rod is better suited for backpacking, hiking or during a tour. They pack up into a smaller length making them easy to attach to your backpack or go inside your travel luggage.
Two piece rods make a more cost-effective option and offer you additional benefit with regards to weight, action, and length.
Go for a graphite rod with an ultra-fast action of length roughly 6 to 7', with not less than one eyelet for every one foot of the rod’s length.
Check the number of eyelets. This is significant for your fishing as more counts make it easier for you to cast and overpower a trout fish. The higher the eyelet count, the more balance the rod and the more evenly distributed load on the fishing rod.
The best ultra-light fishing rod comes under different price categories to suit every budget. If you are on a budget, you can get a quality ultra-light fishing rod that is well made and affordable.
Just ensure that it is constructed from quality material. You don’t want your rod to go broke when your fish is on the line. Do you?
You need to get a rod made from a flexible material. The degree of flexibility of your rod will determine its ability to resist snapping.
Fishing rods made up of graphite material are less flexible than the one made from fiberglass and amalgamated materials.
Guides and Inserts
Go for stainless steel guides. They are lightweight and corrosion-resistant. The reel seat needs to be manufactured with a solid material to make it last longer and offer a stable and smooth functionality for every casting and rods retrieval. Also, you want to get a rod with stainless steel inserts for improved durability.
Grip or Handle
You need to get a rod with a firm and comfortable grip. This makes EVA foam material the preferred choice. However, when going ultralight, you need to avoid any extra weight, and that is when a cork handle comes in handy.
It minimizes the weight and boosts stability during casting and retrieval. It also provides as much comfortable grasp as EVA foam.
Spinning rods come with varying degrees of power. Your best choice will depend on the type of fish you target. The ultra-light spinning rods are great when casting for smaller lures and in a close-up environment.
They are not for throwing a cast on the shore or from the boat. If your target is big fishes, you need a heavier rod that would withstand the stress without snapping.
The reverse is the case with a lighter rod. A good rule of thumb is to use a heavier rod for heavy fish and lighter rod for smaller fish.
The most commonly used material for ultralight fishing rods includes graphite, fiberglass or a mixture of the two. The rods made up of graphite are commonly stronger and lighter.
However, they snag much easier than fiberglass rods. The lightweight and fragile feel increase their sensitivity giving you a better chafe for discovering bites.
Fiberglass rods are weighty. They are a lot more flexible and sometimes snap-resistant than baitcasting rods. Some rods are made from a mixture of these materials to serve anglers in different environment and settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it difficult to create a custom fishing rod?
It is not that hard to create a custom rod. A few exploring groups use it to train explorers. They teach kids how to create rods, and get better at it. In so far, as you own the suitable tools and resources, you can easily craft your fishing rod. Same as everything else, you will get better at it, the more you practice.
2. What is a rod "action”?
The rod's action is the strength it has to be able to haul a fish. The usage and application of a fishing rod are what determines its action. It also depends on the fishing atmosphere and style. For example, the feel of a midway action weight freshwater rod differs from the feel of a saltwater heavy action rod.
3. What is rod "taper"?
The Taper of a rod is the position where it bends when you cast and during the time you retrieve. The taper of the rod together with its composition and features determines its performance.
A rod that has an Extra-Fast-taper would commonly bend nearest to the tip. When you move from Extra Fast to a rod with midway taper, the rod bends, goes down via the rod blank near the end segment.
The structure of every taper is specially made to suit a specific type of fishing.
4. How to Buy a Fishing Rod?
When out to buy a fishing rod; you need to consider your fishing habits. Whether you want to fish in freshwater or saltwater and if you prefer to fish from the pool, a boat, a dock, or in the surf.
The next thing to check is the type of fish you want to catch. With this prior knowledge, the next thing you need to do is learn the various compositions and weights of the rod and choose a rod that best suits your needs.
You need to consider the following most essential factors:
5. What length of the fishing rod to use?
Fishing rod comes in various ranges of length typically from six to twelve feet. The suitable length of your rod is dependent on the type of fishing you intend to do, the species you are targeting and the environment where you fish.
6. What is the best choice of power for a fishing rod?
The power of a rod means the amount of force required to bend the rod. Fishing rods come with various ranges of energy which is designed to effectively manage a specific amount of lure weights and size of lines.
7. What can you use a fast action rod for?
A fast action rod comes with immense power, flexes little and necessitates that the user knows the proper time and right procedure. It arrives with a rigidity which helps you to catch a fish faster. Being recommended for targeting larger fish,it as well gives you a better edge under blustery situations.
8. What is a Baitcast Rod?
A minute-sized spinning reel commonly comes with a tinier and narrower spool which is challenging to fit into lines with a big diameter. This is better with the use of minute-sized bait cast reels which offer more considerable casting distance. Baitcast rods commonly come with a stronger structure than the spinning rods.
All geared up for action? I bet you are.
With the information we have provided in this guide, choosing the best ultralight spinning rod for your fishing needs should no more be difficult.
Remember before you make your choice, you need to know the type of fishing you want to go into and the type of fish you plan to target.
This way, you are already in the right part to discovering your best ultralight rod combination with accurate weight, action, and length.
While you have a go at it, also check our five top picks to see if any of them are a good match for your fishing needs!