Going to ultralight? For long fishing trips, the light will always be right!
For the casual fisherman, picking the best ultralight fishing rod is an excellent choice, especially if you wish to bring small stuff on a weekend trip and are not worried about catching monstrous catfish or prize-winning bass.
But what is the best ultralight fishing rod that can satisfy your needs?
Here are our top picks for the best ultralight fishing rods in the market today.
Top 8 Best Ultralight Fishing Rods
1Daiwa Mini System Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo
Compact and built explicitly for anglers always on the move, the MiniSpin combo from Daiwa is the perfect breakdown spinning rod to throw in your backpack, trunks, or boat hatch.
This ultralight setup offers a 4.5-foot fishing rod, which breaks down into five pieces that all fit conveniently in the included rugged hard case. And since it is a lightweight rod, this fishing rod is best suited for line in the 2 – 6-pound test range.
Its reel is also explicitly built with lightweight fishing in mind. Being light and small itself, the reel features a multi-disc drag, ball-bearing drive, and a quick retrieve gear ratio of 5.1:1.
And although this is not the highest performing spinning rod out there, if you are looking for a highly compact fishing rod that can stay well protected and give you the benefit of ultralight fishing, then this a great buy.
- Ultra-compact breakdown rod
- Includes a compact hard carrying case for traveling
- Includes spinning reel
- The breakdown convenience can sacrifice performance.
2Shimano FXS 2-Piece Spinning Rod
The FXS ultralight spinning rod from Shimano offers a convenient 2-piece breakdown design and is particularly designed for broad versatility in fish species and angler experience.
It has a durable aero glass rod blank, which can be purchased in different lengths and weights— from a 5-foot ultralight rig to a 7-foot medium-heavy rig. You get to find a fishing rod for your particular needs.
This fishing rod features a black EVA foam handle and a good reel seat to ensure a tight fit. The intent of the Shimano FXS was a diverse fishing rod that should handle everything from saltwater to freshwater and a variety of angler experience levels.
Furthermore, if comparing the cost to value, the Shimano FXS is pretty hard to beat. If you do not feel like investing in a hundred-dollar fishing rod, which may end up breaking in the middle of your fishing, then the FXS is your best bet.
- Designed for all skill levels
- Variety of sizes is available
- May lack the performance of higher-end fishing rods.
3UglyStix GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel + Rod
Although it is such an affordable rod-reel combo, the UglyStix GX2 is probably one of the best ultralight combos out there that provide exceptional value to your fishing dollar.
The GX2 is constructed from Fiberglass and Graphite combination to produce a durable fishing rod that is strong enough to endure most light fishing applications.
UglyStix offers this 1-piece pole in several various lengths. However, most serious anglers will go for the superior casting range that their 7-foot model offers.
Being the longest choice in the GX2 series, this fishing rod should provide superior leverage that can be crucial for those using ultralight tack to catch panfish and trout.
It features a 3-ball bearings reel, which comes with a 1-way, instant anti-reverse bearing to ensure that you get to set the hook securely and still enjoy a silky-smooth retrieval.
The rod also features a double-anodized aluminum spool with an oversized bail wire to provide additional durability that modern anglers highly demand.
UglyStix also included compression bail springs to absorb some of the wear and tear placed on the reel to ensure that the rod should last you for years. The guides are also constructed from stainless steel to increase longevity and prevent corrosion.
- High-value product
- Includes a hard handle knob
4Sougayilang Ultralight Fishing Rod
The Sougayilang Fishing Rod will make even the shortest fishing trips fun and hassle-free. This fishing rod is one of the easiest ultralights to transport. This fishing rod is quite small in size and is collapsible for easy storage with a telescopic design.
You also get to choose from different sizes and lengths while most reels work just fine with it. Other than that, you also get to enjoy high performance with this rod as well. You’ll be fishing many fish species with this fishing rod since it can be used both in freshwater and saltwater.
You also got nothing to complain about its build. This fishing rod is constructed from 24 tons of carbon fiber, offering durability and sturdiness.
Furthermore, the rod also provides a ceramic insert, making the guide completely resistant to corrosion and increasing its longevity. Its handle features EVA foam that is super comfortable to hold.
- Highly sensitive and powerful
- EVA foam handles for comfort
- Perfectly balanced and lightweight
- Can target both freshwater and saltwater species
- Available in different sizes and lengths
- Some users complain that it is not casting well.
- Too flimsy
5Okuma Celilo Ultralite Rod
You will not find a fishing rod as stylish and efficient as this one. Being a graphite fishing rod, you can expect the high sensitivity you need to feel even the slightest peck in the bait.
Although the rod may feel stiff, Okuma ensures that it is stiff in all the right places to give you enough flexibility when fishing. The rod features aluminum guide inserts as well as stainless steel hooded seats for longevity.
The cork handles offer you comfort when fishing and the lightness you need, so get only the best results when lightweight fishing.
- Cork handles for comfort.
- Stylish and highly efficient
- High sensitivity
- Good balance between flexibility and stiffness
- The rod is not that durable.
- The ceramic ring is not that efficient.
6Eagle Claw Featherlight Spinning Rod
Looking for a fishing rod that can endure storms with you? Well, it’s pretty unfair to expect both invincible strength and lightweight from a fishing rod.
However, Eagle Claw ignores negativities and offers their Featherlight spinning rod that is not just as light as a feather but also as sturdy and durable as a brick.
It’s also fair to warn you not to seek giants since it is not that strong. The reason for its strength and toughness is due to the fiberglass blank. And it does not fall short in terms of sensitivity either.
With the Featherlight Spinning Rod, you will feel even the slightest, tiniest touch that you surely won’t miss a thing.
The fishing rod comes in 2 parts and has a length of 6 feet. You can fish for trout weighing 2 – 6 pounds with this fishing rod without any issues. The guides and reel seats are also high-quality, whereas the beautiful cork handles should comfortably and snugly fit your hands to provide a secure grip every time.
- Comfortable handle
- Good quality guides and reel seat
- 22-piece construction
- Extremely tough and durable
- Highly sensitive
- The build quality is not flawless
- Some of the smaller parts like the guide might arrive with defects
7Troutboy Black Warrior Ultralight Fishing Rod
Whether you are an experienced angler or a beginner fisherman, this is the fishing rod that you can take just about anywhere. This fishing rod is a telescopic style rod, which makes it a great travel companion.
It is not just ultralight, but it is also collapsible for easy storage and traveling. Its blank is constructed from high-density 24-ton carbon fiber, which ensures power and durability while being lightweight in terms of its construction.
Moreover, the Black Warrior is extremely sensitive so you will not miss even the tiniest pecks on the bait. The reel seat is constructed from CNC machined aluminum which is highly resistant to corrosion for longevity and holding the reel stable.
Furthermore, the guide is also made of stainless steel with ceramic rings to make it suitable for saltwater fishing.
Another good news is that you have several lengths to choose from, with each length offering its power and action so that you can find the perfect one for your needs. The rod can deal with small fish, but heavy ones are out of the question. Lastly, it offers a very comfortable Eva foregrip for a better fishing experience.
- Comfortable EVA foregrip
- Good-quality build
- Available in different lengths
- Good sensitivity
- Very portable thanks to its collapsible design
- The extendable handle version has some issues in its mechanism.
- Pole is too stiff and can snap easily.
8Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod
One of the most reputable and well-known manufacturers of fishing gear, the Micro Spinning Rod from Shakespeare lives up to the company’s reputation. This spinning rod is available in sizes ranging from 4.6 – 7.6 inches and is affordably priced.
This fishing rod is made of durable graphite material so that it is susceptible and lightweight. This, combined with its ultralight action capabilities, will allow you to feel even the tiniest nibble at your bait.
The rod also features stainless steel inserts and guides, which are highly resistant to corrosion and rust so that your line will always flow efficiently and smoothly on casting and retrievals.
The reel seat is also securely fastened and will not throw the rod off-balanced. Plus, it also comes fully equipped with a cushioned hood. To ensure that the fishing rod is comfortable to hold, the handle is fully wrapped infirm and lightweight cork.
- Offers different sizes
- Nice full cork handle
- It matches well with any lightweight reel.
- It comes fully equipped with stainless steel inserts and guides.
- Frail due to its lightweight design
Ultralight Fishing Rods 101: Things To Consider Before Purchasing
When looking for the best ultralight fishing rods, there are a few features that you should consider to get only the highest performance and experience that you want.
Learn more: Wading Boot buying guide
Sizes: The size of the fishing rod that you choose will depend on the environment you want to fish in and the size of the fish you target.
If you are mostly interested in catching trout, go for fishing rods in the range of 5 – 7 inches. However, if you will do a lot of casting when going fishing, you are better off with a rod that ranges 8 – 9 feet.
Rod Lengths: The length of the fishing rod suitable for you depends on the target type of fishing. Are you looking to target larger lures in the surf? Will you be fishing from the beach or on a boat? Or maybe you usually go ice fishing?
Also, the suitable length will depend on the species of fish that you want to catch. In general, longer rods can cast at a greater distance and are far better for surfcasting. On the other hand, Shorter fishing rods are suitable for a smaller range and improve casting accuracy.
Line: For an ultralight experience, go with a monofilament fishing line of length 4 – 6 pounds or a fluorocarbon line of length 4 – 8 pounds.
Action: The rod’s action determines the ability to resist bending. Fishing rods usually come in a range and blend of 3 effects, including fast, medium, and slow action.
Quick action rods flex close to the tip, while slow action fishing rod curves all through the length of the whole rods.
The best one should be an ultra-fast or fast-action rod for enhanced sensitivity for targeting small lures.
Power: Spinning rods usually come with varying degrees of power. The best choice should depend on the type of fish you want to catch. Ultralight spinning rods are great when casting in a close-up environment and using smaller lures.
However, they are not suitable for throwing casts from a boat or on the shore. If your target is big species, you will need a heavier rod that can withstand the load and stress without snapping.
The number of Rod Sections: A 2-piece fishing rod makes a more cost-effective choice and offers you additional benefits in terms of length, action, and weight.
A 4-piece rod, on the other hand, is better suited for hiking, backpacking, or tours. They pack into smaller lengths, making them easy to attach to your backpack or store inside travel luggage.
Eyelet Count: When buying fishing rods, you will need to check the number of eyelets. This is important for your fishing since the more eyelet it has, the easier it is for you to cast and overpower trout since it provides more balance to the fishing rod and evenly distributes the load.
Flexibility: You will need to choose a fishing rod that is constructed from flexible materials. The degree of flexibility should determine its ability to resist snapping.
Fishing rods constructed from graphite materials are less flexible than those that are made with amalgamated and fiberglass materials.
Inserts and Guides: Choose stainless steel guides since they are corrosion-resistant and lightweight. The reel seat also needs to be constructed from solid material to make it last longer and provides smooth and stable functionality with every casting and line retrieval. It would also help if you got a fishing rod with stainless steel inserts to improve durability further.
Handle or Grip: You will need to get a fishing rod with a comfortable and firm grip. The most preferred choice would be EVA foam material. When going ultralight, however, you will need to avoid any extra weight. This is where cork handles come in handy.
A cork handle minimizes the weight and boosts stability during casting and retrieval. Plus, it also provides comfortable grasps such as EVA foam.
Construction: For ultralight fishing rods, the most commonly used material includes fiberglass, graphite, or a mixture of the two. Fishing rods that are constructed from graphite are usually lighter and stronger.
But, they snag easier than fiberglass fishing rods. The lightness and fragility increase the sensitivity, which gives you a better chance to discover bites.
Fiberglass fishing rods are weighty. However, they are more flexible and usually snap-resistant. Some fishing rods were reconstructed from a mixture of these two to serve anglers in various settings and environments.
Price: Last but not least, you will need to consider how much you’re willing to spend.
The best ultralight fishing rods fall under various price categories that suit everyone’s budget.
And even if you are on a tight budget, there are quality ultralight fishing rods out there that should do just fine. Just ensure that the one you choose is constructed from high-quality materials to prevent snapping when fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s an ultralight fishing rod?
A: In regards to fishing rods, the term “ultralight” means two things. In some cases, it refers to the actual physical weight of the fishing rod. While some refer to the rod’s action, a rod with ultralight action should have a lot of bends, which means that even the smallest fish should give you a big fight.
In general, almost all-well-constructed ultralight action fishing rods are constructed from carbon fiber and do not weigh that much, so regardless of the intent, you are pretty much looking at the same type of fishing rod.
Q: Why are they all spinning fishing rods?
A: If you’ve been searching for ultralight fishing rods, you might have noticed that they come as spinning rods.
Plain and simple, spinning reels are so much better suited for casting lightweight lures that ultralight fishers use.
Whether you are casting flies with casting floats, 1/16th trout spinners, or lightweight jigs, you are going to achieve a better casting range with spinning reels.
Q: Is it hard to create custom fishing rods?
A: No, it is not that difficult to create custom rods. In general, if you own suitable resources and tools, then you can easily craft your fishing rod. And like everything else, you should get better at it the more you practice.
Q: What’s a rod taper?
A: A rod’s taper is where it bends when casting and during the time you retrieve it. The taper, together with its features and composition, should determine performance.
A rod with an extra-fast taper should commonly bend nearest to the tip. When moving from extra-fast to a rod with midway taper, the rod tends to bend, then goes down through the rod blank near the end segment.
Every taper structure is specially created to suit particular types of fishing.
Q: What length of fishing rod should I use?
A: Fishing rods come in various ranges of length, usually from 6 – 12 feet. The rod’s suitable length to choose should depend on the type of fishing that you do, the environment where you fish, and the species you are targeting to catch.
Fishing is a fantastic pastime. You might go fishing every day or every weekend, but it is not every day you buy a new fishing rod. And you need one to get you through hundreds of fishing trips.
Plus, surely you want to catch trophy fish you can brag about. So, what better way to convince such monsters to take a bite than the best ultralight fishing rods that ensure efficiency and fishing success?