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5 Best Ultralight Saltwater Spinning Reels for the Money

saltwater fishing reels

Featured Product


PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel (Saltwater)

What We Liked
  • Multiple options to choose from, durable composition, affordable, many color choices, fast shipping.
What We Didn't Like
  • Is not the cheapest on the market.

Whether you describe yourself as an experienced fisherman or a novice to the sport, it’s vitally important that you equip yourself with a reliable and durable spinning reel. Often an overthought, a spinning reel can either make or break your fishing trip, so its best to get one that will withstand the test of time during your sea embarks. Further, if you find yourself in the ocean, you should be sure to get a saltwater specific reel such that it doesn’t rust due to the salt in the water.  If you’re looking for one of the best ultralight saltwater spinning reels for the money, this article is dedicated to you.

Best Ultra-Light Salt Water Spinning Reels (for the Money)


Ultralight Saltwater Spinning Reels (for the Money) Buying Guide

Fishing is an extremely popular and immensely exciting activity to be involved with. You can fish for sport, as a hobby or even as a profession. From an opportunity for a mindful moment watching the waves in your favorite secluded spot to an enjoyable day out teaching the basics to your kids, or even to obtain licenses to catch specific fish and to sell your spoils for profit, however you spend your time fishing, like anything, you need to ensure you have the appropriate gear.

When it comes to fishing, one of the most important tools in your arsenal is your spinning reel. The spinning reel is the mechanical cylindrical device which commonly attaches to your fishing rod that feeds out and stows your fishing line. A well-designed spinning reel is critical to the success of your fishing ventures, and modern spinning reels have a fitting that helps in the accuracy and distance of your cast, among other benefits. When you have the right spinning reel for the job at hand, you will enjoy every last moment of your day.

Once you have made it out to the great outdoors for a day either on the sea, at the lake or shore, the last thing anyone wishes for is a day battling with the tangled line due to a faulty or budget spinning reel. Or to only find that your previously new spinning reel has rusted and is in a state of disrepair, even though you have only used it a few times. This guide is designed to help you avoid these disasters, and more, by informing you of your choices and a few of the features that you should keep an eye out for when shopping for your spinning reel.

Different fishing rods, and by extension spinning reels, are designed to perform well in different elements. Whether you are sea water or fresh water fisher, whether you enjoying being on the rolling blue or amongst the waves surf casting, either on the wharf, jetty or in the boat you will want a spinning reel that operates without a moment of pause for consideration. Should you enjoy catching large fish such as catfish or pikes, then a heavy duty saltwater spinning reel is more applicable to your needs. If you enjoy the sport of catching panfish, the perhaps an ultra-light spinning reel, becoming increasingly popular over the years, will fulfill your needs admirably.

Features to Consider

Here are a few universal features that you should consider before purchasing either a heavy-duty or lightweight spinning reel, before we delve into either of these options a little more closely.

Overall construction

The construction of the spinning reel needs to be durable and strong. It doesn’t matter if you only use your reel on occasion for lightweight fishing; it needs to exceed expectations in order to withstand any pressure exerted on it from catching that fish. Reels with carbon or aluminum frames provide the long-lasting durability you need.

Size of spool and line capacity

You can generally obtain four different spinning reel sizes so we advise you to think about what size you will need before moving forward with purchasing your rod. Line capacity increases as the spool size increases. Also decide whether you want your spool to have both monofilament and braided line, as these are available.

Drawback rate of the line

This refers to every turn of the handle, how much of the line that the reel will take onto the spool. It is measured in inches and some models bring in more than others. This is more important for more professional or master fishers if you recreationally fish or are a novice; perhaps this isn’t of great importance to you.


However, if you are a novice at fishing, then this is a very important safety feature that you should make sure to include in your reel of choice. Anti-Reversal prevents the reel handle from unwinding when you don’t want it to.


Bearings allow for smooth movement. Ideally, a spinning reel should have 4 or 5 bearings so that it will work effectively. The reel should contain bearings on the main handle shaft, on the main gear, for the roller bearing, and for anti-reverse, as we mentioned previously.

Drag System

The drag system is more important when fishing for larger fish. It should be smooth which will help you catch those bigger fish on a smaller line. Inspect the reel to see if it has a front or rear drag system and investigate the controlling knobs as each model designs them differently.

Ultra-light spinning reels

Ultra-light spinning reels are made of carbon and magnesium, providing you with ultimate strength and durability at a fraction of the weight. Not only is this essential for if you are a backpacking fisher, camping and tramping with your fishing gear, but it also allows for more freedom of movement and ease of use with your rod whilst fishing. It is no wonder that ultra-light spinning reels are increasing exponentially in popularity.

$100 will find you a quality reel, such as the Okuma Fishing Tackle Helios HX-25 or the Shimano Sedona 1000FE, both have been praised widely by independent sources as dependable and user-friendly spinning reels. With an increase in popularity, expect to find greater research and more innovative ideas to come in this niche.

Saltwater spinning reels

Offshore fishing demands a different kind of rod altogether, designed to withstand the harsh elements and handle the big fishes. Reels are made of erosion resistant materials such as aluminum and brass and are much heavier and bulkier than their lightweight conventional counterparts. Look for design features that allow for a great drag system and ensure tight seals to avoid saltwater, sand or debris from encroaching into delicate mechanical areas. With heavier models comes a heavier price tag and you should expect to pay around $200 for a quality reel, such as the Penn Slammer III or the Penn Clash.


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