Best Ultralight Rods for the money in 2019. Tried, tested & reviewed
Hitting the water for a full day of fishing is something that every angler looks forward to. That doesn’t always mean you want to hit the water and go out looking for that trophy fish. Sometimes you want to go out and just have a little fun. This is where an ultralight fishing rod and reel set up comes into play. Using the setup you’ll feel like you’ve hooked that monster fish every time. This is because ultralight rods are designed to be extremely sensitive. This means you can feel the slightest nibble and even if it’s a mediocre sized bluegill, the fight will be extremely enjoyable. Pairing your ultralight rod with an ultralight reel in our opinion, is the way to go. Simply lighten the drag on your ultralight reel and every fish will feel like you’re trying to reel in Moby Dick. If you’re on the market for the best ultralight rods then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done testing and the research and we’ve compiled a list of the top ultralite rods currently on the market. Here are our picks for the best ultralight rods for the money in 2019.
The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is an affordable 2-piece rod that offers great performance for beginner and experienced anglers alike. It comes in a variety of lengths and rod powers but this specific one is a 7-foot Ultra Light that offers great sensitivity and can detect even the slightest nibble. Additionally, it features the Ugly Stik’s signature Clear Tip, which makes it even more sensitive despite its stiff and sturdy construction. Shakespeare has always been known for toughness but this rod takes that promise further because it’s made with 35% more graphite. That means it’s lighter but definitely tougher. It features a firm cork handle that’s comfortable to hold even for long hours of fishing. It also helps in securing hook sets. The reel seat is simply exposed blank but has cushioned stainless steel hoods to keep the reel in place, especially at the most crucial of times. This Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is ultra light with a medium fast rod action. It accommodates all line types and is rated for 2 to 6 pounds. It has 8 Ugly Tuff guides which are made of one-piece stainless steel so you never have to worry about insert pop-outs.
The Okuma Celilo Ultralight Spinning Rod comes in a variety of models starting at 4’6″ all the way to 8 feet. Among them, the 6’6″ may be the most versatile option. This 2-piece rod has a durable graphite blank in a unique deep burgundy color. It has a total of 7 guides (including the tip) and the guide inserts are made of aluminum oxide. The reel seats are standard pipe and have stainless steel hoods. It also has a stainless steel hook keeper. The handles of the Celilo Ultralight is made of tough yet smooth cork grips, offering a lightweight but sure grip. The cork definitely helps make it comfortable to use for long periods and further enhances the rod’s sensitivity. The rear grip is 6.25″ long while the foregrip is 2″ long. Overall, the Celilo Ultralight weighs 3.6 ounces. It accommodates lines from 2 to 6 pounds as well as 1/32-3/8 oz. lures. With its construction and sensitivity, it is ideal for freshwater game like trout, perch, and all sorts of panfish. Its rod action is also great for salmon and steelhead. With its durable construction and its remarkable rod action, it definitely offers a great value for money.
The Micro Series Spinning Rods come in a variety of models, all boasting the reliable construction that the Shakespeare fishing company has been known for since the turn of the 20th century. Lengths range from 4-foot-6 to 7-foot-6 with all but the shortest being 2-piece rods. Of special interest is the 7-foot ultralight which offers a great casting ability that helps both beginner and experienced anglers achieve great casting distance as well as accuracy. Shakespeare’s 7-foot Micro Ultralight Spinning Rod is made of a durable graphite composite with 6 stainless steel guides (including tip) and inserts. The rod itself is dark gray and has a matte finish, something many anglers appreciate in order to avoid spooking fish with bright reflections. It is perfect for lighter lines (2 to 6 pounds) and lures (1/32 to 1/4 oz.). The reel seat is exposed blank with cushioned hoods. Apart from its casting ability and ultra light action, it is well-balanced and has a light and comfortable feel. Much of that is owing to its cork handle which, despite its density, further enhances the rod’s overall sensitivity. At its incredibly affordable price, it is definitely a great choice for any type of ultra light fishing. Pair this rod with your favorite ultralight reel and you’ll have an unstoppable ultralight spinning rod and reel combo that will allow you to have hours of enjoy out on the water.
The KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Weight Spinning Fishing Rod comes in a variety of lengths (4-foot-6 to 7 feet) and powers (ultralight to medium heavy). This 5-foot model is a 2-piece ultralight with a moderate fast rod action. It is rated for line weights from 2 to 6 pounds and lure weights from 1/16 to 1/4 ounces. The Calamus Ultra-Light’s claim to fame is that it is built to be extremely lightweight. It weighs approximately 3 ounces despite its incredibly robust construction. This is owing to its ultra light IM7 micro polish blanks with a high density graphite core reinforced by a second layer of carbon tape. The Calamus further boasts 2-piece SKSS reel seats accompanied by a split-type handle made of premium EVA. Additionally, the the sensitivity is remarkable. The 5-foot rod has 6 guides (including tip) that are made with premium V-Mark titanium frames and rings. These further enhance the rod’s sensitivity to even the tinies nibbles. Overall, KastKing’s Calamus 5-foot Ultra-Light Weight Spinning Fishing Rod is a great, fairly-priced option for long days of catching trout, panfish, and a variety of warm water fish.
The Okuma SST series is best known for offering rods designed for catching specific species like trout, sturgeon, halibut, kokanee, steelhead, and salmon. For trout specifically, there are four different ultralight models, varying in length from 5-foot-6 to 7 feet. Of specific interest is the 6-foot model which provides the absolute perfect rod action required for casting for and reeling in trout. Okuma’s SST 6-foot Ultra Light Trout Spinning Rod is a 2-piece rod with an incredibly sensitive blank made of IM-8 graphite. It has 6 guides (including the tip) that are made of durable stainless steel and guide inserts that are made of zirconium, which help reduce friction when using braided lines. It accommodates lines of 2 to 6 pounds and lures of 1/8 to 3/8 ounces. Despite its tough construction, this Okuma SST is very light at 3.8 ounces. This is owing to its premium graphite blank construction which is the same for the reel seat. The compressed cork rear and fore grips are lightweight, non-skid, and able to transmit tiny movements along the rod, further enhancing the rod’s overall sensitivity. Great species-specific performance combined with a beautiful copper finish, the Okuma SST 6-foot Ultra Light Trout Spinning Rod is definitely a great choice for cold water fishing and will work flawlessly with just about any ultralight spinning reel.
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