Best Ultralight Fly Fishing Reels for the money in 2020. Tried, tested & reviewed
Fly fishing is an amazing way to get out of the house and become one with nature. Putting on a pair of waders and walking knee deep in a slow moving, gentle stream, there really isn’t anything quite like it. But there is one thing you need to make sure of prior to making your way into the woods, and that’s to double check that you have everything you need for the specific fish you’ll be going after.
The bigger the fish, the bigger the gear. But, sometimes you just want to go out there and land some smaller trout for the fight and excitement. This is where a ultra light fly reel comes into play. Hook even the smallest of fish and you’re in for a fight! You’ll swear that those 6 in trout fell like Moby Dick is on the other end.
This makes for a great time while not giving up any of the effectiveness or durability you get with large fly fishing reels. If you find yourself on the market for an ultra lite fly reel or you’re just curious what some of the top ultralight fly fishing reels on the market are currently, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our picks of the best ultralight fly fishing reels for the money in 2020.
The Jasmine fly fishing reel by Sougayilang is made of stainless steel and A7075 aluminum alloy, material that’s strong enough to be used for aircraft and even spacecraft.
Apart from making this reel remarkably durable, this material is responsible for its ultralight property as it weighs only 4.58 ounces. Additionally, it provides ample protection from corrosion, no matter your fishing environment.
This 5/6-size ultralight fly fishing reel has a large arbor design with a spool that’s 3.34 inches in diameter. Apart from giving you outstanding backing capacity, this offers improved line retrieval. Plus, there will always be enough space to accommodate spey, switch, or double taper fly lines.
Additionally, this Sougayilang ultralight fly fishing reel boasts 2+1 NSK deep-groove ball bearings. This gives it its distinct smoothness and allows for longer casting distance. It also features the Maxcatch Revolution Drag Knob, which allows it to offer not only quick but also precise drag settings.
The Sougayilang Ultralight Jasmine Fly Fishing Reel comes in a stunning champagne gold color. And while it was machined specifically for left-handed retrieve, it’s easy enough to reverse and convert for right-handed retrieve.
Stainless steel and A7075 aluminum alloy construction
The Ultralite Feather-Weight Disc Drag (FWDD) Fly Reel by Hardy England comes in 4 different models with reel sizes that range from 1000 to 4000, easily covering line sizes from 1 to 5 and possibly even 6.
One of the best things about it is that it boasts a stunningly sleek minimalistic design. Apart from an attractive aesthetic, this design was meant to offer impressive durability in the lightest weight possible.
Made of 6061 aluminum bar stock, it weighs similar to a click check reel at 2.9 to 3.6 ounces, depending on the model. Although the material is mainly responsible for its weight, the reduced main shaft also makes it lighter than your typical ultralight fly reel. Additionally, it has a simple push-off spool release system that further contributes to its lightness.
The Hardy Ultralite FWDD Fly Reel has an incredibly accurate disc drag system made of carbon fiber, perfect for small river and light still water applications. It is easily adjustable from minimum to maximum by a color-coded knob. This FWDD doesn’t have an anti-reverse feature but that’s probably not something you’ll need for such light applications anyway.
Like most reels in the Hardy Ultralite line, the Conical Arbor Disc Drag (CADD) fly fishing reel was made with great consideration for its aesthetic. It boasts an industrial design made primarily of two-tone anodized 6061 bar stock aluminum.
Its titanium and gold version comes in a variety of models accommodating line sizes from 3000 to 10000. Depending on the reel size, it could weigh anywhere from 4.6 to 10.2 ounces.
Among its most notable features is its carbon composite disc drag system. It allows you to adjust your drag setting using a 340-degree regulator knob. That means you can go from zero to maximum drag in less than one turn. Additionally, the drag regulator is color coded to give you a visual indication of your settings.
The Hardy Ultralite CADD Fly Fishing Reel also boasts a captive spool release system. This allows you to easily change your spool without fear of losing tiny but critical parts. Also, it features easy left or right hand wind conversion. All it takes is a simply turn of a knob so you can rely on this reel no matter the configuration you prefer. Additionally, its large conical arbor helps you retrieve line quickly and also minimizes drag gain.
The Ultralite Mid Arbor (MA) Fly Fishing Reel boasts the same stunning industrial design we’ve come to expect from Hardy. It’s made of gorgeous two-tone anodized bar stock 6061 aluminum.
It comes in 5 different models ranging in size from 3000 to 12000. Depending on the model, it could weigh anywhere from 4.8 to 9.8 ounces.
The Hardy Ultralite MA Fly Fishing Reel has a disc drag system that’s fully adjustable using a 360-degree knob. That allows you to go from zero drag to maximum, all in one turn.
The knob is also color-coded so you can determine your drag settings with one look. Although the reel has no anti-reverse feature, that’s probably something you don’t absolutely need for ultralight fishing.
Among the features that set the Ultralite MA apart is its mid-arbor design, which allows the spool to have a large capacity. This reel has a gear ratio of 1.0:1. Additionally, the reel is set for left-handed crank by default. But, it’s easy enough to switch it so the crank is on the right side for those who cast using the left.
What sets the Ultralite ASR Fly Reel apart from all the other Hardy Ultralites is its Assisted Spool Release (ASR). This innovation elevates the cassette system onto another level.
The Hardy ASR is essentially a system that allows you to quickly and easily switch spools. Using a switch, the installed spool releases and automatically engages a new one with an easy push.
The ASR fly reel by Hardy is mainly composed of bar stock 6061 aluminum and boasts a high impact composite spool. It comes in 4 different models that range in size from 4000 to 11000. The weight varies between models but range from 6.2 to 8.8 ounces.
Hardy Ultralite ASR Fly Reel features a disc drag that’s controlled using a 340-degree knob. Apart from being able to adjust from zero to max in one turn, this color-coded knob makes it easy to determine your settings visually.
Although this fly reel has no anti-reverse feature, you probably won’t even miss it. Additionally, this reel comes with two additional spools as well as a storage case and can be paired up with your favorite ultralight fishing rods.
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