Best Ultralight Baitcasting Reel: 6 Top Finesse Reels

Featured image for best ultralight baitcasting reel post of two casting reels

When asked, a large number of anglers today will say they have more fun with baitcasting reels over spinning reels or most other reels on the market. It’s normally because of the lightweight feel and stylish look of the kit that gives them a professional image while still being able to handle both light lures for bass and heavier lures for trout. 

Not to mention, these professional angling items are an excellent choice for landing extremely elusive or flighty fish. They tend to be extremely low weight and their ability to cast even tiny rig setup lures a good distance away is one of their biggest advantages.

The Best Ultralight Baitcasting Reel: Our Top Picks

Best overall
Daiwa (DAIWA) Bait Reel Steez CT SV
Daiwa (DAIWA) Bait Reel Steez CT SV
9.8

For the overall best ultralight baitcaster reel, the top pick is the Daiwa Steez CT SV. This baitcaster is full of professional level features to meet or exceed the high standards of legendary anglers.

While the cost is well above average, if you’re already experienced with using any of the Daiwa previous models and are looking to upgrade your current kit, you should definitely consider the Steez CT SV. Consider the extra cost a sound investment into your angling profession or hobby, and rest assured knowing the Steez CT can live up to the hype.

Best looking
Shimano Aldebaran Mgl Low Profile Reels
Shimano Aldebaran Mgl Low Profile Reels
9.4

If you want a baitcasting reel that not only performs well, but also looks amazing too, you will love the steel blue metallic and silver accents of the Shimano Aldebaran MGL.

The size 30 spool offers a spacious 6.3 cubic centimeters of space for your favorite line, while not sacrificing quality or reliability to get you the smoothest casting motions and overhead snap casts.

The Shimano Aldebaran MGL can perform well with casting standard kits as well as baits and lures that demand high finesse, regardless of your preferred casting motion.

 

Best Budget
Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting Reel
Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting Reel
9.1

If you don’t have a lot of money, this baitcaster is extremely affordable and is the best option for beginners looking to try ultralight fishing gear. Don’t let the low cost fool you. This lightweight baitcaster is made from carbon fiber and stainless steel giving you years of durability and reliability.

You won’t find many bells and whistles on this fishing baitcaster, but for those looking to dip their toe into ultralight fishing gear, this reel should be your first choice. It’s durable, comfortable to hold, and very forgiving when it comes learning how to cast.

When to Use an Ultralight Baitcasting Reel

Ultralight fishing gear is an excellent choice for getting adequate distance from extremely small and lightweight baits. They’re also extremely easy to conceal, making these reels an excellent choice for ultralight kits to land even the most elusive and skittish fish such as bass or trout. 

While your standard baitcasting tool will rarely hold more than 100 yards of low test weight line, you normally won’t need much more than that when going for smaller targets. However, for those who love getting a good long result from their casts, some reels can handle up to 115 yards of braided cord.

Pros and Cons of Using an Ultralight Baitcasting Reel

If you’re new to the idea of ultralight fishing gear, there are a wide range of pros and cons you should consider. Knowing these in advance will not only help you decide if an ultralight baitcaster is the right choice for you, but it will also help you get the most performance from your baitcasting kit right out of the box.

PROS

  • Even though baitcasters are made for lightweight bait, they perform extremely well with heavier bait as well. Performance will not be affected and in fact can be more accurate.
  • Most baitcasters will include a tension knob, allowing you to adjust the speed of your cast as well as adjust the sound the line makes for elusive and shy fish.
  • The lightweight and small size of a baitcasting reel is much more controllable and comfortable for long days of usage.
  • Even though they are small, most ultralights do have the ability to land larger fish giving you the thrill of the fight.
  • You will never have to worry about braid twisting or improper spooling, especially when using baitcasters that have precisely machined spooling rods.
  • Ultralights are sleek and elegant, perfect for giving you that professional angler look to your friends and family when out on the boat.

CONS

  • Lightweight reels can come at a higher cost than standard reels, making some models unrealistic for beginners to start with.
  • Getting a good cast will require practice and trial and error with a variety of casting methods until you find one that works for you and your specific kit.
  • Learning how to use your baitcasting reel properly will take more time than if you were learning a spinning reel, sometimes discouraging beginners.

Ultralight Baitcasting Reel Reviews

Shimano Aldebaran MGL

If you want a baitcasting reel that not only performs well, but also looks amazing too, you will love the steel blue metallic and silver accents of the Shimano Aldebaran MGL.

The size 30 spool offers a spacious 6.3 cubic centimeters of space for your favorite line, while not sacrificing quality or reliability to get you the smoothest casting motions and overhead snap casts.

The Shimano Aldebaran MGL can perform well with casting standard kits as well as baits and lures that demand high finesse, regardless of your preferred casting motion.

Key features:

  • Size 50 spool gives you plenty of line and finesse for any situation
  • Magnesium body is stunning to look at, as well as extremely durable
  • Wide range of drag settings for landing a variety of fish sizes with ease

Shimano Curado 70

For levels of construction the Shimano Curado 70 offers a solid feel due in part to its perfect use of machined aluminum fittings and faceplates that give durability, stability and eliminate the risk of flexing and stressing.

While the cost is more for the budget conscious angler, even those willing to drop a higher amount of money on a good baitcasting reel will be pleased with the benefits this one offers.

Key features:

  • Cross carbon drag to help you land even large and weighty fish
  • Professional exterior construction is made for reliability and longevity
  • Gear module was created with extreme casting smoothness in mind

Piscifun Phantom Carbon

When it comes to a professional level lightweight design of less than 6 ounces on a baitcasting reel, the Piscifun Phantom Carbon is one to consider with its stainless steel, carbon and titanium design.

This powerful little baitcaster offers superior output at a reasonable price point, giving you an impressive drag power of up to 17 pounds on the 7:1 gear ratio with multiple ball bearings to reel and cast smoothly.

For precision and accuracy, the Piscifun Phantom offers dual brakes to give you ultimate control when reeling and casting, with the benefits of both a centrifugal and magnetic braking system.

Key features:

  • Weighs less than 6 ounces without sacrificing reliability or strength
  • Dual braking system with both centrifugal and magnetic components
  • High performance 7:1 gear ratio for accurate casting at long distances

Daiwa Steez CT SV

Daiwa is one of the best known name brands in high quality baitcasters, and this shows with the Steez CT and its cutting edge magnesium construction and a perfect combo that offers an equal balance of high performance with precise finesse.

The small size and low profile of this baitcaster makes it easy to hold, while still offering an ample amount of spooling capacity for lines of all types that can handle your ultralight baits and lures.

Ready for use straight out of the box, the Daiwa Steez CT won’t require nearly as much braking force as other reels at similar price points, giving you the pleasure of using a lightweight but extremely durable casting reel.

Key features:

  • Stainless steel construction and ball bearings for corrosion resistance
  • Magnesium body and side plates for extremely lightweight construction
  • Clicking drag so you know exactly when fish take your bait or lure

Daiwa Tatula SV TW103

Straight out of the box you will notice the Japanese made Daiwa Tatula SV looks extremely stylish with it’s shiny black finish accented by a tribal design on the side plate and the silver accents and logo.

For a great casting length, you’ll notice the Tatula SV comes in pretty high on the list though higher price point baitcasters will outcast it by 10 yards or so.

If you need finesse in your casts, however, the Tatula can offer just that with an outstandingly precise casting rank even in conditions that are windy or unpredictable.

Key features:

  • 90mm cutaway swept handle gives an elegant feel to the reel
  • Powerful air magnet braking system for smooth and accurate casting
  • Can handle a wide range of thick and long lines including 30/115 braided

Daiwa Tatula 100

With a full aluminum frame and a solidly built body, the Daiwa Tatula 100 offers anglers a lightweight yet extremely durable baitcasting reel that tips the scales just under 7 ounces.

It includes a T-Wing line management system that can offer both experienced and novice anglers the long and smooth casting yardage results they are searching for regardless of weighting and setup of their fishing bait.

If you find yourself struggling with the weight of the lure you want to use, the included tension knob can be adjusted with absolute precision to give you the fishing results you want with both ultralight and heavier lures and bait.

Key features:

  • Includes a compact and ergonomic 38mm aluminum frame
  • Can handle a range of popular lines including 40/110 braided
  • Great for long casts in windy conditions with the T-Wing system

Ultralight Baitcaster FAQs

What is the lightest baitcasting reel?

If you’re searching for the lightest of the light when it comes to high quality ultralights, the Japanese made Shimano Aldebaran MGL is the industry leader when it comes to lighter weight. This amazingly lightweight and very high quality reel boasts a weight of less than 5 ounces – 4.8 to be exact. You won’t find any other Japan-made baitcasting reel lighter than the Aldebaran as of 2021.

What are some tips for casting light lures?

To get the best experience from your light baitcasting lures you want to follow a few tried and true tips from the professionals.

  • Use lure weights to get better distance from an extremely light lure.
  • Cast with the wind helping to guide your light lure.
  • Try out a few different casting techniques to see which works best for you.
  • Don’t rush through the cast, it should be an elegant flow of your arm and wrist.
  • Ensure you are using the right line size for your baitcasting reel.
  • Practice until you get a feel for it and know what works and doesn’t for your kit.

What is the best ultralight baitcasting reel?

Daiwa is the brand that most people instantly think of when asked about ultralights, and when asked which is the best light baitcaster most experienced anglers will say the Daiwa Steez CT SV is the perfect match and the one you want. It weighs just over 5 ounces and is made from an extremely lightweight but durable magnesium frame with matching side cover.

What is the best finesse baitcasting reel?

When it comes to the ultimate level of finesse, the Daiwa Tatula 100 takes the cake. It not only offers finesse that no other baitcasting reel can, but it also offers professional caliber performance and an affordable cost for both amateur and experienced anglers to consider. The handle is done in a 90mm swept style that offers secure and comfortable knobs to adjust as needed to suit your fishing needs.

Final Thoughts on the Best Ultralight Baitcasting Reels

Regardless of the baitcasting reel you decide to go with for bass or trout or any other trophy, you’ll find all of the brands on this list can provide a high level of performance and excellent durability. From Daiwa to Shimano to Piscifun, once you’ve replaced your spinning kit and started with this type of reel you’ll notice an improvement of your casting accuracy on your first fishing trip.

If you often go fishing in specific areas or for species of fish that require precise accuracy, or are specifically using extremely lightweight lures and still need to get a long cast, ultralights are the answer. Pick one up today, give it a try right out of the box, and see if it helps improve your casting and landing results while also improving the fun you have while fishing.

Author

  • Donny Karr is a respected fishing writer and passionate fisherman who loves targeting largemouth bass and a range of other species.

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