9 Best Ultralight Fishing Rods

Best Ultralight Fishing Rods

Welcome to our review of the Best Ultralight Fishing Rods!

We have used our years of experience to test some of the top fishing rods on the market. We have evaluated these rods based on quality, durability, affordability, and performance. You can pick any rod on our list for a great fishing trip without breaking the bank.

If you are in a hurry:

St. Croix Triumph is the Best Ultralight Fishing Rod.

Here is our pick of the top ultralight fishing rods.

Our Top 9 Picks

Best Ultralight Fishing Rods

Now, let us move to our in-depth reviews.

1. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod...
  • Rod Length: 5’6″ ft
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32-3/16 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 5 Years

St Croix Triumph is designed for anglers who love smooth and lightweight rods. You must have it in your fishing arsenal as it is the perfect rod for ultralight fishing.

It is sleek and slim but feels strong and sturdy. The handle is thin and the lower end of the grip is a little smaller than other rods so it may take some getting used to. We got comfortable after a few casts.

St Croix offers well-made rods that are easy to use. This fishing pole has been exquisitely crafted. It is so sleek and compact that it doesn’t need much space. You can easily fit it in your car trunk or boat hatch.

St Croix Triumph is very handy for spur-of-the-moment fishing trips. One doesn’t always lug their huge fishing rods. But you can take this ultralight fishing rod anywhere you go. It is lightweight, yet sturdy enough to handle the big fish too. The rod feels good in the hand.

2. Okuma Celilo Ultralight Rod

okuma Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra...
  • Rod Length: 6 ft
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32~1/4 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Okuma Celio is an ultralight rod built with high-quality materials. The graphite blank construction and aluminum oxide guide inserts make the rod sensitive. The stainless steel hooded reel seats hold the reel securely.

We tested the 6′ Okuma Celilo Ultralight Rod during a weekend fishing trip. We paired it with a spinning reel and 4lb mono. The rod performed exceptionally well. Its sensitivity helped us detect even the slightest nibbles from small fish. We were able to cast with ease and had no trouble reeling in fish in the 1-2 lb range.

You will find that you have better casting accuracy with this rod. The comfortable cork grip handle allows you to use the rod for extended periods of time without any fatigue.

Overall, we are happy to recommend Okuma Celilo to any angler looking for a high-quality, sensitive, and responsive ultralight rod. It offers the features you find in 3x more expensive rods. It is an excellent value if you compare its price with St. Croix Triumph.

3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo

Ugly Stik 7’ GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod...
  • Rod Length: 7 ft
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: EVA
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32-1/4 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Ugly Stik GX2 is the best ultralight rod and reel combo as per our reviews. It comes with a spinning rod and a matching reel.

The 2-pc 7-feet rod is suitable for anglers of all skill levels. The graphite and fiberglass construction makes it durable and sensitive. The clear tip design adds strength and responsiveness. You will find it easy to detect the smallest bites and nibbles. Thanks to the EVA grips, you will be able to hold the rod comfortably.

The 25-size spinning reel comes with a 5:2:1 gear ratio. It features four ball bearings, including a one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing. The double anodized aluminum spool can hold up to 200 yards of 2 lb mono line.

We have used the Ugly Stik GX2 combo on several occasions for catching small to medium-sized fish. We have caught a variety of fish, including trout, bass, and panfish up to 6lbs.

Ugly Stik GX2 is a great pick if you want a top-rated ultralight rod and reel combo. We are very impressed by the performance. It is the safest bet whenever you are heading out on a fishing trip.

4. Cadence CR5 Fishing Rod

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30...
  • Rod Length: 7 ft
  • Blank Material: 30-Ton Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: EVA
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32-1/8 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Cadence CR5 is a highly durable, top-quality spinning rod. It features a 30-ton carbon fiber blank that makes the rod strong and lightweight. The 7’ ultralight rod weighs less than 2 oz. The stainless steel guides improve durability while SiC inserts dissipate heat.

The split-grip handle makes underhand rolls and one-handed casts comfortable and easy. There is also a full-grip handle if you prefer two-handed casts. Cadence uses a unique blend of EVA and cork for a lightweight and comfortable grip.

We recently tested the Cadence CR5 during a freshwater fishing trip. We use this rod for catching several trout, bluegill, and catfish during our trip. But it has enough backbone that allowed us to catch even a couple of large smallmouth bass.

Overall, we find Cadence CR5 the best ultralight rod for the money. It is a great pick if you are looking for a freshwater rod to catch small to medium-sized fish. For its price, every angler should have one as part of their fishing arsenal.

5. KastKing Resolute Spinning Rod

KastKing Resolute Fishing Rods, Spinning...
  • Rod Length: 4.6-6.6 ft
  • Blank Material: IM7 Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: SuperPolymer
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Line Rating: 1-4lbs to 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32-1/8 to 1/32-3/16 oz.
  • Warranty Period: Limited Lifetime

KastKing Resolute is a versatile 2-piece rod. The ultralight options come in different sizes from 4’6″ to 6’6″. You can pick a size that suits your style of fishing.

The IM7 carbon fiber construction makes the rod strong, sensitive, and lightweight. It is a great pick for anyone who wants a lightweight rod for backpacking or hiking.

KastKing’s partnership with American Tackle sets it apart from the competition. Their award-winning Microwave Air guide system helps you cast farther. Their two-piece reel seats keep the reels secured under pressure.

We paired the rod with a size-1000 Emerald Eagle reel to test it out during our recent light tackle trip. We were impressed by the performance as it helped us catch quite a few bass, walleye, and crappie while fishing from a boat. The golf-style grip offers a comfortable and solid grip.

Overall, we find KastKing Resolute one of the best 2-piece ultralight fishing rods out there. The pieces are easy to join and take apart. You can easily fit it in the car trunk or a boat hatch. You can carry this rod along with you just about anywhere.

6. Daiwa Presso Ultralight Rod

Daiwa Presso UL Spinning Rod,...
  • Rod Length: 7 ft
  • Blank Material: IM-7 Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32-1/4 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Daiwa Presso is a 4 piece ultralight spinning rod which means it is easy to store or carry. It comes with a semi-hard traveling case that can fit into almost any space.

The rod is built with solid IM-7 graphite which makes it light and responsive. The micro-pitch taping of the blank improves power and sensitivity. The machined clamp nut holds up better than regular nuts. The Minima 7 black ring guides are also very durable.

Daiwa Presso has a rustic appeal and texture. It is designed with freshwater fishing in mind but it is strong enough to handle medium to big-sized fish.

We tested this rod while hiking in the Colorado Rockies. It was easy to pack. We used it to throw baits in the 1/64 to 1/8 oz range. It has enough backbone for fighting bigger fish. We caught quite a few brown trout up to 4 lbs. The rod handled all the fish with ease.

Daiwa Presso is one of the best 4-piece ultralight fishing rods as per our reviews. It can hold its own against many of the more expensive rods on the market.

7. Eagle Claw Featherlight Rod

Eagle Claw Featherlight Spinning Rod 2...
  • Rod Length: 6 ft
  • Blank Material: Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/16-3/8 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Eagle Claw Featherlight is perfect for anglers who are just starting out. The fiberglass design is resistant to damage and it’s pretty easy to cast. It has ultralight power which means it’s ideal for a small creek or fishing off your boat.

The Eagle Claw is a 6 feet long rod that weighs 3.52 ounces. It has 6 stainless steel guides and a premium cork handle. It offers a comfortable and nice grip when held in your hand.

We have caught quite a few fish such as Bass, Walleyes, Perch Trout, and Bluegills using this rod. The rod felt a little stiff but it has some backbone behind it. It is strong enough that we even pulled a largemouth bass out of real thick cover.

Where this pole falls a little short is sensitivity. The fiberglass design doesn’t provide as much sensitivity as you would expect from an ultralight pole.

Overall the Eagle Claw is a great choice for beginners. It is a strong and durable rod that you can use to catch a variety of fish, large or small. It won’t break under pressure and offers new anglers great value for their money.

8. St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod

St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod,...
  • Rod Length: 5.6 ft
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32-3/16 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 5 Years

St. Croix Premier is a 5’6″ ultralight fast action rod that packs a punch. The lightweight and sensitivity make it ideal for finesse techniques such as drop shotting and jigging. You can use it for targeting small to medium-sized species such as bass, trout, and panfish.

The SCII carbon construction makes it extremely sensitive. The Kigan Master Hand 3D guides, aluminum-oxide inserts, and Fuji TCS reel seats add to durability.

We recently tested the rod during our 5 days fishing trip We paired it with a 2000-size spinning reel. Although many anglers use it for targeting smaller species, we were able to catch fish up to 5 lbs.

You will love the full cork handle while fighting fish as it gives you enough leverage to control the fish. At just 2.2 oz, the rod is incredibly lightweight. We found it very easy to use and maneuver even during our long fishing trip.

St Croix Premier is the ultimate ultralight fishing rod. It’s well-loved by experienced anglers for its reliability and performance. We are happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a powerful ultralight rid.

9. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Micro Series Spinning Rod...
  • Rod Length: 4.5-7 ft
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Line Rating: 2-6lbs
  • Lure Rating: 1/32-1/4 oz.
  • Warranty Period: 1 Year

Shakespeare Micro ultralight rods come in three sizes 4’6″, 5′, and 7′. Like most lightweight rods, Micro uses graphite composite to keep the weight down. You can use it to catch a variety of fish.

We picked the 5′ rod for our tests due it to its compact size. You can use it with a 2-6lb line and 1/32-1/4 oz lures. We were able to catch different fish such as panfish, chum, and trout. The rod handled all these wish quite well. But you will need a net if you’re pulling in over 5 lbs.

Shakespeare Micro comes with corrosion-resistant stainless steel guides. The smooth guides ensure you can cast your line with ease. The full cork handle makes it comfortable for you to hold and maneuver the rod.

Shakespeare is a reliable and well-known brand with a variety of rods. Shakespeare Micro offers great value if you consider its price. Although it is a budget rod, it offers excellent performance and durability.

Why Use Ultralight Fishing Rods?

Ultralight fishing rods appeal to many anglers who have a passion for fishing. You can feel the pull of the fish and have a lot more fun reeling it in. You get a great experience from the smallest nibble to a big bite when using ultralight fishing gear.

If you plan on casting or jigging an ultralight fast action rod is going to be your best bet. They don’t bend as much at the base and have a flexible tip that snaps even larger fish out of the water in no time. With an ultralight rod, you can detect bites fast. You can feel the slightest bites and nibble even from weaker fish such as trout.

You will notice that most ultralight rods are spinning rods more than other types of rods. Spinning rods are excellent for beginners and novice anglers who are just getting started with fishing. We believe ultralight rods are great for fishing in streams, creeks, or shallow bodies of water.

Ultralight rods are also ideal for anglers on the go or backpackers. You can take your ultralight rod anywhere you are generally in proximity to the fish. You can easily carry them from one fishing spot to another.

How to Choose an Ultralight Fishing Rod

Here we have shared some of our expert tips to help you choose the right ultralight fishing rod as per your specific requirements and preferences


Ultralight rods typically come between 4 feet and 7 feet. By the rule of thumb, a longer rod will have more flex at the tip to give you a better casting range. But longer rods tend to weigh more which can put a strain on anglers planning to spend more time out on the water.

We suggest most anglers go for a rod in the 5-6 feet range as it will offer precision for fishing in close areas. But again, you may prefer a different length depending on your personal preferences, fishing style, or skill level.

Along with the length, you’ll want a handle that matches the weight of the pole and feels great in your hand. Most ultralight rods on our list come with a strong and comfortable grip


The action of the rod refers to where it bends along the blank. A fast-action rod bends towards the top of the blank. While a slower action rod bends down towards the handle.

Knowing the action of your rod the next time you hit the water can help you select the right fishing technique. Rods come with different action ratings such as:

  • Extra Fast Action
  • Fast Action
  • Moderate Action
  • Slow Action

Vertical fishing or fishing close to the boat is best suited for a fast or extra-fast action rod. It allows you to hook your fish fast.

But, if you are casting a little further away, a moderate action rod is more appropriate. It gives the rod a chance to absorb some of the shocks.


The power refers to the lifting weight of the rod at the tip. Knowing how much weight it can handle can influence your choice of rod. It can be the difference between reeling in a fish and snapping a rod.

A rod’s power is rated as light, ultralight, medium, or heavy. An ultralight rod gives a lot of flex even while using a lightweight lure.

We suggest anglers go for an ultralight fast action rod as it will offer more flexibility and responsiveness. It will allow you to feel even the smallest of fish bites and set the hook quickly.

Construction and Materials

A fiberglass rod may be ideal for you if you are looking for a on a budget or just looking to get started. Fiberglass rods are difficult to break due to their strength and durability.

But fiberglass fishing rods lose out when it comes to lightweight and sensitivity. Most ultralight fishing rods in today’s market use carbon fiber or graphite. They are more lightweight and sensitive than fiberglass rods.


Ultralight rods tend to be quite different from normal rods. So it is often that people have quite a few questions when trying to pick one.

We’ve gathered some of the top questions and have provided answers here for our readers. Let us know if we not have addressed your question, or if you simply have more questions.

What is an ultralight fishing rod?

An ultralight fishing rod is a precisely designed rod for throwing light lures to target smaller fish species such as panfish and trout.

An ultralight rod is more flexible and responsive than other rods. It is usually made from graphite to make it lightweight and sensitive. It comes with fast or extra-action action that allows for faster hook sets.

Are ultralight rods worth it?

Yes, ultralight rods are definitely worth it if you’re looking to catch small fish. They are incredibly sensitive, so you can feel even the slightest nibbles and bites on your line.

The increased sensitivity and fast action allow you to react quickly and set the hook before the fish gets away. Most ultralight rods are lightweight and easy to handle.

What makes a good ultralight rod?

A good ultralight rod must be lightweight and sensitive and come with a fast or extra-fast action. You also need to check materials and construction when choosing an ultralight rod. A well-built rod not only improves your performance but also lasts longer.

You must also check how the rod feels in your hands. A good rod should feel well-balanced. The handle, guides, and reel seat must be properly placed on the rod so that it feels comfortable and natural to use.

How far can an ultralight rod cast?

How far you can cast with a rod, be it ultralight or any other depends on many factors such as the length of the rod, quality of guides, line weight, lure weight, and most on your skill level.

Ultralight rods are not designed to throw long-distance casts. But may be able to cast small lures up to about 30 feet with some practice. Keep in mind that casting far isn’t the only important factor while fishing. You need accuracy and proper presentation for a successful catch.

You can generally cast farther with longer rods than shorter ones. But if you plan to fish in a small stream or thick cover, a shorter rod will give you better control and maneuverability.

Can an ultralight rod catch big fish?

As we said earlier, ultralight rods are specifically designed for catching small fish. So it can be very challenging if you try to catch big fish on an ultralight rod.

If you are a beginner, we suggest you do not even try as you may end up losing or breaking your fishing equipment.

But if you have been fishing for a while, then we hope our tips below help make your time on the water more productive.

  • Check you are using the right technique and gear.
  • Pick a fishing line that can withstand the weight of the fish.
  • Try tiring out the fish to prevent it from breaking the line.
  • Use a reel with a strong drag to help you control the fish.

Keep in mind catching big fish on an ultralight rod needs a lot of skill, patience, and finesse.

Can you troll with an ultralight rod?

It is possible but not ideal to troll with an ultralight rod. You need long and heavy rods for trolling. Whereas ultralight rods are small and lightweight. They are not strong enough to drag the heavy lures or baits behind a boat. Neither do they offer enough power to handle larger fish.

So if you’re planning on trolling, then we suggest you pick a heavier rod and reel setup.

Can you catch bass on an ultralight?

Yes, you can catch small-sized bass on an ultralight rod if you choose the right lures and techniques. We suggest you use small lures such as jigs, spinners, or soft plastics. Such lures are more effective using an ultralight setup as they mimic the natural prey of bass.

It’s important you pick a lightweight line of around 4-6 lbs to enhance sensitivity. We suggest you use a slow finesse-style technique such as drop-shotting, light flipping, or pitching.

Keep in mind you will need a lot of patience to catch bass with an ultralight rod. But an ultralight setup is a fun way to catch bass if you stick with the right lures and technique.

What lures are best for ultralight rods?

Small and lightweight lures such as small spinners, jigs, small crankbaits, and soft plastics are best for ultralight rods. These lures are easy to cast and work well for targeting small fish such as panfish, trout, and bass.

When choosing lures, you must consider your target fish and the type of water you plan to fish.

For example, if you plan to fish in clear water, then use a small natural-looking lure such as a worm or a small minnow imitation. It will most likely be more effective than a flashy spinner or crankbait.

What line for ultralight fishing?

A light line with a low diameter and a low visibility color is most likely to work best for ultralight fishing. Monofilament lines are more popular for ultralight fishing as they offer better sensitivity. But some anglers prefer fluorocarbon or braided lines for increased strength.

In clear water, a lighter line in low visibility or green color will be more effective. But if you are fishing in areas with lots of rocks or growth, then using a line with a higher abrasion resistance can help you avoid the line breaking.

For most conditions, we suggest anglers pick a monofilament line in the 2-6 lbs range to match the weight of your fishing rod.

Our Verdict

St. Croix Triumph is our pick for the Best Ultralight Fishing Rod. It outshines others with its performance, durability, and ease of use. It is one of the most versatile rods on the market. You catch different fish species like Trout, Bass, or Panfish. You can use this rod for fishing in rivers, streams, or lakes.

Let us know if you have any questions about our reviews or testing approach. We are happy to answer all the queries that we get. If you would like us to review any specific rod, then let us know via the comments section. We will try to include it in our next update.

We hope you like your pick of the Best Ultralight Fishing Rods. You can choose the right one as per your specific needs and personal preference. But feel free to contact us if you need more help choosing a rod. We have been reviewing fishing rods for many years, so we will be happy to help you out.

You May Also Like: Check out our reviews of the best spinning reels under 30 If you are looking for a budget reel to pair with your ultralight fishing rod.

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Victor Mays

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