The Best Ultralight Fishing Rods and Combos

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If you are in a rush the Best Ultralight Fishing Set-up goes to the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod.

If you’re thinking about planning an all-day fishing trip in which you’ll target smaller fish, then the most important thing that to consider is the type of fishing gear that you’re using. The fishing gear industry is large and diverse, containing a variety of different equipment. Because of that, it can be difficult to find the best of the best equipment.

Perhaps the single most important factor that you should be considering about your fishing trip is the type of rod. If you’re planning a trip that lasts all day long and you’re targeting small fish, then you’ll benefit the most from having an ultralight fishing rod.

Many fisherman aren’t aware of what ultralight fishing rods are, let alone how to find the most effective one. That being said, here is a guide containing all of the information that can help you find the best one for your specific needs. Additionally, it also contains some of the best ultralight fishing rods on the market for your convenience.

The Best Ultralight fishing set-up goes as follows:

  1. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod –  (Best Overall)
  2. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod – (Best Spinning Rod)
  3. St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod – (Most Reliable)
  4. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo – (Most Convenient)
  5. Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultra Light Trout Rod – (Best Trout Fishing Pole)
  6. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod – (Most Customizable)
  7. Shimano Sojourn 2-Piece Spin Rod – (Budget Option)
  8. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Dock Runner Spinning Combo – (Most Affordable)

Why Use an Ultralight Fishing Set-up?


Smaller Fish Feel Bigger

The main reason why most fishermen choose to use ultralight fishing rods is because of their sensitivity to pressure. The fishing rod is set up so that they can respond to the smallest amounts of pressure, allowing smaller fish to essentially feel larger. Similar to the same effect as telescopic fishing rods.

You also have the ability to catch a larger amount of fish with ultralight rods than other types of rods. This may be for a few reasons, including the fact that it’s lightweight and requires barely any energy to hold the rod. Additionally, you can react sooner to the bites due to the sensitivity to pressure.


Another reason why many fisherman choose ultralight poles over others is because of the cost. The rod uses less materials for production, so the overall cost of the rod is more affordable. They’re also easy to produce, so they have a large diversity on the market.

They’re relatively easy to maintain as well, making them more cost effective than other types of rods. Even more than that, ultralight fishing rods require more lightweight materials to use them. Since these accessories are also lightweight along with the fishing rod, they’re also less expensive to produce.

For instance, lightweight fishing lures, fishing line, the reel and other accessories are also more lightweight and less expensive than the accessories needed for standard rods.

Ultralight Fishing Rod Reviews


1. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod (Best Overall)

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  • 2 pieces
  • 6’6” length
  • Graphite material

For those of you looking for an ultralight rod that can withstand more weight than others, this Elite Spinning Rod from Ugly Stik is a great option. It has a line rating of eight and can carry anything up to 17 pounds. Because of that, you have more leniency for the sizes of fish that you can catch and support with this rod.

Additionally, this fishing rod has an Ugly Tech construction that has more graphite material to make the pole more lightweight than others. The extra graphite also increases the overall sensitivity of the pole, providing more accuracy to your fishing techniques.


  • Comes with a cork handle for comfort
  • Holds up to 17 pounds
  • Formulated with more graphite


  • Length is longer, so the accuracy may not be as adequate as it is on other poles


2. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod (Best Spinning Rod)

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  • 2 pieces
  • 5’6” length
  • Graphite/stainless steel construction

The Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rod is great for using with a spinning reel on your fishing excursions because it’s been specifically field tested to ensure that the superior performance promise is kept. Produced with a strong and sensitive graphite black material, the Eagle Spinning Rod helps you to catch countless types of smaller fish in practically any body of water.

The fishing rod in general has properties that can help to elongate the pole’s lifespan, including its chip and corrosion resistance proprieties as well as its durable, stainless steel construction.


  • You have the ability to choose between a 1 piece, 2 piece or a spinning rod
  • Corrosion and chip resistant
  • Field tested


  • Works best with a spinning reel


3. St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod (Most Reliable)

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  • One piece
  • 7’ length
  • Carbon fiber material

St. Croix is one of those fishing brands that you can simply trust, regardless of the type of equipment you’re purchasing. With this premier spinning rod, you can have the most durable and high quality pole from St. Croix. It’s produced with a carbon material that’s both sturdy and lightweight.

In addition to that, this pole has Kigan Master Hand 3D that helps to guide you with aluminum rings. With that, you’re capable of releasing more accurate casting techniques than before. Not only that, but this fishing pole has a premium-cork grade handle for optimal comfort, and it comes with a frosted silver hood for extra durability with a slick appearance.


  • Produced with durable and lightweight carbon material
  • Features Kigan Master Hand 3D for utmost precision when casting
  • Includes a premium-cork grade handle


  • Comes in one piece, so transporting may be more difficult


4. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo (Most Convenient)

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  • 1 piece or 2 pieces
  • 7’ length
  • Reel and rod combo

Specifically designed for beginners, this Ugly Stik combo includes the pole and the reel in one package. You can choose between either a two piece or a one piece, depending on your personal preference. And you also have the option of choosing between a medium or a medium heavy pole if you want to purchase one along with your ultralight rod.

Not only do you receive an ultralight fishing rod with your purchase, but this product also comes as a combination with a reel. That being said, you don’t have to worry about browsing the market and purchasing a reel separately from your rod purchase. Even more than that, you also don’t have to worry about the reel not working with the rod, since they come together and are ensured to perform great when together.


  • Comes as a combo with a reel
  • Available in 1 pieces or 2 pieces
  • Affordable


  • Even though it comes with a reel, you have to purchase fishing line separately


5. Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultra Light Trout Rod (Best Trout Fishing Pole)

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  • 2 pieces
  • 6’6” length
  • Graphite/aluminum material

The Okuma Celilo Trout Rod is produced with all of the most lightweight materials on the market, making it great for trout fishing as well as other small creature fishing. More specifically, this pole from Okuma features a sensitive black graphite construction that’s both durable and barely weighs anything.

Moreover, this fishing rod contains aluminum oxide guide inserts as well as stainless steel hooded reel seats that can make for an easier casting experience. Lastly, you can benefit from the quality grade for and rear cork grips that help you to firmly grasp onto the pole while you’re casting and resting.


  • Manufactured with all lightweight materials
  • Available in various different models
  • Affordable


  • Also a longer pole, which may take away from casting accuracy


6. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod (Most Customizable)

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  • 2 pieces
  • 6’6” length
  • Premium graphite material

Keeping to the positive reputation of the company, this St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod offers you the most customization that a pole can offer. You not only have the ability to choose between the action of the pole, but you can also choose the specific amount of tension that the pole can support overall.

More specifically, you can choose an ultralight fishing rod from St. Croix and then still have the ability to choose the amount of tension that it has. This pole was produced with a lightweight graphite material that has not only outstanding strength, but also a hook-setting power that can make your fishing experiences even easier.

Furthermore, this ultralight fishing rod has finely attuned actions and tapers that make for a superior performance when compared to the other poles on the market.


  • Comes with black frames for a slick appearance
  • Produced with a lightweight and durable graphite material
  • Accommodates for optimal customization


  • More expensive than others


7. Shimano Sojourn 2-Piece Spin Rod (Budget Option)

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  • 2 pieces
  • 5’6” length
  • Graphite composite material

If you’re looking for a more affordable ultralight fishing rod that still offers the same benefits as some of its more expensive counterparts, then this Shimano fishing rod is a great option. Classified as having ultralight power, this rod measures 5-foot 6-inches and can provide you with the ability to perform the most accurate casting possible with a fishing pole.

In addition to that, this Shimano fishing rod is fast acting and comes in two pieces. Because of that, you can more easily transport this pole with you from different locations. There is even a rear grip length of five inches. That gives you plenty of room to grip the pole and reel in the many fish that you can catch with this ultralight rod.


  • Affordable
  • Comes in 2 pieces
  • Has a rear grip of 5 inches


  • May not be comfortable to hold for long periods of time


8. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Dock Runner Spinning Combo (Most Affordable)

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  • 1 piece
  • 4’ length
  • Reel and rod combo
  • Graphite and fiberglass construction

For anyone that’s on a strict budget or is looking for a fishing pole with a more simple design, you’re advised to check out this Shakespeare Ugly Stik Dock Runner. It’s available for the cheapest price out of any on this list, and it acts as a more simply fishing rod.

You don’t have to worry about any complicated set up. The reel even comes pre-spooled for you, so you can purchase this rod and go right onto fishing. The pole itself features a mixture of both graphite and fiberglass, so the pole is extremely reliable and lightweight.


  • Comes as a combo with a reel
  • Requires no setup, since the reel is pre-spooled
  • Affordable


  • Only measures 36 inches, so it’s not recommended for longer casting purposes


How Do I Choose the Best Ultralight Fishing Rod?

Where are you Fishing?

Before you even search the market for rods, you’ll have to think about the specific location you’ll be fishing at. Ultralight rods may not even be suitable for the type of fishing that you’re interested in. You should think about the type of water you’re fishing in, the type of fish you’re targeting as well as the weather and area surrounding your fishing location.

You shouldn’t really use an ultralight rod for saltwater fishing, since the rods tend to be shorter. Having a shorter rod isn’t sufficient for ocean fishing because the waters are deeper and require larger casts.

Additionally, you shouldn’t use an ultralight rod if you’re planning on fishing for larger or heavier creatures. Ultralight poles are lightweight and not as stable as other types of fishing rods. Because of that, they’re usually not strong enough to withstand the heavier weight of large fish.

Furthermore, the specific body of water you’re planning on fishing in is important to consider because ultralight poles are really only sufficient for smaller bodies of water. Given their shorter length, they’re more adequate for fishing in smaller, more shallow bodies of water.

guy fishing with uyltra light fishing rod


Fishing rods can be manufactured with a variety of different materials. Given the fact that ultralight poles only require lightweight materials to produce them, it can be difficult to choose which type of pole would be the best for your specific needs.

Even though there are multiple different types of lightweight materials on the fishing market, there are three main types of materials that ultralight fishing rods are made with. These include graphite, fiberglass and carbon fiber. Each of them have their own benefits and downsides.

Graphite is popular among bass fishing rods because of its lightweight properties as well as its strength. They’re produced at really high temperatures, making them more powerful and tougher than other types of rods on the market.

Fiberglass is also known for its strength and durability, since it can withstand holding a heavier weights. This fact along with its lightweight features makes fiberglass great for ultralight fishing rods. Sometimes fiberglass and graphite are even combined together in order to make a single pole, since fiberglass is durable and graphite is powerful and lightweight.

Lastly, carbon fiber is also widely used for producing ultralight fishing rods because of its strong, lightweight and sensitive construction. Carbon fiber can also be used to produce other types of rods, but its lightweight properties make it popular among the ultralight fishing industry .

Action of the Rod

The fishing rod’s action essentially refers to the amount of bend that a pole has. It specifically deals with how much the pole bends when you’re casting as well as when you’re in the midst of catching a fish. The weight of the pole essentially determine the amount of bend that it has.

More specifically to this case, ultralight rods are capable of bending only at the top. From that, they have the ability to release the line extra fast. When you have an extra fast action rod, then you should typically use top water lures. Ultralight and extra fast rods are also usually more stiff than other types of fishing rods, but this may also depend on the specific brand and specific rod.

Overall, you’ll want to choose the fishing rod that has the right level of action for your fishing purposes .


The overall length of the fishing pole is important because it impact the buoyancy, how far you’re able to cast and many other factors. The standard length of most fishing poles is around seven foot, but ultralight poles are usually less. Many people think that shorter poles are negative, but they actually help you cast more accurately into the water, helping you to target areas with certain fish more specifically.

The shorter length will be more sufficient for accurately casting into smaller and more shallow bodies of water. You can also benefit from the shorter rods because of the easy maintenance and usability.


Considering the amount of power a pole has is important because it essentially refers to the strength of it overall, and it can help you figure out what type of fish you’re capable of catching. Usually the heavier the rod is, the more power the pole has and the larger the fish it can catch.

That being said, if you’re trying to find an ultralight rod, then you’ll want to look for a rod that has a rating of “light” or “ultralight.” These terms essentially mean that there is less weight required to make the rod react to the pressure. The amount of power a rod has should also be considered when you’re choosing the fishing line to use with it.

For your case in particular, you’ll want to use lightweight fishing line with your ultralight fishing rod. If you use line that’s any bigger, then you risk damaging the pole or the line.

Preferred Fishing Line for Ultralight Fishing

Once you have an ultralight fishing rod, you’ll need to find some fishing line to go with it. As mentioned previously, you’ll need to also find lightweight fishing line for your pole, and there are a few things that you can consider when it comes to choosing fishing line. The most important consideration is the type of line, ranging from monofilament, to braided or thermal filament line.

Monofilament fishing line essentially acts as a single line of continuous filament. It’s usually clear and smooth, and it can stretch further than most other fishing lines. Thermal filament has a thermal bounding of smaller fibers, and it tends to be stronger than monofilament line.

Lastly, braided fishing line is thicker than the other types and is usually meant for larger fish. That being said, you should stick to either monofilament or thermal filament line, but monofilament is probably your best bet .

Preferred Reels for Ultralight Fishing

Just as the fishing line and fishing rod are lightweight in ultralight fishing, so too should your fishing reel be lightweight as well. Aside from the weight of the reel, you should also consider a few other factors as well.

For instance, you should consider the material of the reel’s body. Most are either produced with a graphite, plastic or aluminum material. That being said, most reels have lightweight bodies already, but you’ll also want one that’s durable and able to withstand some wear and tear.

You’ll want to consider the gear ratio of the reel, and it should be somewhere around 5:1. The spool for ultralight reels are usually able to hold less line, since they’re not meant for far or deep casting. That being said, reels for ultralight rods can usually hold up to an average of 130 yards of four-pound monofilament.

The bearings in the reels help to support a smooth operating system, and you should have somewhere between one to three bearings. Lastly, the drag system is important to consider, and ultralight reels should have the ability to smoothly run past one to two pounds.

If you’d like some more information about ultralight fishing in general and its benefits, then you may benefit from watching this YouTube video.


How many guides should the fishing rod have?

The whole purpose of the guides on the rod are to keep the fishing line from getting tangled and to increase the sensitivity. Due to the fact of them increasing the overall sensitivity of the pole, you should have a higher number of guides on your pole. Ultralight fishing is centered around the minimal pressure required, so the higher number of guides would be sufficient.

Should I purchase the rod in one or two pieces?

This typically depends on personal preference. Rods that come in two pieces are essentially made that way in order to make transporting them easier. That being said, if you want to more easily transport and store the fishing pole, then you should find one that comes in two pieces. However, ultralight fishing rods already come in shorter sizes than most, so you may find transporting the one pieces easier than others.

Do I have to cast a certain way with ultralight rods?

This, too, depends on personal preference. Individual fisherman may have their own personal techniques that they follow when it comes to casting, but any standard casting may be sufficient with ultralight rods.

Since ultralight fishing is more about the location of your landing rather than the distance from the boat, you may want to cast so that you can target the smaller fish more accurately. Whether this entails casting slower or in a more downward motion may vary, but you should essentially do what you’re most comfortable with personally.

Final Thoughts

Overall, each of these ultralight fishing rods is able to offer you an abundance of advantages. Every one of them contains a graphite in its construction, which can ensure you that the poles are lightweight and durable at the same time. Not only that, but each of them is available as an ultralight action that has high strength and power.

Some of them offer features that are more beneficial than the other ones, so you may have difficulty when trying to choose the best overall product from this list. Because of that, you should purchase product #1 Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod. This rod is not only affordable, but it has the ability to hold up to 17 pounds of fish.

Furthermore, this ultralight fishing rod has an Ugly Tech construction that contains higher amounts of graphite for more lightweight qualities. It even has stainless steel guides that can keep the fishing pole altogether while you’re casting and reeling in. Given these beneficial features as well as the comfortable cork handles, you’re most recommended to purchase the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod.

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