An ultralight spinning combo is a great way to get started out without the hassles of choosing what rod to pair up with what reel.
Maybe you are used to using much heavier spinning tackle and decided that you wanted to try your hand a throwing some light lures for trout or panfish then a combo is a good way to start out without breaking the bank.
They are a great low cost option for anyone starting out fishing especially if you are buying a fishing gift for a kid or relative.
Choosing a good ultra light fishing combo is no different then if you were choosing the rod and reel separately. Buying them as a combo just means that you get a rod and reel that are matched but probably more importantly you are also getting them at a lower cost.
Be aware though that most combo’s as they are sold are not going to be high performing rods and reels.
If you are looking for the best ultralight rod and reel combo then I would advise on a Shimano Stradic CI4+ paired with a G. Loomis Trout Series Spinning rod detailed lower down on this page here.
|Ugly Stik GX2
|Budget-friendly with high-end features
|Beginners and experienced anglers
|Solid performance and durability
|4’8″ to 7′
|Varies (one or two-piece options)
|5′ to 7′ (one and two-piece options)
|High modulus graphite
|Full-length cork grip
|Split grip cork handle
|9+1 stainless steel ball bearings, aluminum spool, multi-disc drag system, instant anti-reverse
|3 ball bearings (2 in larger models), one-way clutch instant anti-reverse, oversized bail wire, aluminum spool
|7 stainless steel bearings, aluminum spool, instant anti-reverse
|Lightweight spinning and bait fishing
|Durability and reliability
|Workhorse reel for robust performance
All good ultralight spinning rods will share the same common attributes i.e rod length, power and action. You will find them in either one or two piece configurations with the general rule that rods under 6 feet are usually one piece and over 6 feet can either be one or two pieces.
They may however differ in the materials used. Some materials include graphite and carbon fiber. Usually you will find a blend in most ultralight rods. This helps to keep them light and to have a crisp fast action.
- Rod Length – from 5’6 up to about 7 foot max depending on your venue
- Power – light to light/medium power
- Action – fast action or medium fast
Ultralight spinning reels need to be able to cast very lightweight lures or bait rigs. They need to be able to handle light lines in the 2 to 6 lbs range without excessive wear on the line from the lip of the spool.
Without a doubt the most important element of a light weight fishing combo is the reel. An average rod paired with a really good reel will still perform very well. Use a cheap low quality reel and you will regret it, it’ll probably seize up quite quickly or won’t have a good enough drag to play a heavy fish.
Below you’ll find the best quality ultra light fishing combo’s available one from Ugly Stik and two from Pflueger.
Also Read: Trout Reels
Between the two brands you’ll find that the Ugly Stik GX2 is the better rod however when it comes to the reel the Pflueger’s are much better quality than what is found with the Ugly Stik spinning combo.
Given the choice I would always choose the better reel versus the rod. Your reel and line are easily the most important parts of your trout tackle setup.
Pairing a higher quality reel with an average rod will outperform a low quality reel with a great rod any day of the week.
Both the President and the Trion from Pflueger are superior in every department to the Shakespeare reel that comes with the Ugly Stik GX2.
That being said the GX2 is still a pretty decent ultra light combo for the money.
Best Ultralight Spinning Combos
1. Pflueger President Combo
The Pflueger President is the go to ultralight reel of choice for lots of fishermen.
If you are in need of a low cost reel that has many of the features you might find on a Shimano or Abu Garcia at only a fraction of the price then the President is the one to get.
The Pflueger President ultra light combo combines the President reel with a pretty decent rod.
The rod is available from 4’8 up to a 7 footer. It has a blank built from high modulus graphite that gives a nice light weight feel and crisp fast action. The guides are stainless steel and it has a full length cork grip handle which the reel seat actually sits in.
The President combo is quite versatile and can be used for both light weight spinning and fishing with bait on a light rig or leader. If makes a great second rod to keep in your truck if you need one for sneaking a few hours after work on a long summers evening.
- 9 main stainless steel ball bearings – 10 in total
- Machine ported and anodized aluminum spool
- Multi-disc drag system
- On/Off instant anti-reverse bearing
2. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo
The GX2 ultra light rod from Ugly Stik has been used by thousands of fishermen and makes an excellent first rod for a kid.
Lots of anglers have started out on a GX2 and lots of fish have been landed on them
Despite having a reputation as a good beginners rod it can and does perform quite well. So well in fact that a lot of people don’t bother upgrading from this rod as they become more experienced.
Instead they upgrade the reel and line and keep on using the trusted GX2 as their main rod.
The Ugly Stik GX2 spinning combo combines the GX2 rod with a Shakespeare spinning reel
The reel is a 3 bearing design plus a one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing. In the larger sizes 40 and 50 the reel has only two main bearings.
Depending on the model you choose i.e the length the combo is available in either a one piece rod or a two piece for the longer ones.
- Legendary GX2 rod
- 3 ball bearing
- Machined anodized aluminum spool
- One-way clutch instant anti-reverse
- Over-sized bail wire
3. Pflueger Trion Combo
This Plueger combo comes with the Trion spinning reel. The Trion can be seen as more of a workhorse reel than the President.
Of the two the President will give a better casting performance. It is also considerably smoother than the Trion with better bearings and a much better drag system.
However, the Trion is still a very capable reel and is built to a pretty solid specification. The spool and handle are are made from aluminum and the body from graphite.
The Trion spinning combo has a very similar rod to that used on the President combo above. You get the same IM-6 graphite blank construction and stainless steel line guides.
The only major difference is the handle, both are from cork the Trion features a split grip whereas the President has a full length style grip.
Available from 5 foot up to 7 foor in length. The 5′, 5’6″ and the 6′ are all one piece blanks and the larger rods are two piece.
- 7 stainless steel bearings
- Aluminum spool
- I-M6 graphite rod blank in one and two pieces
- Stainless steel line guides
- On/Off instant anti-reverse
Ultralight Spinning combo’s are suitable for just about any small freshwater fishing. Saying that you can still land some fairly substantial fish up to about 10 lbs.
Smaller fish on these lighter combo fishing set ups will can and do give quite a good fight and for can make for quite an exciting day out on the water especially if you hit a school of perch, panfish or crappie all of which are known to be scrappy little fighters.
Performance Ultra Light Rod and Reel Combo
If you want the very best ultralight spinning rod and reel and money is not an issue then your not going to find it in the combo’s discussed above. As mentioned earlier the ultimate pairing for light weight spinning would be a Stradic CI4+ with a G.Loomis Trout Series Spinning Rod.
For the money this combination cannot be beaten if you are looking to cast the lightest lures with pin point accuracy. The Stradic is one of the highest quality reels released in the last few years.
An example ultralight combo for small rivers or streams would be as follows:
- Reel: Shimano Stradic CI4+ 1000
- Rod: G.Loomis Trout Series TSR690-1
- Line: 2- 6 lb Flourocarbon or mono