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BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel.
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Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel. on 05/14/2013 13:51:43 MDT Print View

I've had this combo for a year and wanted to find out if anyone had anything lighter.

65g - St Croix PS56ULF2 Premier Spinning
143g - Bass Pro Shops® Micro Lite™ Elite Spinning Reel

Here's my review of the rod:

The reel is decent but it takes a bit of force to engage.

I did a bunch of research here and as far as I know this is the BEST ultralight rig without making any major compromises.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Best UL spinning rod/ reel on 05/14/2013 14:01:39 MDT Print View

Just under 8oz total. Restoration Hardware for the rod and Cabelas for the reel. Many trout caught with this set up.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel. on 05/14/2013 15:42:14 MDT Print View

it looks like you have Jay beat at 7.3 ounces.

Nice setup, but the rod seems a bit pricey for a spinning set-up. The rule of thumb I have heard on fishing equipment is spend your money on the reel for a spinning set-up and spend your money on the rod for a fly set-up. I wonder how that rod would match up against this diawa for $40-50 less:

I like the reel you chose. Seems like a nice comprise of quality, price, and size. Not sure what my stuff ways to compare, sorry :(

Peter Nash

Locale: West Michigan
Spinning Rod & Reel weight on 05/14/2013 18:24:14 MDT Print View

I have the Daiwa Spinmatic that Ben's link shows. It's the 5 1/2' model, weighs 2.88oz. I've used it or an equivalent 4 piece rod for years. I like it. And I agree with Kevin's video comments about the benefits of a 4 piece rod over a 2 piece one when backpacking. A fishing rod that sticks out above your pack is asking to be broken.

My reel is a Lexus Silstar 20 that I picked up online some years ago. It weighs 4.54 oz. with line. I keep checking to see if I can get a lighter reel, but I haven't found one yet.

Rod Reel Photo

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel. on 05/14/2013 19:27:55 MDT Print View

I find that the cheapest and flimsiest set ups out there are often the lightest.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
quantum on 05/14/2013 20:05:23 MDT Print View

my Quantum 4 piece pack rod w/ a Quantum xtralight reel weighs in at 8.6 oz total (loaded w/ 2# test), the best part was it cost $30 :)

the rod is graphite and the reel is a 3 ball bearing, so pretty decent quality- enough so I landed this 5# cutbow w/ it

 photo bigfish.jpg

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel. on 05/14/2013 20:41:00 MDT Print View

Though I usually avoid comparing the size of my junk with people, this....


This one is a bit of a cliche on BPL, being a favorite of a bunch of people. It is functional, but only 3 feet long. I'm cheating here, if you include the cap the total weight (no line, lures, etc.) Is actually 6.9 oz, but the cap is not functional. I have a bit of distain for the tiny fish in most mountain streams and lakes, having grown up fishing for large game fish in Florida since I was about 8 - so this one seems sufficient for most purposes. Its not as elegant as a fly rod, but cost less than $30.

Edit: this is the compromise-full rather than compromise-free choice. LOL On the other hand when I was a kid we used to TRY to hook a 60-80 lb Jack or Tarpon off the pier where I fished, and then see if we could land it on 8 lb test or less, and a crappy (but voluminous) reel. When successful it took about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, but was great fun. You could view the "toy" ultralights in this light and think of it as sporting rather than a compromise.

Edited by millonas on 05/14/2013 20:53:38 MDT.

Jani Kikuts
(Enginerd) - M

Locale: Southern California
Karthago mini spin with alegra reel on 05/14/2013 22:28:03 MDT Print View

I use the first combo found at the link below, nice higher quality 5`11" long 10 ounce rod and reel setup.There is also a nice review on YouTube for this combo kit.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
Chuck Norris on 05/15/2013 00:34:56 MDT Print View

Nothing to really add here except I'm pretty sure Mike M could give Chuck Norris a run for his money.

Jim H
(jraiderguy) - M

Locale: Puget Sound
My first attempt at a kit came in just under 9 ounces on 06/05/2013 09:37:21 MDT Print View

After soliciting advice from forum members and reading all the old threads, here's what I've come up with:

Components described here. It seems like I could take less tackle to drop the weight a bit. I've currently got 4 spinning lures and about 4-6 flies, and the kastmaster lures weigh the most.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Best ultralight spinning reel / rod on 06/25/2013 09:10:25 MDT Print View


Did you ever find anything lighter than what you currently have? Sent you a PM.

Dharma Dog

Locale: The Louisiana Swamp
Re: Best ultralight spinning reel / rod on 06/26/2013 00:58:57 MDT Print View

St. Croix Premier 6 ft - 4 piece travel spinning rod 2.8 oz
Yes..190.00 is spendy for a backpacking rod but you get what you pay for and even though this is a sectional rod it performs better than many of my one piece rods.
When I'm fishing on the trail rod sensitivity is important. If I don't catch fish I don't eat.
Currently I'm using a Pflueger Supreme XT reel, not to be confused with the Supreme MG, and my XT weighs in at 6.4 oz.
The Pflueger is smooth as silk and casts a country mile. I couldn't be happier with this setup and can't imagine anything better.

Edited by DharmaDog on 06/26/2013 01:02:25 MDT.

Drew Jay

Locale: Central Coast
Supreme XT on 06/26/2013 02:39:56 MDT Print View

Thanks for mentioning the Supreme XT, it's the first lightweight reel I could see swapping my President XT for.

Have you compared your Premium travel to the Triumph travel? I'm curious how much better the sensitivity and feel are.

Dharma Dog

Locale: The Louisiana Swamp
Re: Supreme XT on 06/26/2013 03:14:30 MDT Print View

No..never had the chance to compare the Triumph vs the Premier. I wanted to but couldn't find a store within 5 hours of where I live that even stocked the St. Croix travel rods.
I was so tired of the performance and durability issues with the cheap so called "travel/camping" rods and reels that I didn't want to take any more chances so I spent the extra 90.00 for the Premier rod. If you're interested in a Supreme XT now is the time to pick one up on sale for 120.00 instead of the usual 160.00

Donald Browning
(docdb) - M

Locale: SE USA
Re: Re: Supreme XT on 08/04/2013 19:10:37 MDT Print View

Which size Supreme XT? Oh, I see, the smallest, thanks

Edited by docdb on 08/04/2013 19:39:10 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
telescoping rods on 08/05/2013 19:57:15 MDT Print View

Now I'm REALLY interested in the telescoping rods I've seen here. My Cabela's telescoping CF rod keeps breaking just behind the tip guide. (AArrrrggghhh!)

I have a very light Penn spinning reel so an ounce or two here is no biggie for me. It's teh damn ROD I need to be durable.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel. on 08/05/2013 20:29:08 MDT Print View

what's the name of the one Mark has pictured?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel. on 08/05/2013 20:38:33 MDT Print View

That's the pen rod from gofastandlight. I broke the damn thing trying to get unsnagged from some tulies.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel. on 08/06/2013 23:34:13 MDT Print View

Yeah, the pen rod is pretty crappy. No action to speak off. Since it was so cheap I decided to check out this one:

and was pleasantly surprised. It is only about 3 oz, but longer and with some nice action. They also have a longer one at 6 1/2 ft. This one is also delicate, but pretty damn cheap. You could get 12 of them for $190. Guess if it snaps in the back country that will be slim comfort. Still this cheapo is way nicer than the pen rod.

Edited by millonas on 08/06/2013 23:38:44 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"BEST ultralight spinning rod / reel" on 08/07/2013 04:21:20 MDT Print View

I have a "pen" rod that also broke at the tip. I repaired it with the tip piece off an old fiberglass (broken) noodle rod. Works better than it ever did new.

Note that it is possible to get a 6' fly rod. Here is one supplier:
(I don't really care for shorter spinning rods, as was mentioned, no action.)

A 6', 4 piece can be had in a 2wt fly line. With carefull attachment of the seat, it is also possible to use a spinning reel on this rod. So, for about a 12oz weight you can carry both reels, rod, and flies/lures. This is rather complete. Just use a larger stripping guide when building it. You don't really need the grip. This will also give it a bit more action down into the body.