Trout fishing requires some skills different than other freshwater techniques, and the equipment needed is also specialized in some ways. The typical off the rack rod from a retail store is likely to have a configuration and constructions best suited to trout fishing. In this guide, we will look at the best trout rod for your new fishing.
What is the Best Rod For Trout?
Great For Trout
St. Croix Premier 2-Part Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod
Premium Rod For Trout
G.Loomis Classic Trout Panfish Spinning Rods
|Ugly Stik Elite||
|KastKing Perigee II||
|Ugly Stik GX2||
1. St. Croix Premier 2-Part Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod – Best Spinning Rod For Trout Fishing
If you are an angler who appreciates the high performance of a low-cost rod, this premier trout fishing rod with SCII graphite construction is built for you. Strong, durable, high-quality, and high performance are few features known with this rod.
It is lightweight, making it easy to carry and also sensitive – which provides some kind of protection. To make you enjoy the comfortable and strong handling of your rod, it’s made with a premium grade cork. Its graphite fiber produces more strain than others, and this adds to its durability.
This unit features a kigan master 3D hands guiding smooth and comfortable, aided by strong aluminum-oxide rings are what attract anglers to it. Above all, it is suitable for use in all kinds of water habitat but you have to be observant of the water length as this rod is a bit short and cannot be cast in deeper waters.
- Premium SCII graphite construction
- High-quality cork handle
- Fuji DPS reel seat
- Highly sensitive
- Cheap yet high-performance
- Excellent for casting
- Fast and ultralight
- A bit heavy and short rod handle
- The seat may come off any moment
- Hard to transport
2. G.Loomis Classic Trout Panfish Spinning Rods – Best Premium for Trout Fishing
The Loomis rod is a casting and fishing best friend. Whether you’re out on the water ready to reel in some chunkin’ slab crappie or jigging up mackerel, it will be there for you, guiding your catch smoothly into your net without any issues. It has plenty of power to get those 5lb fish without struggling, not to mention being perfect for panfish and trout as well! The fast tapers let it perform a wide range of functions which explains why its ultralight rating makes it suitable for so many types of small fishes that can’t usually be caught with other rods! Featuring top-notch guides and an awesome reel holder, this rod is durable enough to survive anything.
G.Loomis is best known for their trout rods, not fishing in dirty little ponds with bream and carp. If you’re just getting started or if you’re a moderately experienced angler looking to step up your game by playing the pond instead of the river, then we don’t recommend this product at all.
- Moderate to fast tapers
- Top-notch guides and reel holder
- Ultralight rating
- Excellent for slab crappie, trout fishing and other types of small fishes
- Can perform a wide range of functions
- A bit expensive
- May not cast long
3. Ugly Stik Elite – Best Spinning Rod For Trout
This is a composite construction rod made with graphite and fiberglass. The fiberglass construction provides for exceptional durability. In a 6’6” UL configuration, Ugly Stick Elite comes in two pieces and will pack and transport nicely.
It has a fast action and comes with a long-lasting and comfortable cork handle. The Elite has the Ugly Stik clear tip design which allows for line visibility and sensitivity.
Graphite trout rods are notoriously fragile and the tips are likely to break under just a small amount of pressure. Trout fishing involves rod manipulation along many obstacles and terrain that can easily place a rod in danger. Ugly Stik designed this rod with a fiberglass composite to deliver toughness and durability for trout fishing applications.
The composite material of Ugly Stick Elite also leads to superior casting performance. “Elite” handles nicely for longer distance casting as well as close in work around brush and trees. The flex action also makes for high durability. It is actually hard to break this rod and this is not the norm with many much more expensive trout rods.
This is a great all-around trout rod for a spinning reel and tackle used in any type of waterway. Especially for younger or less experienced anglers, the Elite has the durability that Ugly Stik is famous for. It provides high value for all types of trout spinning fishing.
- This is a very durable rod.
- This is an excellent choice for beginning anglers.
- This can also be used for various other small freshwater fish.
4. Shakespeare Micro — Best Pure Ultralight Trout Rod
The Shakespeare Micro is designed exclusively for ultralight fishing and is an ideal configuration for trout fishing at lengths from 4’6” to 7’6” in ultralight power.
Shakespeare Micro is responsive and provides very good line sensitivity. The newer design of the line guides is specifically designed for use with spinning reels using ultralight line to avoid line twist and offers easy casting and line control.
The Micro is very lightweight which aids in lure and line control and provides for greater lure feedback when fish are moving around the lure. The fast action of the rod also makes for a very enjoyable fight with trout once the line is set.
This rod is a good choice for kids or beginning anglers who are not focused on long casting or trolling techniques. It is easy to use and keeps light tackle in the right spots in the water and out of bushes and trees.
Shakespeare Micro is designed with trout fishing specifically in mind. While it is not the most durable rod around, it has exceptional feel and action for trout. Fishing is about enjoyment, and the Micro’s action and sensitivity make for pure fun when hooked up with a trout.
- The action is very fast and makes the fight with a trout very enjoyable.
- it is designed specifically for use with ultralight line and tackle and is not hard on light line.
- It requires care to avoid breakage. It is an ultralight design and will not withstand abuse.
- It is not ideal for long casting with light tackle.
5. Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Budget Trout Spinning Rod
Configured as a 7 foot UL, the GX2 comes as a two-piece rod with a foam composite handle. This Ugly Stik model also is made from a fiberglass and graphite composite. This is another durable Ugly Stik product, and the manufacturer provides a 7-year warranty on the GX2. It is rated for all trout line and tackle weights that you will want to use for fishing.
Because of its two-piece construction and durable design, the GX2 makes for a nice backpacking rod. It will pack out in a small tube carrier quite well and will not be at risk of breakage from slight pressure like many much more expensive rods.
The GX2 casts well at long distance and is useful when trolling and casting along open flowing waters. The handle design also works well in closer spaces for casting lighter lures right to the fish.
The GX2 is much more affordable than many specialized trout rods that you will find. For anglers on a budget, adding Ugly Stick GX2 to your setup could leave greater budget space for your reel, tackle, and other gear.
The GX2 is another well respected Ugly Stik product. It offers the combination of durability and sensitivity that will make trout fishing around difficult terrain enjoyable and productive. It is also adaptable to a variety of smaller freshwater species and any ultralight spinning configuration.
- The composite construction is tough and durable.
- For anglers learning the skill of trout fishing, the clear tip guide provides for great line visibility.
- The Ugly Stik line guides cause faster wear with ultralight line and tackle.
- It is not as sensitive as pure graphite designs.
6. KastKing Perigee II — Most Comfortable Trout Rod
KastKing Perigee II comes configured for ultralightweight and fast action in lengths of 5’6” and 6’0”. KastKing has designed this rod with high-quality composite materials throughout. The grip has a very ergonomic design and is made of comfortable composite EVA material. Both the reel seat and the line guides are durable and easy on your reel and line.
The KastKing is made from a carbon fiber composite. The material design provides for a very strong rod at a light weight. KastKing Perigee II has high aesthetic appeal and is cosmetically very attractive.
It does have a very good feel and fast action and makes for a fine ultralight trout rod when long casting is not a top priority. Two-piece construction makes this a nice travel and backpacking rod choice as well.
The KastKing is a solid rod with modern design and materials. While not developed exclusively for trout fishing or ultralight uses, the ultralight models provide adequate sensitivity and feel. The KastKing is known for durability and lightweight design.
- The grip and weight of the rod make it great for comfortable all day use.
- The composite material graphite design provides for durable use.
- It is ultralight power does not come in any length greater than 6’0”.
- It is somewhat limited for trout fishing in short range casting fishing locations.
7. OKUMA Celilo – Best Ultralight Spinning Rod For Trout
OKUMA Celilo comes in a wide variety of configurations, from 5’0” to 8’6” lengths with ultralight action. It is graphite construction with aluminum oxide line guide inserts and steel reel mounts. It comes with a comfortable cork grip.
The Okuma has great sensitivity to any lure contact and is very lightweight. It is very handy for use in streams and rivers, although it is not as well designed for long range casting. For trout fishing, the high sensitivity of the rod makes it ideal for closer fishing around structure.
The aluminum oxide inserts are a real advantage when using ultralight line and tackle. The line and tackle action on the OKUMA is superior and further adds to the value of the rod for shorter casting distances.
In addition to being a fine lightweight trout rod, the Okuma is also useful for any freshwater ultralight line and tackle uses. The reel holder on OKUMA Celilo is not universal, and you should be sure that your chosen reel will pair well with the rod.
This is fine equipment for exclusive use for trout fishing. The design is specifically for ultralight trout tackle use and it casts especially nicely in tight conditions. The Okuma has a good reputation for durability and toughness for a graphite rod.
- It has very fast action and has the sensitivity trout fishing demands.
- It is designed for use with ultralight line and tackle.
- Graphite construction is less durable than composite materials and extra caution is required to avoid breakage.
- The lightweight construction does not make for the best casting rod.
Trout Fishing Rod Shopping Guide and Review
Trout are historically native to some of the most remote and spectacular waterways in the United States and Canada. It has also been introduced into cold water reservoirs and streams all across the country, and anglers find trout fishing opportunities in all 50 states today.
The fishing includes much more than just wetting a hook — trout fishing can feel as much like hunting as fishing. Much of the battle is often finding the ideal spot to fish. Trout provide visual evidence of where they are, and the successful angler knows how to track the elusive fish. They can be seen feeding on insects as well as holding their places in flowing streams looking for food. Of course, hunting and finding the fish is just part of the challenge. A successful fisher knows how to get the right lure to the trout, and has the right equipment to get the job done.
Trout fishing rods are designed to accommodate most modern spinning reels and tackle. There are a number of variables to consider when deciding what rod configuration to select in addition to which model rod to buy. Most anglers choose 5’6” to 7’0” feet long fast action ultralight to light power rods. Other configurations may suit your particular needs better, depending on the type of waters you are most likely to trout fish in.
The term weight is an arbitrary number attached to the size of the rod. It ranges from zero weight on the extreme small end up to fourteen weights on the big end. Depending on where you’re fishing, you might want a rod weight that is light or heavy.
That’s why we’ll be walking you through the ideal trout fishing rod and real combo weights suitable for a particular water environment and fish size, which are discussed below.
The 0 – 2 weight rods are small in size and about seven-and-a-half feet long. They’re great in small streams with brushy canopies and allow short quick and accurate cast on a small piece of water while targeting trout of size 6 to 14-inches.
Small to mid-size streams
The next categories of rods are designed for small to mid-size streams. These are the 3-weight and 4-weight rods in the 7 to 8-foot range. They’re great for handling trout of size 12 to 16 inches.
Slightly larger streams and Rivers
The ideal rods for anglers who will be fishing on slightly larger streams and rivers are the three and four weight rods that stretch out to the eight-and-a-half to nine-foot range. They’re purpose-built for delivering dry flies accurately at slightly longer range and give you more reach for managing line across the current.
The ideal rod is the five weight rod. This is the best-selling and most common rod for anglers facing Western fishing situations. It is capable of accurately throwing small dry flies, baitfish patterns, strike indicators, or weighted nymphs. All in all, it can do pretty much everything we want it to do.
The 9-foot five-weight is the most common and best-selling out of all rods. It’s capable of reaching out to great distances in a situation like lake fishing or on a big river.
Lastly, when it comes to trout fishing, the heavyweights are the 5-weight that’s nine and a half or ten-feet long, and the 6-weight. A 6-weight rod is great if you plan to throw sinking lines baitfish patterns like sculpin streamers or leeches or large strike indicator setups on a river.
The 6-weights are great for windy scenarios and when casting situations are 40-feet and beyond. Although, they’re generally purpose-built for people throwing weighted flies, however, they tend to sacrifice a bit on touch control and accuracy at a closer range.
For trout fishing, optimal length is usually determined by the type of water conditions a trout angler expects to encounter.
For open water, longer rods are better suited to repeated and longer distance casting. It requires more energy for casting but produces better results at distance. It also provides additional leverage for controlling trout in open water while getting the fish landed.
In more compact areas, longer rods are more difficult to manage around trees, brush and other obstacles. For areas where shorter casting distances are expected, 6 foot (or even shorter) rods can provide for much easier casting around trouble at shorter distances.
The power rating is also referred to as the weight. Trout rods usually have power ratings from ultralight (UL) to light (L) or medium light (ML). A power rating describes how much force the rod will withstand before beginning to flex. The higher sensitivity of ultralight and light rods are best suited to the needs of the trout fisher. Heavier rods lack the flexibility necessary to detect the lighter bites typical of trout.
Lighter weight rods have lower tolerances for line weight variations. Pay careful attention to the line weight your rod is rated for and be sure to use appropriate line and tackle for your rod weight. A line weight range of 4 pounds to 10 pounds is a great range that will allow for virtually every trout setup. Ranges anywhere between 2 pounds and 15 pounds should be suitable, although the extreme ends of those ranges are not likely to match your trout line and tackle setup.
An action rating describes how the rod behaves when line pressure is applied when landing a fish. Trout rods are usually medium-fast and fast rated. Fast action rods allow most of their flexibility to be felt at the tip end of the rod.
Trout fishing in larger waters at greater casting lengths might be better suited with medium fast action, while most closer fishing conditions call for fast action rods. It provides for better line sensitivity and more accurate casting with the light lures usually used in trout fishing. Spinning reels and tackle are particularly suited for fast action.
Modern trout rods are usually made of graphite. There are a variety of composite material rods available as well. Construction material usually dictates differentiation among higher and lower price points.
For the weights and tolerances required by trout fishing, graphite or some graphite composite is an excellent choice. The tradeoff between strength and sensitivity is negligible in trout fishing where sensitivity is the primary consideration.
As a result, graphite or graphite composite trout rods are not as generally durable as rod made from fiberglass or fiberglass composites. Anglers are likely to take good care of their equipment, and with care, a graphite or graphite composite rod will provide years of service.
Trout fishing is generally always going to be done with spinning reels and tackle. Trout rods are designed for use with spinning reels. However, spinning reels come in a wide variety of designs, and you should always ensure that the reel you choose matches and fits correctly with your equipment.
Handle Design and Material
Trout rods usually have short handles designed for the shorter casting and handling requirements of fishing. Shorter handles are well suited for trout fishing, where only one rod will be in use at a time and the fish can be controlled and landed with a single hand on the rod while retrieving line.
The handle material is a choice of personal comfort. Cork is durable and comfortable, although many anglers prefer foam or composite material.
Rings and sensitivity
To conclude our guide to choosing the best trout fishing rod, we believe it is equally important to take into consideration some peculiarities such as the sensitivity of the tip and the type of graft.
The latter can be divided into at least three different categories, namely the classic, spigot and inverse: what distinguishes them is the solidity that, respectively, decreasing. The tip is instead the outermost part of the stem and plays a fundamental role, because the higher its sensitivity, the better the perception of when the fish has bitten the bait, even the artificial one.
Then, even the quality and resistance of the rings can make a difference in the field: they allow the line and the line to slide freely along the length of the rod, avoiding overheating and therefore breaking it.
During the winter, trout feed at 10 feet below the surface. During mid-spring, trout feed at 35 to 45 feet deep. In the spring, they will be between 50 and 65 feet deep. During the summer months, they are located in the 53 degree thermal layer.
You will get the best tip sensitivity and improve the accuracy of your casting using a light lure and a fast action rod. Medium action rods work better for large crank bait and are not the best choice for trout.
Trout feed in temperatures between 34 and 67°F. Trout become more active at 41°, 45°, and 49°F. Take the temperature of the water frequently.
Rod lengths for trout fishing usually range from 6 to 8 feet. The rod length depends on where you are going to be fishing, whether it’s in the large open alpine streams or the lower overgrown creeks.
The best size for a single hook is 10″ to 12″.
Trout can’t see the fluorocarbon line. It’s invisible underwater.
Selecting the right rod for trout fishing based on the right type of weight, length, action, and other attributes will give you the right equipment for learning and enjoying trout fishing. We hope this guide has been of use, and let us know by leaving any comments below.