Trout fishing is unique in that it requires specialized skills and equipment in order to optimize your ability to catch more fish. It's a style of angling that's an acquired taste and if you really want to have a good time with it, then it's worth investing in the best trout fishing rods to take with you.
While you can easily find a fishing rod at most retail stores nowadays, it’s important to stick with good trout fishing rods that are designed to help you catch the most fish.
Good Trout Fishing Rods
After doing a lot of research and testing, we’ve found the following to be the best trout fishing rods.
As you’ll see, we offer an in-depth look at each option to help you make a truly informed decision, and towards the end, we’ll even offer you tips on how to identify good fishing rods for yourself.
1. St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod
This St. Croix is the best spinning rod for trout if you’re looking for a nice budget-friendly option. It’s made from high-quality SCII graphite which is durable, strong, and ready to help you enjoy a high-performance experience. It even comes with a lot of nice features that make it ideal for both novice and experienced anglers.
For one thing, it’s lightweight and easy to carry, while also being sensitive enough to help you catch more fish.
The handle is made from premium quality cork material which is sturdy and easy to handle, while the graphite fiber offers more strain when compared to other models.
Not only that, but this spinning rod even comes with a Kigan Master 3D hand guiding feature and durable aluminum-oxide rings. Plus, you can use it on all types of different water terrain so long as the water isn’t too deep because it’s not the longest rod on the list.
2. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod
Next, we have the Shakespeare Micro, a lightweight spinning rod with favorable dimensions of between 4’6” and 7’6” in length.
It’s the best rod for trout fishing thanks to its responsive and sensitive line with the latest designs offering you the chance to enjoy your favorite spinning reels with a super lightweight line so you can feel that you’re actually in control but without the risk of your line twisting.
Shakespeare is typically recommended for novice anglers or children who are just starting out because you’re really just learning and having fun at this point and not really looking to learn trolling or long casting techniques.
Most importantly, this spinning rod is really easy to use as well which is great.
3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod
Another fishing rod that deserves a spot as the best fishing pole for trout is the GX2 by Ugly Stik. But there’s nothing ugly about this 7-foot two-piece beauty.
It comes with an easy-to-handle foam composite handle, fiberglass, and graphite construction and it packs light in a small tube carrier.
The manufacturer is so confident in its quality that they’ve backed it with a 7-year warranty and we’re not surprised. It’s perfect for tackle weights and trotline that’s required for different kinds of fishing and it works really well for long-distance casting.
That’s why a lot of people use it on open flowing water whether it’s for casting or trolling.
4. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
Next, we have this graphite and fiberglass spinning fishing rod from Ugly Stik as well. It’s one of the best trout fishing rods around because it’s durable, light, and excellent for beginners. Its 6’6” design can be broken down into two pieces for easy packing and portability while its cork handle is both easy to handle, comfortable, and built to last.
In the end, you have the company’s characteristic clear tip design which adds to its sensitivity and makes the line even more visible.
Graphite trout rods are of course known for being incredibly fragile so it’s important to handle it with care because even the slightest bit of pressure could break it.
You’ll also be glad to know that Ugly Stik has added certain measures to this rod to make sure that it’s not compromised by its graphite construction.
5. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod
The Perigee II fishing rods are known as one of the most high-quality options on the market. They’re made from high-quality graphite reel seats with line guides that truly set them apart from the rest.
Other options include EVA handles for easy handling, while its carbon-fiber lightweight rod blanks offer the most sensitive handling ever. The same goes for their SaF-T Keeper hook holder as well.
All of this contributes to the creation of beautiful and efficient fishing rods that perform incredibly well when push comes to shove. It’s one of the most comfortable fishing rods to use and despite how powerful it is, you’re guaranteed to enjoy it all day long without feeling fatigued.
Its Fuji guides are placed over the 24-ton Japanese carbon-fiber blank to ensure smooth performance throughout while the premium quality reel seat is one of the most comfortable that we’ve come across.
6. Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultra Light Trout Rod
According to trout spinning rod reviews, this unit from OKUMA Celilo is the best trout fishing rod and reel for freshwater applications.
It’s available in various sizes from 5’0” to 8’6” long. Thanks to unique features like aluminum oxide line guide inserts, graphite construction, and steel reel mounts, it offers optimal lightweight action.
Not only is the Okuma ultralight but it’s also incredibly sensitive. It’s perfect for long-range casting whether you’re angling in rivers or streams but it really shines specifically in trout fishing due to its high level of sensitivity.
You can use it for tackle and ultralight line applications on any freshwater terrain while the rod is mostly compatible with most reels available out there, should you wish to replace the reel holder that it comes with.
7. Cadence Spinning Ultralight Fishing Rod
Freshwater anglers rejoice! The Cadence spinning rod is just what you’ve been looking for to help you reel in all those trout, walleye, and bass. It comes in full grip and split grip options with a unique design that involves construction from EVA and lightweight cork.
Needless to say, this ultralight fishing rod is incredibly comfortable to handle and use and it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes for you to choose from as well.
However, as with anything, this rod isn’t perfect as many people have complained about the fact that it can be difficult to handle after long hours of fishing, especially on multi-day excursions.
But it’s still made from high-quality materials so you can rest assured that this translates to an incredible fishing experience. All told, the Cadence CR5 is made to help you reach new frontiers as an angler by giving you access to different fishing applications. It even comes with easily adjustable SiC guides and a Fuji reel seat. What more could you ask for?
8. Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod
This Fenwick Eagle spinning rod is one of the best trout fishing rods for seasoned anglers thanks to its nostalgic aesthetics. But, don’t let its old school looks fool you as this rod comes with a lot of great, modern features to ensure optimal performance on the water.
It’s specifically engineered to ensure that it delivers on efficiency as well while its overall construction is made to last.
After all, it is made from stainless steel guides complete with chromium-plated SS304 inserts. This makes it strong yet lightweight and even more efficient than its heavier counterparts.
Not only that but this rod is truly designed to last and handle the elements, except for the guides which have been found to lack in overall quality.
How to Pick the Best Trout Fishing Rods
In order to find the best fishing rods, you want to keep the following features in mind while shopping:
”‹Most rods are made from graphite, a material that is famed for being both fast and lightweight. Compared to options like fiberglass, graphite is significantly lightweight as well which is important when fishing for trout.
However, both graphite and fiberglass are durable and made to last. It’s not wise to combine the two as fiberglass can make graphite less sensitive than it can be. That’s why a complete graphite rod is recommended instead.
”‹Rod action refers to the part of the rod where it starts to bend whenever you start catching fish. Fast action means that the rod is mostly stiff and only starts to bend near the tip. Slow action means the rod has a bit more give and curves much more generously.
You’ll want a fast-acting spinning rod for trout fishing when using kayak outriggers to balance your fishing kayak specifically because slow-action rods are designed to bend from the lower end of their length while the medium-action ones bend from the top.
What makes fast action rods so effective is the fact that they bend towards the tip which makes it possible for them to provide the level of sensitivity required to catch trout.
All told, fast action rods offer a smoother process, while providing you with the distance, speed, and accuracy required when angling for trout specifically.
”‹”‹Your options include 1-piece and 2-piece fishing rods.
A 1-piece rod is typically more sensitive which means they’re more comfortable to handle. A lot of the rods on the above list can even be broken into two pieces for easy storage and carrying.
You can easily travel with them because they’re simple to assemble and disassemble. So, it all depends on what is the simpler option for you.
Another important consideration to make when shopping for the best trout fishing rods is the body of water that you’re going into. For the most part, you only need small rods for trout because they’re typically located in small bodies of water.
So, you’ll need a 7-foot rod at the very least if you want to successfully fish for trout. We chose this figure specifically because this is the type of length that will grow with you.
The more skilled you get, the better it works for you and it’s suitable for anglers of different experience levels as well.
Of course, they do require a little more energy when loading up but this also translates to a higher tip speed when the time comes for the release. So, they are challenging but satisfying.
Now if you’re going to mainly stick to smaller streams then you’ll want to maybe consider a smaller rod that can handle fishing in such conditions, especially if you’re dealing with water bodies with underbrush and overhanging trees. The smaller the rod, the least likely it is to get caught in any of these foliage traps.
If this sounds like your situation then you’ll want to opt for a 6’6” rod or something in that vicinity.
Want to find out how sensitive your rod is? Hold it at the handle and place it on someone’s throat. Of course, you’ll want to do this with a friend and ask their permission first.
While it’s on their throat, ask the person to talk normally. If you can feel the vibration of their voice while talking from the bottom of the handle then it’s sensitive enough to help you feel even the slightest fish bites and will improve your chances of success.
Thanks to their association with a clear line guide, ceramic guides are considered to be one of the smoothest and most sensitive options on the market.
”‹As the name implies, power refers to how strong a rod is. Some may even call this lifting power or backbone and it represents the rod’s ability to handle heavier loads. They range from heavy to ultralight and can be paired with lines to ensure optimal weight limits.
For best results, it’s important to use an ultralight or lightweight spinning rod when fishing for trout because it’ll be easier on your arm as you spend hours fishing even through multiple castings.
A lighter rod will also allow you to enjoy smoother landings and the ability to cast further every single time. Even better for you would be to use a light line with your ultralight spinning rod.
If we were to choose just one option out of our review of the best trout fishing rods, it would be the St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod.
Why? Because it’s made from lightweight, sensitive, and durable graphite, with the ability to deliver the best performance. It’s great for casting and it comes at an affordable price.