Trout is the one of the most exciting fish to catch since they put up a really good fight. For those fishing purists out there who don’t use fish finders or boats, trout fishing is the perfect sport since it is just you and the trout.
However, you do need a good fishing rod that has the strength, action, and power you need to pull in that stubborn trout. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best trout fishing rod and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
The Best Fishing Rods
Features to Look for in a Trout Fishing Rod
Size – Since you do most of your trout fishing in confined creeks and small streams, you don’t want a fishing rod that is really long which will make it hard to move around.
This can be especially a problem with a lot of vegetation or trees, so the shorter your spinning rod is the less likely it will get tangled or catch on something. Look for a five to six-foot-long rod with the six-foot rods giving you a little more strength to fight a trout when you get it on your line.
Weight – It’s a great feeling when you get a trout on the line of your ultra-light spinning rod, but it’s a horrible feeling when that pole breaks. Using a weight class higher can give you decent action and also less of a chance of your pole snapping.
Graphite is the lightest material a rod can be made of while fiberglass is the next lightest and stainless steel and carbon are found in the heavier weight ranges.
Power – Your rod’s power will tell you how flexible the rod is, and how easy it will be to react to a fish on the line. The type of power you will need also depends on what type of fish you are looking to catch.
A light rod is a good place to start if you fishing for trout since it will have enough flexibility to react to a fish, as well as the strength you need to fight the fish without worrying about it breaking.
Action – The ability of the rod to bend is called its action rating. This will tell you how far back the rod will bend from the tip with faster rods bending closer to the tip and slower rods bending closer to the rod’s middle.
What type of action your rod has will tell you how to cast different bait types and how the hook will set in the mouth of the fish.
With a slow action rod, you can cast baits a long distance, which is good for catching fish in deep water, away from shore.
Fast action rods are good for catching trout because it is easy tell when the trout is on your line by the flex of the rod. This type of rod also helps to hook the fish since the rod springs back more quickly after it flexes.
Construction – You will find that most of the ultra-light trout rods are made out of graphite, although there are some that are blended with fiberglass to make them more sensitive and durable.
Graphite rods tend to be a little easier to break while older fiberglass rods can handle more abuse while also helping with durability and sensitivity.
Handles – Depending on your preferences, the choice between cork or foam handles is really up to you as they have pretty much no effect on the casting performance of the rod.
Sensitivity – Compared to carbon fiber, aero glass, and fiberglass, graphite is highly sensitive. However, having a mix of the two can also give you a good sensitivity level.
Having just a graphite blank can often allow for pressure points or weak spots to form while rods that are a mix of graphite and fiberglass are less likely to have this type of flaw, so if you have the choice, go for a combination of the two.
Durability – The durability of your rod depends on: if you are using the rod in the right circumstances and what material the rod is made out of.
For instance, you need a larger, heavier rod to lure in a big fish and should use a material such as stainless steel. When using a light material like graphite, you will have slow action, which can cause the rod break if you use it a lot or for catching heavy fish.
Rod Tips – Another important part of your fishing rod is the rod tip, which needs to be able to withstand the strength of a strike, and have the ability to be stored in places that may have a hard surface like a wall. If it does have a tip that bends, the rod is considered faulty.
Best Trout Fishing Rod Reviews
St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod
If you are looking for a good combination of sensitivity and strength, the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod is worth checking out. Measuring 6’6”, this rod gives you strong casting power that will enable you to control the pull from the fish which saves you from exerting a lot of energy while you reel in your fish.
This rod also features fast action that provides a high amount of sensitivity at your tip so it is easier for you to feel when a fish is grabbing your bait.
The St. Croix Triumph is also a medium-light weight rod that have a great balance of power and flexibility. The fish have a fair amount of room to grab the hook as it flexes back to pull the hook into its mouth, and it also features a premium cork handle that gives you a pretty comfortable grip that won’t make you sore later after a hard fight.
The St. Croix Triumph is paired with a Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel that gives you even cranking action plus enough durability and dependability to match the Triumph rod.
Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod
With over sixty years of experience building fishing rods, the Fenwick Eagle Spinning rod is one of a superior class when it comes to spinning rods.
You experience good-quality and performance with this rod that features B2 burled cork in its build that is more durable than the typical cork used in other rods. This gives you a grip that is consistent during each cast.
Made of flexible but strong graphite, the Fenwick is able to maintain a lightweight feel, plus it features stainless steel guides that help to reduce the weight while creating a longer lasting rod that is resistant to corrosion and damage.
It is paired with a Pflueger President Spinning Reel that uses nine stainless steel ball bearings that provide an even feel when you reel in your fish. Constructed of durable and strong graphite, the rotor and body is not only lightweight but also features comfortable action.
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
If you are looking for a very light rod, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod will not disappoint. Measuring only five feet, this is a great length for a rod used in trout fishing. Since it is so lightweight, it also has great sensitivity to fish getting on your line.
Made of a graphite composite, the rod body creates a powerful but lightweight experience for anglers. It is also very durable making this rod last for years while the comfortable and easy to use cork handle is a great asset when fighting with an obstinate trout.
The Ugly Stik Elite also has a soft but firm end cap that you can hold against your body while fighting with a fish.
Smooth and strong one-piece line guides are made of stainless steel providing incredible casts each time you use it. Plus, the lightweight line guides help to improve vibration sensitivity so that you have better feel of the fish from the rod.
With a blank style reel seat, you can use your preferred reel with the cushioned holds made of stainless steel, plus the top grip is tapered allowing you more variety in your choice of reels for better customization options.
Shimano Sojourn Rod
This is a perfect rod if you are fishing for crappie or trout. The Shimano Sojourn Rod has a great feel when you set your hook into a trout.
It is a little heavier than other trout rods on the market, but the extra weight will help to keep it from snapping like many of the ultra-light rods do, and it still retains a very sensitive tip, which you need when trout fishing.
Constructed of a lightweight and flexible graphite composite material that gives the Shimano Sojourn Rod a great feel. Low profile guides help to stop snagging and gives you more accurate casts. Aluminum oxide guides will help the rod last a long time without worry of corrosion.
This affordable fishing rod features the Shimano Sienna FE Spinning Reel that reduces vibrations and increases sensitivity with its Dyna-balanced design. It pairs well with the Shimano Sojourn Rod for catching trout or other larger fish.
G Loomis Trout Panfish IMX Rod
Combining lightweight feel with strength and durability, the G Loomis Trout Panfish IMX Rod is ideal for catching trout. This is a professional level fishing rod through every part of its construction. Measuring five feet, this rod is great for fishing in a confined area.
The G Loomis IMX Rod is perfect for catching small to medium-sized freshwater fish and is often described as sensitive and soft which is ideal for use with trout.
This is a one-piece spinning rod that is lightweight and portable, so you won’t get fatigued carrying or using it. Despite its lightweight, it’s surprisingly strong and has a nice sleek black metallic finish.
It pairs well with the Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line for high sensitivity and also includes a dual cork handle, a light taper, and a Fuji reel seat. This is a great all-around fishing rod that is very versatile and is great for light duty fishing in a variety of ways.
Best Trout Fishing Rod Review Conclusion
The winner of the best trout rod roundup is the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod. Providing a great mix of sensitivity and strength, the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod measures 6’6” giving you strong casting power so you can pull in that large fish.
It also features fast action that provides a high amount of sensitivity at your tip so it is easier for you to feel when a fish is grabbing your bait.
The St. Croix Triumph is also a medium-light weight rod that has a great balance of power and flexibility and features a premium cork handle that gives you a pretty comfortable grip that won’t make you sore after a hard fight.
The St. Croix Triumph is paired with a Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel that gives you even cranking action plus enough durability and dependability to match the Triumph rod. The definite winner of the best trout rod roundup is the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod hands down.
Don't forget to check out what spinning reel you should get with your trout fishing rod, or check out our other reviews on baitcasting rods, spinning rods, fly rods, surf rods or rod brands in general.