9 Best Trout Fishing Rods

Best Trout Fishing Rods

Welcome to our reviews of the Best Trout Fishing Rods!

You’re likely looking for a new rod for your next trip. Whatever the reason, in this article, we’ll provide reviews of the top trout fishing rods as well as a buying guide to help you choose one.

We’ve field-tested more than 30 fishing rods in different freshwater locations – including rivers, creeks, lakes, and ponds – and we are sure St. Croix Premier is the Best Trout Fishing Rod for catching wild or stocked trout from land or a boat.

St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod
  • PREMIUM SCII CARBON CONSTRUCTION: The premium SCII carbon...
  • PREMIUM-GRADE CORK HANDLE: Comfortable handle ensures you...
  • MORE FEATURES: Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong...

Last update on 2024-02-08 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here is our pick of the top trout fishing rods on the market.

Our Top 9 Picks

  1. St. Croix Premier – Best Overall
  2. Fenwick Eagle – First Runner-up
  3. Ugly Stik Elite – Best Sensitivity
  4. Cadence CR5 – Best Strength
  5. Okuma Celilo – Best Ultralight
  6. KastKing Perigee II – Best 2-Piece Rod
  7. Lew’s Speed Stick – Best Trout + Panfish
  8. Dobyns Sierra – High-End Option
  9. Shakespeare Micro – Best Budget Pick

9 Best Trout Fishing Rods Reviewed

Without further ado, let us move to our in-depth reviews.

1. St. Croix Premier

St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod...

St. Croix is one of those brands of fishing rods that qualifies for the elite status amongst premium rods.

The outstanding features of the St. Croix Premier spinning rod make it very likable. The St. Croix rods come in different lengths from 5’6″ to 6’6″ but all of them are suitable for trout fishing.

The strong SCII graphite and premium construction make this rod a trustworthy option. The guides are made out of pure aluminum oxide in this rod series.

The St. Croix Premier spinning rod also features a Fuji DPS reel seat with hoods. It helps the fast-action rod deliver a powerful drive.

If you’re looking for a trout rod that doesn’t compromise on quality then St. Croix Premier is a stellar choice for you. The 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix gives it a positive check of confidence.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 6 ft
  • Rod Power: Ultralight
  • Rod Action: Fast
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 3/16 oz
  • Blank Material: SCII Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  • Premium quality assurance via a unique 5-year warranty for the rods.
  • SCII graphite gives the rod enough backbone and power for trout fishing.
  • Any rod of this series is highly sensitive and you’ll be able to feel the lightest sensations.
  • Suitable for beginners as well as experienced anglers.
  • Adjusts to the environment that you choose for fishing.

Cons

  • These are premium rods that come at an expensive price.

2. Fenwick Eagle

Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod,...

Fenwick’s rich history is only one of the many reasons why its rods end up being the talk of the town more often than not. The exemplary workmanship of rods built by Fenwicks is a statement of high quality and performance.

Fenwick Eagle has established itself as one of the best trout fishing rods available on the market.

The 5’6″ length makes this rod a great fit for trout fishing from a boat or a kayak. As per our tests, it is one of the lightest and most comfortable rods in the industry.

The unique design of a hidden handle in the reel seat ensures performance and comfort from a single rod. Unlike many other rods, this one doesn’t leave its reel seat’s threads hanging.

The pure titanium guides make the rod strong and sturdy while ensuring it remains lightweight. The TAC mechanism and an exceptional cork handle provide a solid, nonslippery grip.

The finesse that goes into building this rod is definitely not a small amount. If we talk specifically about trout fishing then this rod can handle all types of light tackle techniques.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 5’6″
  • Rod Power: Ultra Light
  • Rod Action: Moderate
  • Line Rating: 1 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 1/4 oz
  • Blank Material: 24-Ton Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  • This rod is extremely well-built and durable.
  • It is strong, balanced, and powerful in performance yet it is exceptionally lightweight.
  • The extra degree of sensitivity lets you feel and react to the tiniest hitches.
  • It provides a strong grip via its custom-made cork handle.

Cons

  • It is not as cost-effective as some other rods on the list.

3. Ugly Stik Elite

Ugly Stik 6’6” Elite Spinning Rod,...

Ugly Stik Elite uses sturdy and lightweight materials in its construction. The base materials of construction of this rod are fiberglass and graphite.

This composite structure makes the rod strong to battle burly fish. Yet it is lightweight and easy to use for making swift and accurate moves. The incorporation of fiberglass renders unbelievable durability.

If you have used spinning rods for trout fishing before, you’d know how susceptible they are to break under uneven pressures. The most susceptible area for the rods is its tip.

So Ugly Stik removed the weak link by strengthening the tip with a graphite and fiberglass composite structure. This is how this rod is set to work for a long time with relentless strength.

The composite construction not only makes the rod sturdy but also flexible. This allows you to cast up to long distances with enhanced ease. Well, this rod works just as well for short-distance casting too.

The cork handle is comfortable to hold and easy to use for long durations. The spinning action for this rod is especially fast. One special feature of this seven feet rod is the unique clear tip design that allows clearer line visibility. This trout spinning rod is very easy to use for beginners and experienced anglers alike.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 6’6″
  • Rod Power: Ultra Light
  • Rod Action: Medium Fast
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 1/8 oz
  • Blank Material: Graphite and Fiberglass
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  • This rod has a very durable and sturdy structure.
  • It comes with many high-end features for a much cheaper price.
  • The medium power and fast action work great for trout anglers.
  • One of the Best Trout Rods on the market.

Cons

  • This rod really has no negative reviews.

4. Cadence CR5

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30...

Cadence CR5 doesn’t fail you in any aspect related to trout fishing. If you wish to cast over long distances, you must choose the seven feet version of this rod. You can cast well over short distances with the five feet version.

Each rod length further has specialized action types. You can go for the extra fast action if your target fish is swift in escaping, especially if it is rainbow trout. Select the right type of rod based on your target fish.

The handle of this rod uses cork in the upper part and EVA foam in the lower. This combination is especially responsible for the lightweight and sensitivity of this rod. This special handle also makes this rod very comfortable to operate.

With such an elegant build and features, this rod is available at a very affordable price. If you are looking for performance at a reasonable price, you ought to try the Cadence CR5 trout spinning rod. It offers durability and as well as reliable performance.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 7 ft
  • Rod Power: Ultralight
  • Rod Action: Moderate
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 1/8 oz
  • Blank Material: 30-Ton Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork and EVA

Pros

  • This rod is available in different rod lengths so you can select the one that suits you.
  • The build quality is excellent and the rod is lightweight and strong.
  • All the excellent features of this rod come at a very affordable price.

Cons

  • The one-piece setup makes it relatively less portable.

5. Okuma Celilo

okuma Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra...

Okuma Celilo is regarded as the Best Ultralight Spinning Rod for Trout. The action and performance are not the only things that will amaze you. You’ll be mind blown by its very affordable price!

Available in sizes ranging from five feet to eight feet, this rod is lightweight and sturdy at the same time. The graphite construction makes it lightweight. Added to that, the aluminum oxide guides make it strong and durable.

The rod does not compromise the strength of the movable parts. This is especially visible in the stainless steel reel mounts. Oftentimes, this part of the rod breaks first. The other easily breakable part of the rod is its handle. But the cork grip helps in making it extremely comfortable, durable, and less susceptible to breakage.

The lightweight of this rod enables it with great sensitivity. Such that it can easily detect when the fish bites. Once you detect the bite on time, you can take swift action and this is the only way to catch a trout.

This rod is perfect for fishing around your boat. You can use it along with a large variety of ultralight tackle.

If you need more help picking an ultralight rod, you can read our reviews of the Best Ultralight Fishing Rods. It can help you find the right ultralight fishing rod for your specific needs.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 6 ft
  • Rod Power: Ultra Light
  • Rod Action: Moderate
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 1/4 oz
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  •  The construction of this rod is very strong and lightweight.
  • The line and tackle features offer this rod an edge.
  • Don’t forget the awesome affordability.

Cons

  • It may be challenging to cast long distances with this rod.

6. KastKing Perigee II

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods,...

KastKing Perigee II may be the Best 2-piece rod for trout fishing. The lightweight enables it to offer fast action that lets you fish with little disturbance.

As a bonus to the very lightweight, this rod is also very sensitive. It’ll allow you to sense the time of action and act just when the ball drops.

Unlike other lightweight rods, KastKing Perigee II is very strong. This strength comes from materials like carbon fiber composite used in its construction. This rod promises you sturdiness and reliability on the water.

Even the handle grip has a very ergonomic design along with durable and sturdy construction. This is possible as the composite EVA material is used in making the handle.

You may not be able to cast very long distances with this rod. But you can use this rod to cast nearer to your boat. Many experts can tell you about the importance of reeling. You don’t necessarily make a catch after a good cast. But a fast and powerful line retrieval will get you the fish you hook.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 6 ft
  • Rod Power: Ultra Light
  • Rod Action: Moderate Fast
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 3/16 oz
  • Blank Material: 24 Ton Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  • The superior materials of construction make it lightweight and strong.
  • This rod’s improved sensitivity makes it perfect for targeting trout.
  • Unlike most lightweight rods, this one is superbly sturdy and durable.

Cons

  • This rod is not a great fit for throwing very long-distance casts.

7. Lew’s Speed Stick

Lew's Speed Stick 6'-1 Ultra Light...

Lew’s Speed Stick is not just a sleek, beautiful rod, it also comes with some amazing features. The design and construction of this rod make it a great rod for catching even big trout.

The rod comes in different lengths from 4’8″ to 6’10″. The IM8 graphite blank makes it super strong, lightweight, and ultra-sensitive.

The Fuji Concept O guides with deep-pressed aluminum oxide prevent wind knots. The casting distance of this rod makes it superior to other rods.

The exclusive super thin graphite reel seat gives this rod an edge. The full-length cork grips with Duracork inlays ensure a firm and stable hold.

If you’re looking for an ultralight fast action rod that specializes in trout fishing then this rod may be for you. It is a great pick that can help you increase casting distance or catch big trout with ease.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 6 ft
  • Rod Power: Ultra Light
  • Rod Action: Fast
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 3/16 oz
  • Blank Material: IM8 Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  • Strong and sensitive graphite construction pairs well with this rod.
  • The casting distance on the rod is phenomenal.
  • It is one of the top-rated carbon fiber rods on the market.

Cons

  • The reel seat area may be a bit different for anglers who are new to Lew’s rods.

8. Dobyns Sierra

Dobyns Rods Sierra Trout & Panfish...

Almost all anglers I meet consider Dobyns’ rods as the most versatile fishing rods on the market. The Sierra series packs in power and fast action in a lightweight rod.

Dobyns Sierra spinning rods range from the size 6’2″ to 7’9″ which makes their casting distance way above average. The graphite structure gives the rods extra sensitivity, strength, and accuracy.

The Sierra series is great for trout and panfish as it has a sensitive tip and quick snap retrieval system. It also packs within it qualitative features like Fuji reel seats and Sea Guide XO line guides.

Kevlar wrapping pairs well with premium Portuguese cork split grips to give you a steady grip on the rod. It is definitely a top-notch rod when you go trout fishing.

Overall, the Sierra Series provides great quality, durability, and reliability. If you’re looking for strength and versatility, go for one of these rods.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 6’7″
  • Rod Power: Ultra Light
  • Rod Action: Fast
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 3/16 oz
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  • All rods in this series are versatile and durable.
  • The rods maintain a great balance between the weight and holding capacity.
  • Amazingly sensitive and easy to use because of its lightweight.
  • The quality of rods doesn’t deteriorate over time.

Cons

  • May not be the right option if prefer longer butts on the rods.

9. Shakespeare Micro

Shakespeare Micro Series Spinning Rod...

Shakespeare Micro is the best cheap trout rod on the market. It is just perfect for creating a little nuisance in the water. This is mainly owed to its ultralight weight that provides enhanced line sensitivity.

The line guides for this one are specially designed to avoid line twists and make casting easier. I was able to make more accurate casts up to long and short distances with relative smoothness and ease. Moreover, the line control offered by this rod is superb.

This rod is available in four-and-a-half to seven-and-a-half feet configurations. You can pick the size according to your requirement and desired casting distance.

One key aspect of this rod is its unbelievable sensitivity which lets you have enormous control. Yet it is sufficiently fast to serve you great for the time it works. The lightweight and advanced features make this rod capable of handling trout with ease.

Specification

  • Rod Length: 5 ft
  • Rod Power: Ultra-Light
  • Rod Action: None
  • Line Rating: 2 – 6 lb
  • Lure Rating: 1/32 – 1/4 oz
  • Blank Material: Graphite Composite
  • Handle Material: Cork

Pros

  • This rod offers great performance for trout fishing.
  • Beginners will find this rod extremely easy to work with.

Cons

  • It is difficult to throw very long casts with this rod.

What should you look for in a good trout fishing rod?

Lightweight, sensitivity, and control are the top three things you need in a spinning rod for trout. The perfect trout rod is sensitive enough to detect their light nibbles and lightweight enough not to alert them.

Many anglers have experienced the spooky behavior of trout while fishing. So you need a lightweight fishing rod for smooth and accurate casts to catch trout. Lightweight is essential to catching fish like trout due to their shy nature and fast escapes.

The trout may not notice any discrepancy in your lure when you introduce it carefully. But you need a sensitive rod to allow them their time for nibbling. Then you can make the catch as soon as you sense the fight.

How to Choose the Right Trout Fishing Rod

Successful trout fishing requires perfect rod configurations. There are many important factors like rod length, power, action, material, and construction.

Rod Length

The length of the rod affects the casting distance and accuracy. Longer rods allow you to cast longer with more control over the placement of the lure. Shorter rods are more accurate in tight spaces and shallow streams.

So the right rod length depends upon the conditions of the water body. Longer rods do better in open waters because there is ample space for longer casts.

But in congested areas with vegetation, long rods are difficult to manage. So shorter rods are more appropriate as the casting distances also need to be short.

We recommend you go for a trout fishing rod between 5 to 7 feet in length depending on the fishing location and your personal preference.

If you are looking for a portable or a collapsible rod, you can read our reviews of the Best Telescopic Fishing Rods.

Rod Weight

The weight of a fishing rod affects your ability to detect bites and catch fish. The weight of a rod is usually indicated by a number on the rod. A rod that weighs between 2 and 5 is ideal for most trout anglers.

It’s important to consider the weight of the line so that it’s appropriate for the rod. Using a line that is too heavy or too light can affect the sensitivity and accuracy of the rod. If you pick a line with a 4-10 lbs rating then it will work with most ultralight rods. But again, you must choose a line that matches your rod and reel specifications.

Rod Action

The action of a rod refers to how much the rod bends under pressure. A fast-action rod bends in the top third segment of the rod. While a slow-action rod bends throughout the length.

We suggest you go for a medium to fast action rod for trout fishing. Fast-action rods offer more sensitivity and faster hooksets which are very helpful for landing trout.

A slower action rod provides a more forgiving experience. It is also better for landing larger fish. But slower action rods are less sensitive which makes it difficult to detect trout bites.

Rod Power

Rod power refers to the force required to bend the rod. Ultralight or light power rods are suitable for smaller to medium-sized trout.

An ultralight rod is more sensitive but may not be able to handle larger fish. If you are going after bigger fish, then you must choose a heavier rod. It may not offer the same degree of sensitivity as a lighter rod, but big fish make big bites so you don’t need to worry so much about sensitivity.

You don’t need medium or heavy power rods for most trout unless you are going after a trophy fish.

Construction Material

Spinning rods are typically made of graphite or fiberglass. Graphite rods are strong, sensitive, yet lightweight. But they are more expensive as compared to fiberglass rods.

Fiberglass rods are less expensive than graphite rods and often more durable. But most fiberglass rods don’t offer the degree of sensitivity you need for small fish such as trout.

The material of a trout fishing rod can affect its performance and durability. So you must choose your rod carefully as per your personal preference and fishing style. Some manufacturers now use stronger materials by creating composites of graphite. Such rods may offer more strength and durability.

One must also check that the breakable parts of the rod, like the handle and the reel support, are sturdy and strong.

Price

The cost of fishing rods varies greatly. So it’s important to consider your budget when buying a trout rod. You may find it tempting to pick a cheap or low-end rod. But keep in mind that spending a little extra for quality is often worth every penny you pay.

Premium or high-end rods use better materials. But an entry-level rod can be a good starting point for beginners. If you are looking for a budget rod, you can check out the best spinning rods under $50.

Conclusion

We hope you like our pick of the Best Trout Fishing Rods. All the rods on this list offer excellent performance. You can get a rod that suits your fishing style as an angler.

St. Croix Premier is the Best Trout Rod as per our reviews. The SCII carbon fiber makes the St. Croix rod strong yet sensitive.

Fenwick Eagle is another great trout spinning rod for any angler. Whether you are an experienced angler or a newbie who wants a quality rod that will last a long time.

The Ugly Stik Elite is perfect for beginners owing to its ease of use. You can effectively use it in all types of water bodies to target trout. For the price, it gets you features from much more expensive fishing rods.

Cadence CR5 is lightweight yet powerful enough to handle even big trout. The graphite blank is reinforced with stainless steel components to make it strong and durable.

Okuma Celilo is an excellent ultralight rod for trout fishing. The design allows excellent sensitivity and control for effectively catching trout. You can use this rod for making short and accurate casts.

KastKing Perigee II is quite versatile in performance. The design gives this rod superior sensitivity and performance. It is very aesthetic in appearance while being glamorous in performance.

Shakespeare Micro is the perfect budget rod for trout fishing. Its superior sensitivity and durability allow it to function efficiently. The rod is also very responsive which makes it easy to use.

If you have any follow-up questions about our reviews or tests, then please feel free to contact us. We will happy to answer your queries.

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Victor Mays

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