Best Trout Fishing Rod – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Last updated on August 18th, 2023

Leonard Friedrich

Fishing for trout can be a fulfilling pursuit, yet it’s critical to have the correct equipment. The best trout fishing rod is essential for success in this sport. No matter your level of expertise, the ideal rod will ensure a great time and successful results. From selecting the proper length and weight of your rod to understanding its features, we’ll help you find the perfect one so that you can land those big trout.

Table of Contents:

Best Trout Fishing Rod Review: Sea trout caught with a fishing rod
Best Trout Fishing Rod Review: Big trout caught with a spinning rod

Best Trout Rods of 2023 – Top 9 Editor Picks

Disclaimer: All products in this article were independently researched and reviewed by our team of experienced anglers. We use so-called affiliate links in this article offered by program such as the amazon associates program. This means that if you click on one of the links provided in this article and end up making a purchase, we might earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we’ve tested and believe in.

Choosing the Right Trout Fishing Rod

Trout fishing is an exciting and rewarding sport, but you need the right gear to be successful. Selecting the right trout fishing rod is key to a successful experience. Various kinds of trout rods are out there to pick from, so it is essential to comprehend which type will be most beneficial for you.

When selecting a rod for trout fishing, consider its power rating and action. Power ratings range from ultra-light to heavy-duty and determine how much weight the rod can handle without breaking or bending too much. The action of a rod refers to how quickly it bends when pressure is applied; fast action rods bend near their tips while slow action rods bend more evenly throughout their length. Generally speaking, ultralight rods are better suited for smaller trout species such as brookies or rainbows, while medium power rods work well with larger species like browns or steelhead.

For anglers who are fishing in streams, longer rods (up to 8 feet) may give them better control of their casts. On the other hand, for those casting on lakes and ponds where space is restricted by vegetation or obstructions near the shoreline, shorter lengths (5-7 feet) may be more appropriate. Manufacturers have crafted specialized trout series spinning rods that cater to these two scenarios. Now let’s jump right in and check out the best trout fishing rods out there on the market.

Key Takeaway: Choosing the right trout fishing rod can make or break your success. Depending on what kind of fish you’re targeting, consider power rating and action when selecting a rod; for example, ultralight rods work best with smaller species while medium-power rods are suitable for larger varieties like browns and steelhead. Practice makes perfect – so take some time out to experiment with different techniques until you find one that works.

Best Trout Fishing Rods Reviewed: Fisherman casting a trout rod
A shorter trout rod can be great for tight quarters

Review of the Best Trout Fishing Rods on the Market

Best Overall: Temple Fork Outfitters Trout

Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) Trout Fishing Pole
Temple Fork Outfitters Trout

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 5 1/2 ft to 7ft
  • 1 pc & 2 pc
  • Split cork grip
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Action: Fast
  • Lifetime warranty

The Temple Fork Outfitters Trout is my favorite trout fishing rod – fullstop. Here is why: This rod has an ultra light, fast action blank that makes it easy to cast with accuracy and sensitivity. It features high quality components such as stainless steel guides, graphite reel seat, and cork handle. The rod also comes with a lifetime warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. Hence, in my eyes, it ticks all the boxes for a great trout fishing rod.

Why We Picked it: The high quality components of the Temple Fork Outfitters Trout ensure durability so you can use this rod for years without worrying about wear and tear. Plus, the lifetime warranty gives peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong with your purchase, TFO will take care of it! It’s available in a wide range of lengths and line/lure weights. The common denominator is their fast action style. Here’s what I like about this rod in particular.

Pros: One of the biggest pros of this fishing rod is its portability due to its lightweight design which allows anglers to easily transport their gear from one spot to another without much hassle. Additionally, its fast action blank provides increased casting distance while still being sensitive enough to detect subtle bites from fish like trout or panfish which are often difficult targets for beginner fishermen due to their small size and elusive nature. The icing on the cake is TFO’s lifetime warranty which gives you peace of mind in case something should brake.

Cons: To be honest, I couldn’t find any downside during our test. The only thing that TFO could improve is their packaging. A simple card box is not the best way to protect a precious rod like the Temple Fork Outfitters Trout. A friend of mine got in delivered with a broken tip. But in terms of performance, this is the best trout fishing pole out there.

Best Budget: Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultra Light Trout Fishing Pole

Okuma Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra Light Trout Rods
Okuma Celilo

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 4 1/2 ft to 7 1/2 ft
  • 1 pc & 2 pc
  • Cork grip
  • Action: Medium
  • 1 year warranty

The ideal Okuma Celilo for trout is 7’6″ long and weighs only 4.3 ounces, making it one of the lightest trout rods available on the market today. What I like in particular about this rod is its lightweight graphite construction that makes it easy to cast and handle, while still providing plenty of power when you need it. It has a two-piece design (there are 1 pc versions as well) with an ergonomic cork grip that provides excellent comfort and control during your time on the water. Everything on this rod is not quite as high end as on the TFO but considering the low price tag that is totally fine.

The guides feature aluminum oxide inserts for increased durability and corrosion resistance, ensuring this rod will last you many years of use. The Okuma Celilo with a stainless steel hooded real seat as well as a stainless steel hook keeper – a neat feature (particularly for beginner fishermen).

Pros: One major advantage of using the Okuma Celilo is its ultra light weight which helps reduce fatigue during long days spent out on the water searching for fish in difficult locations like rocky riversides or thick vegetation along shorelines where larger heavier models might become cumbersome over time due to their bulkiness and added strain from constantly lifting them up off bottom snags throughout each day’s outing .

Another pro of the Okuma Celilo is its warranty – yes it’s only a one year guarantee but still covers any defect that the rod might have when it gets to you.

Cons: During our test, we’ve found the reel seat to not have such a tight fit (enclosing the reel) as the TFO. So make sure to double-check that your reel is still safely attached after some time out fishing. Final verdict: If you’re on a budget, the Okuma Celilo is a great option.

Best Sensitivity: Kastking Perigee Ii Fishing Rods

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods
Kastking Perigee Ii Fishing Rods

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 4’6″ to 7’6″ ft
  • 1 pc & 2 pc – Plus 2 tip versions available
  • Split foam grip
  • Different actions available (moderate/moderate fast/fast)
  • Lifetime warranty

Next up in line, the Kastking Perigee Ii. I have fished Kastking rods for a few years now and have to admit that they fill the mid-range space quite well. Getting one of these won’t break the bank at well below $100 but it’s a rod that you’ll be able to fish for a few years. This makes the Kastking Perigee Ii the perfect choice for any angler looking to upgrade their trout fishing game.

These rods offer a great balance of power and sensitivity, making them ideal for light tackle applications. With its lightweight design and superior construction, the Kastking Perigee Ii is sure to be a hit with both novice and experienced fishermen alike. Worth noting is the fact that this rod features many characteristics that you would not forcibly expect in a mid-range rod such as a full carbon fiber blank, Fuji line rings (they make your line shoot very smoothly) and graphite reel seats. Paired with their split handle EVA foam grip, the Kastking Perigee Ii provides excellent casting performance (all day long thanks to its ultralight construction).

You can get this rod in a wide range of options featuring 1 and 2 piece rods and also models with 2 tips (which can be handy if you’re going on a trip and might need a spare tip in case one breaks). If you’re looking for a great trout allrounder, I recommend going for a medium-fast action 2 piece version in the 7ft range. This model will cover most trout fishing situations you might encounter.

Pros: One of the biggest advantages of the Kastking Perigee Ii is its combination of power and sensitivity – something many other rods lack at this price point. Its 24-ton carbon fiber blank ensures maximum strength without compromising feel or responsiveness, while its stainless steel guides provide smooth line flow throughout your cast or retrieve cycle. Additionally, it’s very comfortable in hand due to its ergonomic EVA handle – no more sore hands after hours spent casting!

Cons: While there aren’t too many drawbacks associated with this rod overall, the only downside I could encounter during testing, was the fact that it took me a little longer than expected to get used to how sensitive these rods are compared to others out there.

Best Backbone: St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod, Tfs

St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod, TFS
St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod, Tfs

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 4’10” to 7’3″
  • 1 pc, 2 pcs and 3 pcs options
  • Split EVA grip
  • Action: Fast & Extra fast
  • 5 year warranty

The St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod, Tfs is my favorite when it comes to fast action trout fishing rods. This rod is made from high-quality SCII graphite and features an advanced technology blank construction that makes it lightweight yet strong enough to handle big catches. Its fast and ultra fast action blanks make this rod a great choice for precise casts in tight quarters.

Just as you would expect from a rod in this price range, it features high-end components that ensure a long life of service. These include guides with stainless steel rings and frames. Everything about the St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod, Tfs is very minimalistic in style given this rod a very modern, sleek look.

When it comes to pros, this rod has plenty: Its lightweight design makes casting easier; its durable construction ensures longevity; its medium-fast action gives anglers greater control over their catches; and its two piece design (there’s even a three piece version) makes transportation simple.

When it comes to the downsides of the St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod, Tfs, it’s worth mentioning the minimalistic handle design. Personally, I like it (and am used to it from fishing ultra light rods) but if you’re a traditionalist who’s into bigger cork handles, this rod is not for you.

Best Classic Style: Berkley Lightning Trout Rod

Berkley Lightning Trout Rod
Berkley Lightning Trout Rod

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 7ft
  • 2 pc rod
  • Cork grip
  • Action: Medium-Fast
  • 1 year warranty

The Berkley Lightning Trout Rod is another solid trout fishing rod option, particularly when you’re on somewhat of a budget (just like the Okuma Celilo). This rod is designed with the latest carbon composite blank and a medium-fast action which makes it a great allrounder. Since I just mentioned a classic cork handle when talking about the St. Croix Rod, the Berkley features one of the traditional grip styles with a split cork handle. Personally, I am a fan of cork handles since it’s natural material that ages over time (just like fine wine) and tells the stories of fish you’ve caught.

The ideal specs for an allrounder trout rod is the 7ft version (2 pc rod) since it can handles multiples styles of trout fishing. The action and feedback on the Berkley Lightning Trout Rod was not quite as sharp as the Temple Fork Outfitters Trout or the Kastking Perigee II during our test, but it will definitely get the job done.

Talking about pros, the major one (and the reason we picked it as one of our favorites) is its value for money. Berkley has an excellent reputation for producing quality gear and this rod is not exception to this rule.

On the flip side, we should state that this rod is rather a beginner and intermediate trout rod. It’s not the rod you’re gonna grow old with in case you become a trout fanatic.

Best Ultralight: 13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout

13 FISHING - Omen Panfish Trout Fishing Rod
13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 5’6″ to 7’0″
  • Split cork grip
  • Action: Fast
  • 5 year warranty

Let me introduce you to a trout fishing rod that was a serious contender in this test to come in as best overall, the 13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout. This is a great looking trout rod that comes in only a little over $100 and backs up its looks with its features. Want me to name a few? Here you go: Blank made from Japanese graphite, split cork handle made from the finest of Portuguese cork, Fuji stainless steel guides and a 5 year warranty to top it all off.

Its moderate power rating of medium light, makes the 13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout a perfect choice for finesse techniques such as drop shotting or jigging small lures. All models from this line of trout rods feature the same lightweight construction with 36 ton graphite blanks that provide exceptional strength without sacrificing sensitivity. The Fuji guides on these rods are also corrosion resistant so they will last longer than other brands of spinning rods. Additionally, the cork handle ensures comfort during long days on the water while providing excellent grip even when wet.

When it comes to performance, the 13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout delivers outstanding results both in terms of casting accuracy and fish fighting capabilities. Thanks to their moderate power ratings (medium light), these rods can be used effectively with lighter line weights which makes them ideal for targeting smaller species like bluegill or crappie as well as larger trout species such as browns or rainbows.

In addition to being able to cast accurately at short distances, these spinning rods also have enough backbone to handle big fish if you happen upon one! Overall we think the 13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout offers anglers an excellent combination of features at a very reasonable price point making them a great option for those looking for quality gear on a budget!

The only real downside of the 13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout is the fact that range of lengths is limited to 5’6″ on the lower end and 7’0″ on the upper end. A little more variety in this regard would make choosing the 13 Fishing – Omen Panfish/Trout even easier.

Most Exclusive: G.Loomis Classic Trout Spinning Rod

G.Loomis Classic Trout Panfish Spinning Rods
G.Loomis Classic Trout

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 5’0″ to 7’0″
  • 1pc and 2pcs options
  • Cork grip
  • Action: Fast
  • Limited lifetime warranty

The G.Loomis Classic Trout is the way to go if you’re looking for the ultimate trout machine. The only reason this rod didn’t score the “Best overall” batch in our test is its price tag of over $250. But if money is not an issue in your decision making, then there is no reason to not go for the G.Loomis Classic Trout.

All models of the Classic trout line from G. Loomis feature cork handles. One of the things I like best about the G.Loomis Classic Trout is its versatility. The sensitiveness of this rod allows you to use it for all sorts of trout fishing styles such as fishing small crankbaits of spinner lures. If you opt for one of the 7’0″ models, you can also use this rod to pursue bass or walleye.

Furthermore, they feature graphite composite construction which helps reduce weight while maintaining strength and sensitivity so you can detect those subtle bites more easily than ever before!

Pros: Everything about this rod is top-notch. Starting with its fantastic combination of light weight and power. It’s has been a joy to cast the G.Loomis Classic Trout during our test. To top it all off, it’s worth mentioning that this is a rod that is handcrafted in Washington.

Cons: Well, like I mentioned further up talking about the G.Loomis Classic Trout, there is no real downside to this rod apart from its price point. But then again that’s not really a con since that quality pays off on the long run.

Best Trout Fishing Rod and Reel

Now that you know about the best trout fishing rods out there on the market today, let’s take a look at the best trout fishing rod and reel combos. These sets are great if you’re a beginner or intermediate and are not 100% sure how to put together the best set. These combos feature a rod and reel that are ideally balanced and hence you can be sure that your gear will work together well. Here are our two favorite options when it comes to the best trout fishing rod and reel.

In conclusion, if you are in search of a cost-effective and dependable spinning reelrod combination that is specifically crafted for trout fishing, the Ugly Stik GX2 should be your go-to choice. Its superior construction ensures longevity while its advanced features guarantee optimal results each time out on the lake or riverbank – what more could an angler need?

Ugly Stik Gx2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Best Trout Fishing Rod and Reel: Ugly Stick Gx2
Best Trout Fishing Rod and Reel: Ugly Stick Gx2

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 6ft to 7ft
  • 1 – 4 pcs
  • EVA foam grip
  • 3+1 bearings on the reel
  • 10 year warranty

Why we went for it: The Ugly Stick Gx2 trout fishing rod and reel is an absolute winner for any angler itching to dive into trout fishing with a spinning rod and reel combo. It’s feather-light, so transporting it to the water is a breeze, and using it on the water is smoother than a baby’s bottom. The rod boasts a tough graphite and fiberglass construction that makes it strong without bulking up. Plus, the foam handle ensures you won’t get tired casting or reeling in your lures.

The reel on the Ugly Stick Gx2 is stacked with 3+1 ball bearings, making it smoother than a hot knife going through butter. The Ugly Stik Gx2 Spinning reel is also made of aluminum, so it’s fit for salty shenanigans when you’re hunting trout in estuaries (just don’t forget to rinse it after getting salty!).

The set in comes in a wide variety of length and reel sizes to choose from. Particularly the reel worked surprisingly smooth during our test (considering the pricing for the Ugly Stick Gx2).

The Ugly Stick Gx2 is not the trout fishing gear you’ll fish for years to come if you stick with trout fishing. All the components of this trout fishing rod combo work as they’re supposed to but can’t compete with the best trout rods in this review.

Quantum Optix Trout Fishing Rod Combo

Quantum Optix Spinning Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
Quantum Optix Trout Fishing Rod Combo

Specs and Key Features: 

  • Length: 5 ft to 10 ft
  • 2 pcs rod
  • Split EVA foam grip
  • Action: Fast
  • 5 year warranty

As the last product of our review we want to bring you a great value for money trout fishing combo, the Quantum Optix Trout Fishing Rod Combo. This combo offers a great combination of power, performance, and portability that make it ideal for trout fishing. It also has an ergonomic split foam handle design to reduce fatigue during long days on the water. The rod is constructed from high modulus graphite blank with Dynaflow guides for superior sensitivity and strength.

While the rod on this set is really solid, the reel is even a notch better. It features many components of high end products such as a machined aluminum spool, a drag system that is adjustable on the front and 4 bearings that turned out to work surprisingly smooth during our test, a definite thumbs up for the Quantum Optix Trout Fishing Rod Combo.

Pros: Besides its quality components and its wide range of lengths and reels sizes to choose from, the Quantum Optix Trout Fishing Rod Combo‘s biggest plus is most certainly its price point. At under $50 you won’t find a better trout fishing rod and reel combo on the market.

Cons: When it comes to downsides of the Quantum Optix Trout Fishing Rod Combo, you really have to think hard to find any. The only issue we’ve had was with the rather short handle that sometimes was hard to grasp for people with bigger hands.

The Benefits of Using a Trout Fishing Rod

Using the right rod when trout fishing can make all the difference in your success, so it’s important to choose one that fits your needs. A trout rod is specially crafted to meet the needs of anglers who seek success in their trout fishing endeavors. Here we will explore some of the benefits of using a trout fishing rod.

A dedicated trout rod can give you an edge when casting, letting you achieve greater results with each cast. Trout spinning rods are usually shorter than traditional bass or walleye spinning rods, allowing you to cast with less effort and greater accuracy when targeting smaller fish like trout. This makes them ideal for stream fishing where space is limited or when casting from shorelines into deeper water.

Ultralight trout spinning rods are also great for catching small- to medium-sized fish like rainbow or brook trout without having to use heavy lures or bait rigs that could scare away these wary species. These lightweight rods provide enough power to handle larger fish while still offering plenty of sensitivity at the tip so you don’t miss any strikes from shy biters like browns or cutthroats.

In conclusion, choosing the right rod for a target species has major implications on overall catch rate success, so it is wise to invest in gear tailored towards specific applications and reap rewards through enhanced results during your next outing.

Key Takeaway: Selecting the correct trout fishing pole can profoundly affect your outcome, so it’s prudent to obtain a rod specifically intended for this purpose. Ultralight rods provide enough power to handle larger fish and give you an edge with finesse presentations, while longer rods offer increased flex & feel plus added reach when targeting wary species.

Best Rod for Trout Fishing: Fisherman using a spinning rod for trout
An ultralight trout rod is great for small streams

Tips for Selecting the Best Rod for Trout Fishing

When selecting the best trout fishing rod, it’s important to consider a few key features. For experienced anglers, a shorter rod can provide greater maneuverability in deep water or tight spaces; for beginners and those doing long-distance casting, longer rods may be more suitable. If you’re an experienced angler who fishes in deep water or tight spaces, you may want to opt for a shorter rod that is easier to maneuver. If you are a beginner or plan to cast far, then longer rods may be the better choice.

The material used for constructing the trout fishing rod is also important. Graphite rods tend to be lightweight and offer more sensitivity than fiberglass models while still providing plenty of strength and durability. Therefore, graphite rods are suitable for anglers of all skill levels who desire a combination of performance and affordability.

The action of the trout fishing rod can make all the difference when it comes time to cast out into deeper waters or snag those big catches from tight spots under trees or docks. A medium-action model will provide enough flexibility without sacrificing power, making it great for beginners as well as seasoned veterans who need something reliable yet versatile enough for different types of conditions they might encounter while out on their adventures in search of fishy tales.

Key Takeaway: When selecting a trout fishing rod, an experienced angler should consider the length and material of construction, as well as the flexibility provided by its action. Graphite rods are lightweight yet strong, providing plenty of sensitivity and power; while medium-action models offer just enough flexibility to tackle any type of conditions. It’s important to pick one that best suits your needs – so you can reel in those big catches.

Best Trout Fishing Rod Review: Release of a Rainbow Trout
A nice rainbow trout about to be released

Conclusion on the Best Trout Fishing Rods

When choosing a trout fishing rod, it is essential to take into account your proficiency level and the kind of fish you intend to catch. By selecting the best rod for trout fishing for your needs, you will be able to maximize success on each outing and enjoy a more successful angling experience. With so many options available today, there’s sure to be a top-rated trout fishing rod that fits both your budget and style.

If you’re looking for the best trout fishing rod and tackle, then come explore our selection of top-notch gear. With the right lures, techniques, and tips from experienced anglers, you can make your next bass or recreational fishing trip a success!

FAQs in Relation to Best Trout Fishing Rod

What length rod is best for trout fishing?

The ideal rod length for trout fishing depends on the type of water you’re fishing. For small streams and rivers, a shorter rod between 6-7 feet is best as it allows for easier casting in tight areas. In larger lakes and reservoirs, rods 8-9 feet long are recommended to help cast further distances. However, an all-around good choice is a 7 ½ foot medium action spinning or baitcasting rod that can be used effectively in both scenarios.

What is the best weight rod for trout?

Generally, a medium-light to medium power rod with a fast action is ideal for trout fishing. This will allow you to cast farther distances while still providing enough backbone to handle larger fish. For optimal casting, the length of your rod should be between 6’6″ and 8’6″. When choosing a line weight, use 4-8 lb test monofilament or fluorocarbon lines that match up well with the selected rod power rating.

What power and action is best for trout?

For trout fishing, the aptitude and energy of a rod should be adapted to the measure and kind of fish being pursued. Generally speaking, for larger trout species like rainbow or brown trout, a medium-fast action rod with moderate power is best. This will allow anglers to cast lures farther out into deeper waters while still providing enough backbone to fight larger fish. For smaller species such as brook or cutthroat trout, a slower action rod with light power is ideal since these fish are usually found in shallower water near shorelines. With either setup though, an experienced angler can easily land their catch.

Our Expertise

Leonard Friedrich and his team spend countless hours on the water testing new gear almost every day. Our goal is to give you the honest truth about the products we put to the test. We never get paid for reviews. We see it as our challenge to “translate” the pros and cons of each product for you in our big gear guides. We hope that the information we provide is valuable to you so you can make a solid purchase decision.

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