Top 9 Best Trout Fishing Rods Reviewed

Best Trout Fishing Rods

If you’re searching for the best trout fishing rods, you’ve come to the right place.

Trout are known for their small size, requiring a fishing rod that offers both sensitivity and strength. The ability to detect subtle bites while still having the power to handle larger trout is crucial.

Fortunately, finding a suitable trout rod doesn’t have to break the bank. Many of the rods on this list are priced below $100, providing excellent value for their performance.

However, for those seeking the absolute best in trout fishing rods, the St Croix Premier Spinning Rod stands out. With its exceptional sensitivity and power, it offers everything you need for successful trout fishing.

But rest assured, I also understand that not everyone wants to invest heavily in a dedicated trout rod. That’s why I have included eight other options to cater to casual anglers and those on a budget.

Whatever your preference, you’ll find a trout fishing rod on this list that meets your needs.


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CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE

QUICK OVERVIEW

Top 9 Best Trout Fishing Rods

PRODUCTS
FEATURES
ūüŹÜ EDITOR‚ÄôS PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Rod Length: 5.5-7.5 ft
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‚̧ԳŹ Most Reviewed
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Rod Length: 5.5-7.5 ft
at Amazon
ūüĎć TOP PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Rod Length: 5-7 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 4.5-9 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Rod Length: 4.5-8.5 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Rod Length: 5-8 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 4.5-7.5 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Rod Length: 6.5-7 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork + EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 5.5-7 ft
at Amazon


ūüŹÜ
OUR EDITOR’S Pick

St Croix Premier

Best Trout Fishing Rods

St Croix Premier
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

1. St Croix Premier

St Croix Premier
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†5.5-7.5 ft
  • Action:¬†Fast

The St Croix Premier Spinning Rod is a lightweight and handcrafted rod that delivers both the strength to handle large trout and the sensitivity to detect subtle bites. Made in the USA, it features the exclusive Fortified Resin System (FRS) and SCII carbon construction, which increase its strength by 33% and make it exceptionally robust.

The SCII carbon fiber not only adds strength but also reduces the overall weight of the rod, allowing for comfortable casting throughout the day. Additionally, the SCII carbon enhances the rod’s sensitivity, enabling anglers to feel even the slightest nibbles from trout.

One notable feature of the St Croix Premier Spinning Rod is the inclusion of a Kigan hook-keeper. This convenient feature keeps the hook secure during transportation and storage, protecting the rod from potential damage.

Although slightly higher in price compared to some other rods on the list, the St Croix Premier offers excellent value for its quality and performance. If you’re in search of a top-notch trout fishing rod that combines strength, sensitivity, and additional features, the St Croix Premier Spinning Rod is a fantastic choice.

2. St Croix Triumph

St Croix Triumph
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†5-7.5 ft
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Fast

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly alternative to the St Croix Premier, the St Croix Triumph is an excellent choice. It offers similar features and performance while being more affordable.

Like the Premier, the St Croix Triumph is constructed with the Fortified Resin System (FRS) and SCII carbon, providing exceptional strength and durability. The SCII carbon also ensures that the Triumph remains lightweight and sensitive, allowing for precise casts and detecting subtle trout bites.

The main differences between the Triumph and the Premier are that the Triumph is slightly heavier and does not include the Kigan hook-keeper. However, considering the more affordable price of the Triumph, these differences are reasonable compromises.

For anglers who admired the St Croix Premier but found it outside their budget, the St Croix Triumph serves as an excellent alternative. It offers similar performance and quality at a more accessible price point, making it a great option for trout fishing enthusiasts.

3. Ugly Stik Elite

Ugly Stik Elite
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†5-7 ft
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate Fast to Extra Fast

On to the next rod, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is renowned for its remarkable durability and sensitivity, making it an excellent choice for trout fishing.

With its composite blank construction, the Ugly Stik Elite combines the strength of fiberglass and the sensitivity of graphite. This unique combination results in a rod that is both tough and highly responsive. The Ugly Tech Construction further enhances its durability, ensuring that the rod can withstand the toughest fishing conditions.

The graphite component, along with the Ugly Stik Clear Tip, provides exceptional sensitivity, allowing you to detect even the slightest trout bites. The availability of an extra fast action version further enhances its sensitivity, making it a joy to fish for smaller trout.

The only drawback of this spinning rod is that it is slightly heavier compared to other options. However, considering its outstanding durability and sensitivity, this is a minor trade-off.

Overall, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod offers excellent value for its price. It is a reliable and high-performing trout spinning rod that will serve you well on your fishing adventures.

4. Ugly Stik GX2

Ugly Stik GX2
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam
  • Rod Length:¬†4.5-9 ft
  • Action:¬†Fast

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is a powerhouse when it comes to trout fishing and offers exceptional strength and sensitivity.

Featuring the renowned Ugly Stik Clear Tip and a graphite construction, this rod provides excellent sensitivity, allowing you to feel the subtlest trout bites. The fast action of the rod further enhances its responsiveness, ensuring quick and precise hook sets.

Where the Ugly Stik GX2 truly shines is in its power. With its heavy power rating and sturdy construction, this rod is designed to handle larger trout as well as other species like bass. The combination of fiberglass and Ugly Tech Construction results in a rod that is incredibly robust and capable of withstanding the toughest fights.

Measuring at 6 ft in length, the Ugly Stik GX2 is a versatile rod suitable for various fishing situations. Its strength and sensitivity make it an ideal choice for anglers looking to tackle larger trout and other similar-sized species.

Overall, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is a reliable and powerful option for trout fishing. Whether you’re targeting large trout or branching out to other species, this rod has the muscle and sensitivity to get the job done effectively.

5. Okuma Celilo

Okuma Celilo
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†4.5-8.5 ft
  • Action:¬†Moderate

The Okuma Celilo Spinning Rod is an excellent choice for anglers on a tight budget who are looking to get started with trout fishing.

Specifically designed for trout fishing, this rod is built to accommodate light lures and lines commonly used for targeting smaller trout. One standout feature of the Celilo is its lightweight construction, which ensures that you can fish comfortably for extended periods without feeling fatigued.

While the Okuma Celilo may not have the power to handle larger or prize fish, it provides a cost-effective option for beginners or those who primarily fish for smaller trout. It offers a solid entry point into trout fishing without breaking the bank.

With the Okuma Celilo, you can start your trout fishing journey with a functional and affordable spinning rod that meets the needs of targeting smaller trout.

6. Fenwick Eagle

Fenwick Eagle
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†5-8 ft

The Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod is a standout choice for anglers seeking a high-quality 2-piece rod specifically designed for trout fishing.

Constructed with a graphite blank, this rod delivers exceptional sensitivity, surpassing many other 2-piece rods on the market. The minimal reel seat design, which minimizes the amount of material, further enhances its sensitivity. In fact, the action of the rod is even faster than stated, making it incredibly responsive to the slightest tugs and movements.

In terms of power, the Fenwick Eagle offers a range of options from ultra-light to medium-heavy. It’s important to note that the rod’s stiffness exceeds the rating stated on the product page, providing additional strength and backbone when targeting trout.

For anglers in search of a top-tier 2-piece rod for trout fishing, the Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod stands out as a superior choice. Its combination of sensitivity, fast action, and power options make it an excellent tool for pursuing trout.

7. KastKing Perigee II

KastKing Perigee II
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam
  • Rod Length:¬†4.5-7.5 ft
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Fast

The KastKing Perigee II spinning rod is a strong contender to the Fenwick Eagle, offering comparable performance in every aspect, except for its weight.

Similar to the Fenwick Eagle, the KastKing Perigee II exhibits exceptional fish detection capabilities that surpass those of typical 2-piece rods. It provides a versatile range of power options, from ultra-light to heavy, catering to various trout fishing scenarios.

To ensure affordability, compromises were made in terms of weight, and the KastKing Perigee II is noticeably heavier than the Fenwick Eagle.

Despite this drawback, the KastKing Perigee II remains a highly commendable choice. If you are seeking a budget-friendly 2-piece rod for trout fishing that still delivers excellent performance, the KastKing Perigee II is a solid option to consider.

8. G.Loomis Classic

G.Loomis Classic
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Rod Length:¬†6.5-7 ft
  • Action:¬†Fast

The G.Loomis Classic spinning rod is a truly exceptional choice for trout fishing, offering outstanding performance in every aspect.

One of its standout features is the Multi-Taper Design, which strategically reinforces the areas of the rod that experience the most pressure during fishing, while reducing material in less critical areas. This design approach not only enhances the rod’s strength and durability but also significantly reduces its weight, resulting in an incredibly lightweight spinning rod.

The handle of the G.Loomis Classic is split into two sections, exposing the reel seat and maximizing sensitivity. This, combined with the rod’s sensitive carbon fiber construction, allows you to detect even the subtlest bites and movements of trout.

In summary, the G.Loomis Classic is a top-of-the-line trout rod that excels in all aspects. With its innovative design and exceptional performance, it is truly unmatched in the market. If you are seeking the absolute best trout fishing rod and demand nothing but the highest quality, the G.Loomis Classic is the perfect choice for you.

Please note that for additional details about the product, it is recommended to refer to reliable sources other than the product page itself.

9. Cadence CR5

Cadence CR5
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork + EVA Foam
  • Rod Length:¬†5.5-7 ft
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Fast

Last on the list, the Cadence CR5 is another solid option for trout fishing. 

One aspect that truly impressed me about the Cadence trout rod is the exceptional customer service they provide. I had an unfortunate incident where the rod’s tip snapped while trying to retrieve a snagged hook from a tree. However, upon reaching out to Cadence via email, I received a prompt and helpful response. After providing them with a picture of the damaged rod, they quickly arranged a hassle-free replacement for me.

This level of customer service speaks volumes about Cadence’s commitment to their customers and the quality of their products. It’s reassuring to know that they stand behind their rods and are willing to assist in resolving any issues that may arise. With such reliable customer support, you can have confidence in your purchase and enjoy peace of mind knowing that Cadence has your back.

Please note that customer service experiences may vary, and it’s always recommended to contact the manufacturer directly for specific inquiries or concerns.

Cadence is a brand that truly values its customers. Unlike other rod manufacturers who may take days to respond or engage in disputes over a broken rod, Cadence stands out with their exceptional customer service. With Cadence, you can have complete peace of mind knowing that your warranty will be honored without any unnecessary hassle or arguments. Their commitment to providing a positive customer experience sets them apart, ensuring that you receive the support and assistance you deserve. When you choose Cadence, you can trust that your satisfaction and warranty coverage are their top priorities.

Trout Fishing Rod Buying Guide

Now that you know which rods to use for catching trout, you‚Äôll need to select the right choice from the numerous options available. 

This buying guide will teach you how to choose the right length, power, action, and material.

Rod Length

The length of your rod plays a significant role in the casting distance you can achieve. In general, longer rods allow for longer casts.

It’s important to note that a rod capable of casting far can also handle shorter distances effectively. Instead of getting different rod lengths for different casting ranges, it is more cost-effective to choose a rod that can cast far and still perform well for shorter distances.

When it comes to trout fishing, a rod length of 5 to 7 ft is ideal. A 5 ft rod is the minimum length required to achieve adequate casting distance, while a 7 ft rod provides ample range for trout fishing.

Keep in mind that longer rods tend to be heavier, so it’s essential not to simply opt for the longest rod available. For trout fishing, I recommend selecting a rod length of no more than 7 ft. Through proper casting technique, it is possible to reach desired distances with a 6 ft rod. A 6.5 ft rod is a good middle ground that suits the preferences of most trout anglers.

The only exception to this rule is when engaging in surf fishing. For fishing at the beach, longer rods in the range of 8 to 12 ft are necessary. If you are interested in learning more about choosing the right rod length for surf fishing, refer to our comprehensive buying guide.

Rod Power

Rod power, as the name suggests, refers to the strength of the rod. It is determined by the amount of force required to bend the rod.

Considering that trout are relatively small fish, you have the option to choose between an ultra-light or light power rod for trout fishing.

If your primary goal is to have fun and you don’t mind the size of your catch, an ultra-light rod is recommended. Using an ultra-light rod adds excitement to the fight as trout can put up a more spirited resistance.

However, if you aim to target larger trout and want the ability to handle them effectively, it’s advisable to opt for a light or even medium power rod.

Rod Action

Rod action refers to the degree to which a rod bends when pressure is applied to its tip. It determines the sensitivity and responsiveness of the rod.

For trout fishing, which typically involves targeting small-sized fish, faster action rods are preferred. Trout have delicate and subtle bites, so a faster action rod allows you to detect these soft bites more effectively.

Ideally, you should aim for a rod with a fast or extra-fast action to maximize sensitivity and feel even the slightest trout bites. At most, you could consider a moderate-fast action, but anything slower may result in missed bites from trout.

Construction

Fishing rods are commonly constructed using carbon fiber (graphite), fiberglass, or composite materials.

Carbon fiber, also known as graphite, offers the highest level of sensitivity among the three materials. It allows you to feel even the subtlest nibbles and bites from trout. On the other hand, fiberglass is known for its exceptional strength, making it ideal for handling larger fish or fishing in rugged conditions.

Composite rods combine the qualities of both materials, offering a balance of sensitivity and strength. They are a popular choice for trout fishing, providing good sensitivity while still offering the necessary strength to handle trout effectively.

When it comes to trout fishing, both carbon fiber and composite rods are suitable choices, with carbon fiber providing heightened sensitivity and composite offering a good blend of sensitivity and strength.

How To Rig Your Trout Fishing Rod

Some of you may also need help with setting up your trout rod. If that sounds like you, this video here will show you what line and baits to use, as well as how to set them up:

Final Verdict

Hopefully, you found the rod that you were looking for.

Each rod on the list is well-suited for trout fishing and will provide you with a reliable and enjoyable fishing experience.

If you’re still undecided, I recommend considering the St Croix Premier. It offers the versatility to handle both large and small trout, providing excellent sensitivity to detect even the softest bites.

To end off, here are the best trout spinning reels for you to pair your trout rod with.