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5 Best Fishing Rods For Trout (Reviews and Buyers Guide)

best fishing rods for trout

Rippin’ More Lips With The Best Fishing Rod For Trout (Top 5 Reviews)

(Top Pick) 

KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Rod

This ultralight trout rod by KastKing will propel your trout fishing game into the 21st century.  The Calamus line of rods are designed to be some of the lightest trout rods on the planet, with the smallest in the line coming in at a mere 2.5 ounces!  This alone is enough to make it my top pick for the best ultralight trout rod.  ​

  • Available in a wide spectrum of sizes
  • Affordable modern performance
  • Unique Look and Feel
  • Lightest rods on the market

One of the most versatile and commonly used fishing rigs, the spinning rod, presents a perfect choice for trout fishing.

These trout rods come in a large variety of combinations, so it’s pretty easy to dial in a spinning rod setup suited for tiny mountain creeks, which have traditionally been limited to fly fishing rigs; all the way up to big open water lake trout rigs.

Best of all, I’ve found that spinning rods, when chosen in the right setup, to be a highly versatile rig to accommodate a large variety of trout fishing situations you throw at it.

In this post, we’re going to take a close look at some of the best trout fishing rods on the market.

But don’t stop there, because after the trout rod reviews, I’ve written a guide to selecting the right trout rod; describing in detail what kind of features you want to look for in a good quality trout rod.

So, let’d dive right in!

Best Trout Rod Quick List

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Best Fishing Rod For Trout (Reviews)

1. KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Weight Spinning Fishing Rods (Top Pick)

If you’re looking to fully step into the modern age with your fishing rig, check out this trout fishing pole by KastKing. The Calamus line of fishing rods has the look and performance of a 21st century fishing rod.

This specific line of rods are designed to be some of the lightest on the planet. This in part is due to their premium titanium components.

The smallest in the line comes in at a mere 2.5 ounces. This might not be a bad choice if you’re looking for a quality backpacking fishing rod to carry with you into the backcounty.

This line of spinning rods by KastKing are available in a wide range of sizes highly suitable for nearly all trout fishing applications.


  • Available in a wide spectrum of sizes
  • Affordable modern performance
  • Unique Look and Feel
  • Lightest rods on the market


  • None

Bottom Line On This Trout Rod

For a high performance compact lightweight rod with modern performance look no further. This KastKing Calamus series prides itself in a durable and light rod suitable for all sorts of fishing applications. It particularly suits itself well to trout fishing.

If you are looking to move beyond the run of the mill looking trout rod, this one may be worth a more in depth look for you.

2. ugly stik Elite Spinning Rod  

Ugly Stik is the tried and trust name in fishing rods when it comes to durability.

The newly re-engineered Elite series has been reinforced with an additional 35% more graphite to lighten the rod, while still retaining legendary durability and strength.

Buyers have the choice of this rod in a variety of weights from ultralight to medium and lengths in a range from 4.5-feet to 7.5-feet. This size range is nearly perfect for most trout fishing scenarios.

The end of the rod features a Clear Tip design to help you in detecting even those faint nibbles of small trout. Cork handles complete the rod, giving it a classic look and a padded reel seat and hood to ensure rock solid mounting of your reel.


  • Variety of Trout-Specific Sizes
  • ugly stik Reliability
  • Quality Construction


  • No solid options for large river fishing

Bottom Line

Anglers of all types have heard of ugly stik and there’s a reason why. They’ve made groundbreaking innovations though years in the fishing industry and continue to be synonymous with durability.

Although this rod is slightly more expensive than others that made this list, you’re certainly getting a lot for the money.  For those of you who are looking for the next step up in trout spinning rod performance and durability, check out the ugly stik Elite for all sorts of trout fishing

3. OKUMA Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra Light Trout Rods

This Ultra Light series of trout rods by OKUMA was specifically designed for the needs of trout fishing.

This graphite composite trout rod features a variety of slow to moderate action selections for the dedicated trout angler.

The aluminum oxide guide inserts ensure smooth flow of line and reduce wear and tear.

Like any classic looking trout rod, it features a two-piece cork grip with modern stainless steel hoods to ensure a solid grip on your spinning reel.


  • Ultra-Light sizes for tiny lures
  • Variety of selections for trout anlgers
  • Budget-minded price


  • Not available in large sizes

Bottom Line

The thought of this line of spinning rods definitely has the trout angler in mind. Since you’re able to cast lightweight lures in a variety of situations, these light weight rods will lead to a fun battle on trout of all different sizes. The OKUMA Cecilo spinning rods have been assembled with high quality components backed by a 1-year limited warranty, which allows you to buy with confidence.

4. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods 

Fenwicks Eagle spinning rod line couples classic heritage based looks with modern performance and engineering. The B2 Burled Cork Designs Provides the look and feel of traditional cork with modern durability. The olive bronzed looks of the rod completes that classic look.

The modern stainless steel guides with stainless steel inserts ensure corrosion free durability for years to come. Available primarily in ultralight and lightweight sizes, this is a rod with the classically influenced trout angler in mind.

This is a rod I could be very at home casting for small trout in high mountain creeks.


  • Classic Look and Design
  • Modern Components


  • Pricier than other rods on the list


Bottom Line

For that traditional trout fishing look, the Fenwicks Eagle line fits the bill. Bringing together the look and feel of a single piece cork handle indicative of classic rods with modern engineering; this rod is a high contender on the list.

5. St.Croix Trout Freshwater Spinning Rod 

Designed specifically for the die hard trout angler in mind, the St Croix Trout Freshwater Spinning Rod provides finesse and precision for fish that require the utmost finesse.

The blended graphite construction provides anglers fast action rods for precise and accurate casts and the reduced weight guides contribute to a lighter weight rod overall without any sacrifice in performance or durability.

Two coats of flex-coat protect the rod for years of abuse while maintaining optimal flex and fish fighting ability. It’s hard to go wrong with a spinning rod for trout than this one. It literally has “trout” in the name.


  • Specification and Design optimized for trout fishing
  • Two-piece packable design
  • Compact cork fore-grip


  • Not available in slower actions

Bottom Line

The St. Croix trout series is engineered and optimized for the demands of trout fishing. Whether you are hitting lakes, rivers, or creeks; with the available sizes, you will have your match.

Designed to be a faster action rod, it lends well to accuracy and precision with a large variety of lure sizes. This rod is worth a serious look for any dedicated trout angler who wants a specialized or versatile rod alike.

Trout Rod Buying Guide

How To Choose a Trout Spinning Rod

For a trout spinning rod, you need to ask yourself if you want a versatile setup or a highly tailored setup? In spinning rod, there are only a few factors that really come into play in proper rod performance. Let’s take a look at what you should consider to optimize your trout spinning rod selection.

Rod Weight 

The backbone of your spinning rod’s strength and fighting ability is categorized by the rod weight, or power. This rating dictates the pulling strength of your rod and correlates to the amount of bend per unit weight.

A heavier weight rod will be able to both pull and cast more weight and have less bend. A lightweight rod will not be able to pull nearly as much weight or cast large lures and will have a lot of flex.

Spinning rods are available in a variety of weights including, ultralight, light, medium, and heavy. Some combinations of weights exist in-between.

The big idea with rod weights is “the bigger the fish the bigger the rod”. For most trout fishing, you are going to be looking at ultralight to medium rods. With the medium and larger rods being reserved for the largest and hardest fighting trout.

Fishing Rod Action 

How does a rod bend? Does the whole thing bend? Or just the end of the rod? This factor is a determination of the “action” of the rod. The action refers to how much of the rod is engineered to bend.

Rods are generally sold in a range and combination of three actions; slow, moderate, and fast. The faster action rods bend only near the tip. On the contrary, a slow action rod bends throughout the entire length of the rod.

For a lighter weight trout rod, generally a slow to moderate to action rod will be good for casting even very small lures. If you are targeting larger fish with larger lures, you may be better going with a faster action to suit.

Fishing Rod Length 

Lastly, you ought to consider the length of the rod for your specific needs. Spinning rod lengths are available from two-foot length up to even 12+ feet. You should decide on a length depending on the type of fishing you plan on doing. Think about whether you will casting from a boat versus beach casting, heavy lures into the surf versus ice fishing, etc. The fish species you intend to target also comes into play.

For a versatile trout rod, a 6 foot to 8 foot long rod is applicable to most situations. However, you can choose a really short rod for tiny creek fishing to get into tight scenarios where trout may be hiding. Conversely, if you are casting far into rivers from wide open banks, you could choose a 10 foot or longer setup to launch big lures.

Types of Trout Spinning Rod Setups

With near infinite options on the spinning rod market, how do you nail it down to one? Well, let’s take a look at few potential combinations and discuss what they could be useful for. This may help you in making your final determination beyond these setups.


Lightweight – Moderate Action 7-Foot Rod 

This is what I would consider a good general setup that will serve you versatility for all but the biggest of trout. With something like this, you could be fishing lakes, creeks, and rivers with a variety of lures.

Heavyweight – Fast Action  10-Foot Rod

This would be the setup I would grab if I were looking to cast big lures for large trout, steelhead, or salmon in big rivers. If you are fishing on large cobble banks trying to throw spoons way out in the current, this type of setup would do just such.

Ultra-light Weight – Slow Action 5-Foot rod 

Is your idea of trout fishing a small mountain creek catching native trout no larger than half a foot? Then try something like this. To replace a light flight rod for small trout fishing, a spinning rod such as this makes a great alternative. You can use ultralight  1/32 oz. lures and be able to flick them with precision underneath trout cover. You can even cast larger fly fishing flies short distances with the right spinning rod setup.

That should give you an idea of putting together different combinations for trout fishing. As you can see, you can put together a highly tailored trout setup. However, spinning rods also make a highly versatile fishing setup when chosen correctly. This all depends on your needs and how many rods you want in your arsenal.


Spinning rods are a tried and true method for catching trout. Trout fishing can demand certain qualities on a rod that may not be wanted in other disciplines of fishing. They’re generally smaller bodied fish and therefore a smaller rod is often preferred. Not to mention a much a smaller rod presents a much more enjoyable fight and quick and snappy trout.

Spinning rods for trout are generally going to be on the lighter weight end. The action and length are more up to the angler depending on there needs and preferences. With a little thought, you can have one single rod capable of fishing anything from tiny mountain creeks to good sized trout on lakes and rivers.

(Top Pick) 

KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Rod

This ultralight trout rod by KastKing will propel your trout fishing game into the 21st century.  The Calamus line of rods are designed to be some of the lightest trout rods on the planet, with the smallest in the line coming in at a mere 2.5 ounces!  This alone is enough to make it my top pick for the best ultralight trout rod.  ​

  • Available in a wide spectrum of sizes
  • Affordable modern performance
  • Unique Look and Feel
  • Lightest rods on the market

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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