Best Rods for Trout Fishing in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Trout fish are literally all over the country, if not the continent. They are fun to catch, and beginners mostly fish them because they’re not as much of fighters as other fish can be.

Finding an excellent trout fishing rod is not a piece of cake considering the number of fishing rods on the market, and they all claim to be the perfect rod for trout fishing.

Well, we’ve decided to save you the effort of going through hundreds of options on the market, and we’ve gathered a list of the 6 best rods for trout fishing and why you need to consider them. So, without further ado, here’s the full list.

List of The Best Rods for Trout

  • Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rods – Best Overall
  • Okuma Celilo Trout Rods – Extended Casting
  • St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods – High-Quality
  • Ugly Stik GX2 Rods – High Durability
  • Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods – Various Models
  • Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod – Extra Fast Action

Our Top Picks

RodLengthsGripPowers
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rods4’6” to 7’6”CorkUltra-light to medium-heavy
Okuma Celilo Trout Rods4’6” to 8’6”CorkUltralight and light
St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods5’ to 7’6”CorkUltra-light to medium-heavy
Ugly Stik GX2 Rods4’8” to 7’EVAUltra-light to medium-heavy
Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods5’6” to 8’CorkUltra-light to medium-heavy
Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod5’10” to 7’6”Depends on the modelMedium-light to medium-heavy

The 6 Best Rods for Trout Fishing in 2020

1. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rods – Best Overall

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rods

Ugly Stik Elite offers a variety of rods for any kind of trout out there. It is the best spinning rod for trout, especially for beginners with its clear tip that increases accuracy, as well as sensitivity so that you can feel the lightest of bites.

Being made from a combination of fiberglass and graphite makes the Elite a light-weight fishing rod for hours and hours of fishing without discomfort. Moreover, its cork handles add even more comfort.

If you decide to purchase an Elite rod, you’d have a variety of models to choose from with power ranging from ultra-light all the way to medium-heavy that can handle any trout fish. Furthermore, it provides various lengths starting as small as 4’6” all the way up to 7’6” with different combinations of power. It is guaranteed that you’ll find the perfect combination for you.

Unfortunately, the stainless steel guides are not the best out there, and they are prone to breaking. However, looking on the bright side, they are easy to replace.

Pros:

  • Various models with different combinations of powers and lengths
  • 1 or 2 piece configuration
  • Clear tip
  • High sensitivity
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Guides are prone to breaking

Final Verdict

Combining fiberglass with graphite means durability, sensitivity, and lightweight, which is the perfect combination for a trout fishing rod. In addition, Elite’s cork handle provides comfort, and in combination with its lightweight, you can easily fish for hours without fatigue.

2. Okuma Celilo Trout Rods – Extended Casting

Okuma Celilo Trout Rods

We know how hard it is to find a rod that’s longer than 8’, and apparently, so does Okuma. The Okuma Celilo is truly your best choice if you’re looking for a longer casting distance with the fact that one of its models comes in 8’6” of length.

Being made specifically for trout fishing, the Celilo is made from graphite composite that guarantees lightweight. Much like the Elite, its handle is also a split cork handle that we’ve already mentioned that it adds comfort.

It comes in a variety of lengths starting at 4’6” to 6’6”, not to mention the unique 8’6” length for extended casting if you’re fishing in bigger lakes.

Unlike the Elite, though, the guides are made from aluminum oxide, and they’re much more durable than the Elite.

Another advantage of the Celilo is its affordable price, as well as high-quality material that competes with high-end rods at a very decent price point.

However, keep in mind that this rod is designed specifically for trout fish, and it cannot withstand bigger fish.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight
  • Extended length
  • Fast action

Cons:

  • Not as durable as other rods
  • Feels a bit cheap in hands

Final Verdict

The Celilo trout fishing rod comes in a length of 8’6” that is unmatched by any other rod on this list. We’d highly recommend the Celilo 8’6” ultra-light rod if you’re trout fishing in open areas like lakes rather than rivers to truly use its full potential. Furthermore, you can also find models as small as 4’6” in length for river trout fishing.

3. St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods – High-Quality

St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods

The name says it all; triumph means a great victory or achievement, and we’d say that’s quite accurate.

The St Croix provides high-quality material as it is made from graphite that provides lightweight as well as durability. The rod also comes with Fuji reel seats with silver hood for premium quality.

It comes in a variety of lengths starting at 5’ and 5’6” for ultra-light power and goes all the way up to 7’6” for medium-light, medium, and medium-heavy powers that will ensure you can get in fish, not just trout.

Its cork handle provides comfort, and its aluminum oxide guides provide durability so that you wouldn’t need to worry about your rod breaking anytime soon.

The downside here, though, is that its price is not really budget-friendly, but you get what you pay for. You’re paying for a high-quality rod that can last you a long time, and that’s precisely what St Croix Triumph offers.

Pros:

  • Fast action
  • Fuji reel seat with a silver hood
  • High-quality materials
  • High sensitivity
  • 1 or 2 piece configuration

Cons:

  • High price
  • Not the widest variety of lengths

Final Verdict

More often than not, it is worth it to invest a little extra money on a product that will last you a long time rather than going for a cheap option that you’d have to replace quite often. The St Croix Triumph will guarantee you longevity, durability, and high-quality. We’d strongly recommend this rod for experienced anglers rather than beginners.

4. Ugly Stik GX2 Rods – High Durability

Ugly Stik GX2 Rods

The Ugly Stik GX2 is one of the most popular spinning fishing rods on the market for its durability and affordable price tag.

It is made from a combination of graphite and fiberglass; the added fiberglass gives it a durability that is unmatched by any other fishing rod. Furthermore, the graphite provides stability and balance for the rod.

The GX2 also comes with a clear tip and stainless steel guides for added precision.

You can use your GX2 for any kind of trout fish with its power options of ultra-light, light, medium, and medium-heavy that can handle any trout coming your way. Furthermore, you’d also get a variety of lengths starting at 4’8” and all the way up to 7’.

Its downside, sadly, is that its grip is EVA foam that is not as comfortable as cork handles, especially for extended periods of time.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • High durability
  • Clear tip
  • 1 or 2 piece configurations

Cons:

  • EVA grip
  • Not the widest variety of lengths

Final Verdict

The Ugly Stik GX2 has an advantage over other rods, which is the fiberglass. Combining fiberglass and graphite makes for a great duo that offers stability, durability, and lightweight. Not to mention, the GX2 comes in a budget-friendly price and high-quality material.

5. Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods – Various Models

Fenwicks Eagle Spinning Rods

Not all trout fish are the same; they differ in areas, colors, and even sizes. The Fenwicks Eagle has that covered with its wide variety of models to choose from.

The Eagle is made from graphite for lightweight and durability. It also comes with a cork handle for a comfortable grip and stainless steel guides for precision, especially for longer casting.

Now, what’s really special about this rod is its variety. While its smallest length is 5’6”, which is not suitable for smaller lakes or rivers, its length goes up to 8’ in ultra-light action that makes it the optimum fishing rod for trout.

If your target is bigger trout that ultra-light cannot handle, there are also models in medium-light, medium, and medium-heavy powers that are guaranteed to handle any trout you might come across.

Pros:

  • Length goes up to 8’ in ultra-light
  • 1 or 2 piece configuration
  • Ultra-light to medium-heavy power options

Cons:

  • Not as durable as we’d hoped
  • Guides are weak

Final Verdict

The Fenwicks Eagle comes in a wide variety of models that ensure you will find the perfect rod for you. It is durable, lightweight, and sensitive as it is made from graphite with a cork handle. Most importantly, this is one of the few rods that offer a length that goes up to 8’ in ultra-light. If you like trout fishing in open areas and you like long casting, this is definitely the one for you.

6. Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod – Extra Fast Action

Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod

Trout fishing doesn’t always require ultra-light powers; you can easily catch trout with extra-fast action even at higher powers like medium-light, medium, and medium-heavy, which are exactly what the CR7 offers.

Being made from 40-ton carbon means that the rod is sensitive and lightweight as the higher the tonnage of carbon is, the lighter and more sensitive your rod is.

Its handle, however, depends on the model; each model could either have a split or full grip made from cork and EVA. Moreover, the rod comes with Fuji reel seats and stainless steel guides for stability and precision.

Also, we like to think that there’s a pun there somewhere with the rod being named CR7 and coming in fast and extra fast actions.

Pros:

  • High sensitivity
  • Fast and extra-fast actions
  • High-quality
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • A little pricey
  • Doesn’t come in ultra-light or light

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an extra-fast action rod, look no further. The Cadence CR7 offers lightweight, durability, and sensitivity with its 40-ton carbon blank. It comes in decent options of models starting at 5’10” and all the way up to 7’6” with different power and action combinations.

What to Look for When Buying a Rod for Trout

There is no optimum answer for this; we cannot just say you need a rod with X, Y, and Z that’ll get you all the trout in the surrounding area. However, what we can say is that there are a few factors that you need to take into consideration before you buy a fishing rod for trout.

1. Rod Power

When it comes to trout fishing, an ultra-light, light, or medium-light power should do you just well. Going higher than the power you need would not make you feel the bite of a trout, and going lower will cause the rod to break, and you’d lose the rod and the fish.

To avoid such tragedy, you need to know what kind of trout is in your area and which power is enough to handle them.

2. Length

The optimum length that you can go for is the 6’6” rods or anything around that. However, you can go for shorter or longer lengths depending on where you’ll be fishing. You can find rods like Okuma Celilo that have a length that goes up to 8’6” that is perfect if you prefer long casting. Moreover, rods like Ugly Stik can go as short as 4’6” so you can buy it if you prefer shorter rods if you’re fishing in smaller areas.

3. Material

Graphite is known for its lightweight and durability, and that’s why it goes into the manufacturing of most fishing rods, not just trout fishing rods. If you’re looking for a material that’ll provide a little more durability, you can go for one of the Ugly Stik models that combine fiberglass with graphite.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Long Should a Trout Rod Be?

The length of the rod depends on where you’re fishing. Because trout are found all over the country, it can be a little tricky to say a specific length can fit all fishing habits.

If you’re fishing in bigger lakes, we’d recommend going for longer rods to provide you with extended casting, so anything longer than 7’5” will give you just that. On the other hand, if you’re fishing in smaller areas like rivers or small lakes, you can go for a length as low as 5′ rods or even shorter.

A general rule of thumb, though, says that the average size of a trout fishing rod should be around 6.5’ as that will fit most fishing areas and habits.

Which is More Useful: A Spinning Or a Casting Rod?

You can’t decide which one of them is more useful; it depends on your usage and your purpose.

Casting rods offer you more control over the angles, but they’ll need a lot of learning before you’re able to master their use.

On the other hand, spinning rods are more comfortable to use, and they have a straightforward design. You’ll rarely suffer a backlash or a tangling hassle when using them.

What Gear Do I Need for Trout Fishing?

Well, the rod obviously is the first thing you need, but not necessarily the only thing. You’d also need a fishing reel that fits your rods, and you’ll most likely find rods being sold in combo with a reel that will perfectly fit your rod.

You’d also need hooks whose sizes depend on the size of your rod. Moreover, you’d need a bait that can either be natural or artificial, whichever you and the trout in your area prefer.

Furthermore, you’d also need lures as spinners that will work perfectly. Lastly, you’d also need a fishing line. We recommend getting a monofilament line over a braided line as the braid lines are quite visible for trout.

Final Words

When it comes to trout fishing, there’s no “one size fits all” in fishing rods, choosing the perfect rod for you doesn’t mean that it’s perfect for everybody else and that’s why we’ve discussed throughout this article our top picks of the best rod for trout fishing on the market. If you feel like you need a quick recap of what we’ve covered, here’s just that.

Our top pick is the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod, and it truly is elite. It comes with a comfortable cork handle, and it is made from a combination of fiberglass and graphite that adds durability to the rod that graphite alone cannot match.

The runner-up is the Okuma Celilo Trout Rods, which are designed specifically for trout fishing. The rod’s cork handle is comfortable to use for days of trout fishing without fatigue. Moreover, it comes in an 8’6” length of ultra-light power fishing rod, which is optimum for trout fishing in open areas as it provides long casting.

In third place in the St Croix Triumph Spinning rod that is known for its high-quality materials. The St Croix is guaranteed to last you for years and stay as good as new. However, it’s a little on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for.