According to the Outdoor Foundation, more than 49 million people in the United States fished at least once during the last calendar year. If you’re one of them, you must have the proper equipment on hand. Fishing equipment can vary depending on the type of fish that you’re looking to catch. This can be overwhelming to the average angler.
One of the primary types of fish that you can catch on your line is trout. We’re here to provide you with the best spinning rods for trout. We tested dozens of products and scoured thousands of online reviews to find out what other customers thought about the rods.
Using one of the products on this list will surely have the fish biting in no time.
Bottom Line Up Front
We stand behind all six of the options on our list. However, if you’re looking to pick one, we recommend the St. Croix Freshwater Trout Fishing Rod. It’s a bit expensive, but we feel that it’s an investment well worth making. St. Croix backs this product with its five-year warranty, so it should hold up through the most rigorous of fishing endeavors.
We liked that customer can purchase this rod in various weight and action combinations. You should be able to find the perfect rod no matter where you are looking to fish. Part of the reason for this is because it uses Pac Bay guides. These guides provide 20% – 30% weight savings. During testing, we found that this rod was very responsive and sensitive enough to handle trout fishing.
Different Types of Spinning Rods for Trout
You may be confused about the different types of fishing rods available when browsing online or in your local store. Casting rods are the most traditional line available for beginners. Spinning rods are very similar to casting rods, except for the fact that they tend to be lighter and smaller.
Spinning rods tend to range between five and nine feet and have anywhere from five to eight eyes. These rods, just like casting rods, have a larger eye near the reel to reduce the friction on the line during casting. Additionally, the reel on a casting rod hangs beneath the rod, which makes it more comfortable and easier to fish.
When comparing spinning rods for trout, you’ll want to focus on those that are fast-action or ultralight. Fast-action rods are useful for fishing trout because they work best with light tackle. Using light tackle can allow you to navigate through rocky areas where trout tend to hide quickly.
A heavier weight could find itself stuck in these areas. Using a heavyweight on a fast action rod will cause you to lose the feeling on the rod itself.
Trout rods also come with an ultralight or light power rating. Ultralight rods are beneficial because you can connect a tiny spinner or light lure to the end of the line and feel every movement on the end of the line. Anglers also find that using these types of lines provides them with pinpoint accuracy when casting.
How to Find the Best Spinning Rods for Trout
In addition to focusing on finding ultralight, fast action rods, there are a few more technical components that you need to consider when shopping for the best spinning rods for trout. We considered these criteria when compiling our list of the six best spinning trout rods that you’ll find below.
Because you’re looking for a line that is lightweight and easy to maneuver, you’re going to want to go with sensitive material. The best spinning rods for trout are graphite or fiberglass. Fiberglass tends to have a bit better durability and may be a better option for amateur anglers who are learning how to fish.
Fiberglass could also be a good option for those who plan to travel with their rod frequently.
Some manufacturers also produce composite rods, which are a combination of fiberglass and graphite. These also suffice as a spinning rod for trout. They should still be lightweight enough for you to maneuver through tight waters quickly.
The Length of the Rod
The best spinning rods for trout range between five and nine feet, with the ideal length being between six and eight feet. The length of the rod doesn’t have so much to do with your height as it does where you’re going fishing.
If you’re going fishing in an open stream, you can afford to have a longer line. For example, if you’re going fishing for trout in an open stream, you should consider using an eight-foot rod. If you’re planning on trout fishing in a shallow creek bed or areas with heavy overgrowth, you’ll want to use a five or six-foot rod instead.
You need to purchase a rod with sensitive line guides because trout are smaller fish. Make sure that your rod has a high-quality line guide that is smooth and easy to use. The best spinning rods for trout tend to have ceramic line guides.
- Material: Composite – Fiberglass, and Graphite
- Length: Between 4’6” and 9.’
- Ranging between one and three pieces
If you’re in search of an affordable spinning rod for trout fishing, look no further than the GX2 Spinning Rod from UglyStik. Customers can order this rod in sizes ranging from 4’6” to 9’, allowing you to choose the ideal length for your next fishing expedition. The rod costs approximately $45 depending on what size you order, making it a useful option for beginners.
UglyStik made this rod with a blend of fiberglass and graphite, ensuring its durability. You’ll also find that it comes with Ugly Tuff stainless-steel guides which can hold up on the most rigorous of fishing excursions.
One of the things that we liked most about this line was how smooth it was to use. UglyStik included its Clear Tip design, providing anglers with both strength and sensitivity on the water. The grips on this rod are EVA grips. Not only are these durable and lightweight, but they’re quite comfortable as well. Check out the latest price on Amazon.
- Seven-year warranty
- Very affordable
- Available in an array of sizes
- Composite rod with stainless-steel guides is quite durable
- Comfortable to use
- Some customers said that they preferred older models of this rod
- Getting the top half to stay seated on the bottom half could be challenging
- Some people remarked that the rod was a bit flimsier than they would have liked
- Material: Aeroglass
- Length: Between 5’6” and 7’
- Pieces: Two
SHIMANO is one of the most trusted names in bikes, fishing, and anything else that involves a spinning mechanism, so it’s no surprise that they ended up on our list. If you’re reaching for an affordable spinning rod that you can use in areas that are difficult to maneuver, look no further than the Solara Two-Piece Spinning Rod.
The company made this rod of durable aeroglass, which is similar to fiberglass. Aeroglass is both lightweight and easy to maneuver. The company included reinforced aluminum oxide guides and a solid-locking graphite reel seat as well. This line rates as a “Medium Power” line with fast-action performance. The line rating ranges between 6 and 14 pounds, and the lure rating is between 1/8 and ½ ounces.
As a two-piece rod, this equipment has both a foregrip and a rear grip. These grips, which SHIMANO placed strategically, make holding the rod more comfortable. The foregrip is 2.5” while the rear grip is 6”. You can find the SHIMANO Solara Spinning Rod here on Amazon.
- The reinforced aluminum oxide guides are durable
- Solid locking graphite reel seat is sturdy
- Aeroglass is lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Provides great value to the customer
- Customers said that this rod has an excellent “feel” in the water
- Only available in limited sizes
- May have a little too much power for trout fishing
- Some customers mentioned that the rod was too heavy
- Material: Graphite
- Length: Between 4’10” and 7’
- Pieces: One or two
If you don’t mind paying a bit more for a high-quality trout fishing line, then the St. Croix Trout Freshwater Spinning Rod should be at the top of your list. You can find it in sizes ranging from 4’10” to 7’. More importantly, it comes in a variety of different weight and action combinations, including:
- Ultra-Light/Fast Two-Piece
- Light/Fast Two-Piece
- Light/Ultra-Fast Two-Piece
St. Croix designed this rod primarily with premium-quality SCII graphite, also adding in high-modular and high-strain SCVI graphite. During testing, we found that this provided optimum sensitivity, balance, and weight. We also found that the rod was strong enough to stand up to the biggest of fish. St. Croix said that they designed this rod with trout anglers in mind.
Customers will also find Pac Bay Minima guides for 20 – 30% weight savings. Not only does this make the rod more lightweight, but it also provides better sensitivity control as well. Find the St. Croix Trout Spinning Rod here on Amazon.
- Very sensitive and strong
- Numerous weight options to choose from
- Different lengths work well in different settings
- Designed explicitly for trout fishing
- More durable than standard graphite
- Some customers complained that the rod was too stiff
- A few of the rods we tested were made in Mexico
- The delayed response between sensitivity and line action
- Material: Composite – Fiberglass, and Graphite
- Length: 6’6” or 7’
- Pieces: One or two
The Elite Casting Fishing Rod is another option on our list from UglyStik. This product stands out because of how comfortable it is to use. It comes with a Type A handle with premium cork grips.
It also comes with UglyStik’s unique Ugly Tuff guides, which help improve sensitivity in the water. The sizes for this rod are a bit limited, as customers can only choose from two size selections. Check out the latest price on the UglyStik here on Amazon.
- Type A Handle
- Premium cork grips
- The composite design is durable
- Comes with a very fast tip
- Nine guides are on this rod
- There are some quality control concerns with inconsistencies between rods
- The cork may break off quickly
- Does not collapse into two pieces
- Material: Premium SCII Graphite
- Length: Between 5’ and 7’6”
- Pieces: One or two
Those familiar with St. Croix will see it as no surprise that the manufacturer has made its way onto our list for a second time. There is a wide array of sizes and tension options available with this rod. Not only can customers choose rods ranging from 5’ to 7’6”, but they can choose from various weight and action combinations.
This rod features St. Croix’s Premium SCII Graphite design, which is stronger than standard graphite. When testing, we found that this rod provided us with excellent sensitivity, strength, and hook-setting power. The actions and tapers on this rod are finely-tuned, which provided exceptional performance as well.
The reel seat on this rod is a Fuji DPS with a frosted silver hood. St. Croix added this specifically for trout fishers searching for a spinning rod. The company added two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish to the rod, which we found to be a nice finishing touch.
- Finely tuned actions and tapers
- Hard aluminum-oxide guides with black frames
- Excellent for use on small rivers and streams
- Seven guides
- Customers can choose how much bend they wish to have in their line
- Customers said the reel lock performed inconsistently
- Seat locks can come loose
- The tip on this rod can break
- Material: Sensitive composite graphite
- Length: 6’6”
- Pieces: One
One of the other options on our list is the Celilo Graphite Trout Rod from OKUMA. OKUMA included sensitive graphite composite blanks, along with stainless-steel hooded reel seats and aluminum-oxide guide inserts. We also liked the fact that the rod came with rear and fore cork grips, making it easy to maneuver. Find the OKUMA Rod here on Amazon.
- Very comfortable handle
- Responsive line
- Great value
- Handles heavy fish
- Casts well in the wind
- Some customers complained of durability issues
- Does not ship well
- The tip may break off if the trout is too large
Comparing the Options
|Product||Price||Warranty||Material||Length||How Many Pieces?||Where to Buy|
|UglyStik GX2 Spinning Rod||Roughly $40||Seven years||Composite – Fiberglass and Graphite||Between 4’6” and 9’||Ranging from one to three||Amazon|
|SHIMANO Solara Two-Piece Spinning Rod||$15||Unspecified||Aeroglass||Between 5’6” and 7’||Two||Amazon|
|St Croix Trout Freshwater Spinning Rod
|Around $100||Five-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service||Graphite||Between 4’10” and 7’||One or two||Amazon|
|UglyStik Elite Casting Fishing Rod||$50||Can request from customer service||Composite – Fiberglass, and Graphite||6’6” or 7’||One or two||Amazon|
|St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rods||Between $90 and $130||Five-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service||Premium SCII Graphite||Between 5’ and 7’6”||One or two||Amazon|
|OKUMA Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra Light Trout Rod
|Around $35||Can request from customer service||Sensitive composite graphite||6’6”||One||Amazon|
No matter if you’re trying to catch rainbow trout or steelhead trout, having the right equipment on hand can make all of the different. If you’re purchasing equipment for your next trout fishing trip, you’ll want to make sure that you start with a spinning rod, the “bread and butter” of equipment for anglers.
We stand behind all six of the spinning rods on our list. If you’re looking for the overall best rod, we would have to go with the St Croix Trout Freshwater Spinning Rod. It’s a bit expensive, so you’re certainly going to have to make an investment in the product. However, if you’re willing to do so, this rod will be well worth your while. You can choose from various sizes, and the rod comes with St. Croix’s five-year warranty.
The Premium SCII graphite that St. Croix uses for this rod makes the price well worth it. Although the graphite tends to be potentially brittle, especially when fishing, this was not the case with St. Croix rods. We found that the rod can hang onto the largest of trout without breaking.
We also found that this rod was very sensitive, even though it’s made of high-quality graphite. The rod was lightweight thanks to the Pac Bay guides, which makes it easy to control in shallower or overcrowded waters.
If you’re looking for something that’s a little bit more affordable, we recommend the SHIMANO Solara Two-Piece Spinning Rod. At a mere $15, this rod is an excellent option for beginners who are learning to fish trout. SHIMANO made this rod with its patented aeroglass design, which is both lightweight and durable. SHIMANO also included aluminum oxide guides. Not only were these lightweight, but they shouldn’t rust either.
Trout fishing can be an enjoyable experience. Before you head out into the freshwater, make sure that you purchase equipment that you can trust. After reading our guide to the six best spinning rods for trout fishing, you should have no problem doing so. All six of the options that we included should hold up in any situation.