Best Trout Fishing Rods

Best Trout Fishing Rods in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Trout fishing is one of the most exciting yet challenging fishing you can go for. Trout fish are smart, they can see well, and they’re easy to scare.

Trout fish, in general, need a different approach than other fish. With a special approach, a special rod must be able to do exactly what you need it to do.

For trout fishing, you need a lightweight yet durable rod. In other words, you need a light-powered rod that can be able to handle the trout’s fighting. That balance is not easy to achieve, and that’s why I’ve decided to come to the rescue.

Throughout this article, I’ll be discussing my 7 top picks for the best trout fishing rods with their pros, cons, and everything you need to know. So, without further ado, here we go.

List of the Best Trout Fishing Rods:

Our Top Picks:

RodBlank MaterialGrip
Okuma CeliloGraphite compositeCork
Ugly Stik EliteGraphite and fiberglassCork
Ugly Stik GX2 ComboGraphite and fiberglassEVA
Fenwicks EagleGraphiteCork
KastKing CalamusIM7 graphiteEVA
Cadence CR740-ton graphiteCork or EVA

The 6 Best Trout Fishing Rods in 2021

1. Okuma Celilo – Best Overall

My top pick for the best trout fishing rod on the market is the Okuma Celilo, which is designed specifically for trout fishing.

The rod comes in an impressive 8’6” of length that no other rod on this list can match. That extraordinary length provides the angler with extended casting, which is optimum for fishing in open-water.

Moreover, the rod comes in lengths from 4’6” to 6’6” in addition to the 8’6” model, and they’re all ultra-light in power rating, which is the perfect power rating for most trout fish.

As for constructing materials, the blank is made from a graphite composite that provides lightweight and durability. Furthermore, it comes with a cork grip that provides comfort and aluminum oxide guides for accuracy when casting.

The only downside I can find is that the rod might be a little too weak for anything other than trout, which is not a fair point, to be honest. It is a trout rod, after all.


  • Up to 8’6” of length
  • Designed specifically for trout
  • High sensitivity
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable cork grip


  • The tip is a little weak

Final Verdict

The Okuma Celilo deservingly swept my top spot with its 8’6” model. If you like having extended casting (who doesn’t?), and you like lightweight rods with high-quality materials, this is the one for you. Moreover, the rod is also affordable and sensitive for the best trout fishing experience.

2. Ugly Stik Elite – Runner-Up

The Ugly Stik Elite is my runner-up for the best trout fishing rod, and it was a close-run to be clear.

The rod comes in a variety of lengths that are suitable for trout fishing starting at 4’6” all the way to 7’6” with power ratings ranging between ultra-light to medium-light. You’re guaranteed to find the perfect combination of length and power rating for any fishing technique.

The Elite rod is made from a composite of graphite and fiberglass. Graphite provides the rod with its lightweight, while the fiberglass adds to the rod’s durability; it’s a match made in heaven.

Moreover, the rod comes with a comfortable cork handle and stainless steel guides that are easy to replace in case of any incidents.

Furthermore, the rod comes with a clear tip, and when adding that to its high sensitivity, it is an optimum rod for trout fishing. You seriously can’t go wrong with this rod.


  • High durability
  • High sensitivity
  • A variety of models to choose from
  • Comfortable cork grip
  • 7-year limited warranty


  • Not too balanced

Final Verdict

The Ugly Stik Elite rod is a durable rod that can withstand trout fish while still offering enough sensitivity to feel their small bites. It’s made from high-quality materials and a comfortable grip to eliminate any unnecessary wrist fatigue. Moreover, it comes with a clear tip and stainless steel guides that provide accuracy for anglers.

3. Ugly Stik GX2 Combo – Budget Pick

The GX2 combo is one of the most popular rods and reel combos on the market, and I can’t help but agree.

The model most suited for trout fishing is the 7-feet model, which provides a perfect length that suits any fishing technique. Moreover, its power rating is ultra-light, which is perfect to be able to feel the trout’s small bite.

You could also find other models that are suited for trout fishing like the 4’8” ultra-light and the 5’ light models, but the 7’ ultra-light is my favorite.

The rod is made from a graphite and fiberglass composite, which provides durability, as well as lightweight to the rod. Furthermore, its grip is a foam EVA handle that is comfortable to hold without fatigue.

Besides, it comes with stainless steel guides and a clear tip for increased accuracy when casting.

However, if you’re planning to purchase the combo, not just the rod, keep in mind that multiple users reported that the reel is weak and breaks easily.


  • High durability
  • Affordable
  • 7-year limited warranty
  • Clear tip for casting accuracy


  • Poor packaging

Final Verdict

The GX2 combo is a crowd’s favorite for being one of the best trout fishing rods on the market. as bass fishing rods The rod itself is durable as it is made from a graphite and fiberglass composite and with high-quality guides and a comfortable grip. Moreover, the rod comes in a variety of models, but I strongly recommend the 7-feet ultralight models as it is the most suited for trout.

4. Fenwicks Eagle – Widest Selection of Models

The Fenwicks Eagle is a rod that is known for its high quality, and it is guaranteed to last you years upon years.

It comes in a variety of lengths starting from 5’6” up till 8” with suitable power ratings for trout fishing that range between ultra-light to medium-light. The rod also comes in power rating up to medium-heavy, but that is not always suitable for trout.

Trout’s bites require an extra sensitive rod for the fisher to feel the light bites, and that’s exactly what this rod offers. It is made from a graphite composite that provides the rod with its lightweight, durability, and sensitivity.

Moreover, it comes with a cork handle for comfort and stainless steel guides that improve casting accuracy.

However, my only complaint here is that its guides are a little too weak, and they break easily.


  • High sensitivity
  • A variety of models to choose from
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Comfortable cork grip


  • A little pricey
  • Guides are weak

Final Verdict

While the Fenwicks Eagle comes in a huge variety of lengths and power ratings, a huge number of those models are suitable for trout fishing. You are guaranteed the perfect combination of length and power to fit your fishing preferences. Not to mention, the rod is lightweight, sensitive, and comfortable to hold.

5. KastKing Calamus – Best Lightweight Rod

KastKing has a reputation for constantly putting out high-quality products, and Calamus is no exception.

The rod comes in lengths starting from 4’6” to 6’6”, which is not the most versatile list of models out there, but still, the 6’6” models are perfect for trout fishing.

In addition, it comes in power ratings from ultra-light to medium-heavy, but I wouldn’t recommend going higher than medium-light for trout.

The rod is made from IM7 graphite that provides the rod with its high sensitivity. Moreover, it comes with a split EVA handle that is comfortable to hold and titanium guides. What I truly love about this rod is its lightweight, you won’t even feel the slightest bit of fatigue.

Sadly, most of the models come in 2-piece configuration, which is a let-down, to be honest.


  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • High durability


  • A little pricey
  • Only 1 model comes in 1-piece configuration

Final Verdict

The KastKing Calamus is yet another rod that is optimum for trout; I’d even go as far as saying it is the best lightweight trout fishing rod. It is comfortable to hold, and it is sensitive enough to feel the trout’s bite, while still being durable enough to withstand its fight.

6. Cadence CR7 – Premium Pick

My premium pick for the best trout fishing rod is the Cadence CR7.

The rod comes in a variety of models, but the ones suitable for trout fishing come in lengths starting at 6’3” to 7’6”, which helps a lot with extending casting distance.

Furthermore, the rod is made from 40-ton carbon, which is durable while still being lightweight. It also comes with split or full grips, depending on which model you choose. Not to mention having stainless steel guides for accuracy when casting.

The only downside here is that the rod doesn’t come in ultra-light or light power ratings, which means it is not suitable for all fishing techniques. Trout fishing generally required lighter power ratings, but its medium-light power rating models are perfect for trout.

Sadly, the rod only comes in 1-piece configuration, which isn’t too portable.


  • High-quality materials
  • Good value for the money
  • High durability
  • Comfortable to hold


  • No ultra-light or light power ratings
  • Only comes in 1-piece configuration

Final Verdict

The Candace CR7 is a premium-quality fishing rod that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is lightweight, durable, and comfortable to hold. It’ll take your trout fishing experience to the next level. However, it doesn’t come in light or ultra-light power ratings, which is not suitable for everyone.

That’s it. These are the best Trout fishing rods you can find. Now, it’s time to pair them with equally high-quality fishing lines, and you can find my recommended Fishing Lines for Trout here.

What to Look for When Buying a Rod for Trout Fishing

Best Trout Fishing Rods

1. Power

Generally, trout fish require light power ratings as they’re relatively small, and they don’t require much power.

Now, you need to be careful. Going for a higher power rating than necessary is not “safer”. A power rating that is too high will not allow you to feel the trout’s bites.

Also, going for a power rating too low might cause your rod to snap if the fish fights back. Before committing for a power rating, make sure it suits the trout in your area and, by all means, contact the constructor to ask for any details you might be missing.

2. Material

Most fishing rods, in general, are made from graphite for its durability and lightweight. However, that doesn’t limit the construction materials to just graphite. Some rods are made from a composite of graphite and fiberglass.

Fiberglass adds a little durability to the rod, while graphite provides the fisher with sensitivity to feel the trout’s bites.

3. Length

There’s no right or wrong when choosing your rod’s length. It depends on your fishing techniques, how much space you have, and what is more comfortable to handle for you.

If you’re new to fishing and you want an average length that suits most fishing techniques, I recommend going for a rod around 6’6” to 7’.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which Rod Lengths are Best Suited for Trout Fishing?

The perfect length for trout fishing is 6’6”, so I generally recommend staying around that length.

However, that is not eliminating every other rod that is not 6’6”; it mostly depends on personal preference and your own fishing techniques.

You can find trout fishing rods as short as 4’6” and as long as 8’6”, it depends on what you’re looking for in a fishing rod.

What Depth Do Trout Feed at?

Trout prefer colder water, and the depth at which they feed depends on the weather conditions.

During hotter summer days, trout can feed as deeply as 50 feet to seek the colder water. On the other hand, in cold winter days, they usually feed at surface level, which is just 15 feet in depth.

So, it really depends on what the weather is like, trout don’t just live in the same depth range all year long.

What is the Difference Between One-piece and Two-Piece Models?

Two-piece models are much more portable than one-piece as the two parts of the rod can be separated for easier storage and travel.

If that same question was asked ten years ago, 1-piece rods were thought to be the better choice because two-piece models have issues of being too weak or separating while you’re fishing.

However, that argument doesn’t really stand anymore. Two-piece rods are getting more and more reliable these days, that I’d even say there’s no significant difference between them.

It depends on what you’re used to and what you prefer, but keep in mind that 2-piece rods are much more convenient to carry around.

Which is Better: Light or Ultralight Rod?

There’s no ultimate answer; it depends on your fishing techniques.

Generally, ultra-light, light, and medium-light power ratings are all suitable for trout fishing. Choosing between them depends on your line’s weight.

Ultralight rods are not the most forgiving as they’re too sensitive to your line’s weight and they might not withstand a line that’s a little too heavy.

Moreover, light rods are a little safer as they can withstand heavier lines, but that takes away from the rod’s sensitivity to the trout’s bite.

So, it depends on your line’s weight. Make sure to choose the power that best suits your techniques, going too heavy or too light could cost you a lot of time and effort.

Final Thoughts

Multiple factors go into choosing the best trout fishing rod, and all those factors depend on you. As we’ve discussed, there are different lengths, grips, materials, and power ratings. Each rod has its own pros and cons, and you should be able to tell which drawback is worth sacrificing and what isn’t.

If you’re looking for my top recommended fishing rod, it is easily the Okuma Celilo. That rod excels in almost every factor. It is made from a graphite composite. Also, it is lightweight, durable, and comes with a comfortable cork handle. Moreover, it comes in a variety of lengths for you to choose the one that fits you the most.

Another rod that I highly recommend is the Ugly Stik Elite. If you know anything about fishing rods, you’d know that Ugly Stik is a huge name in the fishing community. The Elite rod is lightweight, durable, and affordable while still offering high-quality materials. You can’t go wrong with an Ugly Stik.

Now, if you’re on a budget and you want the best possible rod, Ugly Stik is still here for you, this time with the GX2. The rod also comes in a combo with a reel for ultimate money-saving.

Lastly, if you’re willing to pay some extra money for a rod that will provide you with premium fishing experience, the Cadence CR7 is, without a doubt, the one for you.

Reliable Rods You Will Love (and Can Afford)

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