Light VS Ultralight Rod for Trout [A Quick Comparison]

There’s a wide range of weights and actions when it comes to fishing rods. It’s quite common for trout anglers to use light and ultra-light rods, but since both kinds of rods have different properties, it’s difficult to determine which of them is better.

Ultralight rods might be better for catching trout than light rods. That is because ultralight rods have higher sensitivity which will allow you to detect bites more easily, and they are the most ideal for casting light lures with more accuracy.

Keep reading to learn more about what the weight and action of a fishing rod mean, the differences between using a light vs ultralight rod for trout fishing, along with the factors you want to consider when choosing your rod.

What Does the Weight and Action of a Fishing Rod Mean?

Fishing rods come in different weights and actions, which can affect how they perform, particularly how you handle your rod and the kind of fish you can catch with it.

The weight of the rod is also known as its power; it refers to the rod’s ability to withstand pressure. In other words, it has to do with how much the rod bends when a certain amount of pressure is applied to it.

Rods have a wide range of weights or power that includes Ultra-Light, Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy, and Ultra Heavy. Generally, heavier rods are more suitable for targeting large fish species, while lighter rods work better for targeting smaller fish.

As for the action, it refers to the location where the rod bends when pressure is applied as well as the speed at which the rod returns to its original position.  It differs depending on the shape of the rod and the material used to manufacture it.

The action of a rod ranges between slow, medium, and fast. Rods with slow action will bend all the way down to the reel, while rods with fast action only bend at the tip.

The Difference Between Light Rods and Ultralight Rods

Both light rods and ultralight rods are light in weight, as their name implies, with fast action that allows them to bend mostly at the tip. However, there are some differences in their performance that might make them more suitable for certain conditions.

Check the following table for a quick comparison between the benefits that light rods and ultra-light rods can offer you.

Light Fishing RodUltralight Fishing Rod
It can handle more weight which makes it more suitable for targeting larger trout species as well as various other game fish species.It is better for casting smaller and lighter lures with high accuracy.
It can handle larger and heavier lures without reducing the sensitivity too much. It is more flexible at the tip, which increases its sensitivity allowing you to detect subtle fish nibbles and bites easily.
It can help increase casting distance as the stiffer blank allows you to transfer more energy on the cast and get the lure out farther.It can be more fun to fish with as it makes you feel more of the fight, which can be rewarding for trophy and sport anglers.
It comes at a relatively low price. 

Light VS Ultralight Rod for Trout: Which Is Better?

If you primarily intend to target trout, it’s best to go with an ultralight rod. That is because targeting trout usually requires using a small lure which works best with ultralight rods. Ultralight rods will also offer you better casting accuracy and increased sensitivity to detect subtle fish bites.

The best length of ultralight rod for trout fishing is between 5 and 6 feet. Some anglers also use 7-foot rods with lighter reels and lures. The length of your rod usually depends on your fishing technique and the size of the fish you’re targeting.

However, if you intend to catch other fish species which might be even larger than trout, it’s better to go with a light rod as it will be more versatile and can withstand higher lure weights.

Each rod has its own uses and benefits, so your choice for trout fishing will mainly depend on your preference, fishing experience, and the conditions you’re fishing in.

Top Recommendations for the Best Light and Ultralight Rods for Trout Fishing

Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultralight Trout Rod – Best Ultralight Rod for Trout

The best ultralight rod for Trout is the Okuma Celilo, which is available in a wide range of lengths from 4’5″ to 7’5″, but the best length for trout is between 5 and 6 feet.

The rod is lightweight yet sturdy, as the blank is constructed from a graphite composite, and the reel seat is constructed from stainless steel. It also features high-quality guides made of aluminum oxide to enhance casting accuracy as well as a split cork handle to enhance comfort

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod – Best Light Rod for Trout

The best light rod for trout is the Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod. It’s also available in a wide range of lengths, but the best lengths for trout are 5’6″ or 6’6″.

This trout spinning rod is constructed from high-quality material, including graphite and fiberglass composite, which enhances durability, and features stainless steel guides and a clear tip for more accurate casting and sensitivity. In addition, the EVA handle is highly comfortable and reduces wrist fatigue.

Other Factors You Need to Consider When Choosing a Trout Fishing Rod

a photo of fishing rods to show the difference between Light VS Ultralight Rod for Trout


The material used in manufacturing your fishing rod can greatly affect its performance. The most common materials used in manufacturing fishing rods are fiberglass, graphite, or composite materials. Each material has some benefits as well as drawbacks.

  • Fiberglass rods are strong and highly durable. They’re also easy to manufacture, which makes them relatively cheap. However, they are not the best when it comes to sensitivity which makes it hard to detect subtle bites. They’re also heavy, which can be inconvenient if you’re going to be holding the rod for a long time
  • Graphite rods are very sensitive, which allows you to detect bites easily. They’re also light in weight which makes handling and casting them easier. However, they can be more brittle due to their increased stiffness, and they’re much more expensive compared to fiberglass rods.
  • Composite rods are basically a mix between graphite and fiberglass. They’re highly versatile as they offer flexibility without adding too much weight or reducing sensitivity. However, they’re the most expensive out of all types of rods.


The length of your fishing rod can affect how far you can cast.

  • Longer rods will allow you to cast further, but they can be lacking when it comes to controlling and accuracy.
  • Shorter rods offer more control, but they’re limited when it comes to how far you can cast them.

Handle Design

Rod handles come in two main designs, which are the pistol grip and the trigger stick.

  • The pistol grip design has a short contoured handle with a hook for your index finger. This handle design will allow you to cast with more accuracy.
  • The trigger stick design has a longer handle, so you to cast using both hands. This handle design will allow you to cast further, and it’s generally more suitable for targeting larger fish species.

Level Up your Trout Fishing

Reliable Rods You Will Love (and Can Afford)

If you like this article, please share it or pin it, you can find the share buttons below. We will really appreciate it ❤️

Similar Posts