Best Trout Fishing Rods

The 6 Best Trout Fishing Rods in 2023 for All Skill Levels

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod

The GX2 spinning rod is the perfect tool for any trout fishing enthusiast, with its ultra-light power rating, strong graphite and fiberglass composite, stainless steel guides, and foam EVA handle, all backed by a 7-year warranty.

Ugly Stik Carbon Spinning Fishing Rod

Upgrade your trout fishing experience with the durable, lightweight, and well-balanced Ugly Stik Carbon Spinning Fishing Rod, featuring a solid graphite tip for enhanced accuracy and a variety of lengths and power ratings to suit any technique

Okuma Celilo Graphite L

Get the most bang for your buck with the Okuma Celilo, a budget-friendly trout rod with high-quality construction, lightweight design, aluminum oxide guides, and cork grip for extra comfort during extended casting

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

I’ve compiled my 6 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.

The 6 Best Trout Fishing Rods in 2023

1. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod – Best Overall

The GX2 spinning rod is one of the most popular trout fishing rods on the market, and I can’t help but agree.

It’s available in various models, but the one most suited for trout fishing is the 7-feet model, which provides the perfect length to suit any fishing technique and increase casting distance. Moreover, its power rating is ultra-light, which is perfect for detecting the trout’s small bite.

Other models that are suited for trout fishing are the 4’8″ ultra-light and the 5′ light models, but the 7′ ultra-light is my favorite.

The rod is made from a strong graphite and fiberglass composite, which enhance the rod’s durability while maintaining its lightweight. Besides, it comes with stainless steel guides and a clear tip for increased sensitivity and accuracy when casting.

Furthermore, its grip is a foam EVA handle that is comfortable to hold for long durations without feeling fatigued.

The rod comes with a 7-year warranty. 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
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable EVA grip
  • 7-year warranty
  • Clear tip for casting accuracy
  • A variety of models to choose from


  • Poor packaging

Final Verdict

The GX2 spinning rod is a favorite amongst trout anglers for being one of the best rods for trout fishing on the market. It’s durable, lightweight, and comfortable to hold, which will guarantee you have a successful trout fishing trip regardless of your skill level.

2. Ugly Stik Carbon Spinning Fishing Rod – Runner-Up

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

The rod is made from 24-ton graphite which makes it durable but still incredibly lightweight and well-balanced. It also has a solid graphite tip which enhances sensitivity and casting accuracy.

It comes in a variety of lengths that are suitable for trout fishing, starting at 5’6″ all the way to 7’3″, with power ratings ranging between light to medium-heavy. You’re guaranteed to find the perfect combination of length and power rating for any fishing technique.

Furthermore, it comes with stainless steel guides that can handle all kinds of lines, including heavy braid lines, without snapping. It also comes with a Fuji reel seat and a foam EVA handle for a more comfortable grip.


  • High durability
  • High sensitivity and casting accuracy
  • Lightweight and well-balanced
  • Comfortable EVA grip
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Can handle heavy fishing lines
  • A variety of models to choose from


  • Relatively expensive

Final Verdict

The Ugly Stik Carbon spinning fishing rod is one of the lightest Ugly Stik rods, yet it’s highly durable and can handle heavy fishing lines. It’s also well-balanced and comfortable to hold. Even though it’s relatively expensive, its high price is worth it for the quality it offers.

3. Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultralight Trout Rod – Budget Pick

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

Despite its low price, it is constructed from high-quality materials. The blank is made from a graphite composite, and the reel seat is made of stainless steel, which allows decent strength and maintains the rod’s lightweight.

The construction comes with aluminum oxide guides for accuracy when casting and a cork grip for extra comfort to reduce wrist fatigue.

It’s available in lengths from 4’5″ to 7’5″, and they’re all ultra-light in power rating, which is the perfect power rating for most trout fish. That extraordinary length provides the angler with extended casting, which is optimum for fishing in open water.

The only downside for the Okuma Celilo that I can find is that the rod tip might be a little too weak for anything other than trout.


  • Designed specifically for trout
  • Durable construction materials
  • High casting accuracy
  • Affordable price
  • Comfortable cork grip
  • A variety of models to choose from


  • The tip is a little weak
  • Not ideal for other fish species

Final Verdict

The Okuma Celilo Graphite Ultra Light Trout Rod is one of the best budget-friendly rods available on the market. It offers many benefits, such as high durability, casting accuracy, and a comfortable handle, at a relatively cheap price. This makes it ideal for beginner trout anglers on a tight budget looking for an affordable option to get them started.

4. Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod – 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 to 8″ with suitable power ratings for trout fishing that range between ultra-light to medium-light. The rod also comes in power ratings up to medium-heavy, but that is not always suitable for trout.

Trout’s bites require an extra sensitive rod for the angler to feel the light bites, and that’s exactly what this rod offers, as it’s made from a graphite composite. The construction materials are strong; still, the rod is very lightweight and balanced.

Moreover, it comes with a cork and TAC handle for extra comfort and stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts for enhanced casting accuracy.

My only complaint here is that its guides are a little too weak, and they break easily. However, the Fenwick Eagle rods have a 5-year limited warranty to cover any damage.


  • High durability
  • High sensitivity
  • Lightweight and well-balanced
  • 5-year warranty
  • Comfortable cork and TAC grip
  • A variety of models to choose from


  • A little pricey
  • Guides are weak

Final Verdict

The Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod comes in a wide variety of lengths and power ratings; many 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 durable, sensitive, and comfortable to hold.

5. KastKing Valiant Eagle Passage Travel Fishing Rods – Best for Long Fishing Trips

KastKing has a reputation for constantly putting out high-quality products, and these Valiant Eagle Passage travel rods are no exception. These multi-piece rods are designed to be portable, which makes them ideal for going on long fishing trips.

It’s made from IM6 graphite, which provides the rod with high sensitivity to detect the lightest trout bites. It also with graphite or CNC aluminum reel seat, resilient Titanium Oxide guides to handle heavy lines, and a cork handle that is comfortable to hold

The rods come in spinning, casting, fly, and fly models with lengths starting from 5’6″ to 8’6″, which can all be packed to 19″ for easier storage when traveling. In addition, they come in power ratings from medium-light to heavy, but I wouldn’t recommend going higher than medium-light for trout.

However, my favorite feature that makes these rods even more suitable for traveling is that each rod comes with a clear PET tube to store the rod and keep it safe and secure.


  • Portable
  • Easy to pack and store
  • Durable materials
  • High sensitivity
  • Comes with a storage tube
  • Comfortable cork grip
  • Can handle heavy lines
  • A variety of models to choose from


  • A little pricey
  • Only available in fast action

Final Verdict

The KastKing Valiant Eagle Passage Travel Fishing Rods are the best when it comes to portability; they’re easy to pack and store when traveling on long fishing trips. They are multi-piece, but they operate just as smoothly as one-piece and two-piece models. Moreover, the rods are durable, sensitive, and comfortable to hold.

6. Cadence CC4 Spinning Combo – Best for Trophy-Sized Trout

This Cadence CC4 spinning rod and reel combo is exactly what every experienced angler needs. With its high-quality performance and premium features, you’re guaranteed to catch some trophy-sized trout.

The CC4 rod is constructed from a 24-ton carbon graphite composite that enhances its durability and sensitivity. It’s available in a wide range of lengths, actions, and power ratings to suit any trout fishing situation.

It also features quality guides made of stainless steel that can handle all kinds of fishing lines and an ergonomic EVA handle to ensure a comfortable grip when handling the rod for extended periods.

It comes mounted with Cadence’s CS4 spinning reel with a strong carbon composite frame. The reel also features a machined aluminum spool, 7 ball bearings, and an instant anti-reverse bearing to allow smooth and resistance-free casting and retrieving.

This rod and reel combo is not only suitable for trout but also other larger fish, including bass, redfish, walleye, and flounder. However, various experienced anglers have stated that it may not be the best for saltwater fishing.


  • High durability and sensitivity
  • Comes mounted with a spinning reel
  • 7 ball bearings + 1 instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Smooth casting and retrieving
  • Comfortable and ergonomic EVA handle
  • A variety of models to choose from


  • Not suitable for saltwater fishing
  • Relatively expensive

Final Verdict:

The Cadence CC4 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo is the highest quality you can get when it comes to fishing gear. It will enhance your performance in almost any fishing situation and guarantee you catch some trophy-size fish on your trip.

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

How to Choose the Best 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. So before committing to 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 angler with higher sensitivity to feel the trout’s bites. However, keep in mind that fiberglass rods are often more expensive than graphite rods.

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′.

Which Is Better for Trout: Light or Ultralight Rods?

Generally, ultra-light, light, and medium-light power ratings are all suitable for trout fishing. There’s no one right answer to which is better; it depends on your fishing techniques and 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. On the other hand, 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.

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.

Level Up your Trout Fishing

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between One-piece and Two-Piece Rods?

Two-piece rods consist of two parts that can be separated, making them more portable and easier to store. However, one-piece rods are considered better because some two-piece models are prone to being too weak or separating while you’re fishing. It depends on what you’re used to and what you prefer.

Which Rod Lengths are Best Suited for Trout Fishing?

The perfect rod 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 generally find trout fishing rods as short as 4’6″ and as long as 8’6″.

Are Spinning Reels Good for Trout Fishing?

Spinning reels are good for trout fishing, especially if you’re a beginner. They’re cheaper and easier to use than baitcaster reels because they’re less likely to be backlash. However, keep in mind that spinning reels are not the most durable and do not provide the best casting accuracy compared to baitcaster reels.

What Depth Do Trout Feed at?

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

What Are the Best Lures for Trout?

The best trout lures include spoons, spinners, plastic worms, crankbaits, plastic mice tails, and dough baits like Powerbite. These kinds of lures are very appealing to trout because they effectively imitate the scent, appearance, and action of the baitfish that trout normally feed on.

Reliable Rods You Will Love (and Can Afford)

Helpful Resources 

Trout Fishing Basics

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