6 Phenomenal Trout Fishing Rods That Promise EPIC Catches

It is important to cast light lures with extreme accuracy and this is why choosing the best trout rod is crucial. ​Trout come in all shapes and sizes.

They come in as easy and small targets for novices, while the larger ones thoroughly test the skilled anglers. ​When we talk about a decent trout fishing rod, a light rod with fine action is what we actually need.

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out which is the best rod for trout fishing, then we’d recommend the ​​​St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod​ as the best one.

Best Rods for Trout Fishing

​Compare Top Fishing Rods for Trout

ProductOverall ScoreBottom LinePrice
Ugly Stik Elite
82Budget Buy
35% more graphite and plenty of sensitivity
Check Out On Amazon
KastKing Calamus
84​Incredibly lightweight and fairly priced option offering great sensitivityCheck Out On Amazon
St. Croix Triumph
86Top Pick
​Scoring high across various parameters, this deserved to win more than any other rod
Check Out On Amazon
fenwick eagle spinning rod image
Fenwick Eagle
80​Classic look with a high-build pedigree at an affordable priceCheck Out On Amazon
KastKing Perigee II
84Twin-tip technology with premium featuresCheck Out On Amazon
Cadence CR5
84Offers much more value than the price it demandsCheck Out On Amazon

​Detailed Analysis of the Best Trout Fishing Rods

​A good trout rod will allow us to drop our lure exactly where we want it to be. The lure for trout is usually light and a heavy rod doesn’t give us the required action.

Trout are known to get scared easily, thus making an ultralight setup of paramount importance for getting more strikes.

Also, there is a fine line between accurately casting your lure and hammering it into the water.

The latter will result in trout going berserk like the people of King’s Landing as it makes your lure seem like a dragon to the fishes. And no this doesn’t make you the mother of dragons for them.

So this leaves us with two choices. Either you can buy whatever crap Walmart sells us, or we can be smart enough and invest in a quality setup.

Now let’s go ahead and review some of the best options available in the market.

​St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod takes all the accolades and the ‘Top Pick’ award to be crowned as the best rod for trout fishing among its competitors.

Let us dive into an in-depth and detailed analysis as to how and why it happened while also considering the performance of some other rods that have been listed here.

​1. UGLY STIK Elite Spinning Rod

UGLY STIK Elite Spinning Rod - Review
Budget Buy

Overall Score: 82


  • Light in weight
  • ​Both strong and durable
  • ​Easy to carry around


  • Reel seat is small
  • ​Cork handle can cause some discomfort


This rod has a good quality soft-cork handle that gives you a comfortable grip throughout the day while you are out fishing. Some anglers do report the gap between the cork handle to be a cause of discomfort.

Since it weighs lighter than the GX2 model, they have definitely improved in this area and have ended up created a better trout fishing rod. Its size makes it both easy to handle and easy to carry around.


​​Because of the 35% extra graphite, the Ugly Stik Elite is super tough, refined, as well as sturdy.

High-quality guides have allowed it to take a lot of bruises without having to worry about insert pop-outs. ​

Promoted as “virtually indestructible” by the manufacturer,​ this rod doesn’t fail to impress us with sensitivity and flexibility.

​They are a fiberglass-graphite hybrid which gives it an advantage over low quality stuff. It helps in keeping the cost lower and support their claim of “indestructible construction”.

As expected, it result is a small performance hit. ​​For catching fishes like jack’s, snapper and sharks without breaking, it does a good enough job.

Further, it can pull in both small and large fishes easily and has often landed weights including one-pound trout and twenty-eight pound salmons.


​The Ugly Stik is known to cast extremely well, provides plenty of tip-sensitivity​ and therefore detects even the slightest nibble.

Ugly Stik’s signature ‘Clear Tip’ brings in even more sensitivity in spite of a sturdy build. Whether you hook a big rainbow trout or a small brook trout, this rod will not let you down.

​The reel seat on an exposed blank causes some concern but we have cushioned stainless steel hoods which make up by keeping the reel in place, especially in times where most reels would be ready to pop-out.

The rod action goes from ultralight to medium-heavy. No doubt its one of the best choices for trout fishing.

​Even with so much to offer, the biggest problem lies with guides and braided line. If you prefer using braided line, then you are in for a shock, consider a different rod. This by no means is for you.

Apart from that, the reel seat is pretty small which causes frustration among anglers as soon as they realize the reel for which they so excitedly bought the rod, doesn’t even fit.

​Ugly Stik can give you a remarkable experience.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

​With the company backing it along the lines of being “bomb-proof”, you can expect the Ugly Stik Elite to be extremely durable.

The graphite-fiberglass composite gives it a good amount of strength and a fairly good sensitivity. Presence of one-piece stainless steel guides (Ugly tuff) make it a corrosion-resistant product.

Thus, anglers have found this rod to be durable with only a few occurrences of the rod snapping into two. Main reasons for these were observed to be mishandling.

Hence, you won’t have to worry much about the cost of repair and maintenance.


​An affordable rod which has to offer impressive performances for beginners and experienced anglers alike. One of the best ultralight spinning rod for trout fishing if you are on budget.

Deemed as an all-rounder, the price point is attractive and it becomes a hell of a tough decision to not choose this given its features and market reputation.

Do check out my in-depth Ugly Stik Elite Review if you want to know more about this rod.

​2. KASTKING Calamus Spinning Rod

KASTKING Calamus Spinning Rod - Review

Overall Score: 84


  • ​Feels extremely light
  • ​Very sensitive
  • Has a unique look and feel


  • Can cause discomfort after a long day due to the lower handle.


The ​Kastking Calamus is extremely light-weight​​and this is the biggest USP of this rod​​​. Anglers fall in love with this feature the most.

Because when I say its ultralight, it really feels like the lightest trout rod on earth. Only the 4’6″ rod is a 1-piece model. All others are two-piece designs and this makes the rod easy to carry.

Premium-quality EVA has been used in the handle. ​Coming on to the concerning part, the ​lower handle has proved to be uncomfortable to some users when they used the rod for extended periods.


​Since it weighs just around three ounces, it is easy to question its durability. But have no doubts regarding its robust construction.

The ultra-light IM7 micro polish blanks having a high-density graphite core have been further protected by a covering layer of carbon tape.

KastKing Calamus also has a 2-piece SKSS reel seat featuring a split-type handle.

​Due to the high-quality materials like premium titanium used in construction, I haven’t heard too many complaints about its ability to survive for a long time.

One or two cases of the tip snapping while use has come into my notice though.


​With a variety of lengths available, the smallest being 4’6″ and the largest being 7′, the KastKing Calamus Ultra-Light Weight Spinning Fishing Rod has a rod action in the range of ultralight to medium-heavy.

This rod has been rated for 2-6 lbs line weight and 1/16 to 1/4 oz of lure weight. Frankly speaking, th​is rod has commendable sensitivity.​​​

Modified spigot ferrules have been known to deliver exceptional performances time and again.

The guides (including the tip) consist of premium V-Mark titanium frames and rings which further enhance the rod’s sensitivity to even the tiniest of nibbles.

This rod will do wonders to your trout fishing game and take it leaps ahead.

Just a bit of a side note though as nothing in the world is perfect. A tiny lot of users have found it to be a bit stiff for the rated action.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

​There have been no known cases of damages to the rod even while my team of anglers tried out the rod.

Supported by KastKing’s ‘Total Peace of Mind Warranty’, these rods are here to stay and thus gain a high-score in this section.

​Since it suits itself well to trout fishing, it is certainly worth your time and money.


​Existing in roughly the same price range as the Ugly Stik Elite, these two pose a great competition to each other. This fact is quite clear from the ratings above as they aren’t far from each other.

Overall, KastKing’s Calamus is a ​superb and rightly-priced option​. A good buy for nearly all your trout fishing applications.

​3. ST. CROIX Triumph Spinning Rod

ST. CROIX Triumph Spinning Rod - Review
Top Pick

Overall Score: 86


  • Balanced and sensitive
  • Great warranty
  • ​Premium quality material
  • Extremely durable


  • A bit expensive for your pocket
  • ​Some anglers report that the tip is a bit stiff than what they would have liked


​Every part of this rod shows the 70+ years that St Croix has been in business.​ With parts made from the highest quality material, it also encompasses an ergonomic design.

Every rod in this St. Croix series comes with a high-comfort cork grip handle and the equally good hard aluminum oxide line guides.​

St. Croix is a favorite label among anglers not without any reason. They have earned that respect in the market.


​Aptly suited for trout fishing, the St Croix Triumph spinning rods are made up of high-modulus SCII graphite, ​which in layman terms is awesome and cool stuff.​​​


​Designed to satisfy any angler, the range has a variety of rod actions and powers. The material of rod guides decreases the weight by up to 20%-30% without any loss in sensitivity. ​

You also have the choice of a 2-piece rod. ​However, this is going to result in reduced performance in terms of responsiveness and castability.

If maximum execution is what you are aiming for then the 1-piece rod will be the perfect choice for you.

Armed with ultra-penetration and an optimized weight & balance it gives a premium and a comfortable experience.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

What happens when you put all the top-quality materials in one place and design one hell of a good product out of it? Well, it stays with you for a long long time.

With the all famous Fuji reel seat and boasting a five year warranty from St Croix, this rod clinches the deal.

Top it with ‘St. Croix’s Superstar Service’ and our choice becomes easier, as it shows off the longevity of the rod and all its components.


​You know what, this rod might seem a bit pricey for a spinning rod but it worth its price. Save those extra bucks wherever you can.

Drink a one less coffee at Starbucks, heck even go hungry for one or two meals but if you are really passionate about angling like us and are ready to do anything for it then this is a small price to pay.

​Don’t try to save by buying cheap rods from Walmart as this is probably the best rod for trout fishing available in the market today.

St. Croix doesn’t find its match easily. It even edges out premium competition like the G. Loomis because it has loads features at half the price of those expensive high-end buys.

​St. Croix Triumph provides us a luxury fishing experience. The cheap and popular alternatives might save you some money now but in the long run they don’t stand a chance against this beauty.

The beautiful structure of this spinning rod makes this the most preferred rod among anglers.

​4. FENWICK Eagle Spinning Rod

FENWICK Eagle Spinning Rod For Trout- Review

Overall Score: 80


  • Chip-resistant burled cork handle
  • Non-corrosive parts
  • ​Sensitive blank


  • Guides are a known problem area
  • A few tip snapping instances reported


​Fenwicks is the foremost company in the fishing rods niche that brought forward the concept of graphite rods.

With handles made out of burled cork, they provide the look and feel of traditional cork but are actually more chip-resistant and durable than most conventional spinning rods out there.

This rod comes with a graphite blank like most rods and is suited for catching those prized trout.


​Fenwicks Eagle spinning rod lineage combines classic-heritage looks but in no way, it means that other important factors have been compromised.

With modern performance and engineering, it not only does its work well but also does it for a long time while serving you.

​Stainless steel guides with chromium plated SS304 inserts are roughly half the weight of their aluminum-oxide counterparts. But does it compromise its strength? No. Does it increase its efficiency? Yes.

​The introduction of these stainless steel components, make this rod suited for longevity and durability but still, there have been quite a few cases of the rod tip breaking under light weights.

Moreover, anglers have found the guides to be undesirable and of low quality.


​The Eagle range of spinning rods is tremendously well balanced and offers some great casting characteristics. All the way down to a 5’6″ model, you have the ability to fish some pretty decent trout.

​An ultralight model of 8-feet in length is a fairly rare occurrence and applicable if and when you would need to cast very light lures and that too at a long distance.

The Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod is exceptionally suitable for trout, basses, walleyes, and of course, the salmons as even the ​medium action ones, perform like a fast-action rod.

​Chromium-plated (SS304) guides can handle tough and braided lines which is something even popular choices struggle with.

For an overall pleasant trout fishing experience, its tip is very soft and sensitive. Hence, it doesn’t fail to identify even the slightest movement. 

Maintenance & Repair Cost

The presence of stainless-steel inserts and guide frames in this rod make it corrosion resistant, super-durable and lightweight at the same time.

This means it is possible to use it in saltwater too. Also, these guides are pretty light and long-lasting than your average aluminum guides which I so frequently encounter.

If there is a rod one can be comfortable with while fishing small trout in high mountain creeks, this is it. 

All in all, due to undesirable guides, problems related to it, and snapping of tips etc. it would cost you some amount to keep this in an excellent working condition.

Apart from that, it has been known to cause no harm.

Also the company has been known to provide free of cost replacements within the warranty period if the process is diligently followed.


​Showcasing its company’s high quality, it comes with a classic olive-bronzed and timeless look.

Although, Fenwick is not as famous as some of its more luxurious competitors like the G.Loomis or St. Croix, even then it provides some of the best mid-budget fishing rods. 

​Offering a very high-quality build pedigree at an affordable price, it shows us why these mid-value companies still exist in the market against bigger brands. ​

​Arguably, deemed by many as the best value for the money in trout fishing rods, it is a great choice for trout anglers who are relatively new or the experienced fishers that have been trout fishing for quite some time now.​

You might want to check out my Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod Review to know more!

​5. KASTKING Perigee II Spinning Rod

KASTKING Perigee II Spinning Rod - Review

Overall Score: 84


  • ​Interchangeable rod tips
  • Premium features at stunning price
  • Lightweight and really sturdy


  • ​Few cases of tip snapping off
  • ​Gap between the tip and the handle part


​Perigee II fishing rods have risen up the ranks due to KastKing using its best quality components in it.

Comprising of the world famous Fuji O-Ring line guides, graphite high-strength reel seats which are ergonomically designed and fine-tuned, it instantly separates itself from the normal lot.

With high-density EVA handles for an extremely comfortable grip, a Saf-T Keeper hook holder, the finest sensitive carbon-fiber lightweight rod blanks, it puts many other rods to shame.

​And the outstanding cosmetics just contribute to the “bare and beautiful” finish.

You are guaranteed to fish all day long and still not feel an iota of fatigue because the high carbon blanks offer a powerful, yet a very lightweight rod. 

Do check out my in-depth review of the KastKing Preigee II rod!


​With a 24-ton premium Japanese carbon-fiber blank fitted with Fuji guides, the KastKing Perigee II is a beast of a rod.

It also features premium reel seat which doesn’t make your fishing adventure turn into a nightmare due to the problems many reel seats tend to develop over time.

All Perigee II 2-piece fishing rods are manufactured from Toray 24-ton carbon matrix KastFlex blank technology for power, strength, and accuracy.

This does wonders for your rod and will keep it like new for years to come. ​There have been some extremely rare occurrences of tip snapping, eyelets falling though.

A few users also reported on the tip not fully inserting into the handle due to some gap.


​Like with every other rod, here too you have the option to choose a 1-piece or a 2-piece rod. The latter features a twin tip technology.

This simply means that when you buy a 2-piece rod, you are actually buying 3-pieces. It’s basically 2-in-1 rod. ​The twin-tip two-piece rod brings with a special spigot guide.

This is KastKing’s most coveted and patented power transition system. With the help of this system, the power to weight ratio is evened out to a large extent.

When you set the hook and get a lot of pull, the end of the rod is going to feel like a single piece. ​The power transition happens all the way through rather than a hard rigid point at the center​. 

Available in astonishing twenty-nine size options, ranging from ultralights to heavy in both the spinning and bait-caster classifications, they are applicable in a wide variety of angling situations and every angler can find at-least one rod of their choice.​

Specialized high-technology computer control wrapping at four angles (0⁰, 45⁰, 90⁰, 135⁰) keeps the power flowing.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

​You can expect some premium-quality stuff over here.

KastKing is an ICAST award-winning manufacturer and the KastKing Perigee II graphite fishing rods are one of the best rods for the money in the fishing tackle market!


​Use them for fishing basses, trout, walleyes, salmons, catfish, or steelheads. Go insane in the saltwater. It’s all up to you. These rods will handle every situation remarkably well.

​The series was designed as a replacement to the original Perigee but with the thought of a little more affordability.

The new KastKing Perigee II is a really an amazing rod for the money.

​6. CADENCE CR5 Spinning Rod

CADENCE CR5 Spinning Rod For Trout - Review

Overall Score: 84


  • ​Great value for your money
  • ​Good sensitivity
  • Impressive eyes


  • ​Fore-grip loosens with extended use
  • ​Unattractive finishing
  • ​Reel seat doesn’t stay tight


​Targeting a bass, a walleye, or a trout? Or are you after high-demand inshore lures like redfish, flounder and spotted trout? This fishing rod advances your freshwater game.​

​​You have the option to either choose the split grip or the full grip system.

Made with a combination of cork and EVA, the Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod is functional and super comfortable. Not only it is lightweight but it also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

But anglers find this rod to be a bit difficult to handle when they have gone for long hours of fishing. Otherwise, it is a comfortable rod and a pleasure to fish with.


​The construction material is 30-ton graphite for durability. Stainless steel guides make it corrosion-resistant.

You will be amazed by the longevity this rod brings with it.


​Due to high-grade materials used in construction, the rod quality gives you a supreme fishing experience. The Cadence CR 5 has been designed to provide multipurpose fishing functionality.

With easy to adjust Fuji reel seat and SiC guides​ the performance and durability are increased exponentially.

Sometimes you might see a bend when you try to haul a lure, but still, the rod has more than enough power to pull in nice big fish.

Overall it is a nice functional blank but the constant loosening of the real seat and the fore-grip handle does interfere with proper functions of the rod.

Maintenance & Repair Cost

​The durable construction and a ​sturdy design minimize the cost associated with repair and maintenance.

Also, there have been no prominently known issues with either the rod or the manufacturer’s warranty associated with it.


Despite being from a brand that is still trying to make its name among other giants, the performances of this rod has made a mark in the minds of all the anglers.

​Packing in loads of good features and value twice higher than the price, you are will definitely have a great fishing experience with the Cadence CR5.

Remember, At Least 7 Feet with a Fast-action and Light Power

​Hope, you now have a clear idea why I chose the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod​ ​​as my top trout fishing rod choice.​​​

​​​​Whether you are a novice or an extremely skilled angler, I hope my guide has given you loads to think about.

The whole purpose of this article was to give you a better idea of what you should be looking for when you buy your next rod for trout fishing.

​The important points are summarized below:

  • ​Keep in mind the body of water you’re working on, ​to determine rod length.
  • You need a longer rod – at least 7-feet long– with a fast-action and light power.​
  • Pair it up with a light line.

The rods suggested above meets our criteria and would be really good buys for you.

In case you get confused, just close your eyes and go with the ‘Top Pick’ as it has been introduced to make things easy for you.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not freshwater fishing in the nearest creek or enjoying saltwater fishing by taking boats far in the ocean.

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