10 Best Trout Fishing Rods In 2024 Tested And Reviewed

Best Trout Fishing Rods

Written By Shawn Lentz

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Having the right trout fishing rod can make all the difference for your fun and success on the water. With a multitude of options to choose from, finding the perfect fishing rod can take considerable trial and error. I've put together this comprehensive list of 10 best trout fishing rods to help narrow it down some.

Whether you're an experienced angler or just starting out, this article is your guide to finding the best trout fishing rod. From budget-friendly options to top-of-the-line models, we've got you covered. Get ready to reel in a hog with confidence and precision!

Best Trout Fishing Rods At A Glance

How I Chose The Best Rods For Trout

I have been fishing for trout for more than 30 years, so I had a pretty good idea what the ultimate trout fishing rods would be, but I wanted some other input. I reached out all members of the Fisherman's Authority staff, friends that trout fish and other outdoor writers that I know.

I asked everyone what their ultimate trout rod would be and why. Every response was about spinning rods. Surprisingly, there were no fly fishing rods in the responses, so we will save the fly fishing rods for another article. Once I had a list of spinning rods, I gathered them from numerous sources and began testing them.

I used them on small trout streams, larger rivers, lakes and ponds stocked with trout.

Some rods are better for small streams and others are better for lakes and large rivers.

I included that in my reviews, and you can the results of my testing below.

Best Trout Fishing Rod Reviews

Best Overall: St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod

St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod

When it comes to fishing rods, the St. Croix brand is renowned for its commitment to craftsmanship and innovation. A favorite among seasoned anglers, the St. Croix Premier boasts a sleek and visually appealing design. It’s meticulously handcrafted with high-quality materials, including a premium SCII graphite blank, that provides both sensitivity and strength.

The Premier features smooth, stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts, ensuring durability and effortless line flow. A Fuji DPS reel seat adds an extra touch of quality and reliability to the overall design.

If you're looking for a high performer, the St. Croix Premier is it! Its medium-fast action gives exceptional sensitivity, enabling anglers to feel even the slightest nibbles. The rod's power and responsiveness make it versatile enough to handle a wide range of fishing techniques and species.

Whether you're casting lures or working with live bait, the Premier offers excellent control and accuracy, allowing for precise casts and smooth retrieves.

What We Like

  • Superior build quality
  • Exceptional sensitivity
  • Versatility
  • Comfortable cork grip
  • 5-year warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • High price range
  • Limited length and power options

The St. Croix Premier lives up to its reputation as a premium fishing rod. Its exceptional build quality, sensitivity, and versatile performance make it a top choice for anglers seeking reliability and precision on the water. While the price may be a consideration for some, the investment in this rod is well worth it for those looking to elevate their trout fishing experience.

St. Croix Trout Series Spinning Rod

For trout enthusiasts who demand nothing but the best, the St. Croix Trout Series is a standout choice. With precision engineering and dedication to quality, St. Croix delivers yet again with this exceptional rod. The St. Croix Trout Series exhibits the same commitment to craftsmanship that sets the brand apart. It features a lightweight yet durable SCII graphite blank, specifically designed for the unique needs of trout fishing.

Finely tuned actions, combined with lightweight stainless steel guides and aluminum oxide inserts, ensure precise line control and optimal sensitivity. With its sleek and eye-catching design, the Trout Series Spinning Rod is a true testament to St. Croix's attention to detail.

The St. Croix Trout Series is available in a range of lengths and powers, allowing anglers to choose the perfect rod for their preferred fishing technique. Its fast action provides impressive sensitivity, enabling anglers to feel every subtle nibble. The rod's moderate power offers the perfect balance for casting lightweight lures and presenting delicate bait. With its exceptional backbone, it provides the necessary strength for battling feisty trout while still maintaining a light touch.

What We Like

  • Specialized trout design
  • Excellent sensitivity and control
  • Versatile enough for other light/medium freshwater species
  • Excellent durability
  • 5-year warranty with great customer support

What We Don’t Like

  • Mid to high-range price
  • Limited application for other freshwater fish species

For avid trout anglers seeking a rod that excels in performance and quality, the St. Croix Trout Series is a top choice. Its specialized design, exceptional sensitivity, and precise control make it an excellent companion for targeting trout in various fishing conditions. 

Like the Premier, the price may be a consideration for some, but the investment in this rod is well worth it for those seeking an edge to hook a trout.

G Loomis Trout Series Spinning Rod

For discerning fisherman willing to invest in premium fishing equipment, the G Loomis Trout Series Spinning Rod stands out as the ultimate splurge rod. G Loomis is known for its innovative engineering and relentless pursuit of excellence, and the Trout Series Rod exemplifies these qualities.

The G Loomis Trout Series boasts impeccable design and exceptional build quality. Crafted with the finest materials, including a high-modulus graphite blank, this rod delivers unmatched sensitivity and strength.

Featuring high-quality Fuji guides with Alconite inserts, the G Loomis ensures smooth line flow and minimal friction. The premium-grade cork handle offers a comfortable and secure grip, allowing all-day fishing without fatigue. From the sleek aesthetics to the flawless craftsmanship, every detail of the G Loomis Trout Series exudes luxury.

When it comes to performance, the G Loomis Trout Series Rod is in a league of its own. Meticulously engineered to provide unparalleled sensitivity, it allows anglers to detect the subtlest strikes and movements. The rod's fast action delivers impressive casting distance and accuracy, making it ideal for precision casting. The exceptional backbone ensures superior hook-setting power and control during the fight, helping you land the hardiest of trout.

What We Like

  • Unrivaled Sensitivity
  • Precise and long-distance casting
  • Exceptional Craftsmanship
  • Lightweight and balanced
  • Lifetime warranty with excellent customer support

What We Don’t Like

  • High Price Point
  • May not be as versatile for other species or fishing techniques

For those seeking the pinnacle of trout fishing performance, the G Loomis Trout Series Rod is the ultimate splurge option. It’s unmatched sensitivity, precise casting capabilities, and impeccable craftsmanship set it apart from the competition. While the higher price point may deter some, anglers who demand the very best will find that the investment in this rod is well worth it.

Temple Fork Outfitters Trout-Panfish Spinning Rod

Thanks to its exceptional versatility and performance, the Temple Fork Outfitters Trout-Panfish Rod has been designated our staff favorite. Designed to excel in targeting trout and panfish, this rod offers a well-rounded fishing experience for anglers of all skill levels.

Balancing an excellent blend of design and build quality, the Temple Fork Outfitters Trout-Panfish Rod is constructed with a lightweight and responsive IM6 graphite blank. 

Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts, ensure smooth line flow and reduced friction during casting and retrieval. The cork handle provides a comfortable grip and added sensitivity, allowing anglers to detect very subtle movements.

With its moderate-fast action, the Temple Fork Outfitters Rod allows for precise presentations and accurate casts, while its backbone provides sufficient strength to handle hard-fighting rainbows or panfish. Whatever your fishing techniques and conditions, this rod offers the ability to adapt.

What We Like

  • Highly versatile
  • Balanced sensitivity and power
  • Lightweight and responsive
  • Long-lasting durability and reliability
  • Affordable Price

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited Power Options
  • Less specialized

The Temple Fork Outfitters Trout-Panfish Rod has rightfully earned its status as a staff favorite due to its versatility, performance, and affordable price. Whether you're targeting trout or panfish, this rod delivers a balanced and enjoyable fishing experience. While it may not offer the same level of specialization as some high-end models, it caters to a wide range of anglers seeking reliability, responsiveness, and value.

St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

The St. Croix Triumph has garnered high praise and acclaim from anglers, earning its reputation as a top choice for both performance and value. As a highly-rated fishing rod, it embodies St. Croix's commitment to quality craftsmanship and exceptional fishing experiences.

With well-designed construction that strikes a balance between performance and affordability, the St. Croix Triumph features a premium SCII graphite blank, delivering a great combination of sensitivity and durability. The rod's Fuji reel seat enhances reliability and comfort during extended fishing sessions.

Hard aluminum oxide guides ensure smooth line flow and reduce friction. With its sleek and visually appealing design, the Triumph showcases St. Croix's attention to detail.

The St. Croix Triumph's medium to fast action provides excellent sensitivity, allowing anglers to feel subtle strikes. Offering a versatile range of power options, it caters well to various fishing techniques and species. The Triumph excels in accuracy and control, enabling precise casts and optimal lure presentation. With its backbone and strength, it can handle the fight of the wiliest of trout and most freshwater species.

What We Like

  • Exceptional value
  • Premium materials and construction
  • Excellent sensitivity
  • Wide range of power options
  • Suitable for a wide range of freshwater techniques and species

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited specialty features
  • Moderate weight may lead to increased fatigue

As a highly rated trout rod, the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod delivers exceptional performance and value. With its reliable construction, sensitivity, and versatility, it caters to a wide range of freshwater fishing enthusiasts. While the Triumph may not have all the specialized features of more expensive rods, its affordability and overall performance make it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced anglers alike.

Most Sensitive: Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod

Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod

Looking for ultra sensitivity? The Fenwick HMG the best trout rod for sensitivity! The world’s first graphite rod offers exceptional craftsmanship, performance, and delivers unrivaled sensitivity with the HMG Spinning Rod.

Crafted with a lightweight high-modulus graphite blank, the Fenwick HMG offers strength and enhanced responsiveness, allowing anglers to feel the  most subtle strikes and nibbles. Fenwick's carbon-bound technology further amplifies sensitivity, providing a distinct advantage on the water. Fenwick's commitment to both aesthetics and performance can be seen from the rod’s sleek design, and the fast action enhances responsiveness, ensuring quick hook sets and optimal control.

Casting with the HMG Rod is a breeze, as it allows for accurate and precise lure presentations. Whether targeting finicky bass or elusive trout, this Fenwick HMG gives anglers an edge.

What We Like

  • Unmatched sensitivity
  • Lightweight and responsive feel
  • Available in various lengths and power ratings
  • Excellent build quality
  • Legacy of innovation

What We Don’t Like

  • Mid to high-price range
  • May lack some specialized features

The Fenwick HMG Spinning Rod offers anglers unmatched responsiveness and control. Its exceptional sensitivity, lightweight design, and reliable construction make it a top choice for discerning anglers seeking an edge in their fishing endeavors. Despite a higher price point, the investment in the Fenwick HMG is well worth it for those prioritizing sensitivity.

Best For Beginners: Ugly Stik Elite Ultralight

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

The Ugly Stik Elite Ultralight has established itself as the go-to option for beginners entering the world of fishing. With its user-friendly design and durable construction, this rod offers a perfect balance of affordability and performance.

Ugly Stik Elite features a robust and reliable design, specifically crafted to withstand the learning curve of beginner anglers. Graphite and fiberglass composite construction offers excellent durability and strength while maintaining a lightweight feel.

The Clear Tip design enhances sensitivity and allows beginners to detect slight nibbles. The comfortable cork handle provides a secure grip and reduces fatigue during long fishing sessions.

Designed with beginners in mind, the Ugly Stik Elite Ultralight Rod delivers impressive performance on the water. Its ultra-light power and fast action make it ideal for finesse fishing and targeting small to medium-sized fish. The rod's forgiving nature allows novice anglers to make mistakes and learn without sacrificing performance.

Whether you’re using spinners, crankbaits, or salmon eggs, the Ugly Stik Elite Ultralight Rod provides the versatility and control beginners need to develop their skills.

What We Like

  • Beginner-friendly design
  • Durable construction
  • Enhanced sensitivity
  • Secure and comfortable cork grip
  • Affordable price

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited power for targeting larger fish species

For beginners venturing into the world of fishing, the Ugly Stik Elite Ultralight is a great companion. With its user-friendly design, durability, and affordability, it offers an excellent balance of performance and value. Novice anglers can rely on this rod to develop their skills and enjoy a range of freshwater fishing experiences. While it may lack the specialization of higher-end rods, the Ugly Stik Elite Ultralight remains the best choice for beginners seeking a reliable and forgiving rod.

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Rod and Reel Spinning Combo

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Rod and Reel Spinning Combo is the ultimate package designed for beginner anglers. Combining a well-crafted rod and reel, this combo offers affordability, performance, and convenience.

The Micro Lite Elite Combo features a lightweight graphite composite rod that is sensitive, but durable. With a medium-light power and fast action, it can accommodate a wide range of fishing applications. Complementing the rod, the spinning reel has a smooth drag system, ensuring ease of use and reliable performance. The combo's compact and lightweight design makes it easy for beginners to handle and transport.

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Combo delivers reliable performance on the water, specifically tailored for beginners. The rod's sensitive blank allows anglers to feel subtle strikes and movements, enhancing their fishing experience. You'll love the reel's smooth drag system, as it enables seamless line retrieval and effortless drag adjustments. The combo's balanced and responsive nature facilitates accurate casting and control over presentations.

What We Like

  • Beginner-friendly combo
  • Affordable price
  • Versatile performance
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Reliable performance

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited specialization
  • Lower durability

For beginner anglers seeking an affordable and comprehensive fishing package, the Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Elite Rod and Reel Spinning Combo is the ideal choice. With its user-friendly design, versatile performance, and accessible price, this combo provides an excellent platform for learning and developing fishing skills. While it may lack high-end specialization, the Micro Lite Elite Combo delivers reliable performance and convenience, making it the best combo for novice anglers beginning their angling journey.

RELATED: Best Trout Spinning Reel

Best 3 Piece Pack Rod: Ugly Stik GX2

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Boasting rugged and durable construction that has made the Ugly Stik brand famous, the Ugly Stik GX2's graphite and fiberglass composite blank provides great strength and sensitivity. Its 3-piece design enables easy disassembly and compact storage, making it ideal for travel or backpacking.

The Ugly Tuff guides enhance durability and promote smooth line flow, while the comfortable EVA grip ensures a secure and pleasant hold.

Ugly Stik GX2 delivers impressive performance despite its portable design. The combination of graphite and fiberglass in the blank offers good sensitivity, while having enough backbone to handle larger fish. With its medium power and fast action, the GX2 accommodates various fishing techniques and species.

What We Like

  • Portability and convenience
  • Durable construction
  • Sensitivity and strength
  • Accommodates a wide range of fishing techniques
  • Reputable trusted brand

What We Don’t Like

  • Slightly heavier weight

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is the ultimate choice for anglers in search of a portable and reliable 3-piece pack rod. Its durable construction, portability, and versatility make it the best option for those who enjoy fishing on the go. Trust in the Ugly Stik brand and enjoy the convenience of a pack rod without compromising on performance.

Best Budget: Bass Pro Shops Power Plus Graphite

Bass Pro Shops Power Plus Graphite Spinning Rod

Featuring a lightweight graphite/fiberglass composite construction, Bass Pro Shops Power Plus Graphite Rod strikes a deadly balance between durability and flexibility.

Medium power and fast action make it surprisingly versatile for a budget spinning rod. Stainless steel guides promote smooth line flow and reduce friction, giving you longer and more accurate casts. The EVA handle provides a secure grip, ensuring comfort during extended fishing sessions.

Despite its wallet-friendly price, the Bass Pro Shops Power Plus Graphite delivers impressive performance on the water. You won’t find the same level of sensitivity as higher-end rods. But the composite construction offers sufficient sensitivity to detect strikes, while the medium power provides enough backbone to handle moderate-sized fish.

What We Like

  • Affordable price and exceptional value
  • Versatility
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Smooth line flow
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Can double as a bass fishing rod

What We Don’t Like

  • Good, but limited sensitivity

For anglers on a budget, the Bass Pro Shops Power Plus Graphite is a great choice. With its affordable price, versatile performance, and durable construction, this rod provides excellent value for money. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler looking for a reliable backup rod, the Power Plus Graphite delivers the performance you need without straining your wallet.

Fast action? Check. Accurate and efficient hook sets? Double check. Get your fish-on without breaking the bank with the Bass Pro Shops Power Plus Graphite Spinning Rod.

RELATED: Best Trout Fishing Line

Things To Consider When Choosing A Trout Rod

fisherman with big trout

Type Of Trout Fishing That You Will Be Doing

Consider the specific type of trout fishing you'll be engaging in. Will you be fishing small streams or larger rivers, lakes or ponds? Different techniques will require different rod characteristics.

Will you be casting lighter lures, or heavy lures? Are you targeting small fish or bigger fish?

Also, will you be fishing with bait, or even trolling for trout?

All of these things will come into play when you are choosing the best rods for your style of fishing.

RELATED: Best Steelhead Rods

Rod Length

Choose a rod length based on your fishing environment. A longer rod will provide greater casting distance, while shorter rods offer better maneuverability in tight spaces, and super short rods are used for ice fishing.

RELATED: Ice Fishing For Brown Trout

Rod Power

Select the appropriate rod power based on the size of trout you plan to target. Light power rods are suitable for smaller trout, while medium or medium-light power rods handle larger trout more effectively.

Rod Action

Rod action refers to how the rod bends. The video above explains this exceptionally well.

Consider the rod action that matches your fishing style. Fast action rods provide greater sensitivity and quick hook sets, while moderate or slow action rods offer better flexibility and forgiveness.

RELATED: Best Time Of Day To Fish


Look for rods made of lightweight and durable materials like graphite or carbon fiber. These materials offer enhanced sensitivity, responsiveness, and strength, making your fishing experience more enjoyable.

Rod Weight

Consider the weight of the rod, as it affects your comfort during long fishing sessions. Lighter rods reduce fatigue and allow for extended casting without sacrificing strength or performance.


Ensure the rod is built to withstand the rigors of trout fishing. Look for features like reinforced guides, sturdy reel seats, and high-quality construction that ensure the rod can handle the challenges of your fishing adventures.


Determine your budget range and find a trout rod that offers the best combination of features within that budget. There are options available for every price range, so choose one that meets your needs and offers good value.


Check the warranty provided by the manufacturer. A reliable warranty offers peace of mind and protection against potential defects or damages, ensuring your investment in the trout rod is well-covered.

Final Thoughts

The heart of your fishing set-up is your fishing rod. So, choosing the right one is important for a successful and enjoyable angling experience. Remember, there are always trade-offs between price, features, and function. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced angler, we've broken down—in our humble opinion—the best trout rods to suit different needs and budgets.

From the versatile St. Croix Premier to the budget-friendly Ugly Stik Elite, there's a rod for every angler. Consider your fishing style, preferences, and budget to find the perfect rod that will enhance your time on the water. Tight lines, friends!

Photo of author

Shawn Lentz

Shawn Lentz is an avid sportsman who grows national outdoor brands as a full-time copywriter. A former fish and wildlife professional, Shawn also weaves his passion for conservation, fishing and hunting into stories for publications like Fair Chase Magazine, Wide Open Spaces, DeerHuntingGuide.net, and more. Shawn is an active member of The Outdoor Writers Of America Association. For more info, go to www.shawn-lentz.com

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