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Best Trout Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Trout fishing is a popular sport, but you need the right gear to successfully catch trout. From the best fishing line for trout to trout lures and more, there are plenty of options when it comes to trout fishing.

The most important gear you’ll need to go fishing, however, is a fishing rod and reel.

best rod and reel combos for trout

It would be pretty difficult to catch trout, or any fish, without a rod and reel. These fundamental pieces of equipment are complex, and some rods and reels are tailored specifically for trout fishing.

Whether you prefer casting gear or spinning gear, find the best trout rod and reel to make your next great catch! These rod and reel combos are perfect for catching trout. 

Best Trout Spinning Combos

If you prefer spinning gear, there are plenty of options. Spinning technology has improved, making this gear great for catching even the toughest trout. Find the best spinning rod and reel combo for your next outing.

These are the Best Spinning Rod and Reel Combos for Trout Fishing:

  1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  2. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel Fishing Rod Combos
  3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo
  4. Pflueger President Spinning Combo
  5. Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Penn battle ii spinning bass fishing rod and reel combo

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Penn is a trusted name in fishing, and their Battle II gear is some of the most durable and powerful spinning gear out there.

This gear is made for saltwater fishing, so it is incredibly tough, but it can also be used in freshwater with great success. The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel combo can handle the biggest trout with no problem.

The Penn Battle II reel is our top spinning reel pick for the best trout reels. It has a full metal body, side plate, and rotor, as well as an aluminum bail wire. It has a powerful drag up to 12 pounds, depending on your reel size.

The Penn Battle II Spinning Reel has 5 stainless steel ball bearings plus an anti-reverse bearing. It is braid ready and the spool has line capacity rings.

The Penn Battle II rod is ultra responsive, with great strength and sensitivity. It is constructed from graphite composite blanks, and has aluminum oxide guides.

The Penn Battle II rod was made to be the perfect companion to their best-selling reel, so it matches the reel’s strength for fighting tough fish.

The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo comes in a range of sizes, from 2000 to 8000 for the reel and matching 6’6” to 10’ rods. All are fast action, and range from medium light to heavy power.

KastKing Centron Spinning Combo

kastking centron bass spinning combo

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The KastKing Centron Spinning Combo is another favorite for trout anglers from KastKing. This versatile spinning rod and reel combo is great for a range of fish, including trout. A range of size and strength options help you tailor your choice to your preferred form of trout fishing.

The KastKing Centron Spinning reel is one of our top picks for trout reels, and for good reason. It has 9+1 ball bearings and a powerful triple disc felt drag system for smooth casting and retrieve.

The Centron reel has a lightweight graphite frame and a durable aluminum spool. Depending on your size choice, it has a max drag of 14 to 30 pounds.

The matching Centron rod is made from IM6 carbon fiber blanks. It has stainless steel guides and O-ring inserts, creating a perfectly balanced rod blank.

The action ranges from moderate fast to fast based on size, and the power ranges from medium to heavy.

The KastKing Spinning Combo comes in sizes from 2000 to 5000 for the reel, and 6’0” to 8’0” for the rod. For trout, we recommend the 6’0” rod with the 2000 or 3000 reel, although the larger or smaller sizes can work well depending on your fishing conditions, the size of your target trout, and other factors.

Ugly Stik GX2 Trout Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

ugly stik gx2 spinning bass fishing reel and rod combo

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Another great rod and reel combo from Ugly Stik, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo is a great choice for those who prefer spinning gear. This rod and reel combo works well for anglers of all skill levels, and makes a good starter rod and reel for beginners.

The Ugly Stik GX2 reel has three ball bearings plus an anti-reverse bearing for smooth cast and retrieve and improved hooksets. A machined, double anodized aluminum spool is durable, and comes with an oversized bail wire.

The reel has compression bail springs so that the reel lasts, and it is ergonomically designed for comfort. The medium heavy option has a max drag of up to 20 pounds.

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning rod has a graphite and fiberglass construction for lightweight durability.

The clear tip adds extra sensitivity and responsiveness, perfect for trout. It has lightweight EVA grips for comfort during long days of fishing. This rod has a medium heavy power and a fast action.

The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel combo comes in various sizes, but we recommend either the 5’0” light weight2 piece rods for trout fishing.

Pflueger President Spinning Combo

pflueger president bass spinning combo

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Pflueger is an acclaimed fishing brand, and their Pflueger President Spinning Combo is some of their best fishing gear. This rod and reel combo is lightweight but durable, and it is perfect for targeting trout.

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is one of our top trout reel picks, with a lightweight graphite body and rotor.

It has 10 corrosion resistant ball bearings, so casting and retrieve will go smoothly. A smooth drag system allows for up to 10 pounds of drag strength. This reel is braid ready, making it especially easy to use.

The Pflueger President Rod is made of IM8 graphite, so it is strong but sensitive. It has a strong, corrosion resistant guide system with stainless steel guides.

The handle is ergonomically designed for comfort, so you can handle long days of trout fishing. The Pflueger President Spinning Rod has a fast action and ranges from ultra light to medium heavy power.

The Pflueger President Spinning Combo ranges in size from 20 to 40 for reel size and 4’8” to 7’ rod lengths. For trout, we recommend the size 20, 25 or 30 reel and a rod length of 4’8” to 5’6 with light action.

Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo

tailored tackle universal multispecies bass rod and reel combo

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The Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo is a versatile combo, but it works great for trout fishing. It is both saltwater and freshwater safe, so you can catch any species of trout with this rod and reel combo.

The spinning reel has seven ball bearings and an anti-reverse switch, so casting your bait will be super smooth.

It has a 10 pound max drag system, perfect for most bass. A 5.2:1 gear ratio allows for fast retrieve with good torque for tough fish. Tailored Tackle’s soft touch reel makes for comfortable fishing, even on longer days.

The Tailored Tackle Multispecies rod has a medium rod power and fast action, ideal for catching trout. It has a fast action tip for extreme sensitivity. The rod is 6’6” long, so it can cast long distances but can finesse shorter, more accurate casts as well.

Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod and Reel Combo is great for those who love trout fishing, but want a versatile rod and reel for other forms of fishing as well. It also works well for catching walleye, salmon, and inshore saltwater species.

How To Choose a Trout Fishing Rod and Reel

trout caught by fisherman

Fishing rods and reels are the most important pieces of fishing gear. Trout fishing is an expansive field of fishing, and depending on your environment, water conditions, and the type of trout you’re targeting, you’ll need more or less strength, distance, and sensitivity from your gear. 

Picking the best rod and reel combo for trout requires some research and knowledge. Consider these factors when choosing a trout rod and reel combo. 

Trout Fishing Rod Factors to Consider

When choosing the best trout fishing rod for you, there are a few things to consider. 

Power: Power is how much strength it takes to bend the rod, and ranges from ultra light to extra heavy. For most trout fishing, aim for an ultra light to light action fishing rod.

big brown trout

If you know you’re targeting extra large trout, you can opt for a medium or heavy rod. You should also consider the water and weather conditions and how they may affect your rod power. 

Action: Rod action refers to the rod’s ability to flex when pressure is applied.  Action ranges from slow to extra fast. For trout fishing, aim for a fast or extra fast rod action.

Trout can be difficult to set hooks in, so a fast, sensitive rod action can help you feel lighter nibbles and set hooks before they get away. 

Length: Rod length can affect power and action. It also affects how long you can cast. If distance is not a factor, you can opt for a shorter rod.

For trout fishing, most anglers use rods ranging from 5 to 7 feet, but outside of this range can work well depending on your casting conditions. 

Trout Fishing Reel Factors to Consider

Reels are complicated pieces of equipment. Consider these factors when choosing a trout reel.

rainbow trout caught by fishing rod

Drag Strength: This refers to how much weight the reel can pull in without breaking or losing your catch.

Trout average from 2 to 8 pounds, so aim for a reel with at least 8 pounds of max drag strength. If you’re targeting bigger trout, look for a reel with greater drag strength.

Ball Bearings: Ball bearings keep the reel turning smoothly, and they are necessary for casting and retrieve.

Quality is more important than quantity, so while extra ball bearings can be helpful, it is more important that they are made of quality materials and are protected from the elements, as dirt or debris can cause friction.

Construction: The materials that make up your reel are very important. Is your reel corrosion resistant? Are the ball bearings protected so that the reel doesn’t rust or break with debris?

There are different factors to consider with construction. Graphite is better for a lightweight reel, while aluminum is preferred for durability. 

Gear Ratio: Gear ratio is how many times the spool turns with one turn of the handle. A super fast gear ratio will retrieve a catch faster, while lower gear ratios allow for more power and torque on the retrieve.

Aim for a mid-range gear ratio for trout; you want to pull them in quickly without sacrificing strength. Anywhere in the 4:1 to 6:1 range is good for trout fishing. 

The Best Rod and Reel Combo for Trout and More

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a rod and reel combo for trout. Pick from our top 10 trout fishing rods and reels to ensure that you have quality equipment.

For all things trout fishing and anything fishing related, check out Fishmasters. Fishmasters has all the info you need to get out on the water.

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