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Anglers of all skill levels know how challenging it can get to find a solid trout fishing rod. However, picking out a winner of the best fly rods for trout fishing can be easy — just bear a few considerations in mind.
The types of flies you would use will impact your decision of what type of trout fishing fly rod to get. Are you after catching a rainbow trout or a brown trout? Or are you perhaps more interested in catching a small brook trout?
These are all legit questions that will help you filter out the irrelevant options and focus on what you need: a solid, medium-fast action rod with a couple of fly rod features you’d use down the road.
Our Top Picks
Best Fly Fishing Rod Overall
St Croix Premier Spinning Rod
Best Inshore Fly Fishing Rod
St Croix Triumph Spinning
Most Sensitive Fly Fishing Rod
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite
Table of Contents
- Best Fly Fishing Rods: Our Recommended Products
- St Croix Premier Spinning Rod
- St Croix Triumph Spinning
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite
- Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod
- Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod
- Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod
- Okuma Celilo Graphite
- KastKing Perigee II Spinning Rod
- Redington Fly Fishing Field Kit
- Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit
- Fly Rod Fishing Tips
Best Fly Fishing Rods: Our Recommended Products
- St Croix Premier Spinning Rod– Best Overall Fly Fishing Rod
- St Croix Triumph Spinning – Best Inshore Fly Fishing Rod
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite – Most Sensitive Fly Rod
- Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod – Best Fast Action Fly Fishing Rod
- Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod – Best Spinning Fly Rod
- Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod – Best Beginners Fly Fishing Rod
- Okuma Celilo Graphite – Best Budget Fly Fishing Rod
- KastKing Perigee II Spinning Rod – Best Budget 2-Piece Fly Rod
- Redington Fly Fishing Field Kit – Best Fly Rod Combo
- Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit – Best for Mid-Range Fly Fishing Rod
Best Fly Rod Overall
St Croix Premier Spinning Rod
WHY WE LIKE IT: The reason we like the St. Croix Premiere for trout fishing, in particular, is ’cause it uses SCII carbon, making it super light and amazingly sensitive. We tried using it for hours and didn’t experience any fatigue whatsoever. Plus, we felt every tug and nibble, too!
BUYING ADVICE: We loved the fact that the Premiere boasts FRS (Fortified Resin System) and SCII carbon as part of the rod blank. Thanks to the level of strength in this fine specimen, we were able to reel in some massive fish. The best spinning rods for trout fishing look exactly like the Premiere!
FEATURES: Proudly handcrafted in the U.S., the St. Croix Premiere is one heck of a spinning rod for trout fishing. This great fly rod is made of high-quality cork. You can hold it comfortably without feeling any strain on the wrists as you cast. In addition, the Kigan hook keeper ensures that the rod remains in shape and doesn’t bend easily.
Best Fly Rod for Inshore
St Croix Triumph Spinning
WHY WE LIKE IT: We went for the St. Croix Triumph as the best inshore fly rod for several reasons. It has a Flex-Coat slow cure finish that ensured the tod remained in tip-top shape during our session, and it’s a great fly rod to use to catch trout in constrained waters.
BUYING ADVICE: Anglers that appreciate a luxurious St. Croix fly rod will love this option, just like we did. The premium-grade cork sat nicely in our hands while we fought some feisty fish. Plus, we used the St.Croix in one of the small local creeks, and we didn’t regret it!
FEATURES: The premium-grade cork used for the handle delivers that famed St. Croix feeling only the best fly rods offer! Use this moderate-to-medium action fly rod to catch fish hassle-free.
Most Sensitive Fly Fishing Rod
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite
WHY WE LIKE IT: This fast-action trout fly rod is amazingly tough yet sensitive — it’s the dream rod of every trout angler. It’s stronger than typical carbon rods, and it’s virtually indestructible.
BUYING ADVICE: We chose the Ugly Stik as the most affordable option for fly rods – it’s significantly cheaper than our previous two choices yet performs almost as well. So, if you’re after a majorly responsive fly rod that won’t break the bank, the Ugly Stik is your go-to choice.
FEATURES: The moderate-to-fast action rods bend at the tip, which is perfect for catching big fish! The composite blank feels super light and easy to handle.
Fast Action Fly Fishing Rod
Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod
WHY WE LIKE IT: It’s a spinning rod for trout with better sensitivity than other rods of the same category. Plus, who’ll say no to a fast-action graphite rod with an ergonomic minimal reel seat? It’s a premium fly rod that’s worth every cent.
BUYING ADVICE: We test-drove this 2-piece rod and were genuinely amazed by how sensitive it was. If you’re anything like us and appreciate a sensitive, fast-action fly rod, go for the Eagle and take it with you on your next fishing trip.
FEATURES: It’s a great rod in the 2-piece range with awesome sensitivity for fighting trout. The graphite blank delivers perfect casting with ultra-light to medium-heavy power.
Best Steelhead Fly Rod Overall
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod
WHY WE LIKE IT: Looking for a decent spinning rod? Well, here’s the best trout rod to be part of your fly fishing gear. The GX2 is a powerful beast with graphite composite blank and awesome sensitivity. Measuring 5-7ft, the Ugly Stik is one of the best trout fly rods with light-to-medium-heavy power and fast action.
BUYING ADVICE: We deem the GX2 the best spinning rod that’s both affordable and made in the States. If you’re looking to fish like a pro like we do, pack it up and go steelhead fishing. We appreciate that the rod tube on the Ugly Stix GX2 is sturdy enough to battle some mighty fish, and it smashes other trout rods outta the park (or water!).
FEATURES: The EVA foam handle fits like a glove and allows you control over the cast and reeling in. It’s perfect for fly anglers and is one of the best mid-priced rods.
Best for Beginners
Falcon Rods HD Casting Rod
WHY WE LIKE IT: Here’s the best trout fly rod for newbies! The Falcon HD is made of premium components and materials for the ultimate performance-to-value ratio. This is one of those tried-and-tested fly rods that deliver awesome results in both fresh and saltwater.
BUYING ADVICE: Some of the beginners in our team were pleasantly surprised by this amazing, beginner-friendly fly rod. If you’re beginning trout fishing, go for the Falcon HD! It’s a great trout fly rod that fits like a glove.
FEATURES: The quality-made materials ensure you catch quite the biggies. Boasting a natural cork handle, you can be confident in casting quite a distance.
Okuma Celilo Graphite
WHY WE LIKE IT: Who doesn’t love a low-cost and functional trout rod? The Okuma is perfect for budget buys. It’s one of those fly rods that are best used with a fly line and a light lure line.
BUYING ADVICE: We had to try the Okuma as the most affordable fly rod, and yes, we can attest it is budget-friendly and highly performing. If you’re after an inexpensive spinning rod for beginners in trout fishing, this is your best shot.
FEATURES: Sensitive yet powerful, the Okuma will catch almost any small-sized trout. The graphite rod tube is perfectly strong yet flexible.
KastKing Perigee II Spinning Rod
WHY WE LIKE IT: We tried the KastKing Perigee II as the best budget option for a 2-piece fly rod, and we liked what we experienced! It’s a super affordable trout rod you can easily pack up for safe storage and transport.
BUYING ADVICE: We took the KastKing medium-heavy-power rod for some bass angling and were pleasantly surprised by its strength and endurance. It’s probably the best value for money we’ve gotten when it comes to the price (under 100$).
FEATURES: You won’t have to worry about losing your grip. It’s a solid fly rod with an EVA foam handle that fits perfectly, allowing you total control of the cast.
Frout Fly Rod Combo
Redington Fly Fishing Field Kit
WHY WE LIKE IT: When we first got acquainted with this powerful combo, we couldn’t believe how cost-effective it was while not lacking in performance. A trout fly rod combo like this one is the best cost-to-value ratio. Use a light fly line, and you’re all set to go fishing all day long!
BUYING ADVICE: Pro-anglers in the fly-fishing world can’t get enough of fly rod combos like this one. The bass didn’t stand a chance against the powerful drag system of the Redington, so we were able to catch a pretty big lunch.
FEATURES: This graphite trout rod grants you enough durability for a nice salmon catch. The sturdy aluminum reel seat ensures lasting performance.
Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit
WHY WE LIKE IT: Don’t let the price of this rod fool you — in no way does it lack performance! In fact, it’s one of the better fly rods for trout anglers of any skill set.
BUYING ADVICE: We gave this bad boy a spin in a massive local stream, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. If you’re after fishing in small streams, go for another size and not the 9 feet. It’s an all-around fly fishing rod that’s perfect for newbies.
FEATURES: The aluminum rod tube makes the Orvis one of the best fly rods for trout on the market. Even though not a premium fly rod, it will still perform well while streamer fishing.
Fly Rod Fishing Tips
Droppers are used by anglers who want to use two flies at once. Use a dropper as a dry fly and a subsurface fly all at once.
The best trout fly rods are used for swinging. It basically means casting while allowing the fly to “go with the flow” of the current, then turning and rising toward the top of the water.
Hoppers make the perfect dry flies to use in shallow waters and for deep dry or dropped rigs. As of recently, anglers are going for the so-called hopper dropper rig.
How to Choose Fly Fishing Rod?
The length of a trout fly rod will impact the technique you’d use. Plus, the length of the rod will “guide” you to the location to fish at. Longer rods are perfect for reach.
The material is very important when shopping for a rod. Most are made of graphite or fiberglass, and each has its own set of pros and cons. Graphite rods are lighter, but fiberglass ones are sturdier and bend easily.
When choosing a rod, consider how many pieces it collapses into. Longer rods usually come in more pieces, mainly due to better storage and transportation.
A fly rod action means slow, moderate, and fast action. The action defines where the rod bends. For instance, slow-action rods are perfect for reeling in bigger fish.
Fly fishers appreciate a well-balanced reel seat, and others pay no attention to it. In general, the reel should be balanced on the rod.
For many, the price point is vital to making a purchase. It’s good to know that not all super-affordable fishing rods are a “no-go” — some can even mirror the qualities of high-end models.
The experience level of the angler is also a factor to consider while purchasing rods, especially premium fly rods you plan on using on your favorite trout stream. Knowing how to fly fish or how to throw large flies or handle spey casting can influence your decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
While this mainly depends on where you’re planning to fish, generally, a 9′ 5-weight rod is optimal. Anything over that might be too heavy.
A 6 or 7-weight rod is great for casting streamers.
Around 7.5 feet is a great leader length when fishing for trout in small streams.