5 Best Trout Fishing Rod And Reel Combos – Review and Buyer’s Guide

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Here is our review of the best trout fishing rod and reel in 2022.

Trout fishing is a popular sport that can be enjoyed by both men and women. A great way to enjoy this activity, even more, is to purchase the best trout fishing rod and reel for your needs. The best trout fishing rod is lightweight, made of graphite, has a smooth casting action, and is ergonomic. 

The best trout reels should be strong enough to cast heavy flies or lures, have an easy drag system with instant anti-reverse, include a large arbor spool for quick trout line retrieval without tangles, and offer corrosion-resistant construction for a durable reel in saltwater environments.  

To help you make the best decision possible when purchasing a new fishing rod or reel for trout, we’ve done deep research, read tons of reviews, and compiled a list of five different products of our favorites available on the market.

Top Picks

  1. KastKing Crixus Rod and Reel Combo (Overall winner)
  2. Shakespeare USSP481UL/20CBO Ugly Stik GX2 (Budget option)
  3. KastKing Crixus Rod and Reel Combo (Best value for money)

Best 5 trout fishing rod and reel combos

  1. Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod – Reel Combo Fishing Pole
  2. KastKing Crixus Rod and Reel Combo
  3. Shakespeare USSP481UL/20CBO Ugly Stik GX2
  4. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Rod Combos
  5. PENN BTLII4000701M Battle II 4000 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Tailored Tackle Universal Multispecies Rod – Reel Combo Fishing Pole 

Top Features

  1. A soft-touch knob for comfortability.
  2. An anti-reverse switch to help while fighting your catches. 
  3. A 10 Lb drag system, which is suitable for trout.
  4. A Right & left handed spinning reel for different-handed anglers.

Rod Specifications

Length: 6 feet

Action: Fast Action

Power: Medium 

Reel Specifications

Ball bearings:  7BB. A high number provides more smoothness.

Handle material: Soft-touch knob.

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1. Perfect for trout. 


  • Lightweight.
  • Good value for the price.
  • Great customer service.
  • Smooth reel & sensitive rod tip.


  • The reel is of cheap quality
  • Not very durable.


Tailored Tackle is a good combo, but it’s not the best in the market. You get good quality for the cost. I like it’s suitable for beginners in both fresh and saltwater fishing. You can target a wide variety of species with it including Trout, Panfish, and Striped bass fishing.

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Top Features

  1. A carbon fiber rod with graphite rod blanks provides a combination of sensitivity and strength. 
  2. A super polymer handle that offers comfortability and slips resistance. 
  3. Stainless steel guides with Zirconium Oxide rings for high performance in casting and durability. However, It doesn’t work very great with braid trout lines

Rod Specifications

Material: carbon fiber rod with graphite rod blanks

Length: 5.6 to 7 feet, Suitable for trout in different water conditions.

Action: Moderate Fast, Fast

Power: Medium Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy

Reel Specifications

Ball bearings:   5+1 stainless ball bearings.

Handle material: Superpolymer Handle offers durability and comfortability.

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1 spinning 6.5:1 baitcasting


  • Great customer support
  • High-quality reel, super smooth.
  • High quality for the price
  • Lightweight
  • The handle can be swapped to both sides
  • High sensitivity.


  • Not very durable


Kastking is known for providing quality products in a lower price range. You get a high-value trout rod for a budget price in addition to the reel of course. They also offer great customer support. They provide one of the best trout fishing rod and reel combos that deliver high sensitivity at a low price. However, it’s not the most durable gear out there. If you’re looking to get cost-effective gear, this one is a good choice.


  • Please, be aware that their accompanying photos show right retrieve as left-handed, while usually, you get the opposite. Just make sure to order the correct handle direction. 
  • Please be aware that this trout rod and reel combo isn’t perfect for saltwater fishing.

Shakespeare USSP481UL/20CBO Ugly Stik GX2

Top Features

  1. A lightweight EVA grip provides comfort to fishermen during long fishing trips.
  2. Stainless steel eyelets that support durability. 
  3. The aluminum spool and compression bail spring is machined and double anodized to ensure long time performance. 
  4. An Anti-reverse mechanism offers more control during fights. 

Rod Specifications

Material: Graphite and fiberglass delivers a combination of lightweight, durability, and sensitivity

Length: 4 Feet 8 Inches, a pretty short rod, consider it for tight places. 

Power: Ulta light

Reel Specifications

Ball bearings:  3+1 stainless ball bearings.Not the highest in the market. 

Handle material: EVA grips provide comfortability but are not that durable. 

Gear Ratio: 5:2:1 Ratio. Works fine for trout. 


  • Lightweight
  • High value for the cheap price
  • Strong rod


  • Because of the odd shape of these rod/reels, it is hard to find a box to ship it in without getting broken.
  • Poor Package
  • A little bit small depends on your personal preference
  • The reel isn’t 100% smooth
  • Low line capacity


Cooperation between Shakespeare and Ugly stick produced a nice combo for a nice price. The combo offers a lightweight rod without sacrificing its strength. However, the reel needs some improvements to enhance its smoothness.

I like the ultra-light rod, works great for trout and pan fishing. The short rod is suitable for kids. It’s not the best rod and reel combo for trout, but it’s definitely an affordable option. 

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel and Rod Combos

Top Features

  1. Every model is made with lightweight stainless steel guides that feature premium O-ring inserts. The combination of these two components makes the rod perfect for use in both braided and monofilament lines while also looking beautiful thanks to its sleek design.
  2. The EVA handles feel good in your hands and is comfortable for long fishing days. However, if you’re looking for extreme durability, it won’t be a good recommendation.
  3. A graphite frame and aluminum spool offer lightweight and corrosion resistance. 
  4. Comes in 2 piece design to facilitate traveling. 

Rod Specifications

Material: Graphite.

Length: 6’0”, 6’6″, 7’0″, 7’6″, 8’0″

Action: Moderate Fast, Fast.

Power: Medium, Medium-Heavy.

Reel Specifications

Ball bearings:   9+1 Maxi-Dur ball bearings.

Handle material: EVA handles, Good comfortability with lower durability. 

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1 , 4.5:1


  • Lightweight.
  • Value for money.
  • Strong.
  • Durable.
  • Good sensitivity.
  • Great customer service.


  • A Very fragile tip
  • Weak anti-reverse mechanism
  • The reels aren’t that smooth


Once again Kastking delivers a great product. The rod and reel combo comes at an affordable price offering lightness and sensitivity without letting durability go down. The problem is that the tip is a little fragile and the reel needs smoothness improvements. However, I won’t complain, as, for the price, this combo is valuable.

Note: Please be aware that this trout rod and reel combo isn’t perfect for saltwater fishing.

PENN BTLII4000701M Battle II 4000 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Top Features

  1. Full metal body, side plate, and rotor, and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire increase durability.
  2. HT-100 carbon fiber drag system offers a combination of power and smoothness.
  3. Instant anti-reverse bearing.
  4. A braid-ready spool with a rubber gasket, so you won’t need to use monofilaments with braided leaders anymore.

Rod Specifications

Material: metal.

Length: 7’0″

Power: Medium

Reel Specifications

Ball bearings:  5 sealed stainless steel BB

Gear Ratio: 6.2:1


  • Lightweight
  • solid and smooth reel
  • Braid-ready spool.


  • really Poor packaging
  • Cheap quality rod, the reel is much better.
  • low durability rod
  • The guides get broken easily


PENN BTLII4000701M Battle II is the most expensive option, however, they offer good quality. The metal makes it good for small fish like trout fishing and suitable for beginners, but it’s not the best rod material. Various options offer better materials at lower prices. I like the reel and how it is solid and smooth. 

Overall, I think that there are better options at lower prices, considering the rod. But the reel is of high quality compared to the price.

Our Buyer’s Guide on the best trout fishing rod and reel

best trout fishing rod and reel buyer's guide photo - a man holding and rod and reel combo

Choosing your gear can be tricky sometimes. People tend to get lost in a wide variety of options to look for. Here is a quick guide on some of the elements you need to consider for your next purchase:

Buying Guide On Trout Fishing Rod

Here are some factors to consider when purchasing your next rod for fishing Trout:


When hoping for the best trout fishing rod, consider the size of your target fish as well as environmental conditions. 

Most trout fishing calls for rods in the ultra-light to medium range. However, if you’re out-targeting a larger game fish or are angling under rough weather or windy circumstances, opt for heavier models instead.


To catch trout and set the hook, you need a fast rod action. Trout fishing can be difficult because they often don’t bite hard enough for your line to feel it before taking off again with your lure or bait still attached. 

A quick action rod helps by giving more sensitivity so that even light nibbles are detected immediately and hooked successfully in time.


The length is important when catching trout. A rod for trout fishing should range from 5 to 8 feet in length. Longer rods are best when targeting large fish because they have the best trout leverage and will help you land them. You also have to consider the distance and how tight the place you’re fishing is. 


You’ve to make sensitivity your primary consideration when looking for trout fishing rods. While fiberglass is more durable,  graphite or some type of graphite composite material is a great choice. 

Graphite has the strength required in this activity while also being sensitive enough not to hinder catching fish; so whether you’re looking at higher or lower end rods, go with one made out of graphite/composites!

Note: If you’re intending to for trout ice fishing, you need a different types of rod. We created a complete guide about ice fishing rod for lake trout that you can check from here.

Buying Guide On Trout Fishing Reels

Here are some factors to consider when purchasing your next reel for fishing Trout:

Ball Bearings 

Ball bearings are like the oil in your car; they keep everything running smoothly on fishing reels and provides better casting. 

Quality is more important than quantity, so while extra ball bearings can be helpful, it’s even better if you have quality steel ones that aren’t exposed to dirt and debris which could cause them to seize up or create friction against other parts of a reel mechanism. 

Quality spinning reels should have at least 4 ball bearings and be made from stainless steel as it’s the most cost-effective material.

Drag Strength

To land trout of typical size (2 – 9 lbs.), it is important to have a reel with at least 8 pounds of drag strength. If you are targeting larger fish than this average size like brown or lake trout fishing which gets high in size up to 25 lbs. , look for reels that can handle even more poundage!


Trout fishing reels need good construction. The materials used in construction play an important role and affect many factors including weight, strength, and sensitivity. For example, Although both graphite and aluminum are durable as metals go, graphite tends to be lighter than aluminum which can make it better for lightweight reels while still providing durability. However, if you’re looking for durability alone, choosing aluminum is a better option. 

Gear Ratio

When fishing for trout, it’s best to aim between a 4:1 and 6:1 gear ratio. The faster the spool turns with one turn of the handle, the higher your gear ratio is; this allows you to retrieve catches more quickly without sacrificing strength. 

A low-range rate will not be ideal as they either won’t allow enough time to bring in catch fast enough, however, it offers more power. Make sure it doesn’t break off if too much force is used on retrievals.

Anti-Reverse Off System

An anti-reverse off system is a feature that uses the drag on your reel to keep it from turning in reverse. 

This can be used for trout fishing and may provide an advantage over other reel types that don’t have this component because it allows you to focus more attention on handling your rod than trying to keep up the pressure as well.

Corrosion resistance

If you’re planning to fish trout in saltwater, corrosion-resistant material or treatment should be one of your priorities. Stainless steel or ceramic reels will do the job. 

Frequently Asked Questions On The Best Trout Fishing Rod And Reel

What size rod is best for trout?

While rods under 6’6” are perfect for trout, you can still have a trout rod between  5 to 8 feet depending on water condition.

Is a medium-light rod good for trout?

Actually, they work great! They also provide some stability in windy conditions compared to ultralight. However,  an ultralight trout rod offers more sensitivity which is preferred for trout.

Is a Baitcaster good for trout?

Why not? A bait caster can be used to fish for trout. You could either use it when trolling or fishing from shore, and some anglers prefer using a baitcaster.

Can you catch big fish on an ultralight rod?

Ultralight fishing is not the same as other kinds of fishing. It can be for both smaller and larger targets, but it isn’t meant to handle big fish or heavy cover areas because your line may break apart and worst case scenario you could even snap your rod in half!

The bottom Line

Finding the best fishing rod and reel for trout can be a difficult task, but with our guide, you’ll know what to look out for. We’ve explained how important it is that your equipment has enough sensitivity to detect even light nibbles before they get away or are lost in murky water. 

The best fishing rods for trout should range from 5-8 feet long and be made of graphite/composites material so they don’t weigh too heavy on you when reeling catches in. 

A high gear ratio will also make catching fish easier as well since there is less drag resistance caused by the spool’s rotation speed with every turn of the handle; this allows you to quickly retrieve catches without breaking them off! Our overall winner trout rod and reel is KastKing Crixus Rod and Reel Combo, make sure to give try, and happy trout fishing!