Best Trout Rod Under $100 – Reviews & Buying Guide

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Here is our review of the Best Trout Rod Under $100.

We all know that fishing trout is one of the most enjoyable hobbies around the world. It’s suitable for beginners and has many guides available online. But, is picking good gear for trout an easy task?

Well, I think it might be a little overwhelming for beginners especially when you’re considering the budget. In this article, we’re recommending 4 different trout rods that we think are the best under the $100 range. We also reviewed each one along with providing a buying guide to help you make a better decision. 

4 Best Trout Spinning Rod Under $100

a fishing rod on a wooden table. Best trout rod under $100 featured image

In case you’re in a hurry, here is our list:

  1. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
  2. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod
  3. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods
  4. Okuma Celilo UltraLight Trout Rods



Ugly Stik Elite

Top features

  1. 35% more graphite than  Ugly Stik GX2.
  2. Fiberglass Clear tip design for added strength and sensitivity.
  3. Premium Grade Cork Handles.
  4. 1-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides.
  5. Combined Graphite and fiberglass construction.
  6. Exposed blank styles reel seats.
  7. 7-year warranty.

Specifications

  • Length: 6’6” to 7’
  • Weight: 7.2 to 8 Oz
  • Pieces: Available in 1 or 2 Pcs.
  • Power: Available in ultra-light/ light/ medium.

Overview

Ugly Stik Elie is one of the best trout rods for the money. One of the first things that you notice about Ugly Stik Elite is that it’s lighter than the GX2 version, thanks to having 35% more graphite. The added graphite also delivers better sensitivity. It features one-piece stainless steel guides. They are durable and reduce the possibility of insert pop-outs. 

Sensitivity is required for fishing trout. That’s why it includes a clear tip design that enables you to feel some of the finest bites underwater. The fibreglass clear tip also provides high strength and durability. 

Ugly Stik Elite comes with premium cork grips. Cork handles are comfortable. It also offers more cushion and warmth on cold days compared to EVA foam handles. 

You can use all trout line types with it. However, some anglers reported that the rod developed notches and the tip was damaged while using braid lines. If you’re interested, you can check our detailed Ugly Stik Elite review here.

Pros

  • More graphite and more lightweight.
  • Durable and tough.
  • High value for the price.
  • Suitable for big fish.
  • Comes with a 7-year warranty.

Cons

  • Braid lines can damage the tip of your trout rod. An abrasive surface is noticed on the guides which can destroy your line.
  • Not the most sensitive option on our list and is a bit heavy.
  • Poor packaging.
  • The reel seat is small and may not suit all kinds of reels.



Ugly Stik GX2

Top features

  1. Strong graphite and fiberglass combined construction.
  2. Clear tips design.
  3. Durable and lightweight EVA grips. 
  4. One-piece Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides.
  5. 7-year warranty.

Specifications

  • Length: 5’ to 7’. 
  • Power: Medium. 
  • Action: Medium. 
  • Pieces: 2Pcs. 
  • Line weight: 6-15 LBS. 
  • Lure weight: 1/8-5/8 oz.

Overview

Ugly Stik GX2 is one of the famous names in the world of trout fishing and strong gear also.  The blank features a new generation of technology that combines traditional fiberglass with graphite in one rod. It’s a combination of strength, sensitivity, and lightweight. 

It comes with a signature clear tip design which is characteristic of Ugly Stik. It delivers good sensitivity and is also durable and strong enough to handle large fish like redfish and tarpon. 

The guides in the older version were tough and made of traditional pop-out ceramic inserts. The problem was that they were eligible to get broken. It features a new technology known as Ugly Tuff™. It’s a one-piece stainless steel guide that is more durable and eliminates insert pop-outs. 

The grip is made from EVA foam material. It’s more durable than cork handles, but not as comfortable. It’s also easier to clean compared to cork ones. 

When it comes to power and action, honestly, I don’t like both of them as both are medium. An ultralight fast spinning one will probably do a better job, but this doesn’t mean that this one isn’t the right option. If you like durable and strong gear, you will like this one. We also created a detailed review of Ugly Stik GX2 that you can check here.

Pros

  • Affordable price.
  • Durable and lightweight.
  • 7-year warranty.
  • Suitable for traveling as it comes in 2 pcs. 
  • Comes in different models. You can pick the model suitable for your needs.

Cons

  • Not as sensitive as full graphite.
  • The action isn’t fast enough.
  • The stainless steel guides can develop notches with the use of braid lines.
  • Low sensitivity compared to other options.



KastKing Perigee II

Top features

  1. Carbon fiber blank.
  2. Kastking power transition system.
  3. Fuji P-ring line guides. 
  4. EVA grips.
  5. Wide variety of sizes and models.
  6. Specialized Computer Control Wrapping System.
  7. 1-Year Warranty.

Specifications

  • Length: 6’6” to 7’6”
  • Action: from fast to medium-fast.
  • Power: from medium-light to heavy.
  • Piece: 1 Piece / 2 Pieces
  • Types: Available as casting or spinning versions.

Overview

Kastking is known for producing quality fishing gear for an affordable price. I like that Kastking Perigee II offers a wide variety of sizes and actions which make it not only good for trout but for other species also.

The construction is nice as well. The centerpiece is made of blank carbon fiber. The carbon offers high durability and strength. It’s not as sensitive as graphite, but it’s more sensitive than fiberglass. 

The reel seat is made of graphite which makes it lightweight putting less strain on your hands. The guides are Fuji O-rings. They are made of stainless steel which makes them durable and lighter than previous versions. 

The power transition system (2 pcs) distributes power equally throughout the rod. This way it helps create ample power. It also enhances the sensitivity by amplification of fine movements under the water.

There are also downsides to it including low durability, tip snapping reports, and the eyelets. The eyelets tend to get loose over time which affects the performance. 

On the other hand, there are still a lot of features that aren’t on other rods to check like the twin tip technology and the two-handed grip. We created a full review about Kastking Perigee II that you can check here.

Pros

  • Wide variety of sizes and actions. 
  • Affordable price.
  • Lightweight.
  • Good for traveling.
  • Great hook setting power. 
  • The twin tip technology.
  • The power transition system.
  • Great customer service. 

Cons

  • Low durability.
  • Not very strong.
  • The eyelets loosen with time.
  • Small grip.
  • Tip snapping reports.



Okuma Celilo UltraLight Trout Rods

Top features

  1. Graphite composite blank.
  2. Aluminum oxide guide inserts.
  3. Standard pipe reel seat with a short cork. 
  4. Stainless steel hooded reel seats.
  5. Cork handles.

Specifications

  • Length: 4’6” to 8’.
  • Weight: 3 to 4.8 oz. 
  • Power: UL/L. 
  • Action: Moderate
  • Line Wt.: 1-4/2-6/4-10 LBS. 

Overview

Okuma Celilo is a great option considering the budget. Considering construction, it is made of graphite and is hollow from the inside. This makes it more sensitive and reduces its weight significantly. 

The Aluminium oxide guides are made to offer increased durability and are lightweight. The grips are made of cork which is more comfortable than EVA. The thing about cork handles is that they are harder to clean and lower in durability than EVA. It also features a standard pipe reel seat. The hooded reel seat is made from stainless steel. 

Overall, it may not be the best in our collection, but it’s suitable for a tight budget. 

Pros

  • Good value for the price.
  • Good action.
  • The 2 pcs are
  • suitable for trout.
  • Comfortable cork handle.
  • A composite graphite body that is sensitive and lightweight.

Cons

  • Low durability.
  • Flimsy rod.
  • Poor shipping package.
  • No one-piece versions.



A Buying Guide Before Purchasing Your Next Trout Rod

rod and reel combo in front of a river

We understand that it’s a little tricky to choose the right one from those 4 options even after recommending them. That’s why we put together a quick but detailed buying guide that lists some important factors to think about before choosing your next rod:

Rod Length

Most trout rods come in the 5-8 ft range. Choosing the suitable one depends on the water condition. For instance, it’s better to use a short rod (5-6 ft) while in compact areas like small creeks, rivers, and streams. 

For wider areas or if you’re using heavy spoons or spinners, you can go for longer rods like 7ft. Keep in mind the longer the rod, the greater the distance you can achieve. 

Weight

Fishing trout can take a whole day. That’s why you don’t want to get a heavy rod that puts some extra strain and fatigue on your hands. As a rule of thumb, you better get a lightweight rod that easies reeling and casting all day. 

Sensitivity

Sensitivity refers to how easy it’s to feel the bites of the fish. It’s a vital point to look for in trout gear. 

Trout are skittish and get frightened easily. Their bites are also weak and not easily felt. That’s why a super sensitive rod can greatly affect your performance. It’s usually affected by the material, the action, and the power. 

Power

Power refers to how much pressure the rod can withstand before flexing. It’s directly related to weight. Trout are small and weakfish. A good trout rod is one that bends easily. Light ones have a sort of flexibility that can detect trout bites. 

Ultralight fishing rods tend to be an ideal option for trout. Good trout lures are usually very light and would require a light one to cast them. 

Please note the higher the power, the bigger the fish that you can catch. 

Action

The action refers to the exact point where the rod bends when enough pressure is applied to it. The action ranges from slow to extra fast. The faster it is, the closer the bending to the tip. Faster ones tend to be more sensitive and suitable for trout.

Consider using a medium-action one in wider areas when you’re going for more casting distances. It delivers better sensitivity and accuracy. However, most of the time, fast ones are the popular option. 

Material

Material is one of the reasons why prices vary markedly. They directly affect the sensitivity, weight, and durability of the rod. The main 3 types are:

Fiberglass

The most unsuitable for trout and the least expensive. They provide low sensitivity and slow action.

Graphite

The most popular material for trout rods. They deliver high sensitivity. They are also affordable. If you’re on a tight budget, you can go for graphite composites. 

Graphite and Carbon Composite

The best and most expensive. More strength and sensitivity than previous options. 

Rings / Eyelets

The quality of the rings determines their durability. A smooth ring minimizes the friction and resistance to the line causing the line to flow freely without overheating. This produces better and longer casts. 

Comfortable Grip

Fishing Trout is a whole day thing. You’re going to perform a lot of casts. That’s why you should make sure that your rod is as comfortable as possible. Cork handles are usually preferred by anglers. They tend to be more comfortable and you need that, especially with short handles like in trout gear. 

Trout Rod And Reel Combo

You have to get a trout spinning reel that matches your rod in order to get the best performance possible. An ideal and simple solution is to get a trout rod and reel combo. Don’t get nervous, we wrote an ultimate guide about it here.

The Bottom Line

I think this is the end of our review about the best trout rod under $100. We hope that our reviews and buying guide will help you make a wiser decision.  Also, if you’re up for a higher budget and premium options, check our detailed review of St Croix Trout Series Spinning Rod.