Spinning Rod Length for Trout

Fishing for trout is an amazing experience for everyone – seasoned angler, new to fishing, children, entire families, every.

Trout is tenacious, smart, and incredibly fun to fish.

Naturally, people want to know what length of rod to buy for trout fishing. The answer is “it depends.”

Keep reading as we go over trout fishing rods, so you can choose the best rod for your trout fishing adventure.


What spinning rod length for trout?

Choosing the best trout rod depends on where in the world you are going to fish, what the conditions are like there, and what type of trout you want to target.

Here is a closer look at how to choose a trout rod.

Environmental Issues and Trout Rods

  • Smaller Streams with Overhanging brush – Anytime you are fishing under trees or around brush you want a shorter trout rod. The shorter the rod the less likely you will get tangled in the trees or damage the rod when casting. Aim for a trout rod that is about 5 or so feet long.
  • Open Space Trout Fishing – In spaces that are open and trees or brush are not an issue, you can opt for a longer trout rod. Generally 6-7 foot trout rod is ideal for most trout fishing. You can go longer to 8 feet, but it is overkill.

Ice Fishing for Fat Brown Trout

Ice fishing is a whole new world. Super short rods are key but for big, fat, brown trout, a 32″ rod is ideal.

It is long enough to handle the big browns and short enough to keep you in your hut.

Targeting Big Trophy Trout

If you venture to Alaska you can find Rainbow Trout in the 30″ long-range.

To handle a trout that large, a 9′ trout rod is ideal – spinning or fly rods – Trophy trout need a longer trout rod to handle their strength.

These are big fish with a substantial fight.

What rod action is best for trout?

For smaller trout, such as brook trout, a rod with medium action is good.

If you are targeting medium trout, such as cutthroat you may want a trout rod with fast action.

Bigger Trout such as lunkers and big rainbows you can do fine with a medium-light action.

What size spinning reel do I need for trout?

Spinning reels are rated by numbers – for trout a 10-20 size reel is ideal.

For other brands with larger number ranges, a 2,500 reel is good.

Smaller trout do not require larger reels so if you plan on fishing local streams where smaller brook trout or cutthroat trout are the options, a 10 or so sized spinning reel is ideal.

If you plan to target bigger trophy trout, then aim for a 20-30 size spinning reel or one between 3,000 and 4,000. For bigger fish, drag action is key.

What grip handles work best for trout fishing?

It is hard to beat a split-grip for trout fishing, especially for fly-fishing for trout.

Quality trout rods have grips made out of cork or wood since these poles last a lifetime.

You can try different grip handle configurations and find one that you are comfortable with rather than a popular style.

It is how the rod feels in your hands that matters.

The grip covers can range from many materials, but cork is a good option and very traditional.

Which rod weight works best?

For a general trout fishing rod, a medium-weight rod is ideal.

Once you get into trout fishing you may decide that an ultralight or lightweight rod is better.

These are lovely for smaller trout. A medium-weight is a middle-of-the-road weight that has a lot of application for trout fishing.

If you plan to target bigger trout such as Lake Trout, bigger Brown Trout or Rainbow Trout then consider a medium-heavy or heavy-weight rod.

What line guides work best for trout

Metal eyes are the standard though another material is available.

The purpose of the eye guides is to distribute the weight or pull of the fish along the rod at even intervals.

That makes the rod capable of handling more weight than it would at a single point before snapping.

Aluminum oxide eyes offer durability in a lightweight format and at an affordable price.

You can upscale to silicone carbide eyes which will cost more but also add greater strength and durability.

How do you set up a spinning rod for trout?

For general trout fishing, you start with a six-pound test line – mono works well at this weight level and a braided line is an option but likely overkill.

A fluorocarbon line is also acceptable. Add a three to four-foot leader and connect both lines with a swivel.

Add a swivel at both ends of the leader which will make changing flies or lures easier.

You can fish your spinning rod with flies if you weigh them.

Attach your lure, bait hook, or fly to another one-foot segment of line – mono works and fluorocarbon works.

If using a fly, go for one that has a metallic head and then add a small split-shot just above the fly.

That will allow the spinning rod to handle the lighter weight of the fly.

Can you fish trout with a medium rod?

Absolutely you can; many fishers prefer a light or ultralightweight trout rod since the sensitivity of the rod allows them to feel the bottom.

A medium rod is acceptable and is the basis for targeting bigger trout.


Trout fishing is an amazing sport and many people love to toss lures, bait, or flies at trout.

Picking the right equipment makes fishing more successful and that is a plus for all anglers.

Pick your equipment based on the fish you want to target, go lighter for smaller fish, heavier for bigger fish.

Consider the environment to choose the rod’s length, and equip your rod with the best materials available.