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Best Trolling rods for trout 2023

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Fishing for trout is a favorite pastime for many anglers, and it’s not hard to see why. Trout are beautiful, elusive fish that provide a great challenge and delicious reward for those who catch them. When it comes to trolling fishing, having the best trolling rod for trout is crucial, and one of the most important pieces of gear is the rod. A good trolling rod will allow you to present your bait or lure in the most natural way possible, fooling even the wariest of trout.

In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the best trolling rods on the market, their features, and what makes them ideal for trout fishing. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, this guide will help you find the perfect trolling rod for your next trout fishing adventure.

What is trolling?

“Trolling fishing” is a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, each with one or more baited hooks, are drawn through the water behind a moving boat. The boat moves slowly through the water, typically at a speed of 2 to 10 knots, and the baited hooks are intended to attract fish such as salmon, trout, or tuna.

Trolling fishing is commonly used in deep water, and the type of bait and lures used will vary depending on the species of fish being targeted. The goal is to simulate the movement of a swimming fish and entice predatory fish to strike the bait.

Trolling fishing can be done with different types of equipment, including specialized trolling rods and reels, downriggers (which help to keep the bait at a specific depth), and planer boards (which allow the lines to be spread out horizontally from the boat).

Trolling fishing is a popular recreational activity, and it is also used in commercial fishing operations.

Top 3 picks for the best Trolling rods for trout

best trolling combo
best trolling rod and reel combo
Okuma Great Lakes Trolling Combo
  • E-glass blank construction
  • Graphite spool reel
  • EVA foam handles
  • Available as 8’6’’ and 10’ lengths
best for saltwater
best trolling rod for saltwater
Shimano Tallus Roller Stripper Saltwater
  • High Modulus Graphite rod
  • Fast action
  • Available in 4 heavy power options
  • 5’9’’ length 1 piece rod
best medium-light for trout
best medium-light trolling rod for trout
G. Loomis E6X Steelhead Salmon Fishing Rod
  • Available in 3 different lengths
  • Split grip cork handles
  • One piece rod Fast action
  • 3/8-3/4 lure rating (ML)

Best Trolling rods for trout reviewed in Detail

1- Okuma Great Lakes Trolling Combo

best trolling rod and reel combo

best trolling rod and reel combo
  • E-glass blank construction
  • Graphite spool reel
  • Aluminum oxide rod guides
  • EVA foam handles  
  • Available as 8’6’’ and 10’ lengths 
  • Medium Power
  • Moderate action
  • 2 Ball bearings reel
  • Downrigger trolling rod

The Okuma Great Lakes Trolling Combo is a fantastic choice for anglers who are looking for a high-quality trolling rod and reel combo. The rod has been specifically designed for trolling, with the perfect balance of sensitivity and stiffness. It is a tested rod for salmon, trout, and walleye.

One of the standout features of this combo is the reel, which is smooth and reliable, with a great drag system that allows you to make fine adjustments to your line as you reel in your catch. The rod and reel are well-matched, and the combo is suitable for casting heavy crankbaits or other lures with ease.

The overall build quality of the Great Lakes Trolling Combo is impressive, its E-glass blank construction offers unbeatable strength and allows the rod to perform more than its capacity with sturdy and durable components that can withstand the rigors of trolling.

It is quite stiff, which is an essential feature for trolling rods, as it helps to detect bites and ensure a solid hookset. Additionally, the reel seat is comfortable to hold and provides a secure grip, even when fighting larger fish.

Moreover, the line guides are double-footed, a firm fixing and placement of the rod that resists guides falling apart from the rod. The improvement can be done if aluminum guides will be replaced with stainless steel for corrosion resistance.  This doesn’t break the deal with its performance.

In my opinion, the Okuma Great Lakes Trolling Combo is a fantastic choice for any angler seeking a dependable and high-performing trolling rod and reel combo. This combo is capable of providing both novice and experienced anglers with a highly satisfactory fishing experience that offers the potential for successful catches.

  • High strength rods
  • Affordable trolling combo
  • The guide material isn’t resistant to corrosion so proper maintenance is required for long-lasting performance

2- Shimano Tallus Roller Stripper Saltwater

best trolling rod for saltwater

best trolling rod for saltwater
  • High Modulus Graphite rod
  • Aluminum roller guides
  • Fast action
  • Available in 4 heavy power options
  • 5’9’’ length
  • 1 piece rod

If you’re an avid saltwater angler looking for the best trolling rod for saltwater fishing, then you’ll want to take a closer look at the Shimano Tallus Roller Stripper. This rod is designed with the serious angler in mind and offers excellent performance, reliability, and durability.

This highly-rated rod is designed to help you get the most out of your time spent on the water. The expectations from trolling fishing are catching something big and exciting like Mahi Mahi or Tuna. Shimano Tallus fills these expectations.

Its premium quality aluminum roller guides offer smooth line flow, reduce line twists and tangles, and are durable enough to bear saltwater bruises. Just like Shimano reels, the Shimano Tallus striper trolling rod is strong enough to handle any saltwater catch.

Pick one of the best trolling tuna lures or some heavy crankbaits to catch a trophy trout. Although the Shimano Tallus Roller striper lands with a sparkling price on the list of best trolling rods for trout but following its unbeatable performance it’s all fair.

With this rod, it’s less fatigue and more time on the water. It is a slick butt rod and one of the best heavy-power trolling rods. It is only available in heavy power range i.e. heavy to double extra heavy. Specially designed for bigger catches.

There aren’t many variations in this model as it comes as only a 5’9’’ long rod and fast action. So if you want some lighter trolling tackle you can jump to Okuma great lake trolling rod.  

Overall, this is a perfect recommendation for avid anglers for their next boat fishing adventure.

  • A perfect trolling rod for bigger catches
  • Stiff rod
  • Strong ferrule connections
  • Expensive trolling rod
  • Hard to carry on a car

3- G. Loomis E6X Steelhead Salmon Fishing Rod

best medium-light trolling rod for trout

best medium-light trolling rod for trout
  • Available in 3 different lengths
  • Split grip cork handles
  • One piece rod
  • Fast action
  • Fuji Guides  
  • 3/8-3/4 lure rating (ML)

The special thing about G.Loomis  is its multi-taper design that helps anglers to pick the rod right according to their type of fish.

These versatile rods in addition to casting are also suitable for trolling. They are good with maneuverability. Although it is not specifically a trolling rod but its strong ferrule connections make a good volunteer for trolling.

The rod is designed and built strong to adopt various bait applications. Its fast action tip set quick hook sets and also has a great amount of power, which makes it easy to reel in fish quickly and efficiently.

One of the standout features of this rod is its excellent sensitivity, which allows you to feel even the slightest bites and make precise adjustments to your fishing technique.

It is made with high-quality materials and is built to last, with a lightweight and sensitive design that allows for maximum control and accuracy.

Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality medium-light trolling fishing rod for small to medium size catches, the G. Loomis E6X Steelhead Salmon Fishing Rod is an excellent choice. However, if you’re looking to catch larger fish or are on a tight budget, you may want to consider other options as it is on the higher side.

  • Lightweight rod
  • Quick hook sets
  • Cork handles
  • Not specially designed for trolling
  • Expensive trolling rod

4- Okuma Classic Pro GLT & Rods

best trolling rod for freshwater

best trolling rod for freshwater
  • E-glass rod construction
  • Titanium oxide rod guides
  • Available in multiple styles

One of the budget-friendly options among all the best trolling rods, this great lake trolling series competes with other premium quality expensive rods with respect to its performance. Okuma just made sure not to reduce the quality over price.

The Okuma Classic Pro GLT & Rods is a versatile and high-quality fishing rod, available in multiple styles to bend in every fishing situation. These rods are also great when throwing live bait. They have a range of lengths and actions to suit different fishing styles and species.

The rod is made from durable graphite composite and features titanium oxide guides with stainless steel frames, which help reduce friction and allow the line to flow smoothly. Its EVA handle is comfortable to grip and provides good control over the rod when kayak fishing and trolling for walleyes.

Even at this price point, the guides are firmly welded with the rod to make sure they do not fall out under loads. These double-footed guides are durable enough to bear bruises.

Although they are trolling rods but besides all the power and backbone these aren’t a great choice for trophy catches you can easily target heavy Salmon, Trout, and other same-size fish but targeting aggressive catches like Tuna, Mahi or Mackerel might not end with desirable results.

Overall, the Okuma Classic Pro GLT & Rods is a reliable and well-made fishing rod these thick rods delivers good performance and value for its price point. Whether you’re trolling for salmon or lake trout, this combo is a solid choice that won’t let you down.

  • It is the best trolling rod under $50
  • Casting fishing rod that means more accurate casts
  • Suitable with multiple bait types and presentations
  • Available in multiple guide options
  • Not suitable for bigger catches
  • Heavy rods

5- Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Combo

best offshore trolling rods

best offshore trolling rods
  • Composite rod construction
  • EVA grips
  • Oversized handles
  • Medium Heavy power
  • 15-30 lbs. Line weight

As a beginner in trolling fishing, I found this combo to be an excellent choice. The Ugly Stik Bigwater spinning rod is very sturdy and durable, making it a great option for trolling larger fish. Its reel also feels well-made and has a smooth drag system, which makes it easy to reel in fish without any jerking or jarring movements.

What I particularly liked about this combo is that it is also suitable for jetty and pier fishing. The 7-foot length of the rod is perfect for casting out far from the pier or jetty, while still having the sensitivity to feel when a fish bites. This combo is also lightweight, which is important when you’re holding it for a long time while waiting for a bite.

The long handle is comfortable and easy to grip, even when your hands are wet. The guides on the rod are well-placed, which helps prevent line tangles when casting. Additionally, the rod is built with EVA grips, which provide a comfortable and secure hold while fishing.

It’s also a great option for avid anglers in trolling fishing as you can land aggressive fish like snakeheads, red drums, salmon, steelhead, and trout.

The rod and reel are both well-made, durable, and easy to use, which makes fishing more enjoyable and less frustrating. If you’re in the market for a new fishing combo, I would definitely recommend giving the Ugly Stik Bigwater a try.

  • Affordable trolling rod
  • Lightweight rods
  • Corrosion-resistant rod and reel components
  • The rod can break if you exceed its line rating

6- Daiwa Accudepth Trolling Rod

best trolling rod for kayaks

best offshore trolling rods
  • Composite blank construction
  • Aluminum oxide rod guides
  • Hook keeper
  • EVA grips
  • Fast action rods
  • Heavy power rods

First and foremost, the quality of this trolling rod is top-notch. The blank is made with durable graphite, which gives it the strength needed to handle heavy loads and large fish.

Additionally, the rod features high-quality aluminum oxide guides and a comfortable EVA foam grip, which allows for a secure and comfortable hold while fishing and when placed in rod holders.

One thing that sets the Daiwa Heavy Action Accudepth Trolling Rod apart from other trolling rods is its Accudepth system. This feature allows you to easily and accurately measure how much line you have out, which is essential when trolling at different depths.

The system is simple to use and helps ensure that you’re fishing at the right depth for the fish you’re targeting.

The Daiwa Heavy Action Accudepth Trolling Rod is ideal for catching larger fish like salmon, trout, and steelhead. With its 6’ length, it offers a good amount of leverage when fighting fish, while still being manageable on a boat. Additionally, the rod has a good level of sensitivity, allowing you to feel bites and set the hook quickly.

Overall, I highly recommend the Daiwa Heavy Action Accudepth Trolling Rod to any angler who is serious about trolling. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, this rod is a solid investment that will serve you well for many fishing trips to come.

  • Heavy rods suitable against heavy tides of river fishing
  • A perfect rod for deep-sea fishing
  • Heavy rods

7- Okuma Rods Kokanee Black

best trout jig rods

best trout jig rods
  • Fiberglass rods
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Titanium oxide inserts
  • 2 piece rod construction
  • Full grip EVA handles
  • Light Power
  • Moderate Fast action
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Available in Moderate / Moderate-Fast action
  • Available in 4 different lengths

Many anglers think that trolling with a jig might not be an effective technique but it can be. The method is known as jig trolling and Okuma Kakanee is recommended for this fishing technique. A light jig is baited with a lure.

The Okuma Kokanee Black is an excellent fishing rod for anglers who are targeting trout with jigs. The rod is very lightweight, which makes it easy to handle and reduces fatigue during long fishing trips.

The moderate-fast action and light power rods provide enough backbone to set the hook and fight the fish but are also forgiving enough to prevent the hook from pulling out.

The rod is well-made and durable, with quality components such as stainless steel guides and a fuji reel seat. The EVA foam handle retains its shape in a rod holder and provides good control when casting and retrieving. The overall design of the rod is sleek and attractive, with a matte black finish that looks great on the water.

However, for those who enjoy jig fishing, this rod is an excellent choice and provides great value for the price. Overall, I would highly recommend the Okuma Kokanee Black to any angler looking for a reliable and high-performing trout jig rod and targeting kokanee.

  • 2-piece rod easy to transport
  • Durable handles last longer
  • The only room for improvement required is guide fixing as they might fall out

8- Daiwa Great Lake Trolling Rod

best trolling rod for lake trout

best trout jig rods
  • Graphite rods
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Roller guides
  • Split grip
  • EVA foam grip
  • Hook keeper
  • Fast Action
  • Medium Power

This medium-power, fast-action trolling rod by Daiwa is one of the favorites among people who fish for larger fish in deep waters.

The Daiwa Great Lake Trolling Rod is a graphite rod, making it both lightweight and stiff. Its unique balance of flex and durability makes it an ideal choice for trolling in lakes, as it offers enough stiffness to handle the extra weight of lures and bait without sacrificing sensitivity.

The rod also features an ultra-thin blank construction, increasing the sensitivity of the rod while reducing its overall weight. It has a blank design that is perfect for trolling, as it helps reduce line twists and gives you better control over the bait.

The Daiwa Great Lake Trolling Rod is a two-piece rod that makes it easier to transport and store. It also features aluminum oxide roller guides, which protect the line from breakage and make it suitable for larger catches.

Again it’s an EVA foam handle rod that ensures a comfortable grip, and the ergonomic reel seat provides a secure fit for your reel.

It’s a versatile rod whether you are fishing with lighter tackle or going with heavy lure and bait it will perform all way around. The Daiwa Great Lake Trolling Rod comes in various lengths, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

  • Features roller guides so less pressure will be on the fishing line
  • Suitable for targeting multiple species
  • Hook keeper is also placed on this rod
  • Stiff rods
  • Availability issues

How to choose the best trolling rods for trout

Different types of trolling rods

There are several different designs in trolling rods, each with its own characteristics and advantages depending on the angler’s needs and fishing style. Here are a few examples:

  1. Conventional trolling rods: These are traditional trolling rods with a straight handle and a long, heavy butt section. They are designed for use with large reels and heavy lines and are typically used for offshore fishing for larger species like tuna, marlin, and swordfish.
  2. Stand-up trolling rods: These rods have shorter butts and are designed to be used with a harness or fighting belt, allowing the angler to stand up while fighting a fish. They are often used for smaller offshore species like mahi-mahi, sailfish, and wahoo.
  3. Downrigger trolling rods: These rods are designed to be used with a downrigger, which allows the angler to fish at specific depths. They are often shorter and more flexible than other trolling rods and are typically used for freshwater species like salmon and trout.
  4. Planer board trolling rods: These rods are designed for use with planer boards, which allow the angler to fish multiple lines at once and cover a wider area. They are often shorter and more flexible than other trolling rods, and are used for species like walleye, musky, and striped bass.
  5. Telescoping trolling rods: These rods can collapse down to a shorter length for easy storage and transport, and are often used for kayak fishing or other situations where space is limited.

These are just a few examples of the different designs in trolling rods, and there are many variations within each category depending on the specific needs of the angler.

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There are many different types of fishing rods learn more in detail about them in our article “Types of fishing rods”.  

Type of fish

Trolling covers the vast areas for fishing where some famous trolling catches are bass, tuna, trout, salmon, steelhead, walleye, marlin, kingfish, mackerel, and some other giants.

The point is, to pick the durable rods that can tackle such vast varieties of aggressive fish catches. Here we are targeting the trout fish, so the required features for the rod will be discussed accordingly.

Rod Construction Material

The first thing to consider for trolling fishing rods is their durability. Either they are suitable for that type of fishing game or not. The durability and strength of the rod are decided on basis of the rod’s construction material.

Three different options are available in the rod’s material

  1. Graphite rods
  2. Fiberglass rods
  3. Carbon fiber

The composite rods i.e. the combination of both graphite and fiberglass rods with combined features of both the materials. Carbon fiber is also and enhanced form of graphite due to which to some extent I don’t consider it a separate type.

Graphite rods are popular due to their strength and superior sensitivity feature but they are more prone to breakage due to their stiffness whereas fiberglass rods have flex, and are more durable that graphite rods.

In the case of casting rods, sensitivity is a required feature to feel the nibbles’ vibrations while that isn’t a prominent requirement in the case of trolling rods. Moreover, the bites of the bigger fish aren’t hard to detect.

Anyhow, the fiberglass and carbon fiber rods are recommended selections for trolling fishing.

Rod Length

Trolling rods are normally longer than regular fishing rods. The range starts from 5’5’’ in length to longer than 10 feet. As trolling involves dragging lures behind the boat, so casting long with a prominent distance isn’t a big concern.

If you are a beginner trolling fisherman, 7 feet is the ideal rod length to be fixed in a rod holder on the boat. If you want to exceed this, 7-9 feet long rods are the optimal choice for trolling, these rods are good with maneuverability and have much strength to land trophy catches.

Rod Power

The power of the rod decides the rod’s strength it is what type of fish, what size and weight of fish a rod can handle, or if we go with the formal definition, the pressure required to make the rod bend.

There are many factors to consider for trolling rod power

  1. Size of the target fish
  2. Size of lure or bait
  3. The Fishing conditions

Here we have generally three different categories in rod power following different fishing conditions

Light power: A light power rod is suitable for trolling for smaller species of fish such as panfish or trout. These rods have a lighter action and are designed for using smaller lures or baits.

Medium power: A medium power rod is a versatile choice that can be used for a variety of species, including walleye, salmon, and lake trout. These rods have moderate action and can handle a wider range of lure and bait sizes.

Heavy power: A heavy power rod is ideal for trolling for larger species such as marlin, tuna, and musky. These rods have a heavy action and are capable of handling large, heavy lures and baits.

As we are searching for the best trolling rod for trout the light or medium power rod is best suited.


How fast your rod returns to its original position after bending is the rod action. The more significant the bend is, the more slower the rod will be in its action and hook-setting power.

Trolling fishing rods usually require a medium-to-fast action rod. This type of rod action allows for good sensitivity and control, making it easier to detect and set the hook when a fish bites. Additionally, a medium-to-fast action rod provides enough backbone to handle larger fish, which is often the case when trolling.

Trout is a challenging fish to catch due to its intelligence. While trout are not typically considered soft-mouth fish, they can still be delicate. To avoid damaging the trout, gentle handling is required when reeling it in, avoiding excessive pressure on the line. This ensures that the trout is unharmed and able to thrive if the angler practices catch and release.

It’s also worth noting that the specific species of trout can have different levels of mouth firmness and that some species may be more delicate than others. So, it’s always a good idea to research the species of trout you are targeting and understand their specific characteristics and requirements for proper handling.

Summing up, another feature of the best trolling rods for trout is this these are slow action rods because these rods are good as shock absorbers, allowing more time to set the hook and they will not take the lure out of the fish’s mouth before it engulfs it.

Trolling rod Handle

Choosing a trolling rod is different from selecting a casting rod. The handle of a casting rod is chosen for comfort, while the handle of a trolling rod is chosen for its ability to maintain its shape in a rod holder.

In this scenario, EVA foam handles are preferred over cork handles for trolling rods.

Butt Type

Trolling fishing rods are available with two butt types options straight or bent. The choice between a straight butt and a bent butt trolling rod for trolling fishing depends on personal preference and the type of trolling to be done.

Straight butt rods are simpler, more affordable, and easier to store and are ideal for trolling in deep water with long and steady retrieves. These type of rods are relatively shorter ranging 5.5 to 7.5 feet long.

Bent butt rods have a bend in the handle for absorbing shock and are useful for trolling in heavy currents with aggressive fish. Bent butt rods are also typically longer for fighting big fish. Anglers should try both types to determine which one works best for their needs and preferences.

Trolling rod guides

Trolling rod guides are the rings or eyes on a fishing rod that the fishing line runs through. They play a critical role in the performance and overall strength of the rod. There are several different types of trolling rod guide options, including:

  1. Ceramic Guides: Ceramic guides are made from a hardened ceramic material that is durable and wear-resistant. They are lightweight and smooth, making them ideal for trolling fishing.
  2. Stainless Steel Guides: Stainless steel guides are durable, corrosion-resistant, and provide a smooth surface for the line to run through. They are typically heavier than ceramic guides but are more durable.
  3. Aluminum Oxide Guides: Aluminum oxide guides are a type of ceramic guide that offers excellent wear resistance and high strength. They are popular for trolling fishing due to their durability and ability to withstand heavy loads.
  4. Titanium Guides: Titanium guides are strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant. They are also less likely to break or become damaged compared to other materials, making them a great option for trolling fishing.
  5. SiC (Silicon Carbide) Guides: SiC guides are a type of ceramic guide that are more durable and wear-resistant than other materials. They are ideal for trolling fishing, especially in saltwater conditions, as they are highly resistant to corrosion.

The type of guide you choose will depend on your personal preferences, the type of fishing you plan to do, and the conditions you will be fishing in. It’s always a good idea to choose guides that are appropriate for the size and strength of the fish you plan to catch.

In addition to the guide construction materials, you also have three different design options for trolling rod guides. These are

Standard eyes: These rods are the least expensive and suitable for smaller fish catches. These circular loops are just fixed to the external surface of the rod.

Roller Guides: These guides don’t put enough pressure on the line and are suitable for bigger catches. The line is threaded onto the rod in this design.

Inner Flow: The design known as “inner flow” runs the fishing line through the blank or middle of the rod, thereby removing areas of tension and ensuring that the rod curves in a smooth manner. This design is beneficial for catching bigger fish, but it can be costly to implement.


Fishing for trout can be a great way to spend some quality time outdoors whether it is with spinning rods, baitcasting rods, or trolling. With the right trolling rod, you’ll be able to catch more trout and have an even better fishing experience. We hope this article has been helpful in introducing you to the best trolling rods for catching trout.

No matter which one you end up choosing, we are sure that this guide has helped put you on the right track toward finding just the right fishing gear for a successful day of trout trolling!