Rod Choices When Spinning for Trout
In a previous article, we talked some about different gear for trout fishing with spinners. As a general rule, I prefer to use ultra-light tackle with a spinning reel. However, there are situations where you'll want to use something different.
If you're fishing a large, wide river, you may find that having an especially long cast to be helpful. To assist in this, you'll want a longer rod - at least six feet. This will lead you out of the "ultra light" family of gear and into light- or even medium-action rods. Depending on which river you're in, you may want to use something heavier due to the size of the fish that it contains. Steelhead and many salmon would require something a little more substantial than a light or ultra-light combo with six-pound test.
However, if you're fishing a typical inland trout stream, where long casts aren't required, and the fish don't get heavier than a couple pounds (for the most part), stick with ultra-light equipment. Thinner line will be less visible to fish and a shorter rod will help keep your lure from getting caught up in a tree on your back cast.
For children, or very inexperienced fishermen, a spincasting combo may prove to be easier to use than a spinning reel. These reels are situated on the top of the rod (unlike spinning reels which sit underneath) and the line is released at a push of a button, instead of by holding it with your finger. To cast you push the button, then release as you sweep the rod forward, releasing your line and lure. Many of these are marketed to children with themes like Disney Princesses or Transformers - making it a little easier to introduce small children to the sport.
The most important thing to remember is to use what works well for you. A short, ultra-light rod may be uncomfortable and the light weight might cause errant casts. If that's the case, use what works for you. Likewise for your reel choice. Not everyone likes a spinning reel, and there are many variations of spinning and spincasting reels out there. Try a few and find out what works. If you are more comfortable with your rod, you're more likely to be more patient at the stream, which almost always leads to more fish.