Spinning rod/reel for trout ponds

Will soon be getting a Hornbeck pack canoe and eager to slowly troll spinners on some of the lessen known brook trout ponds. I will probably fish Adirondack trout ponds from my canoe only and rarely stream and creek fish. What type of spinning rod action and length and reel would be best? Suggested brands? I am nore whether ultra-light or light is best given the tradeoff of the portag eitself vs. the ability to cast and hook fish.

I know nothing about Trout fishing …

– Last Updated: Mar-23-12 10:45 PM EST –

....... but I understand they'll take a bait on bobber . What size fish are you expecting to catch ??

In open waters where you don't have concerns of dealing with a fish running into cover like submerged brush , limbs , rocks , ect. , 4 lb. test has no problem dealing with a 4 lb. fish , 6 lb. handles a 6 lb. fish , 8 lb. test handles 8 lbs. and so on .

Remember that thing on a spin reel called "drag" , seems no matter what size line I'm using , it's a given one fish or the next will force me to loosen the drag more to save from break off .

I once brought a 42" river Muskie to boat side on 8 lb. test , and you know the drag got loosened for that one , which also means he had his way for a long , long time .

If I'm in a stumpy Bass lake with submerged trees , cover , etc. ... a 5 lb. Bass has a good chance of breaking 8 lb. line , lost too many that way so I keep a spool of 10 lb. at the ready .

Remember , you can always get extra spools for your spin reel and have different lb. test line on each ... I do it that way so I can just swap spools when I want to .

A 2500 series spin reel is a nice versatile size , it'll handle Bluegills as well as river Muskies and Walleye , so I reckon it's good for Trout too ... a 2000 series can do it well also . just remember , you got drag to compensate for lighter lines dealing with heavier fish .

I think there's even some kind of Andy tournament where they catch Marlin on 4 lb. test ...

I have been using for many many years a beautiful graphite ultra light spinning combo. It handles all panfish and bass up to 5-6 lbs. Large enough to pull my kayak. A lot more fun than a heavier combo in my opinion.

6’6" to 7" ML or a 6’ L
I like longer rods for two reasons. First, you can usually get more distance in your casts. Second, they have more give when you get a larger fish on and so your line isn’t as stressed as with a rod with less give.

I don’t like UL rods generally as they have very little backbone for hook sets. Also, they often are very short. Short and wimpy is not good for a fishing rod, in my opinion.

I used a 6’ L and a 5’6" UL for years for trout and panfish. I greatly preferred the 6’L.

  • Big D

Trout rod

– Last Updated: Mar-30-12 6:46 AM EST –

Dear sandport,

I do a lot of trout fishing with UL rods and for fishing out of a canoe I'd recommend a rod of 6' or greater length.

The shorter rods are fine for streams and can be used in a boat but a longer rod offers several advantages. Like Big D said they are more protective of a light line, but more importantly in my opinion they offer greater reach around the boat.

You are going to fish out of a canoe that's about 12' in length, correct? If you have the fish of a lifetime on an it nears the boat and decides it would rather be on the opposite side of the boat you can reach and swing swing the rod over the bow or stern to follow the fish. That cannot be done with a 4 1/2 or 5 foot rod unless you have arms the length of Shaquille O'Neal.

As far as brands go it's a matter of personal choice. Most of today's rod makers offer several lines of rods in wide range of prices. If you have a Gander Mountain, Cabela's, or Bass Pro Shop near you I'd suggest you go and look at their UL offerings.

The reel again is a matter of personal choice. I'm still using a Mitchell 408 I bought almost 40 years ago. Yes you can get new reels that feel smoother and have 100's of ball bearings but you can find a 408 or 308 on ebay or craigslist for $ 20.00 or $30.00 that will outlast any reel made today. The choice is your's.


Tim Murphy AKA Goobs

If you are not using a fly rod…
Just get the tried and true Zebco 33 spincaster and an ultra light 6 or 7 foot rod. You’ll have a blast and it will be a simple and reliable system.

just try
use braided line, diameter is very small, mini rapalas work well. favorite would be a F3-F7 brooktrout pattern.

I use a 5’6" shimano bob izumi rod, the wife uses a 5’ berkley cherrywood with great success.

just got some powerpro superslick 10 pound line and love it.

small rod

nice braid

quality lure


fish caught

you do not require 38 feet of graphite to improve your catch

Trout Rod
I’m with Big D on the rod length - 6’6" to 7". I do go a bit heavier on the line preferring 8lb Berkely XT. We troll a lot of lakes with rocky shorelines & bottoms which can chew up line pretty quick. I find the XT holds up the best for me. If aren’t around as much rock, then the 6lb works fine. I haven’t tried a braid yet.

My list of favourite trout lures, mostly used for trolling, is here: http://www.loonislandoutdoors.com/Fishing/FavouriteTroutLures.php

To many to list.
Most any Ultra light or light action rod will be fine.Load the reel with 4 or 6 test and your good to go.Just watch out for line twist when trolling.

very small spinner type or flashfish…

– Last Updated: Jun-22-12 1:54 PM EST –

should work, but prioritize...enjoy the paddling.
Wanna check the regulations...some states designate certain ponds as FlyFishing Only...

There are few “bad” choices nowadays

– Last Updated: Jul-15-12 4:14 PM EST –

If you avoid the cheapest equipment available, you'll have no problems unless/until you put a huge number of hours into fishing, which even for hardcore people takes years. Get a rod that's rated for the weight you wish to cast (even if you plan to troll, you'll no doubt end up casting at times). Longer rods have all the advantages already mentioned, PLUS they will handle a much broader range of lure/bait weights, so you won't struggle as much when working outside your normal weight range (whether that's lighter or heavier that the rod's ideal rated lure weight). If you opt for a lightweight rod, chances are the guides will be too small to allow easy casting (a lightweight rod I got shortly after the lightweight craze hit (that dates me, huh?) didn't cast worth a crap until I installed new guides). In fact, a LOT of rods are sold with guides that are too small, so large guides (especially the two that are closest to the reel) is a good feature to look for. The modern trend in spinning reels is small size - much smaller than they were decades ago, and today's standard reel is yesterday's lightweight. Today's smaller-diameter spools definitely reduce casting distance, and if long-distance casting is a huge priority, I'd look for a reel that's larger than what you "need". For average casting, a reel "rated" for your type of use (mostly the strength of the line) will be fine. Finer details aside, you really can't go wrong nowadays as long as you pay attention to the line and lure-weight ratings.