Trout fishing comes with its own special thrill, and with their wildly varying sizes, there is trout for just about any angler. And like with any other fishing niche, choosing your trout fishing reel must be gotten right the first time and every time, as it is the control tower of all your fishing techniques and more so to handle the unique challenges that come with trout fishing.
The ideal trout fishing reel should be lightweight, have a decent line capacity, should be very durable, come with impressive drag, and should yield excellent controls.
Best Trout Fishing Reels
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five trout fishing reels that tick all the above boxes and don’t cost a fortune.
The KastKing Centron is a great fishing rod for both the newbie and experienced angler, comes in a compact, lightweight graphite frame for the most convenience. It delivers up to 17.5 lbs. of drag, is highly durable, and runs on nine ball bearings for smooth, quiet operation. It also comes with an anti-reverse system, a power launch lip that allows for further casts, and sports an overall sleek design.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Impressive drag, convenient to use.
- Easy to mount, highly durable.
The Daiwa BG spinning reel sports a sleek design and comes in a lightweight anodized aluminum housing that is highly durable. It boasts of up to 15.4 lbs. of drag, a 5.6:1 gear ratio for high-torque reeling, and an aluminum ABS spool that can accommodate up to 190 yards of 30 lb. line. It also comes with an anti-reverse system, a low-friction air rotor, and a screwable ergonomic handle for the most comfort and easy replacement.
- Sleek design, highly durable.
- Impressive drag and line capacity.
- Easy operation and tangle-free performance.
The Okuma Ceymar spinning reel sports a sleek Blade Body design for compactness and comes with a 110 yard/ 4 lb. line capacity ideal for smaller trout. It features a quick-action anti-reverse control, high-ratio brass gears, and is built from lightweight, high-grade aluminum making it very lightweight. It is the smallest in the Okuma C-10 series, features a two-toned anodized spool, 8 bearings for smooth performance, and sports a highly ergonomic EVA handle for comfort.
- Excellent controls with impressive line capacity.
- Lightweight with a high gear ratio.
- Low-profile, Blade Body design, highly durable.
The Pflueger President spinning reel comes with a graphite housing and rotor and runs on ten stainless steel ball bearings for smooth, noiseless performance. It is very lightweight, features a braid-ready spool, and a sealed drag system that minimizes maintenance and ensures continuous lubrication. It also sports a sleek blue and gold design, is designed to minimize line twist, and boasts of an impressive line capacity.
- Very lightweight ad durable.
- Smooth performance.
- Sleek design, minimal maintenance.
The KastKing Royale Legend II comes as a baitcasting reel that sports a low-profile, sleek design and packs the top-notch bearing performance of higher-end reels from the company into a very affordable unit. It comes in two 5.4:1 and 7.2:1 models for big and small catches respectively, is very lightweight, and can take up to 130 yards of 10 lb. mono line and 90 yards of 65 lbs. braid line. All its components are made from durable, high-strength materials, it comes with up to 17.6 lb. of drag, and 8-button magnetic braking system for superior casting performance.
- Low-profile design and smooth performance.
- Impressive reeling power and line capacity.
- Highly durable, great control.
Trout Fishing Reel Buying Guide
Trout fall under the spectrum of moderate-sized fish that can be tackled by just about any angler. They put up a decent fight, and are especially great for beginner anglers who need to understand basic techniques before moving to much larger species.
Our buying guide reviews the best trout fishing reels on the market based on their specified features and tested performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further to outline the particular factors you should consider and qualities you should look out for in a trout fishing reel before you make a purchase.
Your trout fishing reel should be built from the best materials that will resist corrosion and ensure long service. It should combine low weight with high strength for the best performance. When choosing a trout fishing reel, you should not compromise on quality for affordability. Cheap plastic reels should be avoided when possible. Instead, materials like graphite, aluminum alloys, and composites like carbon fiber are what you should look out for.
Graphite is a great material in trout fishing reels as it is very lightweight and tough. It is also very resistant to corrosion. For the best performance, aircraft-grade aluminum alloys and composites like carbon fiber trout fishing reels are the ideal choice but are more expensive.
Another important factor you want to consider when buying a trout fishing reel is the type of reel you want to go for. While trout fishing reels come in different types, baitcasting reels and spinning reels are the most commonly used.
Spinning reels are the most popular reel type and are very easy to use. They offer the advantage of being less prone to backlash, impressive casting range, and are very beginner-friendly.
Baitcasting reels are more common among experienced anglers and are used to tackle larger trout. They can accommodate heavier lines and deliver higher torque than spinning reels. While they don’t cast bait as far as spinning reels, they offer more accurate casts. They are, however, more prone to backlash.
Size and Line Capacity
Trout fishing reels are sized in numbers from small-sized 1500 reels to large above 4000 reels. The larger your reel, the larger the fish you can target. But as trout are generally small-sized, a fitting small to medium-sized reel is recommended.
Another important factor for a trout fishing reel is its line capacity or amount of line it can hold. Trout do not put up a very serious fight, so your reel should store just enough line for your catch to flee and tire out without being too bulky. Line capacities are usually specified as a two-figure value representing the length of a particular load-tested line the reel can accommodate.
So a salmon trout reel with line capacity 8 lb./110 yard can take 110 yards of fishing line with a maximum rated tension load of 8 lb.