Trout Gear 5: Big Rigs and Small
The popular mantra of real estate -- location, location, location -- is helpful when considering trout fishing rigs. That's because fishing for trout in small streams differs from fishing in large streams or rivers. Small streams have less water, smaller fish and more underbrush, so you'll want an ultralight rod between 4 and 5 feet (1.2 and 1.5 meters) long. A spinning ultralight rig, which combines the short, flexible rod with a reel featuring a fully exposed spool at the front of the reel, will give you the most flexibility in this category. You can buy spinning rods and reels separately, or you can buy a combination, which comes with a rod and reel already prespooled with line. Because trout tend to be "line shy," consider using line in the 2-to-4-pound (0.9-to-1.8-kilogram) test weight category. You might also consider a two-piece rod for easy transport.
Larger streams call for heavier rigs, medium to heavy action, 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 meters) long. Spinning outfits are great solutions for this kind of fishing, but spin-casting rigs are also effective. In spin-cast equipment, the line spool is enclosed in a housing mounted to the top of the rod. To cast, you depress a trigger and, as the rod brings the lure forward, release. The line spins off the end of a spool and passes out through a hole in the reel cover. Choose monofilament line in the 6-to-15-pound (2.7-to-6.8-kilogram) class to make sure the line doesn't bunch up inside the cover.
Next, we'll look at what makes the trout bite.