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When shopping for fishing rods, there’s a wide range of weights actions that you can choose from. The different weights and actions can determine how the fishing rod performs and the type of fish it catches. For instance, the weight of a rod is determined based on how stiff the rod is and how it bends. This can be ultralight, light, heavy, or medium. 

On the other hand, the action refers to the location of the bend once the pressure is applied. This differs based on the material used for manufacturing and the shape. A fishing rod with a slow action will bend all the way to the reel, while fast action rods only bend at the top. 

Trout anglers mainly use light and ultralight rods in their fishing expeditions. However, both rods have different properties; therefore, you need to determine which is better.

In this article, we’ll look at the differences between light and ultralight fishing rods and which is better for trout fishing. 

What Is a Light Fishing Rod?

A light fishing rod is used for lures under 1/16 of an ounce. It does not weigh much and bends mainly at the tip. Since they are lighter, they can easily cast bait and lures. They can also help increase the casting distance because the stiffer blank allows anglers to transfer more energy on the cast and get the lure farther. 

These fishing rods catch trout, small bass, panfish, or bluegill. However, they can also be used to catch larger species.

What Is an Ultralight Fishing Rod?

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Ultralight fishing rods are much lighter in weight and action than light fishing rods. This rod can handle lures in the 1/32-1/16 ounce range. They are used in shallow waters such as ponds, creeks, and shallow areas of lakes. 

Therefore, these rods are the best option if you are downsizing gear. With ultralight fishing rods, you get more bend, and it’s more fun because the trout can put up a fight. 

In addition, it’s a better choice for casting lighter and smaller lures with higher accuracy. Due to the flexible tip, it’s more sensitive, which allows you to detect any subtle bites. Therefore, you can use them to catch shy fish. Although these rods are manufactured differently and are more costly, you can get some affordable options. 

You should use these fishing rods if you plan to use small and light lures. Therefore, if you plan to use heavy lures like crank-baits, avoid using these rods because the sensitivity reduces, so you won’t feel the fish bites. 

Light Vs. Ultralight Rod for Trout: Which Is Better?

One of the major differences between the light and ultralight rods is accuracy. The ultralight rod is more accurate because of the way the tip bends. The tip bends much easier, giving you a better arc when you cast. In addition, it also handles smaller flies or lures than the lightweight rod.

Therefore, if you need to go trout fishing and you need a light rod, the ultralight is a better option. Trout fishing requires a small lure, which works with ultralight. On top of being more accurate, it has increased line sensitivity that allows you to detect subtle fish bites. 

For the best results, the best length of the rod for trout fishing should be 5-6 feet; however, some angles use 7-foot rods with lighter lures. This length is determined by the size of the fish you target and the fishing technique.

However, if you plan to catch other fish species larger than trout, using the light rod is better because it can withstand higher lure weights. Each of these rods has its benefits; therefore, your choice will depend on your fishing expertise, preference, and fishing conditions. 

Which Fishing Rod Costs More?

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Both light and ultralight rods can cost between $20 to $200 or more. However, ultralight rods are more costly because they are designed differently. In recent times, ultralight rods have become more available; therefore, they can be found in different ranges. In addition, the prices will also vary based on the brand you purchase.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trout Fishing Rod

As you choose the ideal fishing rod, you should also consider these factors.


Fishing rods are commonly manufactured using composite, graphite, or fiberglass. The material used can affect the performance of your rod; therefore, you need to know the benefits and downsides of each.  

For instance, fiberglass rods are durable and strong. However, they are not sensitive enough; therefore, they can’t detect bites. They can also be heavy if you are fishing trout for a longer time. Graphite rods are lightweight, sensitive, and easy to handle. However, they are more costly than fiberglass rods and more brittle.

On the other hand, composite rods are a mix of the two; therefore, they are flexible and versatile. They are not too heavy, but they are the most expensive of the three options. 

The Handle Design

Rod handles come in two designs. The pistol grip with the short contoured handle allows you to cast with better accuracy, while the trigger stick design comes with a longer handle; therefore, you have to use both hands. However, it casts further and is ideal for larger fish species. 

The Length

As you shop for a trout fishing rod, you should check the length because it affects how far you can cast. Shorter rods are easier to control, but they can’t cast far. On the other hand, longer rods can go further but are hard to control and have reduced accuracy. 


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Light and ultralight rods can both be used for trout fishing. However, of the two, ultralight rods provide a better fishing experience. They are more costly, but they offer better casting with lighter lures. In addition, they are more sensitive to fish bites, making trout fishing more fun and challenging. Overall, their service is worth it.