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Redfish and Speckled Trout Rod and Reel

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Redfish and Speckled Trout are very popular sports fish and for a good reason. They are incredible fighters. For that reason, it is essential to pick the best rod and reel for redfish and speckled trout fishing.

Note: Both are Drum fish, and the speckled trout is not a trout at all. If fishing on your own, be sure to check out the regulations for redfish and spotted trout.

It would be easy to list off a few quality fishing rod brands — Penn, Ugly Stick, St. Croix, Shakespeare, etc. — and point you in that direction. The best fishing rod for redfish and trout is the one with the big arch in it and the trophy fish on the other end. The short answer is many good fishing rods are up to the task of hauling in a trophy redfish or speckled sea trout. That doesn’t mean any rod will do. As you read this blog, we will discuss choosing the best rod for redfish, but the answer will not be a blanket statement. Selecting the best rod will become more personalized as you hear us out.

Note: Big Redfish are called Bull Reds, Small Redfish are called Rat Fish, and the ones in the middle are just Red Fish. The record for redfish in Florida is 52 pounds five ounces, and for speckled trout, the record is 17 pounds seven ounces.

What Is the Best Rod and Reel for Redfish and Speckled Trout?

When you choose a fishing rod, do so for quality reasons. A good rod helps stop some serious fishing issues — unhooking, broken lines, poor casting, missed hooksets, bad action for lures and baits, etc. You might wonder why a broken fishing line has anything to do with the rod. If the action is not correct, the line will have to take up more of the battle, leading to the line breaking. If the reel is not great and the drag is too tight, then the line can break. A lot of these issues come down to rod action, rod power, and length.

My Best Rod for Redfish and Trout 

For me, the best rod for redfish and trout is a Penn Fierce III with a 4000 series reel. It is an excellent medium-weight fishing rod that will handle some pretty big fish. A 7.0-foot length and medium action are perfect for casting smaller or larger lures or baits. I prefer a graphite composite for longevity.

I can find those qualities in many brands of fishing rods. What I love about the Penn III is that it fits comfortably in my hand. We talked about making this personal, and this is where that starts. Please pick up the rod and hold it. Squeeze it hard because when you fight that big fish, you will be squeezing the rod hard. It has to be comfortable in both a relaxed or intense situation. If you have larger hands and fish with a small diameter rod, your hand will cramp after a few hours. Fishing needs to be comfortable because it can be an all-day affair. In short, the best fishing rod for redfish or speckled trout is a:

  • Medium or Medium Heavy fishing rod
  • Fast action
  • 7-8 feet long
  • 3,000-4,000 series reel.

For me, the Penn Fierce III is it. Amazon reviewers give it a 4.4-star rating. 

Optionally another Best rod for redfish and trout is the Falcon Coastal Clearwater Spoon/Spinner Bait SWS 74MH rod and reel combo by Falcon. With its design for handling big redfish, the rod is very forgiving. It is a single-piece blank, perfect for those who like to target big Bull Reds – The upper end of the redfish trophy range. The single-piece blank is 7 feet, 4″ long with moderate to heavy action, capable of handling 10-20 lb line, and lures in the 1/4-3/4 of an ounce range. It is just what you need to battle big bull reds.

If you are new to fishing, this might all be Greek to you. However, there is a method to understanding the world of fishing rods.

Power: You can think of “power” in this case, as how much tug or fight it takes for a fish to bend the rod. The power, in this case, is the fish. A smaller power rating on a fishing pole means smaller fish will bend it. A higher power rating on a fishing pole means it takes a bigger fish to bend it. You might use an ultra-light power rod for fishing small fish, such as brook trout or bluegill—an extra heavy-rated rod for fishing Tarpon. For redfish and speckled trout, a medium to medium-heavy power rod is ideal.

Length — affects the quality of your fishing. Rods with a shorter length make it more difficult to cast long distances. They are excellent for close-range fishing. A longer rod allows you to cast farther but may not be as accurate as a shorter rod — Not a big deal for redfish fishing. If you need to cast farther, a longer rod is good. A shorter redfish rod might be a better bet if you are sight fishing near-shore or jigging in the deep water.

Action — is a measurement of two things. First, the time it takes for the rod to return to its straight position once it bends. Second, action is a rating of how much a rod will bend or how much of the rod will bend. For example, a fast-action-rated rod will have more bend in the top end than in the entire rod. Conversely, a medium or light action rod will bend throughout its length. Which is better? They both have their place. When you need to feel the minute tug at a piece of bait, an extra-fast action is the tool you need. If you are fishing deep water with a jig, for example, fast-action rods help translate that bit from deep water to the fishing rod where you can feel it. Slower rod action is what we consider a more forgivable setup.

What Is The Best Fishing Line for Redfish and Speckled Trout

Generally, a 20-30 pound braid is just what you need for redfish. A 15-pound leader for small redfish and speckled trout and a 20-30 pound leader for big red bulls.

You can go lighter but risk losing bigger redfish. On the other hand, you can go stronger and aim for the biggest of the red bulls. In that situation, a 40-50 lb braided line is ideal.

Why choose a braided line? It is excellent for casting and can improve accuracy. It also does not have much stretch to it, which means a better and easier hook setting.

Choosing the best rod for redfish and trout does not need to be difficult. There are a few differences in the two species. If you want to target one over the other, its basically a lighter setup for speckled trout than for trophy red bulls. What is important regardless of the brand is that the rod is comfortable to use, of good manufacturing, and generally a foot or so longer than you are tall. You often catch both redfish and speckled trout in the same locations, so a rod that will cover both species is ideally going to get the most use.

Image source: Sam Carlson