This rig is tried and true and has caught 100s of big browns in Wisconsin's Driftless area.
I am a big trout junkie and I should make that clear right away before I go any further. I would trade in 20 trout that measure fourteen inches for one brown trout that is 20 inches or longer. Then there are brook trout. A gigantic brook trout is 14 inches in these parts. They fall in to the trade category for a 20 inch brown. Yes, brook trout are beautiful and are the native species for Wisconsin but they are dumber than a box of rocks. They sometimes will bite again right after you release them. The challenge is zilch for catching brook trout.
Now that I have cleared that up we can get on to the meat of this story; the rod and reel that will handle the kinds of trout that I like catching. They are the hook jawed monsters that make your drags scream and will snap off an under-gunned angler. They are the trout that will make adult men talk to themselves and whimper after they have lost them. Use the proper tool for the job!
With a soft rod and stretchy mono there is zero chance to get a good hook set on an "Iron" jawed monster like this.
The "little is better" anglers please quit reading now because this article doesn't apply to them. I like actually touching the trout I hook. None of this long distance release nonsense for me. Trout are very good eating and old adage that big trout taste bad is an "Urban Myth."
The rod needs to have some back bone. Rods that are wimpy and too short are to be ruled out immediately. That rod needs to be stout enough to extract that wily monster out from under a log jam. A big old monster brown has a jaw that is seriously tough and a noodle-like rod can "not" get the hook to penetrate that jaw and get a secure hook up. Trout build up lactic acid during prolonged battles and die after release. A perfect trout rod is a medium action spinning rod about 6'6" to 7 foot long. My preferred rod is a Fenwick.
Now comes the reel. There are many good spinning reels on the market. Get one with a good drag system. It should hold about 100 yards of good stout line. Shimano, Abu Garcia and Pflueger reels are my reels of choice. This rig is tried and true and has caught 100s of big browns in Wisconsin's Driftless areae 8 pound Power Pro line with a size 9 Panther Martin. I started fishing with mono-filament line. It stretches too much. It makes for poor hook sets. Power pro has no stretch and is way more sensitive. You can actually feel your spinner blade stop momentarily with power pro. Mono has a tendency to mar easily when there is a spinner bait flop over and because of that many lures are deposited on the cast with mono. Get out on the water and give my suggestions a whirl.