Like most modern rods, the Trout 9056 is made with slender, tubular carbon-fiber sections, but the composition is softer than more expensive models, making it easier to cast (stiffer or “faster” rods offer maximum distance and better accuracy, but take more skill).
The nine-footer breaks into six 18-inch lengths, and it’s light for a rod this packable (more joints typically increase weight). Testers praised its performance while hooking rainbows in Little Heart Lake in Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness. “Trout become skittish in clear water,” explains one tester.
“You need to be able to gently drop your fly on the surface, and to do this, you want a rod/line combo that’s light enough for a delicate cast, but not so light that it whips around in the wind.” This 5-weight model—an ideal mid-range size suitable for a variety of conditions and fish—worked perfectly, allowing him to launch his fly 20 yards—even in breezy conditions—without spooking the trout. $170; 3.3 oz. (4.7 oz. with sleeve); redington.com