Spinning Reel Techniques for Trout Fishing

by Larry Anderson
Spinning gear works well for some trout fishing applications.

Spinning gear works well for some trout fishing applications.

People often think about fly-fishing rods and reels when they think about fishing for trout. But there is a contingent of trout fishermen that uses light-action spinning rods and reels. Some people simply feel more comfortable casting with spinning equipment, while others prefer trout fishing with lures such as in-line spinners, which are easier to fish on spinning rods and reels.

Line Weight

Many trout streams have clear water, so you should choose a line that is not easily visible to the trout. That means fluorocarbon or monofilament fishing line, no heavier than 4- to 6-pound test. Additionally, that size line generally performs better than heavier line on the light-action rods and reels used by trout anglers.

In-Line Spinners

Tie a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce in-line spinner to the end of the line using a Palomar knot. If there is a current in the stream in which you are fishing, cast the spinner and retrieve it against the current. Experiment with the speed at which you retrieve the lure. On some days, trout hit best when the spinner is moving as fast as you can reel it. Other days, they hit best on a slow retrieve when the spinner is traveling just above the bottom. Good spots to fish spinners include in front of undercut banks, near stumps or timber, and on the edges of pools and riffles.

Live-Bait Rig

Tie a small hook -- size 10 -- onto the end of the fishing line. Crimp one or two split-shot weights on the fishing line 6 to 8 inches from the hook. Attach a small worm or piece of night crawler to the hook. Cast the worm rig around likely trout habitat. Let the rig fall to the bottom, then bump it along the bottom as you retrieve it. Alternately, cast the rig out and retrieve it with the current. Reel in line as the lure comes toward you so there is no slack line, but let the current carry the rig.

Fly Casting

You do not need a fly-fishing rod and reel to cast flies to trout. Instead, attach a fly to the end of your line with a Palomar knot. Clamp one split-shot weight to the line 6 inches above the fly. Use only enough weight so you are able to cast the fly. Cast and retrieve the fly across the current, or cast it into the current and let it drift back toward you. Reel in only enough line so the line does not go slack.

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.