Made in America Trout Spinning Reels
There are hundreds of spinning reels on the market, but only a handful of brands make spinning reels in the United States. Below, I have summarized the various spinning reels and their suitability for trout fishing.
To save everyone time, there is currently no American made spinning reels suitable for ultralight trout fishing. The best candidates the Accurate Twinspin SR-6 and the IRTreels 200 are both a bit on the large size. They might have some niche trout fishing applications.
So what is the best option for a patriot? Well, you could consider buying an imported reel from a company that designs its reels domestically. Most notably Penn, Lews, and Pfluger. While they do some design work in America, the production largely takes place in China. Some of their baitcasters are made in Korea.
If your goal is to avoid Chinese made reels. Then the high-end models from Shimano and Daiwa are made in Japan. Shimano produces many of their cheaper reels in Thailand and Malaysia. Okuma produces nearly their entire range in Taiwan. Most spinning reels from other brands are made in china.
Lets now look at some made in the USA spinning reels are discuss their suitability for trout fishing.
Accurate Twinspin SR-6
The accurate Twinspin SR-6 is the lightest American made spinning reel currently in production. Even so, it is a bit overkill for most forms of trout fishing. Accurate make their reels in Corona, California with mostly domestic source components.
Weighing in at 10oz it is a couple of ounces heavier than most reels typically used for trout fishing.
The spool, holds 200yrds of 20lb braid, so has approximately 20% lower capacity than the IRT200.
Even then, the Accurate Twinspin SR-6 is on the heavier larger end of reels suitable for trout fishing. This reel has no place on a trout stream but its size and specs could make it a good choice for targeting large steelheads, searun brown trout, and large lake trout.
While I personally feel it is still a bit large for trout fishing. So will not recommend it. The Accurate Twinspin SR-6 is currently the best made in USA reel for trout fishing.
IRTReels was founded by former Penn employees who wanted to continue the companies American-made tradition. All IRT spinning reels are design and built in the United States from both domestically produced and imported components. Most IRT reels are too large for trout fishing, but the smallest of their lineup the IRT200 has some niche trout fishing potential
The smallest model retailing for $549 is the IRT200. I will save time now, this reel is too large for stream trout, and certainly, overkill at any stock pond. Its size does have some potential for targeting larger trout species such as Steelheads and Lake Trout. The IRT 200 weighs a hefty 12.7 oz. And has a capacity of 250 yards of 6lb line.
How does that compare with the competition? Well, a 3000 size Shimano Stradic FL weighs 7.9oz and holds 230 yards of 6lb line. The IRT 200 is one hefty reel and it is built like a tank. While the quality, and durability are certainly there, the IRT200 is simply too large for me to recommend as a trout reel.
Penn was once the giant of the US fishing industry, but in recent years the majority of their production has gone offshore. Due to consumer demand, some manufacturing has returned to their facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this time Penn only produces heavy duty saltwater reels such as the Torque II and the difficult to source Penn Z series domestically. Neither of these reels are suitable for trout fishing.
The ultralight Penn reels such as the Penn Battle II are made in china.
ZeeBaaS produces their reels in Stratford, Connecticut. They are all too large for trout fishing.
Best Made In America Rods for trout fishing
So while there is a shortage of American made reels, we have an abundance of rods to discuss. There is not really any budget friendly options. But for the fishermen prepared to spend a little more some of the best ultralight trout rods around are made in the united states.
I am not going to go into too much detail on what makes for a good trout rod. Most anglers when buying a trout spinning rod looks for one between 5-6’6 in length. The longer rods, are more suitable for bigger rivers and long casts. While the shorter rods are ideal for fishing up tight streams where casting space is often limited.
Most trout fishermen will go for an ultralight rod, suitable to casting lures between 1/32 to 1/4oz. While using line between 2-6lb in breaking strain. We are talking about tiny lures and ultralight fishing equipment here.
St Croix is one of the biggest names in US made fishing rods, and they make some excellent rods for trout fishing for a surprisingly affordable price. Their Trout Series Spinning Rods are sweet little rods. With cork handles, and traditional styling they are value hard to beat.
G.Loomis has long been a big player in American made fishing rods. Despite being brought out by Shimano G.Loomis continues to design and make their rods in America. G.Loomis rods are premium products with prices usually over $300. The sensitivity their rods offer are in a class of their own. Again, I suggest the G loomis trout series. These rods are extremely sensitive and light rod. Virtually no expense has been spared to make the ultimate trout spinning rod.
I must admit to not having much experience with Cajun rods. This smaller manufacturer not only assembles the rods, but also manufactures the blanks. The Cajun Trigger series makes a selection of 67 and 7ft rods suitable for casting trout weight lures. With a cork handle, and an affordable price all backed by a lifetime warranty.
Lamigas still produces some of their rods in Woodland, Washington. One of these being the Infinity Ultralight. Coming in two lengths 7’ and 7’6” and both rated for casting lures between 1/16 and 1/4oz. This is a good option for fishing in bigger water. Coming in at close to $270 these are the second most expensive rods on this list.
Edge Rods was founded by Gary Loomis a few years after selling his first company to Shimano. Edge rods makes some very nice longer ultralight rods for steelhead and salmon fishing.
American made Monofilament and line
There is a lot of great American made fishing line suitable for trout fishing. Some of the best is from the stern brand including their original series. Berkley also produces their Trilene line another proven classic. Both companies also produces some more advance and specialized variations. For more information about buying monofilament fishing line for trout check my guide here.
There is also a lot of American made braid. My favorite for trout fishing is berkley fireline. In ultralight weights, it casts well on spinning reels. In this post here I go into more details about why I feel Berkley Fireline is the best mainline for trout fishing.
Best American made trout lures
Mepps inline spinners are widely considered to be one of the best trout lures ever made. Unlike most of the competition mepps are still made in America. Although the components for the original agilia are imported from France where they were originally made.
Thomas Fishing lures.
This lure manufacturer is based in northeastern Pennsylvania. They make a wide range of different lures. Many are suitable for trout fishing.
Dardevle by Eppinger Mfg
is located in Dearborn, MI, and still made all their lures in the United States. They produce over 16,000 different sizes, shapes and variations. Some of their spoons are excellent for trout fishing.
Granma Classic Lures
is a small company based in Jamestown, PA. They make jerkbait style lures from 3” all the way up to 13”. I have never gotten to fish a Granma Lure but they certainly look good.