One of my favorite methods of fishing is to dead drift, or what I call stray lining. That is where you cast out a lightly, or unweighted bait and just it let it drift through the water column. I dial my drag right down, so if a fish grabs the bait and runs it feels no resistance.
So what are the best rods? I suppose many fishermen will reach for a high modular graphite high performance rod with enough sensitivity to detect a trout fart a mile upstream.
Well, for dead drifting I go in the opposite direction. I prefer a cheap and durable solid tip rod and a mostly glass blank. The presentation is all about softness, I want a rod soft enough to cast out an unweighted worm, but gentle enough that the shock does not cause it to fly of.
The best rods for dead drifting are usually the cheapest in the store. So they are very budget friendly. Yes, I have brought expensive fiberglass rods with clear tips but apart from better quality componentry are not much of an improvement. Certainly does not justify the price.
Now for product recommendations.
For trout I like the Ugly stick GX2, from a boat I will go for the 5ft ultralight, but from the shore, I prefer the slightly longer 6ft light. These rods are indestructible and have a lovely soft action perfect for flicking out soft baits like worms.
When casting out whole minnows, or slightly heavier baits. Then the 9ft medium is even an option.
Update: I Just noticed this article is incomplete, I will try and find the rest of it.