Best Brook Trout Fishing Tackle

brook trout fishing tackle

Best Brook Trout Fishing Tackle, a Complete Guide!

This article will thoroughly cover the best brook trout fishing tackle. Brook trout are the third most popular trout in North America, behind rainbow trout and brown trout. They are found in cold, clear waters. While originally found in the eastern portion of the United States, brook trout has been successfully stocked and many other parts of North America and the world. In order to be successful, anglers need the correct brook trout fishing tackle.

trout list

The best trout fishing tackle is ultralight spinning tackle and light fly fishing tackle. Brook trout do not grow very large, averaging less than a pound. They are also found in very clear water. For these reasons, anglers keeping their tackle very light and their lines very thin will have more success.

ice fishing for brook trout

Anglers can use both spinning and fly tackle to have success when fishing for brook trout. Both techniques are equally productive and popular throughout North America. Fly fishing tackle can actually be an advantage in some of the tiny streams in the tops of mountains where native brook trout are often found. Conversely, anglers casting a lure was spinning tackle may have an advantage in larger rivers and lakes.

Best brook trout fishing tackle – rods and reels

The best rod and reel combination when spin fishing for brook trout would be an ultralight rod and a matching reel. Equality combination can be purchased for under $100. Unlike many other types of fishing, anglers brook trout fishing will really only need one rod and reel combination to cover the vast majority of brook trout fishing situations.

best brook trout fishing tackle

In most cases, a slightly longer rod is preferred. A 6 foot to 6 1/2 foot ultralight rod with a fast action will allow anglers to make longer casts while giving them an advantage fighting larger fish.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for a 6′ and 6′ 6″ spinning rods

Shorter rods are often used by anglers went fishing in tight quarters where overhanging trees and shoreline vegetation makes longer rods a bit cumbersome.

brook trout fishing lures

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for shorter spinning rods

The best fishing reel would be an ultralight open face spinning reel. This would match nicely to a 6 foot ultralight spinning rod. Spinning reels are versatile, effective, easy to use, and are available at a very modest price. Anglers can purchase a quality spinning reel for brook trout fishing for around $50.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon Daiwa ultralight reels

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Michigan brook trout

Fishing line options

Anglers should keep the line very light and fishing for brook trout. As previously mentioned, they live in very clear water and art usually found quite shallow. Therefore, 4 pound test line is a good all-around choice. Many successful anglers drop it down to to pound line, though this certainly requires care when tying knots and landing a fish. However, anglers will often be rewarded with more takes. Rarely will and anglers need to step it up as high as 6 pound line.

trout fishing tackle

There are three main types of fishing line available to all anglers. These are braided line, monofilament line, and fluorocarbon line. Due to their keen eyesight and wary habits, most anglers opt for monofilament fishing line. It is cost efficient and very effective. Anglers who want to spend a little more money can opt for fluorocarbon line. Fluorocarbon line is even harder to see in the water and has less stretch than monofilament line does. However, a little bit of stretch in the line can actually be a good thing, especially when using line as light as to pound test and 4 pound test.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for monofilament fishing line

Terminal tackle and lures for brook trout

brook trout tackle

Anglers spin fishing for brook trout will catch them using both natural and artificial baits. Top live baits include worms, grubs, and minnows. There are quite a few prepared baits that are quite effective on brook trout as well and are easier to store and use. Artificial lures certainly catch plenty of Brook trout, with tiny spinners and spoons being the top baits.

Terminal tackle

Anglers who choose to fish for brook trout with live bait or prepared baits including eggs will only need a very small supply of hooks, floats, and pinch on weights. The best hooks to use when brook trout fishing are small thin wire live bait hooks in sizes #8, #10, and #12. A couple tiny floats and a few bags of very small split shot will complete the tackle required to fish for brook trout with live bait.

Best brook trout fishing lures

Brook trout will certainly take artificial lures. The top two artificial lure types for brook trout fishing are spinners and spoons. These lures are very easy to cast and use on light spinning tackle. Tiny plugs can also be used to catch brook trout. Finally, small jigs are used by some anglers as well.

best trout tackle


Spinners are simple yet very effective lures for brook trout and just about every other species in freshwater. They are particularly effective in rivers where the current will cause the blade to rotate. A spinner is basically a shaft with a blade that rotates around, a small body, and a hook that is usually dressed with hair.

check out my post on the best freshwater fishing tackle and lures

There are many different lure manufacturers offer spinners. Capt. Jim’s favorite by far when fishing for brook trout and other species in small streams and rivers is the Worden’s Original Rooster Tail spinner. The thing that differentiates it from other lures in its class is the light weight. The spinners are extremely light which results in less snags when fishing small streams, creeks, and rivers.

brook trout fishing

Rooster tail spinners are available in a wide variety of colors and several sizes. In most brook trout fishing situations, a brightly colored body with a gold blade works best. In very clear water, a white body with a silver blade can be more effective. 1/16 ounce is a good size in small creeks while 1/8 ounce is an excellent all round size for larger streams or where larger brook trout are available.

rooster tail

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Rooster Tail spinners


Tiny spoons are also very effective lures for anglers fishing for brook trout. A spoon is basically a curved piece of metal with a hook in it. The shape and size of the spoon will determine the action that it has. There are many spoons that are productive for brook trout fishing, however Capt. Jim’s favorite is the Acme Phoebe spoon.

Once again, the aspect of this spoon that is different from others is the fact that it is so light. This makes it easier to fish in very shallow streams without hanging up. The 1/8 ounce size in a gold finish is by far the most popular brook trout fishing spoon.

phoebe spoon

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for a gold Phoebe spoon


A close second would be the Acme Kastmaster spoon. It is best used on larger streams that have deep holes. It is also a better lure for anglers fishing in ponds and lakes for brook trout. It is an excellent trolling lure as well.


Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for a Kastmaster spoon


Small plugs can be extremely effective brook trout fishing lures and will usually attract larger specimens. Most anglers that are fishing for trout with plugs are targeting larger fish. This means that they will get less bites, but are often rewarded with a trophy fish. Capt. Jim’s favorite brook trout fishing plug is the Rapala Ultralight Floating Minnow.

This bait floats on the surface than dives down a foot or two upon retrieve. It has a very erratic action that entices trout to strike it. One downside is that it does come with treble hooks, which can result in more harm to the fish when being released. Silver with the black back and gold with a black back are the two best color patterns. This is also an excellent lure that anglers can use when trolling in lakes.

Rapala Ultralight floating minnow

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for Rapala Ultralight minnow plugs


Tiny hair or plastic tail jigs can be effective brook trout fishing lures as well. They very realistically imitate crayfish and larger they as a are bounced along the bottom. Tiny jigs are also used by anglers ice fishing with great success. The one downside to fishing with jigs in streams and rivers is that anglers will hang up often and lose a fair amount of baits.

Fly fishing tackle for brook trout

trout fishing equipment

Many anglers choose to pursue brook trout with fly fishing tackle. Fly fishing for brook trout is fun, while being challenging and rewarding at the same time. Entire books have been written on fly fishing for trout, and even fly fishing for brook trout. Therefore, fly fishing tackle and gear for brook trout will be covered briefly.

As with spin fishing, the best approach is to go light on the tackle. A 3wt outfit is a good all-around rod and reel combination. However, anglers can certainly go lighter if needed. This is particularly true when fishing for brook trout and tiny, high mountain streams. Those fish are not very large and the foliage can make using a longer heavier rod challenging.

Anglers can click this link to shop Amazon for an entry level 3wt fly fishing outfit

With fly fishing, the rod and line are much more important than the reel. In most cases, anglers will not use the fishing reel to land the fish, it basically just stores the line. Both lines and rods come in weight designations. This makes it very easy to make sure that the proper line is used with a matching rod. In the vast majority of fly fishing situations, a floating line is the best choice.

Franklin trout fishing

Fly line is thick and easy to see. Therefore, a leader is used between the end of the fly line and the fly. Anglers should go as light as possible with the leader size. This will result in more takes as brook trout are less apt to see the line. A 9 foot long 8x leader is a good all-around choice. 8X results in a tippet strength of about 2 lb test. However when brook trout are being especially fussy, anglers will often have to bump up the leader length to 12 feet long.

Fly selection can be both simple and extremely complicated. As mentioned above, and tire books have been written on the subject. Some flies float on the surface of the water while others sink. These are called dry flies and wet flies respectively. The best approach for any novice angler when fly fishing for brook trout is to visit a local fly shop. They will have the best selection of flies that are effective in that area along with current conditions.

In conclusion, this article on the best brook trout fishing tackle will help anglers understand the best equipment that is needed when pursuing these gorgeous and hard fighting little game fish!

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