The Shimano Trout One Area Special rods are designed specifically for fishing lakes, where you do not have to fight the current as well as the fish. They are softer and most are longer than the Trout One Native Special rods. There are 10 different rods in the Area Special series, ranging from 5'6" to 6'6". There are three categories: extra ultralight, super ultralight and ultralight.
The extra ultralight rods are rated for lures of 1 to 3.5 grams (roughly 1/32 to 1/8 oz) and line weights of 2 to 4 lbs. The super ultralight rods are rated for lures of 1.5 to 4.5 grams and line weights of 2.5 to 4 lbs. The ultralight rods are rated for lures of 2 to 6 grams (roughly 1/16 to 1/5 oz) and lines of 3 to 5 lbs.
The Area Special rods are designed for trout, but they are more versatile than that. They would be ideal rods for panfish and even the XUL rods will handle smallmouth bass in clear lakes free from wood and weeds. I would not suggest them for river smallies, though! They don't have the backbone you would want for that.
The Shimano Trout One Area Special rod are rated for lines no heavier than 4 or 5 lb test, so I would look for a beefier rod if you will be fishing anywhere you will need to keep large fish out of weedbeds, downed trees or brushpiles.
Shimano Trout One spinning rods have stainless steel "K" guides. The Area Special rods will fit in the Long Rod Case offered on my TenkaraBum website.
The grips are good quality cork. The reel seat is Shimano's CI4+ material, which is a light weight, rigid carbon composite.
I have had the Shimano Trout One Area Special 66XUL-F although it is currently out of stock. If you would like one of those or one of the other lengths (5'6", 6", 6'3") I can special order one for you. If you are looking for a JDM spinning rod in the $200 range for trout in lakes, or for crappies and bluegills, I think you would have a hard time a finding nicer one.
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.