The Shimano Trout One rods are really very nice rods that in some ways I like better than the comparably priced Daiwas. The Trout One Native Special rods come in spinning and baitcasting versions. The Trout One Area Special rods are all spinning rods.
Shimano Trout One NS
The Shimano Trout One NS (Native Special) S53UL is very nice, very light, very capable rod designed for stream trout. Shimano designed the Trout One NS with a fast taper, giving the rod a firm midsection and a relatively soft tip. The firm midsection gives you the ability to work lures up to 7 grams (1/4 ounce) and the relatively soft tip will allow the rod to cast a 1 gram lure (1/32 oz).
The Shimano Trout One NS S53UL will cast a Daiwa .8g Vega spoon reasonably well.
Finesse Spin Fishing
Although the rod will cast the Daiwa .8 gram Vega spoons far enough to catch fish, the 1.2 and 1.8 gram Daiwa Lupin spoons cast very nicely indeed, enough better than the Vega that I think they would be my choice for a smaller sized spoon.
The C'ultiva JH-85 jigheads with either a Pinworm or a Ring Kick Tail Worm cast extremely well and can be worked more slowly than a spoon. If the bottom is relatively smooth, they can be hopped across the bottom to mimic a sculpin or fleeing crayfish.
Heavier lures, like the 2.5 g Daiwa Crusader spoons or the 3g Smith Drop Diamond and Edge Diamond spoons cast like bullets. Minnow lures are considerably more wind resistant than spoons, but I found that the Shimano Trout One NS S53UL can cast the Daiwa Dr. Minnow lures nicely.
The firm midsection does more than just allow you to cast heavier lures. It also allows you to land heavier fish. I wish I could show you a photo of the last fish I caught with the Shimano Trout One NS S53UL. It barely fit in my Nomad Mid Length net. Based on the length of the net opening, I know it was over 20 inches. Unfortunately, before I could reach for my camera, with one mighty flip it was back out of the net. I like barbless lures because they often come out by themselves when a fish is in the net. When this particular fish flipped out of the net, it left the lure behind, so there was no getting it back. Long story short, the Shimano Trout One NS is capable of landing very nice fish.
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.
The Area Special rods are designed for trout, but they are versatile rods. The rods are softer and longer than the NS (native special) rods and they would be ideal rods for panfish. They will handle smallmouth bass, particularly in clear lakes free from wood and weeds. The Shimano Trout One Area Special 66XUL-F is rated for lines no heavier than 4 lb test. I would look for a beefier rod if I fished for largemouth bass.
Shimano Trout One spinning rods have stainless steel "K" guides. The NS (native special) and the Area Special rods will fit in the Long Rod Case offered on my TenkaraBum website. The Daiwa spinning rods do not fit in the rod cases because their first guide is too high.
I have a friend who is considering starting a guiding business that will
be stream fishing for trout but aimed at spin fishermen rather than fly
fishermen. I think the Shimano Trout One NS S53UL would be an excellent
choice for his business. Clients will recognize that it is a nicer,
higher quality rod and better suited to stream fishing for trout than any rod they have now. Because the rod fits in the Long Rod Case, the rods in the back of his truck will be protected, even with waders and water bottles and bumpy dirt roads.
The grips are good quality cork. The reel seat is Shimano's CI4+ material, which is a light weight, rigid carbon composite (the same material that is used for much of the Cardiff CI4+ C2000HGS spinning reel.
All in all, the Shimano Trout One series are excellent rods. If you are looking for a JDM spinning rod (or baitcaster) in the $200 range, I think you would have a hard time finding nicer rods.
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.