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Right now I use a 6'6" St. Croix ultralight rod that has a relatively slow action but not too slow. If you're just getting the tip to move on a long cast, your rod may be too fast. Before this one, I was partial to 7 footers, and I do miss it sometimes. Really, really slow action rods may be better for bait. Bass guys have recently gone to fiberglass and composites for crankbaits because of the slower action. Same deal with trout, only much smaller scale.

I think hooking a trout on crankbait is not dissimilar to hooking one on a fly, at least for me. Retrieve with the rod pointed at the bait, and just lift the rod when you get a hit, don't really set the hook hard. A longer rod comes in handy for that kind of hook set. If I had a 5 footer, I may have to set the hook harder when a fish hits farther away from me.

One other thing works for me too. Jerk the plug a bit, stop and start, not just a steady retrieve. Trout usually hit the bait stopped when you do this, and the next time you jerk, fish on.
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