-- Last Updated: Mar-30-12 6:46 AM EST --
I do a lot of trout fishing with UL rods and for fishing out of a canoe I'd recommend a rod of 6' or greater length.
The shorter rods are fine for streams and can be used in a boat but a longer rod offers several advantages. Like Big D said they are more protective of a light line, but more importantly in my opinion they offer greater reach around the boat.
You are going to fish out of a canoe that's about 12' in length, correct? If you have the fish of a lifetime on an it nears the boat and decides it would rather be on the opposite side of the boat you can reach and swing swing the rod over the bow or stern to follow the fish. That cannot be done with a 4 1/2 or 5 foot rod unless you have arms the length of Shaquille O'Neal.
As far as brands go it's a matter of personal choice. Most of today's rod makers offer several lines of rods in wide range of prices. If you have a Gander Mountain, Cabela's, or Bass Pro Shop near you I'd suggest you go and look at their UL offerings.
The reel again is a matter of personal choice. I'm still using a Mitchell 408 I bought almost 40 years ago. Yes you can get new reels that feel smoother and have 100's of ball bearings but you can find a 408 or 308 on ebay or craigslist for $ 20.00 or $30.00 that will outlast any reel made today. The choice is your's.
Tim Murphy AKA Goobs