You are going to get many answers and many variations. They are all correct but they are all a personal preference. Rather than point you towards the $230-$320 G.Loomis I would buy
allow me to suggest some aspects to look for based on my experience;
For the type of fishing you want to do, I would recommend a rod that is classified as "fast". Not Extra or Moderate. Extra Fast will decrease your hooking ability when spin fishing, it is just too aggressive. It is however a great rod for smallmouth fishing. Moderate will be a little too slow but is a great speed for bait fishing. "Fast" is the best of both worlds and has shown to increase my casting accuracy and hooking percentage over the other speeds.
What kind of handle material, thickness and reel seat do you like? I personally like a thicker full cork handle with slip rings. Cork IMO seems to transfer feel better than other materials I have tried and the diameter that matches your hand is important to reduce fatigue. I like slip rings because I can place my reel further back on the handle than fixed seats.
For the type of fishing you are describing, I would look for something in the 5'-0" - 5'-4" range. If you are below 5'-6" tall, stay as short as possible to aid in casting accuracy but not less than 5'-0" as you want some backbone to handle a large fish. Not to say a 4'-8" rod can't handle a large trout but you'll land a trout much faster with a 5'-0" and you won't wear down the trout as much, increasing revival chances. If you are 5'-8" or over, 5'-2" - 5'-4" is a nice size. The key is having a rod that you feel is sized correctly for your casting style.
A couple other things I look for are quality guides and a quality warranty.
Once you find the combination that suits you, you will quickly see that your choices are quite narrowed.....I know for me, it always seems to come down to 1 which also always seems to be the most expensive.
Sorry for the novel, I obviously put too much thought into some things. LOL