Top 7 Best Backpacking Fishing Rods Reviewed

Best Backpacking Fishing Rods

Hello fellow anglers! Welcome to my comprehensive review of the finest backpacking fishing rods available.

When searching for the perfect backpacking fishing rod, there’s a crucial factor to consider before assessing its weight or durability‚ÄĒensuring it fits snugly inside your backpack. Portability takes precedence as the foremost criterion when evaluating backpacking fishing rods. Once the rods pass this initial test, we then evaluate them based on their lightweight construction and sturdy design. Additionally, secondary factors such as sensitivity and price are taken into account. We dedicated four days to meticulously scouring the market for telescopic and multi-piece rods, ultimately identifying the top seven contenders that outshone the rest.

Within this distinguished collection of backpacking fishing rods, my personal favorite is the Goture Travel Fishing Rod. This remarkable rod combines a lightweight design with exceptional toughness, delivering ample strength and power for an immensely enjoyable fishing expedition.

Should the Goture Travel Fishing Rod not align with your preferences, fear not. Our selection includes telescopic rods, rod and reel combos, and even complete fishing kits.


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CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE

QUICK OVERVIEW

Top 7 Best Backpacking Fishing Rods

PRODUCTS
FEATURES
ūüŹÜ EDITOR‚ÄôS PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 23-29 inches
  • Full Rod Length: 7-9 ft
at Amazon
‚̧ԳŹ Most Reviewed
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 21.6-27.6 inches
  • Full Rod Length: 7-9 ft
at Amazon
ūüĎć TOP PICK
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 19.8 inches
  • Full Rod Length: 12 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 16.1-16.7 inches
  • Full Rod Length: 5.9-7.9 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 18.8-20.8 inches
  • Full Rod Length: 6.8-9.8 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 16 inches
  • Full Rod Length: 6 ft
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 22 inches
  • Full Rod Length: 6.5 ft
at Amazon


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OUR EDITOR’S Pick

Goture Travel Fishing Rod

Best Backpacking Fishing Rods

Goture Travel Fishing Rod
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

1. Goture Travel Fishing Rod

Goture Travel Fishing Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length:¬†23-29 inches
  • Full Rod Length:¬†7-9 ft
  • Action:¬†Fast
  • Weight:¬†4.8-9.4 ounces

Let’s take a look at the outstanding Goture Travel Fishing Rod, which excels in every aspect of a top-notch backpacking fishing rod. This versatile rod is compact, lightweight, durable, sensitive, strong, and affordable.

With a collapsed length of only 23 inches for the 7 ft option, this collapsible fishing rod effortlessly fits into most fishing backpacks. Weighing just 4.8 ounces, it won’t burden you with extra weight during your fishing adventures.

The rod features a comfortable and wear-resistant EVA grip, along with stainless steel guides, ensuring its longevity.

What truly sets this backpacking fishing pole apart is its remarkable sensitivity, thanks to its carbon fiber blank. Despite being the most sensitive material, carbon fiber is known for being less sturdy. However, this collapsible fishing rod proves otherwise. It even offers a medium-heavy power option, highlighting its strength.

Impressively, this high-quality rod comes at an affordable price of around 70 bucks. Moreover, Goture provides exceptional customer service as demonstrated by a fellow angler’s experience. Despite a snapped middle piece after the return period, Goture promptly offered a free replacement rod. The replacement rod proved to be flawless, rectifying the initial defect.

The only minor drawback we discovered with this lightweight fishing rod is its balance. Although it is light, it may not be the most well-balanced option.

It’s important to note that finding a well-balanced rod under $100 is unlikely. However, despite this reasonable flaw, the Goture Travel Fishing Rod is bound to satisfy most anglers. If you seek a backpacking fishing rod that excels in all aspects, your search ends here.

2. St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Fishing Rod

St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Fishing Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length:¬†21.6-27.6 inches
  • Full Rod Length:¬†7-9 ft
  • Action:¬†Moderate Fast
  • Weight:¬†2.4-3.9 ounces

The St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Fishing Rod, handcrafted in Mexico, stands out as the ultimate backpacking fishing rod for fly fishing enthusiasts. Its exceptional lightweight design and remarkably smooth guides make it a standout choice in the market.

Let’s delve into what makes this rod an excellent option for backpacking fishing. Firstly, its collapsed length of 21.6 inches for the 7 ft option ensures easy accommodation in most fishing backpacks. Secondly, weighing a mere 2.4 ounces, it surpasses even the Goture Travel Fishing Rod in terms of lightness. Moreover, its perfect balance adds to the overall ease of fishing with this lightweight rod.

The rod’s superior features include a top-notch cork handle and sturdy aluminum oxide guides, ensuring its durability and longevity. Cork handles are renowned for lasting over 50 years, while aluminum oxide offers excellent corrosion resistance.

Now, let’s explore the characteristics that make this collapsible fishing rod particularly well-suited for fly fishing. Firstly, the aluminum oxide guides provide an exceptionally smooth experience. When casting with this rod for the first time, the line effortlessly glides off, offering minimal friction. This is crucial for fly lures, which are extremely lightweight. The St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Fishing Rod excels in minimizing friction more than any other backpacking fishing pole.

Secondly, while most fly fishing rods typically require a slow action for improved casting, this rod’s exceptional guides allow for increased sensitivity. As a result, it offers moderate fast action, enabling you to feel underwater movements and actions more effectively than many other fly rods.

To provide further peace of mind, the rod is backed by a 5-year warranty, ensuring your investment is protected.

The only drawback to consider is the price. It may be the most expensive fly rod you’ve ever purchased, but its quality justifies the cost.

In summary, the St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Fishing Rod caters specifically to dedicated fly fishermen. While it comes with a higher price tag, it offers unmatched performance. If you refuse to compromise on quality and have the budget to spare, this is the rod for you.

P.S. The options below 7 ft were not included because they are 2-piece rods, which are too long to fit into backpacks.

3. Wild Water Tenkara Fishing Rod

Wild Water Tenkara Fishing Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Collapsed Rod Length:¬†19.8 inches
  • Full Rod Length:¬†12 ft
  • Action:¬†Moderate Fast
  • Weight:¬†3 ounces

Next on the list is the Wild Water Tenkara Starter Package, an all-inclusive fishing kit that provides everything you need for fly fishing with flies. From the tenkara rod and lines to the lures and line cutter, this package has you covered.

In terms of portability, the 12 ft tenkara rod collapses down to a mere 19.8 inches. Additionally, if your fishing backpack is already full, you can conveniently carry the rod in the provided hard tube case and rod sock.

When it comes to weight, this fly fishing setup is even lighter than the St Croix Mojo Trout. As it is specifically designed for tenkara fishing, there is no need for guides, reels, or a reel seat. While the St Croix Mojo Trout offers a 2.4-ounce option, adding a reel would undoubtedly make it heavier than this fishing setup. Overall, the Wild Water Tenkara Starter Package excels in exceptional lightness, surpassing even the St Croix Mojo Trout. You’ll feel refreshed even after a long day of fishing.

Despite being a fly rod, this tenkara rod exhibits a moderate-fast action, which is suitable for tenkara fishing. Please note that the product page may list the rod action as 6:4, which can be confusing. Based on personal judgment and experience, I would classify it as having a moderate-fast action.

Now, let’s discuss the drawbacks. Firstly, it may be challenging to catch larger fish with tenkara fishing. Secondly, although the rod is constructed with IM8 graphite, the lightest and stiffest graphite available, it is still less durable than the previous rod mentioned. However, it is worth mentioning that the St Croix Mojo Trout is expected to last at least twice as long as this rod.

Despite these drawbacks, the price point more than compensates for them. Priced over $70 cheaper than the previous rod, this backpacking fishing kit includes three different lines, six different flies, a waterproof fly box with a capacity of 372 flies, a foam line keeper, line storage clips, tippets, and a plastic protective rod topper. Additionally, it comes with a hard tube case, rod sock, and a line nipper for those who don’t have their own.

In summary, the Wild Water Tenkara Starter Package may have its flaws, but considering the extensive value it offers, it’s an undeniable deal. Fly fishermen seeking an affordable backpacking rod will appreciate this fishing kit, as it eliminates the need for additional purchases of lines and lures.

P.S. Here’s a valuable tip: Wild Water provides excellent customer service. If your purchase is missing the manual, which can sometimes happen, simply email them, and they will promptly send one. I personally tested their customer service and received the manual on the same day I reached out, although I didn’t actually need it.

4. Sougayilang Backpacking Fishing Combo

Sougayilang Backpacking Fishing Combo
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length:¬†16.1-16.7 inches
  • Full Rod Length:¬†5.9-7.9 ft
  • Action:¬†Moderate
  • Weight:¬†5.3-7.9 ounces

Taking the number 4 spot is the Sougayilang Travel Fishing Combo, a comprehensive fishing kit for traditional fishing. As depicted in the image, it provides everything you need to kickstart your fishing adventures.

The backpacking fishing pole included in this kit can retract to a compact length of 16.1 inches. While the previous three rods can fit into fishing backpacks, this Sougayilang fishing rod is designed to fit even regular backpacks, making it highly portable.

Durability is one of its notable strengths, thanks to its smooth ceramic anti-corrosion guides that are built to withstand the test of time.

However, there are a few trade-offs with this rod. It weighs 5.9 ounces, which is relatively heavier compared to the previous options. Additionally, it exhibits a moderate action and lacks specific information about the action, requiring personal testing. Nevertheless, the affordable price of this telescopic fishing rod outweighs these downsides.

For less than $80, this fishing kit provides everything you need to catch fish. It includes a high-quality spinning reel with 13+1 ball bearings, known for its smooth and quiet operation. Anglers in search of a telescopic fishing rod that comes with fishing gear should consider giving this kit a try.

5. Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo

Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Collapsed Rod Length:¬†18.8-20.8 inches
  • Full Rod Length:¬†6.8-9.8 ft
  • Action:¬†Fast
  • Weight:¬†5.9-8.1 ounces

The Troutboy Fishing Travel Combo stands out as an exceptional backpacking rod and reel combo, offering a combination of strength and sensitivity.

Constructed with a composite blank, this telescoping rod utilizes fiberglass to provide ample strength, earning it a medium-heavy power rating. The inclusion of carbon fiber in the blank enhances its responsiveness, resulting in a fast action rating.

The rod features ceramic guides, and the spinning reel included in the combo boasts 13+1 ball bearings, ensuring smooth operation.

Thanks to its portability and affordability, this backpacking combo is a valuable addition to any angler’s arsenal.

6. Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Freshwater Travel Kit

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Freshwater Travel Kit
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Collapsed Rod Length:¬†16 inches
  • Full Rod Length:¬†6 ft
  • Action:¬†Moderate
  • Weight:¬†5 ounces

The Okuma Voyager Travel Kit is another rod and reel combo that is priced similarly to the Troutboy Combo. However, despite having a lower power and responsiveness, it offers additional value at the same cost.

While the Troutboy Combo provides medium-heavy power and fast action, the Okuma Voyager Travel Kit offers medium-light power and moderate action. It is specifically designed for freshwater fishing and lacks the corrosion resistance needed for other environments. Therefore, it is recommended for freshwater use only.

However, what sets the Okuma Voyager Travel Kit apart is the inclusion of extra fishing gear. Alongside the spinning rod and reel, this kit also provides a small tackle box and a carrying case.

If you appreciated the price of the Troutboy Combo but desire more value for your money, the Okuma Voyager Travel Kit might be the ideal choice for you.

7. St Croix Triumph Backpacking Spinning Rod

St Croix Triumph Backpacking Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length:¬†22 inches
  • Full Rod Length:¬†6.5 ft
  • Action:¬†Fast
  • Weight:¬†4.9 ounces

I saved the best backpacking fishing pole for last. Introducing the St Croix Triumph Travel Spinning Rod.

When it comes to lightness, this exceptional rod is crafted with a premium SCII carbon fiber blank, making it lighter than the majority of other backpacking rods available.

In terms of durability, the rod features aluminum oxide guides and a top-of-the-line cork handle, ensuring its long-lasting performance.

As for action, the premium SCII carbon fiber construction contributes to its remarkable responsiveness. Although it is rated as fast action, based on my personal experience, I would even venture to say it borders on being extra fast.

Another notable feature is the inclusion of a nylon padded case, adding a layer of protection for your rod during travel. Furthermore, St Croix provides a 5-year warranty, further solidifying their commitment to quality.

In summary, the St Croix Triumph Travel Spinning Rod stands as the epitome of backpacking fishing rods. While it may not come cheap, there is simply no better option available for backpacking enthusiasts.

Things To Consider When Buying A Backpacking Fishing Rod

Besides portability, here’s what you need to take into account when choosing backpacking fishing rods.

Rod Action

Rod action refers to how much the rod bends when pressure is applied to the tip.

When a rod bends closer to the handle, it has slower action and is less sensitive.

For backpacking rods, there is no specific rod action I would recommend. It depends on the type of fish you are targeting.

If you are fishing for smaller fish like trout, a fast or extra-fast action rod is suitable. On the other hand, for larger fish like muskies, you can use moderate or slow action rods.

Rod Length

It’s important to choose a rod length that suits your fishing needs.

The longer the rod, the farther you can cast. In most cases, a rod between 6.5 to 7.5 feet will be sufficient for various fishing tasks.

However, for surf fishing, longer rods are necessary. Surf fishing rods should be at least 8 feet long, and they can range up to 12 feet in length.

Rod Power

Rod Power refers to the amount of pressure required to bend a fishing rod. It is categorized into different levels: ultra-light, light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and extra-heavy.

The size of your target fish determines the appropriate rod power.

For catching panfish, a medium power rod is usually sufficient. However, if you’re targeting smaller panfish, you can opt for a light or ultra-light rod. Conversely, when going after larger fish like tuna, you’ll need an extra-heavy power rod as anything less won’t be suitable.

Rod Type

When it comes to backpacking fishing rods, you typically have two options: telescopic fishing poles or multi-piece rods.

Telescopic rods are lighter, have shorter collapsed lengths, and are more compact. On the other hand, multi-piece rods are heavier, less compact, and have shorter collapsed lengths compared to telescopic fishing rods. However, multi-piece rods tend to be stronger and better balanced than telescopic rods.

Tenkara rods are a specific type of telescopic rod designed for fly fishing. They do not require a reel.

In this list, you’ll notice that only spinning rods are included, not casting rods. This is because casting rods are generally intended for larger fish, while spinning rods are more suitable for lighter fishing, which is the primary focus when selecting backpacking rods.

Rod Material

Fishing rods are commonly made from carbon fiber, fiberglass, or composite materials.

Carbon fiber, also known as graphite, is the lightest and most sensitive material, but it is less sturdy.

Fiberglass is the strongest material, but it is heavier and less sensitive compared to carbon fiber.

Composite rods are a combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass, offering a balance between sensitivity, lightness, and strength.

For backpacking rods used in light fishing, both carbon fiber and composite rods are suitable choices as they provide adequate power.

Since fiberglass is the heaviest material, it is typically not preferred unless added strength is necessary. Therefore, most backpacking rods are made from carbon fiber or composite materials.

Reel Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of a reel refers to the number of times the spool turns with each rotation of the handle. For example, a gear ratio of 4.3 means the spool will turn 4.3 times for every full handle rotation.

A gear ratio of 4:1 is considered slow, while 6:1 is considered fast. Higher gear ratios enable quicker line retrieval, reducing fatigue when reeling in fish.

It’s important to match the gear ratio to the type of lure you are using. Faster lures require higher gear ratios, while slower lures are better suited to lower gear ratios. Therefore, if you are using slower lures, you will need to use a reel with a slower gear ratio.

Fishing Line

When it comes to regular fishing, there are two main types of fishing line: monofilament and braided line.

Monofilament line is more affordable and resistant to abrasion, but it is weaker compared to braided line of the same diameter.

Braided line is stronger and does not stretch like monofilament, allowing for better underwater sensitivity.

For fly fishing, there is only one type of line used, so you don’t need to choose between different options.

Additionally, you may have come across fluorocarbon line, which is often used as a leader in fishing setups.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, whether you’re on a hiking or camping trip, enjoying a spontaneous fishing session can be a lot of fun. That’s why we have put together this collection of 7 backpacking rods, giving you the freedom to fish whenever the mood strikes.

If you’re still having trouble deciding which one to choose, I highly recommend the Goture Travel Fishing Rod. It has everything you could want in a backpacking rod.

With that said, happy fishing!