Imagine casting your rod on a remote mountain lake, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life—or the crowds clogging up the more popular fishing spots in your area. Many of the best locations for fishing are not accessible by automobile—they require some hiking.
If you are up for an adventure, it may be time to pack a lightweight, compact fishing rod and go backpacking. By travelling off the beaten path, you’ll experience unparalleled seclusion. You’ll enjoy peace and quiet while you fish, and less competition for bites.
But what should you look for in a backpacking fishing rod? In this guide, we’ll share key considerations with you and point you in the direction of some rods worth considering.
Our Top Recommendations for Backpacking Fishing Rods
In the product list below, you can check out some recommended backpacking fishing rods.
Below, you can learn about the products in our recommendation list in detail, exploring their pros and cons. Past that, you can find some advice for buying considerations to take into account when you are selecting your own fishing rods for backpacking.
Best Backpacking Fishing Rod Overall
Goture Travel Fishing Rods 4Pcs,Casting/Spinning Rod with Case 6ft-10ft
The Goture Travel Fishing Rods 4Pcs,Casting/Spinning Rod with Case 6ft-10ft is our pick for the best fishing rod for backpacking overall. But as you will see, there were a few close contenders. One exciting thing about this product is the fact that you can choose between a spinning or casting version. Most rods on the market are one or the other. It is not every time that you have both options available for the same product. You also have your choice of lengths, and you cannot complain about the reasonable price.
- This rod offers great sensitivity, making it easy to detect when a fish is biting.
- 30-ton carbon matrix makes for a strong, durable rod.
- You can enjoy a comfortable, ergonomic grip on this rod thanks to the EVA split grips.
- This rod features a 4-piece design, and is compact and lightweight. You can easily pack it in with your backpacking gear.
- The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty as well as free replacement parts under select circumstances. If your rod breaks on its first use, they will replace it outright at no cost.
- The guides are on the small side, which can be problematic. They are, however, resistant to corrosion and otherwise well-made.
Best Backpacking Fishing Rod for Long Casting
Daiwa Megaforce Tele Spin, Telescopic Allround Fishing Rod
If you are in the market for a rod that casts a long ways, you might consider the Daiwa Megaforce Tele Spin, Telescopic Allround Fishing Rod. As with other rods on this list, you can choose the size that suits your needs. Casting with this rod is easy, bringing fish even out in open lakes within your reach.
- You can collapse this rod down to a compact size for backpacking. For example, the 11.81 foot version can collapse down to just 41.73 inches when you are not using it.
- With HMC+ carbon fiber blanks and titanium oxide guides, you have high-quality materials that should stand the test of time.
- The EVA handle is comfortable to grip.
- With its light weight, the rod is comfortable to hike with and to use.
- On occasion, these rods may break. The majority of the time, however, this should not happen, as quality materials were used in manufacturing them.
- It might be better if there were more guides.
Best Backpacking Fishing Rod for Versatility
KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod
If what you are after in a backpacking fishing rod is versatility, it is hard to beat the KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod. Its sensitivity is excellent, and you will find that it performs great in many different settings. Whether you want to fish at a lake, a river, or the ocean, you should find that this rod gives you the performance you are looking for. Spinning and casting models are available, which is phenomenal. You also can choose from any of 14 lengths. Different rod actions are also offered. So, you can get exactly the rod you require.
- We love just how many options there are for the KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod. With a lot of competing products, you just don’t get that many choices. In fact, this could easily make it a contender for the top spot in this list.
- This product features floating line guides, which makes for a great experience while casting.
- This rod is lightweight, and when you collapse it down to its compact size, it is easy to carry with your backpacking supplies.
- The materials and construction are solid, especially at this reasonable price point.
- This product comes with a glass tip, which may be prone to breakage.
- Lining up the guides can get to be a little tedious, but it is not too bad, especially once you get used to it.
Best Ultralight Backpacking Fishing Rod
KastKing Compass Telescopic Fishing Rods and Combo
Our choice for the best ultralight backpacking fishing rod is the KastKing Compass Telescopic Fishing Rods and Combo. To be fair, a number of rods on this list could also be selected for that honor; there is a lot of overlap in product features from rod to rod. This particular rod comes in many different sizes. The smallest features an extended length of 5’6” and a collapsed length of 16.1”, and weighs just 4.41 ounces.
- We love how lightweight and compact this telescopic fishing rod is. If you want to save space and weight in your pack, this product is an ideal choice.
- The graphite composite blanks used in the manufacturing of this product not only keep the rod lightweight, but also make it sensitive.
- You can choose between spinning and casting models.
- Whether you are using mono, fluorocarbon, or braided fishing lines, the stainless steel guide frames with titanium oxide ceramic rings are ideal for your needs.
- The location of the hook keeper is pretty awkward, and potentially dangerous if you are not careful. Make sure you do not zone out and hook your hand. But it should not be an issue so long as you stay focused.
Best Backpacking Fishing Rod for Comfort
CAPACI Portable Travel Casting Carbon Fiber Rod
This is another category where a number of rods on our list could have been our pick, but we choose the CAPACI Portable Travel Casting Carbon Fiber Rod as ideal for comfort. The handle is made out of high-density EVA and cork, offering an ergonomic and responsive grip. With the custom soft touch reel seats, you will be ready to enjoy long fishing sessions.
- The Toray 24-ton carbon used in the construction of the 6-piece rod offers a combination of power and sensitivity, all while remaining lightweight.
- Casting and spinning versions are available, and a variety of sizes are offered.
- In its collapsed form, this rod is compact and fits well in your backpack gear.
- This is an inexpensive product, making it a great purchase if you are on a tight budget.
- Fitting together the segments can be difficult sometimes. Some rods seem to come out better than others from the manufacturing process when it comes to this aspect.
Best Backpacking Fishing Rod for Fly Fishing
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Tenkara Fishing Rod and Combo
Our pick for the best backpacking fly fishing rod is the M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Tenkara Fishing Rod and Combo. This product is lightweight, compact, and durable. It also is adjustable, making it a versatile option for a wide range of outdoor environments. You can either purchase the rod as a standalone product (we are looking at the 10 foot version, but a variety of options are available), or you can order a full kit that includes additional supplies. Either way, you will be getting a great bang for your buck.
- This is a “triple zoom” fishing rod. What that means is that you can adjust it to any of 3 lengths. That gives you the ability to adjust to your environment, choosing a length that is suitable for either a wide open setting or more confined quarters. The lengths available range between 10’8″ – 12’9″.
- The rod is light enough for comfortable backpacking, but still strong. It is made from IM8+10 Carbonfiber material, and is backed by a 1-year warranty.
- In its compact configuration, the rod measures just 21.3”.
- The price is very reasonable, regardless of whether you buy the rod only or go with the full kit.
- There may sometimes be some confusion when ordering between the combo kit or the rod only.
- Customers report mixed experiences with customer support. So, there may be some inconsistency in that department.
Best Backpacking Fishing Rod on a Budget
Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod – 24 Ton Carbon Fiber Ultralight Fishing Pole
While the CAPACI Portable Travel Casting Carbon Fiber Rod is a good option on a budget, we did want to offer one other low-cost choice. The Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod – 24 Ton Carbon Fiber Ultralight Fishing Pole is another option well worth considering, especially if you are concerned about durability in a budget fishing rod.
- Even though this is a budget rod, it features solid construction and materials. The Density 24 Ton Carbon Fiber And E-Glass Composite is strong but lightweight.
- The guides are made of stainless steel to resist corrosion, and allow for smooth casting.
- The EVA handle offers a comfortable grip while you are fishing.
- With its low price range, this fishing rod should be an affordable choice even for a beginner or anyone else trying to keep their costs to a minimum.
- The tip of the rod has a somewhat narrow ring, which can cause issues if you have a thicker line.
- The fishing rod ring eyes adhesive isn’t very strong. You might want to apply some superglue to reinforce it.
Considerations for Choosing a Backpacking Fishing Rod
Now that you have had a chance to check out our recommended backpacking fishing rods, let’s talk about what you should consider when you are choosing rods for your next expedition.
1. Compact, lightweight design
Lugging around a regular fishing rod on a backpacking trip would be inconvenient. Thankfully, there are many lightweight fishing rods that are designed specifically with backpackers in mind.
Not only will these rods not weigh you down, but they won’t take up too much space either thanks to their telescoping design. You can collapse them down to a reduced length when you are not using them, making it easier to stow them with your gear.
Whether you are shopping for a telescoping rod for backpacking or a fishing rod for any other purpose, balance is always a prime consideration. Casting will be easier and more effective if the rod is well-balanced.
Sensitivity in a fishing rod can make the difference between realizing a fish is biting and missing it. So, this is another important aspect of rod design to consider when you are picking a product to take with you backpacking.
4. Type of reel
There are two main types of fishing reels: baitcasting reels and spinning reels. The former are ideal if you want to cast across a distance, and may offer superior control. But the latter are arguably easier to use, especially if you are in a stream or river without a lot of space for casting.
You will discover that a lot of fishing rods designed for backpacking use feature spinning reels. They seem to be most compatible with telescoping designs. But casting versions exist as well, sometimes for the same product.
Any backpacking gear can be exposed to significant wear and tear, so durability of materials and construction is important with respect to fishing rods you will be taking with you on your hikes.
Furthermore, the sturdier and higher in quality a fishing rod is, the better it is likely to perform.
6. Rod length, action, and power
There are a few important considerations when it comes to the rod, including its length, action and power.
When it comes to length, there are pros and cons for longer and shorter fishing rods. If your rod is longer, it will give you more reach, and you will be able to cast more rapidly. You also may have an easier time dealing with bigger fish.
But there are some downsides as well for longer rods with respect to weight and size. For portability, a shorter rod may be a better option. It might also allow for easier casting in some environments. If you will be surrounded by rocks and trees in a stream rather than trying to cast a long ways across a big lake, a shorter rod may make more sense.
Rod action may be classified as “fast,” “medium,” or “slow.” Which type of rod action you want depends on what you are fishing for and how you are going to go about it. You probably already know what you need here. If not, it is something you will learn about as you advance your fishing skills.
Finally, rod power can be “ultralight,” “light,” “medium,” or “heavy.” Choose rod power based on lure sizes. If you are using heavy lures, you need heavy rod power. For lighter lures, you can get away with lighter rod power.
Finally, some backpacking fishing rods also include other equipment. For example, you might find a kit for sale that includes some basic lures, a carrying case, and so forth.
Especially if you are just starting out, these extras might be helpful to you. And while they may add to the cost of your purchase, they will often be a great value.
Get the Lightweight, Portable Backpacking Fishing Rod You Need for Your Next Adventure
A backpacking fishing rod gives you an opportunity to enjoy catching fish in secluded lakes, rivers, and streams where you would otherwise never have the chance.
Additionally, you can fish for your dinner, practicing your survival skills and living off of what nature provides.
To get the lightweight, portable fishing rod you need for your next expedition into the wild, click on any of the links in this article.