Best Backpacking Fishing Rods

You like to hike, go to the beach, and enjoy outdoor activities?  Do you love fishing but you don’t like to carry heavy and long poles with you? If you answer yes to both questions, travel fishing rods is the answer to your prayers

Such poles pack light and small, without sacrificing strength and durability. Of course, they lack the stability of rigid poles. Still, there is no match for backpacking fishing rods when it comes to hiking or long trips. 

In this guide, we will review some of the best portable fishing rods in the market. All of them are suitable options for your trip as they are strong, light, and pack small. However, like with everything, the final decision is only yours. That is why we have added a buyer’s guide to highlight the important features that any travel fishing pole should have. So, let’s dig in!

Best Backpacking Fishing Rods Comparison Table

RodTypeBlank materialConstructionWeight (Oz)*Packed length*
PLUSINNO TelescopicSpinningGraphite with fiberglass reinforcementsTelescopic5.5 to 9.114’9’’ to 17’5’’
Sougayilang TelescopicSpinningGraphite with fiberglass reinforcementsTelescopic6 to 10.55’91’’ to 10’91’’
Okuman VoyagerSpinningGraphiteBreak-down 5 pieces617’
Wild Water TenkaraFly fishingGraphiteTelescopic3.220’
Goture Travel Spinning and castingGraphiteBreak-down 4 pieces4.8 to 5.223’
DRAGONtail ShadowfireFly fishingGraphiteTelescopic2.923’
Ugly Stik GX2SpinningGraphiteBreak-down 3 or 4 pieces4 to 524’
JEKONSEN Portable Spinning and castingGraphiteBreak-down 3 or 4 pieces4 to 624’
Okuma CitrixSpinning and castingGraphiteBreak-down 4 pieces4.9 to 927’
KastKing Blackhawk IISpinning and castingGraphiteTelescopic4 to 6 27’
*Depending on the model

Best Backpacking Fishing Rods Reviews

PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos 

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos - Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Pole -...
  • 🎣 Warm Prompt: Fishing rod(5.91FT)+reel(No...
  • 🎣 PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod are...
  • 🎣 HA 3000 Fishing Reel With CNC Machine Cut...

Let’s start this review with a powerful contender for the best backpacking fishing rod title. With their telescopic fishing rod, PLUSINOO offers a lightweight, reliable, and durable rod. 

The rod retracts into itself in no time and takes to little space in your backpack. 

PLUSINNO offers this telescopic spinning rod in four different lengths. Of course, this affects the rod weight. But all the other features remain constant. Plus, all rods come with a reel! And for a few extra bucks, you get a carrier case, lures, lines, hooks, and other tackle. The bag is 7.87×16.5×2.75 inches. 

In other words, you get everything you need for your fishing trip in a case that easily fits inside your backpack!

Construction

The rod has a light 20-ton carbon-fiber core. But, as telescopic rods are hollow, PLUSINNO added fiberglass to reinforce the blank. Yet, the rod remains light. 

Stainless steel line guides have incredible smooth inlets. Therefore, the casting produces little friction, which increases the casting distance. The guides look thick enough to resist years of abuse. 

The reel sits in machined aluminum seats with a protective coating. Therefore, you use this rod in both salt and freshwater. Just remember to wash it to remove saltwater and other debris. 

EVA handles make fishing a comfortable experience, even after long sessions. Plus, the grips are quite large, augmenting the leverage effect.

Key Features

  • Telescopic.
  • Composite construction.
  • Type: spinning. 
  • Length: 4’ to 9’.
  • Packed length: 15’ to 18’’.
  • Rod and reel combo.
  • EVA grips

Pros: 

  • Long rod. 
  • Packs small. 
  • Resistant to corrosion. 
  • The rod comes with a reel. 

Cons: 

  • The sections start to rotate over time. 
  • Only available in medium power. 

Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod - 24 Ton Carbon Fiber Ultralight Fishing Pole...
  • ULTRALIGHT WEIGHT - Sougayilang OnlyBrave...
  • PORTABLE DESIGN - The OnlyBrave Telescopic Fishing...
  • STURDY REEL SEAT - The CNC Machined Aluminum Reel...

Did you like the PLUSINNO telescopic fishing rod and reel combo, but you don’t have enough money? Well, here you have a cheaper option, the Sougayilang telescopic fishing rod.

The downside is that the rod doesn’t come with a carry-on bag. Thus, you must purchase one separately. Or pack it directly into your backpack. Although we don’t recommend the latter, as the line guides are exposed, you could accidentally damage them. 

Construction

The construction is quite similar to the PLUSINNO. It has a 24-ton carbon fiber core with fiberglass reinforcements. The result is a robust and lightweight rod suitable for a wide variety of fish!

The handle, which has EVA foam grip, is also retractile. We dislike the amount of cushioning this rod has. We think that Sougayilang could have added a little bit more, as, after some time, the rod hurts the hands. 

The line rests on stainless steel guides. The inside of the guides is smooth enough to reduce the friction. As you would expect, casting with the onlybrave telescopic spinning reel is a pleasant experience. 

Lastly, the onlybrave rod has machined aluminum reel seats. Plus, Sougayilang added a coating to protect it against corrosion. 

Key Features

  • Telescopic.
  • Composite construction.
  • Type: spinning. 
  • Length: 5’9’’ to 10’9’’.
  • Packed length: 16’5’’ to 26’3’’.
  • EVA grips
  • Retractive handles.

Pros: 

  • Resistant to corrosion.
  • Sturdy design. 
  • Affordable.
  • Even the largest model packs small. 

Cons: 

  • Uncomfortable grip. 
  • It doesn’t have a bag. 

Okuman Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit
  • Convenient nylon travel bag
  • Shock-resistant foam insert
  • Adjustable shoulder strap

Now, it is time to bring you a different option: A break-down reel. This 6-feet long pole breaks down into five smaller portions. Each one has up to 17 inches in length, which means that it can easily fit into your backpack. 

The Voyager spinning travel kit comes with a protective case, reel, and tackle storage box. Everything under $50 bucks! That’s right; it is very affordable. However, the 17x9x3 inches pack could take extra space. Although, we think that having everything in one place will eventually save space; consider that before your purchase. 

Construction

As you might expect, the rod has a graphite core. It has no fiberglass reinforcements as the other two reels we reviewed before. Still, the medium-light power and fast action are more than enough for medium spices. 

However, the reel isn’t good enough to handle massive fish. It only has one ball bearing, and the line capacity is remarkably low. But for ponds, lakes, and rivers is more than enough. The reel has a machine anodized aluminum core to increase its resistance.

Getting back with the rod, it features aluminum oxide line guides, which are not marine-proof. So, keep the rod away from salt water, or the guides will corrode. 

The handle area is long enough to make long casts with less effort. Yet, it has high maneuverability. Moreover, the cork grips are comfortable and allow you to hold the rod firmly.

Key Features

  • Break-down: 5 pieces. 
  • Graphite pole.
  • Type: spinning. 
  • Length: 6’.
  • Packed length: 17’’.
  • Cork grips
  • Rod and reel combo.

Pros: 

  • The rod packs small. 
  • Affordable all-in-one pack. 
  • Comfortable cork grips. 
  • You can target a wide variety of fish with it. 

Cons: 

  • The reel is not as good as the rod. 
  • Not suitable for saltwater. 
  • There is only one model available. 

Wild Water Tenkara Fly Rod

Wild Water Fly Fishing 12' Tenkara Fly Rod Complete Combo Starter Package with...
  • FLY ROD: 12', 9 sections, IM8 graphite, Tenkara...
  • TENKARA LINE: 10 ½’ chartreuse, furled nylon...
  • ROD CASE: 22.5” hard tube rod case. Case has a...

First of all, the Wild Water Tenkara fly rod isn’t cheap. But, it has everything you need to start fishing, as you will see in just a bit. 

With your purchase, you will get a hard PVC case, cloth bag, tippet, Tenkara line, a fly box with 12 flies, and other accessories. So, as we said before, you have everything you need to start fishing. 

Construction 

The rod has the same folding mechanism of the telescopic rods we previously reviewed. It has nine sections and 12 feet of length. Still, in this case, we are talking about a fly fishing pole instead of a spinning rod. Additionally, the rod is not as thick as the other telescopic poles in this list. So, this fly fishing pole is more suitable for small fishes such as trout and panfish.

Wild Water uses graphite to build this fly rod. Its 3.2 ounces makes it the lighter rod we have reviewed thus far. Of course, this doesn’t include any tackle; it is just the rod itself. The package is almost 2 pounds. But remember, it has everything you need to start fishing. 

The Tenkara rod has a comfortable and long cork handle, and a foam spool acts as the reel.

You can store over 300 flies inside the waterproof floating fly box. That is more than enough for a lifetime of fly fishing. 

Key Features

  • Telescopic.
  • Graphite pole.
  • Type: fly rod. 
  • Length: 12’.
  • Packed length: 20’’.
  • Cork grips

Pros: 

  • All-in-one package. 
  • It comes with instructions for beginners. 
  • Comfortable handle.
  • The rod is extremely light.

Cons: 

  • It might be hard to master. 
  • The PVC case is quite heavy and bulky.
  • Delicate mechanism. 

Goture Travel Fishing Casting/Spinning Rod

Goture Portable Fishing Rod Travel Fishing Pole Casting cast Fishing Rods 4...
  • 🎁SENSITIVE & STRONG: Designed with 30-ton...
  • 🎁REEL SEAT & GRIP: Reel seats are made of...
  • 🎁LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE: 4 piece rod design...

Here you have another option if you want to stay below the $50 limit. However, this rod doesn’t come with other gadgets such as reels or hooks. It does come with a bag, though. 

Still, this is an ideal choice for those anglers who already have a reel, line, and other tackle at home.

Construction

Goture constructed the Xceed series with a light 30-ton carbon fiber shard. The rod is incredibly sturdy, flexible, and lightweight, all standard features of graphite rods. 

The rod has four pieces that easily fit within each other. The same principle applies to either type of rod and length. Additionally, all rods have eight stainless steel line guides with ceramic inlets, which reduces the friction between the line and the guides. Thus, as you might expect, casting is remarkably smooth.

Xceed series features split EVA foam handles. We find the arrangement a little uncomfortable. But not so much to be a deal-breaker. 

As the name suggests, you can buy either a spinning or casting rod. All of them have the same built quality. Still, Goture made more spinning versions 

Key Features

  • Break-down: 4 pieces. 
  • Graphite pole.
  • Type: spinning and casting. 
  • Length: 
    • Spinning: 6’6’’ to 10’.
    • Casting: 6’6’’ to 8’.
  • Packed length: 23’’.
  • EVA foam grips.
  • Power: Medium and medium-heavy. 
  • Action: Fast and moderate fast.

Pros: 

  • Variety of options. 
  • Lightweight rod. 
  • Premium line guides. 
  • Corrosion-resistant.

Cons: 

  • The rod is less portable than the others we have reviewed. 
  • Ceramic guides are quite delicate. 
  • It is easy to damage the rod when assembling it

DRAGONtail Shadowfire 365 Tenkara Fly Fishing Rod

DRAGONtail Shadowfire 365 12' Tenkara Rod Plus Complete Starter Package –...
  • HIGH QUALITY ROD - The Shadowfire 12-ft Tenkara...
  • COMPLETE STARTER PACKAGE - Includes everything you...
  • SET UP IN UNDER 3 MINUTES - Tenkara fly fishing is...

Another Tenkara rod for you to consider. It is more expensive than the Wild Water Tenkara rod. However, the construction feels slightly better and is lighter than the latter. 

As happened with the Wild Water Tenkara rod, this one comes with a hard cylindrical case, premium sock, Tenkara line, tippet, and some flies. But you can only buy the rod if you prefer. However, as only 15 bucks separate each option, we suggest going with the full kit.  

Construction

Again, this is a telescopic Tenkara rod. It has eight segments, and it measures 12 feet when fully extended. Because it has one section less than the Wild Water, the rod collapsed length is slightly larger. Still, the carbon fiber case is smaller, taking less space in your backpack. 

Additionally, the hole pack is 1 pound lighter than the previous Tenkara rod, making it more portable. 

The rod has an IM-10 graphite core, which is powerful and flexible. Still, it is more suitable for fishes below 18 inches. Of course, you can land larger fishes. It all depends on your Tenkara skills. 

The rod has a 10-inch cork handle. The two humps make the handle more ergonomic and comfortable. Plus, with the feather-like weight of the rod, your hands won’t ever get tired. 

Key Features

  • Telescopic.
  • Graphite pole.
  • Type: fly rod. 
  • Length: 12’.
  • Packed length: 23’’.
  • Cork grips

Pros: 

  • All-in-one package. 
  • The carbon fiber case is both light and portable. 
  • Next-gen carbon fiber construction.
  • The rod is very light.

Cons: 

  • Expensive. 
  • It is easy to rip the Lillian. That is the small piece of line that allows you to extend the rod. 

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Travel Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned angler, you must have heard about the Ugly Stik. And if you don’t, let us tell you that these are among the best rods in the market. But the best thing is the price! This one sits way below $ 100. 

Thankfully, Shakespeare decided to make a portable version of the GX2. They kept the reel and divided the rod into three or four smaller pieces. All the accessories fit inside a 24 inches bag.

Construction

Shakespeare used graphite and fiberglass to make this marvelous spinning reel. The carbon fiber neutralized the stiffness of fiberglass, while the latter increases durability of the rod. The pole does a superb job transmitting underwater vibrations to your hands. 

The single-footed stainless steel line guides are sturdy and have smooth inlets. Plus, the GX2 has the traditional clear-tip design. It enhances sensibility and keeps the line flowing smoothly. 

At the grip section, you will find an EVA foam handle. It has enough cushioning to reduce tension and stress on the hands.

The reel, as happens with most reel and rod combos, is not as good as the rod itself. Sure, it is nice to have it around, but it limits the rod performance, as it struggles with medium size fishes. Still, it is more than OK for a travel fishing rod and is slightly better than the other reels in this guide. 

Key Features

  • Break-down: 3 or 4 sections depending on the model. 
  • Composite blank.
  • Type: Spinning rod. 
  • Length: 5’, 6’, and 6’6’’.
  • Packed length: 24’’.
  • EVA grips.
  • Rod and reel combo.

Pros: 

  • Quality rod with a reel at an affordable price. 
  • Light and medium power available. 
  • Strong and sensitive.

Cons: 

  • The reel is not as good as the rod.
  • Not for saltwater use. 

JEKOSEN Portable Travel Casting/Spinning Rod

JEKOSEN Portable Travel Casting/Spinning Bass Fishing Rods with Tube Case...
  • LIGHT WEIGHT&STRONG&SENSITIVE- Rod Rated is 6-10...
  • SMOOTH GUIDES&DURABLE REEL SEATS- High Quality...
  • CONVENIENT to CARRY-3-Piece Design Travel Rod is...

Another option for the budget-conscious angler. The JEKOSEN portable fishing rod is unquestionably one of the best in this price range. It has a superb quality that promises many years of use. 

The rod comes with a cylindrical protective case, which we believe is slightly longer than it needs to be. Still, it should fit easily in a 30 inch plus bag. 

JEKOSEN offers four versions. The only thing that changes is the length of the pole and the number of sections. 

Construction

The pole has a flexible graphite construction. It should be strong enough to catch some big bass and other similar spices thanks to its medium power. Plus, the fast action of the rod allows you to feel all the movements and perform long casts. 

The rod breaks into 3 or 4 sections depending on the model. As with most break-down rods, they fit easily into each other.

It has a comfortable high-density EVA foam split handle. Even though we feel that the grips are small, they perform well, and your hand won’t feel tired after long sessions. 

The line guides of this rod are spectacular. The stainless steel with ceramic inlet construction yields smooth casting. Plus, they are resistant to corrosion. 

Key Features

  • Break-down: 3 or 4 sections depending on the model. 
  • Graphite.
  • Type: spinning and casting. 
  • Length: 6’, 7’, 8’, and 9’ for either type.
  • Packed length: 24’’.
  • EVA grips.

Pros: 

  • Smooth, reliable, and versatile reel. 
  • Sensitive.
  • Corrosion-resistant. 
  • Sturdy protective case.
  • Affordable.

Cons: 

  • You can pick neither power nor action. 
  • The rod doesn’t have indicators showing how each section goes. 
  • The bag is rather large. 

Okuma Citrix Travel Rod

Sale
Okuma Citrix Travel Rod 4pc Spinning 7' 2in Med W/Case
  • Made Of Highest Quality Material
  • Country Of Origin: China
  • Package Dimensions: 4.0" ( H ) x 27.0" ( L ) x...

Another fishing rod for Okuma in this review. It is more expensive than the previous one we reviewed. However, the superior built quality and the improvements made justify those extra bucks. 

The Citrix series comes with a cloth organizer and a cylindrical protective case. The outer case is 27 inches long. It might not be the most portable rod. But you always have the option of hanging the reel outside the backpack. 

You can purchase either a spinning or casting rod. Each one has three different combinations of lengths and power. But don’t worry, any of the reels have the same quality. 

Construction

Each rod breaks down into four different sections. To use the rod, you must plug all the pieces together, and you are good to go. The pole has an IM8 carbon fiber kernel, making it both lightweight and durable. 

The casting rods line has more power than the spinning reels. But, they also happen to be heavier. Thus, as portability has more weight, you should go for the spinning reels. Besides, the medium power is more than enough for most anglers. 

Okuma used stainless steel for the line guides. They also added a Zirconium inlet to reduce friction and heat. Plus, Zirconium has unusual resistance to abrasion. Therefore, these guides should have no trouble handling saltwater. 

Lastly, the rod features split EVA foam handles. But it looks like they forgot to add enough of it to make the grips bigger. Short grips limit your ability to handle the rod, something that some anglers dislike. 

Key Features

  • Break-down: 4 pieces. 
  • Graphite.
  • Type: spinning and casting. 
  • Length: 
    • Spinning: 6’6” and 7’2”
    • Casting: 7’2” and 7’11”
  • Packed length: 27 inches
  • EVA grips

Pros: 

  • The spinning rods are ultralight.
  • Variety of lengths, power, and types available. 
  • Marine-proof. 
  • Suitable for a wide range of fish.

Cons: 

  • The pack is bulky.
  • Pricy. 
  • Short grips.

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods, Spinning 7ft -Fast-MH Power
  • SOLOSCOPIC PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGY – KastKing...
  • MULTIPURPOSE – The KastKing BlackHawk II travel...
  • CONVENIENT- Besides the obvious advantage of easy...

To wrap up this selection of the best backpacking rods, we bring you the KastKing Blackhawk II. It is a telescopic fishing pole that comes in different lengths, power, and actions. And has a beautiful all-black exterior. 

The Blackhawk II series offers both spinning and casting rods. Each one has 5 different versions, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. 

Portability depends on the particular rod you choose. The shorter rods packed length is under 22 inches, while the larger models could take up to 27 inches when fully collapsed. Either way, it can fit inside your travel bag without too much trouble.

Construction

Kastking always finds a way to make quality products at an affordable price. Any rod that you pick has the same built quality that starts with a 24-ton carbon fiber blank. It keeps the rod light and sensitive. Yet it is strong enough to muscle some big fishes.

In terms of guides, the Blackhawk II has stainless steel line guides with smooth inlets. The rod has some fixed guides, while the others are floating guides. But what does it mean? It means that you can move the guides along the pole to, this allows a better distribution of the tension. 

The Blackhawk II travel fishing rod has high-density EVA foam handles, which, as usual, have the golf-like looks. They are comfortable, and you can securely hold the rod during your fishing sessions. 

Key Features

  • Telescopic. 
  • Graphite.
  • Type: spinning and casting. 
  • Length: 
    • Spinning: 7′ to 8′.
    • Casting: 7’1” to 8′.
  • Packed length: up to 27 inches
  • EVA grips

Pros: 

  • Quality rod at an affordable price.
  • Comfortable handles. 
  • Quick assemble. 
  • Marine-proof.
  • Wide variety of power, action, and lengths available. 

Cons: 

  • It doesn’t come with a protective case.
  • The longer poles are not so portable. 
  • The last sections of the rod are very thin, so be careful when expanding the rod.

Our Winners

It is unfair to compare spinning, casting, and Tenkara poles. So, with that in mind, we decided to show you the best portable rod for each type. Here you have our three picks. 

Best Backpacking Spinning Rod

The Okuma Voyager is our winner for this category. First, you get a 5-piece breakdown pole, reel, mini tackle box, and protective case. All for less than 50 bucks! 

Yes, we said that the reel isn’t as good as the rod. But for the price tag that we are moving, this travel spinning rod has no match. Besides, the rod is very sensitive, and the long handles make it easy to control. A feature that you don’t find in the other spinning reels we’ve reviewed. 

Another strong feature is its portability. The case dimensions are 17x9x3 inches, it is, by far, the smallest pack of all the rods that have one! 

The downside is that the rod only comes in a medium-power fast-action model. Thus, if you are looking for a stronger or longer pole, you should look elsewhere. 

Best Backpacking Tenkara Rod

Between our two options, we decided to choose the Wild Water Fly Fishing rod. It is less portable than DRAGONtail. But, it comes at a lower price, and with a handful of extras that make it worthy of this award.

Besides, Tenkara rods have fewer applications. Thus, you won’t want to break the bank for a backpacking rod that you will use a couple of times each year. But this isn’t the only reason for this decision. The Wild Water Tenkara rod comes with a tackle box with 12 flies, Tenkara line, tippet, knot tool, line clippers, and more. That is more than enough to get you started in the fly fishing world, all in one cylindrical case.

Additionally, the rod comes with a protective case and cloth wrapping. They take more space than the case of the DRAGONtail. But again, we don’t believe that paying 15 bucks more to save some space is worth it. 

Best Backpacking Casting Rod

The KastKing Blackhawk II telescopic casting rod is our pick for this category. First of all, the rod comes in different power, lengths, and action configurations. Only the Goture Travel fishing rods match feature. Still, it doesn’t offer as many options as Blackhawk II. 

It only comes with a protective cloth to wrap the rod. Thus, it lacks the protective case of the other rods. Still, it takes less space in the back, which is always an important thing to consider. 

Finally, the built quality of this rod is exquisite. It has a graphite core, comfortable EVA foam handles, and stainless steel guides, all durable and marine proof materials. Plus, you can extend and compress the rod in no time! And without taking the line of the guides. It is a huge advantage if you ask us.

Buyer’s Guide

Length

Most rods are 6 or 12 feet long. Choosing the right length is crucial for a successful fishing trip. Longer rods are more suitable for long casts, large fish, and densely covered waters. Plus, larger poles last longer and don’t bend as easily as shorter ones. 

However, long rods are heavy, take too much space to pack, and are less maneuverable than shorter poles. 

In contrast, short rods are more precise, are highly manageable, take less space, and pack light. Still, you will have a hard time with big spices and long casts. So, think carefully about the waters that you are targeting and the kind of fish that you are after. 

As you will be hiking to the lake/body of water, you should pick a short rod. Or, at least, a rod that packs shorts. We will explain this shortly. 

Weight

Cutting ounces down is essential when hiking. So, when buying a fishing pole, you should always consider the load of all the tackle and the pole itself. Thus, the lighter the rod, the better.

Of course, you must pair your rod with the corresponding terminal tackle. For example, light lines and lures go well with light rods and so on. 

Weight has a close relationship with the rod power. A term that we will review in just a moment. 

Power

The general power classification goes as follows: Light, medium, and heavy, which depends on the rod’s weight. So, a light rod in weight typically has light or medium power. 

But what is power? The term is related to how easy the rod bends. For instance, light rods bend quite easily. Medium rods have more resistance, and so on. 

However, as heavy poles are better for massive fish, cutting the weight down translates into less power for that task. But, we believe that this is not much of a problem. You are in the wilderness and fishing for food or fun rather than for a trophy fish. 

In conclusion, light or medium power are the best options for a portable fishing pole. 

How do I identify the rod power? 

Near the handle, you should see a label indicating the type of power the rod has. 

Alternatively, you can apply tension to the tip and measure how easily the rod bends. However, this is not the best method as power classification is not standard. That means that a medium rod from one company could be equivalent to a light rod from another. 

Action

Any rod either has a fast, moderate, or slow action. And it refers to where the rod bends and how fast it recovers its initial state. 

Fast rods bend at the last quarter and bounce back to its normal state faster than moderate action rods and so on. You can pick even the slightest of bites with this rod. Therefore, it is an ideal option if you want to target small fishes. Lastly, as a fast action rod stores most of the power in the tip, you can easily do those long casts even with light lures.

Moderate action rods bend along the upper half of the pole, while slow action poles bend along its entire length. 

How do I identify the rod action? 

Again, check the rod label. There you should see an indicator displaying the kind of action that the rod has. 

You can also do the same experiment we explained for power. If the rod bends close to the tip, it is a fast action rod and so on.

Portability

Remember what we said about choosing a rod that packs short? It is crucial to find a rod that can easily fit inside your backpack. Alternatively, you can attach the rod to the outside of the bag. Still, the idea is the same; choose rods that pack small above anything else. 

Therefore, you should avoid one and two-piece fishing poles. They are large and less likely to fit inside a backpack. Besides, your hands should be free as you will be wandering. Thus, carry-on fishing poles are out of the question. 

We suggest measuring the size of your backpack and choose the rod accordingly. 

Telescopic, Break-down, and Tenkara Poles 

To make rods portable, some brands either cut it into several pieces. Or make a telescopic rod. That is a fishing pole that folds into itself, as a spyglass. 

Break-down fishing poles have more stability as all pieces are fixed together. However, it takes more time to set up the rod. In contrast, telescopic rods are faster to assemble. However, they lack stability and require maintenance to keep the latch system working. 

There is another option called Tenkara fishing poles. This kind of rod has a fixed-line, no reel, and is shorter in length. Thus, it is lighter and more portable than one or two-piece rods. It is like a simplified fly fishing rod. The downside of Tenkara fishing rods has fewer applications. Plus, it might take some time to master the technique. 

How do I use a Tenkara pole? 

At the top of the rod, you should see a cap, by removing it, you will see a small line. With it, you can extend the first section. Then, pull each section to decompress the next until you extend all the rod. It is as simple as that.

You can find a wide variety of Tenkara poles. Some of them can easily fit inside a pocket! However, this type of rod has fewer applications. You can’t catch massive, trophy-winning fishes. But, if you are hiking or on a trip, and you want something light and small, Tenkara is the rod that you need.

Fixing the main fishing line to the pole is the hardest part. The specific process changes according to the rod. But, the common process is to make an overhand knot with the lillian. Then, fix the Tenkara line to the lillian with a slip knot. Finally, fix the tippet to the Tenkara line. We recommend using a clinch knot, as it is the easier knot that you can do. 

Blank Construction

Graphite and fiberglass are the most common materials found in fishing poles. Each one has its pros and cons, as you will see in just a moment.

Graphite poles are flexible and lightweight. That is the reason why most fast or ultrafast fishing rods have a graphite core. Still, carbon fiber has a few problems. It is fragile; thus, you must be extra careful when manipulating the rod. Additionally, graphite poles are more expensive than fiberglass. 

In contrast, fiberglass is cheaper, more robust, and stiffer than graphite. It is a popular material for heavy rod construction. 

Handles

It might look like this isn’t an important feature. But imagine using a pole without any cushioning during a prolonged period. Your hands will get tired, right? They might even get stiff. Now, it looks like handles are relevant, don’t they? 

There are two common types of handles: cork and EVA foam. The first yields a better grip and adapts nicely to the hands. However, we prefer EVA as it is more comfortable and durable.  

Some rods have a composition of EVA and cork as handles. They are like a neutral ground for those looking for the best in both worlds.

Still, the decision of which is best depends on your feelings. Therefore, we suggest testing the rod first and see how the grip feels. But remember, soft and comfortable above looks. 

Line Guides

These are the rings that guide the lines from the reel to the tip of the rod. They should be as hard as possible to endure many years of use and harsh conditions. But they need to be smooth, so they don’t compromise the line integrity. Most high-end guides have ceramic inlets to reduce friction. 

Try your best to buy a rod with stainless steel line guides. They are tougher than aluminum ones. Plus, they are resistant to corrosion. 

The Different Type of Rods

There are three kinds of rods: fly, spinning and casting rods. Each one has the same purpose; fishing. Still, each one requires different techniques and different construction. Here you have a basic description of some of them.

Spinning Rods

The line guides and the reel sit underneath the rod. That means that, when the rod bends, the guides are inside the bend. Such rods use spinning reels. Since there is no trigger mechanism spinning rods are the easiest rods to use.

Spinning rods are highly maneuverable; thereby, they are ideal for close-quarter fishing. However, they tend to be bulky. 

Casting Rods

In contrast with spinning rods, the guides and reel sit on the upper side of the casting rod. Therefore, when the rod bends, the tension presses the line against the guide foot. Thus, the fish is less likely to break a line guide.

Casting rods are harder to control because you need to activate the line release mechanism before your cast. It could be quite hard to get the timing right. So, it is highly likely to experience bird nests until you master the technique. 

Fly Fishing Rods

Fly fishing poles look a lot like spinning rods. Still, the first is lighter, and the reel is extremely different from the one used on spinning reels. 

The casting process is very different from the other two types of rod. And, since the reel has no handle, you need to pull the rod with your fingers.

Anglers fishing from inside the river, or along the river bank are fond of this technique. Although the poles aren’t as portable as spinning and casting rods, there is a fly fishing rod variant called Tenkara. Those poles are extremely light and portable. 

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