It’s a great experience to catch fish while backpacking. But, it requires some special fishing gear so you can carry them easily into your backpack. The most important backpacking fishing gear is the rod.
You should choose the best backpack fishing rod and reel combo for a quality fishing experience.
What fishing rod should you bring on your backpacking trip?
You never want a heavy fishing rod while backpacking as you need to carry it all along the way. So, it’s a must to choose a small and portable fishing rod for backpacking that can do the job for you.
In this article, we’ve compiled all the very best backpacking fishing rod reviews along with the guides and FAQs. After thoroughly reading this piece of content, you can easily choose the right one needed for your purpose.
Best Backpacking Fishing Rods 2022
|1||Best Collapsible Fishing Rod for Backpacking||Okuma VS-605-2||Check Price|
|2||Best Telescopic Fishing Rod for Backpackers||PLUSINNO||Check Price|
|3||Best Tenkara Fishing Rod Backpack||M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch||Check Price|
1. Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit- Best Collapsible Fishing Rod for Backpacking
It’s the best backpacking fishing rod and reel combo for the price. It’s a collapsible fishing pole that comes in lighter weight and 6 feet of length to fit into the backpack easily. This spinning rod for fishing has a convenient carrying case to protect the rod, reel, and lure box from sudden fall.
The combo pack comes with a 20 inches spinning reel and ensures sufficient rod action for fishing trout, panfish, bass, catfish, and walleye.
The rod has enough stability to last for longer. You will not find a backpacking rod with such a lighter action, under 7 feet in length, and not telescopic. It’s a great piece of angling poles and reel combo for backpacking.
- 6’ long break-down rod into five pieces
- Lighter action travel rod
- Light to weigh
- Easy maneuverable
- 20-inch spinning reel with an aluminum spool and ball-bearing drive
- Compact size lure box
- Convenient carry box with handles
- Rod: 5 oz
- Reel: 8.9 oz
- Weight: 15.2 oz
2. PLUSINNO Rod and Reel Combos
PLUSINNO spinning combo is a complete travel kit for experienced anglers that come with a rod, reel, line, hooks, and multiple basic lures. This full kit with a travel case is an economy pack for beginners that cut off the cost of any extra gear for catching fish. The composite construction of high-density carbon fiber construction and fiberglass makes the telescoping spinning rod is hard and durable.
The reel seat is covered with stainless steel hood to withstand saltwater corrosion. The EVA handle grip ensures the most comfort to control over the casting. It has a medium power rod that is sufficient for backpack fishing.
The length is shorter and retractable to ensure the highest portability of the rod. It’s lightweight enough to put it into the bag and hike in difficult places where you couldn’t able to hold your rods.
If you want a low-cost, convenient, lightweight, and sturdy backpacking fishing pole that has impressive fighting power, this is the most popular telescoping rod for anglers.
- Sturdy and lightweight construction
- Convenient travel case for portability
- Multiple sizes and rod actions
- Extended telescopic handle
- Retracts for easy storage
- Great backbone on rod
3. Maxcatch Extreme Fly Fishing Combo Kit
This Tenkara fishing rod comes in several lengths to choose from. We’ve found the triple zoom length option among them as a great backup fly rod for small fishes in low to medium water. So, you can choose between 3 different lengths and target fish up to 20 inches.
Tenkara rod comes with a different setup and a fun way to fly fishing. It’s a bit easier to start with and an ideal choice for kids. The rod is lightweight enough to allow smooth and accurate casting.
The MAXIMUMCATCH Tenkura rod can collapse to 20 inches that helps it to fit in your backpack. The cork handle is long enough to feel comfortable in the hand. You can target small to medium species of fish with this Tenkara backpacking fishing rod easily. The zooming option makes it versatile for various casting conditions.
- 3x zoom rod for targeting up to 20 inches fish
- Lightweight carbon fiber materials
- 5 layers of carbon for more strength
- Ultra-lightweight for smooth casting
- Remain strong for fighting with larger fishes
- Comfortable corks handle for better controlling
- Collapses to 20 inches to fit in your backpack easily
4. Lixada Pen Fishing Rod Reel Combo Set
It’s designed to collapse in 8.0 inches to fit into your backpack, even in your pocket. The combo kit comes in a telescopic fishing rod, and spinning reel for your convenience. It’s the ultra-lightweight fishing rod that works well both in fresh or saltwater fishing.
The glass steel fiber rod is strong but comes with small eyes. So, it may be a bit harder to target fishes above 10 lbs on it or so. It is great for capturing bluegill or crappy that requires an ultralight rod. Overall, it’s the best pen fishing rod and reel combo for backpacking.
- Premium quality rod construction with glass and steel fiber
- Strong and durable enough for targeting small size fish
- Corrosion-resistant and suitable for sea fishing
- Good quality spinning reel with 4.3:1 gear ratio
- Smooth casting
- Easy to operate
- Easily collapsible for easy storage
- 9.8 oz weight only
5. Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Pole And Reel Combo
Sougayilang rod and reel combo is a well produce travel rods pack. It’s durable and lightweight enough to bring it when backpacking. The carrying case is protected enough to keep your rod, reel, and lure box safe even in those harsh conditions. Overall its a very good pole for freshwater fishing.
The rod has good power for longer casting and enough backbone to retrieve whatever you caught. The reel and drag are also smooth in each direction. The combo pack saves your bucks from investing in an extra reel.
Complete metal construction for strength but still feels very light in hands. Overall, you can go trolling in every place with this telescoping fishing pole. It also comes in three different lengths to choose from.
- Telescopic fishing rod
- Made of carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass for the hardness and durability
- Light to weight
- Easily retractable fishing rod ensures the highest portability
- Fits into the backpack perfectly
- EVA handles for non-slip and comfortable gripping
- The reel has a powerful 5.5:1 gear ratio
- Casts smoothly
6. Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
This Wild Water fly fishing rod combo comes in amazing quality without costing you a big. The fly fishing rod features a graphite blank that ensures a long flexible bit for excellent casting control. It features a machined aluminum reel seat that consists of a dual lock ring and laser-aided butt cap.
The Wild Water fly rod has enough rigidity for beginners and is also great for experienced anglers. It offers impressive fighting power with a strong drag system that can resist and withstand while catching heavier fish.
This backpacking fly fishing rod, reel, fly accessories all fit inside the hard carrying case that has a strap to transport anywhere. Also, the fly rod breaks into four small pieces for the utmost portability. Its cork handle is quite ergonomic for long trawling hours as well.
The fly fishing reel comes with a fly line and backing that is durable enough to resist a few bumps. This Wild Water fly fishing rod bundle also includes a quality fly box with quality flies. Best for capturing trout, panfish, small bass fishing & small to mid streams, ponds, and clearwater lakes.
- 9 feet of rod length
- Collapsible fishing pole breaks into four pieces
- Easy to carry with 32 inches hard tube rod case
- 4.4 oz of rod weight
- Includes fly fishing reels, flies in a waterproof fly box
- Great for backpacking
- Durable starter kit for fly fishing
7. KastKing Compass Telescopic Fishing Rod For Travel
It’s a telescopic spinning rod by KastKing for travel anywhere with ease. This collapsible fishing pole breaks down to 17 inches for easy backpacking. It has flexible graphite composite rod blanks that ensure a lightweight design, better fishing performance, and bite sensitivity.
This New KastKing telescopic fishing rod and reel combo pack comes in both spinning and casting models. It offers a wide variety of fishing rod lengths for different levels of action for fighting with various types of fish. It also features lightweight reel seats with a trigger to keep the reel safe.
Overall, it’s a fantastic fishing pole for backpacking that has a flexible tip for easy casting and a wide variety of lures action. Its stainless steel reel supports mono, braided, and fluorocarbon lines for a convenient angling experience. It’s one of the best backpacking fishing rod and reel combos for travel fishers.
- Telescope easily and collapse down to 17 inches for the highest portability
- Made of graphite blank for great bite sensitivity
- Lightweight design
- Available in both spinning and casting fishing rods
- Premium quality construction materials
- Durable and reliable
- Comfortable grip for long hours
- Easy to set up or collapse
- Compact size
- Fit in the backpack, luggage easily
8. Wild Water Tenkara Backpacking Fly Rod Complete Combo
This Wild Water fly fishing rod combo is a perfect starter kit to hike and fish. The fly tenkara rods collapse into parts for easy backpacking. The carbon fiber construction ensures a lightweight design that needs to care a bit for longevity.
It’s a complete tenkara kit that includes flies in a little foam box for the highest protection. The cloth rod case ensures the highest protection of the fly rod while packing for a hike. These travel rods also come with a carry strap for easy transportation.
Overall, this Wild Water tenkara rod has the simplicity to do fly fishing even for the first time. It’s a great piece to start inshore fishing or fishing in mountain lakes.
- IM8 graphite construction
- 12 feet tenkara rod with 9 sections
- Collapse down to 20.5 inches to fit in your backpack perfectly
- 3.2 oz of rod weight
- Extremely lightweight to carry
- Furled tenkara line with metal ring
- 22.5 inches rod tube for storage safely
- Includes all the accessories along with flies
- Waterproof fly box
- Great for pan fishing
- Great starter fly fishing pole kit for backpacking
9. DRAGONtail Shadowfire 365 Tenkara Fly Backpacking Fishing Rod
It’s another tenkara fly rod from DRAGONtail Shadowfire. These 12 feet tenkara rods collapse to 23.25 inches that is great to fit into your backpack. It’s a complete kit that is great for beginners who can keep this lightweight fly fishing rod anytime anywhere.
The sensitive graphite construction makes the rod stronger and lightweight that is effective for medium-sized fish. You can set it up within a short time with the included line and flies. Anyone can do it without having any pre-experience as well.
This tenkara rod can fight against heavier fish with 6:4 action and eight segments. Therefore, it has a carbon fiber case and quality sock to store the rod for the highest safety while backpacking.
- 12 feet fly fishing rod with 8 segments
- High-quality construction with IM12 carbon fiber
- 2.9 oz of rod weight
- 10.125 inches of handle length
- Lightweight carbon fiber rod case for easy backpacking
- USA based brand and support
- It offers smooth casting and flexibility
- Comfortable handle to grip for a long time
- Telescopic tenkara rod to fit in your backpack
- Easy to assemble
10. ANGLER DREAM Carbon Fiber Tenkara Telescopic Fly Fishing Rod Combo
Tenkara is a type of rod that offers a flexible fishing experience from rivers to mountain lakes. This ANGLER DREAM tenkara rods kit features 7:3 action and 9 segments that are rigid enough to fight small to large fishes.
The carbon fiber construction makes the travel fishing rod strong and light enough for backpacking. It has a dense cork handle that feels like foam grips that also offer quality control. This collapsible fishing pole comes in a compact size to carry effortlessly. All the segments telescope easily as well.
Overall, the fly rod offers great action with a strong base and light tip. It’s a perfect tenkara rod for delicate fly presentation with accuracy. You will get the highest quality backpacking rod at this price range.
- 30T carbon fiber construction
- Great to fight with medium-sized fish or larger trout fish
- 11.9 feet cork grip for quality control
- 7:3 action and 9 segments
- 13 feet tenkara rod kit
- 24 inches of rod length
- Collapses to 21.5 inches to fit easily in your backpack
- Protective rod tube for storage
- Combo kit with fluorocarbon lines and flies
- Easy to set up and cast
How to choose the best fishing rod for backpacking?
It’s always better to cut down ounces when backpacking. It helps you move fast to experience the most. Having an ultralight backpacking fishing pole is the perfect choice on that occasion as you don’t have to carry extra weight.
You should consistently consider loads of all the tackle and the shaft as well. Obviously, you should match your rod with the relating terminal tackle. For instance, light lines and baits work out in a good way for light poles.
Rod power means the way your fishing rod works. If you’ve paired it with the right action, it affects the rod works most. The power of fishing rods points out its bending resistance. The required power depends on the size and weight of the lure that you want to use with the fishing rod.
- Ultralight- The most compact rods to use with the tiny lures
- Light power- Best fit for lightweight lures
- Medium power- It’s the universal rod power that is used for a wide range of fishing
- Heavy power rod- If you want to use lures of around 1 oz
According to the power types, a medium power fishing rod that comes with a mid-fast action will be the right option for backpacking. Such travel fishing poles are the ideal choice for medium fish in inshore fishing. To consider wisely the rod power ask you:
- The type of lures
- Targeted fish
- Angling method
How to Check the Backpacking Fishing Rod Power While Buying?
You will find it in the manufacturer guide when buying online. Otherwise, there should be a label near the handle that indicates the power of the rod.
Fishing rod action
The fishing rod can bend and return to its shape again. The action means the ability of the rod to bend on the tip while under pressure. The actions can be varied with the fast, moderate, or slow actionability of the rods.
Fast action rods bend on their end portion and revert to their regular state quicker than any other action rod. Fast rods store the highest power in the tip, which helps you to do long casts easily even with light baits. It’s the best option for targeting small fishes as you can feel the bites easier.
Moderate action rods bend at the upper half of the shaft. If you would like to cast with lighter baits of ¼ oz or less, moderate action rods are the popular choice for anglers. Fast rods may not load enough to throw such a lighter lure, which will feel you a weak casting.
Slow action rods bend along their length completely. It’s hard to feel the bites with a slow-action rod.
Consider the following state to pick up the right rod action:
- The fishing method you will use
- The type of lure
Portability of the rod
It’s the most important factor to consider while backpacking. You need a small and lightweight fishing rod that fits into your backpack easily or attaches perfectly to its outer side. IT’s better to know the size of your bag for getting the best fishing rod for backpacking.
I also suggest avoiding those single or double-piece poles as they are large to fit inside your backpack. Also, avoid getting those carry-on fishing rods as your hands should be free while backpacking.
Several types of the rod bring the highest portability:
A few brands manufacture fishing rods that can cut into several pieces or make telescopic rods for the utmost portability. Telescopic rods can fold up easily to fit into your backpack.
These fish capturing poles come with several pieces that are fixed all together for stability. It is hard to assemble the rod and requires maintenance to keep it working.
These short-length rods are a bit lighter than the previous options, which refer to their portability when backpacking. It’s a simple fishing pole that has a fixed-line and required no reel. But, you may need some time to learn the using method of Tenkara rods.
Types of Backpacking Fishing Rods
Fishing rods come in several types that have different construction and require different techniques to apply. Let’s get some basic information about them:
It’s the most popular fishing rod for its high maneuverability. There is no hard to learn technique for using these rods as well. It’s the choice for backpacking for beginners in backcountry fishing. But, they are likely to be heavier.
Instead of spinning rods, the line guides and reel sit on the upper side of the pole. So, the tension presses the line to reverse the guide foot. Hence, the fish can’t break the line guide frequently.
However, casting rods are not so easy to control as the spinning models. It’s the best option for professional anglers who know the techniques most to avoid those “birds nest”.
Fly fishing rods
It’s a lightweight fishing pole that has no reel and handles to cast like other types. It requires your fingers to pull the rod, which refers to a completely different technique.
In terms of portability, this is not the right type for backpackers. If you would like to fish along the river bank, this is a suitable technique to apply. But, you can use Tenkara rods that are a variant of a fly rod. They are shorter in length, light to weigh, and highly portable.
We’ve found fiberglass and graphite as the most common construction materials for the fishing rods. Both types offer the best on your requirements.
Graphite poles vs. fiberglass poles
|Graphite pole||Fiberglass pole|
|Flexible & Easily maneuverable||Heavyweight to maneuver|
|Expensive||Affordable price range|
|Sturdy||Stiffer than graphite|
|Lightweight construction||Heavy rod construction|
Graphite poles could be the right choice for backpackers for their lightweight and sturdy enough construction.
Rod length is always an important factor to consider according to your fishing type, and place. You need to have a clear vision of the dense vegetation as well. And, for backpack angling, you need to consider the proper length that fits in your bag easily.
The following table will help you find the correct rod length according to your needs:
|Long rods||Short rods|
|Able to reach over deterrents||Less ability to reach|
|Fast and long casting||Fewer longer casts|
|Extra leverage||Easy casting in dense vegetation|
|Heavyweight||Lightweight & portable|
|Not fit into the backpack||Fits perfectly into the backpack|
You will find a ring in the reel that guides the lines to the tip of the fishing rod. They are supposed to be smooth to reduce friction and made of quality materials to withstand harsh conditions for a longer period.
Line guides come in both stainless steel and aluminum construction. Both are good for their purpose, but I would suggest the stainless steel rings for the ultimate stability. They are rust and corrosion-resistant as well.
A comfortable foam handle is required to use a rod for a longer time. It helps to avoid your hands from getting tired quickly. You can choose an EVA foam handle for good grip and durability. A few rods also come with composite handles that consist of both EVA and cark for your convenience.
It’s you who would better know the best handle material for your fishing rod.
Reel Types for Your Backpacking Fishing Rod
Baitcasting reels are the best reel type for getting long-distance cast and utmost control while catching fish. But, it’s a bit complicated than using spinning reels.
It also required having some experience to avoid backlash. If you are planning your first backpack fishing trip, it’s not the reel for you.
I would suggest a baitcasting reel for the professionals to have one on their backpacks for the next angling trip. It helps you for long-distance casting or when you need a lot of control over the casting.
Spinning reels are the easiest reels to use and perform well for all hands. They also offer the lowest friction and allow good casting. If you would like to fish in a dense vegetation area, spinning reels should be an excellent choice for you.
But, these reels are a bit heavier than baitcasting reels, which is bad for backpackers.
Reel gear ratio
Gear ratio refers to how fast the line can be retrieved while reeling. It also means the ability to fight with large monsters easily under the water.
You are not fishing vast or huge fish when out for backpacking, right? Then choose a portable backpacking fishing rod to pair it with a mid to high-speed ratio fishing reel for the quickest retrieval.
How to pack a fishing rod backpacking?
You can use a special carry bag made of clothes to carry your fishing rods into the backpack. It will keep them protected from being strapped into the backpack easily. These carry bags are convenient and dimension-specific for each model.
A video guide will make it easier to pack a fishing rod backpacking:
How to keep telescopic fishing rod from opening when backpacking?
The telescopic rod comes with a retractable design. It is highly compact and portable as all the pieces stay close together while retracting the telescopic rods.
The most benefits of packing a telescopic pole don’t require disassembling and like other types. It saves time and requires the lowest bit of space as well. Also, you need not worry about the pole and its pieces but the tip.
You can place a telescopic fishing rod while backpacking in many ways:
- Place it facing upwards
- Place it horizontally at the top of the bag
- Put them in the side pockets of your backpack
Backpacking what size rod for fishing?
The travel spinning rod comes in a different size range between 4 to mighty 14 feet. The longer rods are used for longer casting distances and shorter ones for limited distances. The shorter rods offer less bend while fighting a fish, so a few professional fishermen prefer them for hunting trout, big bass, or salmon.
The shorter body length allows it to fit into the backpack perfectly and weigh lesser than longer rods. I would suggest the shorter rods for your backpacking fishing kits.
We’ve compiled all the best backpacking fishing rod options for you in this article along with the buying tips and FAQs. It will help you find the right fishing pole for your backpacking trip. Choose wisely among the casting rods, spinning rods, and Tenkara rods options accordingly.
Andy Allan, a well-known fishing enthusiast and hiking professional, runs the blog. Andy is a Georgia-based outdoor enthusiast. He has hiked throughout the United States and parts of Australia.
He is also well-known for his passion for fishing, particularly for bass, steelhead, and salmon. Andy discusses his adventurous life, fishing and hiking equipment reviews, and blog posts on hiking and fishing tips and tricks in Outdoors Activity.