How to Choose a Travel Fishing Rod

Select one of these three styles of packable fishing rods and stow them anyplace you might need to wet a line in an emergency.

There’s something about a travel fishing rod that’s exciting and full of promise. Travel fishing rods represent new waters, new possibilities, fishing experiences that you’ll remember the rest of your life. But that’s only going to happen if you choose the travel rod that’s right for your adventure. Here are three type of travel fishing rods and the situations they’re best suited for:

Great for the Car

With a consistent and smooth taper, this product is available in a variety of sizes for freshwater and saltwater adventures. KastKing

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How many times have you been behind the wheel and crossed over a stream, or driven by a pond that looked perfect for fishing—but you had no rod with you? That’s where a telescopic fishing rod is perfect. Telescopic rods collapse down into the butt (bottom) section. That does two things: It makes the rod easy to get ready (you simply pull out the sections, starting with the tip) and it protects the delicate upper sections of the rod. Most fishing rods break during transport or handling (not when fighting a big fish, as romantic as that may seem), and considering that the rod will be bouncing around in your trunk or behind the seat, that’s important.

Bring Anywhere

The included storage container also doubles as a tackle box. Daiwa

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Two factors come into play in a backpacking situation: The lengths of the pieces and the weight of the rod. The sections of a backpack fishing rod must be short enough to fit into a backpack, where they’ll be safe from drops or overhead obstructions. Also, considering that most people backpack into remote wooded areas, the rod must be light enough to fish small waters, and/or those with very clean, and thus clear, water. That means you need an ultralight fishing rod, so you can use small-diameter fishing line that won’t spook fish.

Simple but Effective

This ultra-light item is perfect for kids. Ugly Stik

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If you’re traveling to a new destination with a suitcase or duffel bag, and you don’t know exactly how you’ll be fishing, or with what, go with a mid-weight, all-around travel rod. There are two reasons for this: First, if the fishing requires you to use lighter or heavier fishing line than what you have on the reel, you can always put new line on it. That’s easier than bringing several rods, and much cheaper than buying a new rod at your destination. Second, you have to consider that you’ll be bringing your travel rod to different places and for different species of fish, so a mid-weight, all-around rod will be one that you can use over and over again. In fact, that travel rod might become your favorite fishing rod of all.