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The Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel

| Updated Jun 21, 2023

Here's what to look for in the best travel fishing rod and reel, and 4 great options to choose from…

Are you planning a fishing trip, but not sure what rod and reel to take with you? Perhaps you want to find a lightweight, collapsible fishing rod to throw in your backpack for your next hike. Or maybe a high-quality, telescopic rod seems like a better fit.

The good news is, there is a great option just waiting for you!

The following is my guide to finding the best travel fishing rods. I include what to look for in the best road and reel, and include my top picks!

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What to Look for in a Travel Fishing Rod and Reel

The Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel
Do you fish?

No matter your skill level, from novice to advanced, you might wonder what to look for in a travel reel and rod. Especially if you have ever only used traditional fishing before.

No matter what, there are a few considerations to think about before purchasing so that you can find the best option for you and your needs.

Construction and Materials

In addition to finding the highest quality rod made from advanced materials, you want one that also offers excellent performance and high strength.

If you purchase a good quality rod, then you can expect it to have two important qualities: durability and sensitivity.

First, a durable rod will last you for years and many trips to come. It also will not break when it comes into contact with a strong fish.

Second, a sensitive rod easily alerts you when a fish is nibbling at the end of your line.

Rod Length

A travel rod is typically shorter and breaks down into several pieces. Many come as a two-piece rod, and some break down into as many as four pieces. Another option is a telescopic fishing pole, that folds into itself. And others are just very lightweight.

Most travel rods run about six to eight feet in length, fully assembled.

You'll want to choose your rod based on:

  • the types of lures you like to use
  • how long you need to cast
  • the types of fish you are catching
  • freshwater fishing vs saltwater fishing

Are you trout fishing or bass fishing? Fishing on a lake or the ocean? There's a rod for that. As for me, I'm Hooked on Kayak Fishing.

Mike and Jennifer's Summer T-Shirts for your next adventure

The Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel 1
Your Adventure Awaits! New colors and designs are waiting for you.

Rod Action

The term rod action refers to the spot on the blank where the rod flexes. A rod with a fast action bends towards the top of the blank. That means you will have increased sensitivity, but less flexibility. They work better with smaller fish because you can feel their nibbles.

Rods with a slow action bends at the bottom of the blank. You'll get the opposite with this rod action- high flexibility but low sensitivity. These work well for larger fish since they produce stronger nibbles.

If you plan to fish in ponds, lakes, or rivers for small bass, trout, or the like, then a fast action rod is better. If you will do offshore or surf fishing, then you want to look at medium or slow-action rods.

Combo vs. No-Combo

A combo fishing pole sometimes called a fishing combo or reel combo means that the rod and reel come together as one unit.

Generally speaking, you can usually get a higher quality rod and reel if you purchase them separately. However, sometimes you do not have a choice, and there are some good options out there if you do get a combo.

Consider Your Preferred Lures

The Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel
What do you prefer?

The final thing to consider is the types of lures you want to use. If you use smaller lures like jigs or one made from soft plastics, then choose a six to a seven-foot ultralight spinning rod. It will provide you with the sensitivity you'll need.

If you prefer using deep crankbaits, you need at least a medium power rod. That means you want to look for a seven-foot medium-action casting rod. Opt for one with a slower gear ratio, such as 5:1.

Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel (4 Top Picks)

The following are a few great travel rods and reels to choose from.

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

The Okuma Voyager gives you the ultimate fishing experience. It is the perfect choice out of all four-piece rods since it can easily fit into your travel case.

It is simple to assemble and take apart, making it a breeze to store and transport. When it is fully assembled, it is six feet long.

The rod comes complete with a comfortable cork grip and a stainless steel hooded reel seat. It also comes with a guide inset made from durable ceramic materials.

The 20 Voyager reel is made from a corrosion-resistant graphite frame that surrounds the ball-bearing drive system.

St Croix Triumph

The St Croix name is a powerhouse in the fishing industry. This travel spinning rod comes with aluminum-oxide guides. Overall, you can count on excellent strength, hook-setting power, and sensitivity you can count on.

Comes complete with a hand-carry case, and is a beautiful, well-crafted rod.

Ugly Stik GX2 Pack

This combo is easy to pack and bring along with you. Not only does it offer durable construction with the Ugly Stik name. But the aluminum spool is also very lightweight while providing maximum strength.

It is easy to pack and set up and is lightweight despite its solid, durable foundation.

Comes with a convenient travel bag with an adjustable strap.

Daiwa Mini System Ultralight Reel and Rod Combo

This mini system is the best fishing rod option for those looking to pack light! It comes with its carry case, making travel a breeze.

The rod features an ultralight reel that offers easy dragging.

The reel comes complete with a ball bearing drive, a 5.1:1 retrieve, and a multi-disc drag. Basically, this combo makes fishing very simple for you to enjoy when traveling in the great outdoors!

Your Vote on the Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel

I'd love to hear your input. Please share your opinion on the best travel fishing rod and reel in the comments below.

What About the Florida Keys?

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Do you want to hit Key West, the Everglades National Park, and all the other great things the Keys have to offer? Well, we have just the thing for you. Jennifer and I love traveling to the Keys, so we've created a complete 7-Day RV Adventure Guide: Florida Keys. This downloadable guide includes a suggested itinerary and a list of the best RV parks along the way.

We also have a 7-Day RV Adventure Guide to Florida's Atlantic Coast and Florida's Gulf Coast. If you're interested in all three, you should check out our Florida RV Travel Guide Bundle.

The Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel 3

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-01-16

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

One Response to “The Best Travel Fishing Rod and Reel”

January 16, 2022at8:23 pm, Les Layer said:

For fly fishing a tenkara rod makes great back packing rod


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