best travel fishing rod

How to Choose the Best Fishing Rod for 2021: The Complete Guide

This review is for all anglers who need the best travel fishing rod for the next expedition.

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I am not a pro fisherman, but I do and enjoy fishing in my free time. One of my favorite activities is to bring a fishing rod along during my travels. I have traveled to many great fishing destinations over the past couple of years, from Dubai to Miami, Bermuda, and the Bahamas.

Fishing is a refreshing activity that I recommend to anyone who needs a fun activity during a vacation or a getaway. Many of my best fishing expeditions have been far away from home. It is always super-exciting when I catch something new.

Starting out as a young angler, I struggled with bulky rods every time I hit the waters. Experimenting with travel rods helped me appreciate how important it is to have the right set of tools in whatever type of fishing you do.

This article has detailed my experiences using some of the Best Travel Fishing Rod on the market. These rods are portable, pack down small, and highly functional. You could even travel with them on an airplane.

Best Fishing Rod for 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons

Choosing the best travel fishing rod is not an easy decision. In the table below, you will find my top seven choices from hundreds on the market, each with the features that make it stand out.

ImageBrandLengthWeightMaterialSpecial featureDetails
BEST OVERALL
PlussinoMultiple lengths1.15 Pounds

Carbon fiber + fiberglassDeep aluminum spoolCheck price
PREMIUM PICK
Okuma6 feet
1.55 Pounds

Synthetic20-size spinning reelCheck price
BEST VALUE
Eagle Claw5-Feet2 Pounds

Fiberglass Construction
Durable ceramic guidesCheck price
MagreelMultiple lengths2.5 Pounds
24T Carbon Fiber120m Fishing Line.Check price
TROUTBOYMultiple lengths10 pounds
24 T Carbon Fiber & E-Glass CompositeAluminum Reel SeatsCheck price
Kastking BlackhawMultiple lengths39.5 Pounds24-Ton Carbon Matrix
EVA HandleCheck price
Sougayilang Multiple lengths1.21 PoundsCarbon Fiber Mixed with FiberglassCNC Aluminum SpoolCheck price

1. PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod

BEST OVERALL
Highlighted Features
  • Stainless Steel Hooded Reel Seats
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Deep aluminum spool

With the super-efficient, all-in-one PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod, you’ll have all you will ever need on the water. It is a complete fishing kit with a carrying case, telescopic fishing rod, and tackle as the cherry on the ice.

The high-quality, carbon-built telescopic rod qualifies it as one of the best fishing rods on the market today. It is one of the most packable travel fishing rods you can imagine. It packs down to a length of around 16 inches. The carbon oxide and stainless-steel guides ensure durability for many years to come. They guarantee a smooth and friction-free operation of the line.

One great feature I love about this fishing rod is the sizing options. This fishing kit is available in rod lengths from five to nine feet. It allows for customization for any intended application. This makes it a highly versatile rod for a number of scenarios.

If you need the best travel fishing rod that has it all, here it is. The PLUSINNO Fishing Rod comes with a full rod setup – tackle, fishing line, and a protective case to keep it contained. It is easy to setup and take down.

Pros
  • It comes with a carrying case and a tackle.
  • This fishing rod is available in different length options.
  • It comes in a telescopic Ultra-Compact Design
Cons
  • It is only available in Medium Power

2. Okuma VS-605-20 spinning Travel Kit

PREMIUM PICK
Highlighted Features
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Shock-resistant foam insert
  • Weight: 1.55 Pounds

This is an all-in-one spinning fishing rod kit for wherever the next fishing expedition presents itself. The manufacturer did an excellent job in crafting the best travel surf fishing rod without sacrificing performance.

It is a lightweight six-foot graphite composite rod that packs down into small five pieces. I find this rod versatile and perfect for all but the largest fish in the water.

The fishing kit comes with a portable carrying case suitable for anything that can fit into it. And a size 20 reel perfect for just about anything you throw at it. With this case, your trophy can be safely contained in a 17-inch x 9-inch x 3-inch padded, well-protected carrying case.

If you are on the market for the best travel fishing rod and reel, this product is a sure buy. It readily stores all your vital fishing gear in a well-protected case. This ultra-convenient, complete fishing kit will ensure you make the most out of your fishing opportunities.

Pros
  • It packs down to 5 small pieces for easy storage and transport.
  • The rod comes with a protective carrying case.
  • This Fishing kit is perfect for trout, bass, catfish, panfish, and walleye fishing.
Cons
  • It is available in only one size.

3. Eagle Claw Pack-It Telescopic Spinning Rod

BEST VALUE
Highlighted Features
  • Ceramic guides
  • EVA foam handle
  • Durable glass construction

This is the best telescopic spinning rod for beginners. It is compact, durable, and super-affordable. You don’t even need to look at your pocket before ordering one! Therefore, if you love the water world and wish to start fishing during your outdoor expeditions, you will love this rod. I started out with this rod and recorded decent catches before graduating to other sophisticated rods.

The first thing about the Eagle claw is its collapsed length of 17 inches – smaller than the PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Okuma VS-605-20 spinning Travel Kit. The graphite pole on this rod measures just short of 6 feet, which is relatively small. With this rod, you’ve got no chance of slugging it with a massive beast. Yet, it is a functional rod that is perfect for beginners and the lakes, ponds, and rivers you will be fishing.

The line on this rod sits on a series of 4 line guides held in place by ceramic inlets. Every section has one. This might look inadequate, but they get the job done efficiently. Remember, this product has a short telescopic rod.

Finally, you will find the EVA foam split handle comfortably. And yes, it is small too. But, note, this rod is designed for beginners and people who might love to fish as they hike or go camping.

Pros
  • This is an easy-to-store travel fishing rod.
  • It is crafted from highly durable fiberglass construction.
  • It is perfect for both right- and left-handed anglers.
  • It comes with a lightweight aluminum spinning reel.
Cons
  • It is designed for beginners.

4. Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod — Best for saltwater fishing

Highlighted Features
  • Extra Smooth Reel
  • Telescopic Rod Pole
  • Stainless steel hooded reel seat

This is a premium spinning rod for experienced anglers. It is made of high-quality 24T carbon fiber. The fishing POLE has a stainless-steel line guide made from a ceramic ring that enhances heat dissipation.

One standout feature for me is the stainless-steel hooded reel seat that ensures this rod is resistant to seawater corrosion. It also features a specially crafted handle that is convenient to grip while fishing.

Just like the above-reviewed travel fishing rods, this product is also lightweight and portable. It can easily be stored in a boat hatch, trunk, car, or backpack. This means you can enjoy fishing anywhere; so far, there is a body of water with fishes in it.

In addition, this telescopic fishing is the perfect gift for any fishing enthusiasts in your circle. It is suitable for many applications such as inshore fishing, freshwater fishing, saltwater surf fishing, etc. it is available in six different sizes; there is something for everyone.

Extending the Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod starts at the tip end of the rod. While collapsing, the fishing rod begins at the bottom of the rod.

In all, this product is functional, easy to use, and packs down small. The casts are durable, smooth, and represent good value for money.

Pros
  • The kit is available in multiple sizes to meet your fishing demands.
  • It packs down small and easy to store in tight spaces.
  • It is crafted with a stainless-steel hooded reel seat for anti-sea water corrosion protection.
Cons
  • Available in only sizes of 5 to 8 feet.

5. TROUTBOY Fishing Rod – Best for small and medium-sized fish

Highlighted Features
  • Shrinkable Design
  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Ultralight Weight

The TROUTBOY Fishing Rod is an excellent medium to a medium-heavy fast fishing telescopic rod. Anglers can purchase the rod alone with a reel; it also comes with a spare graphite spool!

The first observable feature is the unique graphite and fiberglass composite construction. The graphite keeps the unit light and flexible, while the fiberglass keeps it strong and durable. The reel features a stainless-steel hooded seat that makes it resistant to corrosion.

In addition, the EVA foam grip comes with plenty of cushions to ensure your fishing adventure is comfortable during prolonged sessions. If you purchase the rod and reel combo, you will be getting a reel, a graphite spare, and a machined aluminum spool. It features a gear ratio of 5.5:1 found in the older models and has 13 double-shield stainless steel ball bearings. It is functional, nothing fancy.

The TROUTBOY Fishing Rod comes with stainless steel guides that have ceramic inlets. They are the perfect combo for anglers’ braid lines. To cap it all, this rod comes in a beautiful gold and black design.

Pros
  • It is easy to extend and collapse.
  • It is a beautiful black and gold-colored fishing rod.
  • The fishing rod is great for campers and backpackers.
Cons
  • This fishing rod comes with a small handle.

6. KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods – Most Versatile fishing rod

Highlighted Features
  • 24-Ton Carbon Matrix blank
  • Stainless steel line guides
  • Comfortable EVA handles

The KastKing Blackhawk II wins a spot on this list because of its versatility, lightness, and exceptional performance. It comes in 6 pieces and weighs just 0.9 pounds; as such, it is travel-friendly. It features snug-fit ferrules that ensure this unit functions as a one-piece model.

Speaking of versatility, the KastKing Blackhawk II comes with spinning and casting rods with different lengths, power, and action options. You will find a fishing rod that suits your level of expertise.

I recommend you pick the short rods like the 6’8” casting rod or the 6’6” spinning rod, depending on your preference, for the best travel experience.

Irrespective of what you choose, all products come with the Soloscopic Performance technology and a 24-ton carbon matrix blank that delivers unrivaled durability and sensitivity. The product also comes with a comfortable EVA handle that ensures zero fatigue even if you are fishing for hours.

You will also love the multiple floating line guides that deliver a consistent and smooth taper and improve the casting performance. This product is suitable for use in freshwater or saltwater.

Pros
  • This product is a one-piece rod performer.
  • It is inexpensive.
  • It comes with Comfortable EVA handles.
  • The rod is perfect for use in saltwater and freshwater.
Cons
  • It is not very durable.

7. Sougayilang Fishing Rod – Best for heavy fish

Highlighted Features
  • Lightweight and Portable
  • High-Density Carbon Fiber rod
  • Non-Slip handle

Do you want to catch heavy fish like trout and bass? The Sougayilang Fishing Rod is what you need.

It is a telescopic rod crafted from E-glass and high-density 24-ton carbon fiber construction. There is no need to worry; this rod is powerful enough to lift heavy fish of up to 10 pounds.

This rod is available in 5.91’, 6.89’, and 7.87’, long enough for beach fishing, yet, can pack down into a small size that fits into your backpack.

Thanks to the retractable handle, you can cast for long-distance. Plus, it is designed for smooth reeling and comes with a 5.5:1 gear ratio. You will also find an adjustable cast control that notifies with a sound when adjusted. The Sougayilang Fishing Rod is perfect for right and left-handed anglers.

Pros
  • It comes with a comfortable EVA knob.
  • The rod is suitable for both right and left-handed anglers.
  • It can be used in saltwater.
Cons
  • This rod does not come with assembly instructions.
best travel fishing rod

Buying Guide 

A broken fishing rod is one of the most awful things that could happen during a fishing trip. It’s even worse if this happens during your travels. To prevent going through this painful moment, you should consider the following factor when making a Travel Fishing Rod buying decision.

Size and weight

New anglers wrongly believe that the most travel-friendly feature to look out for in a fishing rod is the modularity, collapsibility, or the telescopic characteristic of the rod. However, this is not true; the first feature that makes a good travel fishing rod is the lightness. And the ability to pack down into your backpack or tiny space easily.

Material

Gears you travel with are prone to breakage. Therefore, it is important to consider the material built of the travel fishing rod you want to settle for. High-quality variants are made of fiberglass, graphite, or a unique blend of both.

Fishing rods carved from graphite are the most lightweight but expensive. If you are on a tight budget, consider rods made from fiberglass. Although fiberglass is not as tough or sensitive, they are a pretty decent alternative.

Fiberglass fishing rods are suited for beginners. I recommend going for rods with fiberglass and graphite composite; you will enjoy the best of both worlds.   These rods like the TROUTBOY Fishing Rod and the Eagle Claw Pack-It Telescopic Spinning Rod are sensitive, lightweight, and durable.

Rod length

This will depend on how far the distance you want to cast, the type of bait, and the place you will cast. For instance, the length of a fishing rod is directly proportional to the casting distance. If you intend to cast for a long distance, longer rods are your best bet, and vice versa.

Short travel fishing rods are better suited to short to medium-sized lures. If you intend to use large and heavy lures, go for a longer rod.

In addition, if you want to fish by the docks, go for shorter rods like the Eagle Claw Pack-It Telescopic Spinning Rod for more control. But for high altitude areas, you will need a longer rod like the Sougayilang Fishing Rod.

Portability

The best travel fishing rod should be lightweight and small in size. In this regard, a collapsible fishing rod solves the problem of portability. It means your fishing rod can fold down small and can easily be transported conveniently. A collapsible or compact fishing rod like the TROUTBOY Fishing Rod and the Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod can be stored in your backpack, car, or in a boat hatch.

Quality

Finally, you should consider the quality of the product you want to buy. No one wants to invest in a low-quality fishing rod that will break under the slightest of pressure. To gauge the rod’s quality, check the material built and the construction mechanism. This is not easy to decipher for new anglers, but an important factor to consider before investing in a fishing rod.

Go through the customer reviews to understand how a rod works; the testimonies are most likely true. Alternatively, you could opt for the above-reviewed products that I have used during my fishing expeditions. They are high-quality products that stand out from the rest.

Also, the way you handle, care, and maintain a rod will determine its quality. If you follow all the manufacturer’s guidelines, the quality and their lifespan will be maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between a travel-friendly and a standard fishing rod?

Standard fishing rods are not produced to meet any traveling needs. They are bulky, lengthier, and more rigid. Travel-friendly rods are collapsible and pack down small for easy storage. They are also shorter and lightweight as well.

Q: Can I carry my fishing rod on a plane?

Yes!

You may carry a fishing rod on a plane; I have done that on several occasions. However, I recommend you check with your airline for any in-cabin size constraints. This varies from one airline to another.

Q: Are four-piece fishing rods less durable than two-piece fishing rods?

Yes!

The more pieces there are, the less durable the rod. It is an unfortunate fact that you have to accept. I suggest going for the number of pieces you can tolerate for a situation. Do not buy a four-piece rod just to have one; instead, buy if it is absolutely necessary.

Conclusion

The versatility and convenience of the best travel fishing rod in your gear can not be overemphasized. The ability to grab a small case and go fishing is excellent when it comes to fishing expeditions.

A good travel fishing kit contains a nice portable rod, an assortment of tackle and reel in a portable and durable carrying case. This makes it easy to store in a car, pack in luggage, or even in your backpack during hiking. The rods on this article are lightweight, functional, and inexpensive; there is no excuse for anglers not to own one of these.

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