A collapsible fishing pole has got to be the best thing to happen to backpacking since the canteen. There is nothing better than backpacking awesome trails and finding a beautiful pond, lake, stream…whatever, and getting the chance to toss a line in and find out what’s hiding beneath the surface.
Backpacking with a full size rod and reel is never an option; pack space is at a premium so only the necessities find their way in. A collapsible fishing pole is a whole other story, these sturdy little guys can be strapped on to the outside of the pack and they weigh practically nothing.
Finding the best collapsible fishing pole for backpacking has been my goal and I have achieved it. There are a few favorites that top my list of the best. These three are the culmination of more than several backpacking trips that provided some awesome fishing.
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The Sougayilang telescopic pole is carbon fiber and it has great feel. Nothing is worse than getting a bite and feeling it too late to set the hook. I didn’t think there would be much feel with a collapsible rod because of the construction, but I was wrong; this medium action pole is sensitive enough for crappie. The best collapsible fishing poles for backpacking are light weight and collapse enough to stay out of the way; this one weighs about 5.8 ounces and when the rod is completely collapsed it is about 16.9 inches.
The info on my model advised 1-4 lb. test, but I used 6 lb. and have no problems with the trout and bass I come across. The reel has a great smooth cast and good distance, perfect for what I need while out backpacking. I like the firm foam rubber grip; when backpacking I am not fishing all day and the grip dose it’s job. I have the smallest size pole of about 5 ft. 10 in. but there are six sizes available; 6 ft. 10 in., 7 ft. 10 in., 8 ft. 10 in., 9 ft. 10 in., and 10 ft. 10 in.
I was very impressed with the all metal reel, the spool is aluminum with a gear ratio of 5.2:1 and it works left or right and the collapsible handle kept it safe while riding on the pack. The reel seat is polished metal, no plastic and the rod guides are solid; this is important because the rod is collapsible. The guide rings are protected with a plastic cap and the rod/reel has a protective bag to keep everything safe while backpacking. The Sougayilang Telescopic combo really is one of the best collapsible fishing pole for backpacking; I am pretty rough on my equipment when I’m backpacking and this combo held its own.
The KastKing combo has a graphite pole, I prefer graphite because I find it is more sensitive and finding a collapsible combo with graphite was a real plus for me. This combo is really one of my favorites; it has the smoothest cast and retrieve which is important to me because I am using lures and cranks for bass and trout. I have the smallest size because I use it for backpacking but it is available in three more sizes; 6 ft. 10 in., 7 ft. 10 in., and 8 ft. 10 in. I was pretty impressed with the excellent sensitivity and sturdy construction of the reel.
The rod collapses to a little more than a foot and it is extremely light weight. The reel has an aluminum spool and a launch lip for getting distance on each cast. The pinion gear system keeps each cast and retrieve smooth and the drag system can produce some serious resistance, up to 20 lbs. of drag. The action is flexible and it can handle the 6-10 lb. line I use. I haven’t caught anything close to 10 lbs. while backpacking but depending on where I am going, I like to keep my options open.
If I came across a good size catfish, I think this set up could land it. The combination of superior drag and the ability to string 10 lb. test could land a decent size catfish or a monster bigmouth bass. I have had this combo for a while and it has been out and about in all sorts of weather and there is no sign of corrosion. This kit is the best collapsible fishing pole for backpacking when I know I am going to find some good sized fighters.
This is the toughest/strongest combo out of the three. This rod and reel can handle a 10 lb. bass with ease and the reel is deeper which means I can string it with heavier test. The carbon fiber/glass mix pole construction is not as sensitive as I would like but if I come across a trophy I am sure I can land it. This is one of the best collapsible fishing poles for backpacking but I have also taken this one out on my boat and introduced it to a few saltwater friends and it performed like a pro.
I have the smallest combo at 5 ft. 10 in. but it performs like the big guys. Plusinno offers larger sizes for this combo too; 6 ft. 10 in., 7 ft. 10 in., 8 ft. 10 in., 9 ft. 10 in., and 10 ft. 10 in. It is lightweight and perfect for strapping to my pack and it can handle heavier lures and line. This particular set has been in my collection longer than the others and there is no visible corrosion even though I have taken it saltwater fishing. Don’t get me wrong, this is not the pole I would choose for fishing from the boat and chasing a monster saltwater bass, but I have taken it out to see what it could do and I was impressed.
When I am backpacking and I know there are some pretty fast moving streams and some bigger than average trophies, I bring this setup. It is built strong with an aluminum reel spool, aluminum guides, a thick coiled bail spring, and stainless steel hooded reel seats. This is a great combo that I use for backpacking and short trips to the bay.