The best compact fishing rod is the one that fits your needs at a price you can afford. I’ve chosen three great little rods that cover the spectrum on size and price. I’ll start with the super compact Eagle Claw, followed by the mid-range KastKing, and close with a great little Plusinno kit that has just about everything you need straight out of the gate. No matter what your fishing preferences, one of these rods will work for you.
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The Eagle Claw rod is on the small side at only 5’6”, which is just what is needed for some fishing trips. This is a truly compact telescoping option that is available at an amazing price. When it is closed, it is an easily portable 18” and weights about six ounces. It’s a medium action glass rod with ceramic guides and a foam handle. It isn’t as durable as a carbon rod but it also doesn’t have the same cost. It is important to note that this rod does not come with a reel. There are several options available that would work with this rod. I’d recommend a midrange model that can hold six to ten-pound line, because while this is an inexpensive rod it is exceptionally sturdy.
This is a really great option for hiking because you can attach it to your vest and keep your hands free. This is also a great option for teens and children because the size is more manageable. It’s sturdy enough to be strapped to the back of a bike for an impromptu after school fishing expedition but it won’t break the bank if they’re too rough with it and it breaks.
The KastKing rod is available in six sizes, from 5’10” to 10’10” at a moderate price point. This lightweight compact rod collapses down quickly and easily to under 24 inches. It has an aluminum reel seat, stainless steel guides, and ceramic inserts making it ideal for saltwater or freshwater fishing. The rod is carbon fiber and E-glass and can easily accommodate up to ten pounds. It is important to note that this rod does not come with a reel, but there are many suitable options available. When not in use there is a cover that fits over the tip and snaps in place to keep the rod secure in the collapsed position.
This is a more substantial compact fishing rod at a slightly higher price point. The larger size and ability to use it in saltwater makes it a good choice for those who live or vacation near the coast and want the flexibility to fish in different types of environments. While it isn’t quite as compact as the previous choice it will still easily fit in most backpacks or suitcases. I like to use this when I’m visiting family on the coast so I can fish off the rocks. I’ve had great luck with it and it has survived several trips beautifully.
The Plusinno rod is available in two sizes; 6.89 feet and 7.87 feet. This set is a bit more expensive but it comes with significantly more than just the rod. The kit includes a rod in the selected size as well as lures, line, hooks, and a reel. It is ready to go right out of the box without the need to buy anything else. It is ideal for those new to the sport or for those who need a ready to go compact option to store in their boat, vehicle, camping gear, or office.
The rod is lightweight carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass. The reel seats are stainless steel and make this an option for saltwater or freshwater fishing. The handle is foam for extended comfort. These rods are telescopic and collapse down to under 24 inches. The fishing reel has a short and sturdy plastic body with a large line and spool capacity. The handle is interchangeable for left or right hand use and the gear ratio is 5.2:1.
I really can’t stress what a great little kit this is for someone who is interested in learning to fish. It has everything you need to get started and doesn’t take up a lot of room when not in use. It opens up freshwater and saltwater locations and can handle some decent sized fish. It’s also a great little on the go resource for those who want a fully stocked fishing kit to store so they’re always ready if the opportunity presents itself. Personally, I have this kit tucked into a nice little travel bag in my father-in-law’s truck for when we have some extra time. I know it will work at any of the places we like to go and I don’t have to miss a fishing trip on those rare occasions we don’t have a list of things to get finished.
These are some of the best compact fishing rods available. While you will need some accessories for the first two, the third is an all-inclusive package. If you plan to strap one to your vest or the outside of your pack you probably won’t need a carrying case. Otherwise you may want to choose a soft case to protect the rod, reel, and accessories. If you need a compact rod to give as a gift to a beginner or if it is for someone who needs options on the go, one of these rods is sure work.