5 Best Backpacking Fishing Rods

Calling all adventure-seeking anglers! If you’re passionate about both backpacking and fishing, we’ve got a treat in store for you. In our latest blog post, we’re diving deep into the world of compact and portable fishing rods, revealing the ‘5 Best Backpacking Fishing Rods’ that every avid angler needs in their outdoor arsenal. Whether you’re planning a backcountry fishing expedition or simply want to be ready for those spontaneous fishing moments on your backpacking journeys, these rods are designed to deliver exceptional performance while fitting snugly in your backpack. Join us as we explore the top picks that will reel in unforgettable fishing experiences during your wilderness adventures!

Top Picks: Best Backpacking Fishing Rods

Best Overall: St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

Meet the St. Croix Triumph Spinning, our top pick for backpacking fishing rods. This rod’s impressive features and solid performance make it a remarkable choice regardless of your angling style or destination.

Lightweight yet durable, with an eye-catching design, let’s dive into what makes this fishing gem the best overall in our list.

Features & Description (St. Croix Triumph Travel)

Best Overall
St. Croix Triumph Travel

However excellent results come with an equivalent price: being recognized as the best splurge option means this is indeed a luxury item within reach primarily for those willing to go a step beyond when outfitting their kit with high-end choices.

Pros & Cons (St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod)

The St. Croix Triumph Travel rod, loved by many anglers, offers its own set of distinct advantages and minimal drawbacks.


  • Light in weight: You can comfortably carry this backpacking fishing rod during hiking or fishing trips without feeling burdened.
  • Variety in lengths and power/action: The St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rods come in various lengths and power/action combinations catering to different fishing needs.
  • Reliable performance: This rod is highly praised for its casting distance and fishing sensitivity making it a reliable tool in diverse fishing situations.
  • SCII carbon construction: Made with high-quality SCII carbon, the rod boasts durability.
  • High – grade cork handles enhance grip comfort, allowing an angler to fish for extended periods with reduced hand fatigue.


  • Cost – for budget – conscious individuals, the price tag on this quality item may seem steep compared to other options like Fenwick HMG Travel Rod or Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Combo.
  • It might be overpowered for light fishing needs as it is built with medium heavy power which is more suited to regular or heavy-weight fishing.
  • Not suitable for baitcasting – If you prefer the precision of baitcasting, you might want to explore options such as the St. Croix Triumph Travel Casting Rod instead.

Best for Fly Fishing: St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Rod

The St. Croix Mojo Trout Fly Rod is the ideal choice for backpacking anglers interested in fly fishing, thanks to its lightweight SCII carbon construction and well-balanced feel that enhances casting accuracy even under windy conditions.

With high-quality cork handle providing excellent grip and comfort during long hours of fishing, this rod also boasts an impressive sensitivity, making it perfect for catching trout on your next backpacking adventure.

The medium-light power makes it versatile enough for various fishing situations while premium-grade aluminum oxide guides ensure smooth line flow, offering optimum control over your casts.

However, do remember that as high-end gear comes with a higher price tag but considering its incredible performance and durability along with a 5-year warranty offered by St.Croix’s superb customer service team can justify this investment.

Features & Description (St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Rod)

The St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Rod takes the spotlight as a top choice for anglers, thanks to its unmatched blend of lightness and sensitivity. Its design and construction feature a high-quality carbon fiber blank with moderate fast action, enabling it to deliver strength with every cast.

Weighing between 2.4-3.9 ounces, it guarantees portability even on long hiking trips or outdoor excursions. The rod’s compact nature allows it to collapse between 21.6-27.6 inches in length which simplifies packing and transporting incredibly easy! Whether you’re just starting out in fly fishing or an experienced angler targeting trout, this versatile rod will not disappoint.

Pros & Cons (St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Rod)

It’s time for us to delve into the strengths and weaknesses of the St Croix Mojo Trout Fly Rod.

  • Each rod in the St Croix Mojo family is specifically designed with power and actions for unparalleled trout fishing.
  • The construction involves SCII carbon construction, making St. Croix rods sturdy, lightweight, and highly sensitive.
  • Apprecited for their premium – grade cork handle which competitively ensures a great user experience.
  • The rods are flexible permitting easy catch and release of the trout without causing significant damage.
  • These rods rank top due to their ease of use making them beginners – friendly.
  • On the downside, these rods fall in the high – end category, might not be suitable for anglers on a tight budget.
  • These rods are specialized for trout fly fishing limiting its usage if you want to catch other types of fish.
  • It requires skillful handling to maximize performance thatan amateur angler may lack initially.
  • Some users have reported that this rod isn’t as durable as some other rods in similar price range.

Best Versatility: Goture Travel Fishing Rod

The Goture Travel Fishing Rod is a top pick in terms of versatility, with its seamlessly versatile design that adapts to various fishing environments making it an all-around performer for every angler.

Its features include high-density carbon fiber material for durability, stainless steel hooded reel seats built to withstand your toughest fights and ultra-light spinning reels offering smooth casting capabilities.

The rod’s telescoping feature makes packing it up for backpacking trips a breeze. Some may find the handle uncomfortable during extended use, but overall, this well-varied rod delivers great value without breaking the bank.

Features & Description (Goture Travel Fishing Rod)

The Goture Travel Fishing Rod shines in its lightweight design and outstanding toughness. Crafted especially for travel, this rod is your perfect companion on backpacking fishing journeys.

Its compact form ensures portability—a critical feature allowing you to bring your gear anywhere with ease. Housed securely in a protective case or tube, the rod guarantees safety during your travels.

Addition of robust foam or soft cloth safeguards the guides from any potential damage whilst on transit. This versatility extends further as it can be effortlessly packed inside a backpack or attached to exterior loops, ensuring convenience at every step of your fishing adventure!

Pros & Cons (Goture Travel Fishing Rod)

The Goture Travel Fishing Rod has a range of pros and cons that are worth your attention.

  1. Exceptional strength and power – This rod is not just lightweight but also incredibly strong.
  2. Versatility – The Goture rod can cater to various fishing methods, enhancing its appeal to many anglers.
  3. Compact design – Its portable structure makes it perfect for backpacking trips.
  4. Affordability – Along with its top-notch features, the pricing of this rod is particularly attractive.
  1. Limited casting distance – Compared to non-travel rods, the casting distance may be less.
  2. Power limitation – This rod might lack some power when compared to larger models, which can affect your fishing output on certain trips.
  3. Durability concerns – While the affordability is an upside, there could be some durability issues in the long run or under extreme conditions.

Best Budget Option: Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo

If you’re looking for a quality rod that won’t break the bank, consider the Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo. It offers exceptional value without sacrificing performance or durability.

The convenient and portable design of this rod and reel combo fits easily into any backpack – perfect for those long hiking trips to your favorite secluded fishing spot. With its sensitive composite blank, high-quality reel seat, corrosion-resistant guides, and high-density carbon fiber material, this compact but powerful tool stands ready to enhance your angling experience on a budget!

Features & Description (Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo)

The Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo is a real catch! Boasting compactness and lightweight attributes, this combination stands out as a backpacker’s dream tool. It effortlessly encapsulates the journey of fishing on those exciting adventures away from the grind.

As I hoisted it for the first time, its portability struck me immediately – easily collapsible into a manageable size for transport convenience.

Crafted with keen attention to detail and functionality, you don’t just buy a rod; it comes adorned with other essential fishing gear. Interestingly, despite its affordability tag, quality remains uncompromised.

Its design visualizes durability equipped to handle various fishing techniques and environments aptly catering to your budget-friendly needs without cutting corners on performance or endurance.

The Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo can be securely sourced at EffortlessOutdoors.com.

Pros & Cons (Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo)

Let’s examine the strengths and drawbacks of the Troutboy Backpacking Fishing Travel Combo.

  1. Affordable: It caters to budget-conscious anglers, providing a cost-effective solution.
  2. Complete Package: The set comprises a collapsible fishing rod and a spinning reel, making it a convenient purchase for first-time buyers.
  3. Ideal for Travel: Its lightweight design makes it an excellent choice for backpacking trips.
  4. Easy Transport: Thanks to its design, you can secure it with rubber bands or hook and loop straps during transit.
  1. Durability Concerns: Although budget-friendly, it may not offer the same durability as some higher-end options.
  2. Performance Limitations: In some scenarios, its performance might not match up to that of more premium fishing rods.
  3. Limited Features: Some advanced features available in costly models may be missing from this combo due to its economical price point.

Most Durable: Sony SF-G Series TOUGH UHS-II

When it comes to durability on the trails and water, I’d be remiss not to recommend the Sony SF-G Series TOUGH UHS-II backpacking fishing rod. This powerhouse is known for its tenacious build that can withstand even harsh conditions while ensuring high performance throughout your angling activities.

Its resilient features include a robust graphite composite pole combined with protective aluminum oxide guides, all of which contribute to its exceptional toughness. While this might come at a slightly higher cost, it’s worth every penny considering the enhanced lifespan it promises for those rugged outdoor fishing experiences!

Features & Description (Sony SF-G Series TOUGH UHS-II)

The Sony SF-G Series TOUGH UHS-II is the ideal fit for adventurers. It not only pairs well with a wide variety of backpacking fishing rods, but also proves to be incredibly sturdy and versatile in diverse outdoor settings.

What sets this series apart is its exceptionally durable design that ensures it is dustproof, waterproof, shockproof and X-ray proof.

You’ll gain tremendous capacity with up to 128GB for your angling needs, making sure you never run out or have too much when going on extended fishing trips. The impressive high data transfer speed rises above many competitors at up to 300MB/s read and 299MB/s write speeds.

Additionally, the SF-G Series shows no bias against previous models being both compatible with UHS-II devices while also maintaining backward compatibility with former UHS-I gadgets.

Worried about weather conditions? This gem thrives under extreme environments as it’s capable of enduring temperatures raging from slight chills at -13°F to scorching heats peaking at 185°F (-25°C to 85°C).

No matter where your adventures may lead or how harsh the climate gets outside during journeys using your favorite rod, the Sony SF-G Series stands resiliently by your side through thick and thin!

Pros & Cons (Sony SF-G Series TOUGH UHS-II)

As an angler who appreciates good gear, I find that the Sony SF-G Series TOUGH UHS-II has a good mix of strengths and weak points.

  • Robust durability: This fishing rod stands up to harsh conditions without any problem.
  • Resistance: Water, dust, and static electricity don’t harm this rod—it even resists drops!
  • Data Protection: File rescue software and UV guard on this model offer an extra layer of security.
  • High-Speed Performance: With fast read and write speeds, this fishing rod is designed for high-res photography and video recording. Still, if you’re only using it to fish normally, these features might feel overkill.
  • Size matters: The storage capacities vary from 32GB to 128GB – might not be necessary for your average fishing trip.
  • Price Point: This product tends to be more expensive than other options available in the market.

Taking care of your fishing rod while backpacking is essential. Here are some tips to consider when packing your fishing gear:

Packing Tips for Backpacking Fishing Rods

  • Opt for telescopic fishing rods as they tend to be lighter and more compact than multi-piece rods.
  • Disassemble your fishing rods into individual pieces to ensure they fit well in your bag. Secure these pieces together with rubber bands or hook and loop straps.
  • Use foam or a soft cloth to protect the rod guides during transport. You wouldn’t want them damaged before arrival at your backpacking destination!
  • Find a protective case or tube designed for fishing rods if you can; this provides the best protection. If you can’t secure one, wrap the rod in a towel or clothing section: every bit of cushion helps.
  • Pack a sturdy and lightweight rod tube for added protection, especially when traversing rough terrain.
  • Apart from your rod, don’t forget all the other essential items you’ll need, such as a reel, line, lures and bait, a tackle box, and most importantly – hunting license!
  • Remember that it’s not just about what’s needed for catching fish; make sure you pack other essentials like polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, a multi-tool to assist with any hassle on site, and of course -water filters for hydration.

Other Essential Fishing Gear for Backpacking

I can never start a backpacking trip without packing essential fishing gear. Here’s a list of items you don’t want to leave behind:

  1. Fishing Reel: Attach it to your chosen rod for spooling and retrieving the fishing line. Choose a quality reel that will withstand harsh conditions.
  2. Fishing Line: Different types of fish require different lines, so choose wisely based on your targeted species.
  3. Lures and Baits: You need what attracts the fish! Carry various lures suitable for different water bodies and bass, catfish, trout or salmon.
  4. Tackle Box: A lightweight but robust tackle box will help keep your hooks, lures, lines, and other small items organized while on the move.
  5. Fishing License: Check local fishing regulations and obtain the necessary licenses to avoid violating any laws—even when in the woods!
  6. Polarized Sunglasses: Besides protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, these glasses improve visibility by reducing glare off the water surface.
  7. Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Protect yourself from sunburns and nuisance bugs such as mosquitoes.
  8. Fishing Net: This is especially helpful for landing caught fish from rivers or lakes without losing them back into the water.
  9. Multi-tool: Pliers to remove hooks, a knife to clean catch or cut line—multi-tools come in handy many times!
  10. Water Filter: Long hikes can lead you through locations without potable water sources; having a portable water filter helps keep you hydrated.

Factors to Consider While Choosing Backpacking Fishing Rods

A close-up of a fishing rod against a stunning natural backdrop.

When choosing a backpacking fishing rod, consider factors such as the power and action of the rod to match your target fish. Rod length is an important consideration for casting distance and portability – longer rods offer better casting but short ones are easier to pack.

Pay attention to the material: graphite is lighter and more sensitive, while fiberglass has better durability; composite materials like carbon fiber offer a balance between these qualities.

The gear ratio of the reel indicates its speed – higher numbers mean faster retrieval. Finally, don’t overlook the type of fishing line you plan on using since some lines work best with certain types of reels or fishes.

Rod action and power

Understanding rod action and power can greatly influence your fishing experience. Rod action refers to where your rod flexes along the blank, while rod power is linked to how much force it takes to bend the bulb.

For instance, a fast-action rod leaves only the tip bending, making it ideal for longer casts with more accuracy. Medium or slow-action rods are perfect for shorter casts requiring more versatility and gentleness especially in lighter lures situations.

On power scale, heavy rods work best when reeling big fish species because they need significant energy to bend them. Conversely, light-power rods suit small-pan fishes as they bend easily even under slight weight pressure.

Rod length and type

Selecting the proper rod length is crucial for successful backpacking fishing. The method and environment of your angling adventure can significantly influence this choice. For instance, longer rods are favored by many backpackers due to their enhanced casting distance and control, which come handy when throwing over obstructions or aiming for those hard-to-reach areas in body of water.

The type of fishing rod you choose also plays an immense role. Telescopic fishing rods stand out as superb options given their light weight and compact nature — ideal traits for any space-conscious packing plan! However, if you’re not willing to trade off strength, balance and durability for compactness then multi-piece rods may fittingly answer your needs; though these are typically heavier than their telescopic counterparts.

A special mention goes to Tenkara rods: remarkable in its own right because they’re designed specifically for fly fishing without the need of a reel.

Rod material

Choosing the right rod material for your backpacking fishing rod is crucial as it determines its sensitivity, weight, and durability. Carbon fiber rods are incredibly lightweight and sensitive to fish bites but they may not be sturdy enough for big catches.

On the other hand, fiberglass rods offer immense strength perfect for battling larger fish species; however, their heavier weight makes them less portable for backpacking journeys.

For a balance between lightness and sturdiness, composite rods made of both carbon fiber and fiberglass prove an excellent choice showcasing good sensitivity while capable of withstanding considerable pressure without breaking or compromising portability in your gear bag.

Reel gear ratio

To select the perfect backpacking fishing rod, it’s crucial to understand reel gear ratio. It refers to how many times the spool rotates per handle turn. A higher value means you’ll retrieve your line quicker, helpful when reeling in a fish.

If your intended bait is slow-moving, go for lower ratios; faster lures demand those with higher ones. Planning some light backpacking? Stick with high gear ratios for rapid and effortless line retrieval—it’s all about efficiency! Each fishing method and target species requires an optimized gear ratio; consider this while making your selection.

Fishing line consideration

Selecting the right fishing line is crucial. Your choice should depend on a few factors such as line strength, diameter, and material type. Monofilament lines offer versatility and affordability, making them an excellent option for backpacking trips.

You might prefer fluorocarbon lines if you value their invisibility in water and better sensitivity to fish bites. If you’re after big fish on your adventure, consider braided fishing lines for their high strength and minimal stretch properties.

Always check that your chosen line is compatible with your reel to ensure smooth casting and reeling throughout your angling experience!


Finding the perfect backpacking fishing rod in 2023 isn’t always easy, but with a clear understanding of your needs and appropriate knowledge, it’s definitely achievable. Ultimately your choice hinges on personal preferences and intended use.

Your outdoor fishing adventures await—go find that perfect pole today!

FAQs: Backpacking Fishing Rods