Backpack FishermanIf you’re like me when it comes to the outdoors, then your interests are not only limited to fishing, and broaden to include such activities as hiking and camping. Many times, however, as I’m hiking, I’ll stumble across a meandering river, hidden farm pond, or previously untouched cove of a lake. Many others face such a pleasant surprise, and may want to fish such waters, but find themselves without the means to do so. There’s no reason you can’t combine hiking and fishing, however, and enjoying both at once requires nothing more than a little room in your backpack.

Anyone who enjoys weekend backpacking trips that involve making and breaking camp each night, and keeping all the necessary gear for such an endeavor in their pack the whole time, may scoff at the notion of adding to their load. However, even the most well-prepared, over-encumbered hiker can still make room for fishing’s bare essential gear. You can find travel fishing gear at any outdoor retailer, but the trick is finding the equipment that will suit your own personal needs. As with any piece of fishing tackle, there are three important factors to consider: how often will you use it, what type of fish are you seeking, and how much do you want to spend.

Any reel will suit most any fishing need, but what about the rod? Lugging a seven-foot rod, even a two-piece one, can be a little daunting on hikes, but you can find four and five-piece alternatives, designed for such outings, quite easily. St. Croix’s Triumph Travel Rods, Bass Pro Shops’ travel versions of the Microlite and Extreme rods, and Browning’s Safari rod, for example, are great rods for travel and come with cases to keep them free from damage during travel.

Many companies make travel assortments consisting of several different types of lures and other tackle, which often come prepackaged in plastic storage boxes. Northland is one such company, and offers assortments for several different species. Mepps, a leading inline spinner company, also makes kits for different species. The storage box in which the kits come packaged takes up very little room and can be stuffed easily into a backpack.

Anyone who hikes or camps regularly can easily add fishing to their trip’s itinerary by picking up a few pieces of tackle to add to their gear. The travel versions of every angler’s basic tackle needs are designed to be compact, light, and just as reliable as their non-travel counterparts. After you make camp for the night or when you find yourself facing a hidden body of water, take a break and cast a line out. Who knows, after a few minutes, you may find yourself pulling in dinner for the night.

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