Those backpackers well-versed in catching and cleaning fish can save weight and space by leaving some food at home and catching their own along the trail.

One or two-piece rods can be a little difficult to carry, however, especially when you’re hiking long distances. A good way to get around this is and still catch your dinner in the backcountry is to pick up a travel fishing rod.

There are a few different styles of travel fishing rods available from trusted companies. Here we’ll explore the pros and cons of a few of the common types of travel fishing rods you’ll find on the market: telescopic and multi-piece rods.

Telescopic Rods

Perhaps the most well-known style of travel rods available today, telescopic rods collapse within themselves into an easily transportable size. They’re available in spinning and casting styles, and often come as a travel kit, complete with a reel and some tackle.

Telescopic rods have their issues, though. For instance, fail to secure each segment tightly and you’ll find it collapsing on its own or worse, rotating during use, which will cause it to bend unnaturally and break under strain. Telescopic rods tend to be less costly than other styles, but as you know by now, often times you get what you pay for. If you consider yourself a more serious angler or if going hungry is on the line, then there are better options than a telescopic rod.

Shakespeare offers the Travel Mate series in spinning, underspin and spincast versions, enclosed in a durable travel case and with a cost of only $35.

Multi-Piece Rods

While telescopic rods will get the job done in a pinch, multi-piece models are definitely the more reliable option. Many rod companies offer multi-piece versions of their models, which tend to come in three pieces that fit together like a normal two-piece model. They even tend to come with their own nylon or hard-shell travel case that can be slipped inside your backpack or strapped to the external loops.

Multi-piece rods can be a bit on the pricier side, though, with some models costing as much as $220. Obviously, this won’t appeal to everyone interested in catching some fish during a backpacking trip. If you do it enough, though, then it might be worth spending a few extra dollars. Some may maintain that two and three-piece rods lose some of their structural reliability where the pieces fit together, but I’ve yet to have any rods break on me in my time.

Quality multi-piece rod models include the Bass Pro Shops Extreme, the Browning Safari and the Shimano Compre.

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