Best Travel Fishing Rods in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

If you’re an avid angler, you already know that there’s no way of knowing when a fishing opportunity is going to present itself. For this reason, you will love having a travel-friendly fishing rod. Plus, having one proves to be handy during hikes and camping trips. 

The manufacturers of the fishing gear have made some of the best mobile fishing rods for this purpose. Such models can be set up easily. Also, you’ll have no problem putting them in your car, backpack or any tight place.  

These models are usually light and short. The best ones also come with a padded carrying bag to ensure they stay safe. 

Below, you’ll find some of the best models on the market as well as a buying guide walking you through the things you should have on your checklist when buying one. You’ll also find some of the frequently asked questions about this topic. 

Are you ready to meet the best travel fishing rod? 

Comparison Table: 

Rod

Weight Length

Number of pieces 

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager

1.55 lbs.6’ 5

KastKing Blackhawk II

0.9 lbs. 6’6” or 6’8” 6

PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo

1.2 lbs.5.91’1

St Croix Triumph

0.3 lbs.5’6”

Daiwa Minispin

0.05 lbs. 4.5’

5

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos

0.6 lbs.5.91’1

The 6 Best Travel Fishing Rods in 2020

 1. Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager – Best Overall 

Okuma VS 605 20 Voyager

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager is an excellent portable travel kit. It comes with a 6-foot spinning rod that you can dismantle into 5 pieces. This way, you can rest assured that it perfectly and easily fits into small spaces. 

Plus, this travel kit is made of excellent materials including corrosion-resistant graphite frame and ceramic guides. Since this is a fishing combo, you’ll also enjoy having a stainless steel hooded reel seat. 

Even though the Voyager is the heaviest model on our list weighing 1.55 pounds, the comfortable cork grips on its blank make up for this by reducing wrist fatigue after extended hours of use.   

Though the materials ensure the kit will stay intact, yet it comes with a travel and storage case with soft padding. This case has a zipper, ensuring that the components don’t fall out of it. Moreover, it features an attached handle, so you can carry it with ease. 

The storage case is very compact (17” long x 9” wide x 3” deep), so you can easily store it in any tight place. It can even fit in your car trunk or backpack. 

This light-action combo is excellent for trout, panfish, bass, catfish and walleye. All you need to do is assemble the rod in a few minutes, fill it with a 2 to 10-pound test line, add lures and enjoy fishing. Are you a fly fishing enthusiast? It is also suitable for that! 

What’s more, the kit comes with a tackle box holding a lot of spinners, fishing hooks, spoons, split shot, small crankbaits or bobbers. In other words, it has all of the things you may need for fishing in freshwater. 

Pros:

  • Excellent casting distance 
  • High sensitivity 
  • Comes with a padded travel bag 
  • Comfortable cork handle 
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Freshwater fishing only 
  • Comes in one size 
  • Includes a small lure box  

Bottom Line 

Coming in five pieces and with a six-feet rod, Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager is a travel-friendly fishing rod. Plus, its corrosion-resistant graphite frame, as well as its travel bag, ensure that it lasts for years. 

2. KastKing Blackhawk II – Runner-Up 

KastKing Blackhawk II

KastKing Blackhawk II is our second favorite travel fishing rod for its lightness, versatility and impeccable performance.  

Coming in 6 pieces and weighing 0.9 pounds, this rod is very travel-friendly. What’s more, the snug-fit ferrules allow the rod to perform as if it’s a one-piece model. 

As for versatility, KastKing Blackhawk II presents spinning and casting rods with different lengths and power and action options. This means that there is a high chance you’ll find what you’re looking for among its products. 

For a travel rod, we recommend you pick the shortest rods it offers, such as the 6’6” spinning rod or the 6’8” casting rod, depending on your preference. 

No matter which model you choose, the 24-ton carbon matrix blank and the Soloscopic Performance technology (having a solid glass tip section) deliver unmatched durability and sensitivity. 

Moreover, the comfortable EVA handles ensure zero fatigue even if you use the rod for extended hours. 

What’s more, you’ll love the multiple floating line guides that improve the casting performance and deliver a consistent and smooth taper.

You can use KastKing Blackhawk II for fishing in freshwater or saltwater if you’re trout fishing, bass fishing or kayak fishing.

Pros:

  • Lightweight  
  • One-piece rod performance 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Comfortable EVA handles
  • Suitable for fishing in freshwater and saltwater  

Cons:

  • Not very durable 

Bottom Line 

If you’re looking for a lightweight travel fishing rod that delivers impressive performance at an affordable price, go for KastKing Blackhawk II. 

3. PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo – Budget-Friendly 

PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo

If you’re low on money, you’ll appreciate that PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo comes with a telescopic fishing rod, a high-quality reel, a carrying bag, and some tackle. This means that you don’t need to pay for extra items. 

This is yet another excellent combo on our list, and it comes at a slightly lighter weight (1.2 pounds) than Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager. It also features a comfortable EVA foregrip, ensuring comfort even if you use the rod for long periods. 

What’s more, PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo provides buyers with various medium-power rod lengths. For example, you can choose rods from 5.91’ to 8.86’ long, depending on the application for which you need the rod. This makes it one of the most versatile rods. 

No matter which model you choose, you’ll love that this rod is built with a closed length design that even the longest model is only a foot and a half long when entirely collapsed. 

Moreover, the carbon and fiberglass construction of the rod, as well as the aluminum spool, improve the combo’s portability and durability. I’m also glad to inform you that you can use the combo in freshwater and saltwater as it features a corrosion-resistant stainless steel hooded reel seat. 

Besides, PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo comes with additional features, including an instant anti-reverse system and power drive gears that deliver high strength. 

Pros:

  • One-year warranty 
  • Compact Design
  • Comfortable EVA foregrip
  • Various Length Options
  • Included carry case and tackle 
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater

Cons:

  • Poor reel quality 
  • Heavy 
  • Might break down after a few trips 

Bottom Line 

At an affordable price, PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo is a great mobile fishing rod for its flawless performance and versatile models you could choose from. Note though that it is the second-heaviest model on the list. 

4. St Croix Triumph – Best Quality

St Croix Triumph

If you’re looking for a high-quality saltwater spinning rod, St Croix Triumph won’t disappoint you. 

The rod is made of premium-quality carbon, so it is highly sensitive. It also features a Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hood, allowing you to use the combo in saltwater. What’s more, it enjoys a premium-grade cork handle that ensures you maintain a firm grip. 

Beside St Croix Triumph’s 0.3-pound weight, it comes in a 4-piece design that reduces to 18 inches when collapsed, making it extra easy to travel with. It’s also very travel-friendly because of the included carrying case. However, we would have appreciated it more had it come with a hardshell case instead of a soft nylon one. 

Since all anglers love having the freedom to choose one amongst many options, St Croix Triumph provides fast-action models with lengths ranging from 5’6” to 6’6” with ultralight, light, medium and medium-heavy power options. No matter which length you choose, they are all suitable for travelling. 

Some people claim that it’s not as durable as it’s supposed to be. However, the five-year warranty it offers the users should give you enough confidence to buy the combo. 

Sadly, it falls on the expensive end of the spectrum, and that could be a huge drawback to some people. 

Pros:

  • Excellent construction
  • Five-year warranty 
  • Lightweight 
  • Comfortable premium-grade cork handle
  • Many options to choose from

Cons:

  • Expensive 
  • May break down

Bottom Line 

If money is not an issue, we recommend you buy the high-quality St Croix Triumph. Its included travel bag, as well as its lightness and compact size, render it one of the best travel fishing rods on the market. 

5. Daiwa Minispin – Best For Small and Medium-Sized Fish 

Daiwa Minispin

Daiwa Minispin is one of the best ultralight combos for targeting small and medium-sized fish. Ultralight rods require very little weight to bend, making them highly sensitive to the slightest bites. However, if you use them to catch heavy fish, they’ll break easily.   

This combo is made of composite, making it durable, sensitive and lightweight. As a matter of fact, Daiwa Minispin is the lightest combo on our list, coming at 0.05 pounds only. 

What also makes it travel-friendly is the fact that it splits down to 5 pieces, so that it fits into the one-pound hardshell case that comes with the kit. It’s very compact as it is 14” long, 7.8” wide and 2.5” deep. 

You can also store your tackle, lures, extra hooks or anything you need in the case’s built-in tackle compartments. 

What’s more, you can use this rod and reel combo for as many hours as you want thanks to its comfortable and lightweight EVA handle. 

Daiwa Minispin offers one-rod size, which is 4.5 feet. Some people find this incredible, given how mobile it is, while others view it as very limiting as it does not offer a lot of lengths to choose from. 

Pros:

  • Most lightweight 
  • Comfortable EVA grips 
  • Included carry case 
  • Sensitive 

Cons:

  • One length
  • Not suitable for saltwater fishing 
  • Will break if used to catch massive fish  

Bottom Line 

In case you’re looking for an excellent lightweight rod for catching small or medium-sized fish, Daiwa Minispin is your best option. It’s also one of the best travel rods since it is the most lightweight option on our list. However, make sure that its one-size rod suits you.  

6. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos – Best For Heavy Fish  

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos

If you love catching heavy fish like bass and trout, Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos is the one for this purpose. 

With a telescopic rod made of high-density 24-ton carbon fiber and E-glass construction, you can rest assured that it’s powerful enough to lift fish weighing up to 10 pounds. 

Also, rest assured that you won’t miss a catch with this combo thanks to its medium-power rods that allow bass more time, so they take the lure deeper into their mouths. Plus, owing to the material that boosts sensitivity, you’ll feel the slightest bites. 

You can choose between various rods coming at 5.91’, 6.89’ and 7.87’. These lengths are excellent as they are long enough for fishing at the beach, yet can be collapsed to fit in your backpack. Another thing that makes it mobile is its 0.6-pound light weight. 

Beside the telescopic rod, this combo includes a corrosion-resistant CNC machined aluminium spinning reel, three fishing lures, one fishing line and some fishing accessories. It also comes with a carry bag that easily fits in your car, boat, or backpack. In other words, you won’t need to pay for any extras if you invest in buying Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos.

You can cast for a long distance thanks to the retractable handle of the combo. Plus, it’s engineered for smooth reeling with a 5.5:1 gear ratio and has an adjustable cast control that makes a sound when adjusted.

This combo is suitable for right and left-handed customers due to the right or left-hand CNC machined aluminium handle. You can also use it for extended hours without getting tired because of the comfortable EVA Knob that prevents the rod from slipping from your hand. 

Pros:

  • Accepts mono and braided fishing line 
  • Suitable for right and left-handed customers 
  • Comfortable EVA knob 
  • Can be used in saltwater 

Cons:

  • No assembly instructions 
  • A little flimsy  

Bottom Line 

If you’re looking for a travel-friendly fishing rod to catch heavy fish, invest in Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos. Coming at three different travel-friendly lengths, a carry bag, and other necessary accessories, you’ll love having it when travelling.  

How to Pick The Best Travel Fishing Rod

One of the most awful things any angler could experience is having the fishing rod break during a fishing trip. What’s even worse is experiencing this unfortunate event while traveling. To avoid going through this, here are the factors that should be on your checklist when buying a mobile fishing rod. 

Size and Weight 

Many people wrongly believe that an excellent travel-friendly rod must be modular, collapsible or telescopic. However, the most crucial feature that makes a good travel fishing rod is its lightness. Also, it should be small to put it in your backpack, car or any tight place easily.

Material 

Things we travel with are more prone to break, so it’s crucial to pay attention to the material of which a travel fishing rod is made. High-quality models are either made of graphite, fiberglass a composite of both.

These made of graphite are the most lightweight, yet the most expensive. In case you’re on a tight budget, you can search for a rod made of fiberglass. Note, though, that fiberglass rods may not be as powerful or as sensitive as one would hope. 

They are generally better suited for beginners. The best material to go for is the graphite and fiberglass composite as it’s the best of both worlds. It’s lightweight, sensitive and durable. 

Rod Length 

The rod’s length depends on how far a distance you need to cast, the bait you’ll use and the place you’ll cast. 

For example, the length of the rod is directly proportional to the casting distance. So, if you want to cast for a long distance, go with longer rods and vice versa. 

As for the bait, short travel fishing rods work well with short to medium-sized lures. Consequently, if you’ll use large and heavy lures, you will need a longer rod. 

Also, if you’ll fish by the docks, shorter rods are more suitable as they give you more control. However, lengthy rods are better suited for fishing in high-altitude areas. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Difference Between a Travel Fishing Rod and Other Ones?

The main differences between them are size and weight. Travel-friendly rods are lighter and smaller, so they’re easier to pack. You’ll be surprised to know that even breakdown fishing rods take up more space and are heavier. 

Are Travel Fishing Rods Budget-Friendly? 

This depends on the brand and model you choose. However, if you travel a lot, it would be better to invest your money in a travel rod than a conventional one. This is because travel rods usually come with a protective casing that prevents the rod from getting broken. This proves to be cost-effective compared to purchasing separate cases and reels for a non-travel-friendly fishing rod.

Is Maintaining a Travel Fishing Rod an Easy Process? 

Maintaining and protecting your rod is easy as long as you do it right. If you follow the right steps, the rod will last for years. Such steps include inspecting the rod regularly as well as wiping it and clearing any debris in the blanks. Storing the rod in a suitable protective casing is of paramount importance as well. Cleaning the rod and reel after every fishing trip is what matters the most, though.

Final Thoughts 

Now that we’ve reached the end of the article, we hope you’ve found your best travel fishing rod. But since choosing one could be a bit confusing to some people, we will offer you some recommendations. 

If you need to fish in freshwater, Okuma VS-605-20 is the best spinning rod for this purpose. The ability to dismantle it into five pieces and put them in the included compact carry bag is such an excellent quality of any travel fishing rod. Plus, its durable material ensures it lasts for years. 

In case you need a rod that can be used in saltwater and freshwater alike, you can either go for KastKing Blackhawk or PLUSINNO Telescopic Combo. Since the former is a lot lighter than the latter, it should be your go-to if you’re looking for lightness. 

If you’ll only target small fish, the ultralight Daiwa Minispin is perfect for this purpose. Its lightness and 5-piece design make it one the most comfortable fishing rods to travel with. You’ll also love the included carrying case with built-in compartments to store your tackle.