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Up to date Could 2, 2023 6:20 PM

Journey fishing rods are made for anglers on the go. Wherever you find yourself, there are new waters to hunt out, so the addition of a devoted journey fishing rod to the arsenal is sensible for aspiring journey anglers. The issue for a few years was the dearth of high quality rods to satisfy the carry-on restrictions for fishermen touring on planes. Multi-piece rods had been a lot much less frequent and inferior to extra typical rods; they had been additionally extra more likely to break.

Fortunately, advances in know-how and design have modified the panorama of angling journey. Rod corporations are actually in a position to present touring anglers with high quality choices, and one of the best journey fishing rods fish like their one-piece counterparts. 

How We Made Our Picks

My first travel-to-fish journey occurred once I was seven. We ventured north to fish for northern pike and bass within the Thousand Islands space of the St. Lawrence River. Since that first journey, my wanderlust has endured, spanning three continents, 5 international locations, eleven states, and three Canadian provinces. I’ve carried rods to all of these locations through airline, bush aircraft, panga, prepare, automobile, taxi, subway and climbing boots. In between these adventures, I’ve spent a whole lot of time speaking with fishing trade professionals about journey fishing rods and different assorted gear. Cumulatively, this distilled expertise proves extremely helpful in evaluating journey fishing deal with. Whereas penning this evaluate, I thought-about the next attributes:

  • Fishing Efficiency—comparative to one-piece rods
  • Packability
  • Supplies and Development
  • Sturdiness

The Greatest Journey Fishing Rods: Opinions & Suggestions

Greatest Finances & Greatest Combo: Ugly Stik GX2 Journey Spinning Combo

Greatest Finances AND Greatest Combo


  • Size(s): 5 toes (gentle energy), 6 toes and 6 toes 6 inches (Each medium energy) 
  • Numbers of sections: 5 foot rod is 3 items; others are 4 items
  • Line Score: Gentle: 4-10 pound; Medium: 6-15 pound


  • Sturdy, sturdy and delicate graphite and fiberglass building
  • Extra economical than shopping for particular person elements
  • Sturdy and sturdy Ugly Tuff chrome steel guides
  • Shakespeare four-bearing spinning reel, with double anodized aluminum spool


  • Fabric rod and reel journey bag gives solely beauty safety; not appropriate for checked baggage.

Based on Shakespeare lore, the Ugly Stik acquired its now world-familiar moniker when a product administration govt took one take a look at the primary prototype blanks and stated they had been the ugliest he’d ever seen. 

Essentially the most up to date model is extra aesthetically interesting, however it hasn’t misplaced its rugged sturdiness or the signature clear tip section. The Ugly Stik Journey Combo is available in three lengths and two energy choices (gentle and medium). Every rod is fitted with a strong Shakespeare four-bearing reel with outsized bail wire for added sturdiness. And all the combo is at a worth level that gained’t break the financial institution. 

These journey outfits make a strong selection for these journeys targeted on actions apart from angling the place you simply may be capable to slot in a bit of fishing anyway. In addition they make wonderful entry-level outfits for youths and fishing rods for newcomers. From private expertise, I’ll additionally say that these rods can deal with these sudden trophies which have a knack for biting if you’re simply serving to the youngsters catch a number of bluegills.

Greatest for Bass: Abu Garcia IKE Signature Collection Journey Spinning Rod

Greatest for Bass

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Series Travel Spinning Rod is the best travel fishing rod for bass.


  • Size(s): 7 toes
  • Numbers of Sections: 4 items—butt part, midsection and two tip sections for elevated versatility
  • Tip Sections: medium gentle—for 1/8 to five/8 ounce lures and medium for 1/4 to three/4 ounce lures
  • Line Score: medium gentle: 6-12 pound; medium: 8-14 pound


  • Two tip sections gives nice versatility
  • Fishes like a one-piece rod
  • Wonderful sensitivity 


  • Doesn’t embrace a crush-proof case for checked baggage safety

Abu Garcia was good to accomplice with Mike “Ike” Iaconelli in designing this rod. Twenty plus years as a bass match skilled coupled along with his extra expertise as a metropolis fishing fanatic offered the best experiential basis for crafting high notch journey fishing rods. 

The Ike Signature Collection Journey Spinning Rod is an distinctive worth and an extremely versatile fishing software. High quality elements are a major a part of the profitable system. The rod blanks are constructed from 36-ton graphite and completed rods have chrome steel guides and a top quality reel seat. Using a steady graphite ferrule is essential to permitting this rod to fish like a one-piece rod. If all of this isn’t sufficient, then add in one of the best characteristic—the flexibility supplied with interchangeable ideas. This mixture means that you can fish an prolonged vary of lures and finesse baits. Anglers searching for a extra highly effective bass fishing software ought to take into account trying out the casting rod model.

Greatest for Saltwater: G. Loomis Escape GLX Collection

Greatest for Saltwater

G. Loomis Escape GLX Series is the best travel fishing rod for saltwater.


  • Size(s): 7 toes in two energy choices, medium-light and medium
  • Numbers of Sections: three
  • Line Score: Medium-light: 6-12 pound; Medium: 10-17 pound


  • Multi-taper design gives a superior mix of sturdiness and efficiency
  • Nickel-Titanium RECOIL guides
  • Prime quality cork grip
  • Gentle weight


  • Costly
  • Troublesome to search out inventory, in the meanwhile

Very hardly ever will I say {that a} rod has the potential to allow a reliable angler to catch extra fish. The G. Loomis Escape GLX rods are an exception to this rule. Palms down, these are among the best fishing rods made at present.

G. Loomis has been making fishing rods targeted on efficiency since 1982. I purchased my first GLX rod in 1999 and I nonetheless fish it at present; I believe that claims rather a lot about each the standard and sturdiness of the GLX line of rods. Loomis’ rod constructing experience has led to superior journey rods that compromise nothing in a multi-piece design. Their proprietary Multi-taper Design course of strengthens potential break factors whereas decreasing materials utility elsewhere. The result’s energy and sensitivity. The Nickel-Titanium RECOIL guides used on these rods are amazingly powerful and the cork grip offers a snug really feel over days, months and years of fishing.

These rods are amazingly light-weight, given their energy, sturdiness and talent to subdue massive saltwater fish. This lightness in hand interprets to better consolation over a protracted day of fishing. The final solid of the day feels as easy as the primary.

GLX Escape journey spinning rods can be found in two fashions. The medium energy mannequin is what I take into account the best saltwater rod, in a position to deal with massive inshore species similar to allow and bull redfish. In freshwater, this rod will deal with many of the salmonid species, bass and pike. The medium-light mannequin can also be an outstanding gentle saltwater rod, best for small bonefish, pet drum and schoolie stripers. This rod can also be an awesome crossover rod, whether or not for big trout, shad or smallmouth bass.

Greatest Telescopic: KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

Greatest Telescopic

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod is the best telescopic travel fishing rod.


  • Size(s): Casting —7 fashions from 6 toes, 8 inches to eight toes; Spinning—7 fashions from 6 toes, 6 inches to eight toes
  • Numbers of Sections: All fashions are telescopic
  • Line Rankings: 6-25 pound, relying on the mannequin


  • A number of fashions for range and suppleness
  • High quality supplies and building
  • Fast meeting
  • Economical


  • Nonetheless not so good as high quality multi-piece rods
  • Segments can loosen after vital casting/fishing time

Although I’m not a telescopic rod fan, I see the usefulness of the idea, and the KastKing BlackHawk II is one of the best telescopic rod I’ve seen. These rods are notably nicely fitted to anglers who want the added comfort offered by a telescopic rod and aren’t logging severe hours of fishing related to devoted journey fishing journeys. In different phrases, they’re best for if you’re on trip and, all of the sudden, you could have an hour or two to go fishing.

KastKing has offered an impressive array of choices, in each casting and spinning rod fashions. This choice is a superb service for potential clients who want to search out rods to suit all kinds of angling eventualities, in addition to the inevitable private preferences.

The BlackHawk II rods are constructed utilizing KastKing KastFlex 24-Ton Carbon Matrix blanks, with a strong glass tip. Comfortable-Match ferrules, chrome steel line guides, graphite reel seats and comfy EVA handles are used to create a properly completed rod. 

For extra data on telescopic rods, we’ve a rundown of one of the best telescopic choices on the market, as nicely. 

Greatest Fly Rod: Orvis Clearwater

Orvis Clearwater Travel Fly Rod


  • Size: 9 toes
  • Line Weight: 5
  • Motion: Medium-Quick
  • Items: 4
  • Guarantee: 25-12 months


  • Reasonably priced
  • Forgiving
  • Highly effective


The Orvis Clearwater took residence one of the best worth award in our fly rod check final yr and was a favourite amongst our group of editors and testers. For starters, the Clearwater is likely one of the extra reasonably priced fly rods in the marketplace, and it might maintain its personal with the premium rods that always see a price ticket north of a grand. This rod went head-to-head with all the top-end fashions, and after a fast blind-casting check, most of our editors put the Clearwater forward of our favourite high-end rods.

As for efficiency, the Clearwater throws tight loops and might attain virtually so far as another rod. It’s a bit cumbersome, and also you may get drained after a full day on the water. Anglers can choose up a Clearwater rod in sizes starting from 2-weight to 12-weight. So it doesn’t matter what fish you take pleasure in chasing with a fly, there’s a Clearwater rod for you. And since it is a journey fishing rod story, it’s value mentioning that the Clearwater is a four-piece rod and will be carried on any aircraft in a rod tube. —Ryan Chelius

Issues to Think about Earlier than Shopping for a Journey Fishing Rod

Journey fishing will be as unique as a once-in-a-lifetime globetrotting journey, or so simple as a subway journey to the town pond or lake. In each eventualities, a extra compact, travel-friendly fishing outfit will make transit to the vacation spot simpler. Earlier than shopping for a journey fishing rod, take into account what species of fish you’re focusing on, spatial limitations, mode of transport and the all vital time versus cash equation.

Goal Species

What kind or forms of fish will you be chasing, and the place will you be fishing? An excellent rod for panfish or trout might be outgunned and irritating to make use of when focusing on huge stripers or redfish. Rods and their counterpart reels (that means the reel you at all times use with that rod) could also be nice in freshwater however lower than the abuse they’ll endure in a marine setting. I like versatility in my gear however to not the purpose of compromising my general enjoyment. To this finish, I believe it greatest to determine practical expectations and totally perceive what my journey rods can and can’t deal with.

Spatial Limitations

The primary leg of the journey is a industrial airline behemoth with spacious overhead compartments that can simply accommodate your journey rod case. However the closing hop comes through a de Havilland Beaver the place area is severely restricted. Or, maybe you’re climbing into the backcountry for a multi-day tenting and fishing journey. In every of those eventualities, spatial limitations are totally different, and in every case it’s vital to determine how compact your journey rod (or rods) must be. This can be a query greatest requested and answered earlier than you depart.

Mode of Transport

In an ideal world, my rods by no means depart my oversight once I journey to fish. However typically that’s simply not practical. So, I choose to plan for the worst and hope for one of the best. I like when rods include a crush-proof case. In the event that they don’t, it’s greatest to put money into a specialised journey rod case that can accommodate the rod or rods you intend to take. When journeys require a number of transfers, the added peace of thoughts alone deserves the funding.

If carrying a rod or rods onto an airplane, I discover out the airline’s most dimensions for carry-on gadgets. If I’ve any doubt about carry-on choices, I be sure that the cased rod I’m touring with will slot in my checked baggage.

Time versus Cash 

This is a vital equation that has extra variability primarily based on an individual’s disposable earnings and priorities. I as soon as commented to a guiding consumer that I believed everybody ought to have one space of life the place they indulge themselves. His response was, “Why only one?”

Realistically although, most anglers want to guage how typically, and for a way lengthy, they’re doubtless to make use of a journey rod, after which issue that into their choice about which rod is greatest for them. An angler who may, or may not, use the rod yearly on a household trip will need a totally different rod from the fisherman or girl who embarks upon a number of devoted vacation spot fishing journeys annually.


Q: Can I carry-on a fishing pole?

Based on the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration), fishing rods will be carried on, so long as they meet the airline’s standards for carry-on gadgets. Nevertheless, it’s greatest to at all times work with the particular airline you’ll be touring with to fine-tune your carry-on planning. In case you’re touring internationally, you should definitely additionally test with air carriers you’ll be flying with within the vacation spot nation or international locations. 

Adhere to their necessities, and your rod ought to stay in your fingers from residence to vacation spot and again.

Q: How do you journey with a rod and reel?

I at all times need to journey with my rods in a tough, crush-proof case and my reels safely stowed in my carry-on fishing bag. Even when my journey rods are compact sufficient for airline carry-on, I nonetheless desire to hold them within the protecting exhausting case, as plans can generally change on the flight check-in. If I’ve to test the rods, at any level within the journey, I do know they’ll be protected. Many individuals take into consideration the flight course of however don’t take into account the auto journey on both finish of the flight. In my expertise, the transition factors are when unprotected gear will get damaged. Cautious packing of your rods and reels extends the security to those journey transition eventualities.

Within the “for what it’s value” column, I’d relatively arrive at a fishing vacation spot with out my garments than my rods and reels. However fortunately this may be prevented through the use of a change of garments as padding round your rods within the journey case. This manner you arrive together with your rods, reels and not less than one spare outfit. 

Q: Are you able to carry-on a 4-piece fly rod?

Sure, most typical 4-piece fly rods will meet airline standards for carry-on baggage. I’ve traveled with 4-piece, ten foot fly rods to Chile, Mexico, England and distant north western Canada. I’ve by no means had any issue carrying-on my fly rods. That being stated, it’s nonetheless at all times greatest to test with the airline in-question upfront. In case you’re working with an skilled fishing journey service, they will additionally present their expertise touring to your vacation spot. For added ideas on this subject, try our in-depth breakdown of one of the best fly rods.

Q: Can I fly with fishing lures?

Based on the TSA, fishing lures are outlined as “sharp fishing deal with that could be thought-about harmful.” They advocate sheathing or in any other case securing hooks; the lures ought to then be securely wrapped and packed in your checked baggage. Based mostly on this data, any hooks, lures or flies in your carry-on could possibly be confiscated.

For anglers, the issue with this strategy is the concern of arriving at a distant fishing vacation spot with nothing to fish. To alleviate this concern, I pack a small collection of must-have flies or lures that I put in my carry-on bag—consider it as an emergency package. I preserve the choice sufficiently small that I can settle for the loss if it’s ever confiscated. The majority of my fishing lures are packed safely in my checked bag and embrace duplicates of the necessities.

Q: What’s the distinction between a journey rod and a regular rod?

A journey fishing rod can break down into small sections or telescope into one small piece. A standard fishing rod is usually one, two, or 4 items. This makes it a bit tougher to journey with.

Q: Are journey rods value it?

Having a fishing rod that may break down into small items is certainly value it. You don’t essentially want a “journey fishing rod,” however relatively one thing that breaks down into three or 4 items so it’s simpler to journey with.

Greatest Touring Fishing Rods: Last Ideas

Whether or not you’re embarking upon a bucket-list journey fishing journey or hoping to get in a bit of fishing whereas touring with the household, all of it is determined by your deal with attending to the vacation spot unbroken and useful. That defines why journey rods have change into so vital for contemporary anglers, and the significance extends past airline journey. Attempt carrying a one-piece rod on a busy subway and also you shortly understand the worth of journey rods for close-to-home fishing. 

Although many journey rods nonetheless fall in need of their one-piece counterparts’ efficiency, advances in applied sciences and economies of scale have closed this hole. In some circumstances, one of the best journey fishing rods are indistinguishable from one or two-piece rods. To resolve which journey rod is best for you, consider your goal species, take into account spatial limitations, mode of transportation and time versus cash. Then, simply add water and benefit from the fishing.

Why Belief Us

For greater than 125 years, Discipline & Stream has been offering readers with trustworthy and genuine protection of out of doors gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outside, and that zeal comes by in our product critiques. You may depend on F&S to maintain you updated on one of the best new gear. And after we write a couple of product—whether or not it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cowl the great and the dangerous, so you understand precisely what to anticipate earlier than you resolve to make a purchase order.

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