Choosing the best backpacking fishing pole, reel, or combo can be a tough decision to make, depending on the size of fish you’re looking to catch, their weight, and the type of water you’ll be fishing in. Even more importantly for backpackers and survivalists, choosing the right fishing pole or combo can make the difference between having your next meal and going hungry!
Many of these fishing rods and reels are compact, easy to put away, and even easier to take out, put together, and cast. There are also a few excellent backpacking poles that are perfect for the beginner fisherman, novices, or expert.
Whether you’re looking for a “break down” fishing rod and reel setup, or an expendable (“telescoping”) combo, you’ll find an equal breakdown of both types below, along with explanations of each rod and reels functionality, durability, and reliability.
Best Backpacking Fishing Pole
1. PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Full Kit
For any novice fishermen, the PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Full Kit is an excellent choice and is made with high-density carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass, which makes it highly elastic, and includes an EVA Foregrip for serious comfort while fishing.
This backpacking fishing pole will work extremely well on lakes and is also a trusted choice for sea and boat fishing. It is also ideal for saltwater fishing. The PLUSINNO fishing pole is a trusted solution and ideal for traveling – it even includes a padded zipper case which is both lightweight and waterproof.
Customers were extremely pleased by the tackle box included and its useful, high-quality accessories like a bass jig, heads, multiple lures, several beads, and heavy-duty worm hooks. If parents are looking for a high-quality, high density and durable learning rod this is also a great choice – 5 ft version available.
The rod and reel also include the flexibility of being able to be shifted for left- or right-hand use, and it’s really easy to modify the case too, which is a nice added feature.
Also included is a useful 28 mm spool of fishing line which makes it ready to use out of the box! One happy customer reported (and even posted a picture) of their 9lb catch! Light enough for backpacking and getting your next meal, this is not a rod and reel combo you want to miss out on, so we’ve rightfully listed it at the top of our list. Customers returned to purchase three or more of these, so we’re confident recommending it to you.
2. Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Set
The Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Set comes with a flexible rod, and the reel is reported to function very smoothly, is easy, and quick to assemble.
Customers found the included accessories to be a nice touch for beginner fishermen, such as starter hooks and lures, and other miscellaneous accessories. If you are looking for a fishing pole that is extremely easy to use and put back away, this is a great choice.
Telescoping rods, in particular, should be trusted for their durability and strength to stand up to being opened and closed frequently over time, something customers report being prevalently positive here with this rod. Overall, a great rod for the price, and it is available in both 6FT and 8FT variations – making your order customizable to your fishing needs.
So, if you’re after smaller catfish, smallmouth, rock bass, and bluegill then the Magreel is a good choice, and for the price paid one of the best combo packages. Husbands also love it, and it’s been rated by many customers as a “5 Star Product!”
3. Penn Fierce II & Fierce III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combos
Penn Fierce is a trusted brand for its durable, premium quality and performance fishing rods. The Penn Fierce II & Fierce III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo sets are a good solution for catching fish to as large as 10-100lbs (Snappers and Groupers), so you know you’re dealing with a professional rod and setup!
Happy customers and fishermen alike have been using the Penn Fierce fishing rods for five or more years and come back to add to their collection with combo sets like this, so it is a highly recommended solution for backpacking and adventuring!
The Penn Fierce II and Fierce III include excellent drag which makes it effective and consistent with every cast – and means it is more stable so that you focus on catching fish, rather than resetting or adjusting your rod and reel frequently. Fisherman like to use this kit for pier fishing, and on outdoor trails, so it’s perfect for “becoming one with nature.”
For the most “bang for your buck”, this backpacking fishing pole combo is a great choice, and with its Xtra fast action so it’s also good for catching long snook and will strengthen your catch capabilities.
Outdoorsmen were pleased when they realized how significantly stronger this rod is for catching medium to large size fish, and the rod is durable, made from a graphite blank, and aluminum oxide guides. The comfortable EVA grips were a good touch and when catching larger fish this rod remains stiff which his helpful for reeling in a heavier weight.
4. Daiwa Mini System Minispin Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo
With a multi-disc drag reel and ball bearing system, along with GyroSpin technology, the Daiwa Mini System Reel and Rod Combo is a great investment making for the perfect rod, reel, and case combo for any serious fishermen.
The casts with this rod and reel are very smooth, and the rod “has a good backbone.” For both new and experienced fishermen, the Buster line twist reduction function is great for casting and reeling fish in without the inconvenience of getting the line twisted up.
Praised as a good fishing pole that will easily catch small 3lb fish and trout, it is a popular choice among campers. It has also been described as “a lot of fun” to use, which is always good, and the pole is easy to assemble in just minutes. The included tackle box also has desirable added space for live baits, weights, swivels, hooks, or floats.
Customers looking to add to their “bug-out-bags” found this particular fishing pole combo useful, and that it goes together and comes apart very easily “without sticking.” Practically any freshwater fish imaginable should be able to be caught with this rod, and 6-7lb catfish are no exception.
The Daiwa pole set is popular among those that are also just looking to snag a few fish along the river or on the way home when backpacking as it’s easy to pack up and described as “super small and compact.” With an excellent feel in the reel and whip, as well as the tip, this allows the user to send a deeper lure with ease and catch fish with greater consistency and ease.
5. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Pole
For catching catfish, panfish, and trout, the Sougayilang Fishing rod is a sturdy choice, and the ball bearing reel is good quality and useful. This combo set also includes a decent quality line, and the pole is described as being both sturdy and small – not to mention conveniently collapsible.
A highlight of the Sougayilang Fishing Rod Reel Combo which has earned it five stars from most customers seems to be its excellent customer service, which again is great for beginner fishermen that may misuse or misunderstand the best way to use their rod.
A premium product for an affordable price, customers have compared the Sougayilang pole combo to the likes of Shimano – but for a fraction of the price. Businesses have also taken a liking to this product and have reported buying several of these rod combos for their customers to fish at the lake or on the trails.
The setup is “self-contained” in the case, and ideal for traveling, as well as a must for mountain adventures. A popular choice, happy customers reported their friends were anxious to purchase one of their own after testing theirs out and seeing it perform!
6. PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic
This PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic is another great choice for beginner fishermen and children alike, and the instant anti-reverse feature is a great addition to the reel functionality which compliments the rod perfectly.
Made from anti-corrosive stainless steel, the seat feature is also ideal and useful for waiting for your next big bite – rain or shine! You’ll find that the handle is also very solid, and customers appreciate the “extended handle” feature, making for a clean, quiet, and smooth fishing experience.
This PLUSSINO rod combo set is comparable to $500 quality rod and reel combo setups, but without the added pressure of accidentally misplacing, misusing, or breaking off a piece and having to pay ‘an arm and a leg” to replace it.
The pole collapses to under two feet long, which makes this perfect for last-minute backpacking trips. A very well-liked combo setup for surf fishing as well, catching Redtail perch, this pole and reel combo overall holds up very well over time which makes this an excellent investment and product customers will happily return to.
It is also great for jigs and live bait, simple to quickly set the hook, and the “heavy metal” design provides solid resistance, yet enough momentum to be effective reeling in fish.
There’s also a substantial amount of (3lb) line included, so you’re sure to experience a soft lure and experience if you’re after bass. The fit and finish of the rod are described as being “superb”, with high-quality eyelets, and it easily extents but with a “tight” firm sense of stabilization for fishing. Even a 35lber isn’t past this rod’s capabilities – just throw it into your bookbag or backpack and go!
7. Eagle Claw PK56TS Pack-It Spin Combo Telescopic Rod
Eagle Claw has a solid, trusted reputation among fishermen and backpackers, known for its convenient and affordable price in exchange for medium to high-grade durable fishing poles. The rod is described as steady, and while the tension may have to be checked after every 20 or so casts it was worth it for the money and investment for customers.
If you’re after a backup rod and reel combo this is also a good choice, and perfect for catching panfish and occasional bass. The rod sections are completely collapsible, and twists to lock all the parts together very smoothly. The rod sections and eyelets are also very well aligned, and it’s noted that this rod, in particular, will cast good with an about 3/8oz lure.
Catching fishes that are 2lbs or under is desirable and simple – making it a trusted choice for backpackers while being an inexpensive solution. While it may look small, it can pull up to 5-6lbers with confidence and practice on your part. Overall, a great backpacking and backup pole for anyone looking to catch their next fish.
8. Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit
For an affordable and effective solution, the Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit is many backpackers’ first choice, as it’ easy to attach, and ideal for lake fishing and other small bodies of water for trekking trips.
Customers liked that they were able to catch 20lb fish with no problem and that the telescoping style does not wear out with retracting or catching larger fish. It’s also easy to break down and is considered to be a light/ultra-light rod. One customer reported after 6 years that the rod still works great and performs well. For regular use or as a backup, this is a good choice, and the total weight of the rod, reel, and mini tackle box is just over 15oz which makes it both convenient and compact.
The Okuma VS-605-20 is considered an “out-of-the-box” fishing rod set, and while the reel can be a little noisy for some – it’s nothing a little grease won’t fix!
Described as “fun”, fishermen found it also to be great for beginners, stream fishing, and liked how the pack is large enough to also fit a few basic lures inside.
Overall, this rod is an amazing “catch” for the price paid, good for impulsive stops, ideal for the wilderness, and catching fish up to 6lbs.
9. FISHOAKY Fishing Rod kit, Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Pole and Reel Combo
A strong fishing pole, the FISHOAKY Fishing Rod Kit Combo is a nice set and perfect for anyone on a budget or looking to try out their first rod and backpacking experience.
Any fan of combo packs will appreciate this rod and kit, made from sturdy materials, and proven to be useful for catching fish, including bass. It comes with everything you’ll need right out of the box, so you can pull your FISHOAKY out and start fishing right away!
Customers were pleased with the included high-grade fishing line, which is a nice touch, and while this rod is small when collapsed will extend into a surprising length!
The FISOAKY rod feels good and the workmanship is described as being “very fine” and detailed for the price. It’s also easy to throw with, and the reel outlet is particularly smooth – as it will not “fry the line.” Also, included in the kit is a multi-function, fake bait set and a 120-meter nylon thread which customers were pleased with. The pole is about 6ft extended which is a solid length for serious (small size) fishing and reeling!
10. Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Complete Starter Package
Made from IM8 graphite design, this is a high quality and performance break-down fly-fishing rod – which makes it perfect for backpacking and taking on the wilderness!
Reported to be of comparable quality to $400 setups, you can avoid paying hundreds of dollars with your first combo by going with this fly-fishing rod set.
There is great action on the rod and the reel is described as “buttery smooth.” The Lifetime warranty included with this combo set speaks numbers to the quality, workmanship, and reputation of the company. One customer caught 8 brook trout with it and found it to be the perfect way to enjoy fly fishing and the outback.
The fly case includes 9 very well-made flies, and a durable, high quality carry case. Overall, this is a reputable combo set that customers were pleased to get their money’s worth from. Also, after 2 years or more of regular use, customers left positive feedback on this rod combo set, stated that the email support is extremely prompt, and is a brand to trust.
Note: For anyone serious about trying out fly-fishing with this rod, San Jose worms are highly recommended by fellow fishermen and backpackers. Also, using dry flies or some ginko flotant may be desirable.
Best Backpacking Fishing Pole Guide
One of the first things you should consider when shopping for a backpacking fishing pole or combo is the type of expendable or telescoping model, its size, and overall compatibility with your backpack or rut sack – including its efficiency.
Here are a few other important points to keep in mind and apply when shopping for the best backpacking fishing pole:
• Note the total expandable length, composite build, and durability for strength depending on your skill level as well as the type of fish you are typically looking to catch, (for example: under 2lbs)
• Many rod and reel combos designed for backpacking will include a travel case, try to choose one appropriate to your weather protection needs
• How easy it will be for you to use the selected rod for casting, based on the overall build and balance of both rod and reel.
• Consider the various accessories included and their quality too, because cheap accessories much like a cheap rod could be rendered useless
• Depending on where you’ll be using your reel and rod, ranging from freshwater fish, salt-water, or inshore should be taken into consideration, and matched appropriately with the most functional rod or combo set
• Take into account spinning action for lures and jigging, the firmness of your rod, and how quickly your hands or body may fatigue over time from use
• Look for precision and power in engineering and flexibility, and notice the difference between SCII graphite, aluminum, or carbon fiber design for each of your rod and reel parts
• Purchase a rod-reel combo with EVA foam grips to ensure comfort, a stand, or “chair” for the reel to rest so you can do other things
• Left and right-hand retrieval, flexibility (for those who may wish to use both)
• Finally, do not forget the importance and value of quality customer service and warranty
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What is the difference between a telescopic and break-down design backpacking pole?
A. Determining whether a telescoping or break-down design is most beneficial for you will mostly depend on preference and need of speed to break down or assemble your rod. The telescoping rod will extend, while a “break-down fishing pole” literally collapses to be put away and expands in multiple parts when you need it.
Q. Are combo packages that include more accessories always the best value?
A. Depending on the brand of the kit, its reputation, feedback, and the quality of the extra accessories will all come into play in deciding.
Q. What’s the best fishing pole to take backpacking?
The best fishing pole to take backpacking is one that is light, reliable, and consistent in your regular use. A good example of this is the Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Set which is both affordable and rated as a 5-star experience by customers, especially beginners!
Q. What is the best backpacking fishing kit?
A. The PLUSINNO brand is well trusted among experienced fisherman and multiple rod and combos have been mentioned here. The PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Full Kit would be a good choice for a high quality kit!
Q. What is the best starter backpacking fishing pole?
A. A beginner fishing pole should be easy to use, and one that isn’t going to let you down. We recommend the Sougayilang Fishing Rod Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Pole because it’s durable, practical, and effective for fishing quickly out of the bag and is proven to hold up over regular use.