Best Travel Fishing Rod 2018 – Top Rated Travel Rods
The Best Travel Spinning Rods
Looking for a compact easy to transport rod that still performs? Our list of best travel fishing rods has something for all budgets.
Nothing beats hitting the open road to your favorite destination and as a fisherman the urge is always there to pack your fishing gear with you.
Sure a tackle box and a few reels don't take up too much space.
But rods are a different story.
One thing is for certain one and two piece rods can be a pain to transport especially if your travel plans involve catching a plane somewhere. Packing them up in large rod tubes can be a bit of a hassle.
A travel rod just makes life easier!
Best Travel Fishing Rods of 2018
Rod design has certainly moved on in the last 10-15 years. Improvements in carbon fiber, graphite and even fiberglass construction techniques have given rod builders the necessary materials to produce some amazing travel rods.
Time was that your travel spinning rod was a clunky affair that lost a lot of it's sensitivity due to how the spigot affected the taper of the blank.
Clearly a one piece blank will always be the most sensitive and balanced when it comes to performance. However, travel rods these days have solved a lot of the old issues.
With a big wrap around spigot the natural taper in the blank was effected on a normal two piece rod. Now multiple this be 3 for a 4 piece rod and you ended up with a rod that was limp and felt like it left you out of touch with your lure and hook setting.
A lot of modern travel fishing rods have whats known as a spigot ferrule. The spigot ferrule is essentially a piece that is bonded to the lower piece of the blank that the upper piece then slides onto.
It's perfectly normal for there to be a gap between each section, this allows for upper section to still fit snugly after the lower spigot has reduced in diameter due to normal wear and tear.
Below you will find a variety of different travel rods. Some are suited to heavier saltwater work and some to freshwater light spinning on rivers there are even a number of casting variants available if you prefer a baitcasting rod.
Why choose a travel rod over a telescopic fishing rod?
Although the quality of telescopic rods a has increased in recent years they still do not have the same feel through the blank. Even though they have a regularly stepped taper due to each section fitting into the last still don't get the same feel from them.
A high quality travel rod such as the St Croix Triumph below will always outperform a telescopic rod. I have yet to find one that can compete with a well designed 3 or 4 piece travel rod.
Now telescopic rods do have their place, they are great for keeping in the trunk of a car with a small reel and a handful of lures for the occasionally unplanned few hours after work. However they usually never have the same backbone and always feel less than durable or capable of handling something a bit larger.
Best Travel Fishing Rod
Okuma Nomad Review
The top choice for best travel rod is the Okuma Nomad. It maintains its taper due to the spigot ferrule design described below giving an almost one piece feel to the blank.
The Okuma Nomad travel spinning rod is priced in the mid to high bracket. For the money you are getting one seriously sturdy rod. It definitely is rated on the high side when it comes to power. So if you are looking for a light weight spinning setup then some thing like the Fenwick below might be more suitable.
The beauty of the Nomad is if you intend to do some heavy freshwater spinning or some inshore boat work you can use one rod for both on those holiday trips to target many different species and it should have enough backbone to handle them.
The versatility of the Okuma doesn't stop there though. You get two different tips with each rod. Each with a different action meaning you have effectively two rods in one.
So if you are looking for a highly versatile saltwater spinning or heavy action freshwater spinning travel rod then the Okuma is the clear choice.
- Graphite blank with carbon outer wrap
- 3 sections
- European spigot ferrule connection
- ALPS high rise 316 stainless steel guide frames
- ALPS two tone anodized aluminum reel seats
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Waterproof carrying case
St Croix Triumph Travel Spinning
If you are not looking for a heavy saltwater travel rod like the Okuma then take a look at the St Croix Triumph Travel spinning rod.
The range comes medium to heavy with all models having a fast action. These rods are suited to medium/light spinning. They can happily perform spinning on small rivers and streams with smaller on 4-10 lbs line. The action is fast so you have some very quick hook setting capabilities and are pretty sensitive for a 4 piece rod.
Although this rod does come with a padded travel case it is only a soft nylon case and St Croix really could have taken the crown of best travel spinning rod if they had supplied the Triumph range with a hard shell case.
That being said if you are careful about how you transport the Triumph males for one heck of a travel rod.
There is also a casting model of the Triumph featured below.
- 4 sections
- SCII grahite
- Extremely sensitive
- Fast action taper
- Fuji DPS reel seat
- 5 year warranty
St Croix Triumph Travel Casting
If you are not looking for a dedicated spinning travel rod and prefer a baitcasting setup then the St Croix Triumph Travel casting rod is sure to please.
Built on effectively the same rod blank sections as the spinning model above, the casting model will of course have a baitcasting reel seat and has the lower profile line guides that are usually found on a casting rod.
There is only one model available unlike the spinning series above. It is a 6'6" rod in four sections also.
The power is medium/heavy with a fast action and the line rating is 10 - 20 lbs.
With a line rating in the 10/20 pounds range and with a lure rating of between 3/8 - 1 oz you can throw some fairly decent sized lures. So, if is perfectly capable of handling crankbaits, large spoons and spinners and jerbaits.
- 4 section travel casting rod
- SCII grahite
- Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
- Fast action taper
- Fuji ECS reel seat with silver hood
- 5 year warranty
Fiblink 3-piece Spinning
These Fiblink 3 piece spinning rods are a great alternative to the Okuma if you are on a tight budget.
Similar in power to the Okuma the Fiblink are heavy rated and come in three possible lengths 6', 6'6" and 7' so pretty capable of handle some decent boat work too.
Like the Okuma these rods are certainly aimed at the saltwater fisherman. The line rating for them is in the 30-50 lbs and lure weights from 2-8 ounces.
The Fiblink also comes with a waterproof carry case. However like any cloth based case it is not going to take too much abuse so if you intend on flying anywhere you might need an hard carry case.
- Graphite composite blanks
- Stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts
- Aluminum alloy reel seat
- One year warranty
Fenwick Methods Spinning
Fenwick are long known as a premium brand that produce some very high quality rods. Thankfully that same quality is still instilled in their travel rod range the Methods.
With the ability to change both the middle and tip section of the rods for another with a different action the Fenwick Methods travel rods are extremely versatile.
This versatility means you can pack light but still be adaptable. Adaptability is something that is great to have when you are away on a trip to some unknown destination.
This versatility is a good thing given that there is only two rods available in the range a 6'8" and a 7 footer. The power is medium/light to medium.
Supplied with a hard case is a nice additional bonus and it really shows that Fenwick had the traveler in mind when designing the Methods.
- 5 pieces in total
- Travel tube included
- Multiple center sections and tips included
- Spigot ferral
Piscifun Graphite 4 Piece
Priced at the lower end of the scale the Piscifun graphite 4 piece travel pole is a lot of rod for the money.
The blanks are mare from carbon fiber using Piscifun's ArmoreCore technology resulting in a very lightweight and yet strong rod.
They probaly have the biggest range available from any of the travel rods. There are 3 sizes available 6', 6'6" and a 7'. The power is from medium/light up to extra heavy.
The strength of the carbon fiber blanks are reinforced with 8-ton E glass. That extra layer of fiberglass makes these rods a whole lot more durable than a regular carbon fiber.
- 4 pieces
- Carbon fiber blanks
- Ceramic guides
- Medium to heavy
Daiwa Ardito-TR Spinning
The Ardito-TR from Daiwa is a 3 piece travel rod. They are available in a spinning and a casting variation.
The model featured here is the spinning edition and are available in 7' or 7'6 rod lengths.
These rods have been expertly designed by Daiwa. They have put a lot of thought into getting the rod taper to remain consistent throughout the blank. The taping blank and ferrule joint give a really clean join between each of the sections.
These are a 3 piece rod and as such have a bit more backbone than some of the other 4 piece offerings.
Slightly heavier than some of the other travel rods out there, however it is a pretty tough rod some not quite as easy to break as some of the others in this line-up.
- 3 piece travel rod
- X45 Bias graphite fiber blanks
- V-Flex Ferrule joint system
- Semi-hard travel case
- 5 year limited warranty
Choosing the best travel rod means knowing exactly what kind of fishing you intend on doing ahead of time.
However, if you are on vacation and are not sure just what kind of water you may be fishing then the best bet is a spinning setup as it is generally the most versatile.
A good spinning rod can be used for almost any type of fishing assuming of course that you are not hunting large shark or marlin miles offshore.
If you are looking for a really good all round setup then the something like a travel spinning kit may suit.
The Okuma Voyager travel kit is probably the most popular travel combo available today.
Note: it is best suited to lightweight freshwater spinning though, it is not meant for anything heavy I don't think the size 20 Voyager reel should be used in saltwater.
Best Travel Rod and Reel Combo
Okuma Voyager Travel Kit
The Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit combines a rod, reel, tackle box and hard shell case all into a great value for money package.
The perfect travel combo to take away on a trip the Voyager travel kit comes with one of the best hard shell cases you'll find of any travel fishing rod.
A size 20 spinning reel definitely falls into the ultralight spinning category and with a sensitive 6 foot rod you can be sure to make some very accurate casts with lightweight lures.
You also get a small lure box included in the kit. All of the components fit snugly in the interior padding of the kit so they won't get knocked about when in transit.
- Size 20 Voyager reel
- 6 foot rod comes in 5 pieces
- Hard shell padded travel case
- Small lure box included
Do You Need a Rod Tube ?
If you have ever tried to travel with a rod any kind of serious distance that involves using some for of publicly available transport such as a bus, plane or a train then you'll know that the luggage compartment is not the place to put your rod if you still want it in one piece when you arrive at your destination.
A rod tube however can provide good protection. Rod tubes are available in either soft or hard body variations.
Without a doubt travelling on a plane will require the use of a rod hard shell tube. The checked luggage compartment on a plane is usually crammed full of heavy luggage and a soft rod tube will quite simply not be strong enough to handle all that abuse.