Suggestions for backpacking spinning rod/reel

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by readyme24, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. readyme24

    readyme24 Tracker

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    I am looking for suggestions for a lightweight/ultra light rod and reel set for use while backpacking in the mountain streams/lakes in WA.

    Most rod options are 1 or 2 piece, which would be too long for me.
    Otherwise there seems to be junk telescoping rods or super expensive travel rods.

    As for reels, I have read good things about pflueger president reels and Shimano reels. I am thinking 4 or 6 pound line is ideal.

    And lastly of course is budget. I would like to be about $60 if possible.
    I am trying to see what there is besides the $20 bundles offered at the local sporting good stores.

    Thanks for any help.
     
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  2. Calicoast

    Calicoast Supporter Supporter

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    I would spend most the money on a reel, and buy a Shakespeare ugly stix. Other way around, you might be bummed breaking it trekking to your fishing hole. More tolerable when you break a cheap rod. :) Just my experience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  3. XMP

    XMP Mountain Man Supporter

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    I'm curious to hear what others suggest as well. I've used one of those collapsible Shakespeare combos, but the real sucked. The rod wasn't great but it worked.
     
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  4. Kenneth

    Kenneth Guide

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  5. Birdman

    Birdman IG: @ChasingTheBackcountry Supporter

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    The Shakespeare Travel Mate telescopic pole with metal ferrules works great!
    I have one as my truck pole. It's been solid and has landed quite a few fish. Very budget friendly too. Usually around $15.

    ETA: I use the 4'6 model. It's also available in 6'6.
     
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  6. PaPa K

    PaPa K Supporter Supporter

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    I have a ugly stick dock runner I believe it is. Very short one piece with a Shimano Sedona replacing the reel that came with it. Does it replace my mainline rods, no. Does it go along easily and fish pretty well, yep. And it would fit your budget, got mine on Amazon.
     
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  7. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    I use an Okuma ultralight spinning reel and a 5 1/2' - 2 piece rod. I don't even remember what brand the rod is, but have maybe $70 tops in the rig. I have landed fish up to about 1 1/2 lbs with it so far. Even 3"-4" sunfish are great fun on this setup. Okuma makes a backpacking model that gets good reviews, although I have never tried it.
    https://www.amazon.com/OKUMA-VS-605...vel/dp/B000MQTJW2?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_2597723011
     
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  8. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    w/ only a little giggling i turned up a

    Daiwa Minispin System Travel Kit

    then off to Amazon and pasted that into the search coming up w/

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Daiwa+Minispin+System+Travel+Kit&ref=nb_sb_noss

    offering several options worthy of review as i scrolled down the page

    IIRC somewhere out there is a kit offering both a light weight spinning rig and fly fishing rig in the same kit

    BONNE CHANCE
     
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  9. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    For a telescopic rod I just have a cheap Shakespeare rod with the smallest Pfleuger President reel they have and #4 line. The pole is ok, the reel is great. If you want to drop some coin on a nice rod then look at the Daiwa Wise Stream telescopic rod. I don't know of any decent telescopic rods without dropping at least a couple hundred dollars on it.

    Tenkara is always an option if you want to learn fly fishing, no reel to deal with and super compact but not always the best on lakes where you often times more reach than a fixed line rod gives. Tons of info here if you search Tenkara and both @Pastor Chris and myself have a pass around going on right now if yo uwanted to try it out without investing any money.
     
  10. rbinhood

    rbinhood Scout

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    If it were me, I 'd buy a separate rod, and get exactly what I wanted, and then I'd buy a separate reel to get exactly what I wanted. I think manufacturers sometimes pair combos to get rid of excess stock or to move stuff that isn't selling well as a stand alone. Buying a separate pack rod will usually get you a rod tube to protect it, and the tubes can always be slipped in a pack, or lashed to the outside.

    It appears there are a lot of high quality pack rods, and ultralite reels out there. I think Pflueger Presidents are great reels for the money, as are Okumas. I look for a reel with a 9-11 bearing drive, as they tend to be very smooth. You can always pack the reel wherever it fits in your pack. Stuff that comes in a case tends to take up more space than necessary and limits your flexibility to put it where you want.
     
  11. icemancometh

    icemancometh Stuck in Suburbia Supporter

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    I use a Dock Demon. It is short, inexpensive and virtually unbreakable. I did replace the cheap reel though.
     
  12. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Bushclass I

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    Nice suggestions.
     
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  13. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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  14. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman

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    A 5-foot two-piece works for me. Tie it on the outside of the pack and throw the reel in the pack. I’ve done this many times.
     
  15. riokid87

    riokid87 Scout Banned

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    I like telescoping rods. I bought 2 at cabelas over 10 years ago. About $20 each then. They are just fine, no need to spend a lot to get a fully functional rod. 6.5 feet when extended. Shorter when collapsed than 2 piece rods. I don't like short 5 foot rods for casting or setting a hook.
    Any brand named real should work. You don't need 57 ball bearings.
     
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  16. RobOz

    RobOz Guide

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    I use a Field and Stream Tech Lite 4 PC pack rod and a Pflueger President 20. What sold me on the Tech Lite rod is it's almost indestructible tube carrying case. The rod us 6ft I believe and cost 60 bucks.
     
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  17. Oldguy59

    Oldguy59 Roughian #5 Supporter

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    DA0BB188-79AD-4E42-BDEE-EF20F26FF2B8.jpeg I have the little 5 pc Daiwa. Breaks down to about 1 foot. Have a tiny Browning reel to go with it.
     
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  18. readyme24

    readyme24 Tracker

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    That sounds like a pretty good setup. While more $$ than I want to spend (about $120), it seems pretty sweet.
    The F&S tec lite 6'6" 4 piece rod is rated 4-10 lb line...and the President 30 is rated 4-8 lb line.
     
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  19. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    I use a DockDemon.
    Rods are about 10bucks. Dump the reel. Put on what I like.
    Nearly indestructible
     
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  20. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    Emrod is the oddball option.
    Not the cheapest of the bunch, but bulletproof and works well.
    But I do like mine, surprising casting distance with it, but I do have a good reel on it.
    Indestructible and very packable.
    The short length is problem when trying to reach over/through thick brush but for my use that's a small issue.
    I think it's well worth considering.

    The pack is a Mountainsmith day, and a 40oz Klean Kanteen just to give you an idea of the size.

    PackRod.jpg
     
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  21. thunderbelly

    thunderbelly Tracker

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  22. Ithica

    Ithica Tracker

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    A Fenwick Eagle Travel Rod might be an option; they pack down to about 24 inches. I build a pack rod from a fiberglass Fenwick blank in the early 1980’s and still use it at times.
     
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  23. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Perpetually Off Topic, Sorry. Supporter

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    That is a good choice too.
    I also have that rod, (that's the problem with living a few miles away from St. Croix Rod.........)
    I prefer fishing with the St. Croix, but prefer carrying the Emrod.
     
  24. rbinhood

    rbinhood Scout

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    I know people who fish with Zebco 202s. That would not be my first choice, but to each his own. Over the years, I've been able to find some very nice reels on sale between $30-$40, many of which I'm still fishing with 10 years later. There are people in less developed countries who fish with line hand wound on a 10" spool. Again, it's a matter of personal choice.
    Here is a very nice reel for about $30.00, with an 11 bearing drive. https://www.sierra.com/quantum-throttle-20sz-th20-spinning-reel-6-8-10-lb-line~p~529xd/?filterString=spinning-and-other-reels~d~6869/
    I have several of these reels, and for the money, they are hard to beat. If you sign up to be on Sierra's mailing list, you will get free shipping on your order.
     
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  25. Forestree

    Forestree Treeforest Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I’m not a good fisherman by any means, but I have fun trying and I don’t invest much into it. Most all of the fishing I’ve done is on smaller creeks/rivers/bayous where hanging up your line can be a constant battle. Walking through brush and hitting small holes is much easier with a short rod to me. Also easier to fish from a canoe without snagging your buddies ear :D I’ve used the dock demon as well as collapsible rods, but for cheap ultralight....a pen rod might fit the bill. I bought one from a short time vendor here and I’ve actually been impressed with it. I believe it was $20 or less and it catches fish. You have to be careful when collapsing it and keep in mind the tip piece is extremely small and could snap easy....but is strong when under tension from the line. Rod extends to 38” and with the cheap reel weighs in at 7.1 oz. compact as well. If my trip was focusing on fishing then I’d probably carry something else, but if fishing is only a side activity for a couple hours a day then this is fine for me

    A077A884-64DE-446C-A914-39E2039C7FF3.jpeg

    A0D24947-EDE3-47A0-9936-0B64883F97EF.jpeg

    53028AD6-EBB9-43D5-A9A1-317185F87071.jpeg
     
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  26. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I've got a 5' split, as mentioned, which packs well. I also sometimes use a Swede Stick, but that's more for just messing around when I'm canoeing and want something short and handy to just troll with, and to cast when I want something to do when not paddling.
     
  27. WFR

    WFR Supporter Supporter

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    This was going to be my recommendation as well!
    I have the St. Croix Premier Travel rod 4-piece (discontinued) 6' Lite action.
    I pair it with a Shimano Sahara 1000 or 2000 reel and have caught fish in CO, AZ, NC, SC, PA, VA, FL and just last week in NY.
    I own 7 or so other St. Croix rods but this one has traveled the most.
    If you take care of them they will last a long time. I have some that are 17 years old now and still going strong. That 4-piece travel rod is at least 15 years old.
    You get what you pay for.
     
  28. gdpolk

    gdpolk Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I'd look at a 5.5' two piece rod. More sections will result in decreased sensitivity and the shorter rods limit casting distance (not a problem for mountain streams at all) but make it much easier to fit under overlying trees/brush (HUGE benefit).

    Inexpensive rods that I like are the Berkley Lightning Rods (~$30 new). For a nicer rod the St. Croix Triumph and Avid lines are my favorites. As for reels the Pflueger President (~$40 new) is by FAR my preferred spinning reel under $100. Nothing that I've used comes close to it's feel and durability in that pricepoint. To step up in quality from there I'd urge you to look into a Shimano Stradic CI4 line. It's got some phenomenal technology in it but even more important than that is it's incredibly light weight and has a wonderful drag system which is quite handy on UL spinning reels.

    My favorite rig and most fished rod is my St. Croix Triumph 2-pc UL with a Stradic CI4 1000 reel. I've caught everything from the tiniest of bream/trout to 5.5-6lb largemouth bass on it. The Avid rods have a touch more sensitivity, better guides, and a longer warranty, but IMO it isn't really needed on an ultralight rig over their Triumph line.

    As for keeping your rod protected, you can always slip it into a tiny PVC tube on the outside of your pack. I've gone to using one of these which has a hard tube for the rod and a soft zippered pouch for the reel similar to a soft rifle case. They work wonderfully for travelling and backpacking and you can stash a bit of tackle in zip-locks in the pouch with your reel. If you need a bit more space, I often use a 5.11 medical pouch with built in MOLLE straps to attach to the shoulder strap or hand carry strap to bring in some spare tackle. When I get to the fishing hole the molle pouch can move to my belt with ease; it works like a champ...
    https://www.planomolding.com/fishing/storage/rods-reels/guide-series-43-inch-rod-tube

    The Lightning rod and President reel would set you back right at $70, which is only $10 more than what you requested. It would make for a very formidable combo. Add a travel case if desired later on or get it for Christmas/birthday or something and you'd be pretty well set.

    Hope this helps,
    G

    PS...Here are a couple fish that I've caught in the past week or so with my UL rig...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  29. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Maybe this would be a good entry level set up?
    https://www.amazon.com/OKUMA-VS-605...ocphy=9006868&hvtargid=pla-406644651735&psc=1
     
  30. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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  31. Rich_S

    Rich_S Tracker

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    Another vote for the Emmrod.

    [​IMG]
     

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