Tips On Packable, Travel Fishing Rods


A quality travel rod that’s easy to pack is one of the best pieces of gear to own if you’re an adventurous angler. Compact, simple to store and highly portable, a multi-piece travel rod is a fantastic option for urban angling, back-country exploring, bike-fishing, and international angling destinations.


When A Travel Rod Is Best

Packability and portability are a travel rod’s main advantages. Having a compact travel rod lets you go fishing when taking long, 1- and 2-piece rods is either not possible or more trouble than it’s worth. As an example, the 4-piece Fate Quest Travel Spinning Rod stored inside its case is easily carried in or on a backpack or shoulder bag, making it a great set-up for urban angling, back-country hiking and bike-fishing.


A 4-piece rod stored in a case is also a reliable option when flying with a commercial airline and gear space is limited. Again, a travel rod is a more compact and lighter solution than 1- or 2-piece rods in a heavy airliner-style rod case.


Many also consider a travel rod paired with a reel, along with a few lures, as everyday carry items for their vehicle. Having fishing gear on hand makes it easy to seize any spontaneous fishing opportunities that might arise — with the added bonus of being prepared to fish for food in the unlikely event of a zombie apocalypse.


Related to the above scenarios, a packed travel rod’s small footprint helps avoid attracting unwanted attention. Broken down, a multi-piece rod is easy to hide in an unattended vehicle and blends in when strapped to the side of a backpack.


What To Look For In A Travel Rod

Like buying any rod, quality materials and craftsmanship remain important features in travel rods. After all, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy cutting edge rod technology when traveling to remote locations. This is why 13 Fishing’s 4-piece Omen Quest Travel rods have Japanese 36 ton graphite blanks crafted with performance enhancing Zonal Action Technology, along with Portuguese cork handles, Evolve Seamless reel seats and other premium components.



The rod’s intended use must also be considered. If looking for a beach fishing rod capable of casting heavy lures and live-bait rigs during a southern vacation, the 12” Omen Quest Travel Rod’s 1-1/2 to 2-3/4 ounce lure weight rating is one to consider. Whereas a 6’8” medium-heavy Fate Quest Travel casting model paired with an Origin baitcaster makes a great combo for fishing a remote lake ripe with largemouth bass and fallen timber or bank fishing for Great Lakes bass.



A rod case is a nice bonus item. These come standard with Fate Quest Travel rods. If a case isn’t provided, it’s easy to make an ultra-durable and inexpensive rod tube from a PVC pipe and foam-cushioned end caps.



Travel Rod Packing & Transport Tips

Bundle rods using rod wraps, elastics or gear ties before placing inside a case. This prevents unwanted movement during travel, which may damage gear.


Consider building a customized case for packing several travel rods together. Carrying all your travel rods in one tube streamlines gear transport. As noted above, a backpack is great for carrying gear. If your backpack has an exterior water bottle pocket, use it along with strapping for carrying a bundled multi-piece rod or rod case. This is an especially good option when hiking, urban trekking or portaging to your fishing destination.


A travel rod case can be carried in a pannier when bike-fishing. Another option is using rod wraps to secure a bundled travel rod or a rod case underneath the top tube of the bike frame.Tie-down straps and bungees are useful for securing travel rod cases to cargo racks on all-terrain vehicles. A rod tube also takes up little space in cargo and trunk boxes on a side-by-side.


A travel rod is useless without a functioning fishing reel, which should be protected with a reel cover during travel. If storing a reel in luggage during travel, first wrap it in a plastic bag to protect other items from grease and oil.


Always carry a rod tip repair kit. Small and inexpensive, it can save a fishing trip when bad luck strikes. Carrying fishing equipment on planes brings unique challenges, not the least of which are varying airline regulations, including checked versus carry-on protocols, and the number, size and weight of bags allowed. Do your research, be thorough and double-check everything a day or two before your departure.


For a long time, owning a travel rod meant having to choose packability over fishing performance. Not anymore. With rods like 13 Fishing’s Omen Quest and Fate Quest available, adventurous anglers can now enjoy the benefits of catching fish with packable, quality travel rods when plying waters near and far.