Best Portable Fishing Rod (In 2017)?

best portable fishing rod
Portable Advisor

For years, when trailing the RV through forest land, we would come across these small inlets where the seabed would be pulsating with life.

As an angler it always felt like a missed opportunity as I never brought my rod on these trips! Then one year the mother in law outdid herself with a double christmas present – the best portable fishing rod and fish finder she could find. I threw them under the driver’s seat for our next RV trek and they now get more use than all her other presents combined! (Sorry Brenda)

If you an explorer and a traveller like me a portable rod could be for you! Read on for my tips and recommendations on how to pick the portable fishing for you.

Product

Best Feature

 Our Rating

           Price

Eagle Claw Rod

Best rod for 
the money

Sougayilang Fishing Rod

Weight allowance.

Okuma Travel Kit

Custom made
travel case. 

Plusinno Fishing Rod

Best rod/reel
combo

Portable Fishing Rod: Our Buying Guide

Quality of attaching pieces

The quality of the attaching pieces will be one of your biggest factors in making a buying decision for a portable fishing rod.

Often times when manufacturing portable rods, sacrifices are made to the build quality of the road and reel as a result of different sections being collapsible. While this helps portability it can sometimes impact on the sturdiness of the rod.

For example, a rod will come apart when casting, or the anti reverse on the reel might be defective. The best portable fishing rods  are usually made from carbon fiber instead of plastic as the quality is more consistent. 

Portability/ Speed of Portability

The main benefit of a portable rod is its ability to fit into small spaces so the big question any buyer should have is - How small can I pack it? Does it fit under a seat in a car or an RV easily? Could you bring it on a flight?

Another big question around portability is how many pieces does it break it into? The less the better for portability. More detachable pieces usually means more time assembling and disassembling so it’s prudent to note down how many pieces the rod and reel break down to.

For me one of the great advantages of my portable fishing rod is how quick I can deploy it when I find a promising inlet on our walking trails! If I had to deal with assembling multiple parts I would lose all motivation!

Weight and Weight Allowance

You want your rod and reel to be light enough so you can easily carry them with you when disassembled but you do not want to sacrifice on making good sized catches because your rod is too light to handle the weight.

The most important thing is to match your portable rod with the style of fishing you will be doing. Ensure that the rod weight (indicator of the weight of fish a rod is suitable for), the line weight(range of weights of fishing line that a particular rod is designed to support) and the lure weight (recommended weight of a lure or hook a particular fishing rod is designed to support) all coincide with the your fishing style, be that saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing etc.

Keep this in mind though - even the best portable fishing rods on the market will probably not be suitable for the big catches that deep sea fishing offers.

Is a case included?

Having a custom case that fits your portable fishing rod and reel into a compact space is a huge time saver trust me! I read of people using old ziplock bags to store all their disassembled pieces – for me that would be a recipe for disaster!

There is no way I would come home with all the pieces! 

No! I like the completeness of my travel case – the rod and reel have padded compartments and the bag has a carry handle. You should consider the safety that the compartments offers as opposed to the rod and reel being exposed to the elements all day long. A case should be a major consideration for you for piece of mind and ease of travel.

Experience

Newcomers to fishing should keep their eyes on the price and the size of the rod when buying a portable fishing rod. Firstly as price goes up for these portable rod the more add ons and complexity there is to put them together.

As a newbie you should be focused on simplicity as its best to leave the feature driven pricey brands to a later point. Also, as a newcomer I would recommend sticking with shorter length rods – say under 9 feet. There can be cumbersome and are meant for more experienced anglers. As a bonus shorter rods are usually cheaper!

What Is The Best Portable Fishing Rod?

There are a lot of considerations to be made when deciding on the top portable rod for your needs.  

To take some of the heat pain away I've done some of the grind work and have outlined my top contenders for the best portable fishing rod below. Hopefully the pro and con format should help you in your decision making.

Okuma Voyager Travel Kit

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

Our Favourite Feature

Custom Travel Case

Price

Our Rating

My favourite in the top 5 for the added benefit of the custom made travel case. The rod, the tackle pack and the reel get their own compartments in the case and the handle lets you carry it around like a suitcase.

This convenience of having a kit that fits under your driving seat or inside your checked baggage beats the other brands in the list and will suit those of you with a get up and go attitude to fishing.

Looking at the individual elements, you get a well constructed rod with great sensitivity that disassembles quite easily. Thankfully attaching the rod the reel is straight forward also.

The reel itself is a good companion to the rod and reel action is consistently smooth. It could maybe do with being slightly bigger and having more ball bearings (just 1) to improve long term survival chances.​

Pros

  • Portable case protects equipment and is ideal for travel.
  • Impressive quality of rod and reel.
  • Breaks down quickly and easily.
  • Complementary tackle box included.
  • Price.
  • Smooth spinning.

Cons

  • Could be a stronger reel with more ball bearings
  • No line included.
  • Rod sections can loosen after several casts.

Plusinno Fishing Rod

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Rod with Reel Combo Sea Saltwater Freshwater Kit Fishing Rod Kit …

Our Favourite Feature

Best Rod/Reel Combo

Price

Our Rating

Plusinno makes my list as its one of the best rod/reel combos. It offers various rod length options and the choice to include a variety of fishing lures, hooks and other accessories. The different options allows you to tailor your purchase around the type of fishing you will be doing.

For example, if you do a lot of shore fishing from piers then the lengthier rods will be better suited to you. Beginners should start off with the 6 or 7ft versions as anything bigger can be unwieldy if you are not used to handling a rod.

As for the rod itself, it’s made from carbon fiber mixed with fiber glass which ensures a certain level of durability and flexibility. As for weight capacity this rod can handle up to 10 lbs so best to stay away from deep sea fishing.

The reel also has that made to last feel with 12 ball bearings (in comparison to 1 with Okuma) and the reel action is consistently smooth. A quality combo set overall.

Pros

  • Lightweight but Highly durable rod and reel.
  • Smooth casting.
  • Multiple lengths and optional accessories.
  • Excellent price/quality balance.

Cons

  • Cheap bag that comes with set is useless.
  • No instructions for beginners.

Eagle Claw Pack It Spinning Rod

Eagle Claw Pack-IT Telescopic Spincast Rod, 1 Piece (Yellow, 5-Feet 6-Inch)

Our Favourite Feature

Best On A Budget

Price

Our Rating

My budget option, the Eagle Claw Pack-It rod is made for the traveller.

Collapsing down to 18 inches, this telescopic rod is for any of you just looking for a solid rod for your backpack whilst on your travels, in the kayak, or a last minute detour on a camping trip.

For under 20 dollars, you are a getting a surprisingly robust, medium-action rod and it works as an ideal starting portable fishing rod for kids.

Don’t expect to be catching anything over 5 lbs..a rod this size will simply never have the weight allowance for anything bigger. Keep in mind you will need to purchase your own reel also.

Pros

  • Fits in your backpack.
  • Quick to deploy.
  • Priced under $20.
  • Good first rod option for kids.

Cons

  • No reel included. 
  • Tip can come off rod occasionally. 
  • Cannot handle fish above 5 lbs. 

Sougayilang Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Graphite Carbon Fiber Portable Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod for Boat Saltwater and Freshwater,1.8M/5.91Ft

Our Favourite Feature

Great Weight Allowance

Price

Our Rating

I like the Sougaylany Fishing rod because it gives a bigger weight allowance to work with over the Eagle Claw and is only $10-$20 more expensive depending on the size you pick. A mid-range budget option if you will!

The packaging say you can catch up to 20 lbs but I think a safer range is 10 – max 12 lbs. So for $10 more you are getting more than twice the weight allowance of the Eagle Claw. It doesn’t quite have the same level of compactness with its shortest version coming in at 19 inches collapsed but this is still something you will barely notice on your travels.

The rod itself receives very little complaints in terms of build quality – its lightweight, flexible and made of carbon fiber. Also a midsize reel works best for the Sougayilang.

Pros

  • Weight allowance for price paid is excellent.
  • Overall Quality of rod.
  • Different sizes offered.
  • Suited to saltwater and freshwater.

Cons

  • Will not fit in briefcase.
  • Sometimes difficult to retract after full extension.

About the Author Rick Rose

Irish-American husband, dad of three and gadget enthusiast! Sandy and I have been RVing since the mid-nineties after embracing the boondocker way of life. We now practice what we call the 'Portable Lifestyle' - the ability to ‘get up and go’ and explore new places throughout the year while maintaining our income.

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