Best backpacking fly fishing rod and reel: The Ultimate guide

Best backpacking fly fishing rod and reel: The Ultimate guide


Looking for a portable backpacking fly fishing rod and reel that you can carry around anywhere effortlessly? The best travel fly rod comes in 6, 7 or even 8 piece sections to assure that the gears fit into your carry-on luggage, backpack, and even a sling pack easily.

It could be sometimes annoying to haul a 4 section travel fly rod even into a large backpack. However, some 4-piece rods are extremely lightweight and just 9" long making it already portable. But, as the ferrules overlap, the length of these 4 piece fly rods would be around 28" unlike 6-piece sections which length only 18" taking the portability to the whole new level. So, let's dive right into our curated guide of the best backpacking fly rods and reel.

How well do these backpacking fly fishing rod and Reel cast?

While 4 piece rods excel at performance, backpacking rods are coming close due to improvement in the ferrule technology, The cast would always be slightly better in 4 piece rods, but the travel rods perform astonishingly close with a firmer cast. 

Like, I used the Echo Trip and was able to cast October Caddis with great accuracy and distance. And the rod performed even better with the smaller flies. So, they can't exceed your expectations when it comes to performance but it would surely get the job done.

Best Backpacking Fly Rods and Reel

Hardy emphasizes on the high-end 6 piece travel rods but the price to value ratio makes it a tough sell. Here's are the finest backpacking fly fishing rod and reel you can opt for.

Cabela's Stowaway 6

Starting from fit and finish to portability, Cabela's Stowaway 6 is something you will like. It comes in an array of configurations but the top 2 are the ultralight 9'6" 3 weight and ultra-portable 7'6" 4 weight. It aces the game with its super versatile combination where you also get an 8'6" at 4 weight, 9'8" 4 weight and the most common 9' 5 weight one configuration. They feature a medium-fast action, a stiff butt with a comparatively softer tip.

The guide and cork are an excellent fit and the varnish are little thicker as seen in the higher end version but the price is something that would surprise you. The Stowaway 6 Rod and Prestige Plus Fly Fishing Reel makes the perfect affordable combo for smoother cast and better build. Highly recommended. You can never go wrong about Stowaway 6.

8-piece Echo Trip

As we recommended, going for a higher piece section would take portability to the next level. The same is the case for Echo Trip. There is a lot of things you would like about Echo Trip. Apart from the 8-piece super portable design, TRIP comes in three configurations with 80% size coverage in its space.

Both 9' 5 weight and 9' 6 weight comes in rich green color and are ultra-portable. But, Trip can't match the lightness of the Stowaway 6. The 9' 8 weight version incorporates a fighting butt with a medium-fast action and could also be used for Saltwater.

However, your cast performance would be at the top of the game with TRIP. Trip cast impressively well and could be compared with the 4- piece cast with firm casting motion. There is no Rod/reel combo but you can separately opt for the ECHO ION reel for smooth performance at an affordable price.

Hardy Demon Smuggler

Hardy focuses on the higher end rod segment and these are for frequent travelers who are looking for a premium finish and a fantastic fit. These are a High-performance rod that you could get slightly under $650. However, Demon Smuggler is one of the most expensive travel rods but looks truly premium and is super portable.

Demon Smuggler is a 6 piece rod with various configuration starting from the Hardy's lightest 8' 4 weight to 14'6" 10 weight configuration. With medium-fast action, it features a great aluminum rod tube and you combine it with the Hardy Ultralite MTX Reel to compliment your search for the best backpacking fly fishing rod and reel.


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