Best Travel Fishing Rods – Updated for 2023

Best Travel Fishing Rods for the Perfect Catch

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Larry Stark

Professional fisherman, who loves to review new fishing gadgets.

Do you love traveling? Are you also a passionate fisherman? How about merging the two? There are some really fantastic travel fishing rods available that will allow you to enjoy the sport literally anytime and anywhere, making on-the-go fishing more accessible than ever.

We know what it’s like to have to choose between your hobbies. But no worries – You won’t ever have to do that. We’ve tested and tried several rods and compiled a list of the best travel fishing rods, so keep reading to find out more!

My Top Picks

Editor's choice for Travel Fishing Rods

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic

Best Rated Travel Fishing Rod

St Croix Triumph Spinning

St Croix Triumph Spinning

Best Travel Fishing Rod on a Budget

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Travel Spinning Combo

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Travel Spinning Combo

Best Travel Fishing Rods: Top 7 Picks Reviewed in 2023

  1. KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing RodEditor’s Choice for the Best Travel Fishing Rod
  2. St Croix Triumph Spinning Best Rated and Best Light/Medium Power Travel Fishing Rod
  3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Travel Spinning ComboBest Budget Travel Fishing Rod
  4. G. Loomis GLX Casting RodBest Premium Travel Fishing Rod
  5. Abu Garcia IKE Signature Delay Casting Fishing RodBest Travel Fishing Rod for Bass
  6. Daiwa Ardito-TR Travel Casting and Spinning RodMost Innovative Travel Fishing Rod
  7. Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel ComboTravel Rod Combo

What is a Travel Fishing Rod?

Traveling rods have a compact design that’s ideal for anglers who like to travel. Because of their design, anglers can carry their rods on the go without worrying about a lack of performance or versatility. Travel rods are lightweight yet sturdy and are very easy to assemble.

What is the Best Travel Fishing Rod?

The KastKing Blackhawk II travel fishing rod is highly regarded by experts due to its unique features and design. The rod’s construction, which includes a solid glass tip portion and Snug-Fit ferrules, provides seamless power transfer, giving it the feel of a one-piece rod. The rod boasts stainless steel components, exceptional sensitivity, and quick assembly. It features a comfortable and effective handle. However, some downsides include fragility, limited suitability for certain fish like stripes, and a relatively high price.

The key advantage of the Blackhawk II is its time-saving convenience. It allows you to keep the reel attached and the line threaded through the guides, facilitating rapid setup for fishing. This stands in contrast to traditional one or two-piece rods, making it perfect for travel.

Notable features include premium materials like stainless steel line guides, graphite reel seats, and comfortable EVA grips. To set up the rod, you extend it from the tip section, align the guides, and extend the remaining pieces. While the rod has many positive attributes, it’s essential to consider its limitations before purchase. For more information, you can refer to an article about the telescopic fishing rods.

What Makes a Good Travel Rod?

Professional anglers often find travel fishing rods to be valuable tools due to several benefits they offer. Here are some advantages of using a travel fishing rod, especially from the perspective of a professional angler:

  1. Portability: Travel fishing rods are designed to be compact and easily portable. This makes them ideal for anglers who need to travel to various fishing locations, whether by car, plane, or other means. They can be easily stored in luggage or backpacks, allowing anglers to explore different fishing spots.
  2. Convenience: These rods often come with their own carrying cases or tubes, ensuring protection during transport. This convenience is particularly important for anglers who want to be able to fish at a moment’s notice without the hassle of assembling and disassembling a traditional rod.
  3. Versatility: Travel fishing rods can be designed to handle various fishing techniques and species. They are available in different lengths, actions, and power ratings, allowing anglers to choose a rod that suits their specific fishing style and target species.
  4. Quick Setup: Many travel fishing rods are designed for quick assembly. This means anglers can set up their rods and reels in a matter of seconds, saving time and allowing them to start fishing almost immediately.
  5. Cost-Efficiency: While some premium travel fishing rods can be expensive, they often offer good value considering their convenience and performance. Additionally, the cost of transporting longer, traditional rods can add up over time, making a travel rod a cost-effective choice for frequent travelers.
  6. Innovation in Design: Manufacturers are continually improving the design and technology of travel fishing rods. This can lead to innovative features that enhance the angler’s experience, such as advanced materials, collapsible sections, and improved sensitivity.
  7. Remote Fishing Locations: For professional anglers who explore remote or challenging-to-reach fishing spots, a travel fishing rod can be indispensable. Its compact size makes it easier to transport to these locations, where larger traditional rods might be impractical.
  8. A Backup Option: Even if a professional angler primarily uses traditional rods, having a travel fishing rod as a backup can be a smart move. It ensures that they always have a functional fishing rod on hand, even if their main equipment malfunctions or gets damaged.
  9. Learning and Adaptation: Using a travel fishing rod can also teach anglers adaptability. They might need to adjust their fishing techniques slightly to accommodate the characteristics of the travel rod, helping them become more versatile in their angling skills.
  10. Showcasing Skill: Successfully catching fish with a travel fishing rod can demonstrate an angler’s expertise. These rods might have different limitations compared to traditional rods, and effectively using them highlights an angler’s ability to work with diverse equipment.

Our List of Favorite Travel Fishing Rods


Editor's Choice

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod
Our editor thinks that this is the best travel fishing rod. It has great handle, is very sensitive and made from high quality stainless steel.

WHY WE LIKE IT: Unmatched durability, sensitivity, and performance are the characteristics of this travel rod due to its blank and solid glass tip portion. Snug-Fit ferrules offer full-length power transfer, enabling these rods to function and feel like a single-piece rod.

  • Color: black
  • Length: 14 lengths available
  • Handle material: cork



OVERVIEW: They save us some crucial fishing time since you can leave the reel on the travel rod with the line running through the guides and completely rigged, in addition to the apparent advantage of easier travel over the conventional 1 & 2-piece fishing rods.

You can carry on fishing in a matter of seconds without re-rigging by simply opening the bail with a line through the guides and a hook attached, extending the collapsible fishing rod to its working length.

FEATURES: Only premium materials, such as stainless steel line guides, graphite reel seats, and soft EVA grips, were utilized in creating travel rods that are only used on the best travel fishing rods.

The tip part is where the travel rod is extended from. Extend the tip part until it stops, line up the guides with the top guide at the tip, and then repeat with the remaining pieces.


Best Rated and Best Light/Medium Power

St Croix Triumph Travel Spinning

St Croix Triumph Spinning
We think that St Croix Triumph Spinning Travel Rod is perfect for anglers who want medium power.

WHY WE LIKE IT: The St. Croix Triumph travel rods are designed for experienced fishermen looking for the ideal fusion of performance and value at a price that won’t break the bank. Anglers will appreciate the exceptional care and craftsmanship of these blanks – which use top quality SCII carbon blanks with two layers of Flex-Coat slow cure finish.

  • Length: 19 lengths available ranging from 5’0″ to 7’6″
  • Handle material: cork
  • Color: Deep blue



OVERVIEW: We advise utilizing this travel rod, and we are confident that you will. This updated travel rod will be a great addition to your collection since it provides the feel, hook setting power, and longevity that every angler desires without putting an undue strain on the budget.

FEATURES: The St. Croix travel rods feature Sea Guide XDPS reel seats with eco-friendly sandblasting hoods for a glove-like fit that fishers can trust, perfectly complementing the excellent blank. They have premium-grade cork grips in addition to the reel seat for a lightweight and comfortable feel while casting a line from sunrise to sunset.


Budget Travel Fishing Rod Combo

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Travel Spinning Combo

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Travel Spinning Combo
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is by far the best Travel Spinning Rod and Reel Combo for the money.

WHY WE LIKE IT: An updated version of the original Ugly Stik is the Ugly Stik GX2. Its makers have concentrated on preserving the original’s reputation for strength and durability while offering some fresh advantages brought about by advancements in travel spinning rod technology.  Due to its enhanced balance and aluminum spool, it has a new look and feels better in your palm.

  • Length: 4’6″, 4’8″, 5′, 6′, 6’6″, 7′
  • Construction: 2 – piece rod construction
  • Material: Aluminium



OVERVIEW: The GX2 series is designed to be incredibly robust and durable, adding to its adaptability. As a result, we found out it’s able to handle a variety of fish and support you in a battle if you need it. The GX2 series worked ideal for us for targeting smallmouth bass as catching panfish – if this is what you’re planning to do, this is the best travel fishing rod to do it with.

FEATURES: The GX2 plays true to Ugly Stik’s reputation as an economical, high-quality rod brand. To give you even more value for your money, they have improved the component quality. 

If you’re new to fishing, these reel combos might be perfect since they remove the burden of selecting an appropriate reel to match your travel spinning rod and enable you to immediately head out on the water after selecting your fishing line.


Premium Travel Fishing Rod

G. Loomis GLX Travel Casting Rod

G. Loomis GLX Casting Rod

WHY WE LIKE IT: The “MBR” line of 6’6″ and 7′ bass casting rods were first created for situations requiring longer casting ranges and deeper water. Extended rear-cork grips provide better balancing and leverage. They are really powerful for such lightweight rods and are great for pitching or casting.

  • Color: brown and black
  • Length: 6’6″ and 7’
  • Handle material: cork



OVERVIEW: We recommend this casting rod for every angler that wants the “Traditional” Mag Bass action. The rods constructed on this framework are responsive, light, and impact-resistant. The GLX continues to be the go-to technology suite for many fishermen across the world because it offers a distinctive feel and a famous reputation for durability.

FEATURES: Fuji SIC K-frame guides, complemented by full cork grips with personalized reel seats, makes tangle-free usage and convenience. The power, weight savings, and amazing sensitivity of the new high-modulus blank provide you with complete fishing control on your fishing trip.


Travel Rod for Bass Fishing

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Delay Casting Fishing Rod

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Delay Casting Fishing Rod

WHY WE LIKE IT: This rod is “tight” all the way around. The one-piece rods’ tip is holding up really well, the guides don’t bend, the reel seat tightens down well, and the inserts do not come out easily. Also, there is zero noise emanating from this travel rod while you are casting, retrieving, or battling a fish.

  • Color: Multi
  • Length: 6’4”, 6’6” and 6’8”
  • Material: Stainless steel and zircon



OVERVIEW: This travel rod has a fantastic hookup ratio. Even though it is medium heavy, the parabolic bend will get you from the moment you set your hook to the moment you feel a bite in a fraction of a second, allowing the tip to load nicely. Because of this unique motion, if you go bass fishing, this fishing gear will help you a lot.

FEATURES: The “Ike” Delay Series Casting Rod’s ultra-soft tip also functions as a catapult. This travel rod works well for fishing tiny plugs with very little backlashes on wind-swept banks, points, and riprap. Even if your reel has a significant role in casting difficulties, this rod performs admirably while fishing in them.


Most Inovative

Daiwa Ardito-TR Travel Casting and Spinning Rod

Daiwa Ardito-TR Travel Casting and Spinning Rod

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Ardito 763 has a unique multi-piece structure. These days, three-piece fishing rods are so uncommon, so the fact that this multi-piece travel spinning rod also comes with a travel-ready carrying bag further adds to its allure. Superior Fuji Aluminum Oxide Guides enable exceptional casting skills while also providing great durability.

  • Color: Multi
  • Length: 31.5″
  • Material: Blend
  • Handle material: graphite



OVERVIEW: According to our list of standard features, this travel spinning rod has a split design, an EVA rear grip, Fuji aluminum oxide guides, a specially designed split reel seat, and an open-ended hook catcher just above the reel seat on the left side of the blank.

Apart from the rather unpleasant front, the rods’ colors and decorations are stylish. The grip is made of dense EVA foam and is quite comfortable to handle. The Split grip EVA handles properly balance each rod, a custom reel seat aids in weight reduction, and a patented reel base provide an ergonomic basis for your reel, therefore it made number 6 of best travel fishing rods on our list.

FEATURES: The Daiwa Ardito-TR Travel Spinning Rods have a handy 3-piece design and come with a reliable Daiwa Logo Travel Case, making them ideal for backpacking, vehicle storage, and trips abroad.

Compared to 2-piece travel rods, the premium IM-7 blanks provide superior sensitivity and power, while the three-piece design and V-Flex ferrule jointed system also encourage improved rod curvature.


Budget Combo

Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo

WHY WE LIKE IT: PLUSINNO telescopic travel spinning rod and reel set offers solid all-around performance, decent castability, and reasonable pricing. It stand out from other travel rods for anglers who prefer to fish from a boat or kayak due to its compactness. The rapid action and excellent sensitivity of the medium-power composite pole make it ideal for making those long throws while seated.

  • Material: ‎stainless steel, fiberglass, aluminum, alloy steel, graphite, carbon fiber
  • Collapsed Rod Length: 15.8-18.1 inches
  • Extended Rod Length: 5.9-8.9 ft



OVERVIEW: Don’t let the phrase “budget” mislead you – you’re not receiving anything of inferior quality. In fact, this is the best travel fishing rod combo, with aluminum oxide guides that outperform others, and an EVA handle that is comparable to what they offer. We love that it also has a smooth-spinning reel.

FEATURES: The telescopic rod from PLUSINNO is amazingly simple to use. Nevertheless, the handle needs some work because it is difficult to extend and compress. The reel and the rod are both corrosion-resistant. We also overlook the hook keeper that is located close to the reel seat.

Comparison Table

KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod St Croix Triumph Travel Spinning Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Travel Spinning G. Loomis GLX Travel Casting Rod Abu Garcia IKE Signature Delay Casting Daiwa Ardito-TR Travel Casting and Spinning Plusinno Fishing Rod And Reel Combo
BrandKastKingSt. CroixShakespeareG. LoomisAbu GarciaDaiwaPlusinno
Rod MaterialCarbon FiberHigh-Modulus GraphiteComposite ConstructionHigh-Performance GraphiteHigh-Quality MaterialsHigh-Quality GraphiteComposite Construction
Power OptionsMedium, Medium-Heavy, HeavyMedium, Medium-Heavy, HeavyMedium, Medium-Heavy, HeavyMedium, Medium-Heavy, HeavyMedium, Medium-Heavy, HeavyMedium, Medium-Heavy, HeavyMedium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy
ActionFast, ModerateFast, ModerateFast, ModerateFast, ModerateFast, ModerateFast, ModerateFast, Moderate
Reel SeatGraphite or OtherPremium Reel SeatGraphite Reel SeatPrecision Reel SeatCustom Reel SeatCasting and Spinning Reel SeatDurable Reel Seat
Line WeightSuitable range of line weights (lb test)Suitable range of line weights (lb test)Suitable range of line weights (lb test)Suitable range of line weights (lb test)Suitable range of line weights (lb test)Suitable range of line weights (lb test)Suitable range of line weights (lb test)

Factors to keep in mind when purchasing travel fishing rods

Reason to fish (What will you be fishing for?)

Whether you’re surf fishing in a rocky area, next to steep beach banks, or in a little backyard pond, the kind of fish you capture entirely depends on your location. You determine what equipment you require based on your location.

Fishing Performance

When a rod is bent, action refers to how much it flexes throughout its length and how quickly the rod tip returns to its neutral state. The taper, length, and material of the rod’s blank (core) all have an impact on the rod’s motion. The motion of a fishing rod determines both the sort of fishing for which it is most suited and the way it will handle a fish.

Materials and Construction

The materials used to construct modern fishing rods — carbon, graphite, fiberglass construction, and composite—each have unique properties that affect the travel rod’s overall action and feel.

There are significant technical distinctions and benefits, but the choice of rod grip and guide/runner material may simply come down to personal preference and the amount of money you are prepared to spend on your first travel spinning rod.

Usually travel rods are made from carbon fiber that offers higher performance, but it may be too expensive for your first fishing pole so you might stick with the regular rods.


There are several justifications for using a stronger travel spinning rod. One of the key elements that determine how much time you’ll have on the lake is the sturdiness of the travel rod.

After just a few usages, you’ll notice problems with the grip and strength of your rod if it isn’t sturdy enough. For this reason, it’s crucial to get a sturdy travel fishing rod that won’t malfunction as soon as it gets wet.

Moreover, keep in mind that you’ll use your travel fishing rod in a variety of settings. You’ll be out on the water, and you could capture some fish that are large enough to fight back. The pressure of battling a monster fish will require a robust pole, so choose one of them.

Your travel fishing rod won’t survive as long as the one that is sturdy, which brings us to our second point. This implies that as time goes on, you’ll need to replace your rods, especially saltwater fishing rods, more frequently.

This is not only more expensive but also inconvenient because you’ll have to buy new ones every time they malfunction or stop working due to damage from weather or other factors like rocks that might get caught in them while fishing in the wild.

Modular vs Telescopic

Modular rods always outperform telescopic rods on that front. Since they are mechanically simpler, they are far less likely to malfunction, and as ferrule technology has advanced in the fishing industry since the 1980s, increasing that number to three, four, or even five does not significantly reduce sensitivity.

And to be brutally honest, businesses like St. Croix and Fenwick have well-deserved reputations that they won’t jeopardize performance by providing subpar designs. All of this adds up to the fact that modular construction is typically the best option.


You must be asking yourself, “Do I really need to know about rod guides too? ” at this point. Although we don’t blame you, you’d be shocked at just how much these tiny rings may impact the caliber of your angling. There isn’t much to them, but there are a few things you ought to be aware of.

The majority of guides have an inside ceramic coating on metal frames. The coating lessens line friction, allowing for easy movement. These days, ceramic-coated rod guides are practically standard on all fishing rods.

A 7′ rod, for instance, might contain anywhere between 6 and 9 stainless steel guides. Generally speaking, a rod should have as many guides as possible.


There are two fundamental types of materials for the rod handle: cork and EVA foam. The majority of anglers concur that cork is a more pleasant material since it provides more comfort and warmth on chilly days.

There are numerous different forms for travel spinning rod handles, but two stand out as the most popular. These are the trigger stick and the gun grip. A short, curved handle with a hook for your index finger is called a pistol grip. This kind of handle is excellent for accurate jigging motions and casting.

With the extended grip of the trigger stick, you may cast while using both hands. While combating bigger species, it is typically preferable to the pistol grip since it enables you to cast considerably farther. It only depends on your preference for certain types of fishing as there is no price difference between the two.


You might not even need to load your rods inside tubes if you pack them correctly for a road trip. Yet, it makes sense to make the effort in order to avoid any disasters. In any case, the tips will require some sort of defense against bumps in the road as the automobile passes over them. If you want to take your own made-up rods, you can purchase fishing rod holdalls.

Depending on the size of your vehicle, you can position the multi-piece rods with the butts on the ground and the tips extending diagonally between the seats into the trunk. To hold them in place, you can use another bungee cord. If the automobile is on the smaller side, you might have to fold down the back seat.

A travel rod and a normal rod differ primarily in length, construction, and weight.

A travel fishing rod’s maximum length is about eight feet, but conventional fishing rods can be up to 12 feet long. Also, since many travel fishing rods need to be assembled, you might need to account for assembly time when you’re ready to cast your reel. Finally, the majority of travel rods weigh just a few ounces.

Travel rods are permitted as carry-on luggage, according to the US TSA. To further secure the travel rods, tape them together or put them in their original packing to prevent excessive chafing during the ride.

If you bring in heavier gear, such as beach casting or trolling rods, most airlines won’t charge you an overweight or extra baggage tax if you check it as sporting equipment carry-on.

Travel rods are perfect for fishermen on the go. They’re super lightweight and can be carries everywhere.

No, travel rods and standard rods usually cost the same.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the optimal travel rod hinges on your fishing goals and location. The travel rod’s performance relies on its action, influenced by taper, length, and material, determining its suitability for various fishing styles. Modern materials like carbon, graphite, and fiberglass impact action and feel, with carbon offering higher performance but often at a higher cost, a key consideration for your chosen travel rod.

Considering travel rod construction, modular rods tend to outperform telescopic ones due to their mechanical reliability, as advancements in ferrule technology maintain sensitivity, crucial traits for your chosen travel rod. Guides play a pivotal role in enhancing your travel rod’s performance, with ceramic-coated guides minimizing line friction and evenly distributing strain for better casting accuracy during your travel rod outings. Handles, available in cork and EVA foam, influence comfort; cork’s warmth and ergonomics make it a preferred choice for a comfortable travel rod. Handle styles like the pistol grip and trigger stick cater to specific fishing techniques, impacting casting range and accuracy, factors to consider while selecting your preferred travel rod. The final decision for your travel rod comes down to personal preference, ensuring the chosen travel rod aligns with your fishing needs and offers a fulfilling travel rod experience.