An intro for the uninitiated. A travel rod is simply a rod that breaks down into several pieces for easy, convenient transport. Many will be familiar with the classic telescopic rod but if you haven’t been keeping an eye on the market, you may be less familiar with the multi piece version that connects via multiple ferrule joints.
While both types have been readily available for a long time, the telescopic in particular, it is only recently that the big brands (and others) have focused some serious technology on this niche. The results have been outstanding, and you can now choose from a selection of beautifully crafted portable fishing rods, replete with the best of blanks, bling and butts technology can offer. They’re every bit the performance fishing gear, available to suit a broad range of fishing disciplines and, they’re as capable as the traditional one or two piece configuration.
A little history. While custom, hand crafted multi piece rods have had a following over the decades, it is the telescopic fishing rod model that has been the most readily available transportable rod. Stocked by many Australian fishing retailers, many of the rods available in the past were little more than gimmicks. Their quality left a lot to be desired. They were often as flexible as hardwood, as sensitive as a brick, with much of the hardware second rate and prone to the rapid onset of corrosion. The telescopic mechanism was also likely to jam in the shorter term.
I remember my friend and neighbour had quite a lengthy version of a telescopic rod when we were kids back in the early 80’s. It certainly looked impressive enough but it was quickly relegated to the shed rafters as no-one seemed keen to fish with it. It was just too awful to hold, let alone fish with. Casting was always a tricky affair at best, and creating a balanced set up, an exercise in frustration.
Interestingly, a recent stint living in Eastern Europe brought me in contact with the travel rod again (the telescopic and multi piece versions). Fishing the Danube Delta for Carp (different our regrettable alien) and Stuka (Pike) brought me into contact with many a local angler, and many an angler used a travel rod. The reason was simple. They had to.
Transport to the Romania Ukraine border is either in a car the size of a matchbox (for many) of train and other forms of public transport. With the rod of choice usually in excess of 12 foot, collapsing for transport is essential. Clearly, the quality and efficacy of these rods was the reason for their popularity. Many were of outstanding quality and they were balanced outfits suitable for purpose, great to use, even while struggling to get my head around local techniques.
It was this experience abroad that set me off on a fact finding mission on line, to see what was being offered in the latest of travel fishing rods. Travel fishing rod reviews were most enlightening, particular the feedback from rank and file anglers. Indeed they became very handy, as I was soon to find there was a dazzling array of options from which to choose.
Choosing the best travel fishing rod ultimately becomes subjective. The first and primary considerations are how it will be transported and what you will be poking it at. From that point, brand, budget, cosmetics and type, i.e. spin, overhead or baitcaster, comes down to personal preferences. Nail this down, then hit the reviews to help the decision process. First however, read on for some great insights that might help you choose the perfect model.
Fishingtackleshop.com.au has a great range of saltwater travel rods to suit just about every application. Let’s have a closer look at them via a few hypothetical situations. The scenarios below provide an MO and matching rod for different types of travel situations. See which one might be a compatible fit for you.
Travelling for Work
There are many of us that travel frequently for work in a company vehicle. Blessed, as Australia is, with the mother-load of bountiful waterways begging to be fished, it is highly likely this work related travel will take us passed a hot fishing zone of one type or another. While said trips are frequently very busy, there is no reason we can’t squeeze in a few ours fishing on our down time.
Wisdom tells us it’s probably not a great idea to strap a set of racks to the company Commodore and load up with your favourite 12 footers and a heap of gear. A good travel rod however, collapsible to a very discrete length, safely stored in a protective cover, will be perfect. A small bag of tackle, a collapsible bucket, and you can fish everywhere with a kit that sits neatly on the passenger seat.
Depending on the style of fishing you are planning to do, there are a few really good options. The Shimano Raider Travel Shore Spin 9 foot Travel Rod Is excellent. The build quality is outstanding, it collapses to 3 pieces and will see you casting from banks, jetties, wharves and the beach. Make no mistake, this is a performance rod. Rated at approximately 4 to 7 kilograms you will be chasing everything from Bream on plastics to Tailor on Metal Slices.
For the best value for money travel rod it is very hard to look past the Shakespeare Slingshot Travel Fishing Rod. There are several models from which to choose, most for spin and a couple of them being baitcaster rods. These rods look fantastic, perform brilliantly and come with their own travel case. Follow the shop now link and check the specs. There are options for fishing super light up to ten kilo. Depending on the model, lengths range from 5’6” to 7’, breaking down into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on the model. Highly recommended, particularly when the budget is tight.
Family Car Camping
Many a nuclear family has downsized the family vehicle for any number of reasons. This is often a deliberate choice driven by budget concerns or environmental reasons. They are unwilling however to give up the option to escape into the Aussie wilderness in there small 4 door, for some serious car camping. With mum, dad, two rug rats, tents and the camping kit expertly ensconced in the modestly sized Toyota, Dad needs to rationalise the fishing kit, at mum’s behest, of course.
With a simple and fun visit to the fishingtackleshop.com.au website, mum and dad can deck out the family with a fantastic arsenal of fishing rods that will cover all needs. For the kids a couple of our most affordable his joy of casting hard bodies at Barra with his favourite baitcaster, and if the budget allows, he’ll love the Daiwa Saltiga Airportable Travel Rod (Heavy Spin/Popper), so he can use his own kit on a charter outside the heads hunting GT’s and big pelagic species. With this selection, the family are fully covered with only the slightest impact on available space in the modest family vehicle.travel rods such as the Shakespeare Slingshot Travel will be perfect general purpose delights. Robust yet sensitive enough, they collapse to multiple neat pieces and will suit the novice status of the young ones. Mum will probably like the Shimano Raider Travel Inshore Fishing Rod Snapper Spin 703 and will be ideal for the family fishing together, but strong enough to handle snapper, mulloway, trevally, salmon, tailor, small tuna and barramundi when some serious targets are sought. Dad will want a couple of rods. The Short Bite Special Daiwa Generation Black Travel Rod (3 Piece Spin), will be perfect for his solo finesse adventures, hunting Bream around the structures. The Shimano Raider Travel Inshore 593 Barra Baitcast - 3 Piece Fishing Rod, will satisfy
The Globe Trotter and Frequent Flier
When we take a fishing charter of the coat of Mexico, Hawaii, or Fiji, we want the picture of our exotic, and huge catch, to be taken with our own kit. While many charter operators pride themselves on using top shelf, well maintained, awesome it, taking your own with you is an insurance of the quality you will use. Ultimately however, there is nothing like using tools with which you are familiar and intimately attached.
Check out the Daiwa Saltiga Airportable Travel Rods. The range is fantastic, and is possibly the best in class travel rod. The customer reviews back up all the hype, and there is an excellent selection of spin and overhead models, for casting or jigging. They fit perfectly into your checked baggage and you can deploy them anywhere in the world know you can fish with confidence, as your kit is certified performance weaponry. If your budget is a little more modest but your demand for quality uncompromising check out the Shimano Revolution Travel Rods. Again, these are performance rods, with all the convenience of portability.
For those flying locally expecting a little inshore based action, and you’re only checking in a smaller style case, the options covered with Pflueger Trion Transcendent Travel Rods makes them very hard to beat. There is a baitcaster model and various spin models. All break down to 5 pieces, making them the perfect travel fishing rod. Ranging from 2kg up to 10kg, you can point these things at a massive range of targets. They are brilliantly appointed, crafted with Pflueger pride, and accessibly priced, considering their top shelf performance. It’s the Pflueger Trion travel rods that gets my tip for the best travel rod. You might not be so familiar with the brand but don’t let that get in the way of your decision process.
Anglers, like everybody else in the world, are far more mobile than we once were just a few decades ago. We fly, we drive, we explore by rail. The fishing industry has responded as all industry does to changes in our habits, it has created product to suit. These days, travel rods are every bit as good, every bit the performer as the traditional configurations. The gimmicky junk is still around, but we now have a superlative range of performance rods, as brilliant when deployed on the water as they are convenient in transport. Check out the rods mentioned above. We are certain you will find a travel rod that is perfect for your application.
While you’re checking our site deciding on the best travel rod for you, make sure you have a look at accessories that will go toward building an outstanding travel fishing kit. Items such as folding buckets are brilliant for the traveller. There are a number of lightweight tackle boxes and containers to choose from. Check the specs. While space is a premium, it also pays to ensure you are going as lightweight as possible. When you are flying, weight is the killer, keep the weight down and save a heap of cash. It’s a great idea to have a dedicated travel fishing kit. You know exactly what’s in it, how much space it takes up and how much it weighs.
It can be tough when you’re driving somewhere, pass a perfect fishing location, have some time on your hands, yet no kit to toss a lure at likely targets. If nothing else, check the range and make up an emergency fishing kit that never leaves the car. I did this, and some of the most memorable fishing experiences have been casual stopovers by a riverbank on route to somewhere. With a travel rod, and a travel kit permanently stashed in your car, stop, revive, survive, takes on a whole new dimension. Get shopping, buy yourself the perfect travel rod and travel fishing kit now.