5 Best Fishing Poles for Backpacking – Lightweight Portable Rods

When it comes to backpacking, it is all about only packing gear that is both lightweight and compact. Because fishing poles tend to be long and awkward, bringing a rod on your backpacking trip can make hiking and traveling difficult. However, in recent years, some manufacturers have started to create telescopic fishing poles that collapse into a convenient, compact size. These telescopic rods make perfect fishing poles for backpacking, camping, and hiking. Let’s take a look at the five best backpacking fishing poles.


The 5 Best Backpacking Fishing Poles

High Altitude Telescopic Fishing Pole


High Altitude Portable Fishing Pole for Backpacking


The High Altitude Telescopic Fishing Pole is by far our favorite fishing pole for backpacking. With a steel-carbon telescopic rod, this fishing pole extends to a length of 5 feet 6 inches. When collapsed, the rod is just 18 inches long, which is great for slipping into a backpack or duffel bag. Outside of the hard-shell carrying case, the rod is so light that you’ll forget it’s there — it weighs only 6 ounces. Once inside of its carrying case, the weight increases to 12 ounces, which is still extremely lightweight and easy to carry.

With six different mounting points, you can easily affix the pole right onto your backpack. This is a great feature since the fishing pole is easily accessible without having to dig through your backpack. Additionally, it doesn’t take up any valuable space inside of the bag.  


  • The carrying case features a hard-cover shell to protect the gear. For added protection, there is also extra padding around the reel mount.
  • The rod is made with steel-carbon and extends up to 5’6’’ when fully extended.
  • High Altitude utilized Toray carbon fiber and M6 graphite, making this rod very durable and resistant to excessive bending.
  • The pole has five extending sections; so it’s less likely to break at different points than rods with numerous extension points.
  • When closed, the rod folds down to 18 inches, so it’s easier to store in a compact area when you aren’t fishing.
  • You receive a hook keeper with your rod and a binding reel mount is the best way to keep the rod/reel together and prevent them from falling apart while fishing.


  • Several reviewers said the rod is poorly constructed and doesn’t hold up well after a few uses or camping trips.
  • Some pieces were not included for assembly.


Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod


Sougayilang Backpacking Fishing Pole Telescopic Rod


Another great option for backpackers is the lightweight Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod. This rod is high density carbon fiber and fiberglass, which makes incredibly lightweight and easy to carry. The high-quality aluminum handle is interchangeable and can be comfortably used by both left and right hand fishermen. 

The Sougayilang Fishing Rod is available in 5 different sizes. When fully extended, the sizes range in length from 5.91 feet (1.8 meters) to 10.8 feet (3.3 meters). When closed, those same two sizes measure 16.4 inches and 20.08 inches, respectively. With three additional sizes in between, they’ve got the perfect size for you. 

While not in use, the fishing pole’s handle easily retracts for easy packing, transport, and storage.


  • The stainless steel guides are perfect for salmon and trout fishing, as you know which side guide you should use for the different types of fish you’re trying to catch.
  • In addition to the composite 24-ton fiber, it also features e-glass material to help increase the rod’s strength.
  • The lightweight design is evenly balanced throughout the rod; you aren’t going to over stress or strain your body so you won’t feel fatigued after fishing, even for long periods.
  • It features a CNC-machined seat; this design keeps the reel locked into place and is also rust-proof.
  • The guides on the rod help prevent lines from tangling while you’re fishing.
  • You can fish with mono or with a braided fishing line for greater accuracy and capture.
  • You can use this fishing rod while camping, kayaking, or on a fishing boat or dock.


  • The manufacturer’s specs online aren’t accurately portrayed.
  • Quality concerns, as one reviewer indicates their rod broke after reeling in a 5-pound fish.


Fishoaky Telescopic Fishing Pole Kit

Fishoaky Telescopic Fishing Pole Kit


The Fishoaky Telescopic Fishing Pole Kit is a compact, lightweight fishing kit that comes with everything you need to catch a delicious seafood dinner. The kit includes a telescopic fishing pole, line lures, reels, tackle hooks, and a carrying pouch. The high-density carbon fiber rod is extremely lightweight and easy to carry. 

When extended, the Fishoaky Fishing Pole measures about 5.90 feet. For easy transportation and storage, the telescopic pole collapses down to 16.9 inches, which is perfect for carrying in your backpack.


  • This rod is designed with beginner and novice fishermen in mind and comes with the basic accessories you’re going to need for your first backpacking fishing trip.
  • It includes the rod and the reel; you also receive various baits, lines, a carrying bag, and fishing hooks, that come in a compact case, neatly organized for your upcoming trip.
  • The rod’s body is made with high-carbon fiber for ultra stability; it is also light and easy for you to fold away and store it when you aren’t using it.
  • You can fold it down to a compact size that easily fits into your backpack.
  • The rod is intended for saltwater fishing, however, it can also be used in ice-fishing or for freshwater fishing trips as well.
  • Customers receive a 30-day guarantee and can return the item for a refund if they aren’t happy during this time. It also comes with a 12-month warranty, so parts are covered if they break and need to be replaced within this time frame.


  • The manufacturer specifically indicates the rod might get damaged if you drag/ or pull; this indicates it might not be as sturdy as other materials or rod designs.
  • It folds down, however, is still fairly large at about 2.1 meters so it’s not as compact as other rod sets.


Okuma VS Backpacking Fishing Kit

Okuma VS Backpacking Fishing Pole Kit


The Okuma VS Backpacking Fishing Kit is another great option for fishermen out on the backpacking trails. The kit includes a size 20 Voyager Reel, 6-foot travel rod, tackle box, and a custom travel case. For carrying convenience, the rod breaks down in five separate pieces which fit into the travel case, along with the rest of the kit. The zip-shut travel case measures 17 x 9 x 3 and includes interior padding and a convenient shoulder strap.

For the quality and included parts, the kit is surprisingly affordable at under $50 USD. It’s a great option for fishing beginners or for backpackers who want a convenient all-in-one kit to bring on the trail. 


  • The size 20 voyager reel is great for trout, salmon, bass, walleye, and other types of fish you’re trying to reel in during your camping trip.
  • The ball-bearing dive system resists corrosion and rust and the graphite frame is sturdier than aluminum finishes that are used in other fishing rods we’ve reviewed.
  • The pole breaks down for storage into five compact pieces; and, when fully assembled, it extends out to a length of six-feet.
  • It features a stainless steel seat and cork grips throughout the rod, to help reduce shock and also creates a more ergonomic/comfortable grip for fishermen to control the rod.
  • You receive a lightweight tackle box with your purchase, as well as a durable nylon case.
  • The storage case is padded and features carrying handles so you can easily transport your fishing rod to different sites during your camping or backpacking trip.
  • The line capacity is 100/6.


  • Some reviewers note that the drag doesn’t lock into place so the line drags in the water making it difficult to reel in catches.
  • The reel isn’t the best quality, and some state the material finish/durability isn’t as great as the manufacturer claims it to be.


Plusinno Fishing Pole for Backpacking

Plusinno Fishing Pole and Reel for Backpacking


Another one of our favorite backpacking fishing poles is the Plusinno Fishing Pole. This fishing pole is available is a rod and reel, as well as an all-in-one kit. If you opt for the kit, it includes lines, lures, and a really nice carry case. The Plusinno Fishing Rod is available in six different sizes, ranging in length from 4.27 feet (1.3 meters) to 8.86 feet (2.7 meters) when fully extended. When the telescopic rod is closed, the length ranges from 17.5 inches to just over 16 inches, which is great for backpacking. 

Additionally, the rod is very lightweight, with the longest size weighing 9.1 ounces and the smallest weighing just 6 ounces. The light weight and durability is due to its high density 24-ton carbon fiber construction, which is also reinforced with fiberglass composite. This ensures that the fishing pole is not only lightweight and durable, but also very elastic under pressure. 


  • The long length; extending out to nearly 7-feet, it’s the longest rod of our top picks.
  • The carbon material features a reinforced fiberglass material on the exterior of the pole; this helps increase flexibility and helps the rod maintain its durability, even when trying to reel in heavier fish.
  • The zirconium rings are rust-resistant, and they’re welded into place to help increase strength and casting distance for more experienced fishermen.
  • The reel seat is sturdily built, made through a CNC-machining process; the handles are made with a super polymer finish for excellent grip, comfort, and is slip-resistant when conditions get challenging.
  • The ball bearings are also made to resist corrosion and rusting so you can easily preserve your fishing rod’s lifespan, regardless of how much you plan on taking it out for camping and backpacking trips.


  • You only receive the rod and reel; the other products we’ve reviewed include a carrying case and some include optional accessories as well.
  • The manufacturer states you can use this for fresh and saltwater fishing; however, some reviewers suggest it is not a good rod for saltwater fishing, it’s not durable enough for those conditions.



Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Fishing Pole for Backpacking

Fishing Rods for Backpacking & HikingWhen choosing the best fishing pole for backpacking, these are a few of the features that it’s important to consider.


For backpackers and hikers, the weight of the fishing pole is one of the most important factors to consider. You should consider the total weight of the rod, reel, any accessories, and any carrying cases. Avoid bringing anything that’s too heavy, especially if you plan to walk long distances during your trip. 

Size & Portability

The size and portability of your fishing pole is very important. You should choose something that is easy to carry around. Make sure it is easy to close or disassemble, and that it fits into your backpack or attaches to your bag. Do not choose a fishing rod that you have to carry by hand.

A good idea is to measure the size of your backpack and make sure that your fishing rod will fit into it when it is closed or disassembled. Alternatively, some telescopic rods will attach to the outside of your backpack. This is a great feature to look for, since it allows you to easily carry the rod without taking up valuable space inside of your bag. 


In addition to portability, it is also a good idea to consider storage. How easy is it to store your fishing pole while it’s not in use? Does it fit into your backpack conveniently or is it too long to fit into a compact space? Does it include a storage bag or case? Make sure you review all of the included fishing accessories and how they are packed up for storage and transport.

Ease of Setup

An important feature to consider is the ease of set up. You don’t want to buy a fishing pole that is going to take you two hours to put together. Trust me, it is really difficult to assemble a complex fishing rod while you are in a small kayak.  We recommend choosing a telescopic fishing pole that easily opens and closes. Alternatively, there are also some great fishing rods where the sections of the poles easily screw together.

Type of Waters

Another important factor to consider is what type of water you plan to fish in. Some rods are built to handle both salt and freshwater, while some are specifically intended for use in just one type. For instance, many rods are only rated for freshwater fishing. To avoid damaging your fishing pole, make sure you choose the correct rod for the type of water that you plan to fish in.



Backpacking Fishing Poles FAQs

How powerful is a backpacking fishing pole?

The strength of the fishing rod will depend on a few factors, including:

  • The material of the fishing pole.
  • The guide rings.
  • The reel.

Furthermore, some products have higher ratings than others based on design, and how the folding mechanisms are set up throughout the rod. Make sure you know how much weight it can drag, to avoid buying something that’s too weak for your needs.

What are fast and slow action fishing poles?

A fast-action rod is one where the movements from the rod to the lure occur quickly, and in a slow-action rod, these movements are delayed. With a fast-action rod, you can feel the bite a little easier.

How does a backpacking fishing pole collapse?

Many rods feature folding mechanisms, others have latches, and others have smaller compartments that come apart with a spinning mechanism. It depends on the manufacturer and design. Most fishing poles break apart into five or six sections for you to store them.



Final Verdict

When you head out on your next backpacking adventure, don’t worry about carrying that big awkward fishing rod. Instead, bring a backpacking fishing pole. Featuring a telescopic design, they are lightweight, compact, and they fit right inside of your backpack! 

So grab your fishing pole, pack your backpacking camera, hit the water, and catch some big game!

Happy Backpacking!

Is there a great fishing pole that you love to bring backpacking? We’d love to try it out! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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