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Best Backpacking Fly Rod: For Catching the Lunch With Ease

Close-up image of a fiberglass rod
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

Fishing is a wonderful sport that allows you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air in a much more casual way, wouldn’t you agree? When you go backpacking, however, it’s not always easy to have the right tools to go fishing.

The best backpacking fly rod, can help take care of that problem by making sure that you have everything you need to comfortably fish but then get back on the trails as well. We’ve helped by rounding up some of the absolute best of the best when it comes to fly fishing while backpacking.

Image showing a backpacking-rod on rocks

You can take a look at all of these fly fishing rods to find out just which ones are going to work best for you and how you can get the best results out of your fly fishing rod. Each one is going to be great for someone traveling.

Product NameLengthPiecesMaterialPrice
Redington Classic9 ft6GlassCheck price on Amazon
Eagle Claw PK6017 ft 6 in4GlassCheck price on Amazon
Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa8 ft 4 in4GraphiteCheck price on Amazon
MaxCatch ExplorerFrom 8 ft 6 in to 9 ft4CarbonCheck price on Amazon
Fiblink B01FHFrom 8 ft 6 in to 9 ft4CarbonCheck price on Amazon
Eagle Claw Featherlight6 ft 6 in2FiberglassCheck price on Amazon
Piscifun Graphite8 ft 6 in4GraphiteCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Everything is important when it comes to fishing. It is a sport which is closely related to nature, to the weather, and even to you, if you decide to give it a try. There are a few features that are rather important when it comes to choosing your rod, however, so make sure you’re looking into that first.

Length

Even though, for traditional fishing, short rods up to 210 cm, are usually used, there are many high quality rods which are longer, from 270 to 300 cm. For beginners, it is recommended that your fly rod should be no more than 274 cm in length. Longer rods are intended for more experienced anglers.

Image showing a Redington-Hydrogen-Fly-Rod

A rod that’s shorter is going to be a lot easier to control where a longer rod requires a bit more practice and expertise. Be patient. You can definitely get there, but starting out with something you’re comfortable with is going to be your best bet.

Weight

The weight of your rod would depend on the fish you are planning on catching, and the length of your hiking trip. If you are planning on going on a long backpacking trip, and you prefer wearing less weight, you are probably focusing on the trip, instead of the fishing.

Nevertheless, nowadays, there are fly rods which are extremely lightweight, yet very strong.

Image showing the ECHO-TRIP-flying-rod

The price of these rods is also higher, however, so if you are a beginner, a maximum of 6 lbs. for a rod is perfect for you. Generally, the rods with a higher weight are more suitable for heavier fish. Also, make sure that the weight of your fly reel matches the weight of your fly rod and that it is similar to the fly line weight.

Price

Professional anglers don’t need price advice since they have tried many fly rods in their lifetime and notice that the price matters. There are professional fly rods for around $900, however, they will not be covered in this buying guide. Beginner anglers should focus on the middle price range.

Image of a fishing-rod near a man's legs

It is recommended that you avoid the cheapest, since they could cause frustration to beginners, and lead to giving up fishing all together. You also don’t want to spend much money on a product you are not sure whether you are going to use or not. For this reason, it is better to stick to the middle price range, especially if you are a beginner.

Backpacking Fly Rods

If you are frequently going on long backpacking trips you should consider only fly rods which are packed in 4 or more pieces. They usually come with a tube. If they don’t, you should definitely buy one, because it will be the most used item in your backpack.

Image showing the Emmrod Pack fishing pole

These are also called backpacking rods and they make traveling with a rod very easy. You want a specially made rod for backpacking because that’s how you’re going to enjoy your trip and your fishing at the same time instead of only the fishing.

Size Capacity

You want a rod that you can quickly and easily store away when you’re done with it. If you have to carry a full size fishing rod around with you, it’s not going to be very efficient for your trip. You’ll find that you are struggling with it overall and that you don’t have a way to store it when you want to hike.

Image of a fly fishing rod on the ground

The best thing is to choose a rod that can fold or come apart and that will fit into a small section of your backpack. That way you can enjoy your trip and you’ll still be able to take the rod out and fish whenever you want.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Always knowing where the best products are is crucial for anything and when you’re planning to go fly fishing that’s no different. Make sure you have one of these rods and you’ll get a great experience without the hassle.

Redington Classic RodRedington D950Q

Price: Approx. $300

Length: 9 ft

Specific features: 6 pieces, lightweight

Best use: Backpacking, hiking

Description: The Redington Classic Rod is pretty lightweight so you will be able to use it everywhere. It would even be a nice addition if you are planning on hiking to a nearby lake. The rod is perfect for supporting the weight of bigger fish.

Also, the moderate action is gentle enough so that you don’t scare the river life off when casting it into the water. This is an often underestimated feature, which is not present in many rods from this price range.

Its weight provides excellent support and it is comfortable for all anglers. You could fish for hours and you won’t get fatigued because of the lightweight blank.

This rod makes casting pretty accurate and it is especially beneficial that it has a quality warranty. Not only that, but it also has titanium oxide stripping guides and cork handle, which makes it comfortable to hold and reliable when using.

PROS:

  • Cork handle for easier hold
  • Lightweight blank
  • Perfect for trout fishing
  • Able to support heavier fish
  • Moderate action

CONS:

  • Several pieces have to be put together
  • Not ideal for other types of fish
  • Takes a little getting used to the motion

Related: If you’re going fishing, you’re definitely going to need lures and this Go-to-Dry Fly Lure Kit is going to be a great option for trout fishing. It’s a moderate price, but you get a whole lot of lures so you’re ready to go.

Check the price on Amazon

Eagle Claw PK601 Fly Rod
Eagle Claw PK601 

Price: Approx. $30

Length: 7 ft 6 in

Specific features: 4 pieces, durable glass rod construction

Best use: Hiking, fly fishing

Description: The Eagle Claw PK601 Fly Rod is in the low price range and is made from glass. This makes it the perfect solution for the trunk (of your car) or the trail. Although, most glass constructed rods are suitable for this.

This rod in particular, comes equipped with a plastic reel attachment. Nevertheless, it works perfectly and smoothly, and you won’t have any troubles while using it. The rod is perfectly good for catching the big fish.

Make sure you keep in mind that this is a perfect product for fly fishing. The biggest advantage it comes with, is that it is perfectly good for smaller as well as larger fish, even though the dimensions might feel small at first.

It is also recommended for hiking, since it could be assembled into a small rod of around seven ft, and when packed, perfect for a backpack, plus it is lightweight so you won’t even feel carrying it.

PROS:

  • Can be assembled to a smaller size
  • Great for fly fishing
  • Low price for any budget
  • Good for any size fish
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

CONS:

  • Not ideal for other types of fishing
  • Top section is loose
  • No coated line eyelets

Related: If you want a higher quality reel this Croch Fly Fishing Reel can be a great option. It’s inexpensive and comes with the reel, backing, fly line and leader so you’re all ready to go and just have to install it.

Check the price on Amazon

Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod
Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa

Price: $70

Length: 8 ft 4 in

Specific features: 4 pieces, suitable for longer casts, IM8 graphite

Best use: Backpacking, hiking

Description: The Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod has a great performance and is a highly durable product. Even though it is in the middle price range, it is more than worth the price. It is supported with IM8 graphite, which provides its durability feature.

The stripping guides are made of ceramic material, and the snake guides are from chrome, which makes its gliding capabilities, smooth and fast. Compared to the Eagle Claw fly rod, the Tailwater Outfitters rod has a reel seat made from aluminum, which is a nice update from the plastic ones that usually come with lower price rods.

It also has double lock rings, which are usually used for a sturdy attachment. It has a cork addition right on the handle. This is not just a design. It adds up to the casting accuracy and makes fly fishing very comfortable and not tiring at all.

It is also nice that this rod, includes a rod tube, which is good because otherwise you would have to get a rod case. The tube also has four slots, with one for each section of the rod. The rod itself can also be used easily in a river or lake with great accuracy at long, middle and short range, which is a very important feature in a fly rod.

PROS:

  • Separates into 4 parts
  • Moderate price for beginning rod
  • Included tube with separate compartments
  • Works well at any range
  • High casting accuracy

CONS:

  • Finishing is not as good as it could be
  • Reel doesn’t fit in case
  • Action isn’t as fast as expected

Related: A good quality sword weight line could be great for your fly fishing rod and this Piscifun Line is designed for just that. It’s available in several different colors and sizes so you can get just what you’re looking for as far as quality and durability.

Check the price on Amazon

Maxcatch Explorer Fishing Rod
Maxcatch Explorer

Price: Approx. $40

Length: 8 ft 6 in – 9 ft

Specific features: 4 pieces, carbon fiber construction, Helical taper slim blank design

Best use: Backpacking, hiking, fishing

Description: This Maxcatch Explorer Fishing Rod’s main advantage is that it’s lightweight. Such fishing rods are usually made out of cheaper, and therefore, more fragile materials, which need to be handled with care. However, this is not the case with Maxcatch. It is made from carbon fiber and it has an exceptional line.

It has a cork attachment on its handle, which is good because it increases accuracy and it provides greater comfort. The cork is made from a Portuguese cork material which has a grade of pure A. You could wet it as much as you like and it won’t matter since it is from the greatest quality.

The reel seat is light and durable. Unlike plastic easily breakable reel seats, this rod has an aluminum seat which is graded 6061T. That means that it is corrosion resistant and it provides you with a smooth fishing experience.

The ring stripping guides are made from ceramic and they provide minimum friction. It is also good that it has a one year warranty which is pretty convenient for replacing the damaged parts.

All in all, if you are in search of a low price fly rod with great features and great performance, but you are not looking for the lowest possible price, this would be your choice. A rod is judged by its materials, and this one has the most quality materials available on the market.

PROS:

  • Corrosion resistant aluminum reel seat
  • Ceramic ring stripping guides
  • Portuguese cork handle
  • Lightweight and durable rod
  • Weight options to choose from

CONS:

  • Case is not very high quality
  • Could be better blank
  • Not tuned

Related: If you’re going fly fishing a good pair of wading socks could be a great idea and these Wetsox Wader Socks are a great choice. They’re high quality, tall and definitely prepared to keep you warm and comfortable (and dry) while you’re out there in the water.

Check the price on Amazon

Fiblink B01FH Fly Rod
Fiblink B01FH Fly Rod

Price: Approx. $40

Length: 8 ft 6 in – 9 ft

Special features: 4 pieces, carbon fiber construction, Helical taper slim blank design

Best use: Hiking, fishing, backpacking, camping

Description: The Fiblink B01FH Fly Rod is made especially for backpacking and hiking trips. It is specifically designed to be lightweight, which might be one of the most important features in a fly rod, yet it has a great overall strength for bigger fish. Its light weight, durability, and strength, come from the solid carbon construction.

The reel seat is aluminum, which is common for fly rods in this price range. It is the highest quality material and the most recommended one for reel seats. In this fly rod, the reel seat is made with enhanced aluminum, which is even stronger.

The cork material on the handle is also common in this kind of fly rod; however the cork grade varies from one product to another.

In this case, it is ultra-premium grade, meaning that you will be able to use it without changing, for years to come. The frame is made out of stainless steel and it is inserted with ceramic inside combined with stainless steel.

The stainless steel used for production of this fly rod is corrosion resistant, which is the least that you could expect and look for in a rod.

PROS:

  • Weight options
  • Multipurpose hook holder
  • Aluminum reel seat
  • Enhanced sensitivity graphite
  • Breaks down to 4 pieces

CONS:

  • Feels a little cheap
  • Tightening nut for reel is plastic
  • Guides aren’t ideal

Related: A better, higher quality reel can always be a great investment for your fishing adventure and with this fishing rod you’re not going to have any exception to that. The Fiblink Fly Fishing Reel is an inexpensive purchase that can improve your fishing experience greatly.

Check the price on Amazon

Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod
Eagle Claw FL300-6'6

Price: Approx. $25

Length: 6 ft 6 in

Specific features: 2 pieces, fiberglass, high quality angler gear

Best use: Backpacking, hiking, fishing

Description: This Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod is the perfect choice for fishing beginners. It has a wooden reel seat and a fiberglass rod, making it perfect for your first day of fishing, or your first rod.

It will allow you to feel it in your hand and learn how to cast properly. It is not recommended for fishing bigger fish, however, it is perfectly good and strong enough for middle weight fish.

It has a slower action compared to graphite rods, for instance, but it is perfect for “getting the feeling.” You could even practice casting it in your yard before throwing it to the fish. The graphite and glass make the rod more durable and stronger, able to withhold a larger fish weight.

All in all, it is a great rod for beginners and the price is as low as it gets for the features it has to offer. It is a great bargain and has a cork handle with stainless steel guides for improved performance.

PROS:

  • Wooden reel seat
  • Fiberglass and graphite rod
  • 1 year warranty
  • Great for beginners
  • Breaks down to 2 pieces

CONS:

  • Doesn’t come with case
  • Reel ring doesn’t feel totally secure
  • Not ideal for heavy fish

Related: A floating line can help with catching what you want and getting a good quality cast. This SF Fly Fishing Line is designed to float and it’s super inexpensive at the same time. It’s also available in several colors and weights so you can get whatever you want.

Check the price on Amazon

Piscifun Graphite Fly Rod
Piscifun Graphite 

Price: Approx. $50

Length: 8 ft 6 in

Specific features: 4 pieces, japanese toray carbon fiber blanks, ceramic ring stripping guides

Best use: Backpacking, camping

Description: This Piscifun Graphite Fly Rod is well known for its exceptional balance and smooth performance. It is made out of stainless steel, which makes it extremely durable as well as highly corrosion resistant. The reel seat is made out of aluminum.

As many other rods in this price range, it also has a cork grip for an increased balance and comfort while holding it. The cork grip is made out of Portuguese material that is AAA graded.

The combination of ceramic ring stripping and graphite materials, makes it perfect for backpacking trips since it gives the rod the perfect weight and the perfect strength. You won’t carry much weight, yet you will have a reliable product with you that has the right backbone, which is often required for longer casts.

It’s available in different versions to get exactly what you want and it has a light weight that you can feel very comfortable with.

PROS:

  • Very lightweight
  • Good for beginners
  • Breaks down to 4 pieces
  • Packs smaller for trips
  • Low price for most buyers

CONS:

  • Slow action rod
  • Some eyelets are fragile
  • Best for travel

Related: This Manefish Nymph Flies Army is great for your next fly fishing trip, whether you’re looking for bluegill, bass or trout. It comes with 12 lures that will help you get the fish you’re looking for with no problem and that you’ll love to use.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

With the Fiscifun Graphite, we have reached the end of our article. By now, you should know how to pick the right rod for your needs, and to know which ones are the best on the market.

Image showing the Orvis Recon rod

We have presented the features that every fly rod contains, however, the choice should be individual and it depends on many things. It depends on the depth and the fishing techniques, the weight of the fish and many more variables that are specific to you. Of course, now you should have a good idea of where you’re starting out.

So what do you think of the rods we’ve discussed? Which one do you think is the best? Is there a different one that you feel would be even better? Do you have something else you think we should have included? We definitely want to know about it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John C. Porter

John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.