Backpacking rod & reel options


Looking for suggestions here.

The wife has the fishing bug, and has been borrowing her dads backpacking rod and reel on recent trips,
and I would like to set her up with something of her own as a gift. I'm after a rod and reel.

The market seems flooded with gear, and Id like your suggestions, as I done know much about this.

I'm looking for a lightweight & quality unit, without spending a small fortune.
Id like to keep the setup under $300, but would consider higher if it really made sense.


*Lightweight rod and reel
*breakdown rod, one she borrows now is a 5pc, either 7 or 9' rod,
sturdy enough that can be packed without a case, when done with care.
*reel is a spinner
*fishing high elevation lakes, typically < 12" trout, with flies



Not a 'rod and reel' setup, but you might look into a Tenkara rod. I've been an avid fly fisherman all my life and have the usual addiction that leads to lots and lots of gear, but this past September I left all that at home and took a Tenkara rod with me. Fished for wild brown trout in some Colorado high mountain streams. It was every bit as enjoyable as using my regular fly rods/reels. With the added benefit of being extremely light weight and taking up almost no room in transport. Simple but effective.

Recommended books for Overlanding

Long Way Round: Chasing Shadows Across the World
by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman
From $10.99
Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place
by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker, Charlie Hatch-Barnwell
From $17.64


My experience with a old 3 piece bamboo rod with maybe a small cassette of flies that works really well. You don't need much to have fun. That being said, the rod is kinda long being a 3 piece. It's a 9' overall I think. But I've only had one pucker moment hitting a low hanging branch. Just gotta remember to bend lower.

Dont know much about rods these days since theyre so high tech. Honestly thoug I would say just go for any breakdown rod that fits your budget and needs. So if you need it to be small, or if it's ok to be longer. Any modern rod will be good regardless. But for high mountain lakes, I would go light weight. Most of the alpine areas I've fished have been quite successful with just a couple pound test. Maybe 4 max. That should give you some options for smaller units. Check out Cabelas. Yeah yeah... but. they actually have some pretty good options in house for both rod and reel. I would also suggest to avoid going fancy and getting a bunch of junk. I have had the same line for about 4 years now. It's a bit chewed up, but I still catch fish, still land the flies well, and have not spent tons of cash. Just go simple.

Also food for thought, is consider a slow action rod. Personally, I dislike the newer rods al being fast. Which is why I chose a 50's bamboo rod.
Kenny, there are a number of spinning outfits that will fit your wife’s needs. I’d get on line with a shop like Cabelas/Bass Pro and look for a 3 or 4 piece travel rod and reel. I prefer Shimano gear, but there are lots of other great outfits. If you have a local business that supplies that kind of gear, it’s always good to shop local.

Don‘t forget accessories, leaders, lures, weights and the like...