Top Performing Travel Fly Rods for 2016
There are simply so many benefits to be had from carrying a travel fly rod around with you. Trying to fit a regular rod in your hiking backpack is an impossible task, but travel rods can easily fold down and slot into a pack’s pocket for easy access later in the day. There are lots of times when hikers stumble onto rivers or lakes that are teeming with trout, and it’s important to have a rod with you for these wondrous occasions.
It’s also worth noting that the best travel rods are perfectly capable of catching big fish. Some people dismiss these rods as too weak or fragile, but you shouldn’t be hasty with your judgments. Today, we’ll be looking at four travel rods that have been designed to be both compact and powerful.
When out on hikes or camping trips, it’s very common to come across different bodies of water, including fast-moving streams and tranquil lakes. Normally, you’d need a couple of different rods to get the best from these different situations, but once again it’s possible to find a top quality travel rod that can fulfill every task with a great level of performance.
We recommend taking an 8’6” rod on journeys where you really can’t be sure what sort of fishing you’ll be doing. This is the perfect length for both narrow rivers and wide lakes. We also naturally recommend the use of a 5-weight rod, as this is usually classed as the most versatile type. Now let’s take a look at our four picks as the top performing travel fly rods currently on the market.
L.L. Bean Travel Series
We’ll begin with the L.L. Bean Travel Series rod, measuring in at 9’ and costing a reasonable $185. This is an 8-piece rod with a very satisfying fast action. It also comes with the unique feature of snake line guides. Many fishermen prefer these guides and they can offer a nice little boost to your performance. It’s very straightforward to roll cast with this rod and the sensitive tip lets you pull off tricky casts with ease. If there’s one issue with this rod, it’s that it is a little heavy compared to the others and that extra weight can be felt on short casts.
However, at $185, this is one of the best priced travel rods on the market and offers excellent value for money. Many people feel much more relaxed carrying a cheaper model around with them than a $600 rod, and many others are working with constrained budgets. If either of those descriptions fits you, the L.L. Bean Travel Series can comfortably fulfil your requirements.
Cabela’s Stowaway 7
If you thought the L.L. Bean was cheap, the Stowaway 7 goes one step further. You can pick up this rod for around $170, making it the cheapest entry on our list today. This rod is the ideal length at 8’6” and is a 7-piece model. It can be a little unwieldy if you’re trying to make some tight, short-distance casts , but is absolutely perfect for getting big distance thanks to its super fast action.
Roll casting is certainly doable with this rod and often provides satisfying results, but the stiffness and weight of the Stowaway 7 can work against it from time to time. In general though, this is a fine travel rod and should meet the needs of the average fly fisherman.
March Brown Brownsea Island
Now we’re getting into the better-performing, and therefore more expensive, rods. The March Brown Brownsea Island won’t come cheap, with its price tag usually situated around the $599 mark. However, you really do get what you pay for when it comes to fly rods. March Brown’s development team has crafted something very special in this 9’ fast-action rod.
It’s incredibly light, regardless of the distance of your casts, giving it a huge accuracy rating for both short-distance casts into tight spaces and those long throws across a lake. It also has a unique and innovative feature that allows it to be shortened without the need for restringing. This helps to save you a lot of time and lets you adjust the rod to suit your needs on-the-fly. If you can afford the expense, we think the Brownsea Island is worth every cent.
March Brown Baden Powell Special Edition
If the Brownsea Island is slightly out of your budget or simply not for you, March Brown’s Baden Powell Special Edition is a real treat to use. This 7-piece, 8’6” rod costs around $520. It has the softest tip out of any rod on the list today and offers an extremely fluid casting action due to its lightweight action. Casts aren’t quite as rapid as with the Brownsea Island, but they’re still very satisfying and highly accurate.
This rod can also have its length adjusted to suit your needs, without the need to spend time restringing. It’s a great rod that can serve you well for many years and is perfectly-suited to a wide range of activities. Frankly, there’s no better partner to take along on your backpacking trails.