fishing gear

12:34 p.m. on March 14, 2008 (EDT)
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I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what kind of fishing equipment would be good to carry when backpacking. I don't think I'll use it every time I backpack, but I want to start taking fishing trips while backpacking, so I'm looking around. I found one on Amazon (I normally try to stay away from here, so any other ideas would be helpful!) that fits into a small case, but it is several pieces. This kind of makes me nervous. I don't like the idea of a rod that has so many breaks in it, because it just seems so unreliable. Do any of you have any suggestions for something that might work better?

7:43 p.m. on March 16, 2008 (EDT)
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I would suggest a small telescoping fishing rod with a small reel. On the real I would suggest four pound test. It is plenty if you mostly stream fish. As for bait you can either catch your own as you need it (worms or grasshoppers) or use salmon eggs (balls of fire are the best). It ultimately depends if the fish are native or stocked. Telescoping rods should be able to be found at Wally world or online.

9:10 p.m. on March 16, 2008 (EDT)
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4-piece rods are very reliable. My steelhead and bass fly rod is a 4-piece, seven weight and more than up to the task. For your circumstance, I always suggest a bit of backwards planning: Where will you be fishing and what will you be fishing for? If you know this, you'll be able to narrow your gear selection down quicker.

Being completely biased to the form, I'd recommend a fly fishing outfit for whatever size and species you'll be fishing for.

There's also the ultralight, survivalist method of just carrying some line and some hooks and making your own lures on the fly (no pun intended). I've found this to work nicely in several, unsavory places.

9:39 p.m. on May 24, 2008 (EDT)
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A three to five piece fly rod is your best bet. Depending on where you are backpacking, bait (worms, corn, eggs, etc) may not be allowed. Telescoping rods do pack small but I find them very prone to breaking.

A Cabela's three forks 3 weight rod is probably the least expensive option out there for a feasible backpacking fly rod - and what I have used the past 10 years. I broke the rod on a GSMNP trip earlier this month, I took a fall while wading it was definitely not the rod's fault. At $50 currently (I think $35 when I bought it) I didn't feel very upset about breaking it. Since it only breaks to 3 pieces you will still have to lash it to the side of your pack. A Cabela's Stowaway 5 or 7 rod will break down small enough to fit inside your pack but will cost twice as much.

I am going to replace my old Cabela's rod with a new Sage Launch series 3 weight, 4 piece, 8'6" rod. Definitely a pricier option, but all of my other fly rods are Sage and I just love their feel and action. Fishing is a big part of my backpacking plans and experiences. While not every trip I take is to a fly fishing destination, most are.

I highly recommend the "Backpacking Light Ultralight Fishing Rod Case" that sells. The lightest one is 3.5 ounces, the heaviest 5 ounces; significantly less than the heavy PVC or aluminum case that your rod will come in (if the rod comes with one). Price is under twenty bucks.

12:13 a.m. on May 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I have used quite a few setups fishing remote mountain lakes here in BC; I currently have a 5ft. Ul spinning rod, UL DAM spinning reel with 6lb. line and I carry a selection of tiny lures, weighted floating "bubbles" to spinfly with plus flies.

I carry the rod on the side of my pack and the reel-tackle in one of the side pockets, works very well. I prefer to flyfish, but, most B.C. lakes have such dense forest cover to the edges that this is not practical and they are very deep and cold right from the shoreline, so, wading is difficult.

I also like the highend Sage rods and that little Launch sounds about perfect for what mountain lake flyfishing I do.

10:19 a.m. on May 27, 2008 (EDT)
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241 forum posts

Try LL Bean they have 4-6 piece fly rods. For pen length check out fast and light .com
Thru-hiker . com has an article on fishing along the JMT.
Some just throw line with bubbles for weight.

12:37 p.m. on May 29, 2008 (EDT)
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Hi cknipple, If you would, tell me the general area you will be fishing, and how much fishing experience you have.

I will be glad to help you out

10:14 a.m. on May 31, 2008 (EDT)
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Depends on where I am at and what kinds of fish are likely to be around.

I carry my regular fly rig if that's what I think I will need...under almost any circumstances carrying a pole, no matter what kind, is going to take up less space and weight than the amount of food that you would pack to replace the fish that you could be eating.

Freshwater lakes where bass or gills are the thing to fish for and I will bring an ice fishing rod (the short kind about 24") but use extra heavy line. Heavy line makes up for losing the flexibility of a full size rod. It isn't always pretty but it works.

If there is any catfishing opportunities around than using a bank pole setup is definitely the way to go. That way you don't even have to bring a rod or reel. Just some braided line and tackle you can fit in an Altoids tin. Willow branches or saplings work best for bank poles. find bait under rocks or use a small piece of leftover food. Bringing a few ft of monofilament line and some small hooks and you can try to catch some small gills to use for bait and you might catch a flathead. flathead is tastier than other catfish.

8:07 p.m. on May 31, 2008 (EDT)
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cknipple might have gone fishing!

9:42 p.m. on June 1, 2008 (EDT)
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haha i wish! i've been busy planning my wedding this summer, and haven't been on the forums much. as for the general area in which i will be fishing, mostly likely northern or central arkansas. i live in white county, and would like to do some weekend trips in the surrounding area. any help is appreciated, both in the future and those who have already posted advice!

7:21 p.m. on June 2, 2008 (EDT)
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Hey cknipple, congrats on getting married!

First off, use this link to a get information that is specific to your area (very important)!

For flyfishing I could write a long article here, but to tell you the truth the best thing to do is get in touch with a local guide service and go on a wade fishing trip.(you can split the cost with a buddy) and you will learn more in a day that you will in 5 years on your own.
Guides provide all the gear and usually your lunch too! Pay attention to the kind of gear he lets you use, that is what you want to buy. Remember the pros know, your buddies maybe!
You don't have to get the high dollar stuff at first. The Cabelas website is a good place to start. I am going to suggest you try streams and tailwaters. This is most likely what you will find on backpacking trips anyway. You will need to step your gear up a notch to fish larger rivers or lakes.

For spin fishing go to wal-mart and get:

Ultra lightweight 2 pc. spinning rod and reel, spend 20 or 30 bucks
4 lb. test, clear fishing string
assort. very small to medium bait hooks (25 or so )
package of small swivels
assort. small smooth split shot
pocket sized tackle box with snap lid and lanyard hole
tennis racket size fishing net with handle
polarized sunglasses
fillet knife if we're eatin em' (some areas are catch and release only!)

After you get the string on your reel, tie two feet of line to a hook, tie on a swivel, tie the other end of swivel to the line on your rod. Now put two small split shot a few inches from your hook.
Next hang your tackle box across your neck and shoulder and just above your waist with string or lanyard. Same for the net,other shoulder.

For bait use whole kernel corn, worms or salmon eggs, also try small live crickets. You can put half a worm on a hook then stick corn on the hook point so the fish don't detect it. This is commonly referred to as a " smorghesborg "
Carry your bait in an open ziplock or two, stuff in fanny pack or shirt pocket. Fishing vests are nice if you want to carry sunblock/chapstick/snacks ect.

You fish from the bank or by wading. Be very quiet, cast across and upstream at a 45 degree angle into rapidly running water and let it drift down into still areas or pools, feed out line if you need to. A little slack is good but keep your rod tip up. Try to keep it in the pool and retrieve slowly. Repeat!
Slowly work your way UPSTREAM looking for fast water running into pools.
The fish tend to hold in the pools and feed on what comes downstream.
Also try these lures, Rapala countdown, small Rooster tail. Cast to the far side of the pool and retrieve slowly. You may not be allowed to use bait of any kind or barbed hooks in some areas. Always check the rules for where you are going! If the water is cold you will need lightweight waders and felt soled boots. I ALWAYS clean my fish in the water as I catch them and stash them in a fanny pack or fishing vest. Do not do this at camp!

Above all stay out of fast current/deep water until you know what you can handle.
Good luck.

May 26, 2018
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