Rods & Reels...revisted

4:15 a.m. on October 13, 2009 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
300 forum posts

Hi all,

I am going to start fishing on my backpack outings, so the ultralight gear is the way to go. I have been into Ultralight fishing way back when, when all you could get was the spaghetti rods. I have seen the Emmrod and really like it, and know from a closed topic that many of you do also. However, I was wondering what the rest of you use.

I have a nice spinning UL rod, a Saint Croix, a six footer, that breaks down into two sections, making it a little long to pack. I say that because I love that rod and would hate to break it.

Now I am considering a spincast rod, and one of those sweet little spincast reels. The reason is that even the smallest UL spinning reels are bulky to pack, while the spincast is really compact. That being said, what is a good UL spincast reel?

8:42 p.m. on October 13, 2009 (EDT)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Hey Snakey,

One of my favorite topics, backpack fishing.

I both fly fish and spin fish, I enjoy both disciplines. I can tell you what I use, may work for, it may not, or you may need to tweak it for your own use.

For spin fishing I like 3 or 4 piece rods. Most any of the nicer ones will suffice, I try not to get hung up on brands too much.

I prefer medium to fast action ultra light rods for most stream fishing, and will step up to light weight for ponds and small lakes.

I carry all my rods in a lightweight case / tube of some kind, homemade ones work just fine really.

As far as reels go, get something with at least nine bearings or better, keep it simple, avoid reels with fancy gimmicky "improvements" or those little levers that flip the bail for you.

I wouldn't spend more than 50.00 on a reel, especially until you get your gear dialed in a bit and see which type of set up works best for you. In fact there a few good reels in the 25.00 dollar range that work just fine.

Now having said that.....if you want to spend some money in order to get really light weight (actual weight) reels, you can get some very nice aluminum alloy & titanium reels that cut down on your pack weight a few grams / ounces depending on what you currently have.

Personally I don't sweat the weight too much, I have a few good quality reels that are light enough, and much lighter than the ole' 12.00 dollar reels at Wal-mart. Biggest thing is to work on technique. So I tell people to get a decent rod and reel and just get out there and fish.

Keep it simple, use time proven technique, and get there at sun up if at all possible. Once you have established when the fish feed at that location you can adjust your arrival time accordingly.

I will look around and see what deals can be had on some good reels and get back with you tomorrow.

Are you a fan of Cabelas? They have some great gear at good prices and are easy to work with. Excellent catalogs too.

Here is a link:

2:11 a.m. on October 14, 2009 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
300 forum posts


I went to Eagle Claw today and they have a nice four piece pack rod that seemed decent quality for $69.99. I also went to Bass Pro and looked at some stuff, but ended up checking out the fly rods too. Those looked promising, as the reels are so compact and small. I signed up for the classes that they offer, just to see what it is like. But like anything, it too can get pricey. However, I have always wanted to fly fish as they say it is a blast to catch a fish on a fly rod. But for now I would probably get the pack rod from Eagle Claw, as it would work with a spinning or a fly reel. If you have not seen them, they are really cool. You flip the handle to use one or the other. The one I looked at had a nice action too.

Thanks for the info...

2:02 p.m. on October 15, 2009 (EDT)
389 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

I bought an Osprey hiking pole this year. Havent used it yet. But it comes with its own case. Its a 6 footer that breaks down to 3, 2 foot sections. Maybe someday we can review our fishing equipment.

5:00 p.m. on October 15, 2009 (EDT)
47 reviewer rep
241 forum posts
7:28 p.m. on October 15, 2009 (EDT)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Yeah Snakey,

I wouldn't spend to much money right off the bat, I wouldn't buy junk either.

You can get decent fly rod & reel combos for 100.00 - 200.00 bucks or so.

This is a good deal:

Rod, reel, and line for around a hundred bucks. They come in 2, 3, & 4 piece rods.

11:25 p.m. on October 15, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

I use a Shimano Stradic MG and St. Croix four piece travel rod. The combo is very light weight and of excellent quality. A tad expensive, but great gear!

7:51 p.m. on October 17, 2009 (EDT)
63 reviewer rep
190 forum posts

I'm not much of a fly fisherman, but hope to be sometime soon. To me, feel is the important thing when picking a backcountry fishing kit. I primarily use a 5 1/2' pole (2 pc) with a microspin reel. Something fairly nice, yet lightweight. Usually, I'l wind her up with Polyethylene instead of mono, but it doesn't matter to me just as long as i'm eating fish that evening. I prefer a stiff tip on a rod, but the brand isn't important.

June 22, 2018
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