If you’re planning to visit the best fishing spots in the U.S., you need the best saltwater travel spinning rods. Unlike other rods, this one can be packed easily for portability and convenience. It’s easier to carry around, especially if you’re planning a long-distance trip. For this post, I scouted 30+ travel rods, and I came up with the 7 picks below:
Benefits of travel fishing rods
Travel fishing rods are mostly telescoping or collapsible. This design offers portability and an easier way of carrying fishing gear around. If you’re thinking of getting one of these rods, you will enjoy the following benefits:
- Luring abilities. Most telescoping rods are designed to accommodate bomb shackles. This bait allows you to use multiple hooks at a time. It means better reaction time and more catch.
- Farther casting. Many travel fishing rods are light and easier to maneuver for casting. Better casting distance means better chances of having a catch.
- Versatility. Telescoping or collapsible travel rods have a lot of benefits design. It can be used for bottom fishing as well as casting lines. Aside from that, it’s very easy to use, and it will allow you to utilize various baits.
Convenience. If there’s one benefit to traveling fishing rods, it would be its convenience. It’s smaller than traditional rods, and you can carry it anywhere.
7 Best Saltwater Travel Spinning Rods
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: St. Croix Triumph Travel Spinning Rods
Product Name: St. Croix Triumph Travel Spinning Rods
Product Description: If you're looking for the best saltwater travel spinning rods, you should check out the St. Croix Triumph Rod. It's made of premium SCII graphite for high-performance in all conditions. This is a four-piece rod with a mid-modulus graphite fiber that's way durable than typical materials in the market. Aside from that, this has a premium-grade cork handle for the best grip. Regardless if you're fishing on freshwater or saltwater, this rod will offer the best performance.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
Also, this comes with a Fuji DPS reel seat paired with a frosted silver hood. Meanwhile, the guides are made of aluminum oxide with black frames. The frame is also treated with two coats of slow-curing Flex-Coat finish.
The package also includes a travel case so you can bring it on your next trip with ease. Overall, the rod is 5’6″ long with fast action and line weight of 2 to 6 pounds. The rod weighs 2.7 ounces, which is very convenient to use even on long fishing sessions. It also has a medium rod power that can accommodate a variety of lures. If you’re backpacking, this is the perfect rod for you.
Fast action; medium power
Made of graphite
Bundled with a travel case
A bit stiff for beginners
Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros Surf Rod
Another travel rod I swear by is the Okuma Fishing Tackle Cedros Surf Rod. This is made of 30-ton carbon made with an ultra-sensitive and responsive blank. It also as ALPS, double footed, stainless steel frames with guides for excellent distance.
Aside from that, this fishing rod has a non-slip rubber tube handle with a tapered tip for an excellent grip. This rod is also equipped with ALPS Zirconium guide inserts for the best performance on your saltwater fishing trips.
All Cedros CSX Surf rods are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. For me, this says a lot about the quality of the rod.
Moreover, this rod has a fast action and moderate power. I also like its smooth and comfortable casting stroke, which every beginner will find easy to get used to. There’s also a lot of play in this rod for both small and large fishes.
Overall, this has a premium feel without breaking the bank. I’ve wrestled with 30 to 40-pounders with this, and it held up pretty well. It’s light yet strong, not to mention that it can cast a 4-ounce sinker at a distance of 80 yards with minimum effort.
Enigma IPPON Series Fishing Rod
If you don’t mind bringing a non-collapsible rod for your fishing travels, I highly recommend the Enigma IPPON Pro. This is made of blended 30 and 40-ton graphite blank for extremely sensitive action. Aside from that, it’s reinforced with a 50-ton carbon X-tape to boost the rod’s strength while you’re setting the hook.
Moreover, this rod has alp guides with a titanium-coated frame as well as zirconium rings. The handle has a golf-style grip for a comfortable fishing experience. Instead of being glued, the handle-material is double stitched to make it last longer.
Each Enigma IPPON rod comes with a custom case so you can easily bring it around. Also, this rod has a high modulus, perfect for bass fishing. Overall, this is 6’6″ to 7’6″ long, which is a comfortable length for easy casting.
I also like that the guides can hold braided lines, even heavier ones. This rod pays for itself in the long run, especially if you’re an avid tournament angler. You can also get this rod on a baitcaster versiNot for beginnerson, which is equally durable and reliable.
SHIMANO STC Spin Travel Fishing Rod
The SHIMANO STC Spin Travel Fishing Rod is 7/9-feet long with a medium casting weight. It also collapses into four pieces for easier transportation during fishing travels. Aside from that, this comes with eight guides and a hard case to secure all the parts.
Although this is a four-piece rod, I barely feel the difference while fishing. It’s a pretty solid rod made of X5 nano carbon that can take the beating of wrestling with a large catch.
I also like its corked handle that gives a nice grip. It’s also tapered nicely so you can wrestle with a big catch. It also suits different reels like the Stradic FK, Stradic Ci4, and Sedona Sahara.
Overall, it’s made with European-style ferrules and very lightweight for easy casting. It’s worth the money if you’re an avid angler and traveler at the same time.
You can use a wide range of lures with its excellent sensitivity. I also liSo far so goodke that it compresses to 25 inches, which is very convenient and easy to pack for long travels.
High Altitude Telescopic Fishing Rod
Another portable travel rod I like is the High Altitude Telescopic Fishing Rod. It’s very lightweight for just 6 ounces with a collapsed length of just 16 inches long. You can easily stash this on your carry-on without consuming too much space.
Despite being light, this spinning rod is made of strong carbon fiber. It also has graphite materials to ensure the utmost durability wherever you are fishing. It’s 5’6″ long and engineered to be lightweight. And even though it packs small, this rod is a workhorse on both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Moreover, this rod has a removable cleaning cover as well as a padded grip. It’s also equipped with binding reel nuts as well as an aluminum reel seat. I also like the hook keeper, which is a nifty feature if you keep losing hooks.
It has excellent sensitivity and power for easy fishing. I also like that 5% of the sales from these rods are donated to teach more kids to fish. It’s a great cause, which I’d love to support.
As a telescoping rod, I’m quite surprised by the quality of this pole. It also comes with five ring guides for your line.
Daiwa Presso Ultralight Spinning Rod
For those who are on a budget, the Daiwa Presso is a great spinning rod to have. It’s a four-piece option made of high-quality materials. This is also fitted with cork handles and tips for comfortable fishing. It’s tested for quality and durability, which is excellent value for its price.
This rod is made of graphite that resists rusting, even if you use it on saltwater. It’s an action-packed choice that you can bring just about anywhere. I’ve tried fishing panfish with this rod, and it’s been spectacularly consistent so far.
This rod can handle a 2 to 8-pound braid line with ease. It’s quite sensitive, and recovery is soft, which is something I can work with. This is also very easy to cast, and it can cover a handsome distance with very little effort.
Overall, this is a 6’6″ rod with an ultralight action. As for the lure, this can handle about 1 to 8 grams without any problem. However, I don’t think this can handle bomb shackles well, but it’s not really a big deal if you’re a recreational angler.
Okuma Voyager Fishing Rod
Another budget-friendly spinning rod I recommend is the Okuma Voyager. This affordable kit is composed of a durable spinning rod, nylon travel bag, and a shoulder strap. It’s ready to use straight from the package, which is a total steal for its price. I also like the foam insert in the bag, which keeps every piece in place and protects it from impact.
This is a 6-foot rod that splits into five pieces so you can easily pack it on your luggage. It’s complete with a size 20 Voyager reel with a ball-bearing drive enclosed in a graphite frame. This has a one-piece aluminum spool with a handle that you can change from left to right-hand.
Aside from that, the package also includes a tackle box where you can stash some hooks and bobbers. Overall, this is a great spinning rod and starter kit for beginners.
As for the line capacity, this can hold 100/6 on its light power design. It has stainless steel and hooded reel seats as well as a machine-cut brass pinion gear.
What is a spinning rod?
A spinning rod is one of the most basic fishing poles you can find in the market. It utilizes a spinning reel underneath the rod. This can be used for catching small to medium-sized fishes, but you can also chance upon large ones on well-made reels.
Spinning rods are widely used on kayak fishing and in-shore fishing. It’s easy to learn and get used to, which is why it’s a good choice for beginners.
One advantage of spinning rods over baitcasters is that it’s not prone to tangling on the spool. If you’re a beginner, you can easily get overwhelmed by a baitcaster. As much as possible, start with a spinning rod and work your way from there.
How to choose a travel fishing rod
If you’re looking for the best saltwater travel spinning rods, you should consider these points to get the best deals:
✔️Telescoping vs. collapsible rods
One of the first things you should consider is whether you’d like a telescoping or collapsible rod. Both are suitable for travel, but both come with downsides.
Telescoping rods are convenient since you no longer have to assemble anything. You simply expand its length and lock it in place. You can fish right away. It’s also very easy to store and suitable for beginners.
However, telescoping rods aren’t as powerful as a one-piece pole. While you will enjoy some level of convenience, it would be at the expense of some durability.
On the other hand, collapsible rods offer more stability. As long as you invest in a durable set, collapsible rods can give one-piece types a run for its money.
However, collapsible rods require extra care and maintenance. You also have to set it up first before you can go fishing. Over time, its locking mechanism may get worn out, which will require replacements.
Next, choose the right rod length to suit your fishing needs. Long rods are ideal for covering more distance when casting, but it can be difficult to maneuver. And if you’re traveling, a very long pole might not be practical.
Most travel rods I’ve used before range from 5 to 7-feet long. It’s enough for recreational and mildly competitive fishing. Besides, shorter rods are easier to control and pack for travel.
Also, if you’re kayak fishing, a very long and cumbersome rod is a no-no. It’s difficult to handle, and you’ll run the risk of tipping.
For the most part, a 7-feet rod would do the trick for most fishing applications.
✔️Rod action and power
Rod action refers to how much the rod (or blank) flexes when a catch tugs on the line. This is mostly dictated by the taper of the rod’s tip and its overall length. Rod action can be anything from slow, medium, fast, and very fast.
This is different from rod power, which is the amount of force needed to flex the rod. Rod power can be light, moderate, heavy medium, and heavy. Basically, a rod with a slow action will have light power, meaning it only takes mild force to flex it. However, some rods will have varying combinations, so make sure that you check it first.
For the most part, medium action and moderate power are suitable for general application and travel purposes. But since fast action rods have stiffer backbones, it’s best for large catches, but it’s quite difficult to get by on telescoping or collapsible types.
Once you’ve decided what rod power, action, and length you need to get, the next step is to peruse the material. Spinning fishing rods are usually made of graphite, fiberglass, and composite materials. The following are the differences between the three:
Graphite is one of the strongest materials for the best saltwater travel spinning rods. It’s a lighter alternative to fiberglass, but it tends to have a higher price tag. Nevertheless, graphite rods are popular among anglers since it’s also available in different stiffness (modulus). Stiffer graphite rods mean lighter ones because there’s less material used.
On the other hand, fiberglass fishing rods are also good options. It’s a traditional material known for its durability. And since fiberglass rods are easy to make, it’s cheaper than graphite, but you may notice a slightly heavier weight.
A big benefit to fiberglass rods is its excellent pliability. It can perform with very limited feedback, which can make light bites a bit tricky to detect. But if you’re eyeing for a large catch, this is an amazing material to get.
Lastly, you can find travel fishing rods made of composite material. It’s a combination of fiberglass, graphite, and other materials. It’s an excellent choice if you want to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The good thing about composite fishing rods is its flexibility. It offers better performance on a lighter profile. This is the rod to get if you’re switching to different waters since composite rods are very versatile. However, it tends to be more expensive than graphite, which is a reasonable trade-off.
✔️Handle material and design
Aside from the pole material, you should check the handle material as well. This will dictate how comfortable the rod will be, especially if you’re fishing for long periods.
Cork is my personal favorite because it’s not too stiff or too soft. It’s also grippy than plastic, not to mention that it gives the rod an aesthetic touch. It also remains comfortable on cold days because the cold material absorbs the warmth of the hands.
Aside from that, cork is very sensitive material, and it absorbs vibrations about three times than foam. It’s the top option if you’re having a hard time detecting light bites.
You can also opt for a rubber handle if you’re worried that the cork won’t last long. To be fair, cork is more difficult to clean, and it will start to crumble after a few years of intensive use.
If you want the best handle material, carbon fiber is hard to beat. However, you’d need to dig deeper into your pocket if you are to invest in this material.
Rod guides are the little rings that run through the pole that keeps your line in the right place. Most of these guides are made of metal, usually aluminum or stainless steel. A rod can have anywhere from 5 to 10 more guides, depending on how long it is.
One thing you should check is the coating of the guides. It will dictate how smooth reeling will be. Besides, you wouldn’t want a guide that snags while you find off a hefty catch.
Crude metal guides are a no-no because it will also damage your line. It will make your fishing vacation frustrating and less fun than what it should be.
Lastly, think about how much you’re willing to spend for the best saltwater travel fishing rods. While you can always purchase the cheapest option, it pays to invest in a durable one. Fishing rods made for travel have moving parts that are prone to damages. This is why I always look for premium materials, construction, and design.
Anyway, price isn’t the only determinant of a fishing rod’s quality. You should still have to get up-close on the other details I discussed here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best length for a spinning rod?
A: About 8 to 9 feet is the best length if you’re using a spinning rod. But if you’re traveling, about 6 to 7 feet would be fine. It depends where you’re fishing: from the shore, rocks, or a boat. You should also consider the length you can manage to carry around.
Q: Which is better, spinning, or baitcaster?
A: Spinning reels are ideal for almost every fishing situation. It’s also available in travel and portable versions for those who want a more convenient option. Meanwhile, baitcasters offer better accuracy and mastery. However, it takes a lot of practice to get used to.
Q: Can you troll with a spinning rod?
A: Yes, you can use a spinning rod to troll for tuna, mahi, and similar fishes. However, you should master some basics first. Ensure that you have a high-quality reel and a rod that can endure this method’s demands.
Q: Can I use a spinning reel on a conventional rod?
A: Sure, you can use a spinning reel on a traditional rod. However, expect that you will experience a lot of line drag as it passes through the eyelets. Anyway, if you’re not planning to throw at a distance, this will work well for you.
Q: Can I travel with a fishing pole?
A: Yes, most airlines permit fishing poles on carry-ons as well as checked bags as long as it meets their regulations. You should inquire about the size limitations as well as the exclusive rules of the airlines before flying with your rod.
Q: Can I use freshwater rods on saltwater?
A: Technically, yes. Your freshwater fishing rod will not melt if you cast it on saltwater. However, if it has corrosive material, saltwater will shorten the rod’s lifespan. Unless your rod is rated for saltwater, I don’t advise using it as such, especially on long periods. You might as well invest in a saltwater fishing pole like the 7 options I reviewed above.
With the best saltwater travel spinning rods, there’s no excuse not to have fun on your next fishing vacation. Unlike other rods, it’s easier to carry around without compromising the angling abilities. Just make sure that you invest in the right unit with topnotch material, design, and features.