What are the Best Compact Travel Rods?

When I was a lad (a few years back now) travel rods were about, but they really weren’t that good. They just didn’t seem to have the action and the quality they needed. As the years have passed by and rods, in general, have improved no end there are now some nice compact travel rods to choose from.

Nowadays even the top fishing brands such as Daiwa and Shimano have got in on it and manufactured some lovely little compact fishing rods. 

Travel rods have that name for a very good reason, they are a perfect size for taking traveling. We have all been there when we are away on holiday, or work-related reasons and you wish you had some kind of rod with you for a quick cast or two. Well, a light little travel rod can be kept with you without taking up too much space. But with so many to choose from it can be a bit of a nightmare deciding on which one to buy.

Well, this is where I step in. I have done some research and asked around for some good recommendations. The most popular ones I came across are going to be featured in this post. So let’s take a look at some of the best compact travel rods around today.

For any of you guys in the mighty US, all these rods can be found by clicking the banner below. For the rest of you just click on the link for each product.

Why Use a Travel Rod

In days gone by I personally wouldn’t have even suggested buying a travel rod. As I mentioned above, travel rods just weren’t that good back then. But nowadays the engineering gone into producing these little rods is exceptional.

Top brands such as Shimano, Abu Garcia, Shakespeare, and Savage Gear just to name a few are now producing some lovely little travel rods at very affordable prices. Meaning most people’s budgets can stretch to purchasing one.

One of the most popular types of travel rods around are lure rods. In general lure, anglers like to rove around and travel light. For this reason, this style of rod is perfect to tuck away discreetly in most cars or vans. Making it easy to whip out for a few hours if you go past a random bit of water you like the look of.

For this reason, let’s kick this post off by looking at the best compact travel rods money can buy.

The SG4 Light Game

This is my favourite of all of the travel rods featured in this post. The build quality for the price is just phenomenal. This particular rod comes in at 7ft 1″ fully extended, and only a mere 69 cm packed down in its case. It packs down into 4 seperate sections.

The case itself even looks and feels top-notch. It comes with a padded shoulder strap and is perfect for protecting the SG4 on your travels.

Not only does the SG4 have top-quality eyes, it also has a stainless steel but cap with the Savage Gear logo. Just another classy touch to this superb rod. This particular model comes in at 5-18g casting weight.

The SG4 Light Game

The SG4 Light Game is my favourite travel rod and is very reasonably priced considering the quality of the rod.

The Shimano STC

As one can expect, Shimano’s version of a travel rod is spot on in many ways. The Shimano STC is a high-end compact rod that comes in seven different models, ranging from light lure fishing up to rods that will cast 100 grams with ease.

The cork handle is a nice touch, and the X5 Nanocarbon blank makes it a good lightweight strong rod to use.

The STC range of rods comes equipped with a protective case that allows you to have your rod and reel already set up ready to go. Quite handy for those random on-the-spot adventures.

The Shimano STC

The Shimano STC is the only one with a cork handle, which I like a lot, it is a sign of class.

The HTO Nebula Travel

The HTO Nebula is 2.7 metres fully assembled. It breaks down into 4 pieces and is made to fit into any standard suitcase. Perfect for taking on holiday with you.

This is by no means a cheap rod to buy, but you really are getting a good quality travel rod for your money.

It is a good all-round lure rod with a casting weight of 7-35 grams.

It is equipped with a Fuji reel seat and guides and comes in a gunmetal type finish.

The HTO Nebula Travel

HTO make some great tackle at very reasonable prices. The Nebula travel rod is certainly no exception. 

The Shakespeare Uglystik

Shakespeare has been around a long time and tends to get ignored a bit when it comes to lure fishing. But the Uglystik remains an awesome little rod.

Like the HTO this rod breaks down into 4 pieces and will fit nicely into your average suitcase making it a good holiday rod.

Fully assembled the Uglystik is 1.98 metres, and unassembled it goes down to a respectable 54cm.

With a casting weight of 5-15 grams, this little beauty is a good companion for all your light lure fishing needs.

The Shakespeare Uglystik

The Shakespeare Uglystik can certainly stand the test of time and is well worth a look at for taking on your travels.

The NGT Travel Master

The NGT Travel Master is by far the smallest rod we have featured and is perfect if you are on a budget.

This tiny little travel rod packs down to a teeny 33.5 cm, and at full length reaches an impressive 6ft.

Surprisingly the casting weight is 10-30 grams, making it a good little rod for perch, jack pike, and zander. Perfect for a bit of canal fishing.

The Travel Master is made from carbon and comes with its own cloth bag for transportation.

This minute rod can be taken just about anywhere.

The NGT Travel Master

The NGT travel rod is a great budget rod and by far takes up the least amount of room out of all rods featured here.

To Conclude

A decent little travel rod makes a great companion to keep in your car, van, or even take on your holidays. With almost all rods nowadays the blanks they are built from are a lot better quality than they used to be. Travel rods included.

With top names such as Shimano, Shakespeare, and Savage Gear all producing travel rods, there are certainly some solid light good actioned rods to choose from. If you decide to purchase any of the above I really doubt you will be disappointed in your decision.

So what are the best compact rods around? Well take a look at the five above and you decide for yourself. Tight lines and enjoy your fishing.