This isn’t a normal category, but so many people ask me about fishing on the trail, I felt I couldn’t make this page without giving my fellow fisherman a category of their own. There really isn’t a ton of gear to go into when it comes to long distance hiking compatible fishing tackle. There’s a lot of stuff out there, but I found these fly fishing and spinning rod set ups to be extremely light and very, very effective.
This isn’t a true, classic fly fishing set up in the traditional sense, but it’s HANDS DOWN the lightest, most compact, easy to use, and effective backpack fishing set up I have ever seen/used. There are many options ranging from different weights and prices, but you honestly can’t go wrong with any of them. There is no reel, no guides, and not much hassle. Even if you’ve never fly fished before, this is the sort of setup you would learn on. I’m not going to get long winded explaining what all it comes with or how to use it, because there are plenty of videos out there. All I can say is this; the Tenkara fishing setups revolutionized the way I fish when packing light into the back country. I’ve caught more trout on the trail with this setup than I ever did with hand lining, or spinning reel set ups. The biggest disadvantage is you can’t catch huge fish on it. I’ve caught up to 18 – 20 inch trout on mine, but you’re not going to be landing a trophy Steel-Head or Salmon on one anytime soon.
This spinning reel set up is a little more traditional fishing setup. I’ve used this on trail before with excellent results, but storing the reel in a pack can be bothersome. It’s probably one of the lightest and most compact spinning reel setups you can find, but it’s still a bit more awkward to stow than the Tenkara. You could potentially handle much bigger fish with this setup than you would the Tenkara, so that is one advantage it does have. Depending on where you’re hiking and what size/species of fish you plan to catch; should dictate which of these setups you decide to use. You can always swap out the reel for something of higher quality and put it on the telescoping rod.