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Fishing & Hunting The Fishing & Hunting forum is for discussion (on-site content) that directly relates to wilderness fishing and hunting with an emphasis on engaging in these activities while on backpacking trips. Lightweight/packable gear, personal experience/technique, and trip reports are of central focus. [Reminder: PBF is for actual content, not links/reference to offsite content.]

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Old 02-29-2008, 05:54 PM
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WildGene WildGene is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
Backpack: Osprey Exos 46
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 94
Originally Posted by Nogods
If you find a collasible rod and lightweight reel you like please let me know.

Hey, many thanks for your advice.

Since Friday was payday, I'm heading to Sportsman's Warehouse Saturday to buy somekind of "backpacking" rod & reel. They've got more selection and options with their travel kits, rods and reels than Wal-mart.
Further, just before Christmas, I was with my dad and brother when they purchased standard fishing rods and reels there and it seemed to me that the staff was very knowledgeable.

I'll let you know with pics what I blew my money on.

Last edited by WildGene : 02-29-2008 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:42 AM
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severenz severenz is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8
14 oz Backcountry Fishing System (Spinning)

I'm not a fly fisherman, but I've been able to come up with a 14 oz system that's worked well for me. With it, I've caught some beautiful brook and rainbow trouts in many mountain lakes in Oregon.

My 14 oz Backcountry Fishing System
  • St. Croix Premier PS6OLF4 6' 4-piece spinning rod ($150) - 78.9 g / 2.78 oz
  • Back packing Light rod case (trimmed to fit my pole) - 89.2 g / 3.15 oz
  • Okuma Aveon AE10 Reel (w/ 4 lb test line) ($120) - 181.5 g / 6.4 oz
  • Back packing Light Round Container for tackle - 9.7 g / .34 oz
  • Tackle:
    • 2 #14 swivels - .2 g / .01 oz (each)
    • Silver Kastmaster lure - 4.4 g / .16 oz
    • Cheap But Well-Performing Silver Spoon lure - 3.8 g / .13 oz
    • Thomas Buoyant Spoon lure - 4.7 g / .17 oz
    • Panther Martin lure - 4.2 g / .15 oz
    • 4 assorted hooks - .6 g / .02 oz
    • 4 split shot - 3.1 g / .11 oz
    • Small bobber - 5.3 g / .19 oz
    • A few pellets of power bait in small vial - 8.1 g / .29 oz
As you can see, the weight killer with this type of fishing is not the tackle like some may think, but actually the reel. If anyone knows of a lighter one that isn't a piece of garbage, I'd love to know. I did an extensive amount of research before buying my Okuma three years ago and even sent two reels back upon learning that other manufacturers had published invalid weights.

You could easily bring this weight down by simply taking less tackle and using bubble wrap and rubberband(s) for rod protection but I would only recommend this on established trails.

The best lures for me have always been my Cheap-Ass Silver Spoon and the silver Kastmaster. Backpacking Light's round container is perfect for my "tackle box" and keeps me from bringing too much. I've never lost any lures and have even waded into icy cold crystal clear lakes to retrieve a few that were stuck in snags. (LNT or do I just love my lucky lure that much?)

I'm extremely pleased with my St. Croix rod and those 10" - 16" trouts feel great on its fast action. I'd still like to get a lighter reel -- maybe it's time to check all of the manufacturer's websites again.

One more thing -- I'm by no means an avid fisherman and don't do any other type of fishing besides backcountry lakes. I have a hunch that this fact may make me unique, but maybe there are other backcountry-only fishermen.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:56 AM
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Lv2fsh Lv2fsh is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 37
I have been fishing all of my life and it is a highlight of my backpacking experience. I used to fish with spinning gear and always liked ultralight gear. I always wanted to learn to fly fish if not just for the challenge but also the increased opportunities to fish. That is the waters with special regulations. There are many places where artificial lures with single barbless hooks are required. I finally made the commitment to only fish with fly tackle a few years ago and have not regreted the decision. I enjoy eating fresh trout caught from a cold clear mountain stream or lake but mostly practice catch and release. All my flies are barbless regardless of regulation for that reason. I struggled with it at first and then one day I stumbled on a book that changed everything. I wore out my first copy and now have another. The author explained everything so that I understood why I was doing things and he also enhanced the way I feel about the places that I love to be. The book is "Sierra Trout Guide" by Ralph Cutter.

My usual Backpacking fishing gear consists of:
four piece 5 wt. graphite fly rod 8 1/2 ft.
reel with flyline and backing
leader and two spools of flourocarbon tippet
extra leader
small fly box with several dozen assorted flys
small split shot and indicators
license in holder
small reading glasses(old eyes)
lanyard, holds everything but the flybox

As for transporting the rod, I just put it in the cloth bag it came in and tie it along the side of my pack. I have never has a problem or accident with a rod this way. I have broken the tip off trying to dislodge a fly caught in a tree. Just make sure that you reverse the rod pieces so the small tip portion next to the handle. Another good idea is to spend just a little more and get a rod with a 25 year no question warranty such as some of the premium Cabelas or Orvis rods. I have two and actually used the Cabelas when I broke the tip and they sent me a new rod. For someone just starting in fly fishing I suggest a rod with a medium action as it is more forgiving with a loose casting stroke, read that "me" or beginer. They also roll cast easier which is a big help on lakes and streams where there is no room for a back cast.

Finally I will say that since I made the commitment to only use fly gear I am now catching more fish than I did with bait or spinning gear. Also since I usually release the fish, it is much easier since they don't swallow the hook so deep and are less likely to be injured. If we respect the wild places we visit then we should respect the creatures in them. I hunt and fish because I am to part of nature and I eat what I take. But if I choose to release a fish I owe it to do it humanely so that it has a chance to survive. If I have one thing to leave it would be get Ralph Cutter's book "Sierra Trout Guide."
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:46 AM
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captn captn is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston, we have a problm
Posts: 116
Snapped one

Originally Posted by WildlifeNate
Here are some pics and details about my rod/reel.

I snapped one of these in the Winds two years ago when I tied into a lunker trout. Some duct tape and a tent stake kept me fishing for another two days, so all was not lost.

Originally Posted by rubaloff

My 14 oz Backcountry Fishing System

I've carried flys and a bubble bobber for years with my small spinning outfit. I've also carred a few light jig heads with some 2 inch Mr. Twisters, a small spoon, and a small mepps along with my fly rod. I realize that it's frowned upon by true fly fishermen, but when the fish aren't rising, a small spoon does wonders with a long tippet.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:52 PM
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CVlooper CVlooper is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 18
Wow...this place is the best! I was going to ask about a lightweight option to get my traditionally sized fly rod into a reasonably protective case for backpacking, but you guys have already nailed this one. Gonna make a trip to a few hardware stores to see what I can find. I hiked in my rod w/sleeve and case once, and there is no way I'm gonna do that again!

Regulations for most of the places I visit are strict so no spinning gear for me. That little rod LOOKS cool, not sure how well it would work though. Of course, if you sneak up on a bunch of fish in a secluded stream/pond/lake that people don't frequent, then casting and reel performance probably isn't that crucial. Actually, if the thing breaks because you hooked up with a nice fish, that just makes for a better story! Plus it's less than 30 bucks

One thing to add about proper practice while harvesting fish. Fish guts/parts should not be deposited back into the river after cleaning. Not sure where I read this, but from what I remember the recommendation was to leave the remains of fish well away from its source. I can't remember why, but it seems to make sense. Kinda like washing cookware in streams. Upsetting the natural balance of things. Anyway...
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:54 AM
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Oshkibob Oshkibob is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Midlands, South Carolina
Posts: 46
Originally Posted by mn_backpacker
It seems to work well, though having a fish on the other end will be the reel (lame pun intended) test.

mn_backpacker, did you ever try this setup out in the field? I'm curious to know how it held up. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:42 AM
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Allyn Allyn is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by Lv2fsh
If I have one thing to leave it would be get Ralph Cutter's book "Sierra Trout Guide."

I agree. I found his information to still be fairly accurate when my brother and I did the JMT two years ago. The other book that helped was Steve Beck's "Trout Fishing the John Muir Trail"

My brother and I hiked the majority of the trail (had to pull out for health reasons at Mammoth) and must have caught between 200 to 300 fish each (all catch and release). We fly fished exclusively. I even put together a NG Topo map showing the different types of fish along the way.

My concern was for transporting the fly rods. I broke down and got an aluminum tube and cut it down to size to hold both rods. Added weight for sure but with all the pounding it took I was glad I did.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:18 AM
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Lv2fsh Lv2fsh is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 37
I'll have check out that book. I do have an aluminum rob tube for my 9' two piece rod. It doubles as a hiking stick on some trips. It is approx. 1 1/4 " in diameter and very sturdy(read heavy if your into ultralight). But aren't the Sierra trout the greatest!!!!
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:15 PM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
Practical Backpacking­™ Associate Member
Backpack: SMD Comet
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 418
I have the same question as Oshkibob--has anyone used the pen rod in the field or caught a fish on it?

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Old 04-07-2008, 01:39 PM
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djtrekker djtrekker is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 183
I shouldn't even be responding to this thread....ashamed........An avid fly fisherman and backpack fisherman, I am alas a heavyweight. I carry 5 lb SIMMS wading boots (wimp) with neoprene socks, my regular fishing vest with most of my usual stuff in it (too dang lazy to put together a simple and lightweight system for carrying the essentials or even remove non-essentials from the vest), 4 wt Scott GS rod (which is fine, carried in a case I bought from Bass Pro that stores the rod with the reel on, about 38" long, just a little long). On top of that, I still carry my Keens. Total pack weight for a weekend trip tips 60-65 pounds; 55 is the lightest I've managed. Weekend trips are only 3-6 miles one way so I guess it's tolerable. Believe it or not I carry the same rig for brookie fishing. This has been a confession more than a meaningful contribution to the state of knowledge, but hope to get some good tips from this forum now that I know others are out there who enjoy this as much as I do.....
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