Best Lightweight Rolling Duffel Bags – Assessed & Compared

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You want to travel without a suitcase, but your backpack isn’t big enough to fit all your items. What you need is a lightweight rolling duffel bag. They are more significant than a backpack but smaller than a suitcase.

There are a lot of features and factors that make a rolling duffel bag great. Some are made of lightweight polyester while others are made of durable canvas. Some have drop bottoms, and some do not. If you are not sure how to pick the best one, keep reading as we break down the factors.

We will review duffle bags from reputable manufacturers. We will limit ourselves to discussing one product per brand.

Comparison Table

Image Product
Olympia 33" 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag
  • Weight: 7.1 pounds
Travelers Club 30" "Xpedition" SEVEN Pocket 2-Tone Standing and Rolling Duffel
  • Weight: 5 pounds
Travelpro Tpro Bold 2.0 30 Inch Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel Bag
  • Weight: 10.7 pounds
Ecko Unltd Steam 32" Large Rolling Duffel Bag
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds
High Sierra 57020-1041 AT7 Wheeled Duffel with Backpack Straps
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds

Things to Evaluate Before Buying Backpacking Fishing Poles

Number of Parts

  • This is the essential factor for multi-part portable fishing rods. It will be easier to pack and travel with if your rod breaks down to many pieces.
  • Plus SquareIt is tough to transport full-sized fishing poles so having a portable one is entirely beneficial.
  • Plus SquareMost portable fishing rods in the market can be broken down to 2 or more pieces. The best ones have more than 2 pieces. They are more comfortable to break down and easy to carry since they can fit in your backpack.

Telescoping Rods

  • Another option to multi-part portable fishing rods is telescoping rods. These fishing rods function like retractable telescopes, hence the name.
  • Plus SquareYou can fully extend them for when you want to use them. You can collapse them for easy storage and transport.
  • Plus SquareThey are easier to set up than take down fishing rods. You don’t need to line up anything. You can extend for use and retract for storage.


  • You should be looking at the length of the movable rod. The best length depends on what your fishing styles and needs are though.
  • Longer rods are naturally more cumbersome and take up more space when collapsed or disassembled. However, they are much better at distance casting than shorter fishing rods.
  • Longer rods are the perfect rods to take when you are backpacking. Most often than not, you will be casting from the shore. Having a fishing rod that can cast farther is a plus.
  • However, if you are fishing on a pond or a creek, the length won’t really matter that much so shorter rods will perform just as well as longer rods.
  • We recommend choosing a fishing pole with a length between 6’6” and 7’6”. You can easily find 4-piece rod sets that fit those lengths in the market.

Spinning vs Baitcasting

  • Most of the portable fishing poles in the market don’t come with reels when you purchase them.
  • You will have to buy one separately. You have a choice between the spinning reel and baitcasting reels.
  • Spinning reels work best with lightweight lures like spoons and spinners. If you are backpack fishing, these are the kinds of lures you might be bringing with you.


  • Most portable fishing poles are made of two materials: graphite and fiberglass or a mix of both.
  • Rods made of graphite are generally lighter than ones made of fiberglass. They are also more sensitive to fish bites and are great for distance casting.
  • Fiberglass rods, however, are more durable, more resistant to wear and generally last longer than graphite ones.
  • The best backpacking fishing poles are made of graphite, so we tend to choose them over fiberglass ones.

Top 5 Backpacking Fishing Poles

1. Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit

Quick Summary

  • Travel Case
  • Ceramic Line Guides
  • Voyager Tackle Box
  • Voyager Spinning Reel
Olympia U.S.A. 33 inch Jumbo size 8 Pocket Water Resistant Rolling Duffel Bag, Suitcase with Push Button Hide Away Retractable Handle, Royal Blue

The Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit is one of the great backpacking fishing poles in the market at the time of writing.

It comes with a five-piece composite blank. It is easy to take apart and pack. The blanks have comfortable cork grips. It has durable ceramic inserts and stainless steel hooded reel seats.

The rod measures 6 feet long with a size 20 voyager spinning reel. The spinning reel is excellent for walleye, trout, bass, panfish and catfish fishing. 

The reel frame is made of corrosion-resistant graphite. It also has a ball-bearing drive system and a one-piece anodized aluminum spool.

It also features a machine-cut pinion gear made of brass.

You can switch the spinning reel handle from right-hand to left-hand retrieve and vice versa.

The rod is durable and comfortable to cast.

You will also find a travel case included in your purchase. The case is also very durable and has carry handles to easy transport. You can store the entire kit in the travel case.

The tackle box, rod and reel can be stored in their sections. The storage areas are padded for safety. It measures 17 x 9 x 3 inches.

A tackle box is also included for light tackle fishing. You can store a lot of items in the tackle box such as crankbaits, spinners, fishing hooks, bobbers and spoons.

You can take the lightweight tackle box for pond, lake, stream and creek fishing.

What We Liked
  • The rod comes with a size 20 Voyager spinning reel included which is a plus.
  • It is very durable, and the material is high quality.
  • It is easy to cast with since it comes with ceramic line guides.
  • It comes with a travel case and a tackle box.
  • It is lightweight and smooth.
  • The rod holds together without a problem.
What We Didn't Like
  • The rod can sometimes be noisy.
  • It could use a few more eyelets to help with the strain.
  • The cork handle is a bit flimsy.
  • The soft travel case could use an upgrade.
  • It doesn’t include a fishing line.

2. Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Quick Summary

  • Telescopic Sougayilang Fishing Rod
  • Sougayilang Spinning Reels
Travelers Club Xpedition 30 Inch Multi-Pocket Upright Rolling Duffel Bag, Rivera Blue, 30' Suitcase

The Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Rod has a telescopic rod. If you are not familiar with telescopic rods, they function like retractable telescopes that you can extend and retract.

Unlike multi-piece portable rods, this rod is very easy to set up and store. You just extend the rod when you want to use it and retract it for when you are done. We find this a really convenient system.

It measures about 18 inches when retracted.

The rod is made of carbon fiber and fiberglass which makes it really strong and durable.

It features stainless steel hooded reel seats and comfortable EVA force grips.

The kit includes a Sougayilang spinning reel. The reel is made of high-quality material. It has 14 ball bearings which are corrosion-resistant, waterproof and dustproof. They are also double-shielded to make them last longer.

The reel’s gear ratio is 5.5:1. The main shaft is made of stainless steel. It also has high-grade wool felt pads.

The reel can be swapped from right to left-hand retrieve and vice versa.

The combo is best used for freshwater fishing. It will quickly rust if used in saltwater.

The kit doesn’t include a fishing line, so you have to purchase one separately. It does add a spare spool.

What We Liked
  • We like the convenience of having a telescopic rod. It is effortless to set up and store.
  • The retracted rod takes up a small amount of space. It can fit in your backpack, luggage or even your pocket.
  • The rod is made of durable material, and the reel that comes with it is ultra smooth.
  • They even included a spare spool.
  • It works perfectly for freshwater fishing. We don’t recommend you use this for saltwater fishing since the rod will rust quickly.
What We Didn't Like
  • It doesn’t include a fishing line.
  • The reel seat is a bit far from the rod tip, so it is not very balanced.
  • The rod segments can get stuck over time.
  • The line guides are a bit flimsy and keep loosening when casting.
  • It doesn’t work well with larger fish.

3. YONGZHI Telescopic Fishing Rod

Quick Summary

  • Telescopic Design
Travelpro Tpro Bold 2.0 30 Inch Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel (One size, Black/Navy)

The Yongzhi Telescopic Fishing Rod is made from carbon fiber and fiberglass mixture.

The fishing rod has good elasticity, durability and weight.

It can be used for light saltwater fishing. It has corrosion-resistant machine-cut aluminum reel seats.

The Yongzhi fishing rod can also be used for freshwater fishing. It is straightforward to cast, and even beginners can utilize it.

You can use mono and braided lines with it. It doesn’t come with a fishing line though so you have to buy them separately.

You can find stainless steel guides with a ceramic insert on the rod. They help reduce friction in the line and aid in distance casting.

When retracted, the fishing rod measures 12.8 inches. It measures 94.09 inches when fully extended.

The Yongzhi Telescopic Fishing Rod is perfect for fishing in streams, rivers, ponds and surf.

It is capable of lifting up to 8-pound fish and works excellent with spinning reels. It doesn’t come with spinning reels, so you have to purchase one yourself.

Open the rod one section at a time to preserve the mechanism and make it last longer. The same thing goes with closing it.

A plastic cover to protect the rod is included in your purchase.

What We Liked
  • The rod is very durable and stood against a 14 lb stress test.
  • It is very light and portable.
  • It comes with a plastic cover to protect the rod while traveling.
  • We love the telescopic design.
What We Didn't Like
  • The guides are too small for spinning reels. They fit baitcasting reels betters.
  • The action is too stiff for a small rod.

4. Piscifun 4 Pieces Travel Spinning Fishing Rods

Quick Summary

  • High-Quality Ceramic Inserts
  • 24-ton Slit Carbon
  • Integrated Balance Technology
  • Extreme Flexibility
Ecko Unltd. 32' Steam Collection Rolling Duffel, Red, One Size

The Piscifun 4 Pieces Travel Spinning Fishing Rods is a fast action spinning rod.

It measures 6’6″ in length.

You can use mono, braid, and fluoro lines with it. It works with lines 8 – 17 lbs and ¾ oz lures.

It has high-quality ceramic guide seats. They aid in reducing friction on the line and allow maximum distance casting.

It also has a multi-purpose hook keeper. You can easily store your rigged worms, crankbait, spinnerbait and drop shot weight in it.

The fishing rod dismantles into 4 pieces for easy storage and easy transport.

What We Liked
  • The rod has nice action. It is very smooth and sensitive.
  • It is very durable and made of quality materials.
  • Easy to transport via vehicle.
  • The rod is very light.
What We Didn't Like
  • The eyelets are a bit smaller than others.
  • It is a bit rigid for smaller fish.

5. JEKOSEN Portable Travel Fishing Rod

Quick Summary

  • Non-slip Eva Handles
  • Clear Tip Design
  • Stainless Steel Guide Frames
  • Cork Anti-wear Pad
High Sierra AT7 Upright Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag, Black, 32-Inch

The JEKOSEN Portable Travel Fishing Rod is a lightweight rod that is made of carbon fiber.

It is firm and sensitive.

The rod weighs 170g/6oz, and it can support a line weight of 12-25 lbs. It can also carry a lure weight of .35-.88 ounces.

It features high-quality ceramic guide sets. They allow for a friction-free line flow and great casting distance.

The reel seats are made of high-quality nylon. It provides a solid base for maximum comfort.

The fishing rod disassembles into 4 easy to carry pieces. They are easy to put together and are perfect for backpacking.

The rod tube size measures 33 inches or 84 centimeters.

You can also find a high-density EVA foam handle and cork as well as anti-wear protective pads.

The fishing reels, lines and hooks are not included in your purchase. You can use either a baitcasting reel or a spinning reel on the rod.

It also comes with a rod case and rod bag to keep your rod safe. The case measures 36 inches in length. It is not a super hard case, but it does the job well.

The JEKOSEN Portable Travel Fishing Rod is perfect for fishing on ponds and rivers.

What We Liked
  • It is very lightweight and comfortable.
  • It is sturdy and sensitive thanks to the manifest weight design.
  • It folds downs to 4 pieces and is easy to carry with the free carrying case and bag.
  • The rod is made up of excellent material and has an outstanding balance in hand.
  • It is strong enough to fight most fish in boundary waters.
  • It looks, and we dig the design.
What We Didn't Like
  • It took a while to line up the eyes during assembly.
  • The rod case is too tall to fit in a regular backpack. You can place it on the side of the pack.

FAQ’s Section

Q: How To Pack A Fishing Pole For Backpacking?


The right way to pack a fishing pole for backpacking depends on the type of portable fishing pole you have.

For take-down fishing poles that have multiple parts, store them in a travelling case to keep them together and avoid losing pieces. Place the case in your backpack and make sure to secure them properly.

For telescopic fishing poles, make sure to retract the pole one section at a time to avoid damaging the mechanism. The same thing goes with extending the poles, do it one section at a time.

Store the fishing pole in a travel case and pack it in your backpack. Most of them won’t fit inside a regular bag so storing them on the side of the pack is the next best thing.

Finally, when storing your fishing poles, make sure they are clean and moisture free to avoid corrosion and to extend their lifespans.

You could also invest in hard rod cases to further protect your rods when travelling especially when you go via plane.

Our Conclusion – The Best Backpacking Fishing Pole in  2022

We broke down the factors that make a fishing pole for backpacking great. We also listed down the best fishing rods in the market at the time of writing.

It wasn’t that hard to pick one. The Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Travel Kit wins that title hands down.

We love this portable fishing rod. It is just simply the best compact fishing rod to date.

It comes with many extras that you can’t find on other kits. It comes with the Voyager spinning reels, tackle box and tackle bag.

It is ultra portable since it breaks down into 5 parts and very durable.

You should consider buying The Okuma VS-605-20 for your next backpacking fishing trip. We guarantee you won’t regret it.

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