The Camp Kit’s Lightweight Backpacking Fishing Kit
We get a lot of questions about the lightweight backpacking fishing kit we use for backcountry fishing so this is our version of a backcountry fishing guide. My fishing set up has changed quite a bit over the last few years. I originally started out with carrying my 4 piece sage fly rod into the backcountry. Fortunately, since then, I have been able to really lighten up my kit and fine tune it with what I actually need in the backcountry. Needless to say it has come A LONG way.
The biggest issue I had in the beginning was weight. Carrying a regular fly rod into the backcountry easily adds 4 or 5lbs to your pack. Not a good option for backpacking. So the biggest change I made was swapping out my 4 piece rod and super bulky case for a Tenkara rod. Best decision I made. The Tenkara rod is literally a fraction of the weight, seriously a fraction of the weight. 3.5lbs vs 2.8 oz! So that was the most drastic change and HUGE cut in weight.
Note on the Tenkara rods: I was apprehensive about the Tenkara rods at first mainly because I didn’t know much about them and they seem way to simple to be any fun. Well I was wrong! I have so much fun with my tenkara rod and it’s so light that it comes on EVERY backcountry trip with me now.
Another thing to note about Tenkara rods is because the are SO simple they are GREAT for beginners and people that want to ease themselves into fly fishing or backcountry fishing. Tenkara Rod Co makes some great starter packages that come fully equipped with virtually everything you’ll need. My first Tenkara rod was the Sawtooth package from Tenkara Rod Co which is a great rod because it is so versatile. The casting is a bit different on a Tenkara rod but not hard to get the hang of. Plus landing a fish on a Tenkara rod is an adventure in itself and what I think makes these rods so fun!
The guys over at Tenkara Rod Co were gracious enough to give us their new Sierra rod to try on our trip to Yosemite. I guess I should have known better than to question a new rod, especially one named after the area we spend the most time in- but I instantly fell in love with this rod! It’s shorter and more nimble then the sawtooth which is ideal for backcountry fishing. Especially since so much of backcountry fishing is on smaller narrow creeks. It also has enough backbone to be able to punch the line out into those high alpine lakes. It’s also nice because the shorter rods are much easier to learn with, so it’s great to be able to hand it over to a friend that’s never fished before and watch them catch their first one! Or at least fall in the water trying. Regardless it’s a great source of evening entertainment. If you’re interested in getting your own tenkara rod co rod check out the end of this article for a really great discount for our customers.
So back to the fishing kit…
Trip after trip I whittle down my kit to the bare essentials and quickly realized how much extra stuff I had been carrying that I never used. I looked around for a while but was never able to really find anything that suited my needs or was light enough, so I figured the best thing to do was to rummage through the gear closet and make my own lightweight fishing kit…