Travel fishing rods, also known multi-section rods, are made for the angler on the move.
Not to be confused with the less robust telescopic rods, multi-section travel fishing rods are much like ordinary two or three piece rods, except that the sections are much shorter and there's more of them.
For instance a 7ft boat rod will probably have three or maybe four equally sized sections, and a 12ft beachcaster six sections, which means that they'll fit nicely into the boot of a car (that's the trunk, if you're an American), a rucksack, or a locker on a boat.
Most importantly, they can be carried as airline cabin baggage when you're jetting off on holiday.
We were motoring ashore in the inflatable dinghy, leaving or sailboat Alacazam anchored in the bay, outside Jolly Harbour in Antigua. Mary needed to get some beads for her jewelry making hobby - I was just the helmsman. I'd got my multi-section spinning rod with me with designs on pulling out a few mullet from the marina while Mary was poking around in the shop. Hopes of this were dashed when we arrived at a distinctly closed handicraft shop.
Soon though, we were hurtling alarmingly towards St Johns (Antigua's capital) in a local bus, where Mary thought we'd find a craft shop open for business. I wasn't too depressed at this change of plan - I liked Bob Marley at maximum volume in the Reggae bus - and I knew that the bus terminal was right on the waterfront at St Johns.
Ears ringing with the memory of 'the man' and his Wailers we duly arrived - Mary wandering off in search of the craft shop and me, spinning rod in hand, towards the waterfront fish market.
I baited up with a sliver of tuna, cow-hitched on a self-cocking float to assist in casting, and looked for a suitable spot between the moored fishing boats.
I didn't know what to expect, but what happened next was completely out of the blue.
Immediately my line landed in the water, a dozen or more large dark shapes rushed out from the shadows beneath the adjacent boat. The bait vanished in one swirl and the float in another. A short, but violent snatch on the rod and then - nothing.
Peace returned, the tarpon (for that's what they were, every bit of 30lb apiece), and obviously well used to being 'hand fed' in this way, slid back to the sanctuary beneath the boat and the surface of the water gradually re-established itself.
A voice from the fishing boat...
"Hey Mon, dem's our pets. Lea'dem alone!"
Chastened, I did as instructed, and set off in search of Mary.
Just how many times have you said - "I wish I had my rod with me" - when an unexpected fishing opportunity presents itself?
Plenty, I'll bet, but with a multi-section travel rod to hand you'll never have to say it again!
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