A collapsible fishing rod is just the thing for those unexpected opportunities we all get to wet a line from time to time - and catch a few fish.
Along with the other type of travel rods - multi-section rods - collapsible rods (or telescopic rods) really convenient for the fisherman on the move.
They collapse short enough to be stowed in a rucksack, the trunk of a family car or in the cockpit locker of a boat, and can be carried aboard an aircraft as cabin baggage.
But there's no denying that they're not as robust as some of the better (and more expensive) multi-section rods. Nor can they be used with conventional multiplier reels - the rod rings are generally too far apart, being spaced to enable the rod sections to slide one inside the other.
But a collapsible fishing rod does have one significant advantage over a multi-sectioned travel rod - it can be stowed fully rigged with a spinning reel, line threaded through the rings and lure attached ready for immediate action.
This is a feature you'll really appreciate when you're scrambling from one rock fishing mark to another, with the collapsed rod safely in your backpack.
Some years ago I worked for an international company involved in oilfield-related construction works, as a result of which I got to travel extensively - Saudi Arabia, Libya, Nigeria, Indonesia, Venezuela...
Needless to say a collapsible fishing rod always found its way into my travel baggage.
One such posting saw me not too far from Al Quraiyah Beach in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where a stone jetty had been constructed out into the Arabian Gulf.
It was a wonderful refuge for all kinds of small fish, and a favourite haunt of marauding predators.
The jetty terminated in a broadened knuckle and it was to here I was drawn, with a telescopic fishing rod clutched in a sun-tanned hand.
An impressive shoal of baitfish had been herded into the crook of the knuckle, with several grey shadowy predators circling below and outside them. Every so often the shoal would erupt as the baitfish were attacked from below.
Keen to get into them before the shoal was totally decimated and their tormentors moved on, I attached a bare treble hook to the end of my line and jagged it through the remnants of the baitfish shoal. Pretty soon I foul-hooked one and cast it to the far side of the shoal, where the hapless creature spiraled erratically.
I didn't have to wait long. A dark shape accelerated out of the gloom and hit it hard. On the light collapsible fishing rod the ensuing fight was spectacular. I caught several more after that, all trevally jacks between 12lb and 15lb.
Simple fishing, and wonderful sport on the light rod.
How many times have you said something along the lines of - "Why on earth haven't I got my rod with me?" when an unexpected fishing opportunity comes your way?
Plenty I'll bet, but with a Collapsible Fishing Rod to hand you'll never have to say it again...
Beware of cheap telescopic rods. There are many apparent 'bargains' available, some even including a reel for less than $30!
These so-called 'starter packs' are seldom the bargain they appear to be. You should steer well clear of them, particularly for saltwater fishing.
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