Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

I’d so love to see (ok, own) a “proper” travel style bass lure rod

It has wound me up for years when I am travelling with fly anglers how all their multi-section fly rods are nicely packed away in their hold luggage. No sodding rod tubes that you have to cart through airports and get charged excess baggage for, and whilst airlines can of course lose any sort of bag almost at will, rod tubes seem to have a special habit of ending up broken. And yes, I speak from bitter experience. Don’t let anybody tell you that those Bazuka Pro rod tubes are unbreakable for example - bye-bye four prototype Conoflex beachcasters on a trip to Namibia many moons ago……….

Do I actually need a travel style bass lure rod? Come in, it’s fishing tackle isn’t it? Want and need are one and the same are they not? For the most part I drive over to Ireland, so the need to break rods down into multiple sections matters not for that, but there is still a part of me that has always wanted a “serious” travel style bass lure rod. I’d love it if we could easily source various kinds of lure rods in multi sections (stripers?), and I just can’t understand why most if not all fly rods break down into a length that can easily be transported in a hold bag yet trying to find a serious lure rod like this is not remotely easy. Is it because we as consumers don’t ask for them? High-end fly rods seem to work just fine not being two pieces, so I refuse to believe that lure rods could not be made to perform just as well when made in multi sections. Perhaps the market for them just isn’t there in any major way?

I’d still like one though because I know that I’d find a use for it. How about being able to leave a rod in the back of the car with a reel and a few lures, just in case? A few years ago I was kindly lent the roughly £400 5-piece Graphiteleader Argento Compatto 8'6" 6-28g (Sea Bass) Travel Rod. It was so handy at only 57cm long when broken down, and it’s a “proper” lure rod through and through, but for me it was just too soft in the tip to contemplate buying, and I think that when compared to other rods I have tried you are paying over the odds for it being multi-piece. I have also seen a couple of the older version Major Craft Crostage travel rods, but they didn’t do it for me and as a purely airline based travel rod were a no-go for me because they didn’t fit in the sort of hold bag I take with me - and into which fly rods fit just fine. I don’t know if this is still the case, but it didn’t make much sense to me at the time.

I have had a thing for APIA lure rods ever since I was first introduced to the awesome but discontinued APIA+IMA Foojin’AD Energy Flow 92ML (review here and the APIA rods I have fished with are here). Whilst it frustrates me that such a good brand of lure rods that work so well for how we lure fish here in the UK and Ireland is not more readily available to buy, I have used a bunch of their rods now and APIA is up there with Major Craft for me. Two rods brands that I like massively, for slightly different reasons though, and I have a couple more of the entry-level APIA Foojin’R rods here that are so good I can’t really believe it - reviews to come. I just saw on the APIA website the other day that they are launching a new range of “Foojin’XX” lure rods, and contained within that range is a 4-piece rod called the “Sea Farer 94MLX Portable” (9’4’’, 7-35g). I don’t even know if a 4-piece 9’4’’ rod would fit in a standard hold bag, but just the idea of such an awesome lure rod company making what could well be a “proper” travel style lure rod has got me excited.

I know squat about these new APIA rods and I am not about to go and buy a rod completely blind like that, but I wonder what other “proper” travel style bass lure rods might be out there? Have any of you here gone looking and had any success? Do you even hanker after a multi-section bass lure rod, or is it just me? I would seriously love to see that new APIA travel style bass rod, indeed there are a couple of regular 2-piece rods in that new range that I reckon could be worth a shout - and yes, I have issues with lure rods like you would not believe. I wrote a blog post many moons ago about travel rods and I see in my stats that it still gets looked at quite a bit, and this leads me to believe that there are people out there who are looking for decent travel rods. Fishing is so much about travel to me, whether it be bass, GTs, tarpon, stripers or whatever, and it does me in how few “proper” travel rods there are out there. Please, please enlighten me to stuff I should be thinking about……….