Just-Fish.co.uk - Andrew Kennedy's Angling Adventures

Travel Tackle Guide - Part 2

By Andrew Kennedy

Carp & Specimen Rods
Whilst travelling Asia and Australia a couple of years ago, I used my first ever telescopic carp rod. It was a "K-Class Globetrotter" model (The carp brand of Keenets), of 12 feet in length, 2.5lb test-curve, of graphite construction, complete with "carp-style" abbreviated Duplon grips. I have to say, I was thrilled by the action and overall fishability of the rod. It really did not feel like any telescopic rod I'd used in the past - more like a standard 2-piece carp rod!

Whilst on my journey, I landed many fish with the rod, in both fresh and saltwater. Species included small Catfish and Mahseer in Malaysia and Shovel-Nosed Rays, Golden Perch, Giant Trevally, Reef Sharks, river Carp, Australian Bass, Barramundi and Whiting in Australia (there were more species too!). So, without my trusty rod I would've missed out on a wide range of new species into double-figures!

I did a variety of legering, float fishing and lure fishing with the rod, and was most impressed all round. Even when I had a Giant Trevally tearing line from my reel at unbelievable pace, I still had confidence that my rod had the power - and enough sensitivity, to land anything I hooked.

At one point during my trip, I had an accident which snapped the tip section of my rod. Despite this, I still managed to catch many fish with the rod - it just lost a little bit of give in the tip, which was especially tricky with small fish and bite indication.

My very battered K-Class Globetrotter carp rod, along with one of it's captures from Australia - a Giant Trevally

This rod really surpassed all of my expectations of telescopic rods, and gave me confidence in using them for far tougher applications. This rod is still missing a tip section, plus it had to put up with the equivalent of 20 years' holidays packed into 1 hectic year, so I have purchased a new one with more backbone, in hopeful anticipation of my Mahseer fishing in India this May.

My new rod is a 12-foot, 2.75lb test curve, 7-section "Wychwood Rogue" carp rod - again, with abbreviated Duplon grips. I have yet to use this rod, but it looks and feels very good quality, and extremely good value-for-money.

My brand-new Wychwood Rogue telescopic carp rod will hopefully get a good workout from a mahseer, in India!

Because a telescopic carp rod is quite long, you may struggle to fit it inside your case or bag. Plus, the longer it is when collapsed, the more likely it is to snap during transit if the case is flexed or crushed. I alleviated this problem by making my own travel rod tube, specifically sized for my rod.

To accomplish this, I take an old rod tube (drain pipe can be used for larger diameter rods, or if you require stronger protection), and cut it down, about an inch longer than the rod when collapsed-down - this is to leave room for a bolt and some foam.

I then cut some 4mm thick rubber into a thin strip, to act as a hinge for one end-cap. The other end-cap is secured with either strong glue, or preferably pop rivets. I then rivet another strip of rubber onto the side of the tube, to use as a carrying handle.

The last thing to consider is how to hold the lid closed. For this, I drill through the cap and the tube, then push a round-headed coachbolt straight through. A hole is then drilled through the end of the bolt, to enable a padlock to be secured.
The whole thing is given two or three layers of gaffa tape for extra security.

Once the rod is placed inside the tube, push a small amount of foam into the end, to prevent the sections vibrating and chaffing against one another. If, like me, you travel with a large rucksack, the tube containing your rod can be strapped to the outside of your bag. If you take a suitcase, the tube won't take up much more room than your rod alone, but it will protect your rod against damage.

Photographs detailing my home-made holiday rod protection tube, which is slightly battered from my travels, but has stood the test of time and protected my rod well.

Fly Rods

If I am going to a country with rich inshore reefs, or decent trout fishing, I like to take along a telescopic fly fishing rod. The one I have at present is a small #7/8 weight rod, made by the recently resurrected "DAM" a few years ago, but I doubt the new brand makes telescopic fly rods at this time.

The #7/8 was perfect for reef fishing and I managed to catch a few small snapper by wading and casting shrimp-pattern flies on a shallow reef in Seychelles on the outfit. Casting was hard work due to the small rod rings on this particular tele, but it was good fun all the same.

My small telescopic fly rod made by DAM, and a thumbprint snapper caught wading in a shallow reef, Seychelles

Many manufacturers are now producing a range of fly rods suitable for everything from light flies for trout, mullet, etc. right up to salmon, bonefish and sailfish! The cheaper travel fly rods tend to be telescopic versions, while some very nice multi-piece versions can be extremely expensive, but reputably fish as well as conventional fly rods. Mullet can be great fun on fly gear, or indeed on light float tackle. They live in almost every sea in the world, like to stay inshore around harbours and estuaries, but they will also venture some way upstream into freshwater rivers.

If you're looking for a travel fly rod, take a look at the ranges available from Shakespeare, Shimano and Daiwa; which have a huge selection of telescopics and multi-piece rods available between them, with prices ranging from £25 to £370.

If you would like to discuss anything related to this issue, or if you have a question I may be able to help with, please feel free to email me.

Good luck and good fishing to you all - wherever in the world you go!

Andrew Kennedy.

Click here to read Part 3 of Andrew's Travel Tackle article


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